Monday, April 30, 2012

SS Canberra

Canberra kit

SS Canberra from the P&O fleet from 1961 to 1997. She was built at the Harland and Wolff shipyard in Belfast, Northern Ireland and launched in 1958. Perhaps her most famous time was a troop ship serving in the Falklands, earning the nickname "Great White Whale". After the conflict, she returned to civilian service before being broken up in 1997.

The Airfix kit was first introduced in 1961 and stayed in the catalogue until 10 years ago. It's 86 parts produce a 1:600 scale vessel 16.5 inches long.

I've been asked to build this kit to represent the ship as launched. Rather than just stick the bits together, I'll be trying to build it in the style of a "Builders Model". To that end you won't be seeing any weathering and I'll try to do better than the supplied Airfix moulded stand. Something in wood with brass supports would seem more in order.

This should be an interesting project as it's a long while since I build a plastic kit boat. Even then it was a probably a battleship, not a type of craft that have ever interested me much. At first glance, the mouldings look OK. Most of the parts appear to be lifeboats, a couple of which have been fitted to the wall that supports them.

The great age of the model is shown by the different approaches taken than and now. Panel lines for example, are raised when I suspect they should be recessed. It's almost impossible to do anything about that without degrading the model, but it's not out of keeping with the Builders Model vibe. These were often slightly simplified miniatures anyway so this should turn out better !

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