ICM 1/48 Beaufort IA w' tropical filters
$65.00 delivered from Poland
Scott Van Aken
Developed by the Bristol Aeroplane Company, the Bristol Beaufort
torpedo bomber began to enter service with the RAF Coastal Command in late
1939. The aircraft was actively used to perform various tasks, and its peak
production was up to 30 machines per month. Later the Bristol Beaufort was
improved, the composition of armament and equipment changed. Most notably
the US of Pratt & Whitney engines on later marks which came about thanks to
Australian production, the Aussies unable to get British engines. Eventually
British production started using them as well as they were more reliable.
The Mk.IA modification had a new machine gun turret, similar to the
one installed on the Bristol Blenheim bomber. Also, ASV radars began to be
installed on torpedo bombers, which were used to search for surface targets.
The type was widely used in the Mediterranean and North Africa. Here
their targets were convoys of transport ships and warships of the Axis
countries. They were also operated out of India against Japanese targets
around Burma. Operation in high temperature conditions led to the use of
modified carburetor air intakes on Beaufort engines, creating the Mk.IA.
is ICM's second boxing of their recent Beaufort I kit, depicting the IA
with the larger carb intakes. I'm not sure if the sprues are identical
to the initial Mk.I boxing, but I'd be surprised if they were not. One
does need to do a bit of planning, for if one wants to have things
closed up (such as the bomb bay), then there are parts and steps that
can be skipped. There are also pieces that are specific to the different
camo options so for that reason alone, one really needs to be prepped
beforehand (which means actually reading through the instructions before
starting. This would be especially true if using aftermarket decals.
Some of the options are the use of the torpedo or not, the installation
of the radar, and different flaps. While none of the options call for
the undernose turret, that item is available and the instructions show
it. Also different in some options is a dual nose machine gun. The kit
provides separate exhaust pieces for the engines. If you are going to
model the cowling closed, you can leave off these fussy items. The kit
shows the flaps lowered, though all but one period photo that I found
(and that one was under power), showed the flaps raised while on the
As you'd expect, the interior is very nicely detailed and while the area
behind the cockpit will be pretty much invisible when the kit is done,
the cockpit won't so it is worth building up all the bits. There are
short wing spars provided to help with aligning the wings.
are very good and use ICM, Revell, and Tamiya paint numbers. There are
four options in a variety of camo schemes. The box art plane from an RAF
training unit in Egypt is in dark earth and middlestone over azur blue.
Another desert scheme plane, but with blue-grey undersides is from the
India theater. There is one in dark blue and grey-blue over azure blue
based in the Med during 1942 and the last one is in extra dark green and
dark grey over azure blue with 217 squadron on Malta. I'd take some of
these color choices with a grain of salt and do more research if the
colors seem odd. The decal sheet is nicely done and in register.
This is an excellent kit. Those who have built one have been singing its
praises. I appreciate that they provide a template for making your own
canopy masks, though I'm not willing to go through the work of doing
that and will wait for a commercially available set.
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