Kombrig 1/700 HMAS Canberra

KIT #: 70295
PRICE: $20
REVIEWER: Peter Burstow
NOTES: Waterline resin kit


H.M.A.S. Canberra, the first one, was a Kent class heavy cruiser, built by John Brown and Company, at Clydebank. Laid down in 1925, she was commissioned in 1928. Of just under 10,000 tons displacement her size, armour and armament was restricted to comply with the Washington Naval Treaty.

She was armed with eight 8” guns in four turrets, and had a host of smaller weapons and torpedos. Early in WW2 her anti-aircraft armament was upgraded. She was initially equipped with a Supermarine Seagull III amphibian, launched and recovered by crane.  Fitted with a catapult in 1936, the aircraft was replaced with a Supermarine Seagull V, the Australian version of the Walrus.

On 9th August 1942, while supporting the US Marine landings on Tulagi, HMAS Canberra, USS Chicago and some destroyers were attacked by a Japanese cruiser squadron. In the ensuing battle, Canberra was badly damaged and later scuttled. This action was to become known as the Battle of Savo Island. The wreck of HMAS Canberra was discovered in July 1992, in “Ironbottom Sound” at a depth of 420 fathoms.


 Coming in a small, top opening box, packed with polystyrene beads, there are a large number of grey resin parts, most in a small zip bag. The waterline hull is in one piece, with fine engraved detailing with portholes and deck chains clearly moulded. There is a host of smaller parts, ranging in size from the turrets and funnels, to tiny spars and fittings. A replica of a Supermarine Seagull V amphibious biplane, and the catapult, is included, some of the smallest parts include the aircraft interwing struts.

The instruction sheet is a double sided sheet of A4, clearly printed entirely in Russian. It has a detailed elevation and plan of the ship, showing the extensive rigging. The other side has an illustration of the parts, and a rudimentary exploded type construction diagram.

There is no reference to any painting or marking information. The instruction sheet is not adequate for complete construction, painting and detailing, so other references would be required.


 A beautifully detailed kit of an important Australian warship. The detail is far better than some much larger scale mainstream injection moulded kits. It is listed on the Combrig models website so I suppose it is still available. http://combrig-models.com  The only downside is the poor instruction sheet, but experienced ship modellers would have no problems.

Recommended for experienced ship modellers with good magnifying glasses.



A.K. Macdougall, Australia's Navy, Waverton Press, Waverton, 2005 

 Peter Burstow

March 2013

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