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
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
images below to see larger images
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.