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English Electric Canberra B.2./B.20/B.62/B(I).6

Airfix, 1/48 scale

S u m m a r y

Catalogue Number: Airfix Kit No. A10101 - English Electric Canberra B.2./B.20/B.62/B(I).6
Scale: 1/48
Contents and Media: 175 parts in grey coloured plastic; 7 clear plastic parts; decal sheet covering four marking options
Price: From GBP£26.08 plus shipping available online from Hannants
Review Type: FirstLook
Advantages: High quality mouding; crisp and consistent recessed panel lines; separate control surfaces; useful selection of options; separate crew entry door; nice variety of markings; greatly improved decal presentation; stout packaging.
Disadvantages: Deep recessed lines on rudder; some half-hearted and bomber-oriented elements in the cockpit; a number of large sprue attachment points
Conclusion: Nice detail, straightforward to build and excellent value for money - this new 1/48 scale Airfix Canberra B.2 will suit both superdetailers and the less experienced modeller.


Reviewed by Brett Green


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FirstLook

 

The English Electric Canberra was a groundbreaking aircraft when it entered service in the early 1950s. The Canberra set and held many altitude, distance and speed records in its early years.

In addition to widespread and long service with the Royal Air Force, the English Electric Canberra was exported to many countries including Australia, New Zealand, Sweden, France, West Germany, India, Pakistan, Rhodesia, Ethiopia, Argentina, Chile, Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela.

The B.2 was the widely used bomber version of the Canberra. This variant was also the basis for a number of export bomber variants including the license built Australian B.20 (which included additional fuel capacity in the wings) and the Argentine B.62.

The Canberra's service record was remarkable in its longevity, spanning from the Suez crisis to Vietnam right through to Operation Telic in the Persian Gulf. The Canberra finally left RAF service when the the PR.9 was retired in 2006.

Perhaps more than any other aircraft model in the same period, the English Electric Canberra has gone from zero to hero in the last three years. In early 2006, there was not a single injection moulded kit in current release. In that short period we now have the Canberra B.2, T.17, TT.18 and B-57 from Classic Airframes in 1/48 scale, the Canberra B(I).8 and PR.9 from Airfix in 1/48 scale and the Xtrakit 1/72 scale PR.9.

Airfix continues its new production push with a new 1/48 scale Canberra B.2.

Airfix's 1/48 scale Canberra B.2 comprises 175 parts in grey coloured plastic, 7 clear plastic parts and a large decal sheet covering three markings options for four aircraft.

  • Airfix 1/48 scale Canberra B.2 Review by Brett Green (Airfix 1/48): Image
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This is the first in the 1/48 scale Airfix Canberra family fitted with the circular bomber canopy. The clear parts and the fuselage mouldings are therefore unique to this kit. Other new parts include elements of the cockpit and engine nacelles, plus optional styles of intake bullets.

 

 

Moulding quality is up to the same high standard as Airfix's recent Canberra B(I).8 and PR.9.

The plastic parts are smooth, with crispy recessed panel lines throughout and no sink marks to be seen anywhere. Ejector pin marks on major and minor parts have mainly been thoughtfully positioned to be hidden when the model is built. The only exception that I can find are the interiors of the main gear doors, which do have a couple of faint circles, but these should be covered by the undercarriage legs. Some of the sprue attachment points are very thick though, so care will be required when removing parts and cleaning up the waste to avoid gouging the plastic.

 

 

Detail appears to be a little soft on the wheels, but they look fine after careful painting. The deep engraved surface detail seen on the rudder of the previous two Airfix Canberras is still found on this model, but this is easy enough to fill and sand. A replacement is also now available from Cammetts.

Exterior detail is good. The model features positionable flaps, elevators and rudder, plus boxed-in wheel wells.

Cockpit detail is a bit basic The seats and instrument panels will benefit from detailing or replacement.

 

 

Clear parts include the canopy, nose cone (not used in this version) various windows (including the small windows at the above the rear of the cockpit - nice touch) and wing tip navigation lights.

The transparencies are nice and clear.

 

 

Optional parts include wing tip drop tanks, plenty of bombs and missiles. Wing tip pylons are included for the Vietnam War era RAAF Canberra.

Instructions are supplied in a 16 page stapled A4 booklet. Construction is covered in 41 illustrated steps. A separate full-colour foldout sheet is provided for stencil placement and four-views of each of the four marking options. No descriptive colour names are called out in the marking guide or instructions - only Humbrol paint numbers.

The four marking options are:

  • Canberra B. Mk. 2, 10 Sqn. RAF, Scampton 1953. Finished in Grey upper surfaces and black below.

  • Canberra B(I).6, 213 Sqn. RAF, Bruggen Germany 1969

  • Canberra B.20, 2 Sqn. RAAF, Phan Rang Bay, Vietnam, 1970

  • Canberra B. Mk. 62, II Air Brigade, Air Group N. 2, Parana, Argentine Air Force, 1982

 

 

The decal sheet is large, colourful and glossy. I would say that this is the best quality decals sheet that I have seen from Airfix .



 

Conclusion

 

This 1/48 scale Canberra B.2 is a welcome addition to Airfix's growing range of new generation kits. The B.2 and the export versions it spawned probably carried the greatest range and most colourful markings of the long-lived Canberra family.

The model will be impressively large, offers good exterior detail and plenty of useful options covering more than four decades of service.

Despite its size, this kit is quite conventional and simple in its parts breakdown. It should not present a challenge to modellers with a few kits under their belt. I certainly found the Airfix Canberra B(I).8 quite straightforward when building it earlier this year.

If you are a fan of Cold War, Vietnam War, Falklands War or modern British aviation, and you have a bit of space on your display shelves, this newest Airfix 1/48 scale Canberra will be an attractive choice.

And if you are purchasing outside the UK, £26.08 is still great value with the current state of the exchange rate (around USD$37.00).

Thanks to Hannants for the sample


Review Text and Images Copyright 2009 by Brett Green
Page Created 16 February, 2009
Last updated 16 February, 2009

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