English Electric Canberra B(I).8
English Electric (BAC) Canberra B(I).8
88 Sqn RAF Wildenrath, 1960.
Background Picture -
Have a look at many more models of USAF aircraft on my Friends and Allies pages
Building the Kit:
This was the 2nd FROG kit of the Canberra (the first in 1955), with this mould first issued in 1973 at roughly the same time as the Airfix B(I).6 version. Still available from several sources, I think it is the better of the two, with the Airfix kit having much more detail, but some major shape issues.
This one is typically FROG in style, with a good overall shape but very limited detail. The plastic is surprisingly thin (not normally a FROG trait) which makes the assembled fuselage a little flexible, so that attaching the bomb doors without gaps is difficult. That said, it mostly assembles easily (although I did need filler on seams), with the notable exception of the main wing to fuselage joints that are rather vague, running the risk of uneven or incorrect dihedral. The canopy (which is beautifully clear plastic) also left a surprisingly large gap when attached (despite locating lugs), but this was easily filled with Krystal Kleer PVA. The nose transparency, on the other hand, fits perfectly!
The cockpit is entirely empty except for a rather blobby ejector seat and you can see through to the open front wheel bay; I added several sprue consoles and tidied up the seat with a few extra parts to correct this. After some dry brushing, this was very effective, but annoyingly I then forgot to add the seat belts before attaching the canopy!
A comparison between this and the Italeri kit shows a big difference in the size
of the wingtip fuel tanks -
Decals worked mostly well despite being 45Yr old FROG originals, although I got a
little creasing on the large wing roundels, which also turned out to have a small
white border due to printing misalignment. An option for a South African B(I) Mk.12
aircraft in overall aluminium and with different antenna is provided. The kit is
definitely a determined tail sitter -
Paint is hand brushed Humbrol enamel, with panel lines emphasised in light pencil above and silver pencil below. A coat of acrylic Micro Satin finishes off the shiny 1960s high speed finish!
This is clearly an older kit from a different era, but it remains a good build with enough scope to add your own personal touches of simple detail to raise it up the quality scale.
Mine was a late FROG original issue, and I haven’t seen one of the more recent releases so can't say how the mould is holding up after all this time, but FROG originals are still plentiful and easily available online for about £10 even from established secondhand kit dealers.
Designed in the closing years of WW2, the Canberra entered service with the RAF in
1951 as its first jet powered bomber. During its early years it set several world
altitude records and became the first jet aircraft to make a non-
Hugely successful on the export market, Canberras (including Australian and US licence built versions) served with 18 different nations from the early 1950s until recently with almost 1,500 built. The final RAF PR.7 variants were retired in 2006, and a number of specialised research aircraft remain in limited service today.
Although designed as a high level medium bomber, like the USAF, the RAF quickly realised
that the Canberra was ideal for the low level night interdiction role in West Germany.
As with the B-
The crew was reduced to 2, with the navigator sitting in front of the pilot in the
glazed nose section. A 4x20mm Hispano Aden gun pack was fitted in place of the rear
Entering RAF service in 1965, Interdictor Canberras also performed the nuclear Strike role in West Germany, armed with dual control US owned Mk7 weapons (from 1960) or B43 weapons (from 1965). Canberra Squadrons in Cyprus and Singapore carried UK owned Red Beard weapons
The aircraft depicted by this model was issued to 88 Sqn in 1956, remaining at RAFG Wildenrath until 1962 when it was transferred to 16 Sqn at RAFG Laarbruch. WT365 was eventually Struck Off Charge on 8 October 1971 and scrapped in January 1972 when the remaining elements of the RAF's Canberra bomber force were finally withdrawn.
© Crown Copyright IWM (RAF-
© Crown Copyright IWM (RAF-
8th Bombardment Squadron (Tactical), USAF.
Phan Rang Air Base, Vietnam 1969.
During the early years of the Korean war, the limitations of the WW2 era A-
Although not yet fully in RAF service, the Canberra proved significantly superior
to its competitors and was duly selected. To provide sufficient production capacity
and to assuage US political concerns over the purchase of a foreign aircraft, English
Electric entered into a licensing arrangement with the US Glenn L Martin company
to build Canberras in the US as the Martin B-
In view of operational urgency, the initial B-
Have a look at many more RAF models on my Friends and Allies pages
With the immediate operational need fulfilled, Martin began to adapt the aircraft
more fully to US needs as the B-
In total 403 B-
Although nearing their planned retirement, in 1963 Canberras were one of the first
US combat aircraft types deployed to Vietnam, initially as reconnaissance asssets
but later in their intended night interdictor role. From 1965, operating out of Bien
Hoa, DaNang and finally Phan Rang Air Bases, B-
Flying alongside Royal Australian Air Force Canberra B.20s in the same role, attrition
was high; of 94 B-
Building the Kit:
This is the Italeri B-
Options for 3 USAF aircraft are provided -
Both pictures © USAF
Armstrong Siddeley Sapphire, to be built under licence as the Wright J-
My Canberra Fleet (so far!) -
Scottish National Museum of Flight -