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Yet another Bristol Beaufort Mk 1- Completion in doubt!


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Back in 1963 Frog released their kit of the Beaufort and I built one (not very well) shortly afterwards – probably the 1965 reboxing. It went the way of a lot of my early kits – into the bin, and about 30 years go I had another go. I tarted up the cockpit and managed to recess the torpedo, though without any doors, but that still left the weird tapered plain cowlings that Frog included. I tried to build them up with filler but abandoned that and oddly enough I came across them in one of my numerous spares boxes not long ago. Instead I replaced them with a pair of old Airfix Beaufighter “TF-X” cowlings, also from a spares box, which were left over from when I did the Airfix Magazine conversion of an old Lancaster to a Manchester and then used the outer Merlins to make a Beaufighter Mk II. Yes, I know they were wrong for the Beaufort but they were a lot better than the kit offering – here it is-

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I did not bother with the High Planes or Special Hobby versions but when I heard Airfix were finally going to release one last year I raided my pension and pre-ordered one. It finally arrived not long after I first became aware of this GB but my wife confiscated it as she decided she would make it a birthday pressie for me, but I eventually got my hands on it so, having watched several other people build it I thought it was time I had a shot at it. By now you have seen it many times before so I won't bother with a sprue shot but for the record here is the box!

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No doubt it will be exactly the same as at least one already in this GB, but what the heck. I have not decided which version I am going to build so maybe I will come up with something slightly different - need to check my various references! Perhaps a Coastal Command one with sky unders instead of the black in the kit - we will see.

 

Cheers

 

Pete

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  • PeterB changed the title to Yet another Bristol Beaufort Mk 1

We can never have too many Beauforts! :)Looking forward to seeing how this one goes together, Peter. And your old Frog build looks great!

 

Cheers,

Mark

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  • 3 weeks later...

It has taken a while to complete a couple of other builds, and to get my F-16 to the point when it is nearly complete with just over a week to the deadline, so with the decks pretty well cleared I have made a start on the Beaufort. I imagine you have seen quite a few shots of the interior on other builds by now, so I have left it until it is finished before taking a pic.

 

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 As expected it went together pretty well, the only slightly vague fit being the navigator's table in the nose which for some reason Airfix do not provide the usual before and after fixing "3D" drawings of. I am going to need a little PPP I suspect, but not much - the panel/door over the optional waist gun is not quite as good a fit as I would have expected.

 

Whatever, it is pretty good so far.

 

Pete

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As previously reported the fit is generally very good, but not perfect. The gap between the upper part of the rudder and the vertical tail seems a bit big, and I had to file the first 1cm of the top of the nacelles to make them fit properly with the top part on the wing, to avoid a step..

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The engines are a bit tricky as other modellers have warned, not helped in my case by the "keyhole" locating slot on the starboard nacelle being not moulded quite right. There are locating pins/slots but they can get lost/filled up with paint - you have no choice but to paint the parts before assembly,  but my biggest problem was working out the corrrect alignment - Airfix do provide "drawings" in the instructions showing how the two rows of cylinders fit together and how they locate on the nacelles, but to my mind they should perhaps also show front views of the completed engine assemblies so that you can see the correct alignment of the cylinders in relation to what I presume are the exhaust collecting rings, and to the nacelles - they are both different! I got there in the end but it could have been easier. The wings are just a push fit at the moment and I have fitted the "internal" parts of the undercarriage - the rest looks as if it may be a little weak but I suppose CA will help.

 

As you can see I have filled in the hand-holds on the Starboard upper fuselage as it appears they are incorrect.

 

Cheers

 

Pete

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Is there a particular reason why you deviated from the instructions and painted the engine's central gear casings grey? They should be same-gloss ( satin ) black.

 

 

 

Chris

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Force of habit I guess Chris - now you have pointed out my error I will correct it sometime. I know that the front outer ring on the cowling was tarnished natural metal but any idea what colour the inner collecting ring and struts should be - Airfix say gun metal?

 

Pete 

Edited by PeterB
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For myself, I'd paint the inner ring the same as the outer exhaust ring and paint the struts gunmetal. In most photos, the struts are a light colour.

 

Now, sometimes the outer rings was over-painted with a black stove enamel type paint, to cover the glow of hot metal, on aircraft that operated at night or in low-light conditions. Some Coastal Command aircraft that were mostly white, a white stove enamel paint was used. In either case, the inside ring would be heat-stained steel.

 

This may help explain it:

 

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As for the engine gear casing colour, all Bristol built engines from the early 1930's to sometime post-WW2, were always that semi-gloss black.

 

A link: 

 

 

Chris

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I had a bit of a problem with the nose glazing - probably my own fault not the kit. There are 4 pieces and I thought fitting all of them at once would allow me to adjust the fit easier. In fact the small piece on the starboard side was a pain as it kept getting moved as I put the other bits on - with hindsight I should perhaps have stuck the canopy and that bit on first and left them to dry. I ended up with a bit of a gap which I have filled, and there is a step where the canopy and the front top section meet which was not obvious until I started putting paint on.

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I need to put on another coat of the green and make a few "adjustments" but it is getting there. Incidentally, I don't remember it being mentioned before but there seems to be a mistake on the painting instruction sheet - the green "stripe" at the rear of the wing is shown going well in front of the turret in the starboard view, but through it in the upper view! The circular window in the above pic fell out when I was putting the mask on, so I glued it back with dfifficulty, but it seems to be rather more "recessed" than the ones on the other side. Odds on it will fall out again when I try to take the mask off, but I can always use Krystal Kleer instead.

 

Everybody who has built this kit on the forum says it is well engineered and a good fit, but I have found one slight exception. The air tail on the torpedo is just a butt fit with a small contact area so it is a bit fragile - just like the real thing I suppose as it was meant to break off when it hit the sea.

 

I compared this kit with the old Frog one and they are both quite similar in terms of span and length. The main differences are that the horizontal tail on the Frog one has less chord, and its forward fuselage is rather wider - I always thought it looked a bit fat.

 

Cheers

 

Pete

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Yet another it maybe, but after so long with few quality/affordable options of this aircraft I say the mores the merrier! In fact can you even have too many!

 

looking great so far.

 

Rob

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  • 2 weeks later...

Unfortunately, unless we happen to get an extension, I rather think I will not manage to complete this one before the deadline. For the last week I have been unwell and although the Covid 19 test has come back negative. it will be at least another week before I have had all other the tests the doctor has got lined up for me In the meantime I am rather like a zombie - totally knackered and prone to just switching off for quite long periods. I may improve in a few days and start working on the kit again, but I do not intend to rush it - I have been waiting a good few years for this to finally arrive and I don't want to make a mess of it!

 

Pete

Edited by PeterB
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  • PeterB changed the title to Yet another Bristol Beaufort Mk 1- Completion in doubt!

Thanks Adrian.

 

Actually I might just manage it  as I am feeling a little better today. It is beginning to look as if at least part of the problem is down to the side effects of some medication I had been prescribed a couple of months ago. I am still tired and short of breath but since I stopped taking those particular pills it is nowhere near as bad as it was and I am now managing to get some sleep - before it was as if somebody was standing on my chest as soon as I lay down and I spent half the night struggling to breathe! I guess that is the problem with medication - most if not all of it can have side effects in some people. The silly thing is that that pills in question are only needed to counteract the known side effect of some others I am taking - can't ruddy win.

 

Pete

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