1/48 RAAF Jabiru

Gallery Article by Alvis 3.1 on Jan 7 2011

Silly Week 2011


Based on the inline "Wildcat" designed for the Fleet Air Arm, the "Jabiru" was produced from the Grumman Wildcat components shipped to Australia, and re-engineered to work with the Allison engine used by the P-40s. Engineering was by CAC, and major subassembly was by Holden Motors.

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Used as a stopgap fighter until more powerful planes were available, the Jabirus were nororiously noseheavy, but could dive at tremendous velocity...given enough altitude. As stable as a rock in a dive, the most effective tactic against the more nimble Japanese planes was to blast through their formations from above and tear off at low altitude, easily outrunning anything flying at the time.

I used two venerable old Monogram kits, the P-40 and Wildcat to do this build. Why? Cuz they are cheap, that's why! Oh, and reasonably accurate in outline. The nose section was made from a large plug of balsawood, glued in place and sanded until it looked "right". It also had to conform to the spinner from the P-40, and the firewall of the Wildcat. I'm surprised it came out as well as I had hoped!

Decals are from the spares bin, the paint scheme reflects an RAAF Spitfire  type scheme to avoid being shot down by allied forces.

Alvis 3.1

Photos and text by Alvis 3.1