Classic Airframes 1/48 Canberra B.2 (Export Version)

KIT #: 4126
PRICE: CAD $47.95
DECALS: Several options
REVIEWER: Pablo Calcaterra
NOTES: Aztec 48-027 decals


After a successful tour around Latin America in 1952 where the Canberras were shown off to the regional Air Forces and led to the purchase of the type by Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela, the Argentine Air Force tried to do the same. Geopolitical considerations and recent incidents (an Argentine Navy Catalina landed in Deception Island, an Avro Lincoln flying over the Antarctic continent among others) were enough as for the British authorities to reject the request.  In 1965 contacts were established again and the package included some Vickers Vc10 for Aerolineas Argentinas. But the U.S. government lobbied and finally the Argentine airline purchased Boeing 707s. Thus the second chance was lost. By that time the fleet of Avro Lincoln that the Argentines had was clearly outclassed and the Air Force needed planes in order to (somehow) restore the balance in the region.

When in 1967 negotiations were moving forward these were again cooled down as tensions between Argentina and Chile were escalating and Queen Elizabeth II had been requested to mediate. Therefore the British could not be seen as siding with Argentina by selling them armament that could be used against Chile.

Finally the transaction took place in 1969 when Argentina purchased 12 BMk2 and 2 TMk4 ex RAF. These planes were completely inspected (adding 25 years to the planes) and as 10 major and 14 minor modifications were requested for Argentine service, they now became Mk62 and Mk64 respectively. The modifications included communication, navigation and external load equipments. These planes had between approximately 1,200 and 3,600 hours when purchased. The original planes and their Argentine serial numbers are as follow:








































The “lost” lot (purchased in 1981 but withheld and never delivered by BAC due to the 1982 conflict)

SH1657 BMk2 to Mk92



XH583 TMk4 to TMk64



 The BAC Test Pilot flew the first modified plane in 1970. In the meantime a group of pilots were being trained in Peru with their Canberras. Another group of 12 pilots was trained in England. Upon ending their training these crews started to fly the planes to their new home. On November 17th, 1970 Canberras B-101 to B-103 arrived in Argentina.

During 1971 and with the availability of the two trainers crews started to be trained in the country while the Squadron was gaining proficiency. The Squadron was based in BAM Parana (Entre Rios) and constituted part of the II Brigada Aérea.

The first loss of a plane happened when B-103 crashed in 1971 during a touch and goes training exercise but luckily the crew survived albeit with injuries.

During 1978 tensions again increased and Argentina and Chile were at the brink of war. The Canberras were transferred to Espora Naval Air Base (Bahia Blanca) but as it is well known the situation was defused by the intervention of Pope John Paul II.

The next plane to be lost was B-109, which crashed during a summer storm in 1979. The pilot survived but the navigator perished.


Now the timeline brings us to 1982 when the conflict between Argentina and the United Kingdom over the Malvinas (Falkland) Islands took place. By this moment there were 10 Mk62 and 2 Mk64 in service but only 6 and 1 respectively were ready for action, the balance undergoing different maintenance and tests. The first 2 planes (B-104 and B-110) were sent to Argentine Navy base Almirante Zar in Trelew (Chubut province) on April 10th. Three days later it was the turn of B-105 and B-111. This became the primary base for operations and advance maintenance unit. When B-108 and 109 arrived on April 16th training to attack ships with Mk17 bombs started. On April 21st four planes (B-104/B-105/B-109 and B-110) flew over the Islands in order familiarize with the new environment and find significant navigation points. This type of operation was repeated several times before May 1st. During these days a locally designed chaff and flare device was installed under the planes in the area of the photographic cameras housing.

I am going to focus on the missions that B-105 flew. I am also going to describe other missions where B-105 might not have been involved but are nevertheless significant or interesting. Please note that there were more OF and missions than the ones I am writing about.

April 25th

On this date Operation Paraquat started (retake of Georgia Islands) and a counter attack was launched against the Task Force. Following OF 1275 and 1276 three planes took of from Base Almirante Quijada (Rio Grande) on April 26th. Due to the distance involved an internal fuel tank with 3,300 lt. was installed in the bomb bay, along with the wing tip tanks and only 2 x 1,000 lb Mk17 bombs under the wings. The planes were supposed to return to Puerto Argentino/Stanley to refuel on their return leg after the attack and then continue to the continent. Support was given by a Boeing 707 (navigation) and a KC-130H Hercules (tactic controller) from I Brigada Aerea. The Canberras involved were B-105 (Squadron Leader Mj. Vivas/Capt Escudero), B-108 (Sproviero/Moreno) and B-109 (Baeza/Cardo). Capt. Casado gave the navigator of the third plane some calculations that showed him that by gliding from 12,500 meters they could fly 160 nm without engines (due to lack of fuel). No little piece of helpful information was left aside! On the 26th the moment arrived. The planes were even refueled on the runway before taking off to make up for the consumption from starting up till arriving to the runway. They flew at 35,000 feet to reduce fuel consumption. When in complete radio silence they were flying to the South of the Malvinas they ejected the wing tips. But one of B-105’s did not release and therefore fuel consumption would become too high. As a consequence this plane turned around and Baeza became the leader. The two other planes continued the mission. When the 707 broke formation the Canberras dove to the surface of the sea for their last leg. The crews were worried about suffering damage by small antiaircraft fire that would not allow them to return to their base due to lack of fuel (thinking that a missile explosion would destroy them immediately). Upon reaching the area there was a significant cloud cover and the Hercules crew was only able to inform that there were 2 warships located in the Cumberland bay but there were no details as of exactly where they were. Clouds were also hiding the hills around the bay and therefore the mission was aborted. They managed to regain contact with the Boeing that guided them to Puerto Argentino. When they were 150 km away from the airport they checked their remaining fuel and realized that they could return straight to their base with no need for an intermediate stop. The planes returned to Rio Grande. Another mission was prepared in more detail for the following day but the Argentine garrison had already surrendered so it was cancelled when the planes were ready to take off.

May 1st

The fighting war really started around the Islands. As it was understood that the British troops were getting ready to land around Puerto Argentino and that there were landing craft in the area it was decided to send 2 missions of Canberras against them.

OF 1111: Call sign RUTA with B-105 (Capt Nogueira  / Sanchez), B-108 (Capt Rodino / 1st Lt Dubroca), B-109 (1st Lt Lozano / Lt Cooke). They took off from Trelew and flew South East but they did not know that in their path HMS Yarmouth and Brilliant were chasing the Argentine submarine ARA San Luis that had fired torpedoes against a British warship (they did not explode). Their radars detected the incoming Canberras and they fired some SA missiles. The bomber crews could see the ships in the distance and their missiles being fired. It is believed that a Sea Cat fired by Yarmouth exploded close to B-108 and destroyed the wing tip like if it were made of paper. B-108 almost hit the sea. Rodino informed: “I have been hit. I cannot control it. I am going to the Island!” The rest of the missiles were avoided with violent maneuvers. Then, in route to the Island, he found himself almost on top of a plane carrier (HMS Invincible) from which some Harriers were taking off. So he turned around again and this time he decided to try to return to the continent. He arrived in Puerto Deseado (Santa Cruz) while the undamaged planes returned 1 hour later to their base (Trelew, further North). B-108’s wingtip was repaired by civilian millwrights and was able to return to action before the end of the war…more about B-108 at the end…

OF 1117: Call sign RIFLE with B-102 (Capt Baigorri / Mj Rodeyro), B-110 (1st Lt Gonzalez / Lt. De Ibanez) and B-104 (Capt. Garcia Puebla / 1st Lt Segat). They listened on their radio the conversation and shouts given by RUTA during their engagement. RIFLE was flying in clouds and the tension was so high that they did not realized they legs were shaking or that the seat was uncomfortable or even that they were sweating a lot! Garcia Puebla noticed that RIFLE 2 was flying slightly higher than the other 2 Canberras. He told him: “RIFLE 2, come lower!” and he did…but he had a trend climb. When they were 300 km away from their target HMS Invincible detected them and a CAP of Sea Harriers (Lt. Cdr. Broadwater in ZA175 and Lt. Curtis in XZ451) was launched against them. Garcia Puebla had decided to lag behind to avoid the potential explosion of the bombs of the 2 planes ahead of him during the potential attack to their targets. When the Canberras were only 24 km away from the carrier (they did not know that Invincible was just ahead of them) the SHAR pilots gained the tail of the bombers. At that moment something made Garcia Puebla look to his right more than what he would normally and comfortably do. From the bottom of a cloud a fine white smoke streak appeared. It was the 1st Sidewinder fired by Curtiss. The missile was flying very fast and parallel to RIFLE 3, towards RIFLE 1. Garcia Puebla shouted: “Pajaro, abrite, un misil!” (Bird – Baigorri’s nickname – break, a missile!). Baigorri answered with an order to his wingmen: “Ruptura! (Break!)” Garcia Puebla pushed the throttle thru the gate and kicked his rudder pedal to his left while pulling and turning the steering in the same direction. He told his navigator to drop his flares and chaff every 15 seconds. The sea was just inches away from his left wing tip but he was able to keep his eyes on the incoming missile. At the same time RIFLE 1 was turning to the right. RIFLE 2 was flying slightly higher and not turning as violently as the other 2 Canberras. Garcia Puebla shouted: “Guarda el 2, GUARDA EL 2 (Watch out 2, WATCH OUT 2!!)” Then: “Vire carajo (Turn, damn it!)” and “Dios! (God!)” The missile entered his right engine but it did not explode. RIFLE 3 lost sight of 2 due to his turn but the Leader was able to see the 2 ejection seats coming out and the parachutes deploying. Curtiss fired another Sidewinder at B-110 but it missed as the Canberra had already impacted the sea. Broadwater fired the missiles to the other Canberras with no effect though a Sea Lynx in the area reported that he had hit another bomber so the SHAR pilot was credited with a kill. Segat told his pilot to eject the wing tip tanks. It was a good piece of advise as with them they could not exceed 700 km/hr. After trying 3 times to press the button to eject them due to the Gs he was pulling he managed to get rid of them. The Canberra lurched forward and at the same time an explosion was felt in the tail area. Just a few instants before Segat had dropped another flare. Garcia Puebla thought they had been hit but after checking the commands he realized the plane was still in good shape. In fact it is believed that the flare that Segat launched a fraction of a second earlier had managed to attract the Sidewinder thus saving the Canberra. Garcia Puebla asked his leader what to do and he was told to return to base individually and to drop his bombs. Thus they were able to increment their speed even more. While Garcia Puebla was trying not to crash against the waves and was fighting the vibrations, Segat was checking the speed. This allowed him to warn his pilot that they were exceeding the maximum speed. They were doing more than 950 km/hr when maximum speed to avoid structural damage is 850 km/hr! Lowering the speed Garcia Puebla flew even closer to the sea. After some minutes they realized that they had lost the attackers. Later on their relief became anguish. In the fading lights and in a misty sea gray ships were surrounding them and there was no way out. As they were too close to the continent they realized they were part of the Argentine Navy. Garcia Puebla told his Navigator to get in touch with the “Navis” while he was checking outside in case they came under attack (blue on blue). Segat called “LOBO – MATIENZO” and immediately they received several requests to confirm their authenticity. This being done they also informed that the Harriers had intercepted them and that there was a Canberra crew waiting to be rescued in the sea. The Argentine Navy sent Aviso Alferez Sobral to the rescue. The two RIFLES returned to their base where the mood was somber. They all went to their chapel to pray and then, with their spirits restored, they prepared for the following missions. De Ibanez and Gonzalez were never found. (Here I want to comment that contrary to some versions still out there in the Internet that claim that Sobral was damaged and Aviso Somallera was sunk, only Alferez Sobral was attacked by the British helicopters during the night combat that took place when searching for the downed pilots. With the bridge destroyed and his commander and other 7 crew members killed, Sobral managed to get back to the continent after several days at sea. Wit a new bridge she is still in service in the Argentine Navy).

From now on all attacks were to take place at night. Also a change to BAM Rio Gallegos as a base to launch the attacks was implemented. This decision left the planes 1,200 km away from Trelew.

Once the British troops had landed on the Islands in San Carlos on May 21st the first mission took place on May 26th

May 26th

OF ?: call sign ? with 4 x Mk17 bombs each. B-104 (1st Lt Mauad / Siri), B-105 (Capt. Bredeston / Capt. Sisco / Piazza) B-108 (Freijo / Marin). After flying 180 nm the attack was called off due to lack of visibility.

May 27th

OF 1240 : call sign Odin with 4 x Mk17 bombs each. B-101 (Mj Vivas / Capt Escudero) and B-104 (Capt Freijo / Capt Marin). Even though B-105 was not involved in this mission I want to mention it because it was the first effective bombing mission. Flying very low and in high winds, the couple of bombers flew from South to North San Carlos Strait (Falklands Sound). After passing Darwin on their right they dropped their wing tip tanks and accelerated. They arrived to the beachhead using the Doppler radar of B-101 and close to the pier they dropped their bombs on a small fires seen on the ground (troops concentrations?). They did not receive antiaircraft fire and escaped at 1,000 ft for almost 150 nm. During the mission they kept absolute radio silence and they communicated using their formation lights.

May 31st

OF 1260: call sign CHARRUA again with 4 x Mk17 bombs each. B-102 (Capt Martinez Villada / 1st Lt Pagano), B-105 (1st Lt Rivollier / 1st Lt Annino). They were to bomb San Carlos again. When they got to San Carlos at 2 in the morning there was a fog blanket that was hiding the target. Therefore they bombed using Doppler from 700 to 800 feet and at a speed of 400 knots. Rivollier was able to see the 8 blasts in the middle of the night. There was no defensive fire again.

OF 1270: call sign ODIN. Same armament as previous missions. B-105 (Capt Bredeston / Capt Sisco), B-109 (1st Let Mauad, 1st Lt Acosta). They followed up another mission (OF 1269) led by Capt Pastran and Cap Casado that bombed San Carlos effectively. ODIN arrived to the target, dropped the bombs with no problems and returned to Rio Gallegos. There was lots of rain in the target area. As a result of these missions a tent of Eagle Base was demolished and a phone central was damaged. Although there was no damage to the Sea Kings found on the base there were casualties among the British troops. This action led to the deployment of the Sea Kings to the ships during the night from this night on as a preventive measure. Capt. Carballo, the famous Skyhawk pilot and who was from the same promotion as Bredeston, tells us the following funny anecdote. It turns out that Bredeston was frustrated that he had not been able to complete a mission nor hit the enemy positions during previous nights. Finally, during the one just described, he was able to fulfill his duty and with a big smile he was able to go to sleep. Having learnt about the success of the mission, Capt. Carballo and Capt. Perroto (a C-130 pilot also from the same Promotion) entered the quiet room in the wee hours, grabbed some flying boots and pounded the poor Bredeston by surprise! Nice way to congratulate him!!

OF 1273: call sign HUINCA. In this case the bomb load was reduced to 3 per plane. B-108 (Mj Chevalier / 1st Lt Lozano), B-105 (Capt. Bertoldi / 1st Lt Reyes), B-109 (Capt Garcia Puebla / 1st Lt Segat). B-105 had to return, as one of the fuel tanks was not transferring its contents to the engines. Segat tells some details about the mission: after adopting a high – low profile they entered clouds and they could not see the sky or the sea. He was calling out the directions to Garcia Puebla “to the right…to the left…higher, lower, not so much…” They could see nothing outside. They were to the South of Soledad Is. (East Falkland) and they turned north to start their bombing run. The radar altimeter, showing 50 meters, started to give different readings. This meant that they were now flying over ground. He kept on asking his pilot if he was able to see something outside of the plane but the answer was always negative. It was getting even darker! Suddenly Garcia Puebla said: “I can see a white shadow ahead” to which Segat shouted back: “Climb! Climb!” It was Kent Mount. The Gs pushed them against the seats. The radar altimeter was shoving the climb and the presence of the mount just ahead of them, all covered in snow. They opened the bomb bay doors and dropped their load. The plane shook with the explosions and they could see the red sky behind. Now they were 1,000 ft high and therefore they were vulnerable. They dove in the middle of the night to 60 meters and then Segat told Garcia Puebla to steer 030 to return to their base. The radar in Puerto Argentino was tracking the area but was not able to communicate directly wit the Canberras. Two minutes after their attack the radar tried to tell them that there were Harriers after them but there was no direct contact. In such a desperate situation Puerto Argentino called the continent that in turn thru Rio Gallegos managed to contact the Canberras. Andy McHarg from HMS Hermes had been launched and vectored in order to chase the Canberras. Garcia Puebla saw a missile to their right and told his navigator: “Drop the chaff!” Segat dropped flares and chaff at different intervals. The Canberra crew felt an explosion behind them which it is believed was the explosion of the surface-air missile that had been lured by the anti missile measures. By now McHarg was really close to the Canberras. His fuel situation, though, was critical having flown very far away from his mother ship. He managed to identify the Canberras visually (he was now only 4 miles behind).  When the explosion happened the Canberra dropped their wing tip tanks and accelerated. McHarg saw the enemy dropping the tanks and pulling away but was not able to continue with the chase and returned to HMS Hermes. (He does not mention any explosion behind the bomber) The Canberra reached their height for their return leg and afterwards returned to the base safely.

 June 4th

OF 1276: Call sign PUMA with B-105 (Capt Freijo / 1st Lt Pagano) and B-101 (1stl Lt Heredia / 1st Lt Gerez). They dropped their bombs on their target (Kent) using their Doppler radar and with their position validated by the Argentine radar in Puerto Argentino (Stanley). PUMA 1 pulled ahead during their escape from the area but then reduced speed to wait for PUMA 2 to catch up. The radar (CIC) warned them that there was an enemy CAP 25 miles behind PUMA 2 and the Canberras accelerated to mach 0.85.  When at 18 nm the CAP stopped chasing them. When they were over Darwin, now in British hands, they dropped flares and chaff. But their adventures were not over. Over Gran Malvina (West Falkand) they were informed that there was yet another CAP facing them. They dropped chaff and flares and finally were able to see their enemies that turned out to be 2 missiles instead of Harriers. These had lost the tracking and were easily left behind. They returned to their base with no more news.

June 8th

The Canberras flew one of the most controversial missions. They were based for a day in Mar del Plata and from there they took off in the afternoon.  600 miles away from the Argentine coast the Liberian tanker Hercules it was identified as a potential supply ship for the British Task Force by C-130 TC-68. The empty 220,000 tons super tanker was on its way to Alaska to get another load of crude. According to the captain of the ship some jet bombers (the Canberras?) dropped 8 bombs, one of which hit the ship but did not explode. The ship sailed to Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) in order to get the bomb defused but on July 20th the ship was sunk in front of the Brazilian coast to claim the money from the insurance. The Argentine Air Force denied that the attack ever happened. The planes allegedly involved were B-102, B-105 (Chevalier / Pagano), B-108 and B-109 and it is believed that they carried 2 x Mk17 bombs under their wings. The shipping company sued the Argentine Air Force in the US Supreme Court but the case was dismissed. B-105 carried the kill mark of a ship on her nose for a while.

June 10th

OF 1309 with call sign LEON. B-105 (Capt Martinez Villada / Mj Escudero), B-112 (1st Let Rivollier / 1st Lt Annino). As the wingman could not take off the leader joined TIGRE 1, another Canberra whose wingman also failed to take off. Their target was Kent Mount. After seeing lights at low height over the sea and when they were getting close to their target the Puerto Argentino radar told them to return as there were air threats in a couple of areas around them. The mission was not completed.

June 12th

OF 1310 call sign TAURO. B-111 (Mj Vivas / 1st Lt Rocco), B-105 (Capt. Pastran / Capt Casado). They flew low over the sea towards their target. When they turned to reach the area West of Puerto Argentino (Stanley) they dropped their wing tip tanks but only one the left ones did in each plane and therefore this forced them to return to their base.

OF 1315 call sign ROMA. B-105 (1st Lt Rivolier / 1st Lt Annino), B-1xx (1st Lt Heredia / 1st lt Gerez). They reached the Southern part of San Carlos Sound but they were forced to return as they saw some missiles being fired ahead of them, the altimeter of the leader was not working and the low temperatures formed frost over their hoods so they were not able to see outside.

OF 1316 call sign BERLIN. B-104 (Capt Martinez Villada / 1st Lt Pagano), B-102 (Capt Garcia Puebla / 1st Lt Segat). The leader returned with issues with the fuel system and Garcia Puebla continued to the target alone. Though B-105 was not involved in this attack it is a very interesting one so I am going to go thru it using Garcia Puebla’s report.

Feeling lonely after loosing their leader due to their mechanical issue they continued with the mission. Their target was close to the Argentine positions and they were concerned about hitting them by mistake. They started to descend and their prayed an Our Father asking the Lord to allow them to get to their target and if possible to hit it. Now flying very low they flew in and out of clouds and rain with cero visibility. Using their radar they were able to turn towards their target. They checked their remaining fuel and found out that it was lower than what it should so they reduced their speed which would allow them to get to the target and back to base but would also make them more vulnerable to the enemy anti aircraft fire. When the clouds broke they could see enemy ships on both sides! They further lowered their height and their altimeter was reading cero. Garcia Puebla was keeping his height using the reflection of the moon on the surface of the sea. He changed the direction in order to try to minimize their exposure to the enemy frigates flying in the middle of them with each ship 8 miles to each side. They were finally able to leave them behind. Segat started to doubt his navigation equipment and that could be the explanation of the higher than expected fuel consumption and the presence of the enemy ships. Accepting Segat’s comment meant failure and suddenly Garcia Puebla was inundated by a tranquil feeling and told his navigator not to worry as he was sure that they were going to be able to hit their target. Segat answered that he believed him though all evidence was against them! With their cockpit and instruments lights off to improve his night vision, flying in and out of rain in the middle of the night they were lost. Suddenly there was a very distant light shining low to their left. It could be either a star or a fire. It would be their last chance to find the islands. One minute later they realized it was a fire. It was Kent Mount. He exclaimed: We’ve got them!

He called the radar in Puerto Argentino (Stanley) but received no answer. They started to see some of the shapes of the island in the middle of the dark when, suddenly, there were lots of lights ahead and to their left. They had turned on all the lights in the town! With that fundamental help Garcia Puebla was able to pinpoint his position and the target that was located between the town and Kent Mount. He climbed slightly to start his bombing run and then avoid the hills behind the target. At that moment the radar came alive warning them: “Message to the plane that is arriving form the North, there are 2 CAPS flying towards you”. The Argentines believe that the frigates had not fired because they had passed the information to the plane carriers. They dropped the bombs in the correct spot, the plane jumped and they could see the red sky and feel the explosion of the bombs. It was 20 minutes after midnight on June 13th. They were told that one of the Harriers was close to Kent Mount and had turn South. The Canberra crew turned off the radar. They had crossed head on with the Harriers! After he passed over the hills he dove and shouted to his navigator: “Jorge, grab the top ejection handle and if you feel a hard vibration, eject. Don’t wait for my order as they are hot on us!” Garcia Puebla accelerated to maximum speed and was about to eject his wing tip tanks to improve his escape speed when he remembered that there a few left in the base so he decided to keep them. He had two chances: to eject them and disobey his orders or to keep on flying fast but risking the plane due to the structural damage or lack of fuel. He decided to reduce his speed to 380 kt to save fuel. When he did this he though: “I am giving too much advantage to the British!” His eyes were jumping from the water to his tail and back to the sea. He was also grabbing his top ejection handle when looking forward but had to let it go when looking behind. Still flying low they had two options: either fly low over San Carlos risking being shot down by the Harrier or start to climb to save fuel. He picked the second option while Segat was telling him how many miles they had flown since they had left their target. With this he was wondering how much more would the Harriers try to chase them. Thirty miles from their target Garcia Puebla started to climb while he said: “Well my friend, let it be God’s will!” At that moment, the entire cockpit was lit and they heard a noise. He thought it was the end but then realized that it was Saint Elmo’s fire. Minutes run very slowly. Eighty miles. Still not caught…. it seemed unbelievable. Garcia Puebla exclaimed that he believed that they were going to make it but Segat told him that they were lost, as his navigation equipment was not reading.  Now they were flying at 40,000 ft and their only chance was for the radars on the continent to find them as they radio stations had lowered their transmissions and they were unable to get a bearing using them. Their alternative was to eject in the middle of the night in the South Atlantic. He started to call the radar in all the frequencies. Finally he was answered: “Continue!” They shouted with happiness when the radar told them that they were in their screens. Now that they were sure they were going to make it they started to think about their families. When they landed they shouted: “Long live the Fatherland!”, which was answered by the radar and the tower. It was 2 am on June 13th. A message was received from the islands thanking them for their effort and telling them that the bombing had been very successful. With the happiness of having fulfilled their mission they went to sleep.

I have transcribed this mission in detail to show the courage and will of this Argentine Canberra crew.

June 13th

The last mission of the Canberras was flown around midnight on the 13th when B-109 (Rivollier / Annino) and B-108 (Capt. Pastran and Casado) bombed Kent Mount. A Sea Dart fired by HMS Exeter shot down the second plane, the same one that had been damaged on May 1st. Pastran told Casado to eject but Casado answered that his seat was not working (probably damaged by the explosion of the missile in the belly of the plane). After loosing control of the plane Pastran told his friend that he had no other option but to eject but he received no answer from Casado. Pastran fell in the water, inflated his dinghy and managed to get to the coast where he was captured by British troops. Casado crashed with his plane thus becoming the last loss of the Argentine Air Force during the war.

Another significant effect of the action of the Canberras (and Hercules) during the night was the couple of Canbelow missions that were carried out by HMS Invincible on June 4th and 7th. The idea was to position the carrier closer to the continent and shoot down with the Harriers any enemy plane that tried to approach the Islands. But on the 4th the heavy fog prevented the British from launching the Harriers even though there were 2 Canberras on a bombing mission. On the 7th a couple of Harriers were sent to chase a bogey (a C-130?) but this turned back to the continent.

As a balance, the Squadron flew 33 successful sorties (meaning that they were able to reach the target and drop their bombs). There were in total 236 flights and B-111 and B102 were the planes flown the most. But in terms of successful sorties the ones that flew the most were B-105 and B-108 (shot down during the last mission as seen above). During these missions the Canberras dropped a grand total of 38.6 MT of bombs with the loss of 3 crewmembers and one POW.

After the war

Their activities continued but gradually less hours were flown each year. A Bendix RDR 1400 radar was installed on B-101 (and used it during the war) and B-104 and B-107 after the war. It is believed that the asymmetrical configuration led to the accidents that destroyed the last two planes in 1982 and 1983 respectively. As a consequence this equipment was removed from B-101. The role of the planes switched from bombing to photography. Very few hours were flown in the ‘90s with B-102, B-105 and B-112 being removed from flying in 1998. There were now only 3 planes left (B-101, B-109, B-111) that kept on flying training missions and air shows. The final official flight of the Canberras in Argentina took place on April 5th 2000.


This is the multimedia CA kit, launched just shortly before the Airfix one. Should I have been more patience I would have had a better experience…Basically the main parts are injected plastic and the details (like cockpit and wheel wells are cast in resin with excellent details)


First and foremost I spend several ours sanding out the pouring stubs of the resin parts. Once they were cleaned I painted the cockpit and all the main components in dark gray. Details where highlighted using pictures from books and the excellent Argentine website dedicated to the Canberras ( The instructions, though very good, are not good enough (at least for me!) to put together all the cockpit parts. It took me lots of testing, measuring, looking at pictures until I got it right…though I ended up with a step that I covered with white plastic that was later on painted in dark gray.

I moved to the wings to have them ready for the tests to determine the weight required for the nose. I thinned out the trailing edge and had to add a little piece of plasticard to improve the fit of the frontal part of the engines.

In order to close the fuselage and add the weight (not stipulated in the instructions) I assembled the main components using masking tape and stood the plane on some pieces of plastic. I kept on opening and closing the fuselage halves while adding more weight. There are 3 windows for the navigator on the Argentine version. I opened up 4…more about this later…once satisfied I glued the fuselage together.

 Once the fuselage union was filled and sanded I started to work on the flares/chaff dispenser. Using some pictures and checking references in the Internet, I came up with the dimensions… that I got wrong. My dispenser is probably 50% larger than what it should be…

Using plasticard I made the main frame and the frontal part was made up of layers of the same material that, once dry, was covered with 2-part epoxy. I used putty to cover the imperfections.

Next was the nose cone. The fuselage had to be sanded so there was a smooth union of the clear and gray parts.

I glued the windows and used some acrylic paste to improve the union of the clear parts with the fuselage.

Then I found that there are two little intakes on each side of the nose that are not described in the instructions…and there are no parts to make them. So I took the middle part of the 40 mm guns of a Hurricane and sanded it to achieve the correct shape. Same process was done for the other side.

The ADF Bendix DFA-73 was made up with plasticard and glued behind the cockpit.

Of course scribing had to be done in several areas after all the sanding I had to do.

I could finally say that the fuselage, the most difficult part of the kit, was ready!

With the main parts ready I glued them together. There are 2 “spars” to improve the unions between fuselage and wings. In fact, there are 2 parts in the kit…but I did no see them so I used the plastic sprue and cut it and sand it to shape and to make it fit in the wholes provided (that had to be anyway enlarged with a knife as they were not properly opened due to the fact that it is a limited production kit and therefore the plastic parts have several imperfections)

Some more putty and sanding to achieve a decent wing to fuselage joint.

There was not problem attaching the horizontal tail surfaces…except that to get the correct dihedral I had to keep the tips supported in place until the glue was dry the following day.

In terms of external armament I scratchbuilt the pylons using plasticard and the Mk17 bombs were taken from the spares (Hobbycraft). To these I had to modify the fins to represent the ones used on the Canberras.

 The navigation lights (oversized) were added to the wings and sanded down to achieve a decent union. I glued the wing tip tanks (many minutes of research in books and Internet to place them properly)

Finally I was ready to paint the kit.


The undersides were first painted with Model Master Acryl 4757 Medium Sea Grey. Once I masked the belly of the plane I applied the dark gray to the top surface (MM 4754) and then with a sharp delimitation line I painted the green areas (MM 4726 – RAF Dark Green). Considering that the large Argentine roundel would hide some imperfection on the green on the top left wing, I left it like that…more about this later…!

I sanded some black pastel and with a brush applied it to the moveable surfaces, doors, access hatches, exhausts and other dirty areas as seen in several pictures of the Argentine bombers.

The kit was given several heavy hands of Future and was ready for the decals. But first I glued the landing gear.

The decals supplied by CA are not good at all as the shape of the letters is wrong and there are no stencils in Spanish. The Aztec set, in this respect, is much better…but not perfect. Decal quality is very good but there are mistakes (example the red glove close to the crew access door is mirrored) and the instructions are not as good as they could be.

The other big interrogation mark is the “No walk” yellow stencil on the wings. When the planes arrived in Argentina they had them painted in yellow but it’d seem by 1982 they were not there anymore (same applies to other words and signs)

When applying the “Fuerza Aérea Argentina” on the right side of the fuselage I realized that…there was no square window for the navigator on this side! I already had most of the other decals glued in that area! So with lots of care I covered the window with putty, sanded it and painted it back after I used Post It ™ papers to mask the decals without fearing ripping them off when removing the masking tape. To my dismay it looked like the color was not the same as the original. I tried several times, removed the paint, did it again, and double-checked the colors…finally it was close but not enough. I could clearly see a difference in the tone, the new paint being lighter. What the h…! I was fed up and decided to leave it like this. The following night I gave that area a light coat of Future and was able to add the “FAA” decal.


Luckily, now that the time has passed, it looks like that the paint has “cured” and got as dark as the original one. Phew!

The other error was the green area on the left wing seen above. It turned out that the roundel was not placed on top of the error! So I sanded the Future, masked the rest of the plane and corrected the green profile. Another hand of Future to the area and now I was able to transfer the huge roundel.


The following things were scratch built and added:

And finally the canopy! But before that, I had to add some extra weight inside the cockpit because either due to the extra weight of the chaff dispenser or a bad dry fit/test, the plane was a tail sitter. One lead square was added on the wall beside the navigator…just where the window had been…and another one against the rear bulkhead. Both were painted dark gray before inserted them with long tweezers.

With this issue fixed it was done! Exactly 3 months working almost every single night for at least 2 hours…


Hmmm…Good kit, difficult to put together. Lots of scratch building required. Not entirely satisfied with the results (chaff dispenser being too large), joint of canopy/fuselage not perfect…but a nice representation of an Argentine Canberra.


Dios y los Halcones (Pablo Carballo)

Halcones de Malvinas (Pablo Carballo)

Historia Oficial de la Fuerza Aerea, Volumen 6 (Malvinas), Book 1 and 2

BAC Canberra BMk62 & TMk64 (Jorge F. Nunez Padin)

Guerra Aérea en las Malvinas (Benigno Andrada)

Falklands Air War  (Hobson)

 With thanks to:

EC, Pablo Carballo, Exequiel Martinez (for his fine art work), and Fabian Nevarez

Pablo Calcaterra

September 2011

If you would like your product reviewed fairly and fairly quickly, please contact the editor or see other details in the Note to Contributors.

Back to the Main Page

Back to the Review Index Page