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1/72 Airfix Beaufighter TF Mk. X Coastal Command

I call this my FrankenBeau… This was from the old Dogfight Doubles kit (along with the Bf 109 G from my prior post) so a very basic kit. No gun ports, no ejector chutes, raised rivets and panels…

I had accidentally purchased a box of Hasegawa Beaufighter parts years ago at a model show, so I decided to pull from what was in that box to modify this. I also was given a partially built new tool Airfix Beau from a friend who already had built it up pretty far, but it was badly warped (tail section) so I decided to rob from that box also. There was an Xtra decals insert (no decals – just the reference sleeve) that showed this Coastal Command Beau, and I loved the scheme, so I used the decals from the new Airfix kit to approximate those markings (not totally accurate, but close enough for me!) after I found reference photos of the actual aircraft.

So – I reamed out gun ports and created some ejector chutes using reference pics. I had the main build pretty much together before I received the new Airfix kit, but once I received that, I used it as a reference for the size of the tail wheel hole, panel lines to mark more definitively, etc. I had already filed out the wing tips and wing light areas and used the wing tip and landing light lenses from the Hasegawa parts, which weren’t totally the correct size (depth) or I would have used the Airfix clear parts. I realized after I had added the wing tip lenses that I should have drilled and painted the bulbs, and that the entire lense case was not colored. I decided it looked closer to realistic just leaving it clear than painting with red/green clear paint.

I added the two loop aerials and perspex bubble from the Hasegawa parts. I had hoped to use the solid glazing for the rear gunner’s copula to match reference photos, but no dice – too much work to try to fill in the rim of the hole to get that to work, so I cheated and used the Hasegawa gun and the original kit perspex, as well as the original canopy. The pilot and gunner are from the original kit.

The props were from the Hasegawa kit, as were the white metal exhausts (probably AM product left in the box). They need a little work to get to fit, and I’m not sure they are totally accurate in how non-flush they mount against the nacelle, but they were already on before I got the new Airfix kit, so I left them.

I added the two small fins/louvers inside each of the wing intakes, and modified the front end of the exhausts to match reference photos. I scribed a few panels and doors to add more detail; added rear spine aerial with sprue; used the nose radar aerial and pitot from Hasegawa parts.

The rockets and mounts were from the new Airfix kit. I added the pigtails to the rockets using copper wire and a small blob of white glue – I’m not exactly sure what they were or if they were removed before flight, but they appeared to be flexible (drooped when on the ground), so I assumed in-flight they would stream behind the rockets. If someone confirms they were removed before flight, I’ll pull them off! I couldn’t find any mention of their purpose in my research into the rockets.

Painted with Tamiya paints, weathered with pastel chalks, AK pencils, silver paint for chipping, MiG panel wash (both as panel liner and as a filter to tone back the stark white paint), and oil dot filtering over the camo areas as the final touch. I also lightly oversprayed the camo and decals with highly diluted buff paint weather the decals in particular.

I did have a little silvering issue with the decals. Now that I’m airbrushing, I’m having difficulty achieveing a really solid gloss coat – I’ve tried the Tamiya gloss and Alclad Aqua Gloss, and still haven’t got it down. I seemed much easier when I just rattle-canned with Testors Glosscoat, but that formula has changed, and I believe it’s going away anyway.

I have been experiencing one other frustrating problem that I don’t quite understand, that has to do with the interior of canopies. In several canopies that I’ve had to mask using Scotch tape, when I remove the tape, it’s as if static has pulled material from the inside of the fuselage up against the inside of the canopy. I even ran some water into the interior after removing the canopy mask and tried to wash it out, but you can still see flecks on the inside of the canopy. I sometimes use the clear masking tape because it’s easier to see where to trim the tame inside the canopy frames when the frames are very slight (can’t see them through Tamiya tape). Anyone have any suggestions for what could cause this?

There you have it, my Coastal Command FrankenBeau!

15 additional images. Click to enlarge.


19 responses

  1. Wow…. you put a lot of extra effort in to this and it certainly paid off. Very beautiful one of a kind model.

  2. Greg. Nice model and very interesting article. I too have struggled with crud ending up stuck on the inside of non accessible clear parts. Very frustrating! I think static must play a part in this phenomenon. I have an anti static gun left over from my record playing days.. maybe zapping the model might loosen off the offending debris? If it works I will let you know.

  3. Very nice Greg, love it.

  4. Well done, Greg!

  5. Beautiful build, Greg. @gkittinger
    Very nice scheme for this Beaufighter.
    For gloss coat I use a Vallejo rattle can, clear coat.
    Till now my experience is very positive with this coat.
    The stand is fnatastic and clearly shows this beauty in action.
    The label on the stand, did you make that one yourself?

  6. Greg – I really like how you weathered the underside but I do have one question: what is that “brown putty” look around the wing roots and bottom gun fairings? Or is it FrankenBeau’s “stitches’?

    Whenever I airbrush gloss clear coats, I just mist the object back and forth with very light sprays from about 10 inches away, gradually moving closer until I can see it’s beginning to get that “wet” look and then immediately stop. Let it dry. And then come back and hit it again if needed. It is a fine point knowing when to stop to prevent drips. I find airbrushing gives me more control than a rattle can but I do use Tamiya TS-13 clear gloss spray on car bodies all the time.

  7. What a beauty, Mr. K! I especially like your paint job.

    Bravo!

  8. Nicely done, great looking color scheme. It’s Alive!

  9. I’m impressed by how you used parts from different kits to produce this beauty, and your finish and weathering really brings it to life, definitely liked.

  10. Nice one Greg! Up to your usual high standards.

  11. 🙂 … Greetings … 🙂 :
    It has been a very long years since I last seen a Bristol Beaufighter look this
    attractive and alluring . The way I see it Greg … finally someone has made justice to this bird.
    The scheme alone speaks words as the slight weathering does too, and very positive words at that.
    The base in whole gives it a very decent look, one that can place it as a desk top model.
    Thank you for sharing these pictures, a very real pleasing model to look at.

  12. Love your Beau, Greg!
    Amazing scheme!
    I brush Future onto the model as to gloss it and I am relatively happy with the results. The problem with it is that it runs and might stagnate at places; if you do not immediately brush it away, an annoying “blob” will show up upon drying….
    Cannot help regarding the transparencies inner material build-up. Happens to me, as well. If I am lucky to reach the area, I can clean it…

  13. Kudos for the successful result of your efforts.
    Your in-flight models always intrigue me.
    The material against the inside of the canopy (typically particles of sanded-off putty) is my nightmare, too. You need to seal the cockpit in order that no dirt will enter in it once you mount the canopy, but this is not always easy. Before mounting the canopy, it is a good idea to pass with a vacuum cleaner (at minimum power!) to remove the bulk of dust and a shot of transparent paint to fasten the remainants.

  14. Nice work on this, Greg.

  15. Very nice scheme. The coastal command colorations are attractive
    Clear canopy problems are the bane of our craft.
    Not sure what happened there. I mask and residue stays often. Makes it hard to create true transparency.

  16. Nice, I love these kinds of builds! You made yourself a very attractive Beaufighter, looks great. In regards to the gloss coats, I use Future floor wax. For me, airbrushing works best, as long as I pay attention and do not let it run, it provides me the best first coats before applying the decals. After the decals are applied, I wait to see if I have any silvering, if it exist I’ll touch up the silvered area with a fine tip brush with the paint I used before the gloss coats was applied. Then I give the whole kit another coat of future. After it cures then the flat coats.

  17. Great looking FrankenBeau Greg.
    Nicely done.

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