The designers of the Defiant… defied the preconceptions of how a fighter plane should be designed. They foregone all front-firing guns and instead installed a full-blown turret with 4 machine guns behind the pilot. As it turned out, this was not a good decision. The weight of the turret had a big impact on the performance of the plane. Also, soon the enemy fighters realised that there were no guns on the front so they could attack the Defiants head-on. After the first couple of months of the war and the heavy losses they suffered, the Defiants were switched to night fighter duty.
I recently saw a colorised photo of one such night fighter Defiant and I thought it would be nice to build one. As luck would have it, Airfix provides decals for this exact machine with their 1/48 kit!
The Airfix kit is quite good. It’s on par with the previous airfix kit I built, the Hurricane. It too provides a detailed cockpit, machine gun turret and wheel bays. It provides options to display the canopy and the turret doors in open or closed positions. I only used two after-market sets for this, both from Eduard: PE seatbelts and masks for the canopy and turret.
The construction was straight forward and there kit went together without strange issues. A minimum amount of putty was required on the joint of the wings to the fuselage.
Painting was easy too, as this is an all-black scheme. As this was a heavy weathered airplane, I used the chipping method with hairspray for the first time. Before the black (Mr Hobby acrylic) paint, I applied a coat of AK Real Metal Dark aluminium and then a coat of hairspray. After everything was dry, I used a wet toothpick to remove the black and let the metal show. After that, it was time for a gloss varnish and the decals and I finished up the weathering with Tamiya Panel liner, oil wash and a little dry brushing.
The work in progress
The finished model
|Airfix Boulton Paul Defiant Mk.I||1/48||A05128|
|Eduard Defiant NF.I Seatbelts STEEL||1/48||FE909|
|Eduard Defiant NF.I Masks||1/48||EX601|