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  • Writer's picture@PlaneThought41

EE Interdictor: 1/48th Airfix Canberra B(I).8

While you have to give Airfix due credit for producing some British model aircraft types, rarely (if at all) produced by other manufacturers, their execution is a bit of a mixed bag. The 1/48th Canberra series was nice to see released by Airfix (2008-2019) however it falls short when comparing it to the earlier mid-90's releases.

Notable Kit Features:

  • Adequate level of detail in the cockpit

  • separate entry door, the model features positionable flaps, elevators and rudder, plus boxed-in wheel wells.

  • Bomb bay insert, with doors that can be posed open or closed (however the instructions do not show how to position the open doors)

  • Weapons load includes bombs (although there's no indication of what these are), rocket pods, AS30 missiles, plus the 30mm cannon pack

  • Two types of main wheels

  • Three crew members provided (that look undersized)

Build Inspiration:

This kit featured a shark mouth version (for those so inclined) that was carried by No. 16 Squadron while based at Laarbruch Germany, 1972. The squadron's machines sported this look for a couple of months, prior to their disbandment, and held the title as the last offensive Canberra squadron.

Heads-Up Report:

  • To me the biggest detractor on this kit are the panel lines, which are more wide grooves. (I will add, many of the panel lines didn't show on the Canberra when viewed at any distance and some of Airfix's placement of panel lines don't appear accurate.)

  • The instructions call for a control stick which isn't accurate, as the B (I) 8 had a control yoke

  • The vertical rudder has a series of horizontal groves on it that don't exist on the real aircraft

  • No surface detail at all on the horizontal tail planes (which should have some)

  • Horizontal tail planes are incorrect shape where they meet the fuselage (They should be angled not at the near 90 degrees (and they are a poor fit at that)

  • Engine fit will require some sheet styrene, filler and sanding

  • Main gear wheels lack holes for gear leg mounts

  • Poor fitting wingtip lights

  • Decals are fair (at best) and a bit transparent (insignia colours seem a tad faded as well)

Kit Additions / Modifications:

  • I wasn't in the mood for any major fixes when building this kit so plowed through pretty much Out-of-the-Box.

  • The rudder groves were filled in with putty and sanded somewhat smooth

  • I added a pin to the gear leg and did a drill out in the wheel to better secure the main gear

If I had a do-over here, I would coat the entire aircraft with Mr. Surfacer, smooth out the panel lines, fix the tail planes, add some details, weather the paint job and use after-market decals to get a better-looking model

End Result:

The paint finishing on this aircraft model was done using oil-based paints. Future/ Pledge acrylic gloss coat and Model Master acrylic flat coat were used to finish the decal process. No weathering was done to produce a museum or factory fresh look.

The After-Build Report:

While the kit builds up into a decent looking Canberra the surface detail is far from Airfix's heyday mid-90 releases of the EE Lightning, Spitfire Mk.22/24 or Seafire kits. The build will undoubtably be easier than the Classic Airframes version. There are some "Good Bad and Ugly" points to this kit, so I am hesitant to recommend it. Lighter camouflage schemes or metal finishes will further show the ungainly panel lines. (Maybe some won't mind these lines however I'd rather have raised panel lines, to sand off or re-scribe, over the kit's rendition (...maybe just me though) If you want a Canberra in your collection this is the easiest route, and we shall leave it at that.

Completed build #160 - April 2013 using the 1/48th scale Airfix #A10102 kit.

Feel free to comment or ask any questions - Keep on building, gain experience, challenge yourself if you like, but try not to stress yourself out over the build - it is supposed to be an enjoyable hobby after all - Cheers

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