Amodel 1/144 Canberra B.2 Kit First Look
By Michael Benolkin
|Date of Review||July 2009||Manufacturer||Amodel|
|Kit Number||1426||Primary Media||Styrene|
|Skill Level||Basic||MSRP (USD)||$15.00|
The Canberra was developed out of a requirement for a jet-powered medium bomber released by the UK air ministry in 1944. English Electric beat out several other manufacturers with their clean design. Intended as a follow-on to the de Havilland Mosquito, the Canberra would adapt the same defensive capability - no defensive armament installed as the aircraft would outrun the opposition.
To achieve the required speed, the Canberra employed an internal bomb bay (like the Mosquito) and kept its external lines clean. Power for the aircraft came from the first generation of British axial flow engines, the Rolls Royce Avon. The early British jet fighters (like the Meteor) were powered by centrifugal powered jet engines and eventually all of the major jet engine makers jumped on the axial flow concepts developed and flown by the Germans during World War II. The Canberra B.2 was the first production version with a crew of 3 and over 410 examples built. The Canberra PR.3 and T.4 were variations of the B.2. The USAF would adopt the type as the B-57A.
Amodel has released a nice 1/144 scale rendition of the English Electric Canberra. This is a new-tool kit which is the first of several variants that will be coming out from Amodel in the near future.
Molded in light gray styrene, this kit is presented on four parts trees plus one additional set of clear parts. With 56 parts for a 1/144 scale project, I listed this kit at a basic skill level though there will some parts clean-up and dry-fitting required to get a clean build. While there doesn't appear to be any significant design problems, there are loads of small parts that will require care and experience to assemble without undue frustration.
Assembly of the kit begins in the cockpit. The flight deck consists of a simple seat positioned in the top of the nose half as you won't be seeing any details inside the fuselage with the bubble canopy and nose transparency.
You will have to figure out how much ballast to install into the nose before assembly to keep the aircraft from being a tail-sitter. The instructions don't indicate the recommended ballast weight. You should be able to figure this out by building up the wing/mid-fuselage section, adding the tail section, then dry-fitting the nose section with various weights until the aircraft's center of gravity is clearly to the front of the wing.
The kit has options for closed or open weapons bay, and if you do open the weapons bay, there six bombs to load up. Wingtip fuel tanks and options for gear down or gear up round out this nice little kit.
Markings are provided for two versions:
- Canberra B.2, WH725, RAF 50th Anniversary Markings
- Canberra B.2, D-9566, Luftwaffe
In addition to the distinctive aircraft markings and national insignia, the decals also provide a selection of aircraft maintenance stenciling as well.
This is a nice little kit that will build into a unique subject with a little patience and skill.
My sincere thanks to HobbyTerra for this review sample!