Valom 1/72 Brigand TF.1
KIT #: 72051
PRICE: $
DECALS: Two options
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: Short run kit with resin and photo etch parts.

 

HISTORY

Bristol Aeroplane Company's Brigand was aBritish anti-shipping/ground attack/dive bomber attack aircraft developed as a replacement for theBeaufighter. A total of 147 were built, and they served with theRoyal Air Force inMalaya during theMalayan Emergency andKenya until replaced by thede Havilland Hornet in Malaya and theEnglish Electric Canberra jet bomber elsewhere. The first to be built was the Brigand I or Brigand TF 1 and these entered service withRAF Coastal Command No. 36 Squadron andNo. 42 Squadron).

The Bristol Type 164 was the outcome of the 1942Air Ministry specification H.7/42 calling for a faster edition of theBeaufighter for long-rangetorpedo work and anti-shipping strikes.

Bristol design team under Leslie J. Frise used the wings, tail andundercarriage of theBuckingham with a newfuselage of oval cross-section. The three crew - pilot, navigator/bomb aimer and radio-operator/gunner were grouped together in the forward cockpit. In spite of the official change in its role to abomber, the first 11 Brigands off the production line were completed astorpedo bombers. These initial aircraft served with the RAF Coastal Command from 19461947 before being converted to bombers

THE KIT

Valom has always provided us with interesting subjects and this one is no exception. One of the nicest looking twins to have been built, it comes to us on three full size sprues with a clear one for the canopies and running lights, a photo etch fret and a bag of resin. The resin is for the engine intake scoops, engines, torpedo body and torpedo rack. The etch has belts, some interior bits and the fins for the torpedo. A clear acetate film is given for the instruments that fit behind the etched instrument panel.

The styrene is very nicely molded with superb surface detail. The two canopies are well molded and quite thick, distorting what you'll see through them. The kit builds one of two different aircraft. These have somewhat different details (like canopies) so one does have to make a decision early on as to which will be built. One gets a nicely detailed interior with seats, stick and pedals along with some bulkhead items. The lower forward fuselage has some inserts as this area differs on different versions of the aircraft. Some cutting and hole drilling will be needed as well with Valom providing information on those pieces. The engines are nicely detailed and while some may wish for more, they will be partially hidden once all is together. The aircraft carries not only the torpedo, but rockets as well. These and their mounts are provided, There are no holes or other indications of precisely where these fit so one has to study the construction drawings carefully.

Instructions are well done and if one has built a Valom kit in the past, these will seem familiar. They include photographs of the engines and the cockpit. Color references are in a variety of brands so no worries there. The markings and painting diagram is in full color and offers two different planes, both based at Filton in 1948. The box art plane is in extra dark sea grey over sky and uses the canopy with the gun installed. The second is in extra dark sea grey over white with most of the plane in white. That includes the fuselage, engines and upper leading edges of the flight surfaces. Decals are very nicely printed and should provide no problems installing.  

CONCLUSIONS

Overall, a nice looking kit of an interesting post war British aircraft. I'd be less than candid if I didn't mention that Valom kits can be quite a challenge to build. One never knows until one get underway on how things will turn out. I've had kits that were difficult and others that went together fairly smoothly. For that reason, I'd recommend this for those with experience handling building difficulites; just in case. One thing for sure, this will be a super model when it is finished.

REFERENCES

http://en.wikipedia.org

October 2009

My thanks to Valom at www.valom.net for the preview kit. Get yours at your local shop or on-line retailer

Thanks

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