RRR48141 1/48 RAAF Canberra Rolls Royce Avon Jet Engine Starter Fairing

First look review by David Harvey

Review Type:
First Look
$7.95 AUD from Red Roo Models
Contents and Media:
2 x resin Turbine faces, 2 x resin starter fairing's and 1 x length .040 wire with a double sided A4 instruction sheet.
Works on either the Aeroclub or Classic Airframes B.2 Canberra's
Short run decals, limited edition only.
Highly Recommended


The Canberra Bomber was introduced into the RAAF to replace the Avro Lincoln. The Australian Canberra was produced to specifications that were very similar to the British B.2 but with a number of changes to suit the RAAF's needs.

Among the changes made to the B.2 to make the Australian Mk 20 were wide speed range Bendix 30E02 DC Generators which enabled the use of single speed gearboxes whilst still providing sufficient output at low engine speeds. Also modified was the wiring, the fitting of flashing navigation lights, revised battery mounts, bomb bay lighting and the cockpit lighting was revised in conjunction with a single pilot's instrument panel and mountings. These modifications were all internal and were not readily visible to the naked eye.

The main visible difference was the starter cartridge fairing for the Canberra's engines and the moving of the pitot tube from the centre of the nose glazing to a point immediately below the nose. Early British aircraft had their engines started by the use of an external starting trolley whilst the early Australian aircraft had a self contained starting cartridge installed with sufficient cartridges for three starts carried. From aircraft A84-228 the engines were fitted with the Avon Mk 109 triple starters which were initially fitted with a hemispherical tipped fairing which caused intake turbulence and were replaced with a bullet nosed fairing. Trouble occurred in the UK when three cartridges were carried in the starters and on occasion two cartridges fired at once causing damage to the engine and airframe. After this the cartridges were loaded singly.

The kit

There are currently a number of 1/48 kits produced of the B.2 Canberra. These include the Falcon vac form (with some white metal parts), Aeroclub multimedia kit and the Classic Airframes kits representing a number of different versions including the B.2. The majority of these kits have the shorter starter cartridge fairing of the British B.2 or the parts are poorly formed and not really representative of any particular version of the Canberra. Having acquired a Falcon Vac form kit from Snowy Mountain Models I approached Aeroclub for a set of their resin/plastic parts for their Canberra kit. In 2006 Classic Airframes released a number of variants of the Canberra including the B.2 and the B57. Having also acquired tow of these at a good price form Squadron in the US I decided that none of them really had the correct fairing for the RAAF version.

Once again Red Roo came to the rescue and have released a conversion set for the longer starter cartridge fairing. This set includes the parts in the image at the top of this page as well as a double sided A4 instruction sheet. This sheet includes the history of the engines as well as instructions on how to fit the components and some reference photos. For some comparison images between the different companies attempts at the fairing look at the images below:

Comparison images

Review samples courtesy of Gary Byk of Red Roo Models. Conversion available direct from Red Roo Models or from most good model shops.

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