Anson Mk. I
Avro Anson had its origins in the model 652 civil transport aircraft.
After two were used with success by Imperial Airways, they sparked the
interest of the RAF. The military prototype first took to the air in
March of 1935 as the model 652A. After a brief trial period the RAF
ordered a production run of 174 aircraft. The Anson had the distinction
of being the first monoplane and the first plane to be equipped with
retractable gear to be used by the RAF. Operational service began in
March of 1936. The outbreak of WWII found the Anson engaged in the
anti-submarine and maritime reconnaissance roles, with the first
successful attack on a U-boat occurring on December 13, 1939 which
resulted in the sinking of the U-boat. As newer and faster aircraft
became available the Anson was pressed into service as a navigation
and air gunnery trainer. Under the Empire Air Training Plan, Ansons
used to train aircrew from Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Rhodesia
and South Africa. Export versions of the Anson were operated by
Estonia, Finland, Greece, Turkey and Ireland. The Anson remained in
production for 34 years with 10,996 aircraft being produced.
The Classic Airframes kit of the Avro Anson comes in a typical CA top open two part box of rather flimsy construction with rather nice artwork on the top. Inside the box is one large bag filled with three sprues of injection molded parts in a medium gray color, three bags of resin parts, one with the molded clear parts and one with a small fret of photoetch parts. The injection molded parts feature finely recessed panel lines and fastener detail and raised rib lines and nicely done fabric detail on the fuselage and control surfaces. The control surfaces are all fixed and I found no surface defects on any of the major airframe pieces. The surface of the plastic is smooth and matte. The larger pieces are mostly flash free with the smaller pieces exhibiting a bit more flash. Like most short run kits of the sprue attachment points are heavy though for the most part on this kit they aren't all that bad but take care with them any way. The wheels have nice hub detail and the tires are not weighted. Ejector pin marks and stubs are limited to areas that won't show when the kit is assembled. By my count there are 50 parts molded in gray. See Photos below.
The kit comes with a substantial amount of resin parts, some of them quite delicate, especially the parts making up the side walls and framing. They are molded in a tan colored resin and also include a lot of the interior details, landing gear parts, engine exhausts, the interior turret parts and gun and two lovely molded engine cowlings. Some of the larger parts exhibit a bit of flash but it is paper thin and should clean up easily. A few of the small parts had broken off in shipping. The parts were all crisply molded and I found no short shots, voids or pin holes in any of the parts. By my count there are 60 resin parts. See photos below.
The clear parts are thin, clear and have nicely raised frame lines. Areas on them to be painted have a slight frosting to them, alternate noses are supplied. The area ahead of the windscreen is molded integral to the canopy eliminating fit issues close to the glass areas. All together there are 11 clear parts.
The fret of photoetch includes seat belts and harnesses, propeller hub plates, instrument panel with film backing, control levers, wing and tail mass balances and other detail bits. See below.
The decals provide marking for three aircraft, are thin, in register and glossy as one would expect from Microscale, see below.
The instructions consist of two A4 pages folded and printed on both side providing 8 pages. Page one has history and specifications, page two has an icon chart, color list and parts map. the balance cover assembly steps. The paint and marking information is on a second A4 sized sheet.
After Market Goodies
Currently the only after market that I am aware is a set of die cut masks from Eduard [EX196] and these will certainly ease the pain of masking all that glass area.
This is another gem from CA, typical of their kits which require a lot more in the way of parts prep and test fitting than the main stream kits but with another irresistible topic and an aircraft not likely to be done by any of the main stream companies. Usual caveats apply and this one should be doable by anyone who has successfully built a few of this type of kit.
Links to kit build or reviews
A build can be found here.
My library came up short on this one and all reference material was gleaned from the Internet.