1/72 Airfix Canberra B(I)12

Gallery Article by Dirk Schenk on Apr 27 2016

South Africa Freedom Day



This is the Airfix Canberra B(I)8 built as the SAAF B(I)12. I wanted to get the faded PRU Blue look which proved to be a bit of a challenge. The planes were painted in PRU blue which faded rapidly in the African sun to more of a sky blue color. I eventually managed to get it by using a coral blue and matting it. The markings are from the mid 1970's around the time of Operation Savannah. The Canberra was used in Ops Savannah for reconnaissance duties but also took part in a bombing raid on the MPLA/Cuban positions north of Luanda in support of the FNLA. I believe the markings shown here to be representative of the Cans during this time, flown by the SAAF’s 12 Squadron. 12 Squadron was a dedicated bomber squadron and operated both the Canberra B(I)12 interdiction strike version and T.Mk4 trainers. The Canberra was used extensively by the SAAF on bombing raids in Southern Angola during the Bush War, using alpha bombs and later cluster bombs. By 1980, they lost the tail flash, squadron badge and national markings and used small serial numbers.

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Very few changes were made to the model. I added the camera position to the rear of the bomb bay which was used to capture the impact of the bombing raids, negating the need for follow up reconnaissance missions. I also added the towel rail antenna forward of the tail. The underwing hard points were intentionally left blank since I hope to build a diorama where these will be bombed-up by ground crew.


Dirk Schenk

Photos and text © by Dirk Schenk