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 REVIEW: Hobby Master HA1524 RCAF CC&F Harvard Mk.4 #20213

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Join date : 2017-02-18
Location : Vancouver

PostSubject: REVIEW: Hobby Master HA1524 RCAF CC&F Harvard Mk.4 #20213   Sat Feb 18 2017, 21:42

Hobby Master 1/72 Air Power Series
North American Harvard Mk.IV
Licence built by Canadian Car and Foundry (CC&F)
RCAF 20213, RCAF Primary Flying Training School
RCAF Station Centralia 1953-1958

March 2014 Release

The Harvard in RCAF Service

Canada was the only Country in the world to manufacture, import, and export large numbers of Harvards. More than 3,400 were built in Canada (First by Noorduyn and later after the war by CC&F). Almost 2,400 served with the RCAF in the advanced training role from delivery of the first Mk.I in July 1939 until retirement of the Mk.4 in 1966.

The Harvard also served prominently in one of Canada's greatest contributions to the Second World War. That was the enormous undertaking of the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan. In that great venture some 120,000 Canadian and allied aircrew personnel were trained in Canada: it was a contribution which effectively changed the course of the war.

The Ultimate Harvard - The Mark 4

In 1952 North American had refurbished and updated 1,812 T-6s of various early models up to the new T-6G standard. This "Modernization" involved the fitting of auxiliary fuel tanks, new avionics, a 24 volt electrical system, a revised hydraulic system, a P-51 Mustang type steerable tailwheel, new instrument panels and improved seating.

The RCAF followed the program with interest as Canada's Air Force was expecting a similar widening of the gap between the Harvard and the new front line fighters - the F-86 Sabre and the CF-100. Due to the massive disposals after the War - new airframes were required to meet the planned expansion in NATO training. A contract was signed with CC&F (which had taken over Noorduyn in 1946) for 270 brand-new Harvard Mk.4s incorporating the improvements of the T-6G. Another 285 were built for the USAF as T-6Js and fifteen were supplied to Egypt.

The Model

This model is the third RCAF Harvard released by Hobby Master and was commissioned by the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum in Hamilton, Ontario. It represents aircraft "213" from their Flying Collection when it was assigned to the RCAF's Primary Flying Training School (indicated by the "UM" code on the fuselage) at RCAF Station Centralia in Ontario. This is actually the second time Hobby Master has made a model of this particular aircraft although the detail of the markings are different. The first release has the later Red Ensign flag on the tail rather than a Fin Flash and did not have the aircraft number on the front of the engine cowling.

Incidentally 2014 represents the 75th Anniversary since the Harvard first entered service with the RCAF in 1939. This June 20-22, 2014 there will be a mass gathering of Harvards at Tillsonburg Regional Airport in Ontario which is the home of the Canadian Harvard Aircraft Association.

Hobby Master's Harvard is one of their better and more mature toolings. It has notably been improved with the addition of corrected main landing gear which omits the gear doors (not used by the RCAF). All the parts fit together well with no issues to speak of. Hobby Master does not supply pilots with this release as I have used some of my extras which appear in my photos.

Overall, a worthy addition to the Canadian collection and very highly recommended.


Below: Two RCAF Harvards in formation (one with a Fin Flash on the tail , the other with the Red Ensign). This was common sight over the Canadian Prairie Provinces during the 1950s and early 1960s.

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