Updated: August 10, 2007
In the mid 60s of the last century, the European nations realized they did not have enough capital to develop too many aircraft types independently. This was particularly true for the British, who were struggling to keep pace with the Cold War.
In a joint venture with the French, they built a simple, straightforward strike plane called Jaguar, which still serves with some foreign nations, although it has been pulled out of service with the Armée de l'Air and RAF. It was a conventional, unremarkable plane that served for some thirty years, without excelling in any particular role.
As a model, it was particularly fun to build. It had a number of interesting details, like the extensive ECM equipment, which British so much preferred over normal weapons (since they mainly used Jaguar for recce duties), and the air brakes doubling behind the main landing gear.
But the most appealing element was the camouflage, of course. At first, I had the option of painting the model in the Gulf War colors, a devastatingly boring monotone sand, with the bonus of overwing pylons for AIM-9 Sidewinders, or the standard European green and gray. But then, I found a picture of a Jaguar at RAF Coltishall in Norfolk, beautifully painted in winter camouflage - white specked with green and gray. Without a doubt, this is what I chose.
I did improvise a bit, as usual. The cockpit was not supposed to be open, nor were the air brakes. I used bits of plastic from the frames holding the parts and shaped them into hydraulic actuators for both the canopy and the brakes. The model was made in 1/72 scale by Italeri, with a pleasantly high level of precision.