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  1. De Havilland Mosquito B.XVI (A04023) 1:72 Airfix The Mosquito was one of the ground-breaking private projects of WWII, and it contributed a significant effort toward victory against Nazi Germany from its introduction in 1941 to the end of the war and beyond. Initially conceived by Geoffrey de Havilland as a fast bomber, it was not intended to carry armament, simply relying on speed to take it out of harm's way. Numerous versions were considered, but a twin-engine design with a wooden monocoque fuselage was eventually used, with space for four 20mm cannons in the forward section of the bomb bay. It was initially met with a very lukewarm reception from the Air Ministry, as they still clung to their obsession of turreted aircraft, the designs for which became heavy and complex, reducing speed both in the air and through the production line. After some shenanigans that included a mock-up of a turret behind the main canopy, DH were issued with a requirement for a 400mph capable light bomber/reconnaissance aircraft, which solidified as DH.98, and was named Mosquito. Despite having been ordered to stop development work after Dunkirk, DH carried on due to the vagueness of the request, and the prototype flew at the end of 1940. After lengthening the engine nacelles and splitting the flaps to cure poor handling at certain speeds, she flew for the ministry and managed to outpace a Spitfire, pulling away with a speed advantage of 20mph. Later developments of the Merlin engines that powered the Mossie included two-stage superchargers that gave the engine a substantial boost, with a commensurate increase in performance. A number of 7X series Merlin variants were fitted to the Mossie, which included the B.XVI that also had a pressurised cabin for the crew’s comfort at higher altitude, and it could comfortably cruise at 350mph at 30,000 feet. Without the gun pack in the belly, the XVI was capable of carrying the 4,000lb Cookie bomb, allowing it to punch well above its weight in terms of ordnance carriage as well. The Mosquito lines were split between bomber/recon variants with glass noses and fighter variants with the four cannons in the belly and four .303 machine guns in the nose. It really was the master of all things, as it showed when it became a night-fighter, torpedo bomber, and even in its dotage it was well-used as a target tug until the early 60s. The Mossie was even converted to carry two bouncing bombs called Highballs, and always gave a good account of itself, striking fear into the hearts of the opposition. They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, which was evidenced by the German Focke-Wulf Ta.154 Moskito, which attempted to recreate the success of the wooden Mossie, but failed due largely to inferior construction and use of an acidic glue, causing delamination of the wings in the air. The Mosquito was mainly constructed by woodworkers that might otherwise have been left idle during the austerity of the war, and it was their skill and ingenuity that contributed to the success of the aircraft, and made it very economical to build using little in the way of strategic materials. Time is unkind to wood however, and very few Mosquitos have survived in airworthy condition, the last one in Britain was lost in 1998 in a fatal crash. Some day we may get to see one in the skies of the UK again, and there are already a few in the air elsewhere in the world. Not jealous. The Kit This is a brand-new tooling of a two-stage Mosquito by Airfix, and there are a lot of 1:72 modeller that have been looking forward to it for some time now. There has been a lot of back and forth on the forum about it over the months leading up to this moment, with some people happy, others complaining bitterly about this, that and the other. Some folks even accused it of being under scale due to a typo along the way. Of course there are going to be some issues, as kits – even modern 3D rendered ones – are created by fallible humans with limited resources, so all we can hope for is that the designers at Airfix have done their very best, having based their work on a LIDAR scan of an original at the RAF Museum, with additional help from Ian Thirsk, both of whom get a thank you at the front of the instruction booklet. The kit arrives in a red-themed top-opening box, and inside are six sprues in grey styrene, a sprue of clear parts, a decal sheet and the instruction booklet. A perusal of the sprues shows that detail is good, especially in the exterior, although there’s limited panel lines etc. thanks to the Mossie’s wooden construction. The interior is also well-detailed, although to my 1:48 modeller’s eyes, some of the cockpit instrumentation seems a little soft, but that could just be my scale bias. There is a high part-count at 161, and there has clearly been some forward planning going on judging by the layout of the sprues, but we’ll see more of that when other variants start popping out down the line. Construction begins with the interior, and just like the bigger Tamiya kits it is built up on the bomb bay roof, which also has a pair of spars moulded-in, onto which the front and rear bulkheads are mounted along with the cockpit floor that tapers to a rounded tip in the nose. The aft cockpit bulkhead, radio box and Gee box at an angle, together with tubing across the front of the spar and the two seats are added, the pilot getting a much more salubrious seat, while the navigator gets shoe-horned into the rear on a more basic two-part seat. The instrument panel has its rear portion fitted from behind with a representation of the rudder pedals, and cylindrical blocks at the rear of the panel to depict the backs of the dials, while the dials are covered with an instrument decal and plenty of setting solution to help it settle down. A simplified control column slots in front of the pilot, with clear bombsight in the nose for the navigator in his alternate role. Fitting the fuselage internal fuel tanks involves flipping the assembly over to insert the twin bags in over a central spine, then the assembly is flipped back and the spars slid into place on the port fuselage half. Here there are painting instructions for the moulded-in details, which are pretty good for the scale, and the interior green also makes an appearance in the tail wheel bay along with a small bulkhead to hang the tail-wheel off later. The other fuselage half is painted while you have the interior green out, then the fuselage halves are joined up, with an insert that accommodates the bomber hatchway and circular window, which is clear, as you’d expect. Behind the bomb bay is a small insert and another clear round part, and behind the dinghy bay on the top spine is another circular insert, this time in grey. The rudder fin is moulded into the fuselage, but the rudder itself is a separate part, so you’re able to deflect it as you see fit, while the elevator fins are two parts each, but unable to be deflected unless you get the razor saw out. Detail on the flying surfaces is excellent however, and there is a slight sink-mark at the root of one elevator, so check your example and smear a little filler on before you get too far. The complex landing gear of the Mossie is made up using the lower wings as a template or jig, but without gluing them initially, which is made abundantly clear in the diagrams along with the use of lilac to colour the parts. Each leg is made from two halves, with the cross-braces joining them together, and the mudguard resting on two points plus the oil tank high up on the legs. Here there are some of the door-bumper frames missing from the moulding, but as it’s missing on some of the larger scaled kits too, it seems churlish to complain, but some have and will. The over-thick mudguard would be an excellent candidate for thinning or replacing with a PE part due to the limitations of injection moulding, and a little wire can be used to replicate those delicate bumper parts if you’re so minded. This is done twice, one for each nacelle, and includes the two wheels, which have a flat-spot moulded-in and separate hubs. They also have block tread, which is quite well done, although some have complained about the blocky-ness of them. I quite like them personally, and they’ll look great under paint. With the landing gear temporarily removed, the wings are made up with their landing lights under the wing, and a couple of holes drilled if you’re fitting the drop-tanks, then the topside is glued on, with a completely clear tip so that the wingtip lights blend in well. I had a little smile when I saw those on the sprues, and another when I saw the P and S engraved on their tabs. If you’re a bone-head like me, I remember that Port is Left because it has the same number of letters. Keep It Simple Silly (KISS). Another bit of clever engineering takes place with the six exhaust stacks, which have three pipes per part and interleave to create the correct number for each side, with a handed box behind them that also have arrows pointing up and forward engraved on the rear so you don’t get them confused. They slot into the lower nacelle cowlings, with the upper section standing proud until the rest of the cowling is put in place. The nacelle halves are painted interior green where the moulded-in ribbing is, and there are front and rear bulkheads for the bay, and an axle for the prop at the front, then they’re closed up, have the chin scoop insert and a pair of small exhaust outlets added into recesses, plus the larger intake made from two parts slotting into a hole in the bottom. If you’re planning on leaving the bay doors closed, chop off the door hinges before fitting the single bay door. The bays can then be glued into the underside of the wing, with more green paint in the roof. Now for some more fun engineering! There are two “spare” parts in the sprues that have the work MASK in raised lettering on them, and guess what? They’re masking parts. You can tape, Blutak or tack-glue them in place around the hinges (they have cut-outs), and paint with gay abandon and no concern about your hard work in the gear bays getting ruined. Cool, eh? Before the wings are slid onto the spars, you should paint and install the radiator cores, which are again covered with arrows to ensure you put them in the correct way. How thoughtful. The landing gear, their bay doors and the props are installed on the nacelles now, with the prop made from front and back spinner plus a single part comprising all three paddle-bladed props, which is glued carefully onto the axle, with yellow printing showing where best to put the glue to leave you with a spinning prop. All this is doubled up of course, and if you’re not paying attention you could get confused between the wings like I did briefly whilst flicking back and forth in the instructions. There is a choice of open or closed bomb bay doors, with the simplest being closed, which requires just one part depicting the two bay doors. For the open option, there are door operating rams front and back, two bomb racks running perpendicular to the bay, with different-shaped pins ensuring you put them in the right place. The longitudinal bomb carriers lay over the ladder-racks, with another scrap diagram showing the correct angle of the rear pair, which are in the nose-down position to fit the bombs into the cramped bay. The bombs are simple two-part bodies with a stabilising ring added at the rear and some stencil decals included, which always improves the look. The open bay doors are fitted with a curved part in the rear, then glued in place on their hinge points upon the actuators. An optional pair of medium-sized slipped tanks are on the sprues for you to use if you want and have remembered to drill out the flashed over holes earlier. There is a pilot in this boxing, although he’s a little soft and is doing the usual “hands on lap” pose, as he’s only a single part. There’s no nav/bomb aimer though, which is a shame. With him in place (or not) the canopy is made from the main section with bulged side panels as separate parts, so take care in choosing the correct glue for these parts so you don’t fog them up. It should fit snugly in the cockpit aperture thanks to lugs front and rear, then you can add the observation windows at the side of the bomb aimer’s nook, and finally put his main window in place on the nose. Then it’s a choice of raised or lowered tail-wheel and a probe in the rudder fin, and that’s it. It’s worthy of note that a lot of Mossies had a grooved anti-shimmy tail-wheel, so check your references and see what you can do if it bothers you. Markings As usual with Airfix 1:72 kits of this size, there are two decal options, both wearing the same upper camouflage, while one has a night black lower with high demarcation for operations in darkness. The daylight schemed Mossie also has a few replacement panels on the upper wing that haven’t yet been matched to the paintwork, so remember to mask those off while you’re painting. Mosquito B.XVI No.571 Sqn., No.8 (Pathfinder) Group, RAF Oakington, Cambs., England. Sept 1944 Mosquito B.XVI No.109 Sqn., RAF Wyton, Cambs., England. 1944 Decals are by Cartograf, which is a guarantee of good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin gloss carrier film cut close to the printed areas. The inclusion of instrument decals and plenty of stencils is good to see at this scale, as I believe that these details add lots of visual interest to a model. Conclusion A new Two-Stage Mossie in 1:72 will make a lot of modellers happy, and while it’s not perfect (what kit is?), it’s a good-looking, well-detailed model of a beautiful aircraft, and the dramatic box art will draw in a lot of impulse purchases. It’s also nice to be reviewing a Mossie again, even if it’s not in my own preferred scale. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  2. Mosquito B.Mk.IX (For HK Model) 1:32 Eduard Three years ago HK Model released their gun-nosed Mossie, and now we have the glass-nosed variant to complete the two basic configurations in which the Wooden Wonder flew. Eduard's new range of sets are here to improve on the kit detail in the usual modular manner. Get what you want for the areas you want to be more of a focal point. As usual with Eduard's Photo-Etch (PE) and Mask sets, they arrive in a flat resealable package, with a white backing card protecting the contents and the instructions that are sandwiched between. Interior (32918) Two frets are included, one nickel plated and pre-painted, the other in bare brass. A complete set of new layered instrument panels, radio boxes and controls such as knobs and levers are the primary parts on the painted set, with new rudder pedals and box; complete throttle quadrant; coaming instrumentation and gunsight details also supplied. Zoom! Set (33182) This set contains a reduced subset of the interior, namely the pre-painted parts that are used to improve on the main aspects of the cockpit, as seen above. Whatever your motivations for wanting this set, it provides a welcome boost to detail, without being concerned with the structural elements. Seatbelts STEEL (33183) In case you don't already know, these belts are Photo-Etch (PE) steel, and because of their strength they can be etched from thinner material, which improves realism and flexibility in one sitting. Coupled with the new painting method that adds perceived extra depth to the buckles and other furniture by shading, they are more realistic looking and will drape better than regular brass PE. As well as the two sets of crew belts, you also get separate furniture. Exterior (32417) This larger double bare brass set contains some important upgrades within the landing gear bays in the engine nacelles, with new PE mudguards, skins for the interior, piano hinges and vents/intake mesh, with the doors also seeing some additional parts. In the engine bays ribbing is applied to the access panels, and logos for the Merlin engines. Bomb Bay (32418) The rear bulkhead is stripped of detail which is replaced by layered PE ribs and webwork; the internal fuel tanks have new detailed straps added, the bay doors are fitted with additional panels, and the bombs are given new fin and stabilisers, plus front and rear spinners. They are then mounted on new transverse palettes, with two new detailed bomb racks on each. If you are using the cookie bombs instead of the standard ones, there are three circular plates with the central one fitted with a spinner, which needs a little bit of 1mm rod from your own stocks to finish off. In addition, some 1.5mm rod will also be needed for the mounting points of the palettes, again in short lengths. Masks (JX208) Supplied on a sheet of yellow kabuki tape, these pre-cut masks supply you with a full set of masks for the canopy, side windows and nose cone, with compound curved handled by using frame hugging masks, while the highly curved gaps are in-filled with either liquid mask or offcuts from the background tape. In addition you get a set of hub masks for the main wheels, allowing you to cut the demarcation perfectly with little effort. Review sample courtesy of
  3. Sorry I'm late I'll be building both versions of Tamiya's Mosquito, the fighter/fighter-bomber version as an NF.II nightfighter and the bomber/PR version as the photo-reconnaissance PR.IV. Here are the box and sprue pics; the fighter/fighter-bomber kit: These sprues are the same for both kits: ... as are the sprues on the right in the picture below, those on the left are dedicated for the fighter/fighter-bomber: The instructions and transfers - I will be using the kit's markings for W4087 RSoB of 157 Squadron: Here is the box for the bomber/PR version: The two main sprues are the same as for the earlier kit; as are the two sprues on the left below (except that I stole the 25lb solid semi-armour piercing rockets from these for an Airfix Beaufighter); the sprues on the right are the dedicated bomber/PR parts: The instructions and transfers - I will be using the kit's markings for DZ383 of 540 Squadron. I'm trying so far as possible to build OOB without any aftermarket material but I had already bought these to use on the kits so I would be a fool not to: So I think I'm about ready to go; I do need to score some PRU Blue - I expect it will be a couple of weeks at least before that becomes a matter of any urgency... but I'd better put my order in now so I don't forget. Hopefully I can make a start on assembly tomorrow. Cheers, Stew
  4. Hello Chaps, This was the 7th model that I built since starting modeling in January 2014. I completed this on April 27th, 2014. This was my first Tamiya kit and I really loved the build, it went together so well and some great looking details included such as the bomb bay with fuel cells, the cockpit and the undercarriage. This was the kit that got me turned on to loving Tamiya kits and just happens to be my favorite British Fighter Bomber Aircraft. There are plenty of after-market enhancements available for this kit, but, this was built out of the box. If you haven't built this kit before and you're a lover of the "Mossie", I highly recommend this kit, it's a joy to build and looks great when completed. I used the kits decals for the instrument panel and seat belts, because at the time, I wasn't happy with my dry-brushing skills to attempt painting them. I also left the canopy unglued so that I could remove it to see inside the cockpit area, and, also the front machine guns access panel was left unglued. I just wanted to share this with you guys, as presently, I haven't touched styrene for two weeks due to being actively searching for a new home to buy with my wife. One that has a nice big spare room to accommodate my hobby with capacity to display at least 12 new models a year for the next....hmm.....however many more years I live and am capable of modeling! I hope you enjoy my build, and, I'm always open to constructive criticism, as complacency doesn't exist in my vocabulary. I'm never totally happy with my last build, I'm my own worst critic and try to push myself further with each new build...... If you'd like to see my "Final Reveal" YouTube video for this build, here is the link to that...it has a couple of good sound tracks to accompany the build! https://www.youtube.com/edit?o=U&video_id=3tpAeOSnKY8 Thanks in advance for taking a look and for any comments you make! Cheers, Martin
  5. Mosquito FB Mk.VI Nose Guns (for Tamiya) 1:32 Eduard Brassin Following our review of the belly-mounted gun pack here, this new Brassin set includes the parts for the nose gun bay, which gave that bit of extra punch and a total (depending on fit) of 8 guns firing along the centreline with no convergence to deal with. The Tamiya kit is a work of styrene art, but you can always improve on styrene with the right media. This set is made up of resin and Photo-Etch (PE) in the standard rectangular Brassin box, with foam packing keeping the bagged contents safe during transit and storage. There are three bags of resin, a sheet of PE, and a small sheet of decals in the box, plus a chunky instruction booklet consisting of four pages of A5 printed landscape with 18 construction steps. The first part installed into the nose bay is the resin bulkhead, which has a number of decals and various gauges of wire added, which you must provide from your own stocks. Lead fly-tying wire or florist's wire would be of use here, and is cheap to buy if you know where to look. The gun mounts are added to the floor of the bay in order to receive the four .303 Brownings with their ammo feeds and breech stands, plus the PE and resin recoil tubes at the rear. The centre two are added first, wired in, then joined by the outer two, which are in turn wired in. The ammo cans hook into place above them, and each one has a number of decals and tiny PE parts added before they are set in place in the correct order, each with a number stencil on their feed chute. They are linked by a retaining rod made from wire, and the four ammo feeds are then put in one after another after painting and decaling, ensuring that each end finds the input on the gun breech. The nose cone can be left off or added to retain the shape of the aircraft, and this is also improved by the addition of a gun camera on its mount (again with decals), and a PE ring around the aft end to provide the correct lightened framework. This fits slightly inside the lip of the part, so shouldn't interfere with its assembly onto the model. It isn't a simple proposition, but given the care and attention to detail that it deserves, it will seriously improve the look of the bay if you intend to leave it open, or place it in a maintenance diorama setting. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  6. de Havilland Mosquito B.Mk.IV Series II 1:32 HK Models The Mosquito was one of the ground-breaking private projects of WWII, and it contributed a significant effort toward victory against Nazi Germany from its introduction in 1941 to the end of the war and beyond. Initially conceived by Geoffrey de Havilland as a fast bomber, it was not intended to carry armament, simply relying on speed to take it out of harm's way. Numerous versions were considered, but a twin engine design with a wooden monocoque fuselage was eventually used, with space for four 20mm cannons in the forward section of the bomb bay. It was initially met with a very lukewarm reception from the Air Ministry, as they still clung to their obsession of turreted aircraft, which became heavy and complex, reducing speed both in the air and through the production line. After some shenanigans that included a mock-up of a turret behind the main canopy, DH were issued with a requirement for a 400mph capable light bomber/reconnaissance aircraft, which solidified as DH.98, and was named Mosquito. Despite having been ordered to stop development work after Dunkirk, DH carried on due to the vagueness of the request, and the prototype flew at the end of 1940. After lengthening the engine nacelles and splitting the flaps to cure poor handling at certain speeds she flew for the ministry and managed to outpace a Spitfire, pulling away with a speed advantage of 20mph. The Mosquito lines were split between bomber/recon variants with glass noses and fighter variants with the four cannon in the belly and four .303 machine guns in the nose. It really was the master of all things, as it showed when it became a night-fighter, torpedo bomber, and even in its dotage it was well-used as a target tug until the early 60s. The Mossie was even converted to carry two bouncing bombs called Highballs, and always gave a good account of itself, striking fear into the hearts of the opposition. They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, which was evidenced by the German Focke-Wulf Ta.154 Moskito, which attempted to recreate the success of the Mossie, but failed due largely to inferior construction and glue, which caused delamination of the wings in the air. The Mosquito was mainly constructed by woodworkers that might otherwise have been left idle during the austerity of the war, and it was their skill and ingenuity that contributed to the success of the aircraft, and made it very economical to build using very little in the way of strategic materials. Time is unkind to wood however, and very few Mosquitos have survived in airworthy condition, the last of which was lost in 1998 in a fatal crash. There is hope that the Mosquito will fly again over Britain, as the People's Mosquito group are trying to raise funds to construct a new-build Mossie to entertain a new generation of aviation fans at airshows. The Kit HK Models hit the modelling scene a couple of years ago creating models in 1:32 that a lot of us never expected to see in that scale. Based in Hong Kong, they now have a substantial catalogue of single, twin and four-engined aircraft that cause quite a stir when they are announced. The Mosquito was announced last year to much enthusiasm, and we are now able to get our hands on a sample thanks to our friends at Pocketbond, who are their UK distributors. Since their announcement another company has also announced a 1:32 Mosquito, but thankfully theirs is the fighter, while this is the bomber variant, so unlikely to eat into each other's markets. Who wouldn't want two Mossies? You might have guessed that I love the Mosquito, and it is what brought me back to the hobby when I decided I needed a model of one for my shelf. I also grew up listening to the last flyable Mosquito overhead, as I live close to where she was based, so it is firmly entrenched in my heart as my favourite aircraft of all. The box is long and reasonably narrow, with a dramatic painting of a Mosquito loosing off a Cookie bomb over a smoking landscape during a night raid. Without dragging my Do.335 from the stash, the boxes look to be of a similar size, which is always good news for stacking. Inside there isn't much in the way of wasted space, with styrene parts taking up most of the volume, carefully packaged in re-sealable cellophane bags. The fuselage parts are further protected by some self-cling wrap to stop the parts chaffing against each other in transit, while the glazing parts have been secured to a white backing card with tape to further protect them too. This initial run has a special addition in the shape of a pair of standing crew figures in resin, which were sculpted by Steve Warrilow. If you want these chaps, don't delay in picking up your kit, as the first issue is unlikely to stay on the shelves long once you've seen what's in the box. Inside the box is one large sprue, three medium sprues, three small, and nine small sprues with either a single part, or a small group of similar parts on, all in a mid-grey styrene. There are also two fuselage parts, and one wing part in the same styrene, a gaggle of four clear sprues, a small fret of Photo-Etch (PE) brass, a medium sized decal sheet, single sheet paint conversion table, and a large (A3ish in size) glossy covered instruction booklet with the painting and markings guide at the rear in shades of grey. The bonus figures are sealed in an opaque foam envelope, held closed by a sticker that mentions their limited edition status. If you're late to the party and reading this sometime down the line, it's possible you may not have this in your box, so prepare yourself. Some fancy footwork has been utilised to create some very interesting and technically advanced moulds for both the fuselage and wings, which is good to see, especially coming from such a relatively new company. The fuselage is provided in halves, but in the fore/aft fashion, rather than the usual seam that runs along the length of the fuselage. The split is at the fuselage strengthening band over the wing roots, so seam clean-up is minimised if not entirely obviated. The full-width wings caused a little furrowing of the brow, as when they were released from their bag the top and bottom surfaces didn't separate, because they have been moulded as a single part. I'm not 100% certain of how this was done, but I have a few guesses that revolve around styrene remaining quite flexible once cooled. This technique has also been used for the flaps, ailerons and elevators… ok, all the flying surfaces, which saves a lot of mucking about with glue. Construction begins with the important pilot's seat, with its asymmetrical seat back that curves in due to the pilot's proximity to the canopy. The seat bottom and cushion are one part, while the arms and side detail are added to the sides, after which the seat back and PE belts are installed. Note here that seat and seat-back cushions are moulded into the seat, so if you wanted to depict them without, you'll have some work ahead of you with sanding sticks. The cushions are well sculpted though, so I'd imagine most people would stick with them. The cockpit is built up in assemblies that come together at the end, with the rear deck mating with the rest late in the process, as it is attached to the top of the wing that passes through the fuselage. The pilot's seat attaches to a half bulkhead that is actually the front bulkhead of the bomb bay, so has detail on both sides, with small parts added to each for extra detail. The main instrument panel is a single part with moulded-in rudder pedals, behind which a box is added to prevent the see-through look. There is a group of individual decals arranged on the sheet as if they were a single decal containing only instrument faces, which you will apply after painting of the panel, then fix it in place on the cockpit floor, which has a separate access hatch panel fitted to it, plus the single piece control column, after which it is mated with the pilot's bulkhead. The flat deck (or bomb bay roof) that the co-pilot's seat is attached to is next, with his armoured seat back, equipment boxes and PE seatbelts added before it is fixed to the rear of the pilot's bulkhead. The sidewalls then enclose the cockpit, with the circular ferrules (fixing points) standing out from the sides, doing a creditable impression of ejector pin marks if you didn’t know any better, and hiding the presence of a few pin marks that will need removal. The ejector pin marks should be easy to tell apart however, as they have a less refined and sometimes recessed aspect. There is lot of detail moulded into these side panels, and these should look great under a coat of paint, although some of the detail is sloped a little at the edges due to the constraints of injection moulding technology, and the ejector pin marks make extra work. A compass is added to the pilot's side, and on the exposed deck at the front, the bomb-sight is added, while the rear bulkhead that is the leading edge of the wing-root is attached to the back of the cockpit tub, which is then slipped inside the single-piece nose of the beast, with only two small parts added in the very front of the nose, plus the important sides windows. You will have to paint the inside tip of the nose the interior colour, as the side walls stop at the instrument panel bulkhead, which might be best done before installing the windows from the outside. The nose glazing completes the nose, and work turns toward the canopy, which is notable in that it has internal as well as external framing, which is faithfully depicted here is a substantial frame that sits within the canopy parts. There are a couple of ejector pin marks on this part that will need careful fettling to restore the gap between parallel tubing, but you could be forgiven for leaving it as it might well not be seen. The windscreen attaches to the front, with the tapering rear section to the rear of the frame, leaving a gap that is filled by three panels, taking the form of the blistered side windows, and the emergency escape panel on the top. The dingy pack door on the rear is a separate part that is added before you mate the forward and rear sections (there is no interior to this bay). At this stage you'd be forgiven for expecting the fuselage halves to be joined, but instead you will find yourself building the elevator assembly, which starts with the planes moulded in a single part to which you add small fillets to close up the rear of the skin. The tail-wheel structure is then built up in the bay between the planes, with the strut attached to a small bulkhead, which also acts as the hinge-point for the leg to rotate rearwards into its bay. The elevators have also been moulded in one piece, with a curved forward section closing up the skins, after which its hinge-point is clipped into a trough that runs across the rear of the elevator planes. This is in turn glued into the rear fuselage, into the slot in the same manner as the actual aircraft was constructed. The missing lower fuselage panels are then added as a single part, boxing in the bay and leaving an oval(ish) hole through which the tail wheel deploys. Three clear recognition lights are clued into depressions in the fuselage sides, after the depressions have been painted silver to simulate the reflectors. Another hatch in the side of the fuselage covers up its aperture, leaving scope for aftermarket providers to create a set to show off what is inside. The final act before bringing the fuselage halves together is to add the bulkhead and rear end of the bomb bay to the aft fuselage, before the two halves are glued together, with tabs and pins providing clear guidance for correct location. My example was a little tight on the top pin however, so you may want to check yours and ream it out a little to ease fit, without making it so sloppy that it doesn't do its job. The tail and rudder are moulded as one part each, with a blanking piece added to each before you set them to whatever angle you choose. They then fit to the fuselage, and a small blister is placed on a lug on the starboard side to give the actuators room to pivot on the real thing. Finally, a pair of small formation lights on a base fit to the very end of the fuselage. The detail on the fuselage sides is faithful to the original, with no panel lines, just very faintly raised tape marks where the joint between wooden panels have been filled and covered before doping. This also extends to the other major external parts that were constructed using wood, which is almost everything but the engine cowlings where metal was favoured both for strength and its heat resistance. The engine nacelles are then constructed around the substantial twin struts of the gear legs, which have the main retraction jacks held between their halves to give them extra strength, as well as the anti-fouling bars at the bottom of the legs that prevent the gear bay doors from catching on the struts as they rotate. The wheels are built from two part tyres with a circumferential seam across the tyre's tread-blocks to fix, although this isn't likely to be as difficult as it sounds. The hubs are separate parts, and slot into keyed depressions in their respective positions, after which they are trapped between the stub-axles when the two legs are brought together and held there by a top bar and cross-brace, with the mudguard added later. The short bulkhead to which the M-shaped brace attach is added next, and the big tank that is so evident at the top of each leg is installed before it is attached to the bay roof. The nacelle sides are added next with a couple of small parts including bulkhead and strut parts, added to each side before they enclose the upper leg within. There are quite a number of ejector pin marks in these parts, which will need addressing, but they are raised, so no filler will be needed. This build process is repeated for the other leg, after which the Merlin engines are built up using eighteen parts to produce good detail, plus an additional four parts for the five-stack exhausts, and another four for the engine bearers. Add in some wiring and hoses, and you will have a good looking pair of engines to show off later. They are added to the front of the engine nacelles, with the remaining cowlings built up later for installation or otherwise once the wings are completed. The wings are already substantially complete due to the clever moulding techniques used, and after drilling some holes for the optional slipper tanks, for which a measuring guide is included, the rear is closed up by adding the slim bay walls to the flaps and ailerons, as well as the upper cowling for the engine bays. Small inserts are added to the lower wing trailing edges as the basis for the hinges for the flying surfaces, and the upper section of the bomb bay is added from a single part that depicts the twin fuel tanks that take up the remainder of the height within the wing spar box. As mentioned earlier, the flaps and ailerons are hollow moulded as one part each, with the flaps linked by a moulded-in hinge. Their leading edges are closed with aerodynamic profiles, as are the ailerons, after which they are added to the trailing edges of the wings and small hinge-fairings are added on the underside. The wingtips are separate hollow moulded parts into which the forward and rear-facing formation lights are added, with clear green and red paint used on the correct sides. At this point the engine nacelles are glued to the slots on the underside of the wings, and the lower cowling with PE intake mesh is added to leave only the sides uncovered. You can choose to cover up those Merlin engines completely, or leave some or all uncovered to show off your work, although you will need to thin the cowling panels and detail them, as there is none inside. You can also install flame-suppressor covers for the exhausts if you choose, as well as the optional two-part slipper tanks for long-range missions. Adding the props and their spinners is probably not wise if you're clumsy like me, but the prop is a single part, with three tapered blades moulded in, and if you're interested there is a set of three-bladed paddle props included for your convenience. On the top of the wing you will build the last part of the cockpit, so if you remember to make that up before you put away the interior grey-green, you'll be much happier. You might also consider adding the snaking wires that are present on that section of the deck, leading to and from the radio set, but aren't present in the kit parts. The rear bulkhead and radio gear with colourful dials sit behind the co-pilot eventually when the wing is installed, but check how the parts mate up to ensure a good fit before you proceed. The fuselage and wings are mated in the same way as the original 1:1 aircraft, with the fuselage lowered onto the full-width wings, only in our case it'll be held together with model glue, not wood glue, bolts and so forth. Rather than work in a fiddly closed-in bomb bay, the sides are left off until after the bay door actuators and your choice of bomb-load has been made. Let's talk about bombs for a minute, eh? In the box you have a quartet of four short-tailed 500lb bombs that are carried on a rack affixed to the roof of the bomb bay, which would all fit comfortably in the standard bomb bay, with streamlined doors that match the profile of the fuselage. This is the Series II that is mentioned on the box – the Series I carrying four 250lb bombs with room to spare. Your other option is the later 4,000lb Cookie bomb (as it became known), which required a bulged bomb bay that gave the aircraft a slightly pregnant look. Both options are available to you, requiring a different fit of door actuators, different bay doors, and for the Cookie, a fairing fore and aft of the bay doors to smooth the airflow. The bay sides remain the same for both versions, but the bomb rack used for suspending the four three-part 500lb bombs is discarded along with the bombs to be replaced by two separate pegs that project from the top surface of the two-part Cookie bomb canister, requiring you to drill holes of approximately 2.5mm in diameter. Seeing the Cookie in place makes you realise just how powerful the Mossie was in order to carry this thin-cased tube of destruction. Another testament to the de Havilland design team. The gear bay doors are all single parts with moulded-in hinges that locate in depressions on the inside lips of the bays, while the bomb bay doors attach to the fuselage mounted hinges in the same way. Part of the Mosquito's speed was derived from her sleek streamlined appearance, which included burying the radiators within the leading edge of the inner wing, with the air ducted through the cores and out under the wing. The cores fit to the lower wing inserts and have the flap controlling their airflow attached to the rear, with the option of posing them in the open position if you wish. The bomber variant had the crew door on the lower nose due to the lack of cannon bays in the same area, so the crew could enter using a ladder from below. This door is provided separately with two hinges, a clear port-hole and grab-handle on the inside. This can be posed open, but it isn't made clear whether the inner hatch should be left open, and I'm afraid I don't know the answer to this one. Stowed or hinged, and if hinged, which side? It's such a long time since I built my 1:48 Tamiya Highball conversion, I cannot remember. Pop the aerial on top of the fuselage like a candle on a cake, and you're done. Crew Figures – Limited Edition The limited edition crew figures are a good reason to stock up your big Mossie pile early, and this in turn will help secure the release of additional variants, so take heed and get buying! The figures are further protected by a Ziplok bag inside their outer bag, and they are very nicely done. Each pilot is on his own pour block, attached by some rather 70s looking blocks on the soles of his feet. The helmeted pilot has separate arm and hand parts on another smaller moulding block, which fit very well to their intended locations. Glue them with super-glue or epoxy, and it's unlikely you will need to do any seam hiding. My only minor complaint is the size of the bare-headed chap's quiff. It is rather long, and sticking out horizontally as if he is in a stiff breeze. It may be hair envy, but it seems a little exaggerated from some angles, however it is easily trimmed back with the aid of a good hairdresser (or a scalpel). Having handled these figures for a while during the review process, it struck me that they looked a little on the tall side, and after measuring, the helmeted figure scales out at 6', while the chap with the quiff is around 6'5". It would have been very crowded in the confines of the cockpit with those two at the controls, and this is one reason why smaller navigators were preferred. There were of course some tall Mossie pilots, such as Group Captain Pickard who was 6'4", known best for the famous Jericho raid where he lost his life. Markings You are presented with three markings options in the box, each of which is depicted in greyscale over two pages, with colours called out using letters, and decals numbered. There is also a double-page stencil layout diagram that is common to all markings choices. From the box you can build one of the following: DK296, No.305 FTU, Errol, Autumn 1943 – Grey/green camouflage with low demarcation over ocean grey undersides. Roundels painted out and red stars in their place. DZ637 P3-C No.692 Squadron, Graveley, Spring 1944 – Grey/green camouflage with high demarcation over night (black) undersides. DZ627 AZ-X No.627 Squadron, Woodhall Spa, Summer 1944 – Grey/green camouflage with medium demarcation over ocean grey undersides. Black/white invasion stripes on the lower surfaces of the fuselage and wings. The decals are printed by Cartograf, so you can rest assured that register, sharpness and colour density are all up to snuff, and the inclusion of all the stencils is good to see. It would have been nice to see a little more information about the decal options, especially the red star bedecked Mossie, which was actually used in the Soviet Union for tests until it was damaged in a heavy landing, after which it was written off, and for the geographically challenged like myself, a country would have been helpful. The large "Keep Off" warning rectangles that are applied over the radiator have their inner areas covered with carrier film to include the writing, when it would have been better to remove the carrier in the blank areas and add the lettering separately to reduce the likelihood of silvering on a conspicuous area. If you have a sharp scalpel and a steady hand however, you can remove these yourself, and not worry about it. Conclusion This is a welcome kit in the 1:32 scale world, as well as being eagerly awaited by yours truly. Overall the detail is excellent, but the advanced (read anal) modeller will probably look at areas where the detail has been slightly simplified and wish that separate parts had been used, for example in the cockpit sidewalls there are a few controls that are moulded-in and as such their detail is a bit soft. This will undoubtedly be addressed by the aftermarket fraternity, although you could well argue that little will actually be seen once the cockpit is inside the fuselage. These minor niggles aside it is tour-de-force of injection moulding technology, and consigns the Revell/Lodela kit of yore to the recycling bin, or the museum if you prefer. I'm looking forward to other variants and trying not to think about where I'm going to put them. Very highly recommended, and available now from all good model shops. Review sample courtesy of UK Distributors for
  7. Hi, this is my finished Tamiya Mosquito B MkIV (1/48 scale). technically this kit isn't finished as i haven't painted the cockpit frames yet as i have to wait for the masks to arrive, but i didn't think it was worth putting it in WIP just for that. this kit was a dream to build, as the only fit issue was a small one with the fuselage halves, which was solved by the removal of the rear firewall/bulkhead. the decals however were a big letdown. they had lots of silvering (i didn't apply gloss varnish as previously i have never really had any silvering on the cartography decals I've used) and even when micro sol was applied they had difficulties adhering to the details. also, i rather clumsily moved one of the decals that was covered in micro sol out of line, and when i try to move it back it split (my fault). before i built this kit i had little interest in the mosquito, but after building the kit and doing some research i am quito fond of it.
  8. Quick OOB Build. Promised myself not to use the Usual Eduard Dash and seatbelt etc and see how I do on an OOB Stated on the dash basically the whole inner section is almost the complete model. This is the 90% underside done which includes an AK Interior wash Cockpit - blue radio nobs more prominent in real life. I am not the best photographer A top view Hopefully I will get to the base coat this weekend
  9. FInished my first model aircraft. This kit had some fit problems and a few issues others have pointed out (spinners and landing gear) but I still enjoyed it. Added the Revell RAF Ground Crew and Pilot figures kit too! Comments welcome! I know the silvering on the decals is unfortunate...still learning. Cheers. http://s1308.beta.ph...502461576953111 http://s1308.beta.ph...405486014032667 http://s1308.beta.ph...366577168024631 http://s1308.beta.photobucket.com/user/tukansam1/media/Mossie4.jpg.html?sort=3&o=0#/user/tukansam1/media/Mossie4.jpg.html?sort=3&o=0&_suid=13526926518260805190510850242
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