HIGH PLANES MODELS


1/72 Canberra Mk 21 two seater trainer


Review by David Harvey

 

Introduction

This kit covers the two seat trainer that was brought into service to train the RAAF pilots who were transitioning from the Vampire trainer directly to the Canberra. Five trainers were converted from locally produced aircraft after two British examples were purchased in 1953.

The changes to the aircraft involved gutting the cockpit and fitting dual controls as well placing two non-ejecting seats into the front for the pilots. The amount of radio's was also not as comprehensive as the normal bombers.

The kit

This kit is a mutimedia affair with plastic, resin, photo etch and vacform canopies.

The plastic is the usual blue High Planes plastic with a fair amount of flash on the parts. It seems to me to be more than usual on this model but is easily trimmed for the most part. Some of the flash looks to be rather tricky to trim and would need to have great care taken on it. One area of concern is the moulding of the starboard wing root area on the wing/fueslage joint. This has been poorly moulded leaving a chunk of plastic to be removed from the fueslage half before the wing could be fitted into the slot.

 

The resin comprises the following:

  • Two main wheels;

  • Two nose wheels;

  • Nose wheel mudguards;

  • Nose wheel strut and braces;

  • Wing tanks x 2;

  • Pilot seats x 2;

  • Resin engine nozzles - 2 large, 2 small and starter cones x 2;

  • Insert for bomb aimers compartment;

  • Cockpit bulkheads x 2 ;

  • Joysticks x 2;

  • Nose cone x 1; and

  • Radome x 1.

The majority of the parts are cleanly produced and I only found a few problem areas, these are:

  • The nose wheel bay has been cast that thin that the corners have broken through very slightly - easily fixed;

  • The pilot's seats have air bubbles in 2 spots, one in a head cushion and the other in a seat belt; and

  • One of the engine nozzles has an air bubble on the outer edge.

A few air bubbles are visible just under the surface of parts but with care they can be popped and filled with superglue or your favourite filler. These few air bubbles do not detract from an overall well produced set of fine resin parts for the Canberra.

 

I'm happy to say the HPM only uses the PE for things such as antenna and pitot tubes that are easily reproduced by PE.


The decals

The decals cover all of the RAAF Canberra trainers:

  • Canberra A84-201;
  • Canberra A84-203;
  • Canberra A84-204;
  • Canberra A84-205;
  • Canberra A84-125;
  • Canberra A84-127; and
  • Canberra A84-307.

The different units markings on them comprise 1 (B) OCU, 2 SQN, ARDU, 1 OCU and as gate guards. You are provided with sufficient stencils to produce one aircraft but would have heaps of spares. The decals are printed individualy and not on continuous sheet of clear.

The instructions

The instructions comprise four double sided sheets of paper of which one is the ocnstruction diagram and the other three are colour and markings diagrams. The construction diagrams are very basic but convey sufficient information to make the kit. The paint guide is quite simple - aluminium with white fueslage top.

The colour and marking diagrams consist of side profile drawings of the aircraft with the last page consisting of top and bottom plan views of the stencil markings for the aircraft.