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Black shark: Airfix Defiant

What can I say? The Defiant and particularly this aircraft was long overdue on my wish list. In fact it was more than 30 years long due. I was a young boy when my father offered me Airfix 1/72 BP Defiant and the model shown on the box was this magnificent black shark mouth example. Took me 2 days to built it, my first model and I was hooked.

Fast forward and this new 1/48 edition has nothing in common with my childhood model.
It is a vice free model, with some neat engineering methods, like the wing to fuselage joint and the turret that can be assembled and inserted in the end.
The kit had the addition of a few quickboost items, like the exhausts (a must), the machine gun barrels and also the wheel covers. These last parts are extremely troublesome since almost no joint areas are present. Eduard seatbelts were also added.

This model was also my first attempt with a all black camouflage. Read that RAF black had a slight blueish tint, so I did a 70-30 mix using Gunze paint. My first layer was made with NATO Black, which is a very, very dark green, and the mix was randomly applied some areas to cover the first layer and in others much more lightly. A final thinned layer was given to achieve a more uniform effect, while maintaining the patchy work (or so I hopped). In the end I’m not entirely satisfied with it. The decals are ok, though some silvering occurred in the fuselage codes… my fault I guessed.

Also picked some advice from Louis Gardner experience with Tamiya Flat mixed with future to get a smooth matt finish. Unfortunately I found Tamyia Flat a very unforgiving product and ended up using MRP semi matt varnish.

9 additional images. Click to enlarge.


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23 responses to Black shark: Airfix Defiant

  1. A excellent build! The larger Airfix Defiant looks great, I recently did it’s smaller brother.

  2. 🙂 … Greetings … 🙂 :
    Very good representation of a totally black Defiant, no matter what scale … the Defiant always looks historical. Nicely done Pedro.

  3. Very nice. I’m having problems with Tamiya Flat as well, mine (4 bottles….don’t ask) seem to be more Satin than Flat

    • Thank you George! humm, that’s even stranger, considering the purpose of product. My issue was not getting the perfect balance between achieving what one expects, the matt finish, and avoiding the dreadful whitening effect. No deal for me this time

  4. Pedro,
    Your BP Defiant looks absolutely fantastic !!! It really looks the part with the night fighter finish……………. These new Airfix kits are great !!!

    Speaking of the finish, I’m very happy to see how it turned out. Black can be a very unforgiving color to use the Tamiya Flat on. I have had very good results using the Tamiya Flat Base with multi color camouflage, and especially on monotone light finishes. The 1/48 scale Tamiya Me-262 I built that was painted in overall RLM 76 is a good example for that. I use the stuff on the majority of my builds and like how it looks.

    I’m sorry that it didn’t work out as you expected on this Night Fighter scheme. I have found out that tiny white specks will show up in the clear if it is not thoroughly shaken / stirred / mixed or whatever you want to call it. I have even had problems with the dried stuff that collects on the rim of the bottle under the lid dropping into the mix as you pour it from the bottle. Another thing I recently started doing to prevent this from happening, is to wipe down the rim of the paint jar before I start pouring the Flat Base into the mix of rubbing alcohol and Future. This does seem to help.

    This can be annoying…………….. I understand.

    However, you should not be too hard on yourself, as the end results simply look amazing. I would be very happy to call it mine…………… 🙂

    Sometimes we are our own worst critics. I am guilty of this as charged.

    Well done my friend……………
    “liked’

    • Ahah, thanks for the encouragement words. Not sounding too negative because the kit was a joy to build and I loved scratching some parts absent in the kit, it was not getting a more distinct patchy work topical of a used airframes that made me a bit sad. The black contrast is hard to get unless one uses a lot of greys but that was not my intention. In the end it was the varnish coat who hide that effect unfortunately. My bad I guess. Cheers Mate!

  5. Nice work. You got that dead-flat finish that was so flat it actually added drag!

  6. I just love the Defiant. You pulled it off well!

  7. Well done Pedro, my first kit was also the Airfix Defiant way back in the early 70’s.
    Yours looks way better than my first effort !
    N.

  8. a beautiful and impressive result…i’d like to get in and fly it away

  9. Great Defiant, Pedro! We all love your black night camo, that’s for sure.
    Like Tom mentioned about the flat finish, I remember when Dad told me about washing & waxing their planes during WWII – he said they could get more speed after a W & W treatment … but they didn’t have time to do it often.

    Well done, Sir!

  10. I can only parrot whats been written. Your too hard on yourself in your criticism of your work Pedro. Sometimes when your too close to a project it helps to have a second set of eyes and the eyes have it. You’ve done good by the board.

    Especially, if you can shoot close ups of the kit and still have the finish look come out well. Mistakes can be good sometimes. Especially, when you think your not in total control of the paint.

    Two thumbs up.

  11. Thanks Stephen, duly noted and agree, we our own hardest critics. Stil lessons were learned. I’m hoping to revisit an all black night fighter very soon so it’s a good thing to listen to all your feedback. Appreciate your comments a lot

  12. That’s a good looking Defiant Pedro. The black finish is really well done in my opinion. I like it.

  13. Great looking defiant. Paint looks good to me.

  14. Overall black schemes are so hard to make visually interesting, but you’ve done a bang-up job on this one. Nice tonal variation (hard to see in pictures so I’m sure it’s even lovelier up close and personal). A great-looking Defiant!

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