by Peter Malone
Red Roo Models have released the long anticipated CAC CA-27 Avon Sabre conversion in 1/48 scale.
This uniquely Australian version adapted the basic F-86 Sabre airframe to the Rolls Royce Avon turbojet engine. Although the standard Sabre and the Avon Sabre look superficially similar, the changes required to fit the Avon engine meant that only 40% of the original fuselage structure remained. The installation of two 30mm Aden cannon in place of the machine gun armament of the North American version also required some modifications.
I was lucky enough to be given a test shot of this kit for examination. A more complete article will be posted with HyperScale next week, but here are a few construction shots and some brief comments.
The kit itself is injection moulded in 1/48 scale and comprises of five parts:
Photos of the kit are available on Red Roo Models' and Snowy Mountains Models' site. The kit is intended to be used with either the Hasegawa F-86-30 or Academy F-86. The former will be slightly easier to use as the cockpit tub and wheel-well are not moulded integrally with the intake as on the Academy kit.
Moulding has been done by High Planes Models and matches exactly the loft lines I have of the Avon Sabre. Surface detail is accurate and very fine, a little too so for my preferences. Being limited run, the plastic is thicker than either the Hasegawa or Academy host kits and this results in a few problems in trying to fit these kit parts into Red Roo's fuselage. However they are not beyond the reach of a competent modeller.
An excellent decal sheet is provided, giving a choice of one of four Royal Australian Air Force Avon Sabres or three Royal Malaysian Air Force Avon Sabres. The RAAF aircraft are A94-901 from 76 Sqn's Black Panthers aerobatic team, A94-371 and -922 from 2(F)OCU's Marksmen aerobatic team and A94-971 in early 3 Sqn markings. The RMAF markings are for camouflage and silver lacquered aircraft from 11 Sqn. National markings are given for one RAAF and one RMAF version. Full representative stencilling is provided for one aircraft only. Printing is very clear and sharp, well above the standard of most kit decals. The only down points appeared to be the wrong shade of red for the 3 Sqn band, (it should be more orange), and the lack of black trim required for the coloured wingtips and noses on the 76 Sqn and 2 OCU Swords. These deficiencies are rectified easily by the modeller.
Presented below are a few shots showing construction of the kit. I elected to use Hasegawa's excellent F-86-30:
Photo 1. The adaptor piece has been fitted in the lower intake and the intake entry fitted. Much sanding of a couple of awkward joins in the inside of the duct is required at this stage.
Photo 2. The nose-wheel well, intake-duct, cockpit tub and engine exhaust have been fitted to the fuselage. Some material needs to be removed from the inside of the fuselage to allow these components to fit, but basically it is quite an easy job.
Photo 3. Windscreen fitted. This proved to be an excellent fit with only a miniscule amount of filler required.
Photo 4. The dorsal exhaust vent on Avon Sabres was somewhat larger than that on US aircraft.
Photo 5. The kit omits the ventral cooling intake, NACA intake and exhaust vent behind the wheel wells. The modeller will have to make these himself.
Photo 6. Starting to look like a Sabre.
More info and photos in a full construction article next week.
Models, Description and Images Copyright ©
2000 by Peter Malone