Valiant Wings Publishing | Airframe Detail No. 10: The Bristol Beaufort
Reviewed by Kevin Futter
UK-based publisher Valiant Wings Publishing has just released the tenth volume in its Airframe Detail series, covering the Bristol Beaufort. Entitled The Bristol Beaufort: A Technical Guide, this 98-page volume is authored by series editor Richard Franks, and illustrated by Richard J. Caruana.
Following the usual format for this series, the book consists of only three main sections, plus an introduction and appendices:
- Technical Description
- Camouflage & Markings
- Beaufort Builds
The appendices feature a run down of available kits and accessories, as well as a concise bibliography on the type. Let's take a closer look at each section.
While not listed as one of the major sections in the book's index, the Introduction consists of a handy 14-page history of the type, copiously illustrated with captioned photographs.
This includes details of foreign users, along with a list of extant surviving airframes. Also provided is a list of airframe serial numbers, and a summary of variant specifications. This latter information is especially handy when trying to navigate the salient features of any particular version.
This is the longest section of the book, clocking in at 39 pages. The content is a mix of period and photos, contemporary photos of surviving or restored airframes, and technical drawings.
This section is the meat of the book, and invaluable for anybody planning to build and detail a Beaufort kit. Sadly, at the time of writing this review, there is nothing available in 1/32 scale, aside from the Tigger Models (ex-I.D. Models) vacform kit.
Camouflage & Markings
This section comprises 15 pages, and includes a nice selection of colour profiles by Richard Caruana, along with a selection of period photographs.
The foreign service options are limited to some Australian aircraft and a single Turkish machine. Also included a handy stencil placement guide (no scale given).
This section contains a pair of model builds by Libor Jekl and Steve Evans respectively, each featuring a relatively new kit of the type.
Jekl delivers an excellent build of the recent Airfix 1/72 Beaufort Mk I kit, and the resulting model is outstanding.
Evans tackles the equally new ICM Mk I kit in 1/48 scale, with equally outstanding results.
The four appendices occupy the last nine pages of the book, and cover known kits, accessories, and decals, along with a brief bibliography (which is a handy adjunct for those doing deep research into the type). There's also a handy list of Beaufort squadrons as Appendix IV.
Some scale plans would have been handy, as would the isometric comparisons between variants that are found in the Airframe & Miniature series. But of course, neither of those elements is a feature of the Airframe Detail series, and we will have to live without them.
Overall, though, this is a very good one-stop technical reference for the neglected Bristol Beaufort. As a self-proclaimed Technical Guide, this book's detailed coverage of the areas commonly of interest to modellers (cockpit, wheel bays, engine) makes it essential if you're interested in modelling the Beaufort.
Thanks to Valiant Wings Publishing for the review sample.
© Kevin Futter 2023
This review was published on Thursday, April 13 2023; Last modified on Thursday, April 13 2023