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SAAF Bristol Beaufighter (16 posts)

  • I have started building the excellent Tamiya 1/48 scale Mk VI Beaufighter as part of a tribute to SAAF 19 Squadron pilot Steve Stevens who flew Beaufighters during WW II. His exploits during the war has been featured in a number of books. His squadron excelled at ship busting, train busting and attacking enemy strongholds in Yugoslavia.
    The Tamiya kit lacks detail in the cockpit and rear compartment. I have therefore decided to scratch build most of the internal details to make the model as authentic in appearance as possible. Albeit most of these details will be hidden within the fuselage but some can be seen through the cockpit and nav/gunner cupola.

    9 attached images. Click to enlarge

  • excellent work on the details. Where did the cogged wheels/dials come from?

  • Good grief, Morne!
    That is some scratchbuilt cockpit and observers position! Best I’ve seen. I bought the KMC set, myself, against the day. Whose Lewis MG? It don’t look like what I recall the kit one does.
    I always meant to ask- how widespread was the use of orange centers in SAAF overseas national insignia in WW II? I’ve seen the Spits, and probably Kittyhawks. Inquiring minds, all that.
    I read a book years ago about this Brit aircrew that got shot down over Yugoslavia. What a wild little civil war that was! Tito, Mihaiiavich, the Italians and the Germans, changing alliances from moment to moment. Like the Cold War, only earlier in a whole lot of ways. Not much written about it.
    Downed aircrew had a time of it, depending whose sphere of influence they landed in. Lots of back and forth as to getting them out, and the Germans looking for them, meanwhile. Fascinating stuff.
    You’re off to a great start, going by the interior. The engines need a little tweaking, and I’m interested in whatever you chose for armament underwing. Full suite of guns in the wings?

  • Wow Morne !!!! This one is really super detailed …….. Great job with the scratch building. I’ll be watching your progress. Thanks for sharing this with us.

  • Hi Greg. I dismantled an old broken wrist watch. Was quite surprised to see all the tiny goodies that was inside.

  • Hi Bernard. The SAAF insignia was the standard RAF markings with an orange center. This was standard on all SAAF aircraft even the bombers like Marauders, Bostons, Marylands and Liberators used by the SAAF. My Beaufighter will have underwing rockets and the full complement of gun and cannon armament. The SAAF pilots flew their Beaufighters in support of Tito’s partisans. I have lots of strike photos taken by SAAF pilots since their Beaufighters had a camera in the nose.

  • What can I say, this is going to look really good. Nice job my ou maater.

  • Thanks Marc. Hope to have her ready for the 2018 Nationals in Port Elizabeth. Hope to see you down in the Friendly City.

  • Thanks Louis for the words of encouragement!!

  • Outstanding Morne. Besides your excellent work, you’re putting Tamiya to shame by showing how much they left out.

  • Thanks Rick! I think most kit manufacturers leave out most details to allow the aftermarket guys to stay in business. Scratchbuilding can be very rewarding if you have good reference material to work from. Granted most of the interior is hard to see through the front or rear transparencies but I know it’s in there. Think Tamiya just left it out to cut costs.

  • i will be there next year for sure, I have finished my 1/32 scale Pawnee Bravo, just started scratch building a Pilatus PC 6 in 1/32 scale.

  • Today I started scratchbuilding the seat harness for the pilot and Nav/gunner using lead foil. The most challenging part of the build thus far has been the creation of lightbulbs for the leading edge landing lights. I started by drilling the incorrect shaped plastic lights from a round shape to a shallow cone shaped depression. I then drilled holes in the middle of each lamp with a 0.5mm drillbit and inserted stretched clear sprue into the holes and secured it with Tamiya extra thin liquid cement. I then took very thin Evergreen styrene strips and cut it to 1mm x 1mm square on which I attached very thin copper wire. This was attached to the point of the clear sprue lightbulb with cyano. Copper wire was bent to form a protective cone over the lightbulb. A thin copper wire that serves as an electrical wire for the lightbulb was glued onto the tip and attached to the inside of the leading edge structure. Machine guns in the wings were simulated with brass tubing.

    12 attached images. Click to enlarge

  • Who’d a thought a wrist watch would provide such goodies!! Now, where is my son’s old watch… Nice detail on the lights!

  • Thanks Greg. Imagine what an old PC can offer!!!