by: Andy Brazier [ ]
History The Boulton Paul Defiant was a British interceptor aircraft that served with the Royal Air Force (RAF) during the Second World War. The Defiant was designed and built by Boulton Paul Aircraft as a "turret fighter", without any forward-firing guns. It was a contemporary of the Royal Navy's Blackburn Roc. The concept of a turret fighter related directly to the successful First World War-era Bristol F.2 Fighter.
In practice, the Defiant was found to be reasonably effective as a bomber–destroyer, but vulnerable to the Luftwaffe's more agile, single-seat Messerschmitt Bf 109 fighters. Lack of forward armament proved to be a major weakness in daylight combat and its potential was only realized when it switched to night combat. It was supplanted in the night fighter role by the Bristol Beaufighter and de Havilland Mosquito. The Defiant found use in gunnery training, target towing, electronic countermeasures (ECM) and air-sea rescue. Among RAF pilots it had the nickname "Daffy".
In the bags All three sets are packed in Eduard's standard re-sealable bag, with the P.E frets protected by a cardboard insert. A set of instructions are supplied with each set.
Defiant Mk.1 interior set S.A
Item No - SS525
Price - £8.50 (Hannants)
The pre-coloured, self adhesive set has one fret and a set of instructions.
This set is for embellishing the cockpit of the Defiant.
Included are a new three part instrument panel, which uses the kit IP as the backing for the P.E parts, a pilots seat, new framework for the pilots seat, a set of harness's, rudder pedal straps, upper bulkhead panel, some side console detail, new throttle levers and some detail for the twin machine guns.
The kits instrument panel is just blank, but Airfix supply a decal, so the three part Eduard replacement is a lot better looking, and does give a more 3D effect. The rudder pedals do not have straps in the kit, how much of this part you will see is debatable. A new pilots seat is supplied which replaces the rather thicker kit seat, but this will need to be folded and the curve in the back rest will be a challenge to get right. The pilots seat is devoid of belts, so the Eduard ones are needed. The other details in the cockpit will liven it up, but some parts are very small, especially the side console detail. The rear bulkhead has a better and more detailed upper portion attached.
The new throttle levers replace the kits rather bulky moulded onto the sidewall part, but this will be challenging as it is a multi fold affair.
The gunners turret has a new seat, and the machine guns get a bit more detail in between the breech blocks.
The instructions are printed in black on white drawings with P.E parts outlined in blue and any of the kits parts to be removed highlighted in red. Bold black numbers show the Airfix parts to be upgraded with blue numbering for the P.E parts. The instructions are easy to follow.
Defiant Mk.1 Landing flaps
Item No - 72600
Price - £7.30 (Hannants)
The Airfix kit doesn't come with separate landing flaps, and are in the up position with the flaps moulded onto the wing halves. The kits flaps are removed for the installation of the P.E parts. One fret and a set of instructions are supplied for the dropped flaps. Eduard's photo etch flaps are a multi part affair with several parts needing multiple folds. Once installed they will be dropped and will look very good, and will add a bit more interest to the aircraft.
The instructions are the same type as the interior set, is in a logical build order and easy to follow, it might not be as easy to build though.
Defiant Mk.1 Mask set
Item No - CX414
Price - £5.60 (Hannants)
The Defiant has the green house type of canopy and along with the turret has plenty of framework to mask, thankfully Eduard have produced a mask set for this complicated area that needs painting. The mask are packed in a re-sealable sleeve with one set of Kabuki masks, and a set of instructions, The set has masks for the main canopy, the windscreen and the rear turret, a set of masks for the main wheel hubs are also supplied. All the masks are tiny so care needs to be taken when weeding the sheet.
The instructions are printed on both sides with the canopy/windscreen and wheel hubs placement guide on one side and the turret placement guide on the reverse. Having used Eduard masks before I can confirm they are easy to apply and on this aircraft they will be a pleasure to use.
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