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Bristol Beaufort Mk.Ia/II
Home Islands and Malta
 

Special Hobby, 1/72 scale

S u m m a r y

Catalogue Number: Special Hobby kit no. SH 72083 Beaufort Mk.II.
Scale: 1/72
Contents and Media: 94 medium grey plastic parts on five sprues, 13 clear parts on one sprue, 28 light cream resin parts, 12 PE parts on one fret, decals for three aircraft and 14 page A5 instruction booklet with history, parts plan, 18 build diagrams and 3 pages of markings drawings.
Price: USD$21.96  from Squadron.com
Review Type: FirstLook
Advantages: Excellent kit that will build into a highly detailed model; parts for two variants and Australian extended fin included; excellent resin detail including two each of Bristol and P&W engines; very clear injection moulded canopy and turret.
Disadvantages: Red in the British markings looks a little on the bright side; register problem with decals, lack of detail in dorsal turret and gun openings in turret, nose and fuselage machine gun slots have to be cut out.
Recommendation: Recommended


Reviewed by Glen Porter


 Special Hobby's 1/72 scale Beaufort Mk.Ia/II is available online from Squadron.com
 

FirstLook


Late last year I reviewed the Special Hobby Beaufort Mk.I.

This latest Special Hobby offering is for the Mk.Ia and Mk.II. Most of the sprues are the same. The main difference is in the engines and armaments. The Mk.II used American P&W R-1830 engines, heavier and more machine guns and was fitted with airborne radar. The Mk.Ia had the same armament and radar as the Mk.II but with the original Bristol Taurus engines as in the Beaufort Mk.I but with more power. Consequently, both types of engine are supplied in this kit plus the associated cowlings and nacelles.

 

Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:


The armament fit is a little confusing however. Although they give you enough guns to go around, the numbers in the instructions don't quite match those in the parts plan if you want to have all guns fitted. For instance, in the instructions, the turret can be fitted with one or two Brownings and if one is opted for, the twin can be fitted in the nose but there are enough to fit the twin in the turret and still have two in the nose as well as the two waist guns.

The detail in the dorsal turret is bare compared to what Special Hobby supplied in the Defiant kit and also the navigator/bomb aimer's station in the nose may look a little vacant considering the amount of glazing above it, but the cockpit is very good.

 

 

All the slots for the guns in the turret and waist have to be cut out and I think this is a pity as I can see it causing a challenge for some modellers. They were open in the Defiant turret so why not here?

 



Like the Mk.I kit, a nicely detailed aerial torpedo is supplied, or optionally, bomb bay doors but no bombs. PE is used for the torpedo's fins and aerial tail with the body in plastic. The rest of the PE is used for the three radar aerials.

Again, like the Mk.I, the decals have red in them that, in my opinion, is too bright but in my example the multi coloured decals are all badly out of register. This is odd because all the Aviprint decals I've seen up till now have been very good.

 

Conclusion

 

If you were to compare this review with that of the Mk.I, you might be forgiven for thinking that this is a lesser kit, but it's not. All my criticisms here also apply to the earlier release, with the exception of the decal registration, but when I reviewed the Mk.I, I admit that I was some what euphoric at finally having an accurate and detailed Beaufort in 1/72 scale and missed some of the nitpicks. Even so, both are excellent kits and will build into highly detailed models, although they are not designed for the beginner.

One final note. This kit comes with the Australian extended tail fin. Obviously, Special Hobby intends to release an Australian DAP Beaufort with decals to match but I think one can be built from this kit providing you are willing to supply your own decals.

Recommended to all but the inexperienced. Enjoy.

Thanks to MPM/Special Hobby for the review sample.


Review Text Copyright 2005 by Glen Porter
Images Copyright 2005 by Brett Green
Page Created 12 October, 2005
Last updated 11 October, 2005

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