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Avro York

Czech Master Resin 1/72 Avro York Conversion First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review March 2009 Manufacturer Czech Master Resin
Subject Avro York Conversion Scale 1/72
Kit Number 195 Media Resin, PE, Vac
Pros Converts Airfix Lancaster into York transport Cons
Skill Level Intermediate MSRP (BP) £48.99

First Look

Avro York
Avro York
Avro York
Avro York
Avro York
Avro York

When an aircraft company creates a bomber with significant range and load carrying capacity, it is not unusual for that design to be adapted to the airlift mission as well. Take for example the Boeing 307 which was B-17 with a new fuselage, or the Boeing 377 which came from the B-29 as a prototype, but its production derivative was from the B-50. Consolidated adapted the B-24 into the LB-30, the Fw 200 Condor was similarly adapted, and after the war, Tupolev swapped the fuselages of several of its jet and turboprop bombers to create transports. So it was with another heavy lifter - the Avro Lancaster.

In 1941, Avro took its Lancaster and swapped out the fuselage with a wider airframe to create the York. Still powered by four Merlin engines, the York had impressive range and load carrying capabilities which were pressed into RAF service during World War II and later replaced the flying boats in civil service to fly the long-haul routes around the globe. When the Soviets blockaded the land routes into Berlin in 1948, the York was once again pressed into urgent service with the RAF to haul much-needed supplies to the isolated Berliners. For nearly 11 months, the York alone flew 58,124 cargo missions through the air corridors into Berlin before Soviets finally ended the blockade.

Czech Model Resin (CMR) produces a nice range of resin kits and conversions primarily in 1/72 scale. This kit is technically a conversion, but you can see from the images that it is quite an extensive conversion that only lacks the wings, engines, horizontal stabilizer and landing gear from a Lacaster kit to complete the process.

The kit is packed in plastic bags that are heat sealed into compartments to ensure that your kit arrives safely intact. Cast in tan resin, this kit is nicely cast, with the fuselage halves as thin as a styrene kit. In addition, the porthole windows are cast in clear resin with only the cockpit enclosure provided as a vacuformed part. The kit also includes a set of Eduard's color-printed photo-etched with the various cockpit details and a set of yellow tape masks to make the job of painting much easier.

The flight deck is beautifully rendered, especially with the aid of those color-printed photo-etched instrument panels and consoles. The compartment behind the flight deck with the navigator's station and a jump seat are also there.

The fuselage had an optional cargo door that can be posed open, but you'll want to fabricate a main cabin floor or at least stack some crates and cargo around the open door.

One interesting challenge with this conversion is the installation of all of those windows. Given that this is a resin kit, liquid cement is not usable for installation and cyano can easily destroy these windows if you're not careful. A couple of thoughts here - first, use something like Elmer's white glue to install the windows as this glue dries clear and any excess can be cleaned up with water. Another idea for the all those main cabin windows is simply to use white glue or Krystal Klear in place of the windows. This would allow the windows to be completed after painting and eliminate a major part of the masking that would otherwise have to be accomplished.

The kit comes with the later wide-chord propellers that can be used in place of the donor kit's propellers. Check your references to see which propellers were in use on the aircraft you're building. Ditto on the vertical stabilizers - later types of stabs are included in the kit though you could also use your kit stabs depending on the aircraft.

Speaking of donor kits, the instructions indicate that you can use the Hasegawa, Revell, or Airfix Lancaster kits as the basis of this conversion.

Markings are provided for nine aircraft:

  • York C.1, MW267, 242 Sqn, KY-N, RAF
  • York C.1, MW321, 242 Sqn, KY-F, RAF
  • York C.1, MW229, 242 Sqn, KY-H, RAF
  • York C.1, MW232, 511 Sqn, RAF
  • York C.1, MW234, 511 Sqn, RAF
  • York C.1, MW254, 511 Sqn, RAF
  • York C.1, MW105, 241 Sqn, OCU, RAF
  • York C.1, MW288, 24 Sqn, RAF
  • York C.1, MW172, 241 Sqn, YY-D, RAF

This conversion is really well done and provides the modeler with a nice companion aircraft to the standard Lancaster. If you enjoy building something a little different, this York conversion will certainly be an eye-catcher on your shelf as well as on the contest table. If you would rather build a wartime York rather than one of these Berlin Airlifters, CMR has another release that provides those markings as well.

My sincere thanks to CMR for this review sample!