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Beaufighter MkVIf 46 Sqn.N.Africa


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I've finally decided to enter a Beaufighter.The Beaufighter always seems to be over shadowed by the Mosquito,in the same way the Hurricane is by the Spitfire,it was the RAF's first truly effect nightfighter,with it's fine operational record and pugnacious look it had to be my nightfighter of choice.

The obligatory photographs Hasegawa Beaufighter MkVIf

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I am intending to build my Beaufighter as a MkVIf V8708 or V8502 operated by 46 Sqn taking the markings from the Kits at War decal sheet for the Beaufighter/Mosquito ,they are the two lowest options on the instruction sheet.

I've decide to fit an Aires cockpit interior as the cockpit in the Hasegawa kit is sadly lacking.

Malcolm

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I'llbe watching with interest, I have the same kit, but I'll do a DAF day colour finish on it possibly as per kit. I'm interested to see how the Aries interior goes.

This is one of my favourite planes

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  • 2 weeks later...

At last I've made a start on the Beaufighter. Initially I worked on getting the cockpit tub to fit. The thinning process took the fuselage walls down to the point that they were transparent,on thinning the tub side walls I managed to break through on one side you can see the hole in the photographs,luckily it should be hidden behind a cockpit frame.

Beaufighter4.jpg

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The replacement resin walls that fit behind the cockpit were too small,they also had too great a curvature top to bottom. I attacked them and the fuselage sides with a mini drill but failed miserably to get them to fit,not to be beaten I gave up on the resin walls and built the frames and stringers out of plasticard and sprue. I've used a few resin replacement cockpits including two made by Aires but this one has been by far the most difficult to fit.

Finally the observers seat in the Hasegawa kit is quite chunky I therefore made a replacement out of plasticard.,which you can see in the photograph. I need to do a little tiding up,it will then be on to painting the interior.

Steve,I am not sure I can recommend the Aires cockpit due to the amount of work required to get it to fit. I've two more Hasegawa Beaufighters the next one I build I may try scratch building an interior instead of going down the aftermarket route,if only Eduard offered a Zoom set for the Beaufighter.

Malcolm

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Hi Mal,

I have a couple of shots of V8708/S which were provided by Brian Wilde, taken in flight in late 1943, looking at the port side. My Dear Departed Dad was on the squadron July-Dec the following year, when they were in the standard grey/green finish overall. Can't seem to upload them from my desktop so contact me if you want copies. The Rad/Nav faced rearwards to look at the AI Mk VIII radarscope, IIRC.

Cheers

Tony T

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Tony,

Yes please,I would appreciate any photographs of V8708/S,I've one reasonably clear photograph of her in flight from the Osprey book Beaufighter Aces.

The decal instructions have her upper surfaces as Dark Green/Medium Sea Grey,in the photograph the upper surfaces appear light possibly Dark Earth/Mid Stone? Do you think she may have carried both schemes?

Thanks for the information on the radar operators seat,I had just assumed the seat faced forward in nightfighters.

Thanks

Malcolm

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very nice. I think I should scrap my Revell Beau and search a Hasegawa instead...

Alex

Make sure you have deep pockets because they ain't cheap! Last UK release retailed at over £25 IIRC

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Tony,

Yes please,I would appreciate any photographs of V8708/S,I've one reasonably clear photograph of her in flight from the Osprey book Beaufighter Aces.

The decal instructions have her upper surfaces as Dark Green/Medium Sea Grey,in the photograph the upper surfaces appear light possibly Dark Earth/Mid Stone? Do you think she may have carried both schemes?

Thanks for the information on the radar operators seat,I had just assumed the seat faced forward in nightfighters.

Thanks

Malcolm

Hi Malcolm

One of the shots is the same as that which appears on p.67 of the Osprey book, the other being taken during the same sortie, and they show the upper surface pattern quite well.

The Rad/Nav seat could swivel so I'm not 100% sure now! The kit would fold away, if required, for stowage during take-offs and landings.

I asked Bryan Wild about the camo and he recalled there being the "sand and coffee" scheme with black undersides on some aircraft. I'll need to dig out my files and delve deeper. I should still have Bryan's address in the Debryshire area in that box.

Cheers

Tony T

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A little more progress I managed to get the interior completed. As I've little information on the rear cockpit I am hoping little will be seen once the seats in place.

Beaufighter10.jpg

I've got to agree the Hasegawa Beaufighters are rather expensive but it is possible to pick them up at a reasonable price if you look around,the one I am building now I obtained of E-bay for £8,while last year I bought two from HLJ for £10 a piece,at that time I posted that HLJ were selling them for that price.It's just a pity that this kit is not more readily available.

Malcolm

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  • 2 weeks later...

Well folks as you can see the basic airframe is now together. I used a Quickboost radome which required building up with plasticard and filler as it was under size.

Beaufighter11.jpg

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The insert around the navigators position required a little filler as did the air intakes.

The airframe has had a squirt of primer to check for any problem joints and after sanding I rescribed any lost panel lines.

The next task is to add the glazing, reprime and then I'll give it a splash of paint.

Malcolm

Edited by Mal
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Hi Mal,

Great build.

Can confirm the Rad/Nav faced backwards on both the 'bow and arrow' Beau using AI MkIV, and also the thimble-nosed Beau using AI Mk VIII. Hope you got the later pics with the gear installation.

The info on seating was contained in my father's notes.

Cheers

tony t

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi,

The build continues at my normal glacial rate having applied some paint I thought I'd post a couple of photographs of the result. I've used Xtracolor paints for the upper surface and Tamiya black and red mixed 4/1 for the underside. I've been playing around trying to get a realistic colour for the exhaust collector rings.I think I will go with a mix of gunmetal/black/red and green you can see the colour on the up turned pot at the top of the photograph, any views or comments? I am trying to steer away from straight bronze.

Beaufighter14.jpg

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I am now just waiting for the Kleer to harden then it's on with the decals.

Malcolm

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Hello Malcolm,

Great progress and a very impressive paint job; looking forward to more of your work. From what I can see, your collector ring colour looks very metallic; perhaps it needs a little more red/copper/bronze though? I'm certainly not an expert in these matters and am basing my opinion on a vague 'impression' of what I think it might look like...... sorry to be not very helpful.

Out of interest, may I ask where you bought the Kits At War decals? I'd love to find that sheet for some of the Beaufighter and Mosquito schemes.

Cheers,

Andrew.

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Thanks everyone for the comments,

Andrew,

I bought the decals earlier this year from Hannants, as you have no doubt found they no longer available.

I based the collector ring colour on colour photographs and film of wartime Beaufighters,When not painted the collector ring colour appeared to vary from steel though to metallic black quite often with discoloured areas, as yet I've not found a photograph showing a Beaufighter with bronze coloured collector rings, although of course I stand to be corrected.

I chickened out on this model as I've photographs of this aircraft which appear to show the collector rings painted in Dark Green/Medium Sea Grey/Black.

Malcolm

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Hi Malcolm,

Great info about the collector rings. It's interesting to read about the photographic evidence; thanks very much for sharing the fruits of your research. I've been lazy in assuming that they were what is commonly represented and I will now have a good scout for photos myself.

Many thanks for your addressing the decal question as well; I'll keep hunting for them - it's semi-reassuring that you purchased them only this year.

Anyway, I'm looking forward to more of your progress. It's inspiring stuff and as I've only just recently bought my first Hasegawa Beaufighter, it's a very handy reference.

Thanks again,

Andrew.

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Hi,

Hopefully I should complete the Beaufighter by the middle of the week.Since the last update I've added brake lines,decaled and matt varnished the model and also removed the masks

The only problems I ran into were of my own making,when I snapped off and lost the aerial mast therefore I had to scratch build a replacement (all of two parts blade and base) probably for the best as the replacement is finer. I had a panic when I found condensation had built up on the inside of the canopy I guess this is due to the aircraft being sealed up,but dried out after a few hours.

Beaufighter16.jpg

Beaufighter17.jpg

By the way note the hi-tec turntable!

Malcolm

Edited by Mal
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Yep, 'nother lovely Beau. The painty and markings are really great.

I like the collector rings in thatg colour. It works really well.

Howard

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Finished at last

Beaufighter24.jpg

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Fitted the engines and exhausts (got the exhausts from a Hasegawa Beaufighter Mk21 the kit I used for this build is an early release that had rather strange looking exhausts they looked more like drain pipes) then added the collector ring supports and aerials. If I was building this again I wouldn’t bother with the Aires cockpit set it's too much grief for little gain other than that it's a great little kit.

more photo's in the gallery

Malcolm

Edited by Mal
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That's a great looking model Mal, the paintwork on it is immaculate. I think both the Beaufighters on this GB have been excellent, they're such an iconic aircraft; I must find an excuse to build one!

Max

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