Bristol Beaufighter Mk IF – 1/32 Revell

  • 13 posts
  • Last reply 3 days, 4 hours ago
Viewing 1 - 13 of 13 posts
  • Colin Gomez said 4 days, 17 hours ago:

    I may be crazy to pick this one up again. Lots of work ahead and definitely the last proposed build I will take on for now. The complexity of it defeated me about 12 years ago, but I have more skills and quite a few kits built now. Building it as a single color nightfighter will get me over the hump of finishing it. Someone please warn me if there will be a new 32nd scale Beaufighter any time soon so I can avoid this – ha ha. 🙂 Not to sound too negative, I love the Beaufighter in this scale. Revell’s basic airframe is also very accurate in outline. It’s appealingly massive and a large, forgiving canvas for detail work in my favorite scale. At the same time, I want to avoid going too crazy on the interior and other details since it could take forever and much will be hidden in shadow in the fuselage. I will emphasize the cockpit and finish the basic ribbing and bits for the cabin. I won’t do interior LED lighting or anything. When I was working on this before, the key focus for me (as usual) was the transparencies.

    The Revell kit has the early production windscreen with more ribbing.

    Most production Beaufighters had simplified canopy framing, which is more attractive to me. I got the Lodela reboxing of the Revell kit because it had a vac formed later style canopy. This is pretty good but based more closely than I liked on the kit canopy. it also has molding flaws. I got tired in the process of planning how to paint and fit it as the shape is challenging in various ways. I began to modify the kit canopy (I have two for two kits) to see if I could make it look just as good or better (maybe by heat smashing my own vac form the modified styrene). The way I see it now, I can always replace the canopy at a later date if the results don’t please me. Having an all black color scheme will make it easy to pop the canopy off and replace it without violence to the rest of the build. So, in these pics, you see the ribbing I started on the interior/cabin.

    I will finish this back to the navigator’s position. I also have a partially built cockpit as well but not handy just now (must dig it out). I am ready to do some work on this again but slowly for this GB. I want a big Beaufighter in my collection and it is worth the effort now, I think. This will be a slow process (especially with my other projects taking a front seat) but it will be satisfying to get this large model finished – especially after all the planning I had originally put into it.

  • Spiros Pendedekas said 4 days, 16 hours ago:

    Wow, my friend @coling!
    What a great choice!
    Well, I have built this kit som time ago, OOB, finished as “day” kit provided variant, ZK-H.
    It turned out BIG!
    It’s a simple kit, the interior really sparse.
    I had performed some chipping and light weathering, also “flattened” the tires. Apart from the antenna wire, that my beloved younger son snapped a few months ago (easilly fixed), she has stood in time quite well!
    Took a pic of it just now, here she is for you:

    The owner of one of the two min hobby shops in athens, a good friend of mine, has a “last piece” in his shop; a “returned” item, still sealed.
    Should I negotiate the price, in order to finish it as a night fighter one (which is the other kit option)? 🙂
    Looking forward to your build!

  • Colin Gomez said 4 days, 15 hours ago:

    Thanks, Spiros. Nice job on your Beau. Sure looks big on the billiard table.
    I just found some other stuff from the Lodela/Revell kit which will speed things up in the interior detailing.

    No need to scratch build everything – the main panel would be particularly challenging in this scale so a ready-made is great. Will have to do the radar scope, though. I also found some good references buried deep in my shelves.

    The SAM book may well slow things down to the same degree that the photo-etch speeds them up! It has incredibly detailed shots of the cockpit and its complex structure. Osprey gives me the background and inspiration to do a particular aircraft. I will have to assemble/paint the codes myself.

  • David Mills said 4 days, 14 hours ago:

    Fabulous choice Colin!
    I have had this kit for a very long time- it has great sentimental value for me.
    I am just working up the courage to start work!
    I will be following this one closely!
    Best wishes!

  • Tom Cleaver said 4 days, 13 hours ago:

    There are other things this kit needs – most particularly an accurate “hedgehog” exhaust. Aires makes these in resin for this kit.

    If you sand down the windshield of the canopy to get the ribs out, and then work back with increasingly fine wet ‘r’ dry and polishing pads, then finish off by polishing it then dipping it in Future, you can get a nice shiny canopy that’s right – and likely better than any vacuform – doing a heat/smash this size almost never works.


  • Colin Gomez said 4 days, 8 hours ago:

    Thanks, David. It’s great that this GB might give you the inspiration to build. I will be doing my best to make this one look good. I should have everything on had to get restarted this week. Feel free to add your own building efforts to the Group.

  • Colin Gomez said 4 days, 8 hours ago:

    Thanks, Tom. I am at the point of purchasing the Quick Boost version of the exhausts. The problem is I can’t figure out which one I need – “short” or “long”. It seems that for a IF (early model) I would need a “short” but my references are not clear on that at all (nor are most profiles and photos, which usually show the wrong side with no exhaust visible. Do you know the particulars? BTW, the Osprey book does have a few profiles from stbd that show shorter porcupine exhausts on lCs and lFs, but these are just artworks not clear period photos.

  • Michael Ezat said 4 days, 6 hours ago:

    Colin , I see you are also a naughty boy ! Great choice and what a start ! Some of those who have come forward as the most expert on British themes will surely guide you properly. However, I will sit and enjoy the show …

  • Tom Cleaver said 4 days, 4 hours ago:

    I’ve only ever seen the “Long”, which is the one I would get. However, as an Osprey author who has done some of the “small” books, the profiles are as accurate as people can get them and most of the profile artists are quite knowledgeable. Given so many photos are the “wrong” side, you probably can’t go wrong following the profile art.

  • Colin Gomez said 3 days, 16 hours ago:

    Thanks, Tom. Here is a bit of progress on the canopy mod. For those who are planning to modify the framing and windscreen, a fair bit of work is in order (in my opinion only, of course). As to the risk to the model, I have two original canopies, so I am OK with experimenting with one. If it works, I will have a standard production Beaufighter. If I mess it up, I can still go with the early production variant. Both canopy types are found on lC and lF nightfighters.

    So, first off, the main panel of the windscreen on the later version is square vertically (I measure 9.5mm across top and bottom) and connects to the curved framing above. The original is much narrower, tapers to the top and ends well below the curved frame (see pic with notes).

    I sanded down this center windscreen panel to square it off and widen it it as much as possible. I then polished it out in the usual way with sanding sticks and Novus polish – not quite to clear perfection yet, because I have more sanding to do, i think. I will create a new permanent frame with strips of sheet styrene as shown. The current strips are temporarily attached with Testors canopy glue which can be peeled off and not mar anything. I’ll probably use a tiny bit of liquid glue for final attachment but maybe not. There is a bit of a ghost of the original curvature of the windscreen from inside the canopy but this is scarcely noticable, especially with the strips in place. I plan to cut out the top hatch and maybe a side panel and display them open. There will also be two knock-out panels to do at at the base of the windscreen, one on each side of the center panel. These will improve the overall look and make it 95% authentic for the canopy mod. What do you think? Does it look OK so far?

  • Louis Gardner said 3 days, 6 hours ago:

    Colin, @coling
    This is a wonderful build journal. I have the 1/32 scale desert version, and my plastic is molded in a tan color. I bought mine many years ago when it was a new release. After reading your article, I dug mine out of the pile, to take a look at it.

    This is a BIG model………….. and just as you mentioned, not much is present in either crew compartment. I think by adding the additional plastic strips to represent the fuselage stringers, yours will look better.

    As far as sanding on the clear plastic parts, you really can’t place too much pressure on the part, for fear of creating a stress induced crack into the plastic. It might not be visible at all angles. I recently had a problem with the windscreen in a 1/48 scale Tamiya Corsair, and I was able to make a replacement using the “heat and mash” method. I ended up using the original part as a template to make some spares for some of the remaining Corsairs in my stash………… when the original part melted after 3 or 4 were completed. The original part would best be used to cast a more durable form out of heat resistant materials should you want to make more.

    The canopy work you have done so far looks good. I have been able to remove molded in frames by lightly wet sanding and using the back side of a clothes pin as a sanding block. This will keep things nice and flat and also help not to remove too much material. These wooden sticks you have should do the trick as well. Use wet or dry sand paper, sanding the clear plastic while the paper is wet. It also pays to change out your water as you go to increasingly finer grits, as the coarser grit plastic sediment can actually cause scratches in the plastic.

    I use an automotive plastic polish made by Meguiars. It’s simply called “Plastic polish” and is available in most of the better paint and body supply stores. However, I have heard that Novus works well too, I just have never tried it personally.

    Once you have sanded it to where all of the frame is removed, I would consider simply polishing it using a plain old cotton T-shirt in between the changing to finer grit paper. This will show you just how bad or deep the remaining scratches are.

    It acts as a test and will show you just how much more work you have to do. Then finally, after it is all done to your satisfaction, you can dip the clear plastic canopy into some Future, Pledge or whatever they are calling the clear floor acrylic nowadays………….

    If this one is going to be anything like your other large scale builds, we are in for a treat !!! Thanks for posting it. I will definitely be looking for updates.

  • Tom Cleaver said 3 days, 5 hours ago:

    There is a resin cockpit done for this beast – it’s a 3D print. I forget which company does it, but I do remember a very picky friend being really happy with it.

    Ah… found it – Model Monkey. US$60.00. Store is listed “temporarily closed while we catch up with existing orders”

  • Spiros Pendedekas said 3 days, 4 hours ago:

    Hi my friends!
    This is a wonderful approach to the canopy, @coling! It sure looks perfect!
    I also agree with our friend’s @lgardner comments about plastic micro cracks: they do appear if you put more pressure than required (go figure!!! 🙂 ) and are very annoying…
    @tcinla, that’s a great detail set, absolutely magnificent looking!
    Oh, my! Almost at double the kit price! 🙂

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