1/32 Revell Bristol Beaufighter Pt. 2

Gallery Article by Ryan Gay on Apr 16 2014



Most of what I had to correct was in the pilots seat and entrance to the aircraft. In the original kit, there were only five pieces to the pilots tub. I was tempted to leave it and use the decals which came with the model, however even those were not accurate. I could not leave the interior looking so bad, so I scratch built all of the controls and dials. The original model had a wall to hide the interior of the finished model. I couldn't leave the wall there, and because of that I had to scratch build the entry way, which is visible on the finished plane. To see even more of the entryway, I opened up the hatch on the bottom, which was inaccurate anyway. 
As for painting and weathering, I did the typical drybrushing, dusting, and washes I also tried something new. When one looks at a weathered object, specifically a painted one that has been rubbed down, the colours are different and the weathered part is usually a bit more glossy. I know dry brushing creates this effect abit, however with other things, I think it doesn't work. To make this type of weathering more accurate, I decided to try to literally "wear-down" my aircraft. I painted the interior in several thin layers with different shades of the interior colour, afterwards I took a q-tip soaked with paint thinner and rubbed down the worn areas of the interior (There cannot be too much on the q-tip otherwise all the paint will come off. I soaked the q-tip and then wiped off the excess on a paper towel, made the q-tip damp). I like the effect, when it is used in the correct areas it can be a powerful technique for weathering. This model is a testbed for my idea. The correct combination of drybrushing, washes and dusting with this "wear-down" I think it can be rather easy to get an incredible model. The trick is to get the correct combination.


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Putting the aircraft together was also a great task. Before I did any of the interior work, I corrected the panel lines. Using pictures, I could only approximate the panel lines. However, my approximation is more accurate than the original protruding kit lines. I traced out the lines with a marker using rulers and stencils for the shapes. I used an eraser shield and a custom made tool for panel lines and cut them all out. Afterwards I needed to sand everything. I had to sand all the old panel lines off and then polish the plastic. I went in again and cleaned out my new panel lines. I was sanding for a while. 

I glued the kit together, and as seen on the photographs, the fit is terrible. I used Tamiya putty on all of the seams. There was no seam which correctly fit together. Again, lots of sanding and polishing came next. Sometimes I think a power tool would be nice, but I think such a thing would do more damage.

I have preshaded other aircraft of mine with little success, at least it didn't come out the way I wanted it to. I tried a little more extreme preshading, and subtler exterior colours. It came out much better. It is a little difficult to see the true effect of the preshading in all of the pictures, because the light has to be correct, along with the shutter speed, aperture setting and light balance. I did manage to pull off a few good pictures. 

To get a more scale colour, the paint needs to be lightened and changed. I painted with my airbrush everything free-hand, meaning I didn't tape it up, because I didn't see any hard lines on the pictures I was modeling after. I glossed the Beaufighter with future floor wax before placing on the decals. Washing, chipping and dullcoating finished up my model along with attaching the little pieces. 

A challenging model to correct, and a great learning experience for scratch building, because I haven't done so much correcting on an aircraft before. That just goes to show how accurate the newer kits are. If anyone gets bored of the newer stuff, or wants to get more experience or skill in model building, I highly recommend an older kit. It seems insurmountable in the beginning, but it really isn't.

Ryan Gay

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Photos and text by Ryan Gay