Beaufighter IIf Conversion
This conversion set from CMK allows the modeller to convert Tamiya's 1/48 Beaufighter into the Merlin XX engined night stalker.
The set is moulded in a pale tan polyurethane resin. On first appearances the resin seems brittle, as evidenced by two broken items from the 19-piece set. Possibly the journey from Eastern Europe and the vagaries of the British postal system played a part in this.
The parts breakdown comprises two solid Merlin XX nacelles with moulded in carburettor intakes, nicely hollow cast and also exquisitely engraved radiator mesh air intakes. However the rear or the intake is solid and un-detailed with only a hint of the radiator flap outlined. Also needing to be added to this area, and not included, will be mesh de-icing screens for the carburettor intakes.
The next large piece of casting is the engine to wing fairing incorporating the undercarriage bay. This single piece is designed to fit the kit's wing section after a suitable chunk has been removed from the wing upper surface. At a glance this seems to be a well thought out way of dealing with this tricky area whilst ensuring the alignment of the nacelles remains true.
Further details include blanks for the wing leading edge intakes to replace the kit Hercules variants intakes, a new pair of accurately profiled horizontal stabilisers with the all important trim tab actuator moulded onto the lower surface. The only drawback is that this piece is still solid.
A new set of landing gear struts is included to augment the kits oleo units. To top off this area, a set of gear doors with some nice internal rib detail are included.
The DeHavilland propeller blades in my set were warped, but easily fixed by immersion in warm water. Another minor problem is the diameter of the spinner in relation to the nacelle. It appears to be a bit large in diameter and whilst this can be remedied by sanding down the back plate it doesn't address the spinner profile problem, which in my limited Beaufighter experience looks a tad too pointy!
A small decal sheet includes dull red codes for T3370. These are printed by Propagteam and supply a concise instruction sheet that calls out the Tamiya parts numbers. This rounds out an interesting member of the Beaufighter family.
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Review Copyright © 2000 by Tony