The Canberra was of importance to the
RAAF in that it provided the main jet powered strike capability
for over two decades. The 48 aircraft was delivered in
1953 and 1958 and served in many different areas and jobs.
It participated in the 'Great Air Race' in October 1953
with various modifications to the aircraft involved as
well as going to war later in it's life.
The war record of the Canberra in RAAF service started
in 1958 when it was sent to Butterworth and employed against
the terrorists soon after arrival. The Canberra's arrived
in Viet Nam in Apr 1967 under the command of Wing Commander
Rolf Aronsen and based at Phan Rang. Whilst in Viet nam
they were modified to carry bombs externally due to the
shortage of short bodied bombs that would fit in the bomb
bay. The Canberra made an impressive record in Viet Nam
with 11963 sorties flown, 76389 bombs dropped for a total
of 26.8 million kilograms bombs and the loss of only two
aircraft whilst on operations. Unfortunately one of the
aircraft that was lost and it's crew has never been found.
The Canberra continued in the RAAF until June 1982 when
the last of them was retired from service.
This set comes in a non-resealable plastic bag with two
sheets of decals (almost a full A4 page in total) and
one double sided sheet of instructions. The aircraft
- Canberra Mk 20 A84-220, 6 SQN, RAAF Base Pearce WA,
1955. Overall aluminium scheme;
- Canberra Mk 20 A84-210, 1 SQN, RAAF Base Amberley
QLD. Overall aluminium scheme;
- Canberra Mk 20 A84-246, 2 SQN, RAAF Base Butterworth
Malaya. Overall aluminium scheme; and
- Canberra Mk 20 A84-246, 2 SQN RAAF, Phan Rang Viet
Nam, 1967. Extra Dark Sea Grey and Olive Drab scheme.
These schemes cover a vast time frame of the Canberra
and include three colour roundels as well as the Roo
centred roundels for the Viet Nam based aircraft.
I compared this set to the High
Planes Models (HPM) set covering
the Canberra for quality and general accuracy of printing.
This set covers an area that the HPM set doesn't and
as such has different markings etc. On looking closely
at the Aussie Decals set they are let down by the printing
process as some areas are not quite right in colour and
clarity. By that I mean the yellow markings are an odd
yellow and not printing out properly as a result of the
ALPS printing process. The HPM set has a solid, brighter
yellow for the lightning bolt as well as the yellow stencil
marks. Unfortunately this printing problem also carries
onto the Australian National Flags and Unit Crests included. The
yellow stencil data has been printed over a white background
to enable the yellow to stand out more but it is not
quite square on the white. All other areas on the sheets
are printed well it's just these few areas that the ALPS
printing lets the set down.
The instructions are a double sided A4 page that cover
the positioning of all decals as well as giving a template
to enable the modeller to mask off the engines for the
painting of the oxford blue markings. You are also given
a list of the FS colours for the schemes and a guide for
the placement of the canopy and rear hatch 'cut lines'.
The instructions fail to give a left hand view of the camouflage
aircraft but this is able to be worked out from a quick
bit of research on the web or in the Stewart Wilson book.
For the other aircraft it is quite simple with overall
Aluminium scheme that they are in.
This set covers an area not done by HPM
but unfortunately it is a victim of it's printing process
with the problems outlined above. To do an early 1 SQN aircraft
you would require to combine the HPM set for the yellow lightning
bolt and then use the Aussie Decals set. To that end, I cannot
fully recommend this set but if you wish to model an early
Canberra it's the only game in town, you will just need
to mix and match with the HPM set.
Review set courtesy of Damian Casey of Aussie