One of the most maligned aircraft of the early days of the Second World War would have to be the Boulton-Paul Defiant. Designed around a WW1 idea - the two seat fighter - the Defiant was to serve in a variety of roles throughout WW2, but it is its performance during the Battle of Britain that it is most remembered for.
The Defiant had a brief period of success over the beaches of Dunkirk where its similarity to the Hawker Hurricane brought it some victories when attacking German pilots met a rude surprise from its turret mounted .303 vickers machine guns. However the Defiant is most know for the disastrous showing of No.141 Sqn against the Bf109 on 19 July 1940 in which they lost six of nine Defiants, the Defiant was withdrawn from daylight duties and became a night fighter. However what is forgotten or missed entirely is that No.141 never liked the Defiant, and refused to listen to the other, successful, Defiant squadron, No.264 when they tried to pass on their tactics. In any event, the Defiant was now withdrawn and became a nightfighter. Later it was used as a target tug.
latest from Czech Master is another welcome addition to the modeling closet.
The only other readily available Defiant kit in 1/72 is the ancient Airfix
kit and this model puts the Airfix one to shame. While this is a full
resin kit, the parts breakdown make it a simple one to assemble.
Like most resin kits, the detailing on this one is simply superb. Recessed panel lines throughout is the norm, and the one-piece wing has deep and detailed wheel wells. The interior is well done, with sidewall detailing molded onto the fuselage halves and the rest being built upon a one-piece tub. The turret is also well done, although it could use a little extra detailing, as that large clear turret will show off everything. Parts are included to have the rear fuselage decking either up or down.
I mentioned earlier, the wing is one piece, which makes things both easier
and a bit difficult. There's only one thing you need to get aligned, but
if you don't get it just right it'll be a bear to fix. You'll definitely
want to use epoxy on this joint for the strength and working time. The
only other problem with this one-piece arrangement is that if you want
to display the flaps down you're going to be in for a lot of work.
For marking choices the decal sheet provides you with two options. The
first one is that seen in the profile on the header card: an overall black
Defiant, with a shark mouth from No.151 Sqn during the first half of 1941.
The second is for a
more sedate Defiant from No.2 Sqn on Army co-operation duties during the
summer of 1940, finished in the standard day fighter camouflage of brown
and green over sky. One VERY nice touch in this kit will help painting
either of these schemes, and that is precut vinyl canopy masks. In fact,
the vacuformed canopies are devoid of any framing at all, relying entirely
on the placement of the masks to provide the frames. Two sets of vacuformed
canopies and two sets of masks are provided, allowing you ample room for
mistakes. This will go a long way to providing a very realistic finish
on your model.
The Defiant has been a favorite of a great many modelers and I have seen some very nice results from the Airfix kit. For those who didn't feel up to detailing up that ancient kit, this new release comes to the rescue. Czech Master Resin kits are available from Aviation Usk or Hannant's, and if you're interested in RAF WW2 aviation you owe it to yourself to pick one of these up.