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Classic Airframes 1/48 Defiant TT Mk.I/Mk.III Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review October 2006 Manufacturer Classic Airframes
Subject Boulton Paul Defiant TT Mk.I/Mk.III Scale 1/48
Kit Number 482 Primary Media Styrene, Resin
Pros Detailed resin cockpit, intakes, wheel wells Cons One-piece canopy
Skill Level Intermediate MSRP (USD) Out of Production

First Look


The Boulton Paul Defiant was designed as a new tactical concept by the British Air Ministry. Rather than have an eight-gun fighter like the upcoming Hurricane and Spitfire concepts have to dogfight their way through a fight, a two place fighter with a powered turret could 'trap' an opponent in the Defiant's rear and the turret would take care of business. In the competition for this fighter concept, Boulton Paul competed and won against the Hawker Hotspur.

The Defiant first flew in August 1937, with the Mk.I entering service in December 1939. In service with 264 Sqn, the Defiant's concept was initially a terrific success, with 65 kills credited in a period of just 19 days, 38 of those were killed on a single day! It didn't take the Luftwaffe long to figure out what was going on and Defiants began falling shortly thereafter as they were being attacked from below or head-on.

With the advantage lost, the Defiant was moved into night fighter operations, where it enjoyed a period of success between 1940-1941, after which it was withdrawn from front line service and used for air/sea rescue, target towing, and gunnery training duties.

When Classic Airframes first released their Boulton Paul Defiant over a decade ago, the kit was the first in styrene ever produced. Since that release, better information became available that highlighted a few accuracy issues in that kit. This led Classic Airframes to develop a new-tool Defiant that was released almost two years ago and when compared to the first release, shows just how far Classic Airframes has come in production quality.

More recently Classic Airframes has released a new variant of the Defiant family. As the narrative above describes, the Defiant was relegated to target towing and other non-combat duties when the Luftwaffe threat was too great for the type. Here is TT Mark I and TT Mark III variants of the Defiant.

As with the previous releases, this kit is molded in medium gray styrene and presented on two parts trees. You can see the different shape of the fuselage in this tooling for this variant.

Also in the standard medium gray resin, the kit provides the highly detailed cockpit and observer's station, wheels wells, and other details.

And as with the previous release, the canopy and landing light covers are molded in clear styrene. Unfortunately, the canopy is still molded in one piece so that beautifully detailed cockpit cannot be displayed open unless you want to risk some surgery on the clear parts. Also, in my example, the clear parts were left in the main parts bag to get scuffed up by the other parts. Sometimes Classic Airframes will protect the clears, sometimes they don't.

Markings are provided for three aircraft:

  • Defiant TT.Mk.I, DR945, JW-U, 8th AF CCRC, Bovington, 1943
  • Defiant TT.Mk.III, DS121, 733 NAS, Royal Navy, 1945
  • Defiant TT.Mk.I, AA507, 26 AACU, Egypt, 1945

Two sets of decals are included - one for the distinctive aircraft markings, the other with maintenance stencils.

The kit is another interesting variant from Classic Airframes. The detailing is crisp and clean throughout the styrene and resin parts. With the nice selection of color schemes provided, you can add an interesting subject to your scale flightline. If you have a little experience with multimedia kits, this project should be an easy build.

My sincere thanks to Classic Airframes for this review sample!