Revell 1/48 Bristol Beaufighter – under US$40.00, free shipping from UK, arrived in a week
For fellow Americans who have been tearing their hair trying to track down the new Revell Beaufighter, there are several sellers on eBay with prices under US$40.00 (got this one for $37.50) including FREE SHIPPING from the UK! This one just arrived 20 minutes ago, a week after ordering.
The hoorah is true. It beats the socks off the Tamiya Beaufighter 50 ways from Sunday.
Full (and accurate) interior (unlike Tamiya). All control surfaces separate (unlike Tamiya). Droppable flaps. Very detailed landing gear and gear bays. Early and late horizontal stabilizers and elevators, early and late vertical fin (extended dorsal fin). Extremely nice and fine surface detail with engraved panels.
DO NOT BUILD THE LANDING GEAR ACCORDING TO THE INSTRUCTIONS. The landing gear as designed is actually too big for the opening, and if you assemble it as instructed, it will eventually explode from the pressure of being pushed in all the wrong place by being squeezed between the two sides of the wheel well. Rather,do not attach the wheel well assembly before attaching the completec landing gear to it. Then insert it in the space inside the nacelle ONLY TO THE POINT THINGS GET TIGHT. That will also deal with the fact the gear is a bit too long, being designed at full extension you would only see from the gear down in flight. Everything will look fine if you do that, and all the rest that is good about this kit will really make you like it.
Also, as of December 2019, the kit is available in the US following Revell's reorganization from bankruptcy.
Revell has announced a new Beaufighter 1 with the small, "flat" horizontal stabilizers for 2020.
This release can only be made as a TF X, because the (separate) clear perspex for the navigator is TF X, but the fact it's a separate sprue from the rest of the clear parts, and the "arrowhead" radar antenna being on a sprue, means that a Mk. VI will come, and with the completely separate one piece horizontal stab, a Mk.I is not impossible.
Very nice decals for a full D-Day striped early TF X "Torbeau" of 489 (NZ) Squadron at Langham, June 1944, and a late version of 254 Squadron at North Coates, May 1945 (might be from a post-war photo, which is why it has no rockets).
Drawback: the late version doesn't have rockets, which photos show the particular airplane did carry on operations. Only external ordnance is the torpedo. I can live with that.
Overall assessment: a great bargain, and a real advance in what you get.