Jump to content

Early Beaufighter IF, Tamiya 1/48


Recommended Posts

This build is looking really good.  The care and attention to the camouflage masking is second to none ..... unlike my freehand technique on a Hurricane I'm working on. 

 

This will be impressive when it's done! 

 

Keith  😁

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks Keith

 

I am the world’s worst freehand airbrusher, which is why I use masks. Speaking of which I thought I was clever finding a fin flash I could adapt to use on the Beau, and avoid the tedious process of masking and painting them on. Turns out I don’t have any suitably sized Squadron codes in the decal bank, and replacements ordered have been held up in the Great Royal Mail International Letter and Parcel Catastrophe of 2023 - so its back to masking and spraying for the Codes. At least this way they will actually be Medium Sea Grey and not some random interpretation by a decal printer!😃

 

in the photos they look a lot bigger than the fuselage roundels, but they are only a fraction of a millimetre or so bigger. They sit just a little higher than the base of the roundel, and that makes them look bigger than they are. The old Dulcimus ‘Beaufighters in Northern Europe’ suggests that they were about three feet high, and that sounds about right. I tried to use some 1/32 masks that scaled out about right, but they looked too thick to my eye, so I cut my own. They will look a bit homemade, but you can see the wobbles in the originals as well in close up.

 

cheers

 

Steve

 

p?i=c296886622bb3e79ee35a19c502d8be8

 

p?i=768f5394fea5a2090df85d89bf3546b8

 

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

And the port side finished. Colourcoats Medium Sea Grey sprayed carefully and at very low pressure. As mentioned, a bit wiggly, but good enough I hope.

I don’t actually have a photo of the port side, but I have seen photos of 25 Sqn Blenheims and they have the Squadron codes forward on the port side so I hope this is also true of the Beaufighters.

 

p?i=8a162f2bb00cb4a070e772699081a809
p?i=8a02603e51c47cceddffda8b52383500

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Getting there. Working on the bits and bobs after finishing decalling. The CMK early wheels are rather nice, but need sleeving down to fit the axles of the Tamiya kit (they are meant for the Revell Beau). I glued in aluminium ‘bearings’ made from aluminium rod drilled out to match the axle diameter. Not sure about the prominent axial ribbing on the tyres for early aircraft, but have left it alone. I will weather the tyres down a bit before fitting them.

p?i=5f326cf9f1f27e25db1bda802354ec98
 

Aerials and pitot tube. The aerial is modified from the kit item to depict the VHF aerial under the cockpit, I added some hollow brass tube to fancy up the pitot, and the blade gunsight ( can’t think what else it could be) that sits in front of the cockpit is made from squashed brass tubing, sanded to profile.

p?i=5f43160144fe82936e38432de0d2108b
 

next comes the flory grime wash, them we are on the home stretch!

 

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Its always hard to believe at this point that the muck will come off. But it does. Its the Flory ‘Dark Dirt’, which is quite black, with some ‘Grime’ mixed in to make it slightly less stark. It WILL be mostly coming off as this was a very new aircraft at the start of its squadron service.

 

p?i=c946b9bcd403e72a9cf5e56edb464403
 

p?i=e687eb03318e245aaac5a5af870a6ab0

  • Like 8
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Flicking forward a bit as things move fast at the end of a build.  Flory wash rubbed in and mostly removed using cotton tips and slightly dampened paper towel. Lots of removal of bits and stray fibres via soft brush with both vacuuming and blowing with an airbrush. Undercart and doors attached. Observer’s perspex dome on as well as all of the aerials. Oh, and new trim tab actuators fitted. Final flat coat completed. Currently I am using Revell enamel matt, in this case with a little gloss mixed in for the slightest of sheens - just enough to keep it from being dead flat. Airbrush enthusiastically waved about at a reasonable distance until I am happy with the look.

 

Transparencies unmasked. Some dry paint has crept under the masks, but easily removed with a dampened cotton bud. Cockpit framing tidied up with the worst of the missed spots touched in, and other bits outside the frame lines removed with a shapened stick of wood. All this is easily done as the original dipping of the canopies in an Acrylic clear (in this case the AK Gauzy Intermediate stuff) makes it easy to scrape mistakes off without damaging the canopy. Props on. Rather than using the kit spinners I have gone with a couple of spare Rotol spinners from Eduard Spitfires. Not strictly correct, but they have a better rounded profile for the early Beau spinners than the Tamiya ones, which are late war/post war. I may replace them with the Grey Matter resin ones now that the Royal Mail has started to deliver again.

 

As a critical note to self, I wouldn’t bother with the cannon drum mods in the observer’s section if I do this again. They are quite invisible.  I would spend more time in the cockpit, as it is still quite visible despite the additional framing of the early style canopy. 

 

One more step to go - some very gentle wear and tear around removable panels, some exhaust staining and maybe a bit of dripping oil, and we’re there!

 

p?i=124750b285e0065622ed0e915c7c7798

p?i=fa05f9993ee8c41a8a44f622833cc9c9
p?i=f4411323dc5d72c18c802a219f97a569
p?i=7fb9efca89ff1b071f28bb1c4904fb2c

  • Like 6
Link to comment
Share on other sites

And this will be the final entry for the WIP. I used a prismacolor silver pencil to add some discrete chipping to the places even a new aircraft would experience wear and tear. Fuel fillers, removable panels around the engine, crew entry points, minor dings on the leading edges and wing roots. The sorts of things that on a new plane you would sigh at and then grit your teeth, knowing that tomorrow they will be just that much worse!

 

A very little Tamiya weathering pastel soot underneath the wings for the beginnings of exhaust staining, and a few Humbrol gloss oil stain streaks underneath the engine nacelles. There have to be oil drips, it’s British. No dramatic powder stains on this one, not even sure it had fired its guns by this stage.
 

And one final detail, and possible difference between early Beaufighters and later ones. The Wing Leader photos show two distinct bumps under the rear fuselage where the downward facing identity lights would be. I have modelled these as ‘acorn’ style lights, rather than the recessed lights typical of later Beaus. I pushed melted clear plastic sprue up through the teardrop shaped holes that Eduard conveniently provide on the frames of their 1/32 scale Spitfire photo etch, cut them off, painted the bottoms amber or silver, and glued them on. You can also model round domed lights by this method by just doing the same with any round hole present on an etched fret.

 

Finished!

 

I will do the Ready for Inspection shots in about a fortnight, after an ill-deserved holiday by the sea. I would at least like to set up some grass mat and a sky background for these.

 

cheers

 

Steve

 

p?i=8b459591d15cc7821de230654f6b31e2
 

 

p?i=e3739856f63292c6b13ec7ccea8f0117

 

 

 

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...