Canberra PR9 Title

Model Details

Kit:
Airfix E.E. Canberra PR9, 1/72nd scale

Detailing Items:
Detailed with etched ladders and POV Guards. Model updated in 2013, see additional text below.

Paint:
Xtracrylix XA1016 RAF Hemp, XA1015 Light Aircraft Grey and XA1017 ARTF Grey, Tamiya, Revell and Mr Hobby paints.

Awards:
IPMS (UK) Nationals 2010, Commended 1/144th up to 1/72nd scale Military Aircraft (jet) SK.

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E.E. Canberra PR9 XH135
There is a strange story behind this model. I had picked up a set of decals from Alley Cat for the 1/72nd scale Canberra PR9 representing XH135 in six schemes from the 1980's up to her final days in service. The scheme that took my fancy was where XH135 was being changed from all over Grey back to Hemp over Light Grey after returning from its final deployment in Afghanistan before decommissioning in 2006. So nine months later, I picked up the Airfix PR9 kit to get started on this little project which had been niggling at me since I picked up the decals.
The model was been built straight out of the box and luckily, one of the build options was XH135 in the Hemp and Light Grey scheme. So after some debating, I decided to use the decals that came with the kit instead of the aftermarket ones. I wanted to add some life to the model, so the front gear were cut and repositioned steering to the right along with the airleron and rudder. The tail planes and flaps were positioned in the down position with the front undercarriage steered to the right.
Once the main construction was done, the model was given a coat of Tamiya White Primer followed with the under wings and lower half of the fuselage airbrushed with Xtracrylix's Light Grey. When this had dried for a day, the under wings and front lower half of the fuselage was masked off and the RAF Hemp was then airbrushed over the upper wings and fuselage. The fuselage from the wings forwards was masked with central areas of the upper wings and the masking from the lower wings was removed. Patches along the wing leading edges and tail, under wings, rear half of the fuselage and engine cowlings were masked using liquid masking solution using photographs as reference. The model was then ready for a coat of the ARTF Grey to be airbrushed, with some areas having thinner coats then others. When this was all dry, the model had all of the masking removed to reveal the transitions between the two colour schemes.
A coat of Johnsons "Klear" was sprayed over the model before the decals were added with the walkway guides by hand with a "Bow Pen". This was followed by another coat of "Klear" then the panel lines were weathered using a Promodeller's dark dirt wash and when this was dry a coat of "Klear" matted down with Tamiya's Flat Base to seal it. The final assembly consisted of the fitting of the undercarriage, bay doors, final small delicate parts and the aerial wire. Any touch ups of paint and final weathering were done to complete the model. This will not be the last PR9 that I will build, the plan is to do this same aircraft in its 1980's scheme and possibly the other two PR9's from 39 Squadron before it was disbanded, XH131 and XH134.

Update 2013:
As mentioned at the end of the previous paragraph, the plan of building the sister aircraft of XH135 has become a reality this year. But to fit in with my ideas for the three aircraft on planned "End Of An Era" diorama, some modifications and improvements needed to be done to XH135. First, the cockpit canopy was opened up and an etched ladder was fitted to the side of the cockpit. Two ground crew figures were added to the aircraft, one standing on the ladder and the other seated inside the cockpit as if running tests with the control surfaces. The engine had some etched POV Guards added to the intakes and the length of wire that was used for the aerial, was replaced with some smoke invisable thread. All three aircrat are displayed together on a large base along with various RAF vehicles and equipment. There are also various figures including aircrew and ground crew to complete the scene.

© Copyright Michael Lomax
All images © Copyright H M Lomax