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Avro Anson Mk.I
Post War Markings
 

Classic Airframes, 1/48 scale

S u m m a r y

Catalogue Number: 4121 - Avro Anson Mk.I Post War Markings
Scale: 1/48
Contents and Media: 51 parts in grey styrene; 68 parts in cream colored resin; 15 clear injection molded parts; printed clear acetate sheet (instruments); instructions; decal sheet and painting guide for five aircraft
Price: MSRP USD$55.00
Review Type: FirstLook
Advantages: First time available as an injection-moulded kit in this scale; large and impressive; excellent surface detail including very nice fabric texture, high quality plastic moulding; thin, clear, cleverly designed and separately packed clear parts; impressively detailed resin parts; six interesting and varied marking choices.
Disadvantages: Some modelling experience helpful for preparing resin parts; a bit of flash present; a little extra time required for alignment and perfect fit.
Recommendation: Highly Recommended

 

Reviewed by Brett Green


Classic Airframes' 1/48 scale Anson Mk.I is available online from Squadron.com

 

FirstLook

 

The Avro Anson was derived from the civilian Model 652 transport aircraft. In 1936, the Anson earned the distinction of being the both the first monoplane and the first type with retractable undercarriage in RAF service. The Anson initially performed the anti-submarine and reconnaissance roles, but was relegated to navigation and gunnery training duties as the war progressed. Perhaps its most important responsibility was as the nursery to new pilots and aircrew throughout the Commonwealth under the Empire Air Training Scheme.

Despite its important role in the Second World War and beyond, and a total production run in excess of 10,000 examples, the Avro Anson is a sadly neglected subject in styrene. Before now, there has not been a single injection-moulded Anson kit in 1/48 scale, and only the ancient Airfix Mk.I in 1/72. Classic Airframes' all new Anson family is therefore a real breath of fresh air to RAF and Commonwealth aviation fans.

Classic Airframes has now released an Anson Mk.I in post-war guise. A number of Ansons were re-engined with Armstrong Siddeley Cheetah XIX powerplants featuring smooth cowlings, and some were also fitted with a clear nose. The Anson on display at the Imperial War Museum Duxford is an example of a smooth-cowled Mk.I with fabric wings.

 

Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:

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This new post-war Avro Anson Mk.I kit comprises 51 parts in grey styrene; 68 parts in cream colored resin; 15 clear injection molded parts; instructions; plus a decal sheet and painting guide for seven aircraft. The kit contents are essentially the same as the earlier four releases with the exception of the engine, cowlings and clear parts.

Plastic parts are presented to a very high standard. Moulding quality is excellent with a satin finish to the surface. There are no moulding imperfections on any of the exterior surfaces. The surface texture mostly represents fabric, and it is very well done. I especially like the restrained approach adopted on the fuselage and fin. Where appropriate, panel lines are crisply recessed and consistent while other structural features stand proud of the fabric surface. The overall effect is quite convincing.

The new engine and nacelles are supplied as plastic parts.

 

Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:

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Resin parts are very nicely detailed. The bulk of these details are for the cockpit, including extensive framing inside the fuselage, but the undercarriage bays are also supplied in resin.

The high level of detail in the cockpit is justified by its visibility inside the large fuselage windows. Classic Airframes supplies seats, navigator's table, radio gear, dickie seat next to the pilot and cushion for a prone observer in the nose. The turret is a mini-model in its own right, with 13 parts in grey plastic, resin and clear.

Some of the parts are cast onto fairly stout blocks so a combination of a good razor saw and caution will be required when preparing these resin components.

Clear parts are well moulded and distortion free - very important for this glasshouse canopy and fuselage. The windscreen is moulded to part of the forward fuselage, which will make painting easier. The long windows for the rear cabin are also moulded as an integral part of the mid-upper fuselage, adding strength and also minimizing the risk of smudging these clear parts with glue during painting.

 

 

Options include glazed or covered nose cone, turret or faired-over fuselage, landing lights, long ailerons and various avionics alternatives (aerials, DF loop, astrodome etc). Control surfaces are moulded in place, with separate photo-etched hinges and actuators.

An entirely new style of turret is also included for the Dutch marking option.

The kit is broken down conventionally - fuselage halves, wing halves etc - but there are no locating pins or tabs. I strongly recommend that wings and tailplanes are reinforced with metal or plastic spars. Sprue attachment points are narrow, but there is a fair bit of flash on some of the smaller parts.

The shape of the model looks accurate compared to published plans and contemporary photographs.



Markings

Six interesting marking options are offered on the instructions:

  • Royal Navy 1952 in overall Aluminium Dope with broad yellow stripes

  • Belgian Air Force in overall Aluminium Dope

  • Portugal, 1947, in overall Aluminium

  • Israeli Air Force early 1950s in overal Aluminium Dope with red fuselage and wing stripes

  • Dutch Air Force, late 1940s, finished in overall yellow

  • RNAF around 1950 in RAF Dark Green, Dark Earth and with yellow undersides

Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:

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Decals are printed in perfect register, and colours look good.

 

 

Conclusion

 

Classic Airframes' 1/48 scale Anson is an impressively detailed kit of one of the neglected workhorses of the Second World War and beyond. With a recommended price of USD$55.00, it is quite a bargain too, especially considering the significant resin content.

The relatively small number of plastic parts belie the complexity of the kit. You will need experience before tackling this project due to the extensive use of resin and the lack of locating pins. However, with care and plenty of test-fitting, Classic Airframes' Anson should not present much more of a challenge than most other twin-engine mainstream kits.

You won't have to spend a cent on after-market accessories though, thanks to the very high level of detail in the cockpit, and the ample markings options.

I have already built the early version Anson Mk.I (below). It was a pleasure to work on, and is impressively sized and striking with its large windows revealing the nicely detailed interior. This new post-war version shares most of the same parts, therefore should be similar to build.

 

 

Highly Recommended to experienced modellers.
 

Thanks to Classic Airframes for the review sample.


Classic Airframes kits are available worldwide through hobby retailers and from Squadron.com


Review and Images Copyright 2007 by Brett Green
Page Created 26 April, 2007
Last updated 24 December, 2007

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