Author Topic: Kit Review - Special Hobby 1/48 Airspeed Oxford Mk.I “Gunner Trainer”  (Read 234 times)

Offline Brad Cancian

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Special Hobby 1/48 Airspeed Oxford Mk.I “Gunner Trainer”
Reviewed by Brad Cancian

Item: SH48227
scale: 1/48
Price: 50.80 Euros, direct from Special Hobby

Review kit kindly provided by Special Hobby at

The Oxford

The Airspeed AS.10 Oxford is a twin-engine monoplane aircraft developed and manufactured by Airspeed. It saw widespread use for training British Commonwealth aircrews in navigation, radio-operating, bombing and gunnery roles throughout the Second World War. The Oxford was developed by Airspeed during the 1930s in response to a requirement for a capable trainer aircraft that conformed with Specification T.23/36, which had been issued by the British Air Ministry. After its maiden flight on 19 June 1937, it was quickly put into production as part of a rapid expansion of the Royal Air Force (RAF) in anticipation of a large-scale conflict.
Oxfords were heavily utilised by Britain and its allies, including Australia, Canada, France, New Zealand, Poland, and the United States. A number of different variants were made to facilitate training for new aircrews. Following the end of the conflict, the Oxford continued to achieve export sales for some time, equipping the newly formed air forces of Egypt, India, Israel, and Yugoslavia. It was considered to be a capable trainer aircraft throughout the conflict, as well as being used as a general-purpose type. A number of Oxfords are preserved today on static display worldwide

The Kit

First released back in 2011, this is the seventh boxing of the Oxford kit from Special Hobby. This time, the focus is on the gunnery training version of the kit, with its prominent turret on top of the fuselage. This boxing consists of four sprues of medium grey plastic, a clear sprue, some etch , resin, masks, and decals.

The first sprue consists of the fuselage halves and a number of internal details. The plastic is smooth and shiny, with the panel lines being subtle but crisp. The Oxford did not have much in the way of panel lines so the restraint shown here is appropriate. Included on this sprue is the main bulkhead at the rear of the cockpit, the crew seats, and the large floor piece.

The interior has some frame detail moulded onto the fuselage halves; note that there are some mould release pins that may need to be dealt with on the interior.

The instrument panel is also on this sprue, and is nicely detailed.

The second sprue contains the wing pieces; thankfully, the lower wing is presented as a large single piece; this will help with maintaining dihedral for the large wing.

Again, the plastic is shiny, and the detail appropriately restrained but crisp.

The third sprue contains the stabilisers, and parts for the internal undercarriage bays, including the struts and various bulkheads. Some care may be needed to remove the delecate parts from the sprue gates.

The stabilisers are moulded with the control surfaces in place. Note that there are some mould release pins that will need to be removed from the inside surfaces of the stabiliser halves to get a good fit.

The fourth sprue contains the engines, cowls, wheels, propellers, gun turret ring, and other small detail parts.

The engines are nicely detailed, but there is some flash that will need to be dealt with. Once done, these should look nice under the cowls. The wheels will also look nice with a coat of paint and a wash. Again, care will be needed in removing some of the smaller parts.

Clear parts are provided on a single sprue. The large canopy piece is a feature, and is clear with crisp frames. The turret is provided in multiple clear pieces, which may need some care to assemble. Cabin windows appear to be a flush fit, so there may also be some care needed here.

The etched fret contains a myriad of details, including interior parts for seat frames, seat belts, and plenty of other smaller details. This is a welcome addition given the prominent glazing will mean that much of the cockpit will be visible.

We also get a nice set of resin bits to complement the kit, including a range of interior details such as radios, as well as a resin gun, replacement exhaust pipes, and other bits.

Lastly, we get a very welcomed set of masks, which will be very useful given the extensive glazing.


Special Hobby’s Instructions are provided in their modern, high-quality booklet. Presented in 13 glossy pages, construction occurs over 21 steps. The instructions are comprehensive, with a parts layout, instruction and paint call outs (in Gunze Mr Colour paints), and full colour four angle painting profiles.

Four interesting and varied colour schemes are catered for, these being:

•   Airspeed Oxford Mk.1, P1931, 2 Service Flying School, Brize Norton, spring 1940
•   Airspeed Oxford Mk.1, 83 / T1312, 35 Service Flying Training School, RCAF Station Noth Battleford, Saskatchewan, Canada, 1944
•   Airspeed Oxford Mk.1, NZ1269, 1 Service Flying Training School, RNZAF, Wigram, New Zealand, 1942
•   Airspeed Oxford Mk.1, V-AW / V3325, Royal Norwegian Air Force, 1948


The decals, like all recent Special Hobby releases, are crisply printed with solid colour and excellent register. I envision no problems with these decals whatsoever. A full set of stencils is also provided, as well as decals for cockpit instruments.

Accuracy and Buildability:

Not having any detailed publications on this aircraft, and not being a particular expert as to this aircraft, I can’t comment conclusively about accuracy. That being said, it appears that the consensus is that this kit is a solid representation of the Mk1. Some areas to watch for include the fit of the canopy (which needs a little filling at the back end; there’s no panel line here so this should be no problem), and the area at the rear of the engine nacelle undersides is an open space which will need some filling (easily done with a little piece of plastic card).

In terms of buildability, the kit should be a straight forward build. Some care will be needed with folding the various delicate etch pieces but, in my opinion, this effort will be worthwhile given the significant glazing up front. The moulding technology is such that there are still some heavy mould release pins and sprue attachments on some parts, so a little bit of care will be needed here during removal and clean up. Otherwise, this kit should present a straight forward build.


The significant contribution that the Oxford made to the war effort means that this aircraft will remain a popular subject. As the only game in town for a 1/48 Oxford, Special Hobby have done well to re-release this kit. It should present a straight forward build and an impressive model once completed.

Highly recommended!

Our very sincere thanks to Special Hobby for the review sample!

Offline pepperman42

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Re: Kit Review - Special Hobby 1/48 Airspeed Oxford Mk.I “Gunner Trainer”
« Reply #1 on: September 16, 2023, 12:25:55 AM »
This will pair nicely with the Airfix Anson.


Offline KiwiZac

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Re: Kit Review - Special Hobby 1/48 Airspeed Oxford Mk.I “Gunner Trainer”
« Reply #2 on: September 28, 2023, 10:22:12 AM »
Thanks for the review Brad! I have an older boxing of this kit - it rewards the patient builder and truly is "typical short run".

This will pair nicely with the Airfix Anson.
I'm hanging out for an Airfix Oxford. That's the stuff of dreams for me!