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MikroMir Blackburn Beverley

Review of the 1/144 scale aircraft kit with good interior details
RELATED TOPICS: AIRCRAFT
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Like something out of the Ark, but it was a superb supply dropper,” said Royal Air Force Air Chief Marshal Sir Robert Freer, describing Blackburn’s Beverley. A thing of beauty, well…no, but a design of practicality, the transport could carry 30 paratroops in the tail boom who bailed out of a belly hatch just forward of the tail, and 40 on its main deck who exited side doors.

MikroMir’s Beverley features recessed panel lines, a nice flight deck, main deck interior detail, and the option of open or closed rear clamshell doors. A fret of 11 photo-etched metal (PE) parts and a set of masks are included.

Flash on the larger parts was easily removed but it proved more of a hindrance on small ones.

The fuselage halves lack locating pins, so I used scrap plastic zipper tabs for strength and alignment. 

The wings and tail fit well. To strengthen the wing-to-fuselage joints, I inserted a short piece of Evergreen styrene tube through the fuselage to act as a stub spar.
 
The inboard engine nacelles needed filler where they joined the wings’ undersides. To get a good fit between nacelles and cowlings, I reamed out the cowls slightly.

The wheel hubs lack sharply-defined rims, so brush-painting the tires took a little extra time.

The PE was nicely done but, in this scale, it was pretty fragile. I omitted the PE anti-flail piping attached to the lower rear of the plane. (They were was fitted during airdrops to prevent static lines whipping around and beating the plane.)

The propellers were the most difficult part of the build. There are no prop shafts, just nubs on the aft side of the backplates, and no holes in the “engine fronts” for them, either. Flash on the spinners made refining them difficult, and the spinners, backplates, and fragile propellers simply didn’t fit together very well; their frailty and size made filling and sanding tedious. There’s no need to detail the Centaurus engine “fronts” because the spinners hide them anyway.

Of the three markings options, I chose No. 84 Squadron’s desert camouflage for my model. The decals are excellent but the “Middle East” legend intended to be applied forward of the fuselage roundels was misspelled as “Midle.” Unable to find two matching white D’s in my decal stash to correct the error, I left those off.

The kit and instructions omit the real aircraft’s prominent propeller blade cuffs and de-icers; I used black decal film to simulate them. The fuselage “porthole” windows are decal dots and look fine in this scale. The masks left residue behind after removal so a little touch-up was needed.

One of my go-to references was The Beverley Association’s website (http://www.beverley-association.org.uk/html/photos/stories.htm) whose members have posted great photographs ­— and even greater stories.

My interest in the subject matter easily trumped my frustration with the kit’s irritating small parts. Overall, I enjoyed the project, though it took me a little longer to build than a comparable subject and I’d recommend it to more experienced builders. 


Note: A version of this review appeared in the October 2019 issue.

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