CMK 1/48 CONVERSION
BEAUFIGHTER IIF


Beaufighter Mk IIF conversion


Review by David Harvey

 

Review Type:
First Look
Contents and Media:
1 printed decals sheet (laser), 1 screen-printed white decal. An A4 sized instruction booklet with profile of the aircraft and decal instructions.
Price:
$? AUD
Scale:
1/48
Advantages:
Covers a version of the Beau that would otherwise not be modeled
Disadvantages:
Incorrect decals, possible ill fitting parts
Recommendation:
Highly recommended but check to ensure correct decals are included

 

Introduction

The Mk IIF Beaufighter was a conversion powered by the Rolls Royce Merlin XX liquid cooled in line engines. This conversion was done to cover the possibility that production of the normal Beau engine, the Hercules, would be strained resulting in a shortage. The tally for the aircraft was 450 of the 910 Beaufighter's produced in 1940.

With the change in engine profile from the normal round engine to the more slimmer Merlin; the Mk II was slightly faster than the Mk I already in production. The aircraft was used for the night fighting role by the RAF and as such 455 SQN (RAAF) in England was issued with it.

The conversion

The set consists of 34 pieces of tan resin. The set has been previously been reviewed by Tony Oliver on Hyperscale but CMK seem to have changed the number of parts and the way they have have molded them. The main change is that the top wing insert is now separate from the engine nacelle instead of joined. The parts are all molded well with some flash around a few of the parts that should be easily cleaned up. I have used a few of the CMK sets previously and they were not a good fit in most areas so I would suggest that every item is test fitted thoroughly prior to glueing. The hardest part of the conversion would be the removal of the engines to allow fitting of the Merlin engines. The engines on the lower wing are cutout and the panel for the top wing is also removed. The resin wing sections that replace the cutout panels seem to my eye to be a fraction small but may fit well when actually fitted to the kit, cut small and test fit thoroughly. One smaller area that requires cutting is the air intakes (?) on the wings just outside the engines. CMK provide resin inserts that should be able to be fitted and shaped into the wing profile.

The Hyperscale review highlighted the oversize spinners but the current set seems to have amended that error. I could see no warping or breakages on my set but the Tony may have just been unlucky. The engines are nicely detailed as are the rest of the parts. The panel lines and rivet detail are also not too deep or seemingly over scale.

 

The instructions

The instructions consist of a single double sided A4 sheet. The sheet has a breakdown of the components of the set, followed by the five steps involved in converting the aircraft and the decal placement instructions. The instructions cover the the conversion in reasonable detail and shows the area that requires cutting.


The decals

The decals provided with the set were supposed to be for the aircraft RX*Z but for some reason CMK provided the same markings as for the Mk 1F set (WM*H / WM*P). I thought I had mixed up the different sets during the writing of the reviews but on check all of the CMK sets I own they were all the same. I am unsure on who makes the markings but they look OK on the sheet.

Recommendation

The set seems well laid out and has no warping that I can see. The biggest problem I can see is that the replacement upper wing panel may be a fraction small but with test fitting and filling it should fit in well. It is a bit disappointing that the incorrect decals were included in the set but I don't plan on using them anyway as it will become a 455 SQN aircraft when made.

At the end of the day I highly recommend the use of the set.


 

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