Frog 1/72 Bristol Beaufort

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Frog 1/72 Bristol Beaufort

huib
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Joined: December 12th, 2015, 2:53 pm

January 29th, 2018, 10:27 am #1

Apparently I'm infected with the Frog Bristol bug, as after my Blenheim, I will now continue with the Frog Bristol Beaufort.

Bristol Beaufort
The Bristol Beaufort was designed after a 1935 Air Ministry specifiction for a new torpedo bomber as a successor for the Vickers Vildebeast biplane. Bristols new design was based on the the Blenheim, but to house a torpedo and a fourth crewmember the fuselage was widened and deepened. To keep everything in the air, span was increased, en to reach sufficient speed more powerful Bristol Taurus engines were installed. Due to teething problems with these engines the Bristol Beaufort wasn't operational until August 1940.

Two Bristol Beaufort Mk.Ia's of 217. Squadron Coastal Command january 1942 (IWM pictures can be freely used for non-commercial use)

The Beaufort however never was a great succes. The Bristol Taurus engines were prone to overheating, it appeared not to be a stable bombing platform, and speed and defensive armament were insufficient for effective self defense against enemy fighters. To solve these problems many improvements were made, including several hundred aircraft equipped wit US Twin Wasp engines, the Beaufort Mk II. By lack of an alternative the Beaufort soldiered on in the homeland theatre until 1942 when it was replaced by the much more effective Bristol Beaufighter torpedo bomber. The remaining Beauforts were transferred to secondary theatres of war, and did useful work in the Mediterranean and the Far East. Also 700 Beaufort were produced under license in Australia, the so-called DAP Beauforts.

Bristol Beaufort Mk.I of 217. Squadron at St.Eval airbase in 1942. (IWM pictures can be freely used for non-commercial use)
Last edited by huib on January 29th, 2018, 10:50 am, edited 1 time in total.
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huib
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Joined: December 12th, 2015, 2:53 pm

January 29th, 2018, 10:49 am #2

Frog 1/72 Bristol Beaufort
The Bristol Beaufort is a lesser known aircraft, overshadowed by both it predecessor, the Bristol Blenheim, and it's successor, the Bristol Beaufighter. It is not well represented in the modelling world. For many years there was only the venerable old Frog kit in 1/72. Now there are also short run kits by Hi Planes and Special Hobby.

Frog, that has more unusual models in its collection, issued the Beaufort in 1963. Altough the box states it should be a Beaufort Mk.II, nothing points in that direction. It is defenitely a Beaufort Mk.I, but a bad one!

I have this nice old box in my collection, but OMG! Very strange and brittle blue plastic, primitive details. A very old Frog stand. More of a collectors item than a kit to build. I do not really dare to build it.

Luckily I also have this boxing from 1970. The same kit, but with an important difference: the plastic is in a much better condition. According to the box this is a the spin-a-prop edition. The smal electromotors however were not included anymore when I bought this kit secondhand.

The decals are awful however: bad quality, out of register, and heavily yellowed. I don't think I'm going to use these. The sparebox will solve my problem hopefully.

Frog offers two decal options: an Australian DAP Beaufort on the left, and a British Coastal Command Beaufort on the right. The kit doesn't take into account that these two Beauforts had different engines and different gun turrets.
So, what's in the box?

Two fuselage halves....

...four winghalves....

....and several very oldfashioned sprues with a lot of very dubious looking parts and quite some flash.
Well, this a quite a difference in quality with the Frog Blenheim kit I built recently. From my experience this looks like like the worst Frog kit I ever saw. So this will demand quite some effort to make something acceptable out of it. But that's the challenge. Let's start!
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johnnyb
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Joined: June 24th, 2015, 5:18 pm

January 29th, 2018, 1:50 pm #3

Nice intro.  The color of that blue plastic is strange!  Good luck with this!
Johnnyb
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hardcastle
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Joined: December 22nd, 2016, 6:08 am

January 29th, 2018, 3:08 pm #4

I am sure you will make a great job of it. Not ever come across these kits in South Africa, s looking forward to see how it comes to fruition.

Tim
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Durban, South Africa
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Spudgun
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Joined: October 14th, 2006, 7:52 am

January 29th, 2018, 6:04 pm #5

In this instance. I've beaten you to it.

And it's a working Spin to boot!
Collectable kits built here. Baggies, blisters or boxed. You collect 'em, but I'll build 'em.
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Matty B
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Joined: January 1st, 2013, 4:31 am

January 29th, 2018, 10:56 pm #6

Really nice. I think I’ve got the Special Hobby kit in the stash - might need to brave the summer heat and venture out to the shed ...


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huib
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Joined: December 12th, 2015, 2:53 pm

January 30th, 2018, 8:13 am #7

Spudgun wrote: In this instance. I've beaten you to it.
And it's a working Spin to boot!
Yes indeed, you have. I like your Beaufort very much.

Thank you guys, for all comments!
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huib
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Joined: December 12th, 2015, 2:53 pm

January 30th, 2018, 8:27 am #8

Scribing and windows

My work on the Beaufort started with scribing the raised panellines. 

Wings done.


Tailplanes done.


And fuselage done. I made sme new apertures in the fuselage. In the left fuselage halve (top) I opened the access door, just in front of the turret. In the right fuselage half (bottom) Frog omitted four windows. Two round ones above the wing, en two irregular four sided windows extending backwards from the nose glazing. I drilled oud the round windows, and cut out a square piece of plastic for the front windows. I want to glue a piece of transparant plastic in place and mask the windows on that.


It didn't work to fill the square hole with a piece of transparant plastic. The fuselage is curving that much that I didn't have a piece of transparant plastic thick enough. So I glued back the original part, filling the saw cuts with thin strips of evergreen. 😚
The intended windows are drawn on with a pencil


The apertures are carefully drilled and filed out. Two pieces of transparant plastic (from a cd-box) sanded in shape.


All windows glazed and polished.
Now to continue with the cockpit interior......
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Danny
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Joined: December 15th, 2016, 1:26 pm

January 30th, 2018, 10:32 am #9

Good luck with this one.  Nice start...
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huib
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Joined: December 12th, 2015, 2:53 pm

February 1st, 2018, 9:08 am #10

Thanks, Danny!

Cockpit interior

On with the interior of the Bristol Beaufort

This is what Frog provides for the cockpit. A bit meagre. The more as I intend to replace the canopies by something more transparant


So, I got out the Evergreen and fixed a new interior. 


Three workstations: left for the wireless operator, the pilot in the middle, sporting an armoured plate behind his back, and on the right the navigator/bomb aimer. 


A dryfit. After a lot of measuring and testfitting, a lot of sanding and filing, everything fits. 


A view on the pilots office.


The torpedo bay, that needs some more detailing later.


I melted some steps and handgrips in the left side of the fuselage with a hot small screwdriver, for the crew to enter the plane.


The interior painted and weathered.


A few on the detail on the right side of the cockpit.


A view on the left side.


The navigators workstation with a desklamp from Ikea.


The middle part of the cockpit. (With some fibres of a cotton stick, I see on the picture)


The wireless operators workstation, with behind his back the main wing spar.


Everything glued in place.


Another persopective.


And the fuselage is closed.
Now to continue with the wings and the engines......
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Shep20
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Joined: June 7th, 2016, 8:16 am

February 1st, 2018, 10:26 am #11

Incredible scratch building as usual Huib, this will be another cracker 🙂
2016 - 6; 2017 - 12; 2018 - 8;
-Joe-
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Matty B
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Joined: January 1st, 2013, 4:31 am

February 1st, 2018, 11:14 am #12

Crackingly good, that. Terrific work!


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Danny
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Joined: December 15th, 2016, 1:26 pm

February 1st, 2018, 7:17 pm #13

Marvelous Huib.
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Stevef
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Stevef
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Joined: November 17th, 2012, 5:18 pm

February 4th, 2018, 7:24 pm #14

Is that really the Frog kit or is it a re-issue with extra detail added? Superb scratch-building (again). Another pig's ear etc....but what a silk purse is coming out of it!
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huib
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Joined: December 12th, 2015, 2:53 pm

February 5th, 2018, 11:55 am #15

Thank you very much, guys!
SteveF wrote:
Is that really the Frog kit or is it a re-issue with extra detail added?
Yes, this is the original Frog kit, but in the 1970 'Spin-a-prop' edition, which means there is a hole in the bottom of the fuselage for the battery, which I closed already for the sake of the torpedo bay. For the rest parts and detail are exactly the same as in my original 1963 boxing.
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