OK. Tagged as a WIFing Neophyte, I felt that I had to take action, so here is my WIFing history.
Firstly my real name is Jim Bricknell. I am a long time member of IPMS UK. I am also an Air Traffic Control Officer with the UK NATS, and have been based at the Shanwick Oceanic Air Traffic Control Centre for the last seventeen years. So if any of you are members of the IPMS UK What If site, and have seen JayBeeShanwick, that’s me!
I am also, through my professional and modelling world, an old friend of Mike McEvoy.
My very first WIF was created in the late 1950’s, or very early 1960’s, and was a combination of the AIRFIX Swordfish and Auster Antarctic to give the Fleet Air Arm it’s first float equipped, monoplane, torpedo bomber with an enclosed canopy. The model was never painted, and so remained in white and yellow plastic till it’s dying days, which may (I can not remember exactly when) have been very soon after that.
Modelling lapsed for a number of years due to the usual reasons (girls, marriage, babies, in that order!) but it resumed in the early 1970’s.
In the mid 1970’s I was a trainee ATCO and was doing my Area Radar training at Northern Radar (RAF Lindeholme, near Doncaster). Having been a member of IPMS UK for a few years I sought out the nearest branch, and this turned out to be Sheffield.
Here I met another long time friend, Neil Robinson.
However, it was at one of the monthly meetings here that things changed. The Trent Modellers Society came for a visit, and one of their members was talking to me about the Hasegawa CF-104 (F-104G kit) which I had painted up in the Tiger Striped markings of 439 Sqdn., at that time there were no transfer sheets available for anything like this. He also had a realy lovely 1/72 scale model of a Cosmic Wind racer that he had produced from his own vac-form. The next thing that he spoke about was the model he had built of a tandem two seat Lightning. This engaged my interest. Didn’t it just, what happened after this is all your fault KIT SPAKMAN!!
However, you might have been right! In an article in Aircraft Illustrated February 2006 there was an article about the roll out of the IWM’s TSR-2.
In this article Jimmy Dell, the No.2 Chief Test Pilot for BAC, was asked “You also flew chase, I believe, in a Lightning (a two-seater with a BAC photographer in the back on some of the early TSR2 flight”.
Not long after that, I completed my training and was posted to Stornoway Aerodrome in the Outer Hebrides. I formed an IPMS branch there (Isle of LEWIS Branch) but after three years, when I was posted to Edinburgh airport, the branch ceased to exist.
It was during this period in the Outer Hebrides, faced with a Hasegawa kit of the A-4 Skyhawk, with a fuselage that was reportedly over sized, and armed with Kit Spakamn’s thoughts, that I conceived, and produced, the side-by-side, two seat Skyhawk trainer. (Photos to follow).
It was shortly after this, having spoken to Mike McEvoy about the proposed Dasault Twin Ouragan, that I conceived of, and built , the twin Vampire HFR-21 (again, photos to follow).
Once I was back in central Scotland I contacted members of IPMS, and the “Central Scotland” branch of IPMS was formed.
We introduced monthly themed competitions, and once a year we had “IT MIGHT HAVE BEEN!”. The rules were that the model had to be of something that really might have happened, and, you had to provide documented proof!
So, there were lots of Luftwaffe/Kriegsmarine Lightnings, and some other things.
For my part, the Luftwaffe two-seat Lighnting, in splinter camouflage, with over-wing tanks, no longer exists, nor does the Austrian Air Force single seat Lightning, in natural metal, with BAE SkyFlash missiles (AIM-9 Sparrow derivatives) on the fuselage pylons, and twin Sidewinder rails on the over-wing pyloms. They have been reduced to produce a lomg time ago.
But, I did produce others which do exist, and the photos will follow.
Heinkel He-100, as supplied to Japan.
The Mikoyan “FIREFOX” as it might have appeared in the film.
Clint Eastwood, as Director, had asked the Swedish government for the use of one of the Viggen prototypes for the film. Due to the testing schedule, this was refused.
Folland Sea Gnat T-3.
The larger wing, and tail surfaces had been designed for a proposed single seat naval fighter. They were subsequently used in the design of the two seat trainer for the RAF.
There might have been a two-seat trainer for the FAA.
That is it for the moment.
I will try and get the photos into a gallery over the next week or so.
In the meantime have a great Festive season.