Completing the 1:72 Airfix Bristol Beaufighter

So far for this Airfix Bristol Beaufighter project we have looked at the basic kit and the squadron I want to model it for… the 489 Squadron RNZAF ETO.

In my previous post I covered the beginning of the construction of the Airfix Bristol Beaufighter Kitset. And left it at the construction of the cockpit, this post can be found here, Making the Airfix Bristol Beaufighter 1/72 scale .

Completing the Airfix Bristol Beaufighter Cockpit

Well now onto the construction of the cockpit, again Arifix provided nothing in the way of detail here other than a rudimentary instrument panel and a bench seat for the pilot to sit on, some bulkhead detail that was out of place and needed removing. So first up I got my trusty motor tool and ground away the bulkhead. I then cut off the tabs for the pilot and ground back the stumps.

Now with the cockpit it was important to have references so I could see what it looked like and decide what I was and was not going to scratch build. After looking over and printing several photo’s from online I made the seat for the pilot the side consoles, a new instrument panel and new bulkhead and spar arrangement.

Attaching the Airfix Bristol Beaufighter Fuselage & Wings

Once complete and dry I painted the entire fuselage with interior green Mr Hobby Aqueous colour and glued it together. Thus ended the most complex part of the whole construction. With the fuselage together I assembled the wings but not before blanking off the wheel wells. Attached the wings and stabilisers, which to Airfix’s credit have the dihedral built into them and were easy to glue in place and get the correct angle.

Airfix Bristol Beaufighter Undercarriage & Wheels

Next I installed the undercarriage and tail wheel. I painted the tail wheel and main wheels silver at the hubs and then masked (not to effectively unfortunately!) off so I could paint the tyres. I then thinned down the undercarriage doors to a thickness more resembling 1/72 scale. With this done I worked on the cockpit canopy, sanding the joining surfaces and gluing plastic strip to make the canopy sit flush with the fuselage. Glued the canopy in and masked it off.

Next I worked on the Radio/gunners canopy taking a Vickers MG from my spares box, I painted the MG and let dry. And made up some two part Tamiya epoxy putty to make the leather boot around it.  I then let it all harden and when hard I glued it in place, but with a little filing to improve the fit.

Painting the Airfix Bristol Beaufighter & Attaching Decals

Now the Kit is pretty much together, so I masked off the canopies and sprayed the kit with the appropriate colours. (At least I hope they’re appropriate) Painted the kitset with future floor polish and applied the decals.

I could only  use some of the kits decals as I wanted to produce a Beaufighter of 489 NZ Squadron. So I went to my spare decals and found some that would do at a pinch and applied them. I used the kits decals for the invasion stripes and some generic aircraft stencils (Trestle here, that sort of thing.).

Getting the decals to settle was no easy task nor was getting them on straight! But I persevered and used plenty of MicroSol setting solution, they were stubborn and some air bubbles persist, but not to noticeable thankfully. Now once they were dry all that was left was to paint the kit in a coat of matte varnish.

After I had weathered the aircraft, for which I scoured the web for pics of operational Beaufighters so I could gain some insight as to how an operational aircraft weathered. And Viola one completed scale kitset of a Beaufighter with a New Zealand twist!


Kit Details
Kit:  Bristol Beaufighter TF-X
Manufacturer:  Airfix
Scale:  !:72
Type:  Injected Styrene
Paint:  Humbrol Enamel 24, 33, 53, 56, 61, 78, 79, 90, 102, 171
Contents:  55 parts; 4 Styrene spues, 1 clear sprue, decals, instructions
Documentation:  Instruction sheet
Kit History:  First edition 1958
Aircraft History:  Developed from the Beaufort Torpedo bomber as a long range heavy fighter. Adapted as a night fighter and anti-shipping strike aircraft. Flown by the Royal Air forces of Britain, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, and US Air force during World War Two. The radial sleeve valve engines made this aircraft extremely quiet and anecdotal evidence claims the Japaness called it “Whispering Death”
References:  Bristol Beaufighter
Kit Assessment
Sprue Quality:  old mould with lots of flash
Kit Detail:  soft with over-sized rivot detail; cocktail detail very basic
Fit:  generally good for age of kit
Decals:  Thick and stiff requiring lots of decal softener
General Comments:  Suitable for age 8+ with skill level 2/4. No internal detail included so requires scratch building for those who want it. Generally accurate in outline and shape.


Now to my next project an ICM 1/72 Me109E-7 Trop. This particular camouflage has always intrigued me so I decided to build one and the price of the kit was to good to pass up! So stay close I’ll post more soon.



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Avid WW2 aviation enthusiast and modeller. Been making model kits since age nine and I now model mostly ww2 model airplanes. (my wife is an understanding one!)

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