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1/72 Beaufighter MK1F


whisky42
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Fairly straightforward. Alley Cat Models do a Beaufighter I conversion set for the new Airfix Mk.X. You don't get the antennae though. Also, the Airfix kit isn't great.

 

John.

 

Update: Owl make photo etch aerials.

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How about a list of the differences between the Mk.I and the more readily available Mk.X? ?

 

Fully closed cupola rather than the armed version.

Flat tailplane rather than dihedral - I suspect they have the same span in plan view.

Different collector ring/exhaust

Full 6-gun wing armament

Radar antennae if relevant (usually are)

Different interior to match different radar fit

Different IFF aerials - perhaps others too.

 

There may be more - anyone?  I'm certain that there will be more detail differences - aircraft are like that - but how many will matter to you?  The detail fit of the Mk.I will vary from early production to late, but I don't know of any source that details this.

The Alley Cat conversion does not show the cupola.

High Planes kits, nice though they are,  do normally require considerably more attention than mainstream kits - just what is so "off" about making the Airfix Beaufighter?

 

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The engine cowlings on the Mk.X had the small bulges to accommodate the rocker arms, while the Mk.I's didn't - but it's not a big deal to sand them off. The Mk.I would likely have spinners, which were different to those fitted (when they were fitted) to the Mk.X. While the dihedral tailplanes probably did have the same span as the flat ones, in the sense that both projected the same distance from the aircraft's centreline, their length from root to tip would be greater? So it's not simply a matter of cutting off the locating tabs and cementing them on at right angles to the fin.

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The dihedral tailplanes have an extension at the root.  This has to be removed for the flat tailplane, and presumably some area removed from the elevator to allow full rudder movement. I do not know what, if any, other changes were made between the Mk.I and the Mk.X - discounting the final change during Mk.X to elevators of larger area without the obvious horn balances.  You may have to check which elevators come with your Mk.X kit.

Edited by Graham Boak
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7 hours ago, johnd said:

Also, the Airfix kit isn't great.

 

1 hour ago, Graham Boak said:

just what is so "off" about making the Airfix Beaufighter?

 

 

I've seen some moaning about the fit of the Airfix Beaufighter,  is this what you refer too, or an accuracy problem?

Also, the the  fit problems have been reported by some and other  have said they are fine.

Just saying " the Airfix kit isn't great."  is not very helpful

I had memories of someone having a problem, ah here we go

I see you had problems John, and others didn't.   

 

On 27/11/2016 at 22:50, tonyot said:

Jusr follow the instructions carefully for your first one and you`ll be fine,.......it all slots together if you do as the instructions say, especially when lining up the exhaust ring. I would say to leave out the triangular undercarriage mounts until you fit the rest of the u/c as they have a habit of falling out and getting lost. The cockpit canopy can be hard to remove from the sprues and it is slightly too fat for the fuselage towards the rear when fitted,.......it can be pushed in on some kits, not on others,.....so pot lock there. Also.....use snippers to remove the parts as the plastic is rather soft,

 

I`ve built aound five now!

 

Good luck,

                Tony 

 

there maybe a quality control issue with some of the kit canopies,  as Tony notes.

 

HTH

T

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Yes, sorry, was going to elaborate. As far as I know, the kit is accurate. I just found it a very disappointing build based on the fit of the parts, especially the engines and canopy. The latter was the last straw, really, as you can chop, sand and fill your way around everything else though it shouldn't be necessary on a modern kit. I know to keep paint off mating surfaces on the modern Airfix offerings and dry fit parts first but to no avail.

 

John.

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I've built 3 of the Airfix Beaus (bought on my own coin) and even wrote a review article on it for SAMI.  The only fit problems I had were getting the cowlings to fit round the engine pieces.  One of the resulting seams is hidden by the exhaust, but the other has needed filling.  Far from insuperable, imho.  The fit of the rest was exemplary using ordinary modelling procedures (dry fitting, scraping glue and vestigial mould seams from mating surfaces, etc).

 

I've never built the HP models Beau, but I have built their Seafire.  Great result, but it took some building.  Also, looking at some very competently built versions of the HP Beau ast Telford last year leads me to think there's something odd looking about the placing of the cockpit in relation to the nose and the rest of the front fuse.  

 

Regards

 

Martin  

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I'm not the only one to have trouble with the engines and canopy. Tony O'Toole reported the latter as being too wide at the rear, needing squeezing in to fit. Others have commented on the 'power egg' to wing fit and the three part cowling though it's a while since I touched it and don't remember who. An example of the brain deleting trauma? :smile:

 

John.

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I'm currently using the Alley Cat MkI conversion, it's pretty much a drop-fit replacement for the Airfix parts and includes, as well as the tailplane, replacement cowling fronts and exhausts. The non-armed read canopy is included in the Airfix kit, which also has six ejector ports. The leading edge doesn't have gun ports but you can drill holes in the leading edge or just paint the area red.

 

(Edit)

I've made the standard MkX as well, the three-part cowlings were 'tricky' but I don't remember a problem with the canopy. I also have a High Planes MkII, which I very much doubt it will be as easy or easier than the Airfix one, and a Hasegawa, which is not as accurate as the Airfix (or so I understand) but might be an easier build.

Edited by Beard
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18 minutes ago, johnd said:

I'm not the only one to have trouble with the engines and canopy. Tony O'Toole reported the latter as being too wide at the rear, needing squeezing in to fit. Others have commented on the 'power egg' to wing fit and the three part cowling though it's a while since I touched it and don't remember who. An example of the brain deleting trauma? :smile:

 

John.

John,

 

I hope you don't feel I was trying to deny your experience of the kit; merely wished to share mine too, which was quite different.

 

Regards

 

Martin

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Hi Martin,

 

no, I didn't think that. I can only speak as I find and it's frustrating that the rest of the world breezes through the kit and I struggle. I'm pleased that it's popular and it builds well for others. I don't have an agenda, I love Airfix, I love Beaufighters (my Dad made undercarriage legs for them) and wanted to make the Firedog version and a rocket armed SEAC one too. Maybe a second attempt is called for.

 

John.

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15 hours ago, johnd said:

In fact, there's this: https://www.hpmhobbies.com/high-planes-bristol-beaufighter-nf-mk-if-kit-1-72/

 

The High Planes Beaufighters are no harder to build than the Airfix ones and transfers are included.

 

John.

Hi Whisky42,

 

Your options appear to be

 

1. Get the High Planes Kit

2. Convert the Airfix kit (perhaps with the Alley Cat conversion)

3. Wait for the MPM boxing of the Hasegawa kit.

 

Regarding each of these options.

 

1. - The High Planes kit is accurate but I wouldn't say it is "no harder" than the Airfix kit. I've built the Mk II and there is considerable work on it. I can't confirm it will be "no harder" than the Airfix but I'll find out soon enough as I plan to convert an Airfix kit to a Mk VI. Here's a link to the Mk II which has a link to another site with a WIP:

Note: I cheated and stole a whole lot of spare parts I have with a boxing of a Hasegawa Mk X

 

2. I'll find out soon - I want to build a RAAF Mk VI and I think this path will be faster/easier than breaking open my High Planes kit. The High Planes kit also will need a bit of work in the interior and wheel wells if you want to match up the Airfix kit. Also the engines are half relief on the High Planes kit rather than full engines. I plan to try and fit some Resin Hercules engines in my Airfix build.

 

3. I've also built the Hasegawa kit. Mine was a Mk X but I expect a boxing of a Mk I would be similar. It will go together really easily and looks great. The only issues are availability/price (MPM boxing may fix this) and questions about it's accuracy. I've been told that it's a bit anaemic compared to the High Planes kit (This was straight from the mouth of the original founder of High Planes) and I expect also compared to the Airfix kit. Here's a built up Hasegawa kit for comparison.

 

 

Hope this helps

 

Michael

 

Edited by Michael louey
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I have to admit that I'm in the 'my Beaufighter fit together quite nicely' camp. I can't speak for the Blenheim as I don't have any of those. I do have the High Planes Beaufighter Mk.IC, and although it looks like it will take some work, it also looks rather accurate and I fully intend on building mine.

 

Regards,

 

Jason

Edited by Learstang
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Some comments about building the High Planes Beau from another place:

 

https://www.tapatalk.com/groups/airfixtributeforum/high-planes-1-72-beaufighter-mk-if-hpm7285-t29842.html

 

I still think there is something funny looking about the relationship between the HPM cockpit and the nose.  Glazing looks too far back (deep set is the phrase that comes to mind) and sits 'high' on a too deep nose.  Unless my eyes completely deceive me, if this is correct then Airfix, Hasegawa, Matchbox 

et al are 'wrong'.

 

Anyone got any evidence to refute?

 

Regards

 

Martin

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