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AdrianMF

A sacrifice to the Plastic Modelling Gods - Airfrog Beaufort- FINISHED

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Hello All,

 

Just got back from 2 weeks away for work. When your buddy collects you for 13 days straight from the hotel at 0630 to take you to the lab and you choose your dinner after work on the basis of "what's still open?", there isn't much hotel room modelling going on.

 

Today is my first day with free time for what seems like a long time. I went to the Southern Expo today and saw some cool stuff and made a couple of modest purchases, then came home in the snow and got to the bench.

 

Choices, choices. I could take RFI pics of my Bristol Blenheim and 188, crack on with the rather horrible Tomy/Airfix Storch, pick something else up from the Shelf of Shame, or work on a Big Project I've been mulling over. All fine choices.

 

nah. Something new. It has been bugging me for a long time.

 

I haven't decided whether this is going to fly or not (I already know it's a really stupid idea) so I will post the first photo and sleep on it:

IMG_7799.jpg

 

Thanks for looking,

Adrian

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Something on a Matchbox Beaufighter? I'm agog with anticipation & speculation. :)

Steve.

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I think it's the Airfix Beau, the new one... but beyond that, I'm mystified... :huh:

 

Glad you got a bit of time off anyway Adrian, hope you had a good time at the Southern Expo?

 

Cheers,

 

Stew

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I can see its a chopped up Beaufighter kit but haven't a clue what's going on. No change there I hear you all cry!

 

Muddled of Mars

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Not a Matchbox as that has the thimble nose, perhaps it's a conversion to the Spirit of Britian First the for runner of the Blenhiem but with a mid mounted wing?

 

      Roger 

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Or the Bristol Type157 Beaufighter  "sports model"?

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13 hours ago, Procopius said:

This isn't the start of a Beaufort conversion, is it?

Give that man an unreasonably large, garish and badly made cuddly toy! You have shot all the ducks and hit the bell.

 

(I've always thought that there should be a name for the fear of large soft toys, to go along with coulrophobia.)

 

I do indeed want a Beaufort. HPM and Special Hobby kits are as rare as rocking horse rose fertiliser and Airfix are not being cooperative.

 

Perhaps a build from Hell offered at the altar will get them to pull their finger out...

 

So, Frog it is then.

IMG_7813.jpg

This is the "spin a prop" version which has been butchered to make things fit, and the moulding looks old and tired. I have a much nicer "3 view" release in the stash somewhere. 

 

References? I have this, the interweb and "Aircraft of the Fighting Powers", all volumes. 
IMG_7814.jpg

 

The Warpaint plans seem to agree pretty well with photos of the real thing so I am using them as a reference.

 

First up, the fuselage:
IMG_7815.jpg

 

Not it that bad in profile at the back, but the front is totally wrong. This for me is the main problem.

 

That's not to say there aren't other problems. The cowlings, compared to the plans and the cowlings from the new Airfix Beaufighter, which incidentally are the same size as the plan. 
IMG_7819.jpg

(Taurus was 46" dia vs 55" for the Hercules, but there's the part and there's the plan...)

 

propeller is too small (should be 12'6" dia) and the engine is the awful generic Frog thingy).
IMG_7822.jpg

 

Tailplanes and elevators are undersized:
IMG_7825.jpg

 

Wings aren't bad but they need work in the nacelle area, the tips are off and the oil coolers are misplaced.
IMG_7826.jpg

 

The nacelles are way too small and misshapen. The instructions want you to install the down undercarriage in a slot in front of the wheel well, but there's no slot.
IMG_7827.jpg

 

 

Hmmm....

 

I bought a cheapish new Airfix Beaufighter yesterday. The wings, tail and undercarriage of the Beaufighter were adapted from the Beaufort units, so there is lots of commonality between the two.

 

The wings match the plans perfectly, so let's get rid of the mid-mounted nacelles:

IMG_7801.jpg

 

The spare open wing option from my folded Wildcat provides me with the same type of plastic, which needs a little trimming and bending to fit in:
IMG_7802.jpg
IMG_7804.jpg

 

I got the hang of removing the nacelle cleanly. The great thing about the Beaufighter kit is that I can do this and leave the undercarriage well and mounting intact:
IMG_7805.jpg

 

Altough you do have to thin the wells down at front and back:
IMG_7806.jpg

 

All done, with reinforcing plates across the joins, taking care not to interfere with the spar path:
IMG_7807.jpg

 

Leave those to dry for a long time before filling,

sanding and scribing:
IMG_7808.jpg

 

I can re-use the nacelle fronts for the new nacelles later.

 

The Beaufighter kit offers two kinds of extended dihedral tailplanes. I took the earlier sort and cut them back to the original no dihedral short style, first one down:
IMG_7809.jpg

 

And the second, both perpendicular to airflow with no sweep:
IMG_7811.jpg

 

I still have to fill and rescribe the tabs. I removed the balance tab pushrods and rescribed the hinge:
IMG_7812.jpg

 

 

Oh yeah, fuselage....

 

Well plan A was to scratch it using a bit of the Beaufighter tail as far as the tail wheel well:

IMG_7829.jpg

 

But then I thought about the Frog fuselage. The front is massively wrong, it has some weird boatlike curvature between the awful front cockpit and the turret and it's crude, but it has some good points:

- it reproduces well the belling out of the lower fuselage around the bomb bay

- it is made from pretty thick plastic that will take a lot of reworking

- it has the upper and lower camouflage demarcation clearly marked with a raised line so that will make painting a lot easier!

 

So let's have a go first with the Frog fuselage - if it doesn't work out I haven't lost a lot, and I will understand the shapes a lot more:

IMG_7828.jpg

 

First step is a cut in the cockpit to bend the fuselage down at the nose. A little extra length in here too perhaps. This puts things in better relation to each other but there is much more to do!

 

Thanks for looking,

Adrian

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Crikey this is going to be very interesting.  I'm in.   Great work so far.  You will just finish and a new one will be released !!!

Although your satisfaction will be greater in the creation of a lovely model. 

Good luck with your build. 

All the best 

Chris 

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Oh boy, I'm hearing Charlie Sheene from "Apocalypse Now": "I wanted a mission, and for my sins, they gave me one..."

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Uh, well, I was going to say, since I feel guilty for letting @CedB down on the Hunter front recently, I owe the modelling gods one and might have a second Special Hobby kit in the ol' stash, but, uh, carry on...

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15 minutes ago, Procopius said:

carry on

The madness is upon me. For many years I have periodically pulled this out of the cupboard and put it back again quickly. Once I have built it I will be free!

 

Regards,

Adrian

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17 hours ago, Stew Dapple said:

hope you had a good time at the Southern Expo?

I did thanks! Friday was family stuff and the Expo yesterday was a nice short drive in the snow with some nice exhibits and a few vendors. Four hours door to door and a manageable size, unlike SMW! My favourite piece was this:

IMG_7798.jpg

A captured 88mm with US tractor, with superb snow effects.

 

Thanks,

Adrian

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Great stuff going on here Adrian, I'll watch and learn if I may :)

 

PC please don't worry that you've let me down! You're busy with other things at the moment (!!) and, you'll remember, I was the lucky recipient of a Beaufort from you in the recent past! (Must get on with the Beaufighter...) :)

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This will be rather special. Count me in as a cheering bystander.

 

Trevor

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Between this:

On 18/03/2018 at 12:41 AM, AdrianMF said:

to take you to the lab

and this:

11 hours ago, AdrianMF said:

IMG_7807.jpg

 

The spirit of V. Frankenstein hovers over this build...

 

Inspired work Adrian, positively inspired.:clap:

  • Like 4
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  • Haha 3

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10 hours ago, TheBaron said:

The spirit of V. Frankenstein hovers over this build...

That's fronkensteen!

 

(Some readers may be a bit too young to realise what I mean here)

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4 hours ago, Pete in Lincs said:

young

That's not an enormous Schwanstucker, it's just a torpedo...

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My boy, I want to thank you for taking one for the side. You'll just get it posted to RFI and somebody will announce an all-new, all singing, all dancing, Taurus and Wasp optioned Beaufort in 1:72 - you watch!

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Excellent stuff, I have an Encore one awaiting its turn, lots of good tips already! I don’t have a spare Beau but I do have an old Airfix Blenheim, maybe some of that could be used?

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Ambitious and skilled conversion work going on here. You keep raising the bar Adrian!

1. You could have one of these

https://www.hpmhobbies.com/high-planes-bristol-beaufort-mk-i-saaf-raf-kit-1-72/

or even one of these

https://www.kingkit.co.uk/product/special-hobby-aircraft-1-72-72027-dap-beaufort-mkviii-in-raaf-service

2. This pretty much guarantees a new-tool one will emerge before too long..... maybe not this year, but soon.

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