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Bristol Beaufort Mk. I (1/72 new Airfix tooling)


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So I've got this brand new tooling kit from Airfix, after having done some pretty lousy old kits of late, fingers crossed it's a good one. I'm currently doing the recent Airfix Dakota for the Unarmed GB and the fit and detail was great, so I fancied something similar, rather than spending forever feeling like you're fighting against the kit!

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I also got some window masks (didn't fancy masking all those panes by hand) but other than that it's going to be straight OOB.

Will do the whole sprue shot thing once I get around to starting it.

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First chair pulled up to watch your build.

 

I was going to start my Beaufort a while back, but the Boss wanted some house renos done. I'm not doing them, because I'm a worse carpenter than a kit builder.

The biggest reno is in the basement rec-room and bathroom. To redo the floor, everything that could be moved out was, and a lot of it stored in my hobby room. I can barely get my backside in side the room and I can't move the chair enough to sit down at the table. 

 

Maybe in a month I can start.

 

 

 

 

Chris

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Great to see another Beaufort being built and honestly believe that this GB got over the line due to this excellent kits imminent release. From personal experience I can say its a great kit, however like all new tooled Airfix kits just needs a little care and some careful study of the instructions as you go along. Be especially careful lining up the engine parts and do as many dry runs as you need too, before adding cement. There’s a few of us on here who have built her up, so sing out if you need anything clarified. 

Cheers and best of luck.. Dave 

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Quite a few parts in this kit, given its relatively small size...

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Seems there are a couple of options for the turret surround (only one called out in the instructions), plus the instructions have you filing off a bit of faring near the turret, so I'm guessing Airfix are already planning a later variant from these pieces.

Instructions are typical of new Airfix style, decals look OK.

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The only downside so far is they've only included one (pilot) figure for the crew which is a bit disappointing as I'm planning on doing it in flight with the torpedo fitted.

After a few hours I've got the majority of the interior built up, lots of great detail and the fit is excellent.

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I like to do as few airbrush sessions as possible (all that hassle cleaning up), so will build up the turret parts and any other sub-assemblies so I can get them painted at the same time as the interior. I've no idea how I'll manage to mask the turret gun opening with guns in place - will see when we get there, hopefully I can poke some masking tape out from the interior so I can later pull it out if it's a large opening.

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Nice progress on what is a really good new tool Airfix kit. I also try to limit my paint sessions as I mainly use Lacquers and the smell can get to the rest of the family (namely Mrs RL) a bit. Turret and rear fuselage fairing can be a little tricky, however there are a few ways around it. I managed to insert my turret well after painting and pretty much got away with it by inserting and assembling the parts individually. The internal turret drop in parts with ring and gun were added first, then the rear half of the turret, followed by the front half glued in last. I’m sure there’s many other ways too. 
Cheers.. Dave 
 

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OK so a progress...

I painted up the interior, trying some Hataka Orange paints (thinned with self-levelling thinners). I've been doing lots of test fitting as I go along, e.g. with the wing spars as the glue was setting so it should all line up, e.g. below.

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I attached the engine / wheel well nacelles to the wings first, so I could paint the interiors, nicely it appears the left/right ones have individually keyed attachment points for the engines so you don't mess them up.

Getting in the round port windows was a bit faffy - especially where the interior bulk-heads give limited access, I should have done that before! Top tip - put the masking on first, that way you can tell if they've flipped over! They were a tight fit, though I had dipped them to give a clear coat of Pledge first.

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The parts are a great fit, the turret ring is just dropped in for the moment. A bit of detail painting, pilot and control column next then hopefully I can get the glasswork attached.

 

 

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That’s coming up a treat and good to hear the fit is going well. When I did mine other modellers pointed out that the two upper starboard fuselage hand holds are not present on the real aircraft, so I filled mine in. Check some photos if you can. 
Cheers.. Dave

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Managed to get in a bit of bench (well kitchen table) time over the weekend, so I've made a bit of progress...

I got the pilot in and decided to build up the clear parts to keep the interior safe. It was quite time consuming getting all the masks on though probably 100 times less stressful for me using pre-cut masks rather than trying to mask it with just a craft knife and some tape. I went with the risky option of attaching the clear parts with some Tamiya Extra-Thin, hopefully not enough to 'blow' the clarity, rather than the slow drying PVA option. I added a little interior-green on the inside of the large area which won't be clear whilst I was doing a bit of touch-up.

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Turret also painted up and masked, I placed some rolled up tape sticky side out over the gun barrels and pushed the whole thing through the half dome from the inside.

I think in terms of painting it and fitting the shroud I'll need to place it in as a final step and touch up the paintwork by hand as a final step, otherwise it's going to be a bit too tight to remove all that window masking from the back of the turret once it's been fitted, though maybe I could paint the turret back first, then fit it?

Engines also got built up, though they and the wings will get a bit of cleanup before fitting.

I had been planning on building the kit with the torpedo fitted, however the rear end of the torpedo (screw propeller fittings) snapped off, even though I was trying to carefully remove it as far from those fragile looking points as possible!

So well, at least it's saved me a job with masking the bomb-bays, luckily I hadn't already split the pieces for the side doors, so I just fitted the closed doors option, still it probably makes more sense given Airfix have supplied 1/4 of the crew!

spacer.pngControl surfaces and rear stabilizers were also added. 

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So next job will be some filling and joint sanding and deciding whether I'll fit the rear facing, remote controlled gun pod, apparently they were pretty useless so most units removed them fairly quickly once in operation. The kit also has 2 options for the inner control surfaces on the wings, I went with those with the semi-circular extensions which were designed to smooth airflow and aid stability, apparently they were fitted to all British Beauforts after 1941, so maybe not historically correct for the version I'm building? I'm going with the 'sand and spinach' temperate land scheme option I think (since I've got the colours).

 

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Now that’s coming along very well and it reminds me of the good times I had with my kit. The Eduard masks are a really time saver and I had no repaint touch-ups whatsoever when it came to removing them. Now without sounding like a real prat, I think you’ve got one of the engine alignments wrong. The one on the right has the three pronged support resting on the prop hub edge and not in the three small recesses provided. I only know about this because I got both of mine wrong and had to pinch the engines from my second kit once I realised my error. It’s a very easy step to muck up and is a result of small, almost non existent engine tabs that need to all be lined up perfectly from front to back. To be honest, once the prop and spinner go on, you probably won’t even notice it. 
Cheers.. Dave. 
 

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 06/07/2021 at 13:36, Rabbit Leader said:

Now that’s coming along very well and it reminds me of the good times I had with my kit. The Eduard masks are a really time saver and I had no repaint touch-ups whatsoever when it came to removing them. Now without sounding like a real prat, I think you’ve got one of the engine alignments wrong. The one on the right has the three pronged support resting on the prop hub edge and not in the three small recesses provided. I only know about this because I got both of mine wrong and had to pinch the engines from my second kit once I realised my error. It’s a very easy step to muck up and is a result of small, almost non existent engine tabs that need to all be lined up perfectly from front to back. To be honest, once the prop and spinner go on, you probably won’t even notice it. 
Cheers.. Dave. 
 

Urgh - now you mention it, I can see it in the photo. One of the issues was I found the pretty small locating 'nub' on one of the engines and thought it was where I'd dethatched it from the sprue, so sanded it back!

 

 

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4 hours ago, Scargsy said:

Urgh - now you mention it, I can see it in the photo. One of the issues was I found the pretty small locating 'nub' on one of the engines and thought it was where I'd dethatched it from the sprue, so sanded it back!

 


That’s exactly what I did, hence why I can spot them! Not to worry, your’e (we) aren’t the only ones who have had issues at this step. It’s a bit of a pain, but I can easily see how it happens. 
Cheers.. Dave 

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So I've made a bit of progress...

 

After some filling and sanding of the joints, plus the addition of some of the smaller wing detail parts, I sprayed the canopy an initial coat of interior grey-green (to give the interior side the interior colour). however it was apparent I'd not quite aligned all the clear parts so there was a small gap. I filled this with a little bit of putty - hopefully the white won't be too visible on the inside!

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Then for better or worse I decided I'd paint the underside (without priming) using the Hataka Sky (thinned with self-levelling thiiners), The closed undercarriage doors I held in place with some blue-tac so as to get a consistent paint finish over the joins - I'll remove them later to attach the landing gear.

It seemed to do quite a good job -  though there's clearly a spot where something stopped it sticking and it;s not a terribly thick. There's also an area near the engine/undercarriage nacelle where the coat looks different due to the previous paint coat...

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After it dried I sanded back the offending parts and loosely attached the engine housings with some masking tape (from above) before giving it a second coat.

I'd sprayed the engine housings at the same time previously but paint hadn't seemed to adhere very well. One of the housings has 'flopped' underneath in this shot but the colour match seems good.

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 The second coat seems to have smoothed everything out, however my terrible mid-line join at the rear is showing up and there is a tiny 'blob' of excess paint on one wing. Still I think that will do for now, with the underside pretty much sorted I can start worrying about the top side and attach some of the smaller details before painting that (I'll need to mask the belly too).

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I decided I'd need to fit the turret at this point, the cowling however stops the turret being fitted once in place (it's a tight enough squeeze to get it in without the cowling).

I'd previously sprayed the turret with interior grey green, then some olive drab (which I had in the airbrush for other reasons) so hopefully a close enough match if I end up masking some of it.

The turret is a very tight fit, I had hoped I could get it freely rotating so the masks could be removed later however even after sanding the ring edge and removing the lower alignment stub for the turret, it still wouldn't rotate once in place.

In the end I decided I'd remove the rear half masking tape before attaching the cowling - hopefully I can wedge some masking tape or use liquid mask on the rear half when painting the upper surfaces of the plane. Seems I've also blown the clear parts in a couple of places (just on the edge as seen above) but overall not looking too bad - that's going to be from me using plastic cement not PVA!

So the turret cowl is now glued in place so I can do some final fettling, filling and sanding before attaching the smaller details to the roof. 

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Another small amount of progress made over the weekend...

Some top seam filling and sanding and the underside was masked off before applying a coat of Hataka 'Dark Earth'. Realised afterwards that I'd not fitted the top details (rail, antenna, etc.) though possibly that will be easier to paint and attach after masking up for the camo.

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The paint was mixed 50:50 with self levelling thinners and seems to have gone down nice and smoothly. Looks like there could be a couple of blobs where the airbrush has splatted out a big drip - hopefully though they will be on the areas that need to be painted green so I can sand them back. I was thinking of doing a second coat but it appears I might be able to get away without, I'll check once I've left it to fully cure.

The engines I masked up and painted individually just masking at the halfway point - hopefully they will match up nicely when attached but given the compound shapes it's a lot easier to mask/paint them off the body.

The props (not shown) I gave a coat of Alclad gloss black base and wow it is shiny, smooth and gloss! Previously I'd prime underneath, though I saw one of their videos suggesting it can be used as a primer (usually for NMF), clearly that's where I'd gone wrong before!

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So I added a second coat of dark earth, then attached the missing details for the roofline.

I masked up by scaling up the paint diagram, printing it out and copying the pattern to masking tape (first time I've tried this method) - it seemed to go quite well though the instructions pattern didn't seem to line up between side and top views around the turret!

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The green seemed to go down quite well though there's an obvious difference in gloss between that and the brown! Unfortunately the tape did rip up some of the paint - serves me right for skipping the primer coat I guess!

I did some paint touch-up with a brush but urgh this paint doesn't want to play ball - straight out of the dropper bottle it's a bit thick but thinning with self-leveling thinners it just starts attacking the existing paint!

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Hopefully the clear coat might hide some of my ugly lumpiness on the paint touch-up.

Engine nacelles were attached and the wheels/doors too (also lost some paint on the underside).

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So clearcoat next then the decals.

 

 

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Looking good!

 

I had a similar issue with the G-S paint I used last year, during my first airbrush usage. As That was my only bottle of G-S Dark Earth and they don't make it anymore, I didn't finish the build. Next one will use easier to obtain paint.

 

 

 

Chris

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  • 2 weeks later...

I brushed on a coat of Microscale gloss (thinned with Tamiya X20a), then applied the decals. I was a little worried that the green had gone down a little thickly, leaving a step so I made a template for the roundels out of masking tape then placed this where the decals would go and used some fine sand paper to try smooth the joins where the decals would go. It worked somewhat, though I could have clearly sanded it back further.

The decals went on great, though I had issues with the smaller stencils so left them off as my patience was wearing thin by then!

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With the decals on, I brush applied another coat of Microscale gloss before rattle can applying some Mr Topcoat matt, though I ran out and had to hit the bottom with semi-gloss. Once that dried I brushed on some thinned Tamiya flat-clear.

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With the clearcoats dried I applied some Abteilung 'starship filth' (very dark brown/grey) heavily thinned as an oil wash.

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There was just a small amount of swearing involved trying to get the clear wing tip parts attached with super-glue (which always seems to stick more to my fingers than anything else).

Finally I removed the window masks, seems they did a good job (I may have bent the turret guns a little but I'm not going to try and bend them back otherwise they'll probably snap off).

The small port-hole windows I think I've unfortunately 'fogged' when attaching with poly-cement but overall the clear parts seem to have worked well.

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I did manage to knock off the larger aerial (I think that's what it is) but reattached it.

Overall a good fun build, nicely engineered kit, decals went on well, etc.

I could maybe do another coat or two of weathering but I'm happy to leave this where it is now, another finished GB - now on to the next!

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That's turned out lovely and nice to see one in flying mode. When I did mine I realised quite late that a number of antenna related parts were not applied to early built Beauforts, however as there are no photographs of this particular serial, you can get away with any antenna fit. She's come up a treat. 

Cheers and well modelled.. Dave 

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