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Airfix 1/72 Beaufighter - PRU modified


maltadefender
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Flushed with the success of my first successful attempt to get a build finished before the deadline, I'm game for a spot of blitzing!

Thanks to Colin at the Decal Bank I've got some suitably-weathered PRU decor to apply to a Beaufighter which, with a few dobs of Milliput and a bit of luck, will go a long way to recreating 'Phoo', the Beaufighter Mk.I commandeered by 'Warby' Warburton in North Africa and flown out of Malta as the principal reconaissance aircraft on the island in 1941-42.

Hose her down with a wash of PRU Blue and then beat the daylights out of her for weathering. Yummy!

Edited by maltadefender
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Hi Rowan,

I'm using the Airfix TF.X kit and what little ability I've got to predate it to a dirty, battered Mk.I converted to PRU trim. Here's the original beast, as featured on another thread here on Beaus in Malta:

PrBeau.jpg

And here's the kit ready to go:

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She's underway!

The wings had a horrible amount of flash which, once removed, has left them a bit odd-shaped and requiring pretty serious encouragement to stay together before sanding and filling...

934bff1d.jpg

The stablilisers on the TF.X were cranked upwards at an angle rather than square like the early marks. So often sloppy fit makes getting a cranked angle almost impossible but these were perfect... unfortunately for this build. As a result some strenuous sanding, measuring, sanding again, trial fitting and weighing down the tips with paint pots has got the stabilisers about straight. I'll Milliput the resulting gaps.

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The fuselage comes with the cannons only etched on so that was a quick fix. I've lost a lot of the surface detail due to the shonky fit of the fuselage halves but that's not a real problem to me. I put in the camera positions by indenting with a 2mm drill bit.

9a032c57.jpg

More to follow:

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That looks like a challenge, some filling required...nostalgic build for sure..!! No hanging laundry today eh??

BlitzBCheers,

ggc

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Some filling? Oh yes... and then some more!

I've kept all the big trenches on the top surfaces, so that should save some time with filling and sanding. Fitting this build in with family life is proving a bit of a challenge - I've got to surrender the table for a family lunch in an hour, then we've got to walk the dog and go to a castle. I'm seeing my kids tomorrow all being well so that means the building, filling and sanding needs to be finished tonight - ideally priming too. I'll slap on the PRU blue in the morning and detail her tomorrow evening.

There's a Beau in here somewhere...

CIMG6816.jpg

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I'm going wheels-up on this one so that it can slot into the growing Malta collection, but noticed that the tailwheel can only be fixed down with no retracted option. Solution: hack the bottom half of the wheel off and glue it to the fuselage.

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Given the rather mottled finish to the blue, as a result of being an overpainted fighter and continually used and abused through the worst of the air battle over Malta, I noticed that the cowlings were quite dark compared to other parts of the aircraft in the 1:1 photo, so the nacelles are prepainted black.

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Meanwhile the props and crew are coming on slowly...

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I'm seeing my kids tomorrow all being well so that means the building, filling and sanding needs to be finished tonight - ideally priming too.

good luck! :thumbsup2:

looking good so far!

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Hmm well the mottled primer didn't really pan out. I don't think there's any difference to the Xtracolor PRU Blue but then it's porridgey-thick. Goes on quite nicely, though. A halt is being called for the night - wife feeling somewhat neglected. Time to let the blue settle in before cracking on first thing tomorrow.

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good luck! :thumbsup2:

looking good so far!

Thank you!

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I'd heard a few tales about Xtracolor taking its time to cure but so far haven't been affected by the problem.

After 15 hours, however, the PRU Blue is still decidedly, erm, wet... any tips out there?

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Hair dryer?

best tip of all! I used a hair dryer for my blitz build ... and I also took Revell's Aqua Color which is faster drying than any other colour!

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Worked like a charm, thank you both.

More progress and more problems. I've somehow lost an exhaust and then the decals first of all refused to come off the paper and then fractured into several pieces per roundel.

I've just about got everything back together (except the exhaust), and hope to be weathering soon.

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First of all, congrats for finishing it in time. Second, I like it, its certainly not a scheme I'd have in my minds eye for the beaufighter but I think it looks very nice all that PRU blue.

:goodjob:

Edited by rowmk9
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Thanks Rowan.

I went to town a bit on the weathering but then she was standing out in all weathers during the beginning of the really heavy bombardment in early 1942. While airborne she was operating at anything from 50 feet to 30,000 feet - usually over ports in Italy or North Africa, getting an awful lot of attention!

Unlike the Marylands that Warby flew on his first tour on Malta, there were no defensive armaments carried whatsoever. By taking out all guns, ammo and most armour plate 'Phoo' was able to outrun anything aiming to intercept her - but frequently came under fire in the circuit as it was the one place that the 109s could get her!

Two extra fuel tanks were fitted where the cannons were. - as well as the cameras. They had a propensity to overflow but that didn't seem to stop Warby from chain smoking on his missions - much to his crew's concern!

Warby flew most of the way back from Italy with the port engine on fire once, which is why I blackened up the cowling and wing.

A very brave old lady, hope I've done her a bit of justice!

Edited by maltadefender
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