Wednesday, January 20, 2010


Here’s a tasty preview from Airfix of the upcoming 1:48 Hawker Siddeley Sea Vixen carrier-based jet. Due out in September the Sea Vixen is shown here in prototype form, created by an interesting machine that many of us would like in our back room.

It’s called a stereolithography apparatus (SLA) and is a cunning piece of kit that translates 2-D computer information - typically three-view plans - into a lifesize 3-D model. It’s created by squirting precisely-shaped layers of resin on top of each other, each one being hardened by a pass with an ultraviolet laser beam. SLA is only for prototyping though - as you can see from the pix here, there is no fine detail on the model yet. Small vents, panel lines, and other bits and pieces are added later, after the SLA prototype has been adjusted and approved.

The Airfix Sea Vixen will be the FAW.2 version that saw service with the Royal Navy from 1964, a flying career brought to a halt in 1972 by that bane of the UK military, defence cuts. When assembled the kit will be 340 mm (13.4 in) long with a wingspan of 317 mm (12.5 in).

The video was shot last year and shows the bulky twin-boom Sea Vixen very well indeed. One last point - despite appearances, it was a two-seater. The pilot sat under the offset canopy, while the observer sat to the right inside the fuselage, tucked away in a compartment nicknamed the ‘coal-hole’! You can see this clearly in the third picture above, complete with seat. Let's hope Airfix also includes some well sculpted crew figures as well.

The Airfix Sea Vixen is not due until the Autumn, but meantime there is the Xtrakit 1:72 scale Sea Vixen here, where there’s also the Supermarine Scimitar from the same jet era, though note that the caption and pic don’t match up!

Thanks to for the video.