by: Gary Kato [ ]
IntroductionReview of "Warpaint #1: Bristol Beaufighter" by Alan W. Hall.
Published 1995 by Hall Park Books Ltd. Softbound, 24 pages, 11.75"x 8.5". English text.
The Bristol Beaufighter was a twin-engine fighter developed privately by Bristol. The RAF was looking for something with longer range and it fit the bill. It was used during WW2 as a day fighter, night fighter, ground attack, and anti-shipping strike aircraft by the RAF, RAAF, and USAAF. The Beaufighter was built in Great Britain as well as Australia. It saw service over Western Europe, the Mediterranean, and the Pacific.
The BookThe text gives an overview of the development and service use of the Beaufighter with sections on:
Similar Construction - Describes the advantages due to commonality with the Beaufort.
Prototype Development - Describes alternate designs.
Radar Installation - Development of the Night Fighter version.
Other Commands - New versions for Coastal Command.
Torbeau - Adding torpedoes to the Beaufighter repertoire.
Far East Service - With the RAF and production in Australia and use with the RAAF. Also exports.
Target Tugs - Postwar use and survivors.
Beaufighter in Detail (5 photos showing the pilot's cockpit, tail view, and various wing and engine details)
Beaufighter Picture Miscellany (4 photos and two cut-away drawings of a Ic and If showing the interior)
There are tables of Production (Type and serial number ranges and factory), Squadron Usage (for all countries that used it), and Kits and Decals (as of November 1995).
Nearly all (33) photos are Black & White with 3 color photos; one on the front and two on the rear cover.
There are 37 color profiles:
If, No. 35 Sqn, Summer 1940
If, No. 456 Sqn
If, No. 604 Sqn, Late 1940
IIf, No. 307 Sqn, Late 1941
IIf, No. 456 Sqn
V, A&AEE, May 1941
IIf, No. 456 Sqn, Summer 1942
If, No. 89 Sqn, Malta, 1942
VIf, No. 96 Sqn., Oct 1943
VIf, No. 29 Sqn., Early 1943
If, No. 252 Sqn.
If, No. 46 Sqn.
VIc, No. 272Sqn.
TF. X, No. 144 Sqn., Coastal Command
TF. X, No. 404 Sqn., Coastal Command, Early 1944
TF. X, No. 455 Sqn., Mid 1944
TF. X, No. 211 Sqn., 1945
TF. X, No. 27 Sqn., July 1945
TT. 10, No. 17 Sqn.
IIf, 789 Sqn., Fleet Air Arm
VIf, No. 600 Sqn
TF. X, No. 254 Sqn., Coastal Command, 1944
TF. X, No. 455 Sqn., Coastal Command, 1944
VIf, No. 272 Sqn., Malta. 1942
TF. X, Turkish Air Force
IIf, 798 Sqn., Fleet Air Arm
Mk. X, No. 22 Sqn., RAAF
Mk. 21, No. 30 Sqn., RAAF
VIf, No. 310 Sqn., Dominican Air Force, 1948
VIf, 415th Night Fighter Sqn., USAAF, 1944
If, First Prototype
If, No. 252 Sqn., Coastal Command, Early 1941
If, No. 604 Sqn., February 1941
IIf, No. 255 Sqn., September 1941
VIf, No. 29 Sqn., Early 1943
TF. X, No. 236 Sqn., Late 1944
TF. Mk. 21, No. 93 Sqn., RAAF, February 1945
There is a 5-view color profile of a Coastal Command Beaufighter TF.Mk.X. There are top profiles showing the camouflage patterns for day fighter, desert, initial and revised night fighter schemes and one showing placement of D-Day invasion stripes. The centerfold has a 1/72 4-view drawing of the Beaufighter Mk.VIc with supplemental drawings for Beaufighter Mk.II and Mk.X.
ConclusionThe text is short, of necessity, as the story of the Beaufighter would fill several books (and have). The detail photos are good but there aren't enough of them. Checking the scale of the scale drawings show them to be close enough to 1/72. The main draw of the book, and the whole Warpaint series, are the profiles and the scale drawings.
This book was bought with my own money from Sprue Brothers.
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