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Small and yellow is Good!

You will know I'm sure that I have been a Harvard fan since January 1955, and, apart from putting my back out when climbing into one many years later at Oshkosh shortly after I retired, my memories of my 185 Canadian hours in the World's Best Trainer range from merely good to really enjoyable, especially the Cuban eights. It helped of course that the Harvards were yellow, the only proper colour for North Anerican's - or in my case Canadian Car's - finest. This may well have been a factor when I saw the boxtop of KP's Cessna Crane; there are three others in various liveries, but as soon as I saw it unexpectedly on the Future Releases page the RCAF trainer suddenly became a Must Have Now. As well as looking like like a twin-engined Harvard sibling the kit had the virtues of simplicity, and small size without the parts trying to escape my grasp; there was a momentary pause in my indecision when I realised that it didn't fit in to any of my usual categories self-established to help limit my modelling, bit I quickly came to a conclusion that I would Enjoy this one regardless.

And so I have. It's an eye-catching little aircraft, even if I can't find anywhere except these pages where I can show it off. This does have several advantages, not the least being the avoidance of stiffly raised eyebrows from those who have spotted imperfections - mine, not the kit's, of course. I found myself when getting the markings ready realising that there were on or two self-inflicted blemishes on which I should have spent more time, but I went ahead anyway; after all the time I hRCAF Crane, 1944adn't spent over the last few months I fell back - as I do increasingly - on the phrase I learned from an intelligence chap at Upwood in 1971, "close enough for government work". I've enjoyed getting it to this state and putting the markings on, always my best bit before the write-up, and recommending it to others. And not least I'm back in to something of my modelling routine, and there's another unlikely kit waiting next to the cutting mat which I really want to see finished - if I don't drop any of the smaller bits!.

I'll just pick up the starboard fuselage half....

Of course it's a Percival .....

Some time ago, as the Lockdown was starting and my e-mail was about to go AWOL there was a protracted conversation of the site of another, and distinguished, SIG all of whom make excellent and very delicate models, about an RAF trainer in immediate post-WWII colours bit which to my surprise was collectively and comprehensively misidentified (excuse later). Once I'd contributed my sixpence to the debate I went off air, but decided that with a memory that went that far back - and on my good days even farther! - I really should show them what they thought they'd seen or at least could have seen perhaps, taking advantage of a recenty lissued Proctor kit in a series by Dora Wings (there's also a very pretty Vega Gull). I wanted to finish it in silver with the yellow T-bands of its - and my - generation, and from a splendid book on Little Rissington selected the codes showing it to beProctor III  trainer ,CFS1946 a CFS aircraft. To add the necessary What If flavour, I thought that this would have been an ideal test aircraft for the new and fashionable theory that a second student pilot should sit behind the instructor and first student to learn by observing; fortunately the kit was fitted out to be a radio trainer, and a seat was available for the onlooker (not, never, an observer!). I did have a trip in a Prentice once and wasn't for a moment convinced, except that both students would need a carefully-controlled sense of humour, and the instructor well-exercised tolerance. I liked the kit, not least the way in which the cockpit transparencies had been designed to take in the door windows; if you look carefully, though perhaps you shouldn't, you'll see that I didn't get it quite right along the roof centreline. Maybe I'll make the Vega Gull after all, I think know how now...

As one of a short batch of unfamiliar kits, it revealed as have all of the post-Telford group with which I was try to chip a selection of rusty techniques the errors I've forgotton how to make, and casts my regular doubts on the kits I've picked on.

One small PS; the members of the SIG whose activity raised my initial comments should perhaps reduce the size of the pictures by 50%. And a second, but a tenuous link which I can't avoid but which I treasure. I think I should have added turned up wing tips to this model as a tribute to our RAF Liason instructor at Penhold; he had flown the Prentice at CFS, and had the distinction of identifying the rising ground in the Little Rissington low flying area whose rate of climb was greater than that of his Prentice.




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