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The Bristol Beaufighter
A Detailed Guide To Bristol’s
Hard Hitting Twin

by Richard A. Franks

Valiant Wings Publishing
Airframe Album No.14

S u m m a r y

Publisher and Title:

Valiant Wings Publishing
The Bristol Beaufighter
A Detailed Guide To Bristol’s Hard Hitting Twin
by Richard A. Franks
Airframe Album 14

ISBN: 978-0-9957773-9-2

178 pages in A4 Portrait mode, many photographs and walkaround ones, colour profiles and model details..


GBP£18.95 plus shipping available online from Valiant Wings Publishing

GBP£18.95 plus shipping available online from Hannants

and stockists worldwide.

Review Type: First Read
Advantages: Detailed and comprehensive look at the Bristol Beaufighter. Great colour and B&W photos, good line drawings and current walk around photos. Dedicated modellers section.
Disadvantages: None noted

A great, should have, reference for modellers of all scales interested in the Beaufighter aircraft and especially for those with the new Airfix, Revell and older Tamiya kits.

Reviewed by David Couche

HyperScale is proudly supported by Squadron.com



This is a new release from Valiant Wings, Airframe Album series and is titled The Bristol Beaufighter, A Detailed Guide to Bristol’s Hard Hitting Twin. It is authored by Richard A. Franks, a well-known name in modelling and aviation publishing.

This book contains a great wealth of period photographs of the Bristol Beaufighter in action during throughout the stages and theatres of operation in the Second War and in general service for the many nations that flew the Beaufighter. Included are a number colour photographs which will provide great modelling references. The photographs selected are all clear and crisp in nature, with details clearly visible. There are quite a number of coloured profiles produced by Richard Caruana, Seweryn Fleischer and Chris Sandham-Bailey illustrating the many schemes of the Beaufighter in RAF and FAA service as well as in liveries of many of the nations that also used this versatile aircraft. Complementing the photos and profiles are numerous line drawings taken from Flight Manuals of the Bristol Beaufighter.


  • Valiant Wings Publishing  Airframe Album 14 Book Review by David Couche: Image
  • Valiant Wings Publishing  Airframe Album 14 Book Review by David Couche: Image
  • Valiant Wings Publishing  Airframe Album 14 Book Review by David Couche: Image
  • Valiant Wings Publishing  Airframe Album 14 Book Review by David Couche: Image
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The content of the book consists of five main sections plus appendices. These are:

  1. Introduction
  2. Technical Description
  3. Evolution - Prototype, Production and Projected Variants
  4. Camouflage and Markings
  5. Kit Builds


    I. Kit List
    II. Accessory & Decal List
    III. Bibliography

 The first section is the Introduction, covering 23 pages. This gives us a historical look at the development and use of the Beaufighter as WWII progresses and covers the many roles this versatile aircraft undertook. It also details the squadrons that flew the Beaufighter, the theatre of operations and some detail of the Squadron history for this period. This section also details the other users of this aircraft, including the RAAF, USAF, RCAF, RNZAF and many of the lesser known operators of this aircraft.

The Technical Description section of the book, being 55 jammed packed pages, covers the airframe quite comprehensively from nose to tail. The cockpit and engine section.is jam packed with photographs, technical drawings, excerpts from Beaufighter Flight manuals and photos of restored examples. This Technical section also has a great look at the many options of armament and ordinance used by Beaufighters. These sections have provided that special emphasis for details that will be of most interest to modellers.



The Evolution section of 35 pages on the airframe gives a very clear overview of the development of the Beaufighter, from the initial prototypes and pre-production airframes, right through to the multitude variants. The majority of this is by clear isometric line (shaded) drawings of each of the versions.  I must admit I thought I knew a reasonable amount about Beaufighters, but I never knew that there were so many versions and variants. What is really good in this publication, is that a photograph of each version has been included wherever possible to go along with the drawings and support the details.

The Camouflage and Markings section (37 pages) provides many schemes used by the RAF, FAA. Included are schemes for the nations that had procured the airframes for their services. There is a comprehensive explanation for each of the countries camouflage and colour schemes. Colour profiles have been included within the pages of explanations and versions. There are many colour profiles in this section which is a great joy to us, the modellers. Within this section is the only page of plan drawings of the aircraft and these are mainly to support the description of the roundel, code and stencil placements.



The 4th section of the book covers the specially commissioned kit builds, showing construction of 2 Beaufighter models both new TF Mk X versions. Kit builds include the newly released 1/72 Airfix Beaufighter TF Mk X, built by Libor Jekl and the new 1/48 Revell Beaufighter TF Mk X built by Steve A. Evans. This section is takes 11 pages.

The Appendices, again specifically for modellers, lists all Beaufighter kits available, accessories and decals produced in all scales. Unfortunately the choice is not great in the 1/32 lines, with much more in the 1/72 and 1/48 scales. For those interested the main kits would be the Revell (1/32nd), Revell or Tamiya (1/48th), Airfix, Hasegawa, MPM, High Planes, or one of the plethora of kits in 1/72nd scale. Added to this list, is the list of associated accessories of resin and photoetch. A further detailed list of available decal sets add another 2 pages with some great schemes shown.

It’s good to see that there is also a bibliography including all previous book titles for the Bristol Beaufighter so you may chase up further information for your references.





This book has been deliberately produced for the modeller, providing an absolute wealth of reference photographs and detail, profiles and anything else one could wish for to produce and accurate, and even different, Beaufighter. For me, this publication came at just the right time, with a club build of Bristols occurring, and will certainly be used considerably in my build of the Tamiya to ensure technical correctness of the RAAF version I want to build. This is highly recommended to all wishing to build the Beaufighter in any scale

Thanks to Valiant Wings Publishing for the sample.

Review Copyright 2018 by David Couche
This Page Created on 11 March, 2019
Last updated 12 March, 2019

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