by: Rowan Baylis [ ]
Pavla Models have gone to town on Airfix's 1:48 Canberra PR. 9 with a series of beautifully detailed aftermarket upgrade sets.
C48017 - Pilot & Navigator's Cockpits - 39.50 €
C48018 - Pilot cockpit - 17.00 €
S48032 - Pilot's Seat (MB. MK. 2CA) - 2.25 €
S48033 - Navigator's Seat (MB MK. 4QS) - 2.25 €
U48032 - Nosewheel Well - 8.25 €
U48033 - Mainwheel Wells - 12.00 €
The casting in all the sample sets is excellent, with no signs of any bubbles or other problems. The dark grey resin parts are highly detailed and clean-up should be quite quick and easy.
Cockpit detailsPavla have been rather clever in how they've designed their cockpit sets, with a range of upgrades to choose from, depending on your skill level and how much detail you want to put into the Airfix kit.
So, at the most basic level, sets S48032 and S48033 provide new seats to add to the kit's cockpits. These are beautifully detailed with cast-on belts. No instructions are included.
Set C48017 goes one stage further and provides an entire pilot's cockpit (complete with seat). This is a very impressive and substantial ump of resin, with finely detailed controls, consoles and instruments. This time, beautifully illustrated instructions provide comprehensive painting instructions.
Set C48018 takes all of the above and adds a superbly detailed nose compartment. Of course, this would normally all be almost hidden - a dark "coal hole" only visible through two tiny windows - so Pavla include a separate top escape hatch and a new nose-cone that can be posed swung open to reveal the interior. My only slight concern is that I've read that Airfix have the position of those two small window wrong (I don't know if this is true...) and I presume that Pavla's sidewalls line up with them, as there's no mention of modifying the kit parts in the instructions.
The detail inside is really excellent, but even with the nose open, it'll take some subtle painting and dry-brushing to bring to life what is, essentially, an all-black office - but it'll definitely be worth it, because Pavla have provided all the ingredients for an eye-popping gem.
Wheel WellsPavla provide two sets which are applicable to both Airfix's B.1(8) and PR.9. Sets U48032 and U48033 provide new nose and mainwheel wells respectively. As with the cockpit sets, the detail is a huge improvement over the rather bland Airfix parts, with plenty of wiring and plumbing included, plus new retraction arms and replacements for some of the kit's doors. Full instructions are included with both sets.
ConclusionI was very impressed by Pavla's upgrades for the Airfix TSR.2, and the same is equally true for the Canberra. Whether you simply want to brighten up the cockpit with a better ejection seat, or go the whole hog and superdetail both offices and wheel wells, Pavla have something to fit the bill. Highly recommended.
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