Airfix 1/72 Defiant Part 1

This is a reprint of a build I wrote up on the IPMS London message board.  I thought it was worth reposting to the blog. 


For all their faults I love Airfix kits, something about the wide variety of subject matter and/or the history of the company keeps me coming back. Most of the old molds can in no way be described as ‘shake-n-bake’ but there is something fun working through the challenges that some of these kits provide.

With many things happening in real life I had been in a bit of a modeling rut lately, as I’m stuck in the photo etch cockpit builds of a 1/72 Lancaster and 1/72 Sutherland which for all the work it does not show much progress. Some quick and easy was needed. (And I could scrap it if didn’t go well).
Enter the Airfix 1/72 Boulton Paul Defiant NF1.

Do a search on any message forum and you’ll find comments such as “don’t even try it”, “stay away” & “way too much work!” and you will get a good idea of people’s feelings about this kit. I don’t remember where I picked this up but I recall it did not cost much. There is plenty of references for how to really dress this kit up to make it accurate but I decided to keep it simple and build it mostly out of box.

Opening the box reveals how basic the kit is.


The build instructions are on 1 side and on the back side is the first of two paint schemes. The second is provided on a separate page.

I decided I would start on the cockpit area. This is as basic as it gets with just a seat and pilot figure. I added a control panel and will detail things up as I can. The canopy is quite thick so not much detail will be seen anyway.


The kit has no landing gear wells at all so I solved that with a piece of plastic card. I then painted the top of the landing gear strut holes so I could match them up with the plastic card. Once this was done I drilled the holes in the card for the landing gear assembly.



The cockpit area and gear wells / cockpit floor were then given a spray of Vallejo model air interior green.
Next up, add some detail to the cockpit area, build the turret (also very basic) and then start to assemble the fuselage.

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