The Boulton Paul Defiant was a British interceptor aircraft that served with the Royal Air Force (RAF) during World War II. The Defiant was designed and built by Boulton Paul Aircraft as a "turret fighter", without any forward-firing guns. It was a contemporary of the Royal Navy's Blackburn Roc. The concept of a turret fighter related directly to the successful First World War-era Bristol F.2 Fighter.
In combat, the Defiant was found to be reasonably effective at its intended task of destroying bombers but was vulnerable to the Luftwaffe's more maneuverable, single-seat Messerschmitt Bf 109 fighters. The lack of forward-firing armament proved to be a great weakness in daylight combat and its potential was only realized when it was converted to night fighting. It was supplanted in the night fighter role by the Bristol Beaufighter and de Havilland Mosquito. The Defiant found use in gunnery training, target towing, electronic countermeasures and air-sea rescue. Among RAF pilots it had the nickname "Daffy". *
The all-new Airfix 1:48 scale Boulton Paul Defiant Mk.I has 99 parts in light grey plastic, 14 parts in clear, and markings for two aircraft. Moulding quality is excellent. There are only a few imperfections found and most of those are on the inside of the parts. Surface detail on the wings and fuselage is crisp with recessed panel lines and really well done fabric texture. I have seen complaints on some Airfix kits that the panel lines are to heavy handed, but these seem to get better with a coat of paint. The interior is well done with separate sidewall detail, and raised detail on the instrument panel. The only thing lacking with the interior is no harness. Two marking options are offered, both in Dark Earth and Dark Green upper surfaces with Sky on the underside. Decals are great with stencils and wing walks provided, and the color registration is great.
As with most builds I started out with the cockpit, upon removal of the interior parts and fuselage halves from the sprues, I sprayed them with cockpit green and was ready to detail out the interior. The separate sidewall detail gives the interior a great look and adds extra detail then just normal molded sidewalls. The instrument panel lacks detail, but when the decal is applied with a little Solvaset it gives a better than expected result. There are no seatbelts supplied with this kit, but with a little help from Eduard I was able to remedy that situation. Overall the interior detail is nice for straight out of the box
After the interior was completed and glued in place the fuselage and wings where ready to be assembled. Both the fuselage and the wings went together with not many problems.
The only place I had any trouble with fit was where the fuselage went together on the underside of the wings. A little bit of putty there and it was good to go. Lots of nice wheel well detail is present, and it makes for a good showcase of the underside of aircraft and landing gear.
Upon sanding and priming to make sure all my seams were good, I was able to finish putting the rest of the pieces together without any problems arising. I painted the lower surfaces with Model Master Acrylic Sky Type S, and the upper surfaces with Model Master Acrylic Dark Green and Dark Earth. After the paint had dried, I sprayed gloss over entire plane and was ready to begin with decals. Decals seemed to be a little thick for my liking, but they went on with no problem and laid down with minimal effort and a little help from Solvaset. After another coat of Future had dried and the fine detailing was done, I applied dullcote over the entire plane and the canopies where ready to be installed. Last piece of the puzzle was to paint and detail the turret with flat black. Some people I have heard have had problems with the fit on this but this went right in place and looks great on the finished plane.
This is an excellent kit, easy build and a good representation of the Boulton Paul Defiant Mk.1 . The fits are great and there is as much detail as other manufacturers straight out of the box. The only comparable kit would be the 2004 Classic Airframes Defiant but the Airfix offering is better in all aspects except maybe the interior which was a little better in the Classic Airframes kit because of the resin that was included. This kit is in line with what we have come to expect from Airfix and if you want to build a Defiant this is the kit for you. I would like to thank Hornby America and IPMS USA for the opportunity to review this kit.
* Historical summary adapted from Wikipedia