Nimrod R.1P Decals RAM Models

Just in case you’ve never heard of the Nimrod, the Hawker Siddeley Nimrod was a maritime patrol aircraft developed and operated by the United Kingdom. Designed in response to a requirement issued by the Royal Air Force (RAF) to replace its fleet of ageing Avro Shackletons, the Nimrod MR1/MR2s were primarily fixed-wing aerial platforms for anti-submarine warfare (ASW) operations. It served from the early 1970s until March 2010.

Three Nimrod aircraft were adapted for the signals intelligence role, replacing the Comet C2s and Canberras of No. 51 Squadron in May 1974. The R1 was visually distinguished from the MR2 by the lack of a MAD boom. It was fitted with an array of rotating dish aerials in the aircraft’s bomb bay, with further dish aerials in the tailcone and at the front of the wing-mounted fuel tanks. It had a flight crew of four (two pilots, a flight engineer and one navigator) and up to 25 crew operating the SIGINT equipment.

Only since the end of the Cold War has the role of the aircraft been officially acknowledged; they were once described as “radar calibration aircraft”. The R1s did not suffer the same rate of fatigue and corrosion as the MR2s. One R1 was lost in a flying accident since the type’s introduction; this occurred in May 1995 during a flight test after major servicing, at RAF Kinloss. To replace this aircraft an MR2 was selected for conversion to R1 standard, and entered service in December 1996.

The Nimrod R1 was based initially at RAF Wyton, Cambridgeshire, and later at RAF Waddington in Lincolnshire, England, and flown by 51 Sqn. The two remaining Nimrod R1s were originally planned to be retired at the end of March 2011, but operational requirements forced the RAF to deploy one to RAF Akrotiri, Cyprus on 16 March. The last flight of the type was on 28 June 2011 from RAF Waddington, in the presence of the Chief of the Air Staff, ACM Sir Stephen Dalton. XV 249, the former MR2 and subject of this decal sheet, is now on display at the RAF Museum Cosford, West Midlands.

If you’re going to build a 1/72 model of the Nimrod then your only real option is the 2008 Airfix kit. The kit itself has some R.1P decal options, but since it was produced before the retirement of the aircraft, it doesn’t have the decal option contained on this sheet.

The set contains decals for one aircraft, XV249, which retired in 2011 and is now on display at the RAF Museum Cosford, West Midlands. There are enough stencils for one aircraft and the decal sheet has been designed for the Nimrod kt. In fact, where RAM Models have duplicated a decal that exists in the Airfix kit, they have numbered it the same as is used in the Airfix kit instructions. In reality, you need only use the RAM Models instructions for the extra few decals and can use the kit instructions for all the stencils if you wish.

The instruction sheet is one double sided sheet of colour glossy paper. Since it is only one aircraft, that is all that is needed. Everything is clearly numbered, and as stated earlier, uses the same numbering system as the kit decals. The paints are called out in 7 different ways, name, BS, FS, Humbrol, Xtracolour, Xtracrylix and Lifecolor. There are part views where needed and I don’t expect any problems with the instructions.

The decals are printed by Fantasy Printshop using a 4 colour process to allow them to accurately reproduce the graduated colours of the Goose. The colours are solid and in register and the carrier film is minimal to virtually non-existent in all the right places.

This sheet is on sale now for £10.49, which is currently about US$14.70, and they are available on RAM Models’ website along with your usual suppliers.

Overall it’s a very well put together decal sheet of the last flying Nimrod. The decals are nicely printed, with special attention paid to the tricky to reproduce gradients on the Goose. The instructions are comprehensive and clear and the decals are designed to fit the only kit that anyone is really going to build – the Airfix kit. If RAF or maritime aircraft are your thing, then this sheet should be on your wish list.

Many thanks to RAM Models for the review sample.

Paul Tosney – Editor
ModelBuilder International


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