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Valom 1/48 Mosquito Two Stage Merlin Conversion


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#1 Notdoneyet

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Posted 06 May 2009 - 05:59 PM

Having just received a copy of this recently released conversion set, thanks to great service from John Vojtech at UMM Models, I thought that I'd write a little review.

The Valom conversion includes complete nacelles with detailed undercarriage wells in resin and is well packed in a small box containing the individually wrapped nacelles and a set of "instructions" :-

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The resin parts are well detailed and beautifully cast with engraved panel lines and rivets with only a few bubbles visible on the forward bulkheads of both nacelles :-

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A quick dry fit to a Tamiya BIV wing indicates that the nacelles will fit well and require little clean up/filling or sanding to do so (once the T shaped mould stubs are removed. Although the instructions don't tell you to remove the forward part of the Tamiya upper nacelle, it is obvious that you need to do so when the conversion is offered up to the wing.

However, as the Mosquito cognoscenti will have noticed in the above photos, there are some errors in the casting that will require some remedial work to produce an accurate Two Stage Merlin installation for a Mosquito.

  • Valom have repeated the error made by Tamiya and moulded recesses for the heat resistant plates behind and below the exhaust outlets. To compound this error, I don't believe that these plates were fitted to Two Stage nacelles so they will have to be filled in.
  • The exhaust recesses are sized for the 5 stub exhausts fitted to the Single Stage engine and not the longer recesses required for the six stub Two Stage engine exhaust. In addition no 6 stub exhausts are provided in the Valom conversion.
  • The intercooler vent fairings on the cheeks of the engine air intakes are missing and will have to be scratched from plastic card.
  • The exhaust "gills" along the sides of the carburettor air intakes are not present or provided as an add on. These "gills" are prominent in later Two Stage Mosquitos such as the PR Mk34.
  • The nacelle above the carburettor air intakes looks a little too "rotund" (see next photo)


I've done a comparison photo to show the Valom conversion with, at the bottom, an Airfix PRXVI nacelle (good dimensions but too angular in places) and, at the top, the Paragon Designs Two Stage conversion :-

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The Valom conversion matches the Airfix nacelle exactly for size and is approx 2mm longer than the Paragon example (based on a side by side dry fit).

My conclusion FWIW? The conversion isn't the simple "drop in" conversion that it could (should?) have been and that I was hoping for, but with a some sanding and scratch building it should build up into a reasonable representation of the Two Stage Merlin installation fitted to the Mosquito.

I hope that you find this helpful.

Ian

Mods: If you want to move this to the Reviews forum please do so.

Edited by Notdoneyet, 07 May 2009 - 01:16 PM.


#2 TheModeller

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Posted 06 May 2009 - 06:09 PM

  • Valom have repeated the error made by Tamiya and moulded recesses for the heat resistant plates behind and below the exhaust outlets. To compound this error, I don't believe that these plates were fitted to Two Stage nacelles so they will have to be filled in.
  • The exhaust recesses are sized for the 5 stub exhausts fitted to the Single Stage engine and not the longer recesses required for the six stub Two Stage engine exhaust. In addition no 6 stub exhausts are provided in the Valom conversion.
  • The intercooler vent fairings on the cheeks of the engine air intakes are missing and will have to be scratched from plastic card.
  • The exhaust "gills" along the sides of the carburettor air intakes are not present or provided as an add on. These "gills" are prominent in later Two Stage Mosquitos such as the PR Mk34.
  • The nacelle above the carburettor air intakes looks a little too "rotund" (see next photo)


In addition the carburettor intakes look to be far to wide, a fault with the CMK B.XVI conversion set.

How hard can it be for the aftermarket to produce a pair of accurate replacement two-stage nacelles for the Mossie in this day and age?

Roll on the rumoured Revell 1/48th kit...

Regards.

#3 The Wooksta!

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Posted 06 May 2009 - 08:44 PM

Roll on the rumoured Revell 1/48th kit...


Hopefully they'll sort out the undercarriage problem but I won't hold my breath.

I'd dvise Mossie fans to avoid the CMK and Pavla 72nd two stage Merlins also. They're designed for the Tamiya kit but all the cheeky buggers have done is copy the Tamiya nacelle and add a few intakes and bulges at the front without altering the length. The Paragon ones are still the best ones to get, although I'm not happy with having to remove that moulding lug.

#4 Notdoneyet

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Posted 06 May 2009 - 08:53 PM

Hmm, I forgot I had the (dreadful) CMK conversion, I'll dig it out of the dark recesses of the stash and take a new comparison photo of all 4 together.

Ian

#5 Jon Kunac-Tabinor

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Posted 06 May 2009 - 08:57 PM

Hi Ian - good review mate. The valom parts look very bloated to me too - are the pictures exaggerating this or is this the case in reality. The 2 stage Mossie nacelle is to me a rather smooth shape - these, I hate to say, look like Beryl Cook caricatures.

Were I a doctor I'd prescribe antibiotics to bring the inflammation down :)

Cheers & thanks for showing us

Jonners

#6 Notdoneyet

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Posted 06 May 2009 - 09:30 PM

Hi Ian - good review mate. The valom parts look very bloated to me too - are the pictures exaggerating this or is this the case in reality. The 2 stage Mossie nacelle is to me a rather smooth shape - these, I hate to say, look like Beryl Cook caricatures.

Were I a doctor I'd prescribe antibiotics to bring the inflammation down :)

Cheers & thanks for showing us

Jonners

Hi Jon,

Thanks! I'm sorry to report that the Valom items are bloated and have a somewhat "pot-bellied" appearance, just like their owner :winkgrin: I'm afraid this doctor would prescribe re-constructive surgery with the infamous Dr Dremmel !!!

After some rummaging in the stash here's the promised comparison of the available 1/48 Two Stage Merlin conversions for the Mosquito.

From the top: the woefully short CMK "attempt"; Paragon; Valom and finally the Airfix PRXVI nacelle for reference. I've included a steel rule aligned with the front of the u/c door opening so that the variation in length is more apparent.

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As Lee said above, Neil's Paragon items are by far the most accurate available.

HTH,

Ian

#7 The Wooksta!

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Posted 07 May 2009 - 11:47 AM

Bugger! I've got the 48th CMK ones (those I was referring to above were the set CMK did in 72nd) and I was going to do a B35 from the Tamiya kit with them. Not any longer...

I was actually tempted by the Valom set a while back and the way they've done it as a complete replacement is a massive plus point. Pity that the rest of it is a load of bobbins. Couldn't we persuade Neil at Paragon to do the same?

Edited by The Wooksta!, 07 May 2009 - 11:53 AM.


#8 davidelvy

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Posted 07 May 2009 - 12:26 PM

How hard can it be for the aftermarket to produce a pair of accurate replacement two-stage nacelles for the Mossie in this day and age?

Roll on the rumoured Revell 1/48th kit...

Regards.


Bearing in mind the criticisms the Revell BIV has had with regard to accuracy I would't hold out too much hope. If they produce a BXVI they will have to provide new spinners and propellers, which means they could avoid the issues with these parts of the BIV kit. Unfortunately, I doubt they will re-tool the overly short undercarriage legs.

#9 Steven Eisenman

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Posted 07 May 2009 - 12:41 PM

Another review. Valom sounds like a must to avoid.

http://www.network54...osquito Engines

#10 The Wooksta!

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Posted 07 May 2009 - 03:06 PM

Ta for the link. The photos make those engines look even worse than the ones above. Utter garbage.

#11 Heraldcoupe

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Posted 07 May 2009 - 03:16 PM

Unfortunately, I doubt they will re-tool the overly short undercarriage legs.


I'm keeping my fingers crossed, Revell have form on making corrections when new versions are produced. For instance their 1/32 Hunters, the FGA9 has the ailerons all wrong, but the F6 saw the wing re-tooled to the correct shape. In all other respects the wing is identical between the two kits, it was simply a revised tooling to fix their original error.
Here's hoping....
Cheers,
Bill.

#12 wally7506

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Posted 07 May 2009 - 05:05 PM

While Valom did get the shapes VERY wrong I would like to applaud them for the effort. I very much like the drop in approach of one entire nacelle complete with wheel well front and rear bulkheads. They seem to mate very well with the top of the well of the Tamiya kit.

Right idea, wrong overall shapes.

If Valom were to give it another go and get the shapes right I would be compelled to buy several sets as I have no desire to purchase a Revell AG Mossie based upon their B.IV.

js

#13 TheModeller

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Posted 07 May 2009 - 05:29 PM

I'm with Bill on this, Revell are known for correcting errors in subsequent releases, and to be honest the Mossie isn't all that bad, a well stocked spares box will solve the problems with the props. spinners and gearlegs.

On the other hand the Valom idea is a very good one, drop-in replacement nacelles, if only they were anything close to being right!!! C'est la vie...