by: Rowan Baylis [ ]
Just as Pavla super-detailed the Airfix quarterscale Canberras, so they've given the 1:72 kit the same treatment. The level of detail is excellent - pretty much on a par with the larger versions and a real credit to their pattern-maker.
Just as with the 1:48 sets, Pavlas have released a series of resin upgrades to suit both your pocket and the amount of extra detail that you wish to add.
Set #C72087 is the most complete and comprises a total new interior for both the pilot's and navigator's cockpits. The set features an impressive one-piece tub with beautifully detailed side consoles and displays, into which fit new ejector seats, control panel, rudder pedals, control column and throttles.
The casting is basically perfect, and the petite detail completely eclipses the original kit's interior. The pilot's cockpit will be clearly visible, especially if you pose the canopy open, but the navigator's "coal hole" will be all but hidden unless you open up the nose cone / entry hatch. So Pavla done the logical thing and included a replacement nose complete with detailed consoles and radar display inside.
With the overall colour is basically black, careful dry-brushing and spot-colour painting will be needed to avoid all the extra detail disappearing. Here the instructions are a great help; along with excellent exploded views, there are comprehensive colour notes - especially for the two styles of ejector seats with their moulded-on harnesses.
The tub is designed as a straight replacement for the Airfix parts and needs no clean-up beyond removing the small pour stubs. It interlocks with the separate cockpit fuselage decking just like the kit parts to ensure accurate line-up. The only modification needed is to remove the fuselage locating pins in the nose, or they will interfere with the new navigator's floor.
Spin-off setsAs stated above, the navigator's den is largely hidden unless you swing open the nose - and some modellers may prefer to keep the Canberra's elegant lines intact. In which case, all that lovely detail is wasted, so Pavla have released the pilot's cockpit separately as Set # C72088. This means a smaller tub, but the cockpit itself is identical to the full version.
Going one step further, the designers have also catered for modellers who are basically happy with the Airfix cockpit, but just want better ejection seats. Sets S72055 and S72056 provide the exquisite little Martin Baker Mk. 2CA and Mk.4QS respectively.
Set# u72113 - UndercarriageThe Airfix wheel-wells aren't bad and certainly provide a good basis for detailing, but just how much detail has been omitted is clear with one look at Pavla's replacement parts - these really are quite eye-popping! Packed with extra pipework and cabling, the detail is in a totally different league to the originals, for which they are direct replacements.
ConclusionAirfix's Canberra with the full Pavla upgrades fitted should be a real stunner. One beauty of the kit being priced so competitively is that is makes adding gems like this all the more affordable. Highly recommended.
Please remember, when contacting retailers or manufacturers, to mention that you saw their products highlighted here - on AEROSCALE.