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
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.
images below to see larger images
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.
images below to see larger images