Beaufort! The New Mk. I from Airfix
My version of the great new Airfix kit.
Of the two available scenes, I chose L9866, which flew from St. Eval and was lost on February 1st, 1941, probably to fire from a 109E. Both schemes have compelling stories connected to them; I chose this one partly for aesthetic reasons – the slate, grey and black scheme gives real visual weight to the bullish lines of the airframe, I think.
Like all the recent 1/72 Airfix kits I’ve built, it’s well designed and generously detailed. The interior is wonderful and slots together with satisfying snugness without glue; it’s worth appreciating before a lot of it disappears inside the hull. The major parts go together very well and any fit issues I had were self-inflicted. There’s some problem-solving to do with the gun turrets and working out when to paint and install them; I ended up fully painting the rear turret and installed it – plus the cowling – then masked it all off before painting the rest of the plane. Somehow I managed not to knock off the guns.
There are plenty of images of well-worn Beauforts, and I wanted to capture some of that in the paintwork. I used Tamiya and Mission Model paints, plus lots of masking fluid to create chipped and faded layers. I hope this all tells the story of heavily-worked aircraft pushed through adversarial conditions.
It was a fun and relatively quick build. If the Airfix quirks (heavy panel lines, slightly chunky feel to the overall design) don’t bother you, I highly recommend this one.
10 additional images. Click to enlarge.