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Tanks A Lot!
By: Neal “British-British-British” Izumi
Kit: Canberra/B-57 Tip Tanks
Manufacturer: Belcher Bits
Scale: 1/48
Product No: BB26
MSRP: $12.99 Canadian Dollars
Available from: Belcher Bits
www.belcherbits.com

Belcher Bits

 

CA B-57

 

 

Airfix

 

 

 

Loon Models CA

 

 

Canberra

Tittie row. From left to right: Belcher Bits, Loon Models, and CA.

Sometimes one can’t help but wonder why the world isn’t perfect. If it was, the aftermarket would not have to produce stuff like this. I find it strange that something so basic could be messed up by not one, but two kit manufacturers. The Classic Airframes (CA) Canberra, while pretty accurate, suffers from undersized tip tanks. The later Airfix kit has tanks that are more or less the correct size, but have a wonky nose contour that even someone as blind as myself can spot without the need to compare against reference photos. Out of the whole lot, only the CA B-57’s tanks are correctly sized and shaped, but they lack the tip light conduits.

And so yet another niche is open for the aftermarket to fill. Belcher Bits’ tanks are cleanly molded in grey resin and feature sharply detailed tip lights and conduits. The way which the tanks were cast make it easy to trim off the pour stub and clean up. Loon Models also makes replacement tanks, but they are not as well cast and are undersized. Loon’s light and conduit are also rather poorly molded.

The only downside to Belcher Bits’ resin tanks is the additional weight they will impart on the already overweight Canberra kit, regardless of which one you have. The frugal could pad out the Airfix kit’s tanks and reprofile them, but I am a lazy bastard, so I recommend the Belcher Bits replacements.