1/48 Pavla PR9 Canberra pilot and navigator position update set

Review by Anthony Papadis

Review Type
Build review
$14.95 AUD from Red Roo
Contents and Media:
Very detailed
Expensive and Nav windows in incorrect postion



Here are a few pics of the resin Pavla replacement cockpit for Airfix's 1/48 Canberra PR.9. The Airfix cockpit is basically the same as that supplied in their bomber kit, whilst the PR.9 cockpit is completely different. The kits pilot cockpit is acceptable, and if the nose is not opened, the nav's area is basically invisible, so the kit supplied cockpit is passable.

The kit

Cockpit colours in the PR9 are basically black, so what little detail supplied is virtually impossible to see through the incorrectly positioned nav's windows. Airfix basically positioned the elongated navigators windows too high. Unfortunately, the Pavla resin sidewalls are designed to be placed so that they will fit over the kit supplied window apertures, which means that if the builder wants to fill in the incorrectly positioned window slots and make new window openings, they will also have to hack into the resin sidewalls. I chose to leave the windows alone.

The seats feature very nicely rendered belt details and are a major improvement over the kit items. The console details are very finely executed and a careful drybrushing will pop the details out. The instrument panel in particular is very nicely done, however, the instrument faces are just blank circles. I ended up punching out individual instruments (from spare instrument panel decals ) using a punch and die set and placing these into the blank faces followed by a drop of 'Future' floor polish. The effect is convincing, but for the price of the resin (which cost more than the kit!) this is a disappointment. A PE fret and film instruments would have been a nice (ala Aires) touch. The front fuselage opening has a resin ring that caps off the open fuselage. This is nice, but a better solution would have been a replacement front fuselage section, as fitting the resin part will mean filling and sanding a seam right in front of the (incorrectly positioned) nav's windows.  A new nose section would mean this could be avoided as well as re-positioning the nav's windows correctly.The replacement nose cone is nice and there is a resin insert that fits snugly inside to represent the sensor detail. Again the sensor details is very well rendered and match references closely. My nosecone unfortunately was covered in tiny air bubbles on one half so it took multiple coats of Mr Surfacer and sanding to get an acceptable finish ready for painting.


How much is visible with the nose section open? Not much more than a glimpse of the interior really. For most people, considering how much will be visible in the end, it will be hard to justify the cost of the set. Pavla also make a pilot's cockpit only resin set. This would represent better value as most of the detail is visible, and if the nose is depicted shut this is all you will need.


Eduard also make a pre-painted PE set. I think that for the instrument panel and seatbelts, it is great, but less convincing as far as the folded panels etc which look a little flat and two dimensional compared to their resin equivalents. You will also have to perform surgery on the Airfix interior if you use the Eduard set, sawing up the cockpit floor and re-attaching the parts. Not too difficult, but not exactly a drop fit either.


Other reviews

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