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GAF Canberra Mk.21
Australia's Canberra Trainer

1/72 Scale - High Planes Models


S u m m a r y

Catalogue Number : High Planes Models Kit No 7286 Canberra 21
Scale: 1/72
Price: AUD$45.00 (approx. USD$33.40) available online from High Planes Models
Contents and Media: 16 short run pale blue plastic parts on three sprues, 29 cream resin parts, 2 two-piece vac-formed canopies (one spare), 31 PE antennas on one fret plus 4 A4 sized, double sided instructions with history, 6 build diagrams and 3 pages of computer generated, full colour paint/decal drawings.
Review Type: FirstLook
Advantages: Highly detailed, very accurate, finely engraved panel detail.
Disadvantages: Definitely not for the beginner, decals have register problem.
Recommendation: Highly Recommended

Reviewed by
Glen Porter

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The Canberra was the RAAFs first jet bomber. It was soon realized that a trainer was required. The Mk. 21 resulted, of which two were British new-built T4s and seven converted from existing Australian bomber stocks.

We seem to be surrounded by Canberras at the moment, mainly due to the excellent 1/48 scale offering from Classic Airframes, but for us Braillers, Australian model manufacturer High Planes has been giving us examples for a while. This is their Mk 21 Two-Seat Trainer. High Planes kits are not the easiest kits to build. They are very much Short-Run kits but with some patients, skill and more patients, a highly detailed and accurate model can be had.

The first thing you will notice is the very sturdy box. None of this end-opening rubbish for High Planes thank you very much. You could place fifty kits on top of this and it still wouldn't get damaged. On opening, there are two zip type bags, the first holds the 16 short-run plastic parts on three sprues in a very distinctive pastel blue. Plenty of flash, so a lot of clean-up will be required along with constant test fitting. Some of the plastic parts, main gear legs and doors, are a bit on the chunky side and will have to be thinned down. Hey! This is a Short-Run kit after all.


Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:

The other bag contains the rest of the parts and they are all resin. Perhaps not as good as some of the best resin around, but still acceptable with just a little flash to remove but heaps of detail and no pin holes. There's a complete cockpit interior, floor, two bulkheads, instrument panel, two fun sticks and two seats that look vaguely like bang seats but aren't because they wouldn't fit. There's a front under-carriage wheel well, two main wheels, two front wheels with separate mud guards because some aircraft didn't carry them, front under carriage leg, actuators for the main gear legs, intakes and exhausts for the two engines plus separate starter cones. There are two wing  tanks which the instructions tell you were not always carried and several other small parts that I haven't identified yet. Phew! My resin cup overfloweth.


Decals, at first glance, look good. However, mine have a register problem. The single colour items are quite acceptable and so too are the blue/white roundels as the red centres or kangaroos are separate. The main offenders are the fin flashes, Australian flags and the red, white and black 2 Squadron fin markings. It seems to be the red and white are out of sync with each other and the rest of the colours. The Australian flags also have no white stars although this could probably be fix with some small dots of white paint. I have seen other High Planes kits where the decals are excellent so maybe I just got a bad one.

The PE fret is all aerials and for those who are not into PE, most parts could be scratch built from plastic card. Clear parts are vac-formed and if you cant handle them then perhaps you shouldn't be trying to build this type of kit.

Given that this is a short-run kit and the extra work that will be required because of it and that most of the decals are still usable I would still give this kit the thumbs up.

Highly Recommended.

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.hiplanes.dragnet.com.au/new/intropage.htm

Text Copyright 2006 by Glen Porter
Images Copyright 2004 by Mick Evans
Page Created 04 July, 2006
Last updated 03 July, 2006

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