1/144 Airfix Philippine Airlines BAC-111

Gallery Article by Micah Reysio-Cruz on Sept 15 2011


Greetings from the currently rainy and cool Philippines! I would like to share pictures of a model that represents a personal milestone for me – my first airplane ride. 

Many moons ago, I used to go to my mother’s home province for a month every summer. The first few times, we took a ship to the port of Iloilo, a voyage that took a little over a day. My father, who was then a busy physician, and rather short on time, decided that it would be better to take the plane. I was five years old, and the whine of the jet engines frightened me as we walked across the ramp to board the white and silver jet. I was inconsolable, until a kind stewardess (that’s what they were called back then, so there.) gave me two plastic cups to hold to my ears. The airplane that caused me so much fear was a British Aerospace Corporation BAC-111. Philippine airlines started flying these noisy turbojet aircraft in the late 60’s, and by the time I took my first ride in the early 80’s, Philippine Airlines was using the stretched 500 series. The aircraft depicted by my model was an early member of the PAL fleet, and is wearing their circa 1968 color scheme. The airplane made its way back to the UK to serve with the Royal Aircraft Establishment. It was finally scrapped around 2000. Not bad for the little rocket. Today, as hush-kitted airliners begin to sound more like vacuum cleaners than jets, I rather miss the hearty “Buwhurooooooooooosh!” these old jets made. I have many other fond memories of PAL BAC-111s. It was while waiting for another BAC-111 home to Manila that I climbed into a derelict C-47 beside the ramp and my poor family, not being able to find me, thought I had been kidnapped. But that's another story. 

Click on images below to see larger images


The is the Airfix kit. I sometimes wish I could build the same plane in 1/72, like the majority of my collection, but even if a kit was available, I would have nowhere to place such a large model! Although no interior is provided, it does come with posable doors, rear airstair and cargo hatches. I closed them up, chickening out on having to add an interior. As many airliner modellers like to say, there isn't a lot you can see inside anyway! The soft plastic is ideal for sanding and working with a knife. Some cleaning up is needed as the kit’s parts have a fair amount of flash. As always for an airliner, careful masking and patience gives a neat paint job. The windscreen framing was made with white decal paper, which I have found to be much crisper than paint at this small scale. The decals were made from photos found on the internet. I printed them using a deskjet printer on compatible decal paper. Once the decals were in place, a coat of future floor wax gave everything a high-gloss sheen. 

Happy modeling and thanks for looking!

Micah Reysio-Cruz

Photos and text © by Micah Reysio-Cruz