Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Frog Canberra PR.7 by Paul Bradley

Here’s another of Frog’s earliest offering, but surprisingly, this kit is still the only early Canberra photo-recce mark that’s ever been released! The Canberra PR.3 and PR.7 were slightly lengthened version of the B.2/6 airframes with extra room for cameras and photo-flash bombs. While we’ve been treated to new Canberras in recent years, including great kits of the later PR.9, no-one has produced either of these marks.

Typical of the period, this kit very simple, has a moulded in half-pilot and is covered with heavy rivet “detail.” There are just 21 parts including one-piece main undercarriage units. As was typical then, there are no undercarriage bays, just slots for the legs to fit into. The kit is rounded off with one of those classy Frog stands.

Decals are included for one aircraft, WH773. Amazingly, this aircraft still survives, at the Gatwick Aviation Museum, and is looked after by a well-known contributor to the Britmodeller forums!

This kit compares well when laid over plans and could, if so desired, make the basis of a good super-detailing project if combined with some aftermarket parts. The nose is better than the old Airfix kit, but it remains to be seen if a PR.3/7 conversion set for the new Airfix kit will be produced.

As I checked this kit for completeness, I noticed there were some extra bits. On closer inspection, I discovered that sometime during its life, the box had acquired a complete Heller Cadet-series 1/100 SO Trident. Bonus! While I don’t think Packer No. 8 had anything to do with this, I’d like to thank her/him for ensuring that all the CANBERRA parts were in the box!