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In-Box Review
Bristol Beaufighter
Peter's Planes 1/144 Bristol Beaufighter (Gold Range)
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by: Luciano Satornetti [ LITTORIO ]

Originally published on:

A history of the aircraft is I think not really needed as most will know the story of the ‘Whispering Death’ as the Japanese called it, but I do think in this case a brief note on this garage manufacture is of benefit.

“I got into casting 1/144 scale resin planes by way of my old interest of 1/144 combat warships and the need to have accurate models of the Arado 196 floatplane for my Graf Spee and Kingfishers for some friend's ships. They only had to be basic models and so a master hand carved from Huon Pine for me and then I made the molds and cast them along with getting decals made and instructions sheets for decal placement and colours for a variety of planes came next. Then I started selling them on Ebay and they went well!

Of course with more models came my desire to improve them and so I now am developing my 'GOLD' Series of planes of highly detailed and accurate models. I have also expanded from my being a single person in the shed in the back yard after work (and when family allows) to now where I have a guy in the Ukraine who does the 3D CAD and CNC milling of my masters, a chap in the Czech Republic who supplies my boxes, a friend in Melbourne who designs my decals and instruction sheets, a bloke in Toowoomba who prints the decals (although I do sometimes use a person in Japan to do some decals too), a mate in Brazil who makes up samples for advertising and lastly I use a 3D printing company in Holland to make my torpedoes!!

However, I still view myself as very much a Garage kit maker!”

The Kit
On to the kit, this arrives in a zip lock bag although for postage it comes packaged in a tough cardboard box with the ‘Peters Planes’ logo on the top to protect it on its journey. The bag has no header or description on it but you can see from the parts that it is a Beaufighter. The kit is made up of seventeen white resin parts two white metal propellers, two sets of vacformed canopies with resin inserts plus in this option eight grey resin rocket projectiles. A small decal sheet is included more on that later. There is a couple of options in this kit, first is you can choose between gear up or gear down, with the undercarriage down provided as two separate doors plus gear legs and main wheels while for the gear up you get a one piece undercarriage door. The other option is the nose, included in the kit is a part to allow you to make a radar equipped Beau’ this will require some cutting and sanding but would save the time required to make it yourself. Overall the parts are nicely detailed for this small scale and only require minor clean up.

Now I think I need to note here that Peter's Planes offer a unique service in that when you order your Beaufighter you can opt for RP’s or not and likewise you decide on your marking option which helps keep the costs down for both parties. Peters Planes also offer parts for A$5 for an option of either a Mk.II and Mk.V version of the Beau’ these are conversions of the base kit where cutting of the wing is required to remove the engines and install the Merlin’s and also fit the turret for the Mk.V

The Instructions
Well for this section all that can be said is there are none, but I would think that if you have searched out this manufacture and this kit then you should know what a Beaufighter looks like. There are not many parts so I cannot see this as much of an issue.

The Marking
Now this is a unique area for this kit as when you make your purchase you decide on which option from a choice of thirty you want and that is what is supplied but for A$35 you can have the whole decal sheet if that is so required. Now you may need to do some research here before you order as with no instructions that also means there is no guide to colours and the markings, so check the option you require.

For this kit I choose option 1, a Beaufighter TX, QM-F of 254 Squadron Costal Command 1944.

Others available are:

  • 1. QM-F (RD579) 254 Squadron Coastal Command RAF. Circa 1944
  • 2. P6-FI (NV425) 489 Sqn, RNZAF. Dallachy, Morayshire, May 1945
  • 3. NG-C (MM856) 604(F) Sqn, RAF
  • 4.R (NV215) Turkish Air Force, 1944
  • 5.KW147 415th Night Fighter Sqn, 12th AF, USAAF. La Vailon, Southern France, September 1944
  • 6.OB-O (RD815) 45 Sqn, RAF. Kuala Lumpur, Malaya, November 1948
  • 7.OB-K (RD824) 45 Sqn, RAF. Kuala Lumpur, Malaya, November 1949
  • 8.WM-L (MM850) B Flight, 68 (Czech) Sqn, RAF
  • 9.BF17 No.8 Esquadrille Portuguese Naval Air arm, Portela de Sacavern 1945?
  • 10.308 Dominican Republic in 1945
  • 11.A8-265 30 (TT) Sqn, RAAF. Target towing aircraft, 1948
  • 12.MM4887 (Ex 252 Sqn) 41 Storma Regia Aeronautica (Captured by Italy)
  • 13.EW-R (X8005) 307 Sqn (Polish), RAF
  • 14.H (V8052) 46 Sqn, RAF, Egypt, late 1943
  • 15.(KV912) 416th Night Fighter Sqn, USAAF, Grottaglie (Italy), November 1943
  • 16.BF10 No.8 Esquadrille Portuguese Naval Air arm, Portela de Sacavern 1945
  • 17.LY-S (A19-171) 30 Sqn, RAAF. Tadji Strip, New Guinea, August 1944
  • 18.71 Israeli Airforce, Circa 1948
  • 19.UB-S (LZ409) 455 Sqn, RAAF. June 1945
  • 20.X2 (NE775) 455 Sqn, RAAF. Langham, Norfolk, June 1944
  • 21.H (RD367) 27 Sqn, SEAC, RAF. Burma, 1945.
  • 22.M (NV862) 211 Sqn, RAF. St.Thomas Mount, India, July 1945
  • 23.Z (NV139) 16 Sqn, SAAF. Biferno, Italy, April 1945
  • 24.MB-T 236 Sqn, RAF
  • 25.QM-F 254 (RD351) Squadron Coastal Command RAF
  • 26.EE-H (NE355) 404Sqn, RCAF. June 1944
  • 27.J (SR914) 1 CAACU, RAF target towing aircraft. Hornchurch, circa late 1940s
  • 28.NT913 unit unknown. target towing aircraft
  • 29.EH-M (A8-20) 31 Sqn, RAAF. 1945
  • 30.DU-I (A8-186) 22 Sqn, RAAF. 1945

Please remember, when contacting retailers or manufacturers, to mention that you saw their products highlighted here - on AEROSCALE.
Highs: Only game in town, nice detail and several options.
Lows: No instructions or painting guide make this one for the more experienced.
Verdict: This is not for the beginner but also is not a hard kit to build it just requires knowledge of the subject and some research before hand to get the option you require.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:144
  Suggested Retail: A$30
  Related Link: 
  PUBLISHED: Jan 02, 2012
  NATIONALITY: United Kingdom

About Luciano Satornetti (Littorio)

Ok, firstly I build what ever takes my fancy however I mainly build 1/350 WWII era ships mainly cruisers and any aircraft. However my favourite aircraft being the mighty Beaufighter, Sepecat Jaguar, Hawker Hunter, Fw-190 and the Su-27 family. I also like wheeled armour like the Stryker and Centauro ...

Copyright ©2021 text by Luciano Satornetti [ LITTORIO ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of KitMaker Network or the British Bulldogs IPMS-UK group. All rights reserved.


Hi, I just wanted to point out that the Beaufighter Gold Series kit is A$20 and not $30 as in the review. It can also be bought for A$15 for the 'Wargamer' version (undercarriage doors closed, solid resin canopies and prop spinners only). regards Peter H
JAN 07, 2012 - 11:59 PM

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