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Boulton Paul Defiant
Night Fighters
Parts 1, 2, 3 & 4

Owl Decals, 1/72 scale

S u m m a r y :

Description
and Item No.:

Owl Decals Sets Nos. OWLDS72072, OWLDS72073, OWLDS72074, OWLDS72075 – Boulton Paul Defiant Night Fighters parts 1, 2. 3 and 4.

Contents and Media:

Four separate sets of decals for 1/72 Defiant kits.

Price:

66 Kcs (54.55 Kcs Export) plus postage from Owl e-shop.

£2.99 (£2.49 Export) plus postage from Hannants

Scale:

1/72

Review Type:

First Look

Advantages:

Accurate decals, well produced.

Disadvantages:

None noted.

Recommendation:

Alternative schemes for Defiant night fighters which will suit any 1/72 Mk I kit. Part 4 depicts Defiant IA aircraft with radar aerials which need to be obtained or made separately.

Highly Recommended.

Reviewed by Ed Russell



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Introduction

 

Background

The Defiant had proven unsuited to the demands of day fighter combat and was transferred to night operations instead.  By July 1940, 141 Sqn were operating both by day and night and from September onwards, the squadron principally at night. The first confirmed kill – a He111 - by a Defiant of the squadron was made on 22 December.

Defiant night fighters initially lacked airborne interception radar, thus enemy aircraft were spotted and attacked via the eyes of the crew alone, aided by ground-based searchlights intended to illuminate attacking bombers.

In the opening months of 1941, as the German night bombing campaign reached its peak, increasing numbers of Defiant night fighter-equipped squadrons became operational. Radar-equipped Defiants, the Mk.IA and later Mk.II, began joining operational squadrons as the Luftwaffe's bombing campaign ended.

Defiant night fighters typically attacked enemy bombers from below, either ahead or to one side, in a similar fashion to a Schräge Musik attack. During the Blitz on London of 1940–41, the four Defiant-equipped squadrons were responsible for shooting down more enemy aircraft than any other type.

 

 

FirstLook

 

Since 2002, the Czech accessory manufacturer, Owl, have specialised in decals, resin and photoetch with a constant theme of night fighters. Initially in 1/72 scale, they have moved into 1/48 and 1/32. Their products have been well researched and produced.

This offering provides four sets of decals with two aircraft per set. There are roundels and fin flashes where appropriate for one model. Some of them are uncommon sizes and configurations and you may need to search and adapt to model both aircraft from each sheet.

The first two sheets depict Defiants with Medium Sea Grey codes and Dull Red serials appropriate to the first part of the Blitz.


 

OWLDS72072 Defiant Night Fighters Part 1

Defiant Mk I N1745 JT-P 256 Sqn. An aircraft used by Flt Lt Christopher Deanesly and Sgt Jack Scott. Deanesly was an ace with 4 kills in Defiants.

Defiant Mk I N1744 JT-S 256 Sqn. The aircraft regularly used by (future ace) PO Dennis Hughes and Sgt Deane. Photos show N1744 was very weathered and carried a gas detection patch, as depicted by the painting instructions.


OWLDS72073 Blenheim Night Fighters Part 2

 

 

Defiant Mk I T3954 ZJ-K 96 Sqn An aircraft flown by FO Vlastimil Veselý and recorded as flown by other Czech pilots.

Defiant Mk I N3377 PS- J 264 Sqn Aircraft flown by PO Michael Young and Sgt Les Russell. With 13 victories in Defiants they were one of the most successful crews.

The second two sheets depict Defiants with Dull Red codes and serials appropriate to the later period of the Blitz.


OWLDS72074 Defiant Night Fighters Part 3

 

Defiant Mk I N3323 JT-U 256 Sqn Flown by Sgt Joe Berry, who would later claim 3 victories in Beaufighters and 50+ V1 missiles in Tempests with the elite FIU.

Defiant Mk I Mk I V1137 RA-F 410 (Canadian) Sqn. This was the first Canadian nightfighter squadron and this set depicts the aircraft of the American-born CO, Sqn Ldr Paul Davoud. If it is based on the vaguely-captioned picture in the Osprey American Nightfighter Aces book, it should have Medium Sea Grey codes.


OWLDS72075 Defiant Night Fighters Part 4

 

 

Defiant Mk IA serial unknown ZJ-T 96 Sqn - Flown by Sgt Cornwall about whom I can find no further information.

Defiant Mk IA AA355 ZJ-J 96 Sqn - Lists of aircraft differ on whether AA355 was a Mk IA or Mk II Defiant. (RAF Commands site Mk II, worldmilitair Mk I but the most authoritative-looking is the Mushroom book recording it as a Mk IA) I think Owl have done it correctly.

The instructions note that both of these aircraft need the addition of AI Mk IV radar aerials either from the Owl set OWLP72001 (or scratch-built from fine wire and plastic) and provide a diagram.

While Owl does a number of 1/48 scale decals these Defiant sheets are currently only available in 1/72 scale. However the very interesting N1744 JT-S is available on the Owl 48006 Home Defence sheet.

 

 

Conclusion

 

Some rather specialised but useful decals for the new Airfix or other Defiant kits – well researched and printed.

Highly Recommended.

Thanks to Owl Decals for these samples.


Text and Images Copyright 2017 by Ed Russell
Page Created 2 October, 2017
Last updated 2 October, 2017

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