With a new year it is usually followed by resolutions…I don’t go much for that sort of stuff. I purchased the already much lauded 1/48 Airfix Boulton-Paul Defiant from Paul at The Last Stand Miniatures and Gaming Hardware at Corinda just before the new year rolled over. On the first day of January I started building it, and without any resolutions in sight.
First of all I’m not being paid for this. Some folks I’ve recently heard moaning on another forum seem to think that anyone who reviews via online or print media never have a bad word to say because it’s not in their interest too. Well, it’s not the case here. I’ve forked out my own coin for this kit and the Eduard etch set and the incorrectly scaled mask set. More about that later…philosophically speaking.
The kit has been fantastic to build and that is the honest truth. The fit of the parts has been excellent with any fit problems being of my own introduction or the interference of some parts of the Eduard Zoom detail set. The instructions have been followed to the ’T’ and they’ve proved faultless.
The interior is broken into a simple but detailed assembly process. The floor is a ribbed one piece unit with the internal ducting, forward and rear bulkhead, pilot foot wells and rudder pedal assembly. Some appropriate British Interior Green from Mr Color has it looking good. The forward bulkhead also has the oil reservoir attached to it. Be sure to paint it silver before attaching although you could leave it unpainted as you won’t see it from the open cockpit because it sits behind the instrument panel.
The interior side walls feature separately detailed ribbing which have the radio boxes, throttle box and various other ancillary items attached. These ribbed items are attached to the side walls. It was at this point that many of the Eduard Zoom items replace the kit items. I used the set FE753 from Eduard to replace many of the forward interior components. You can view the instruction containing the items replaced here.
Once all of the interior etch or plastic parts were painted and glued into position, the fuselage halves were almost ready for gluing. Before this could happen the two part upper deck forward and aft of the turret was glued into position. Two sprues hold the parts together for setup so that they are in the correct position when glued. You remove them once the fuselage is glued and they are in the correct position. It was at this time that a found a small problem with the fit of the instrument panel. The laminated etch pieces are ever so slightly bigger the the kit original piece so the fit is slightly wider at the small seam just ahead of the forward canopy window. I reduced this by removing a small amount of plastic from the side wall so the part fitted. Once fitted I had a small gap that I filled with some sprue glue.
Apart from this small fit issue, the rest of the fuselage goes together really well. Some Tamiya Extra thin cement brought it all together and a day later I cleaned up all of the seams without a spot of filler. One for the win.
The wings follow a much simpler construction process. The one piece main wheel well glues positively into position. A strengthening wing box/spar gets glued into position before the wing components are glued. The lower centre section of including the main wheel wells has the upper wing parts glued to it. The outer lower wing parts are then glued which results in a seamless join for the parts. Again cleanup is easy and the seams disappear without a trace of filler.
The wing structure is then glued to the fuselage along a natural seam at the wing root where it joins the fuselage. The fit here is excellent and there was only a small amount of liquid filler.