Airfix 1/48 TSR.2
“All modern aircraft have four dimensions: span, length, height and politics. TSR-2 simply got the first three right.” Sir Sidney Camm
The TSR-2 was conceived as a terrain hugging low level supersonic strike and reconnaissance plane carrying the most advanced electronics in the world. It was born in 1956 as General Operational Requirement 339 or GOR.339 as a low level supersonic STOL replacement for the Canberra when it was realized that the USSR had developed high altitude SAMs (the S-75 which is more well known by its NATO designation, SA-2 Guideline) that would be able to shoot down high altitude bombers such as the Canberra, Victor, Valiant and Vulcan.
Unfortunately, the TSR-2’s specs were
set out only a year before the silly and infamous “Defence White Paper
of 1957” which said that manned aircraft will be replaced by missiles.
Many projects were scrapped because of this paper with GOR.339
being one of the few exceptions.
Despite surviving the chop, what would eventually become the
TSR-2 became a hot topic among senior defence bureaucrats and senior
officers as the
Vickers Armstrong (later merged into
In 1964, the TSR-2 started flying test
flights and had impressed for the most part despite some glitches.
Most of the TSR-2 prototypes and productions jigs were scrapped and the two complete airframes would be sent to museums. As it turned out, the TSR-2 was the last “all British” military plane as later planes would be developed as part of a multinational coalition.
In the mid 2000s, Airfix released the 1/72
version of the TSR-2. It was
well received but had some fit issues as evidenced by the editor’s review of
the kit as seen
here . (Editor's note: I only included the image of the fuselage as
there was just too much. The breakdown of parts is quite similar to the 1/72
(Editor's note: I only included the image of the fuselage as there was just too much. The breakdown of parts is quite similar to the 1/72 kit.)
An injection molded 1/48 version was
eagerly awaited (although there is an excellent 1/48 vaccuform model by
as reviewed here) but Airfix ran into financial problems and no 1/48
model was released. In
early 2009, the new reborn Airfix did a limited release of the 1/48
TSR-2 which is when I picked it up, but never thought to do a preview until
now (as I started building it.)
The kit comes in very large box (similar in size as the box for a Monogram 1/48 B-17/B-24 kit) and is made of a thick white plastic which might help in painting if you build the prototype markings, but in my experience I have found white plastic a pain in the rear to paint. There isn’t much flash and the detail looks good but a bit overdone compared to a Hasegawa or Tamiya kit, but I doubt that either company will ever do a TSR-2.
It comes on five huge white sprues and one of clear parts with separate bags for all of them. The wings and fuselage are done in logical fashion. One thing I like about it is that most of the seams are covered up and the only areas that really need sanding filling are along the rear fuselage and the forward fuselage. I did notice a few sink marks on the rear section of the fuselage that need to be fixed. It looks a lot like an upscaled version of the 1/72 kit as it has a similar parts layout, but the parts are better detailed (including the cockpit) and test fitting shows there might (emphasize might) not be as many fit/gap issues as the 1/72 version of the kit. The clear parts are reasonably thin and clear.
A first I’ve seen in any injection molded kit is the one piece engine exhaust tubes. The only problem is that they lack details.
It’s huge, and the finished model will be a little over 2 feet long when completed.
Airfix/Hornsby did a good job of resurrecting the 1/48 TSR-2. An aircraft whose demise created a national legend similar to the Arrow is for Canadians. It also provides an excellent possibility for the “What If” modelers (and those who don’t want to build the prototypes.)
If you’re like me and want to add extras then there are several companies that make resin detailed parts for those who want something better than OOB.
This kit is recommended for most modelers except newbies.
Lee October 2012
If you would like your product reviewed fairly and fairly quickly, please contact the editor or see other details in the Note to Contributors.
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