The CAC Wirraway (an Aboriginal word meaning "challenge") was a training and general purpose military aircraft manufactured in Australia by the Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation (CAC) between 1939 and 1946. The aircraft was an Australian development of the North American NA-16 training aircraft.
Three Royal Australian Air Force officers, led by Wing Commander Lawrence Wackett, were sent on an overseas evaluation mission in 1936 to select an aircraft type for local production in Australia. The aircraft selected was the North American Aviation (NAA) NA-16. Production licences were obtained in 1937 and two NA-16s were purchased from North American Aviation to act as prototypes.
During World War II, the Wirraway saw action, in a makeshift light bomber/ground attack capacity, against Japanese forces. It was also the starting point for the design of an "emergency fighter", the CAC Boomerang.
History adapted from Wikipedia
This is another of Special Hobby's excellent 'short run' kits. The outsides of the plastic parts appear to be quite glossy, although they are very slightly rough to touch. The insides feel very much like shark skin, but this will have no effect on the build. There is not a lot of flash, and injection pin marks are small, and with the exception of the ones in the wings, shouldn't need to be bothered with. Excellent use of the strengths of injection plastic, resin and photo-etch make the detail parts particularly effective. The instruction booklet is printed in colour, and each detail part has been printed in an indication of its actual colour. This serves as a nice planning aid for detail painting.
The fuselage is moulded in left and right halves. The cockpit is nice and busy, with sharp detail. The modeller first builds the cockpit framework, then populates it with plastic detail parts and resin seats to make an accurate office. Most of the photo etch will also live here. There is a scarff ring, which many Wirraways used yet this is unaccountably missing from the instructions. Another error is the painting instructions. The instructions would have the modeller paint the interior in RAF interior green, yet all Wirraways had aluminium paint on the framework with black details. The canopy is in one piece, and therefore cannot be posed upen without substantial surgery. Given that many Wirraways flew with the end section of the canopy either open or totally removed, this is a curious choice. Possibly a Falcon Harvard/T-6 canopy can be used instead.
The wings are provided in the traditional one piece bottom and separate tops. Small inserts for the landing gear wells fit into the leading edge. The ailerons are moulded into the wings. Their outlines are no more deep than the panel line engraving, so they could benefit from some scribing to make them stand out. They may also be cut away and posed, but to do so would take some extra work.
The engine is moulded in resin. The 3 blade propeller is in plastic, but the hub is resin. It ill demand some careful painting to look good. The engine accessories are resin, as are the exhausts.
The horizontal stabilisers are each one piece, with the elevators moulded in place. Photos show that the elevators are often drooped at rest. This could be corrected with a little bit of surgery.
The main wheels are available in plastic. The tail wheel is optionally either plastic or resin, but strangely neither is the correct size. A correctly sized wheel will have to be sourced from elsewhere. The oleo strut links are found on the etch fret.
I don't compare models to drawings or published measurements. When assembled it will look like a Wirraway.
Decals and Markings
This issue has 3 options, all in Earth Brown and Foliage Green camouflage over Sky Blue:
- 1. A20-444 23 Sqn RAAF based at Lowood, Queensland. According to some sourves, this aircraft was repainted in Dark Ocean Blue and Dark Sea Grey upper surfaces for overwater patrols;
- 2. A20-469 23 Sqn RAAF based at Lowood, Queensland;
- 4. A20-572 4 Sqn RAAF based at Port Moresby, New Guniea. This aircraft carries a white outline nose art of a diving bird carrying bombs.
This kit has previously been reviewed on Aeroscale here
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