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Hasegawa's 1/72 scale
Beaufighter Mk.X

by Chris Wauchop

 

Bristol Beaufighter Mk.X

images by Brett Green


Hasegawa's 1/72 scale Beaufighters are available online from Squadron.com

 

Introduction

 

Hasegawa's 1/72 scale Beaufighter in the box

Airfix and Frog released their small scale Beaufighter kits in the 1960s. They are both typical products of their era with raised panel lines, crude clear parts and seriously wanting in detail.

More recently, the 1/72 scale High Planes limited run kit certainly added much needed detail and surface features are petite, but its low-pressure injection mouldings do require the hand of a more experienced modeller.

Hasegawa added their Beaufighter family during the 1990s. This remains the best and most buildable Beaufighter in small scale.

Hasegawa initially released a Beaufighter Mk.VI, followed by an Australian DAP Beaufighter Mk.21 and then the TF. Mk.X.

 

 

The kits each comprise over 120 parts in grey styrene and eleven parts in clear. Surface detail is crisp and very finely recessed. Some raised structures are also present where applicable.

Hasegawa's Beaufighters contain structural detail in the undercarriage bays and subtly flattened one piece main wheels. A choice of tail wheels and observer's blisters are included, as is ordnance. Cockpit detail is very sparse though, comprising only a seat and a blank instrument panel with a softly printed decal for dials. The only other disappointing aspect of the kit is the severely understated "hedgehog" exhausts.

Apart from these minor criticisms, this is an excellent kit. In several respects it is, in our opinion, superior to the 1/48 scale Tamiya Beaufighter.

Hasegawa also released a Limited Edition version as kit number CP 119. This special version supplied plastic bombs and white metal hedgehog exhausts. The metal parts were a vast improvement over the original kit parts.

 

 

Construction

 

This is Hasegawa's 1/72 scale Limited Edition kit number CP 119, "Beaufighter Mk.X with Bombs" finished in the markings of 455 Squadron RAAF. This aircraft was based in Scotland.

The kit went together with no problems at all. In fact, the fit of all the parts was just about perfect.

Eduard's detail set 72 275 was used. Although this set was designed for a Mk.VI Beau, most of the set was still used on this variant.

The cockpit interior was especially nice, including a replacement seat and harness, side consoles with quadrants and handles, an authentic instrument panel with printed acetate dials, plus more details aft of the seat.

 

 

Eduard also supplied some exterior details, including the rings for the rear of the bombs and cowling braces.

The only scratch built extras were whip antennas from fine wire, brake lines down one side of each undercarriage leg and a relief tube (at least that is what we think it is) on the bottom of the starboard side from fine copper tube.

Chris started to build new hedgehog exhausts using tiny triangles of plastic on a tapered plastic rod. When he had finished the hard work on one of these, he realised that superior metal replacements were in the box. There was no mention of these in the instructions. Chris decided to use the metal exhausts instead of repeating his scratchbuilding efforts on the second exhaust!

Metal crosshair wire was used for the main antenna wire.

 

 

The fit of the clear parts was so good that no glue was required for the canopy. It almost snapped into place, and now can be removed any time the owner wants to admire all that extra effort in the front office.

 

 

Painting and Markings

 

The model was painted using the metal bodied Testor Aztek airbrush fitted with the fine tan-coloured tip.

The lower surfaces were painted using Gunze Sangyo H74 Sky.

Upper surfaces are Gunze Sangyo H75 Dark Sea Grey.

The engine cowling rings are painted using Tamya XF-64 Red Brown with a dash of XF-1 Flat Black. Silver chipping on the front of the rings was achieved using a silver "Prismacolor" pencil from Sanford.

 

 

Panel lines and various dirty patches on the fuselage using were emphasized using the thin Tamiya Red Brown / Flat Black mix thinned around 80% with alcohol.

Kit decals were used with the aid of Gunze's Mr Mark Setter and Mr Mark Softer. Hasegawa has helpfully supplied the black sections of the invasion stripes to apply over painted white bands. All the decals performed beautifully.

The final finish was a coat of Polly Scale Acrylic Flat.

Following the flat coat, the square lens of the strike camera on the nose of the aircraft was painted with a dab of Micro Krystal Kleer.

 

 

Photography

 

The model was photographed in HyperScale's studio using a Nikon D70 digital SLR. Illumination was via two studio flash units - one Bowens 250 and a generic 100 flash - on stands and illuminating from a high 45 angle from each side of the front of the photography table.

The camera was fitted with a Micro Nikkor 60mm lens.

ISO was set to 250, and the manual shooting settings were 1/100 of a second at f.29. The high aperture ensures good depth of field.

 

 

The model was placed on a base of static grass in front of an enlarged photograph of sky.

For the photos with the extended grass and tarmac foreground, the model photo was merged with a photograph taken at Bankstown Airport in Sydney's south-western suburbs. The colour and tone of the grass in the airport photo and the model photo matched with Photoshop's hue and saturation tool. The demarcation between the model static grass and the real grass in the foreground was merged using the Clone Stamp tool.

A number of additional photos were taken on plain blue cardboard.

All of the images were optimized (brightness and contrast) in Photoshop CS, resized to 700 pixels in width and saved as 75 dpi .jpg files using Photoshop's "Save for the Web" option.

 

 

Additional Images

 

Click on the thumbnails below to view larger images:

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Model by Chris Wauchop
Text Copyright 2007 by Chris Wauchop and Brett Green 
Images Copyright 2007 by Brett Green 
Page Created 02 July, 2007
Last Updated 24 December, 2007

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