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as it might have been

Decal Review, Pts 1 & 2



S u m m a r y
Description and Item Number: X72059 and X72060: TSR.2 as it might have been, Parts 1 and 2
Scale: 1/72
Price: GBP8.99 (in the European Union)
GBP7.65 (outside EU)
Review Type: FirstLook
Contents and Media: each 1 x full-size decal sheet; 1 x A4 full-colour instruction sheet.
Advantages: Nice variety of colourful and creative "what if" subjects; perfectly printed and in register; very thin decal film.
Recommendation: Recommended


Reviewed by Rodger Kelly




Xtradecal could have just as easily named these two sheets "TSR.2 - Flights of fancy" or "The TSR.2 - What if?"  Whatever, Xtradecal X72059 and X72060 provide markings for the yet to be released Airfix 1/72 scale rendition of the British Aircraft Corporation's Tactical Strike/Reconnaissance 2 aircraft  (BAC TSR.2) 

The story of the BAC TSR.2 is long and complex but if you want to know the full story, head on over to Aircraft of the World website at: 


With this history in your mind, turn over the placement guide (the notes are the same for both sheets) and read the Xtradecal version or the "what could have been history", it is perfectly plausible as well as a bit of fun!

Enough of this and with the tongue firmly planted in the cheek, what's on the sheets? 


First Sheet - X72059 

Seven aircraft in all.  Remember, the following descriptions are a work of fiction!

  • Scheme 1.  TSR.2 GR.1, XS668, 40 Squadron RAF Hawkinge, 1968.  Dark sea grey and dark green over gloss high demarcation "anti flash" white undersides.  The supplied markings include the Squadron's blue and yellow checkerboard and broom insignia as well as a well executed Squadron shield.
  • Scheme 2.  TSR.2 GR.1, XS992, 45 Squadron RAF Akroti,  Cyprus, 1971  Gloss light stone and gloss dark earth upper surfaces over gloss black undersides with white canopies and forward spine.  Squadron insignia included.
  • Scheme 3.  TSR.2 GR.1, XR227, Empire Test Pilots School, RAF Boscombe Down, 1999 or Aircraft and Armament Experimental Establishment.  In an appealing Raspberry Ripple scheme.  The included markings allow you to finish this one as either an Empire Test Pilots School machine or an Aircraft and Armament Experimental Establishment machine by adding or subtracting various decals.
  • Scheme 4.  TSR.2 GR1, XS947, 13 Squadron RAF Wyton, 1973.  Dark sea grey and dark green over gloss with low demarcation "anti flash" white undersides.  Two versions of squadron insignia included.
  • Scheme 5.  Canadair CF-109 (the license-built version of the BAC TSR.2 built in Canada by Canadair).  109034, 421 Squadron, 1 Canadian Air Group, Canadian Forces Base Baden-Soelingen, West Germany, 1983.  Canadian green and grey upper surfaces over Canadian light grey under sides.  Lo-viz versions of Canadian national markings and Squadron insignia included.
  • Scheme 6.  109023, 409 Squadron, Canadian Forces Base Comox, British Colombia, 1979.  Overall gloss light grey with black fin tip and radome.  Squadron insignia and hi-viz Canadian National markings included. This is the first of the problems I alluded to.  The markings for this machine do not appear on the decal sheet.  They do however appear on X72060, the companion sheet.
  • Scheme 7.  TSR.2 GR1, N802NA (ex-XR225) NASA Flight Research Center Edwards Air Force Base California, 1969.  Overall gloss white with hi-viz day-glo red orange panels and yellow chord-wise stripes on the wings.  NASA logos and vertical stabiliser flashes included.
  • Scheme 8.  TSR.2 GR 53, No 438 (ex XS669) 2 Squadron Royal Saudi Air force, King Abdul-Aziz Airbase, Saudi Arabia, 1968.  In a wraparound scheme of light stone, dark earth and dark green.   Only one problem here, no markings appear on this sheet or the companion sheet for this aircraft!


Second Sheet - X72060 

  • Scheme 1.  TSR.2 GR.1, XS949, 45 Squadron RAF Coltishal, 1970.  Dark sea grey and dark green over gloss low demarcation "anti flash" white undersides.  Markings include the Squadron's red and white checkerboard that incorporates the squadron insignia.
  • Scheme 2.  TSR.2 GR.1, XS954, 237 Operational Conversion Unit (OCU) RAF Little Snoring, 1972.  Dark sea grey and dark green over gloss low demarcation "anti flash" white undersides.  Markings include Squadron gantlet insignia as well as crossed sword insignia.
  • Scheme 3.  TSR.2 GR.3, XS973/BA, "Bad Attitude/Hello Sadam!" 2 Squadron, Thumrait, Sultanate of Oman, Operation Granby, January 1991.  In overall RAF desert sand.  Markings include a grim reaper nose art, a bomb log, lo viz national insignia and slime lights.
  • Scheme 4.  Lockheed FB-112D, (yes, you guessed it, the US license built version of the TSR.2!) 493rd Tactical Fighter Squadron (TFS), 48th Tactical Fighter Wing (TFW), RAF Laken Heath, Operation Eldorado Canyon, 15 April 1986.  In USAF "Asia minor" scheme of two green and tan upper surfaces over black under sides.  Markings include Squadron and Wing shields as well as a set of slime lights and lov-viz national insignia.   Remember, the markings for this machine are on the companion sheet and not this one!
  • Scheme 5.  TSR.2 GR.1, XW537, 617 Squadron RAF Biggin Hill, 1979.  Dark sea grey and dark green over light aircraft grey low demarcation undersides.  Another oops here!  The markings for this machine are not on the sheet.  However, the squadron insignia grouped together with the serial XS990 does appear on the companion sheet.
  • Scheme 6.  TSR.2 GR.62, JBG 33 24 + 05, Federal German Luftwaffe, Bchell, 1981, RAL 7012 Basaltgrau and RAL 6014 Gelbolive upper surfaces over RAL 7001 Silbergrau undersides.  Markings include squadron insignia that superimposes a TSR.2 on a diving eagle, national insignia and black red and yellow German flag.
  • Scheme 7.  TSR.2 GR.62, MFG 1, Bundesmarine, Scheleswi-Jagel, 1985 RAL  7012 Basaltgrau upper surfaces over RAL 7001 Silbergrau undersides with RAL 2005 Leuchorange outer wing panels.  Markings include squadron insignia national insignia and black red and yellow German flag.  Note that you can make either this aircraft or the previous one as there is only one set of fuselage crosses.
  • Scheme 8.  TSR.2 GR.43 A8-27, 1 Squadron RAAF, RAAF Amberley, New South Wales, 1980.  Finish is extra dark sea grey and dark green upper surfaces over gloss black undersides.  Markings include Aussie flags and (credible) hi-viz markings and yellow lightning bolt Squadron markings.  A couple of things with this option.  Firstly, RAAF Amberley is in Queensland, not New South Wales goodness me, Sir Wally Lewis will not be impressed with this gaff!  Secondly, the A8 serial prefix is correct if the TSR.2 had of been procured instead of the
    F-111 which bears the A-8 serial prefix.  Thirdly, the colour scheme would have been correct as the aircraft that it was supposed to replace; the Canberra wore the same scheme.  Finally, a USAF Reserve shield is included with the markings unless you want it to be a fictitious a zap dont apply it!
  • Scheme 9.  TSR.2 GR.4, 16 Squadron, RAF Scampton, 1995.  Finish is overall dark camouflage grey with a black vertical stabiliser.  The markings include 16 Squadron's yellow 'Saint" figure and commemorates the Squadron's 80th anniversary

Both sheets have A-4 sized placement sheets that show side profiles of each machine (some have left and right hand side profiles) as well as appropriate upper surfaces plan views.  A colour match to the Xtracolour enamels and acrylic paint ranges.  The sheet also carry a list of suggest references but dont go looking for them as they are spurious! 

Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:

The placement guides and the decals are packed in envelopes with clear fronts just the same as the Superscale ones are. 

So there you have it, 17 different and credible options spread over two sheets. 

Love or hate the 'what if' movement, this is a well thought out product from the people at Xtradecal. 

Both sheets are recommended. 


The Airfix kit is yet to hit the shelves.  I understand that it is to be produced in limited numbers so to ensure that you get you hands on a couple I would place an order with Hannants.


Thanks to Hannants for the review samples

Xtradecals are available online from Hannants' website

Images Copyright 2005 by Hannants
This Page Created on 06 December, 2005
Last updated 07 December, 2005

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