Wednesday, October 19, 2011


SMN report:
Here's an ejection seat from a Royal Navy Buccaneer strike bomber, cleaned up and mounted on a custom metal frame. Just the thing for a talking point at a gathering of modelmakers -  or for reference in superdetailing that latest model!

High bid gets the chair
It’s on offer from a UK outfit, called ‘whenitsgoneitsgone’, though there’s no fixed price - WIGIG are open to offers and highest bid gets the chair. We saw a similar item in a Guernsey antique shop last year, and that was rather special as the metal parts had been polished to a rich, lustrous finish. WIGIG’s chair is more of a stock item, though probably all the more interesting for this, as the accessories are all included.

Complete offer
In WIGIG’s words: “Our Martin Baker Mk6 ejector seat for sale, originally used in a Royal Navy Buccaneer, has been fitted with a stainless steel frame, transforming it into the unique seat it is today! Complete with original ’chutes, harness and eject handles, the seat is guaranteed to turn heads in the office or look great at home!”

History of the chair
“The Mk.6MSB was fitted to the Buccaneer jet used by both RAF and Royal Navy. This seat in particular was fitted to XV157 which flew first with the Royal Navy from 1966, including operating from the aircraft carrier HMS Eagle (where it was coded 107/E) and RAF squadrons from 1969. XV157 was sadly scrapped in '91, at which point this seat was removed and converted to a training seat.”

Authentic condition
“The ejector seat has been kept in its original authentic condition to preserve its history; parts are original to the chair, including straps, parachute, seat cushion and handles. Paintwork has been kept as the original, and the seat features some scars. Rockets are present - including pitch rockets - minus cartridge and propellant.”

Buccaneer kit
However... So you don’t want a Buccaneer hot-seat in the house? Well, use the pix to help build a better Buccaneer kit. There are 1:72 and 1:48 kits available from Airfix, and with some effort, either builds into a fine representation of the full-size machine, though by most accounts, parts fit and finish leave something to be desired - in other words: “a project”. As an Amazon reviewer puts it of the 1:72 kit: “Typically for Airfix, the cockpit canopy didn't fit at all and needed filing down.”

However, construction can be rewarding. The pix (above) by Piet Rheeders in South Africa show the early stages in a build, while the pix (below) from 'Kurnass77' in Italy, show that with skill and patience it’s possible to achieve display standards.

Visit the chair here.

Airfix Buccaneer kit here.

Buccaneer build pix here.

Be warned: this page is a slow loader, but there are lots of luscious models to look, including this Buccaneer here.