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DAP Beaufort Mk.VIII

Special Hobby, 1/72 scale

S u m m a r y

Catalogue Number: Special Hobby SH 72027 Beaufort Mk. VIII
Scale: 1/72
Contents and Media: 82 mid-grey plastic parts on four sprues, 13 clear parts on one sprue, 62 PE parts on one fret, 37 pale cream resin parts, decals for three aircraft plus a 14 page A5 sized instruction booklet with history, parts plan, 17 build diagrams and 4 pages of paint/decal instructions.
Price: From GBP£13.70 available online from Hannants and specialist model retailers worldwide
Review Type: FirstLook
Advantages: Highly detailed inside and out; excellent decals, resin and PE; any Australian Beaufort can be built from Mk.V to Mk.VIII using this kit.
Disadvantages: Some ambiguity in the instructions regarding parts to be used for specific markings; experience required.
Recommendation: Highly Recommended

Reviewed by Glen Porter

 Special Hobby's 1/72 scale Beaufort Mk.VIII will be available online from Squadron.com


A Brief History

Australian built Beauforts were based on the British Beaufort Mk. I but fitted with American Pratt & Whitney Twin Wasp engines. Thanks to the success of the Australian aircraft, and also the fear that the Bristol engine supply may run short, the British also made a version with the American engines, calling it the Mk. II.

Australian DAP (Department of Aircraft Production) Beauforts were built in six main variants, Mk. V, VI, VII, VA, VIII and IX. The Mk. IX was a freighter version and is not applicable to this kit. The difference between the others was mainly in the engine and propeller combination fitted, although the Mk. VII, VA, and VIII had an enlarged tail fin and the Mk. VIII also had two later model Bristol gun turrets fitted.

In total, there were just under 750 Australian Beauforts built by the Department of Aircraft Production.

The Model

This is the third 1/72nd scale Beaufort from Special Hobby. The plastic is essentially the same except that the Mk. I had only parts for the Bristol Taurus engines, the Mk. II both Taurus and P&W engines and this one the P&W engines only. Although this kit is marked as a Mk. VIII, all of the other Australian Marks, except the Mk. IX, can be built.

The kit is based on the earlier Beaufort Mk. IA/II (kit number SH 72083) but with one sprue taken out and some extra PE and resin added plus of course different decals and instructions and a bigger and stronger box. Oddly, the history section of the instructions make no mention of the Australian Beauforts and is in fact exactly the same as the original Mk. I kit from twelve to eighteen months ago.


Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:

Now there are a couple of issues that may put this kit into the “too hard basket” for some less experienced modellers. To use the larger tail of the Aussie aircraft, you have to first remove the British one. The cuts are all on panel lines and they are described well in the instructions, but still perhaps not what a beginner would want to try. Similarly, the area around the dorsal turret has to be cut out and replaced by a resin insert and therein lies another challenge for the inexperienced.


According to my references, the turret you are instructed to use in this kit is in fact the late model Bristol B.1 Mk.VE which carried two 50 cal. machine guns and was fitted from aircraft serial No A9-561 to A9-700. The problem is, the three aircraft covered by the decals are all mid-production aircraft, A9-427, A9-486 and A9-500. Now, I could be wrong in this because the references, Stewart Wilson's Beaufort, Beaufighter and Mosquito in Australian Service plus Geoffrey Pentland's RAAF Camouflage & Markings Part 1&2, don't say much about the turrets carried by the Beaufort and show no close-ups or diagrams of them. However, I believe the correct turret is the one vertically spit on the clear sprue, numbers 1 and 2, which is the same one used in the Mk.II kit along with a slight modification of the existing Mk. VIII fuselage. Alternatively, you could build the kit as is and find another set of decals. As I mentioned above, all of the Australian Marks can be built from this kit as all of the necessary parts are included.

The problem here is, there are not a lot of after-market decals for Australian Beauforts. Gary Byk, are you reading this?


The decals, printed very cleanly by Aviprint, have some inaccuracies also. Both the codes and serials appear to be in RAF Sky. The codes should be in White or RAAF Sky Blue and the serials should be Sea Grey Medium or Black

  • Option 1 is DAP Beaufort Mk. VIII, A9-500/DD-W “Barmera Waikerie” 15 Squadron RAAF, Middleburg Island, New Guinea, September 1945 in over-all Foliage Green.

  • Option2 is DAP Beaufort Mk. VIII, A9-486/QH-K “Scotty's Homin Pidgin”, 100 Squadron RAAF, Tadji, New Guinea 1944 in the RAAF three colour scheme.

  • Option 3 covers DAP Beaufort Mk. VIII, A9-427/QH-B “Superman”, 100 Squadron RAAF, Tadji, New Guinea 1944 also in the RAAF three colour scheme.

  • Option 4 is the same aircraft as Cam.3 but repainted in Foliage Green after the war has ended at Madang, New Guinea, October 1945.

The colours shown for the RAAF three colour scheme in the instructions are Foliage Green, Earth Brown and Sky Blue. I believe these should be the RAAF equivalent of the RAF Day Bomber Scheme, Dark Green, Dark Earth and Sky type S. This is because the first few Mk. Vs were destined for the RAF in Singapore but failed to get operational before Singapore was over-run by the Japanese and were returned to Australia and the factory simply kept using the colours until the introduction of overall Foliage Green, but there were exceptions so check you references carefully.


The PE fret supplied in this kit is bigger than that in the Mk. II. Apart from the bomb and torpedo fins this fret contains the radar aerials mounted on the sides of the Australian aircraft fuselage.



The above observations notwithstanding, this is a fine kit and one that Aussies have been waiting on for some time. Most modellers will be content to build it as is and not worry too much about the small ambiguities and, skills willing, will end up with a very nice model.

The observations I have made are not meant to denigrate the kit but just show those to whom accuracy is important what needs to be done.


Highly Recommended.

Thanks to MPM/Special Hobby for the review sample.

Review Text Copyright © 2007 by Glen Porter
Images Copyright © 2007 by Brett Green
Page Created 14 September, 2007
Last updated 25 December, 2007

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