1/48 Airfix Canberra B(I).Mk.12

Gallery Article by Malcolm Reid on Dec 15 2010


Now this is really a nice kit. It’s very simple to build and actually transforms into a rather large aircraft in 48th scale – it dwarfs an F-15E!  The kit captures the simplicity and elegance of the real aircraft very well. Only a few problems to report :

  • Bomb bay could do with a bit more detail

  • A ton (relatively speaking) of lead sinkers is required in the nose to prevent tail sitting. Luckily the kit undercarriage is sturdy enough to carry all this weight

  • The cockpit detail is simple but mostly hidden when assembled. However, the pilot’s seat is quite visible so needs extra detailing in the form of seat belts and ejection handles

Click on images below to see larger images




As a South African Air Force (SAAF) enthusiast, I just had to build a late colour scheme Canberra as used operationally in the SWA (Namibia)-Angola border war of the 80s.  Only one Canberra was lost (shot down) during combat operations.  The SAAF received its Canberras in overall silver finish but quickly changed to overall PRU blue for border operations.  Canberras were mostly fitted with alpha bomb cages in the bomb bays for anti personnel missions over enemy bases.  I decided to go for a mix of bombs in the bomb bay and rocket pods on the wings.  I think I got the bomb bay configuration wrong – should be six bombs – two rows of three each.  The kit provides dropped flaps.  The Canberra is a neat bird on the ground with retracted flaps but I left mine in the lowered position to add a bit more interest.

PRU blue was approximated using a mix of Model Master FS35164 (30 parts), Tamiya X-2 gloss white (10 parts) and Tamiya X-14 blue (10 parts) followed by a thinned overspray of 50/50 FS35164/X-2.  Warning triangles came from MAV Decals as the kit ones were not correct for this colour scheme.  The serial number was care of my printer at home. The few kit decals I used were rubbish.  They would not even bed down using Tamiya super thin glue (my aggressive decal solvent !).  Come on Airfix – don’t let the decals spoil an otherwise good attempt at a scale replica.  Weathering was done with dark grey pastels. Everything sealed off with matt varnish.

Other bits and pieces added were the various antennae fitted to the SAAF Canberras.

Next up – the Airfix B-57 in Vietnam colours.

Malcolm Reid

Click on images below to see larger images


Photos and text © by Malcolm Reid