Red Roo Models


RRR48156 RAAF Target Towing Beaufighter conversion (for Tamiya Beaufighter MkVI kit)


by David Harvey

 

Review Type

First Look

Scale:

1/48

Price:

$29.70 AUD from Red Roo

Contents and Media:

Resin, PE and assorted other pieces of wire, card and brass.

Advantages:

Very comprehensive

Disadvantages:

 

Recommendation:

Highly Recommended

 

Introduction

One of the relatively forgoten parts of the airforce is the Target Towing aircraft. For many years this has been left in the background as it wasn't seemingly 'exciting enough' compared to the fighter aircraft. But in the last few years there seems to be a definite increase in the knowledge and availability of not only markings but kits or conversion sets. It has always surprised me with the lack of available kits as the many aircraft that have been used as Target Towers in order to train future pilots is astounding!

As part of this rise in interest levels, Red Roo models some years ago started working on the concept and components. Finally it has all come to fruition and they have released the much anticipated set in both 1/48 and 1/72(to be reviewed next update).

Instructions

To sum it up in one word - Extensive! Red Roo has provided thirteen pages of instructions to carry out this conversion plus several pages of decal placement and colour schemes for the five aircraft featured. You receive a short history of the type then numerous images, drawings and templates to use to place the different parts into the right spot or showing you where to drill holes. The last page of the instructions is how to make the Banner Target for those that want to do something very different.

In these instructions you are told what to do, how to do it and where to do it in a very precise manner. If anything this is the only downfall, if you could call it that, to the whole set as it is very precise and technical which may put some off a little but you are left in no doubt what you are to do.

Contents

This set contains the following items:

  • 1 x Target Chute (brass tube);
  • 1 x Target Towing Winch and Windmill (resin);
  • 1 x Target Towing Pulley Bracket (resin);
  • 1 x Target Towing Pulley fairing (resin);
  • 1 x Target Towing Pulley Mast (brass wire);
  • 2 x short exhaust pipes (resin);
  • 2 x Cowl Flap Assy (resin);
  • 1 x Pilots Seat (resin);
  • 1 x Observer's Seat (resin);
  • 2 x Main Wheels (resin);
  • 1 x PE Fret containing the following parts (with spares):
    • Fin reinforcement plate;
    • Tailplane Reinforcing Plate;
    • Cable Guard Support;
    • Cable Support Lug; and
    • Collector Ring Support Bracket.
  • 1 x 42in metallic threads tow cable and empennage guard;
  • 16 x Rocket Mounts (4 sets of left and right - front and rear);
  • 2 x Oil Cooler Fairings (resin);
  • 2 x Oil Cooler Mesh (PE);
  • 2 x plastic card disks for mesh backing;
  • 1 x brass wire for wing tip rear facing resin position lights; and
  • 2 x V shaped .015in wire for oil cooler, lower cable bracket stud and IFF antenna.

As usual with resin components you would need to give them a bit of a wash but for some of these components you would need to be VERY delicate due to the thinness of the castings.

The rocket mounts
The Pilot and Observor seats
The Winch and windmill
The wheels and oil cooler fairings

 

Looking through the resin components in the set I must say that they are very nicely cast. The only exception to this would be the cowl flaps that have slight 'dimples' on them, most likely due to them being so thin to the point of almost being translucent. These 'dimples' would require very delicate filling if you would that concerned about how they looked but I don't believe that you would really notice them as is. One other thing with the cowl flaps is that due to them being so delicate one of them received some damage in transit and had a section broken off.

The components I found most interesting is the rocket mounts as they are a combination of resin cast over a wire that allows the part to be fixed to the kit without the need to drill and peg it yourself. I like this as lately I have had to do a fair amount of drilling and pegging with wire on small components and anyone that lessens the amount of this I have to do is in my good books!

The exhaust pipes and other items
The Cowl Flap Assy
The Cowl Flap Assy
The PE fret

 

You receive two PE frets in this set as by accident the Collector Ring Support Brackets on the original fret were the incorrect size so a new fret was done and included in the set. Something I didn't realise until I read into the instructions is that Red Roo has included a PE saw on the edge of the original PE fret to assist you in cutting the resin.

Decals

As part of the set you receive the markings for five different aircraft and a short history of the following aircraft:

  • Beaufighter TT A8-265 in yellow and black stripes.
  • Beaufighter TT A8-359 in Yellow and black stripes.
  • Beaufighter TT A8-363 Silver uppers and yellow and black undersides.
  • Beaufighter TT A8-364 Silver uppers and yellow and black undersides.
  • Beaufighter TT A8-328 Silver uppers and yellow and black undersides.

In addition to the serial numbers you receive national markings, stencil data and a few other warning markers. All the colours are solid and look good as I have come to expect with Red Roo products. The serial numbers are in the correct font as per the images of the aircraft.

One of the challenges that these decals produce is that Red Roo has supplied the 'A' numbers in yellow and black to stand out from the yellow or black stripes. This means that you will need to match the yellow of the stripes with the decals or accept the different colour. I understand that the decals were done in Trainer Yellow and should not provide too much contrast if placed over most manufacturers versions of the colour.

 

Recommendation

This appears to be a very thorough conversion set that should certainly help make a totally different looking Beaufighter. The instructions are thorough, the colour schemes are striking and the decals look like they are up to the standard I expect of Red Roo product.

I highly recommend this set for those that would like a very different looking and coloured Beaufighter.

Review set courtesy of Red Roo Models.