****DONE: 1/32nd scale Beaufighter VIF, 46 Sqn RAF, Egypt 1943 Group Build

Discussion in '#3 MTO/North Africa' started by Airframes, Aug 2, 2009.

  1. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    #1 Airframes, Aug 2, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 13, 2009
    Scale; 1/32nd.
    Kit: Revell Beaugighter Mk1 converted to MkVIF Night Fighter.
    Category: Judge

    Here we go then, to start off the third ww2aircraft.net Group Build, a conversion from the Revell Beaufighter Mk1 to the MkVIF Night Fighter. First, a little background to the subjsect.
    Number 46 squadron was formed at Wyton, Cambridgshire, UK, in April 1916, and saw action right through WW1, before disbanding in 1919.
    The squadron reformed in September 1936, with Gloster Gauntlets, before re-equipping with Hurricanes in February 1939. These aircraft were used during the Battle of Britain from September 1940. The Squadron moved to Malta in May 1941, supposedly equipped with Hurricane MkIIs, but the pilots were absorbed by 261 Squadron, with the ground crews acting as a maintenance unit until May 1942, when the Squadron moved to Idku, Egypt, to be again absorbed, this time as a detachment of 89 Squadron, with Beaufighters.
    The MkVI Beau was received soon after, and 46 Squadron commenced operations as a night fighter unit, and provided cover over coastal shipping and over Egypt. In August 1943, detachments of the squadron were based at various locations around the Eastern Mediterannean, as intruder missions took place over the Greek islands, and fighter cover was also provided. Although the Squadron received some Mosquitoes in July 1944, it is thought that these saw little action, as the squadron returned to the UK in December.
    The model will be based on a MkVIF operating from Iduku in the summer of 1943, and there are a number of changes required to model this version from the old Revell kit. This rather large kit was first released in the early 1970's, and the simplicity of design, common for the era, is evident throughout. However, although simple, and totally inaccurate internally, the overall shape and dimensions are fine, and I hope to be able to do justice to what can be a nice model, if a bit on the big side!
    PICS 1 and 2. The colour profile (from SAMI Beaufighter book, via Jan) shows the desert scheme, with the night fighter black undersides extending up the fuselage sides, which I think will make for an interesting, and rather different, subject. Also visible in the profile are the tailplanes which, on this version, wwere changed from the horizontal type of the earlier Beaus, to a sharp dihedral, in order to improve stability and control. These will need to be altered from the kit parts, and I'm still working on a way to do it without too much major surgery being involved!
    The external areas of the kit aren't too bad, and the required radar antennas are included, but there are certain parts which will need attention, apart from the tailplanes, in order to model the MkVI. This includes the cockpit canopy, which is moulded as a veary early type, with the horizontal frames on the quarter lights and the port side screen.
    PIC 3 Shows work under way to remove the frames, and I just hope that the area can be successfully polished back to full clarity. If not, it'll either mean replacing the side panel, or moulding a new canopy. Once fitted, the roof hatch will be posed open.
    The internal fittings and moulded 'detail' are totally incorrect, with the forward bulkhead in the wrong place by a good eight scale feet or so, and a non-existant bulkhead in the rear fuselage observer's position.
    PICS 4 and 5shows the kit instruction drawings for these areas.
    PIC 6 is a cutaway if a MkIF, which had drum-fed cannon, as opposed to the belt-fed guns of the MkVIF. The internal arrangement however is similar, and shows the correct possition for the armoured bulkhead and it's open doors.
    PIC 7 The kit does not provide any internal detail or flooring, apart from the two individual modules already shown. As the model will have the front and rear cockpit hatches open, and also both belly access hatches, the internal areas will need to be scratch-built. These will include the cockpit, using the kit parts as a basis to work with, the observer/radar operators position, and the centre section, which housed the cannon's four ammunition tanks positioned above angled cut-outs in the floor.
    PICS 8 to 10 show the pencilled marks where the flooring, bulkheads and access hatch wells will be built, together with the paper templates produced, which will be used as patterns to cut the basic shapes required from plastic card. These will then be shaped and cut-outs made where neccessary, and fitted to the fuselage before being detailed with scratch-built additions.
    So, once I get the PTO Build Avenger finished, and the Spit XIV finalised, I'll be making a start on this big beastie.
    Watch this space!
    NOTE:- Due to my stupid fingers selecting the wrong pic, I've removed PIC 2 , re-sized it, and it's now the last pic!! This meansd the numbering is now totally b*ll*xed!
     

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  2. Lucky13

    Lucky13 Forum Mascot

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    :shock: That's some size on the pic Terry! :lol: Looking forward to this one! Btw, I take it that you permission to add to your house then?
     
  3. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Ooops! Used wrong pic! Just trying to edit now!
     
  4. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Right, the second pic is now the last pic, if you know what I mean! And yes Jan, I've already planned an alteration in order to fit this one in somewhere!
     
  5. Micdrow

    Micdrow “Archive”
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    Looks like a lot of work coming Terry, I have some info on this aircraft though not a lot if you need something.
     
  6. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Thanks Paul, if it's this particular aircraft, or one from the same squadron, anything will be welcome mate!
     
  7. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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  8. Micdrow

    Micdrow “Archive”
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    Sorry Terry, dont have anything really on this squadron or Jan's. I do have some walk around pictures but thats about it.
     
  9. ozhawk40

    ozhawk40 Active Member

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    Great choice Terry - this is going to be another interesting build. 8)

    Cheers

    Peter
     
  10. Heinz

    Heinz Active Member

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    Great stuff Terry!
     
  11. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Thanks for the interest guys!
    Thanks Paul, I think I'm ok so far for most of the internal shots, but anything you have could come in handy!
     
  12. imalko

    imalko Well-Known Member

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    Cool subject Terry. Looking forward to see your work on this model.
     
  13. Wurger

    Wurger Siggy Master
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    Keep working Terry. Nice choice.:D
     
  14. javlin

    javlin Well-Known Member

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    This should be nice Terry,I am think'in this might take the time frame of the build ?Will be watching Sir.Cheers Kevin
     
  15. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    I think you're right Kevin, which is why I've only planned to do one model for this GB. There's going to be a lot of scratch-building work on the interior alone, and added to that, I'll be away for 6 or 7 days later this month, so there's at least 50 or more hours lost!
     
  16. A4K

    A4K Well-Known Member

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    Looking forward to this one Terry! Love the Beaufighter..
     
  17. Wildcat

    Wildcat Well-Known Member

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    The Beaufighter is one of my all time favourite aircraft Terry, so I'm really looking forward to this mate.
     
  18. Wayne Little

    Wayne Little Well-Known Member

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    Go Terry, thus should be a rippa!:D
     
  19. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Looks like I'd better make a good job of it then! Thanks guys!
    So, the preparation work has started, with, as usual with me lately, some destruction before construction!
    There are areas that need attending to before anything else can be done, one of which is modifying the area where the tailplanes will fit. The kit is for an early Mk1F, with horizontal 'planes, whilst the subject being modelled,the MkVIF, has a 12 degree dihedral on the tailplanes. I've sort of figured out how to achieve this mod, and will be tackling that next, when some cutting will once again be involved. But first, the hatches that will be posed in the open position had to be removed, in order to align the internal structures around the hatch wells, and the upper, observers position.
    PIC 1 shows the cockpit belly access hatch as it is moulded, a solid part of the forward lower fuselage/centre section.
    PIC 2. The moulded hatch has been cut out with a razor saw, and the forward area will be plated internally, to form the rectangular recess where the ladder would sit when the hatch is closed. A 'box' shaped entrance well will be constructed around the hatch, using 1mm plastic card for strength, which will match-up with the forward section of floor and the scratch-built main spar. The cannon ports have also been drilled out.
    PIC 3. Shows the razor saw in action, removing the area which forms the 'solid' part of the observer's escape hatch, which again will be in the open position, hinged to starboard. As there is very little plastic area to join, and then only at the front of this hatch, I'll have to be extremely carefull in fitting the transparent blister, which overhangs the rear of the hatch, as this will have to hold the whole lot together!
    PIC 4. The hatch removed, with the fuselage halves taped together temporarirly. The open hatch is quite large, and a fair amount of the inside of the fuselage will be visible, both front and rear, so it looks like there is going to be a lot of scratch-built interior work! Oh, deep joy!!
    PIC 5. The centre section has been loosely placed in position, to show both the belly hatches. Although the actual open area is only half the lenghth of each hatch, again, quite a lot will be visible through these areas - if you are able to crane your neck to look underneath and up! The hatch covers themselves will be scratch-built from sandwiches of plastic card, with the forward hatch cover also having the integral ladder made from plastic rod.
    PICS 6 and 7. There are a few ejector pin marks, and the fuselage part numbers, on the inside of the fusleage halves. These have been removed, as at least two or three could be visible through the open hatches. The Revell Monogram logo, and the date, 1974, have also been removed, as I don't really think this would be seen on a Beaufighter in North Africa in 1943!!
    Once the tailplanes are sorted, and the fuselage cleaned up, then work will commence on scratch-building the floor, bulkheads, framing, longerons and stringers, before fitting-out with equipment, ammo tanks, radios, radar and seats etc.
    I think this is going to keep me rather busy right to the end of this Group Build!
    Thanks for your interest.
    Terry the Saw!
     

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  20. Catch22

    Catch22 Well-Known Member

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    Good work so far Terry!
     
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