Avro Anson Mk.I
Special Hobby, 1/48
u m m a r y
||48081 - Avro Anson Mk.I "Colorful Annie"
|Contents and Media:
51 parts in grey styrene; 68 parts in cream colored
resin; 15 clear injection molded parts; colour photo-etched fret; printed clear
acetate sheet (instruments); instructions; decal sheet and
painting guide for three aircraft
USD$54.90 available online from Squadron
GBP23.74 available online from Hannants
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;
three interesting and varied marking choices.
Some modelling experience helpful for preparing
resin parts; a bit of flash present; a little extra time required for alignment and perfect fit.
Special Hobby's 1/48 scale Anson Mk.I is available online from Squadron.com
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.
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.
Classic Airframes released their excellent Avro Anson (early and late version) kits in 2006, followed by the "Post War" boxing early in 2007. Special Hobby has now reboxed the Classic Airframes kit with a couple of differences. Most obvious is the new colour photo-etched fret. Also, this kit offers both the wartime bulged engine cowlings, and the post-war smooth cowls of the Cheetah powerplant.
Special Hobby's 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
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
consistent while other structural features stand proud of the fabric
surface. The overall effect is quite convincing.
The Cheetah engine and nacelles are supplied as plastic
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. Seats, navigator's table, radio gear, dickie seat next to the pilot and
cushion for a prone observer in the nose are supplented by the new colour photo-etched fret.
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
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. Please note that the squared-off post-war turret is not included in tis boxing.
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.
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
Three interesting marking options are offered on the instructions:
An overall red French Air Force Anson from 1950
An RAAF Anson wearing experimental anti-submarine camouflage of Dark Slate Grey and Extra Dark Sea Grey over White with a high demarcation on the fuselage sides. This aircaft also has red codes.
An overall yellow Canadian Anson of the 8th Air Observer's School in 1944
The large decal sheet is printed in perfect register, and colours look good.
Special Hobby's 1/48 scale Anson is an impressively detailed kit
of one of the neglected workhorses of the Second World War and beyond. With a price of around USD$55.00,
it remains quite a bargain too, especially considering the significant resin
content and colour photo-etch.
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, Special Hobby's Anson
should not present much more of a challenge than most other twin-engine
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
I have already built the early version Classic Airframes 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. The Special Hobby
version shares almost all of the same parts, therefore should be similar to
Highly Recommended to experienced modellers.
Thanks to MPM / Special Hobby for
the review sample
Review and Images Copyright © 2008 by
Page Created 2 May, 2008
Back to HyperScale Main Page
Back to Reviews Page