1/48 Royal Newfoundland Constabulary Naval Air Service Sculpin F.1

Gallery Article by Alvis 3.1 on Jan 7 2011

Silly Week 2011


The foreign fishing trawlers had nothing to worry about. They were far out in the Grand Banks, far out of reach of most shore based aircraft, and nobody flew in the terrible weather they had been experiencing the last few days. All they would need was a good run and they'd be setting out for home, if only...

And then their world was shattered by the Banshee-like wail of tortured turbines and 30 mm gunfire. Alarms rang out across the fishing fleet...they'd been caught by the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary!

Many designers had tried to design and build a successful flying boat jet fighter, but Canadair was the only company to put one into production. Newfoundland was the only country to operate it, and "it" was the "Sculpin", a stout, tough little plane, capable of flying at near supersonic velocities, and  landing amongst the ice floes and chop to return to its' base. Loved by both the men who flew them, and the people of "The Rock", the RNCNAS Sculpins were to first line of defence of Britain's oldest colony, and North America's newest country.

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Acheiving independance in 1923, Newfoundland was a modern miracle of economics. Keynsian and Free market economics could not have predicted the amazing rise of Newfoundland, and after WWII, it became even more important as an intergral part of NATO. Defending the island nation was paramount. Canadair had designed a flying boat utilising some components of the successful F-86 Sabre, and Newfoundland immediately ordered five squadrons worth. Designated the "Sculpin F.1", it packed a punch with its' nose mounted cannon. Entering service in 1953, they served until the mid 1960s, often basing from converted sealing ships. Fishery patrol was but one of many missions the Sculpins took place in, but the introduction of the higher speed jet bombers and transports of the late 1950s spelled the end of the Sculpin as an interceptor. Three are still in service as chase planes for the RNCNAS Test Squadron.

What do you do with one awful model and one decent kit? Kitbash time! I took an Airfix Boeing 314 Clipper ( A decent kit) and the Lindberg F-86 Sabre, in 1/48 (An awful kit) and combined them to make this cute, tubby little plane.  Tipfloats came from a 1/48 Lindberg Grumman Goose (No los there, it too is an awful kit). Lots of putty and sanding ensued. Paints were from  my trusty collection of sprayscans, Tamiya USAF Light Grey, RAF Dark SeaGrey, and Medium Grey. Decals are from my trusty InkJet printer and Testors paper. The roundels are traditional British Empire-type roundels, with codfish serving as the centre images.

Alvis 3.1

Photos and text by Alvis 3.1