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GAF Canberra Mk.20

1/72 Scale - High Planes Models



S u m m a r y

Catalogue Number : Kit No 72061 - GAF Canberra MK20
Scale: 1/72
Price: AUD$50 (approx. USD$37) available online from High Planes Models
Contents and Media: 16 plastic injection moulded parts; 24 Resin moulded parts; 2 frets of etched metal, 2 sets of vac formed clear parts; markings for six aircraft
Review Type: FirstLook
Advantages: Very accurate and finely moulded detail; Nicely moulded resin detail; Crystal clear vacuum formed canopies; Smooth mating surface; four different schemes
Disadvantages: Limited run kit – does not fall together.
Recommendation: Recommended

Reviewed by Mick Evans

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High Planes Models brand new 1/72 scale GAF Canberra Ml.20 kit contains 16 plastic injection moulded parts, 24 Resin moulded parts, 2 frets of etched metal, 2 sets of vac formed clear parts, and a decal sheet.

Having built many of the High Planes range over the years, I was most surprised on opening the box. The moulding in this kit contains the usual accurate finely recessed panel lines, but the mating edges and in particular the wings, which usually require heavy sanding, have been refined. The Canberra kit will only require light sanding on the mating edges before assembly.


Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:

The inside areas of the fuselage where the cockpit and wheel wells etc fit required heavy plastic removal on earlier kits, but this process has also been refined and will require minimal trimming to fit. Also gone are the really heavy moulding gates of past kits, while they are still large compared to mainstream kits they are not excessive. I spent only 10 minutes removing parts from the trees and trimming with a hobby knife to achieve a reasonable fit. A light sand with emery paper on a flat surface will achieve a very good fit with minimal filler. The buyer must remember that this is a typical limited run kit, and requires a fair amount of trial fitting and sanding, the kit will not just fall together.


The detail on the plastic parts is nothing short of excellent. Almost every option of panel is present allowing the modeller to fill the details that are not applicable for the version that is intended to be built. Obviously High Planes plans to market the kit in various nationalities and different versions. The small pop up speed brakes on the upper, and lower surfaces of the wings are finely represented, as are all the hatches around the nose. The main undercarriage legs are integrally moulded to the main door, at first I thought that this was a disadvantage, but after cleanup and viewing photographs the door and the leg are very close together, and the integrated moulding will be very strong and will look the part.


The resin parts are crisply moulded and contain a very nice level of detail. Some parts contain small air bubbles, but these are in non critical areas and are easily filled. The cockpit is completely moulded in resin. The floor and bulkheads are provided, two ejection seats, control column, and an instrument panel with a fair representation of instruments. Given that very little other than the pilots seat is visible when built, High Planes have given the modeller a good level of detail for the cockpit. The nose wheel well, nose undercarriage leg, water guards, main leg actuators, nose, and main wheels are all provide in resin with superb detail. To provide detail to the bomb aimers position in the nose High Planes have provided a resin plug to fit into a cut out in the nose. This contains all the internal detail for the nose are, quite an excellent provision. The engine intakes and exhaust areas are provided as resin plugs, and this achieves the very sharp edges that would not be able to be attained with plastic. The front engine cones complete with the vanes are provided also nicely cast in resin. Two very accurate resin external tanks are provided for the wing tips if the modeller so wishes to fit. Mention is made in the instructions that an alternate to the tanks are the excellent bomb racks manufactured by Pete’s Hanger/Aussie decals.


The vacuum formed clear parts are manufactured by Falcon of New Zealand. These are to the excellent standard that we have come to expect from Falcon over the years. Highplanes provide 2 canopies just in case.

The etched metal frets contain all the different blade antennas fitted to the Canberra at different stages of its career. High Planes informed me that they missed the two wire UHF antennas that run from just behind both sides of the cockpit to the vertical tail. This can be achieved by modifying two of the spare T style blade antennas and attaching a scale wire to the tail. The best way to determine the antenna fit is to check references for that particular aircraft.
A second etched metal fret contains the parts for the ejection seats. These are very finely etched ejection handles, the best that I have seen in 1/72 scale.

The decals are from FCM in Brazil. These are the new wet fit and carrier film remove type decal that looks like the decal is painted on. This style of decal from FCM (for a Fokker D.VII) was reviewed on HyperScale some months back. Markings are supplied for aircraft in 4 schemes from No 1,2, and 6 squadrons including 2 squadrons service in Vietnam.


The instruction sheet is a vast improvement over earlier sheets. The assembly instructions are computer generated and show better detail, while the paint schemes are colour profiles. A separate instruction sheet for data stencil decals is also provided.

As suggested by the panel line arrangement, High Planes will be releasing different variants in the future. They have advised that they will not be offering an RAAF Canberra in the White and Natural Metal scheme themselves, but Aussie Decals will be releasing a sheet with this option.

High Planes' 1/72 scale Canberra kit represents a vast improvement over the old Airfix and Matchbox kits that are now long out of production, and the huge modifications that are required to modify the various B57 kits back to a MK20.

Thanks to Steven from High Planes for the review sample

The full catalogue of High Planes Models' kits, conversions and accessories may be viewed at High Planes website http://www.corryongcec.net.au/~hiplanes/intropage.htm

Text and Images Copyright © 2004 by Mick Evans
except Progress Images Copyright © 2004 by Brett Green
Page Created 09 April, 2004
Last updated 09 April, 2004

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