Here we look at a diorama in a box in my opinion from ICM with the release of a 1/48th scale Bristol Beaufort Mk.1A with RAF Pilots.


The following introduction is taken from the ICM website:

The Bristol Beaufort torpedo bomber began to arrive at the RAF Coastal Command in late 1939, and the following spring they began to see combat. The aircraft carried out aerial mining of sea harbours, conducted day and night torpedo attacks, and bombed coastal targets. In the course of its operation, the Bristol Beaufort was improved, its armament and equipment changed. The Mk.IA modification received a new machine-gun turret, and ASV radars were installed on the torpedo battleship to search for ships. One of the areas of combat service of this aircraft was the Mediterranean Sea, where the targets were transport convoys and warships of the Axis countries. It should be noted that service on torpedo battleships was extremely difficult and dangerous, and in some periods of the war, losses among their crews were the highest in the entire Royal Air Force. However, despite all the difficulties, torpedo bomber pilots were able to carry out a significant number of successful attacks on enemy ships.


This offering from ICM arrives in a flip top cardboard tray with a separate card lid. Inside the contents are packaged in 2 resealable plastic bags with the aircraft one having the clear sprue bagged inside with the rest of the kit. The instruction booklet is loose in the box, and is used to protect the decals an instruction sheet is also loose in the box.

The aircraft model itself is identical to the previously released version, and so you have a lot of decent internal detail, and very finely engraved exterior panels lines. The cockpit of course suffers from the usual ICM weakness of no harness detail being provided. At the very least I believe the modeller with wish to replicate that. The instrument dials are provided as decals, but I believe there are after market sets available to lift this model considerably.  I am sure that sets are also available to lift the models details internally, externally should you desire. 

The glazing panels meet my expectations, with the external panels lines being a thing of beauty. Some internal wheel bay details are covered, but I suspect that this could be taken a lot further. With that said, I am very pleased with what is included in the box. 2 decent replications of the radial engines are included, but again could still be lifted further if desired. The defensive weapons stations are minimal for the scale, but it really depends on what you want from the kit. The offensive weaponry in the form of a torpedo can be mounted either in its transport cradle or on the aircraft. A nice thought here is that one of the figures is specifically marked out as someone who is dealing with the torpedo. Locator arieals are nicely covered in the kit, for finding the needed target for the torpedo. The model is finished off with a set of mask templates for the glazing areas. 

4 finishing options are included in this release:

Bristol Beaufort Mk.1A, DD959 Q, 217 Squadron, Malta, 1942

Bristol Beaufort Mk.1A, L9965 T, Mediterranean Sea Region, 1942

Bristol Beaufort Mk.1A, DX157, Presumably Indian Ocean Region, Spring, 1944

Bristol Beaufort Mk.1A, EK979, RAF Training Unit, Bilbais, Eygpt, 1944

Moving to the scale figures for the set, which I cannot recall having seen before. You get 3 flying air crew and 2 ground crew both of the ground crew members have torps written across their backs. 1/48th scale figures are something that ICM cover very well and this release is no exception. What you get here is 3 of the aircraft crew, assembling prior to flight with the 2 ground members preparing the torpedo for installation. The detail on the figures, along with a dedicated paint set for RAF flight crews will give you the potential for a stand alone diorama straight from the box. You only needing to provide a suitable ground coverage depending which country you have finished the aircraft colours in.


This offering from ICM is a very pleasing combo release, with a lot of detail. There are or course areas that can be improved, but I would restrict myself to adding extra cockpit detail at the very least the harness detail is needed. Otherwise I think that every aircraft modeller will be happy with what they get in this release.



You may also like