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Avro Anson Mk.I
Export Version
 

Classic Airframes, 1/48 scale

S u m m a r y

Catalogue Number: 4122 - Avro Anson Mk.I Export Version
Scale: 1/48
Contents and Media: 51 parts in grey styrene; 68 parts in cream colored resin; 15 clear injection molded parts; printed clear acetate sheet (instruments); instructions; decal sheet and painting guide for seven aircraft (New Zealand, South Africa, Finland, and four RAAF).
Price: MSRP USD$55.00
Available online from Hannants for GBP
31.91
Review Type: FirstLook
Advantages: First time available as an injection-moulded kit in this scale; large and impressive; excellent surface detail including very nice fabric texture, high quality plastic moulding; thin, clear, cleverly designed and separately packed clear parts; impressively detailed resin parts; interesting and varied marking choices.
Disadvantages: Some modelling experience helpful for preparing resin parts; a bit of flash present; a little extra time required for alignment and perfect fit.
Recommendation: Highly Recommended

 

Reviewed by Brett Green


Classic Airframes' 1/48 scale Anson Mk.I is available online from Squadron.com

 

FirstLook

 

The Avro Anson was derived from the civilian Model 652 transport aircraft. In 1936, the Anson earned the distinction of being the both the first monoplane and the first type with retractable undercarriage in RAF service. The Anson initially performed the anti-submarine and reconnaissance roles, but was relegated to navigation and gunnery training duties as the war progressed. Perhaps its most important responsibility was as the nursery to new pilots and aircrew throughout the Commonwealth under the Empire Air Training Scheme.

Despite its important role in the Second World War and beyond, and a total production run in excess of 10,000 examples, the Avro Anson is a sadly neglected subject in styrene. Before now, there has not been a single injection-moulded Anson kit in 1/48 scale, and only the Airfix Mk.I in 1/72. Classic Airframes' all new kit is therefore a real breath of fresh air to RAF and Commonwealth aviation fans.

Classic Airframes' 1/48 scale Avro Anson kit comprises 51 parts in grey styrene; 68 parts in cream colored resin; 15 clear injection molded parts; instructions; plus a decal sheet and painting guide for seven aircraft.

Plastic parts are presented to a very high standard. Moulding quality is excellent. Unlike the last few releases, the surface of these plastic parts has a satin texture. There are no moulding imperfections on any of the exterior surfaces. The surface texture mostly represents fabric, and it is very well done. I especially like the restrained approach adopted on the fuselage and fin. Where appropriate, panel lines are crisply recessed and consistent while other structural features stand proud of the fabric surface. The overall effect is quite convincing.

 

Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:


Resin parts are very nicely detailed. The bulk of these details are for the cockpit, including extensive framing inside the fuselage, but the undercarriage bays, wheels, engines and characteristic nacelles are also supplied in resin.

The high level of detail in the cockpit is justified by its visibility inside the large fuselage windows. Classic Airframes supplies seats, navigator's table, radio gear, dickie seat next to the pilot and cushion for a prone observer in the nose. The turret is a mini-model in its own right, with 13 parts in grey plastic, resin and clear.

 

Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:


Some of the parts are cast onto fairly stout blocks so a combination of a good razor saw and caution will be required when preparing these resin components.

Clear parts are well moulded and distortion free - very important for this glasshouse canopy and fuselage. The windscreen is moulded to part of the forward fuselage, which will make painting easier. The long windows for the rear cabin are also moulded as an integral part of the mid-upper fuselage, adding strength and also minimizing the risk of smudging these clear parts with glue during painting.

 

 

Options include glazed or partially covered nose cone, turret or faired-over fuselage, landing lights, long ailerons and various avionics alternatives (aerials, DF loop, astrodome etc). Control surfaces are moulded in place, with separate photo-etched hinges and actuators.

The kit is broken down conventionally - fuselage halves, wing halves etc - but there are no locating pins or tabs. I strongly recommend that wings and tailplanes are reinforced with metal or plastic spars. Sprue attachment points are narrow, but there is a fair bit of flash on some of the smaller parts.

The shape of the model looks accurate compared to published plans and contemporary photographs.



Markings

No less than seven interesting marking options are offered on the instructions:

  • Four RAAF options including three in overall Aluminium (paint) and bright pre-war roundels, and one in RAF Dark Earth, Dark Green and Black with B type roundels.

  • A SAAF example in overall Aluminium, bright roundels with orange centres and interesting orange fuselage markings with a black drop-shadow

  • An RNZAF reconnaisance bird in Dark Green and RNZAF Ocean Blue (Pacific Blue?) on the upper surfaces and Sky Blue below.

  • A Finnish machine with Dark Green upper surfaces and the usual colorful complement of yellow theatre markings.

Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:


Decals are printed in perfect register, and colours look good. I was pleased to see the sharp differentiation between the pre-war bright roundel colours, and the duller wartime versions.

 

 

Conclusion

 

Classic Airframes' 1/48 scale Anson is an impressively detailed kit of one of the neglected workhorses of the Second World War. With a recommended price of USD$55.00, it is quite a bargain too, especially considering the very high resin content.

The relatively small number of plastic parts belie the complexity of the kit. You will need experience before tackling this project due to the extensive use of resin and the lack of locating pins. However, with care and plenty of test-fitting, Classic Airframes' Anson should not present much more of a challenge than most other twin-engine mainstream kits.

You won't have to spend a cent on after-market accessories though, thanks to the very high level of detail in the cockpit, and the ample markings options.

I was thrilled to hear that Classic Airframes was planning to release a 1/48 scale Anson family, and my high expectations have been more than met on first examination of the kit's contents. You won't have to wait long to see this review sample built! 

Highly Recommended to experienced modellers.
 

Thanks to Classic Airframes for the review sample.


Classic Airframes kits are available worldwide through hobby retailers and from Squadron.com


Review and Images Copyright 2006 by Brett Green
Page Created 17 July, 2006
Last updated 24 July, 2006

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