Bristol aircraft
by Paul Thompson

Up | Chez Paul Thompson | Gallery | Home

Brisfit Group Photo

Kit: Blue Max, Roden and Eduard (1:48)

2 group pictures of various Bristol Fighters. The one in Dutch colours is by Nico Teunissen.

Bristol Fighter Mark IV

Kit: Libramodels (1:72)

Finished as F4542 of Cambridge University Air Squadron in 1931 (so the rudder stripes are the other way round to wwi aircraft). This is one of the many decal options from the old Libramodels double kit, which I picked up at ScaleModelworld in 2004. Because it had enough parts for 2 models, and alternative engines for several sorts, it set me to thinking of doing a series of F2bs using all the bits and kits I had in the stash.I fancied a Mark IV, and this is the result. No 2 in a series of 8, finished February 2005. The only thing I really dislike is the Part PE stitching. This was the finest I could find, and it's far too coarse. Naturally I concluded this when it was far too late to rip it off. You live and learn.

Blue Max F2b

Kit: Blue Max (1:48)

January 2007, and the first model finished this year is a Bristol Fighter from Blue Max. This is done up as a machine from No. 4 school of Gunnery at Marske. There's a photo on page 21 of Windsock Datafile 115. This seems to show no bomb racks, and a collecter box attached to the ammo ejector chute, which I made from a piece of rectangular section sprue. Rigging is Aeroclub thread, copper wire, HSP and smoked monofilament. Paint is Humrol, Xtracolour, and one of those horrible little pots of acryllic black included with Airfix starter sets. Todays deliberate errors - no windscreen. Having forgotten to add it before the top wing, I'm fairly sure I can't get it in place now. Looking at the photos, there's also a notable absence of wind generator on the undercarriage. Ho, as I usually say, hum. Built straight after the Roden and Eduard kits, this was still fun to do. Next up, the Aeroclub kit as a Mark IV...............

Bristol M1C

Kit: Spin (1:48)

Spin models 1/48th Bristol M1C

This is the Spin models 1/48th Bristol M1C. Considerable invisible cockpit detail added, and an Aeroclub white metal replacement engine used. I had a lot of trouble with the lattice fuselage decals, all of my own making, since I only realised they needed precise cutting when they were already wet. They also tend to stick pretty quickly. Ho hum, out with the red paint to repair it all.

The machine in question had the red on the decking extended backwards at one stage, as shown in one of the 2 photos in the Windsock Datafile, but since at that time there was no gun camera or Aldis sight fitted I went with the other photo that relates more to the kit decals. Other aircraft had a ring and bead sight mounted on the camera gun, but I couldn't see it on the Windsock photo. I might add one later if it bugs me enough. Made the sight from some plastic tube, and replaced the PE wind generator with a scratched item. The spinner and cowl are unclear in the photos I've seen, but I have a suspicion they may also be painted,and to balance the scheme that seems likely to be blue, but wasn't sure so did them as shiny aluminium. Kit spreader bar assembly was replaced with plastic rod.

This was an excellent kit to build, with plenty of potential for those with more skill than me.

Another Bristol M1C

Kit: Blue Max (1:48)

Very nice kit. The fuselage interior frames (white metal) are handed, and one was duplicated so I made a new one from plastic card. Added a throttle, fuel tank, ammo tank, a switch, carburretor intakes and a cross bar carrying a compass and inclinometer. Lap belts made from tape. Scraped off the cast metal pulsometer and added one from clear sprue. That little lot, plus some internal wiring and bracing, isn't readily visible, certainly not in these photos. Added small bits of tube for the external part of the intakes, and a pitot tube in the port wing. Many real aircraft in photos have the bracing wire fairings painted a dark colour, presumably black, but the one photo I've seen of the modelled aircraft didn't show this to be the case. This is the less colourful option on the kit decal sheet,C.4912 of 150 Squadron RFC at Salonika in Summer 1918. I chose this since the last one (by Spin) was hysterical.


Kit: Mostly Aurora (1:48)

Friend Nico gave me an Aurora F2b to use in a group build at the Unofficial Airfix forum. I had many spares leftover from previous builds, so here's the result of throwing them all together. Most of the fuselage, and all of the wings are Aurora, as are the interplane struts after a bit of sanding. The front fuselage/cowlings and radiator are Blue Max. Tailpane, fin/rudder and a bit of the rear fuselage are Aeroclub, as is the seat for the pilot, wheels, Scarff ring and main part of the tailskid. The main undercarriage legs are Eduard, and the prop is from Roden. Observer is from the kit, pilot from the Aurora DH10. Decals by Eduard. All else, including the invisible interior, is plastic strip, sprue and rod, masking tape and scraps of stuff. I'm sure the Dutch didn't have stocks of PC10 with which to overpaint interned aircraft, so I've first made vague RFC markings from decal stock then brushed over with MrKit PC10, which I don't think looks like PC10 at all but is a nice paint to work with. The 'lift here' stencils weren't used because the originals must have been overpainted too, and the Datafile photo shows vague marks that I think should be 'hier optillen', which I'm not about to try to do by hand.

Gute Leute

Kit: Aeroclub (1:48)

Sometime in 1917 Bristol F2b A7231 was shot down intact by someone in Jasta 5. It was repaired and retained as a squadron hack. Over the months they kept it going it was progressively overpainted with German markings to prevent it succumbing to friendly fire. Eventually it received an overal coat of Jasta 5 green, and the message 'Don't shoot, good guys' in German on the top surfaces of the wings. The photo in part 2 of the Albatros pubs Jasta 5 special that is marked as it's final form was the basis for this model, along with the Americal Jasta 5 sheet. Unfortunately, as far as I can see, admirable as the decal sheet is, the crosses for the wings are too small, (unless those on the white fields are the intended ones, which is *perhaps* wrong for this machine in it's latter days, as my model supposedly represents) so I'm just going to assume that my model depicts the airframe in yet another intermediate phase towards the end of it's career. The kit is an Aeroclub one that I was going to make up as a Mark IV before I realised the interior was probably not the colour I'd painted it, so there are things in there like a full set of Lewis drums that probably should not be. Some of the paintwork is rough because I figured a foreign hack with no spares mught get that way. The rest is just me. Anyway, it was fun to do, although it's probably quite inaccurate in many ways.

Roden 1/48th Bristol Fighter

Kit: Roden (1:48)

Built along with the other 1/48th F2bs on this page, finished 2nd after the Eduard kit. This is in the kit markings for Lt. Andrew Edward McKeever and observer Lt L F Powell in November 1917. I've not found a photo of this one, but the most recent Datafile has pictures of other 11 Squadron machines, which appear to have their props wrapped at the ends in lightish fabric whih I've guessed is battleship grey doped rather than PC10 or CDL. The only additions were some instrument faces, an additional pump in the cockpit, some lap belts from tape and fusewire, and a lot of swearing at the decals. The problem this time was a lot of tiny holes in all the white markings. I had a second set which were the same, with holes in the same places, so no point in doubling them up. So I've decided this plane sufferes a lot of weathering along the sides. Ahem............ Rigging is the Aeroclub stretchy thingy that appears the same as knitting in elastic, and the control lines are smoked invisible thread and HSP. Overal a nice kit, with few fit issues, although still some putty needed on the fuselage (but only half as much as on the Eduard kit).

Bristol F2b at IWM Duxford

Kit: Pegasus (1:72)

Once upon a time, a madman had many, many more F2b decals than sense. He also had more F2b kits than was quite safe in a civilised society. So one day he set about building them all. March 2006. This is number 3 in a never-ending series. I set out to show this aircraft as it now is displayed at IWM, Duxford, mainly because it was one of the first wwi aircraft I saw in the wood and cloth, so to speak. It apparantly flew at the end of the war, but it's unlikely it ever got bombed up like this. There are a couple of peculiarities with the real thing now. The rigging is currently fairly loose, some of the double flying wires are twisted, and there are some black painted round section instead of the RAFwires you'd expect. The drag wires are missing now, I think because the engine is absent - there's some bits of wood in the cowling to fix the exhausts to but nothing to fix the wires to. So I've left them off as well. The decals are from an old Libra models double kit. At that time the radiator cowl is also stated as being yellow, although if you look at photos on Peter Leonard's site at , taken when this machine was last allowed a walk outside around the mid 1980's, this doesn't appear to be so. Sure isn't in early 2006. There're also photos on the wwi sites photo archive. Seek 'em out, I'm tired. Lots of small details I've messed up, and as has become a tradition I note on pruneing the photos for the site that I forgot to add a pitot tube. The bombs and carriers come from modified Toko Snipe items. There's an interior in there but I'm not really proud of it, so it's a secret.

Bristol F2B Mark IV

Kit: Aeroclub (1:48)

A Brisfit converted in real life from a late wartime airframe to Mark IV configuration, around 1927. Based on a photograph in the Windsock Datafile Special part 2, and using the still eminentley buidable Aeroclub kit, which includes parts for the Mark IV tail surfaces. Full details (more or less) are in Internet Modeler for October 2007

Bristol Fighter

Kit: Roden (1:72)

Mostly OOB, finished as A 7192 of 1 Squadron, Australian Flying Corps. I've done this as PC12, but am informed PC10 was more likely. Sob. Very nice kit, and very easy to get the lower wing, fuselage and undercarriage together. First in a series of 8, begun in 2005.

2009 F2b Group photo

Kit: Various (1:?)

At the end of 2009, here are the various Biffs and (2) Brisfits to date, from lowly but fondly remembered 1/72 Airfix to massive huge shock-horror enormous 1/32 Wingnuts Wings, via Libramodels vacform, Pegasus and Blue Max, Aeroclub, Roden, Eduard, and a side trip to Aurora and the spare parts box.

Eduard F2b

Kit: Eduard (1:48)

F2b D-8084,No. 139 squadron RAF, Italy 1918. There are 2 photos in the Datafile Special, part 1, page 42. The machine was flown by captain S.Dalrymple with various observers. In the photos the (probably) red wing band is shown to be incomplete. I like to think this was a forerunner of the between the wars spanwise squadron markings seen on RAF aircraft, but anyway it seems likely to me that the completed paint job would look as on this model. Whether or not it ever reached this stage, who knows? Kit OOB except for replacing the belts with 2 sets of lap belts, and some small internal details. Rigging is mostly through-the-wing Aeroclub stretchy stuff, and paint is mostly Humbrol dark earth and black (PC10) and MrKit Battleship Grey. CDL is Xtracolour, and the whole lot has Humbrol satin glopped on top wth an airbrush.

Bristol Fighter

Kit: Wingnut Wings (1:32)

Very good kit, OOB except for making a replacement control column. Unfortunately I tried to rig with PE wires, which took a month. The result is not satisfactory. The problem is the size of the model - too flexible and heavy, causing huge bowing of the wires when inverting it, with inevitable pinging off. It took a month to finally tame it all as best I could. If you use a rigid jig to hold the thing steady then you won't have a problem. The wires themselves look good and take a lot of punishment, but for this size model I wouldn't use them again myself. Marked as C4810, crewed by Capt. George W.Bulmer and 2 Lt Percy S. Williams of 22 squadron while at Villeneuve-des-Vertus in March 1918. The decals were from the F2b Aces set produced by Rowan Broadbent of Pheon models, and are excellent.

Up | Chez Paul Thompson | Gallery | Home