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Chuck A. Villanueva
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100 Year RAF Anniversary GB Tamiya 1/48th Bristol Beaufighter Mk.VIf No.68 Sdn

This article is part of a series:
  1. 100 Year RAF Anniversary GB Tamiya 1/48th Avro Lancaster Mk.BIII No. 617 Squadron Operation Chastise
  2. 100 Year RAF Anniversary GB Tamiya 1/48th Bristol Beaufighter Mk.VIf No.68 Sdn
  3. 100 Year RAF Anniversary GB – 1/72nd Revell Hawker Siddeley S Mk.2B Buccaneer
  4. 100 YEAR RAF ANNIVERSARY GB, Revell 1/48th Eurofighter Typhoon, No.29 Sqn, GiNA BoB Commemorative Scheme

One of the benefits in building these models is discovering and learning more of not only of the subject but of the men and squadrons that flew these often dangerous missions. Doing research at times when searching for particular markings or schemes will at times bring into light unknown to me personally of such units that operated during WWII. Well known units such as No.617 and the various Polish units that flew Spits and Hurricanes are well documented. But there are so many stories to learn more of such as this particular squadron that started life in January 1941 as a night fighter unit to be equipped initially with the Bristol Blenheim. Becoming operational in April the same year and moved to High Ercall air base before moving to Coltishall in March of 1942. It was in May of 1941 when the squadron converted to the Bristol Mk.I. In July 1941, with a shortage of pilots RAF wide, an influx of Czechoslovak airmen in exile were slowly integrated into the service. Quite a few ended up in No. 68 squadron where a strong element created a flight of 8 aircrews flying since that time. One Flight consisted of all Czechoslovak personnel and flew with distinction. One notable pilot was Miloslav Mansfield, who became an ace and eventually became squadron leader of "A" Flight, flying Beaufighters shot down many Luftwaffe bomber and when converting to the Mosquito in 1944 took out 2 V1 Flying Buzz Bombs. In January 1943 the Sqdn converted to the Mk.VI variant, upgraded Thimble nose mounted radar set. On the night of 7 October 1943, Czech Pilot officer Jan Serhant with Flight Sergeant Zbyšek Nečas flying WM L were directed to intercept a target a Do 217, which after a long chase was able to over take it and shoot it down. In 1944 Air Chief Marshall Charles Steele recognized the achievements and Czech heritage of the squadron by presenting the unit with a crest which displayed an owls head and the Czech motto, "Vždy připraven" Always prepared or Always Ready. The squadron was deactivated in April 1945, most of the personnel going to 125 squadron. The last image is of Flt Sgt Zbyšek Nečas (John Pemberton) which has a very interesting side story.

The kit again was a very fun and quite enjoyable build. Using Polly Scale and Tamiya Acrylics for the Dark Green over Medium Sea Grey. I used Vallejo Copper for the engine cowl rings, but they look like a new US copper penny. Too bright and shiny really. Will try something different on the next Beaufighter that comes time to build. The decals were from AML #C48-018. These worked very well no issues on placement and performed using the Microscale system I used when applying them. It was the first time I have used these from AML, I will recommend them. I wish again to thank Paul Barber for an excellent GB experience.


Fly Navy

40 additional images. Click to enlarge.

12 responses

  1. Well done Chuck ! This is a great looking plane, and the story behind it is even better. In particular I like the photos with this one sitting beside some of your other builds.


    • Thanks Louis, working on these special projects reveals quite a bit of information along the way. Also future projects that you plan for. The images with the other planes as a comparison in how large the Beaufighter is next to the planes she shared the sky with friend or foe.

  2. Excellent, Chuck! I like the photo with the "twins" a lot.

  3. Thanks Jeff, as I mentioned to Louis your tanker brother, it was to compare with the other twins of the time.

  4. Chuck, very nice looking Beaufighter. I have to put this Tamiya kit as one of my all time favorite kits (although I've only built one).

    I had the same problem on the cowl rings when I painted them with Humbrol copper. I ended up painting over the bright shinny penny look with a thinned down coat of model master "burnt iron" metalizer. I repeatedly painted thin layer after thin layer until I was able to achieve a dark copper tinted finish, that I liked. I have it posted on my article page if you'd like to check it out.

    I'm not sure if that would work here if your copper paint is acrylic, as the metalizer is a lacquer, but maybe a similar type of paint in a burnt iron color might work.

    And by the way, I really liked reading the story. Well done !

  5. Thanks Terry for that tip. You know I was thinking of going back and try to maybe tone down that way too bright copper finish. Maybe as a wash, it may not affect the paint with the clear coats over the copper. I have used the dissimilar finishes together before without any ill effects to the acrylic finishes. And yes it was one of the most enjoyable models to build. Now with 2 more in the stash and the new Revell kit to build in the future, it makes you wonder if Airfix will produce a new moulding as well. Something to look forward too.

  6. A great build! and builds.

  7. Well done, indeed, Chuck! I was looking at the pictures of the Beaufighter you posted earlier on this year on the group page, just this week, as I was checking the final presentation was ready to go. That nose is, as you say, very special!

    I really enjoyed the comparison photos of all your heavy twin-engined fighters. Some great builds in there to complement this one.

    What I like best, apart from the build of course, is the story of the Czech airmen who flew while in exile. The rich history in the RAF of flying with its allies (even if in some cases the road was bumpy, at least initially) , has been a great part of the RAF100 build. Your story really tells that tale!

    You led the way in this GB by building: always something happening on the bench, and always an insightful instructional WIP post going up! Which is what it was all about! So, thanks again for the support and great contributions to RAF100, Chuck!

    • Very inspirational GB Paul. Just doing the research reveals new facts about the RAF in WWII, the personalities and a little more about the aircraft the flew. I believe I do more homework today than I did in college. And i did love history. So I enjoy the extra credit. It was a pleasure and an honor to contribute.

  8. Another nice build Chuck!

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