Matchbox 1/72 Buccaneer S.2B
KIT: Matchbox 1/72 Buccaneer S.2B
KIT #: PK-106 (1974)
PRICE: Out of Production
DECALS: Two options
REVIEWER: Victor Scheuerman
NOTES: Chinese boxing, no English, no weapons


Normally I would copy the history section from the kits instruction sheet, but since this kit was produced for the Chinese home market, I will actually have to do it myself.

 Blackburn’s heavy and somewhat large Buccaneer was the world’s first carrier based two-seat low-level strike aircraft.  This uniquely configured aircraft boasted some interesting features for its day. Some of these were; wing and boundary layer control, a split tailcone that acted as the speed brake, and rotary bomb bay.  While both the prototype NA.39 series and the Buccaneer S.1s were under powered with Gryphon Juniors, the Buccaneer 2s that featured the Royce Rolls Spey were a different story.

 Even though the Spey turbo fan offered 30 per cent more power, they also increased the range thanks to their design and that fact, added with the new inflight-refueling capability certainly gave sea legs to this nautical raider.  The S2s were the main variant used by the Royal Navy with a total of 84 being built. However, when this navy retired its conventional carriers, these still lethal strike aircraft were passed on to the Royal Air Force.

 Before being accepted for RAF service, these airframes required a number of modification and after upgrading were designated Buccaneer S.2A. A further upgrade that allowed Martel anti-radar or TV-guided missiles to be carried along with a bulged weapons bay door that allowed even more fuel to be carried takes us to the Matchbox version; Buccaneer S.2B.


This kit has 38 parts on three sprues in three different colours plus one clear one-piece canopy. While the engraving is deep, if one uses a darker finish (like wrap-around Dark Grey/Dark Green) it should not look too bad. Blackburn’s ‘bomber’ has a large office and this kit at least has side consoles and partial pilot instrument panel to fill the void. Matchbox’s take on the Martin Bakers Type 6MSB seat is pretty good. Add the ejection handles from wire and the seat harness from foil and they would pass muster.

 Another nice feature is that the large main wells are framed in and have some raised detail. While the nose bay is fully framed, it is too shallow. Normally I would mention to thin the gear doors or replace them with card, but the main gear doors on the aircraft are somewhat thick and the kit items look the part. The main gears struts are separate from the tires while the nose gear/strut is one-piece.

 For some reason Matchbox has the engine outlets solid in lieu of being a tube, while the intake has the front compressor fans separate to be fitted inside the intakes. The only other kit details to mention are that an inflight-refueling probe is included and the bulged bomb bay door is molded in place. It is really too bad that Matchbox did not include either the Martin missiles or the wings slipper tanks. The latter are certainly signature features.

 With only a total of 39 parts (including the two crew members) assembly is covered in nine well-illustrated steps. Two decals options are offered and both are RAF Germany aircraft in low-viz markings with Dark Grey/Dark Green over Light Grey camouflage.

Circa 1971 is a XV Squadron Buccaneer that has these famous Roman Numbers on the tail, while the more colourful 16 Squadron S.2B has the Saint, Crossed Keys and unit Triangle done in yellow and black. While the decals are in register and look fine, past experience with Chinese boxings would have me do a test application before using them. Both of these options are illustrated in colour on the back of the box.


While the kit itself looks sound and should be a quick build, one needs to rob some parts off either the older FROG kit or the newer Airfix one to add the wing stores to make it operational. That, or scratch build the pylons and raid the spares bin for the weaponry. But hey, want a 1/72 scale Buccaneer quick that is void of weapons; this could be the ideal candidate!  (An editorial comment: There are or at least were several companies doing aftermarket pylons and weapons for this kit, so all is not lost if you want to build it fully armed. Ed)


The Encyclopedia of World Aircraft, David Donald, PROSPERO Books. 

Buccaneer Aeroguide 5, Roger Chesneau and Ray Rimell, Linewrights Ltd.

Victor Scheuerman

July 2008

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