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Stew Dapple

1/72 Airfix Defiant Nightfighter, 264 Squadron, Debden, Dec. 1940

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I'd like to present the second of my two Defiant nightfighter builds using the new tool Airfix kit:

DSCN2434.jpg

DSCN2439.jpg

DSCN2441.jpg

DSCN2444.jpg

DSCN2449.jpg

DSCN2451.jpg

For the build thread of both kits please see here.

The kit goes together very well with few pitfalls for the unwary and none for the wary; as long as you test fit and know what you are sticking to what, where and why, it more or less builds itself. Mine is OOB apart from the addition of an aerial wire from EZ Line. Once again I've painted the wingtip navigation lights in red and green; in real life they were clear perspex covers for coloured lightbulbs but I am content to let the colours represent what they are.

I had a hell of a time trying to get a subtly distressed effect for the paint finish and was about 20% successful at a guess, though the camera then decided to overlook much of the subtlety so it was a largely wasted effort, however it was a laugh if nothing else :lol:

I used the kit decals for most of the national markings and stencils, but the fuselage roundels, codes and serials are from the Print Decals set for the Defiant - I don't really know what to say about these... they are thinner than the kit decals and had very little carrier film but apart from that I felt they were inferior in every other respect which is a sad look-out for a set of aftermarket decals. The 'red' of the roundels and serial has a strange Fuchsia tint to it which does not look good next to the slightly bricky-red of the Airfix decals which looks better to my eyes. The colour density and printing was also inferior to the kit decals though perhaps with that fuchsia tint that is for the best. I might have got a dud set, I certainly hope so, as there are some very nice options on the Print Scale sheet.

Anyway enough, I am happy with the end result; here are the two kits together:

DSCN2460.jpg

Thanks for your attention gents :D

Cheers,

Stew

Edit: nearly forgot; here is the real N3313

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Very nice build, nicd job on the weathering looks just right, got admit looks a great improvement on the old kit. Great looking pair

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Beautiful pair Stew,as I said in the WIP a great point of reference for future builders,now crack open another box and lets see a day fighter version!

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That is Beautiful Stew, really beautiful! I think the weathering looks spot on! Great stuff! Well done.

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Jealous! Airfix's Defiant hasn't yet made it to HM's former colonies. Or Texas, either.

Edited by Space Ranger

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I think the subtly distressed paintwork is nicely done - and quite visible to me. Noticed it right off, after, of course, oohing and aahing over the effects you achieved on the figures :)

Very nicely done Stew.

Cheers,

Mike

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Another cracker there Stew :goodjob: both surpurb builds and the crew figures really set them off. Top job mate

Thank you very much Keith, that's very kind of you :D

Very nice, you have done a great job

Thanks very much Kev :)

Very nice build, nicd job on the weathering looks just right, got admit looks a great improvement on the old kit. Great looking pair

Thank Batcode; I feel a bit better about the weathering, it seems it is more visible than I thought from the pictures... I think it looks a little better in real life which is why I was a bit disappointed with the photos, especially after all the time I spent on that bloody paintwork :lol:

Beautiful pair Stew,as I said in the WIP a great point of reference for future builders,now crack open another box and lets see a day fighter version!

Thanks very much Steve; next in the build queue is the Dogfight Double set with the Dornier, so at the risk of sounding like a pantomime genie, your wish is my command :D

Cheers,

Stew

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That is Beautiful Stew, really beautiful! I think the weathering looks spot on! Great stuff! Well done.

Thank you Stix, I recommend the kit to you, I think it will be right up your avenue of interest :)

Those are absolutely beautiful!

Thanks SoftScience, that's very nice of you to say so :)

Jealous! Airfix's Defiant hasn't yet made it to HM's former colonies. Or Texas, either.

Ah Michael, you see freedom has a price :fraidnot: - but I'm sure Airfix will get some over to you chaps soon, it's just that we in the UK called 'bagsy' on the first batch :lol: - I am sure you will find it worth the wait :)

I think the subtly distressed paintwork is nicely done - and quite visible to me. Noticed it right off, after, of course, oohing and aahing over the effects you achieved on the figures :)

Very nicely done Stew.

Cheers,

Mike

Mike, thank you, I must admit I was a bit underwhelmed when I uploaded the pics so it is a relief to hear that... I'm glad you like the end result anyway, and thanks for helping keep the build thread moving :)

Thank you all for your attention gents :D

Cheers,

Stew

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Any tips on getting the exhaust stains like you have?

I was going to ask you about this as well :)

Btw

great looking model.

The weathering and paintig are spot on!!

:goodjob:

I can not wait until i start my own Defiant

Cheers

Pawel

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Well, I suppose it looks good enough, Stew, even if you didn't follow my advice of loading up your airbrush with black then just spraying blindly until the jar ran dry ("None blacker."). Actually, it (they) look(s) brilliant! I've always had a strange liking for the Defiant, not despite its relative lack of success, but perhaps because of its generally looney concept - "Hey, everybody! Wouldn't it be brilliant if we made a fighter that couldn't shoot forward!" Something like a bomber that didn't actually drop bombs, but landed on its target, then gently placed the bombs down.

Regards,

Jason

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Nice job Stew, I really like wot you've done with these. I'm not trying to be an awkward git ( happens naturally. :lol:) but looking at the photo of N3313 in your link, I reckon the serial is MSG the same as the code. ........just sayin' :)

Steve.

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Any tips on getting the exhaust stains like you have?

I was going to ask you about this as well :)

...

TW, Pawel, firstly it relies on having a dual-action airbrush and a compressor with a pressure regulator. If you don't have those things, buy some pastels in suitable colours from an art shop (the hard ones, not the oily ones), rub the selected pastel onto a scrap of sandpaper and stipple a bit on with an old stubbly brush prior to the final coat of varnish.

If you do have a dual-action airbrush and a pressure regulator on your compressor, set it up so that the airbrush will be mostly spraying air at a very low pressure - as low as it will go and still put paint out is my preference, then you can get the airbrush to within millimetres of the kit to do your spraying and make a very thin line.

The paint mix is important too - I use about 60% cellulose thinner, 35% matt varnish and about 5% of the exhaust stain colour (in this case it was very pale grey, normally I would do a wider dark layer with a narrower pale grey layer on top but I didn't think it needed it this time). The paint is very thin so it can be sprayed at very low pressure and the varnish thins the pigment of the paint without making it too 'watery'.

If you have set it up right, you should be able to spray from... well it's up to you, but usually more or less 5mm away and not really be able to see a result until you have gone over it two or three times, and from there building up until it is as dirty as you are happy with - don't try to do it in one pass, it will be too uniform, and don't worry if your hand shakes, it will add a random factor (in fact shake your hand a little if it doesn't shake on its own).

For the colour part I tend to use RLM66 or Panzer Grey or some equivalent of that, sometimes with a touch of Dark Earth mixed in, for the base layer and something between Medium Sea Grey and Sky Grey for the narrower shorter layer. If you can find reference material showing how the exhaust staining looks on the aircraft you are building so much the better. The darker part of the staining tends to show up better on lighter paint schemes and the lighter shows up better on dark paint schemes, of course :) - here darker:

DSCN0588b.jpg

and here lighter...

DSCN2439b.jpg

I still haven't perfected it mainly because I don't pay attention to what settings I have things on so have to do it by ear every time, but it is a reliable method and usually looks better on the kit than it does in the pictures which don't seem to care much for subtle shade and tonal variation :lol:

I'd certainly recommend that you try it on something old that you don't mind messing up first.

Sorry for all the wall of text, I hope you do find this useful.

Cheers,

Stew

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This looks great as well as your first one, in fact I would say it has the edge over it.

Martin

Thanks very much Martin :D it did take about twice as long, so that's gratifying to hear :)

Nice Defiants Stew.

Thanks very much Steve :)

Well, I suppose it looks good enough, Stew, even if you didn't follow my advice of loading up your airbrush with black then just spraying blindly until the jar ran dry ("None blacker."). Actually, it (they) look(s) brilliant! I've always had a strange liking for the Defiant, not despite its relative lack of success, but perhaps because of its generally looney concept - "Hey, everybody! Wouldn't it be brilliant if we made a fighter that couldn't shoot forward!" Something like a bomber that didn't actually drop bombs, but landed on its target, then gently placed the bombs down.

Regards,

Jason

Thanks Jason, while I liked the forthright manly no-nonsense directness of your (or the Taps') "none-blacker" approach I have all these paints and I damn well insist on using as many of them as possible. As for the commissioning of the Defiant, I reckon the success of the Bristol Fighter had a lot to answer for in that respect, though in fairness it did have a forward firing gun...

Nice job Stew, I really like wot you've done with these. I'm not trying to be an awkward git ( happens naturally. :lol:) but looking at the photo of N3313 in your link, I reckon the serial is MSG the same as the code. ........just sayin' :)

Steve.

Thanks very much Steve :) - you know you could very well be right about the serials being painted in Medium Sea Grey... overall I am somewhat less than totally impressed by Print Scale :fraidnot:, but still, I had fun building the kits and it kept me out of mischief for a couple of weeks :D

Cheers,

Stew

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Stew, I love your model, well done. As I knew they would, the beautifully done figures really lift and brighten the whole aeroplane.

Militarily, the inexplicable thing is that the Air Ministry outright *ignored* the lesson of the Bristol Fighter. The BrisFit initially had a poor combat record because it was assigned to existing two-seater squadrons and crews flew it much like any other two seater, cruising around the sky on whatever duties were assigned and being shot at by the opposition. The breakthrough came when they realised that they should operate it like a 'single-seater plus' -- fly it aggressively and dynamically, using the forward armament as much as possible, as if it were a big SE5a, and use the rear gunner as a bonus to keep the tail clean and get in any opportunistic shots he could, rather than being the primary fighting element.

At that point the BrisFit became an outstanding combat success.

Edited by Work In Progress

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Thanks for the tips on the exhausts Stew. Last one I did I sprayed a thing grey using 'tyre grey' then scrubbing some pastels so trial an error. I think I've just perfected coloring exhausts mind you which I'm chuffed about.

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Thanks for the tips on the exhausts Stew. Last one I did I sprayed a thing grey using 'tyre grey' then scrubbing some pastels so trial an error. I think I've just perfected coloring exhausts mind you which I'm chuffed about.

Yes, 'tyre grey' would be a good choice, along with the varnish and plenty of air though; you don't really want a solid application of paint, but a translucent layer :)

Cheers,

Stew

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Stu, loved watching these come together, I think you've been a great asset for Airfix, they must of sold quite a few more on the back of your build :)

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Thanks bbudde, it is a great little kit :)

Thanks Neil, I don't think Airfix will need any help shifting these, I think they might have underestimated demand for them if anything... I'm really glad you enjoyed the builds though, as I have enjoyed all your Bomber Command builds :)

Cheers,

Stew

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