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Tamiya 1/48 DAP Beaufighter Mk. 21

Here’s my Tamiya 1/48 DAP Beaufighter Mk. 21.

The DAP Beaufighter Mk. 21 was the Australian built version of the famous British Bristol Beaufighter. Department of Aircraft Production, “DAP” changed, improved the Beaufighter to suit RAAF specifications. An American Sperry Autopilot was added to the nose, hence the characteristic bulge on the upper nose. Four .50 cal Browning machine guns were fitted to the wings instead on the six .303 cal Browning guns fitted to the British Beaufighter. Although the guns in the wings were removed when rockets were fitted to the wings.

My Beaufighter represents an aircraft flown by 22 ‘City of Sydney’ Squadron, Citizen Air Force. 22 Squadron was one of many Citizen Air Force Squadrons that flew in action during WW2 in the Pacific theater. Squadron personal was made up of permanent and reserve members.

22 Squadron flew A20 Bostons through most of the war until November 22 1944 when eight Japanese aircraft bombed the squadrons base on Moratai and destroyed most of the the Squadrons aircraft. The Bostons were replaced by Beaufighters. The Beaufighters were not popular with the Squadron pilots as they were much more difficult to fly compared with their much loved Bostons.

One of 22 Squadrons pilots, Flight Lieutenant William ‘Bill’ Newton was famous for being awarded a Victoria Cross, the highest gallantry award available to a member of the British Commonwealth for Bravery and the only such award made to a member of the RAAF in the Pacific war. Later he was shot down and captured by the Japanese who beheaded him.

My model was built from the box apart from a few changes.

The Sperry Autopilot bulged fairing is included in the box but unfortunately it is molded inaccurately. I did not realize this till after the model was finished. Too late to fix this now, but for those of you who want it to look accurate I have included a picture of the nose of “Harry’s Baby” to show the correct shape of the fairing. I moved the elevator fairings to the correct place on the undersides of the elevators. I also modified the navigators clear blister as the RAAF Beautfighter 21’s were not fitted with a rear firing gun. A resin exhaust replaced the poorly molded kit part and the wing machine gun openings were fared over. I used the left over 60 pound rockets from the Eduard’s Hawker Tempest as Tamiya only supplies the thin armor piecing rockets. I also added a Flare tube to the lower rear fuselage.

I used AeroMaster decals. 48-340 Whispering death Part 1.
I have also included pictures I took of the actual aircraft which still exists at the Camden Aviation Museum near Sydney, Australia. The Aircraft is basically intact and what looks like it’s original WW2 paintwork. I hope you find it interesting.

18 additional images. Click to enlarge.


20 responses to Tamiya 1/48 DAP Beaufighter Mk. 21

  1. Another excellent build, Michael. I love the realistic weathering.

  2. Very nice work on this. I like it a lot.

  3. Nice build Michael, love the subject as well.

  4. Thanks Jimmy! I love the Beau as well.

  5. I don’t see RAAF Beaufighter often made, and they look like an very interesting plane to build. The solid colour is the famous foliage green?

  6. Yes Pedro. The colour is the famous Foliage green. Very close to match to FS 34092. Cheers mate.

  7. Another nice build – love the far east markings on these birds.

  8. Great build. Good to see an Aussie airframe.

  9. Very nice work! A-20s were much loved; when the A-26 was introduced in the Pacific, many crews wanted to stick with the A-20s.

  10. Very nice Beaufighter, Michael. I really like the Australian forest green tone. You have also given it an appropriately dusty look for the tropics. Personally, I wouldn’t worry about the auto-pilot bulge. I had to study the photos for some time to see what you meant. Never heard that criticism of the Tamiya kit before but there it is. Did you do all that complex tubing around the cylinders of the engine (ignition harness, I think). It has so far defeated me in complexity whiel tryjng to finish my Beaufighter. Not sure if it’s so visible in the end, anyway,

    • Thanks Colin! Just that the autopilot bulge is so much more rounded at the sides than the kit part. It would have taken me 5 minutes of sanding to fix. I just trusted Tamiya to get it right. I tried to add the exhaust ring bracing but the space inside the cowling is so small I gave up and just left it as is. Its not really noticeable anyway. By the way the aircraft colour is RAAF Foliage Green. FS34092 is a very close match.

  11. Great job. Love the foliage green. Better than mine. Lol. Go the RAAF 😀

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