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Tamiya 1/72 Mosquito B.IV with Paragon ResinPR.34 conversion - FINISHED!


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Slightly late on parade, here's my intended contribution to the Mossie group build. It's the rather lovely Tamiya 1/72 Mosquito B.IV that's been in my stash for many years. Rather than leave it as a wartime PR.IV, I intend to convert it to a post war PR.34 of RAF 540 Sqn based at RAF Benson in 1948. To do the conversion I stocked up on a load of necessary Paragon resin aftermarket conversions sets while they were available including bulged camera bay, flaps, 2 stage Merlin nacelles, 200 gallon drop tanks, revised elevators and PR.34 vacform canopy. Decals are from the Freightdog post war Mossie set. Reference material is mainly from watching other Britmodellers bui I also invested in the Osprey 'Modelling the Mosquito' volume.

This build will be a tribute to my late father who died in 2009. During and immediately after WWII, he lived at Ewelme, overlooking RAF Benson. As a teenager at that time he spent hours watching the activities of the PRU and other types that used this famous airfield. The all blue Mossie was always his favorite type, and I had intended to build a 1 PRU bird for him while he was alive but sadly that was not to happen. I'm looking forward immensely to this STGB and I hope I can do justice to this wonderful machine and build a subject my dad would have been delighted with.

Here's the obligatory pre-build shot.

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Good luck to all my fellow builders!

Mark

Edited by canberraman
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  • 1 month later...

Have finally made a start building my Tamiya 1/72 Mosquito PR.IV , converted into a PR 34 variant using various Paragon resin extras.

The Paragon bits that I have obtained for the STGB include 2-stage Merlins, bulged camera bay, flaps, 200gal drop tanks, vac-form PR canopy and also a pair of Sea Mosquito elevators which more closely resemble those with enlarged horn balances which the PR34s also used.

The first stage of my build has necessitated fitting the 2-stage Merlins to the nacelles and removing the kit flap sections in readiness for the resin ones to be fitted in their place. I have to say I struggled to get a good fit with the resin Merlins but that was more likely to be my ham-fistedness than a fault of the Paragon design. However with some judicious sanding of the kit cowlings and an amount of model putty applied around the joins, I am reasonably happy with how they now look. The wheel wells were brush painted interior green before being weathered with well thinned black enamel paint and some burnt sienna artists oil paint. A rectangular section was filed into the leading edge of the starboard wing and a shaped piece of clear sprue installed to represent the landing lights used on this post war variant. The new resin elevators were applied in place of those that came supplied with the kit.

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Moving on to the fuselage, the various cockpit assemblies were constructed and the whole structure treated to a further coat of a mixed interior green. To save time the kit seatbelts were used which although inferior to photo-etch, should look OK through the Mossie greenhouse. The delicate cockpit details were picked out with a 0000 brush in the appropriate colours. The inside was then weathered and some dry brushing done in Humbrol Sky Type S to give more depth. The fuselage side camera port was drilled out and all necessary transparencies fitted. Next stage will be to zip the fuselage together and begin work on constructing the complex undercarriage.

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Having finally made a start progress is being made quicker than expected! Thanks for looking, good luck to everyone else participating in this group build.

Mark



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  • 4 weeks later...

Hi again

After a lengthy hiatus my Mossie is back under construction. Since the last update I have completed the wings and added the Paragon drooped flaps. These fitted well with minimal fetling required. The larger late mark elevators were used in place of those supplied and I was very impressed with the fine detail on these resin items and their effect on overall appearance. All the internal windows and transparencies were affixed. The Tamiya nosecone transparency is for earlier variants that had a flat bomb aimers window. If I was more skilled I would have tried to make my own vacformed nose transparency in a more speherical shape reminiscent of the PR.34. Sadly I'm not that good and have made do by sanding away the framing of the bomb aimer window, polishing to shape and then dipping in Klear. The fuselage halves were joined and I was very pleased with the excellent fit and minimal need for sanding. These Tamiya kits are well engineered, don't know why I've never built one previously! The big belly camera modification used on the latter PR types was fitted. This required some body putty at the fore end but after sanding is a smooth fit. The larger 200 gl resin drop tanks were cut from their runners, sanded to shape and then fixed to the wings with CA. The wings were then joined to the fuselage and it is nice to be able to get such a good clean joint with the aid of the main spars which give perfect alignment and add strength.

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While the main assemblies have been left to bond I began work on the main undercarriage. I have seen some modellers really go to town on super detailing these but in my opinion Tamiya have done enough, and I expect most of the added detail will be invisible once they are set in the wheel wells.

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With construction now largely complete I was ready to apply the Humbrol acrylic grey primer. First however, I simulated the effect of the prominent main spars by adding a decal strip along the length of each wing where the spar is located. Once painted I hope these will give the impression of the raised spar as seen on the real machines. Masking tape was placed over the wheel wells and cockpit areas. The transparencies were coated in Maskol. Modelling table was then cleared and a couple of coats of rattle can primer applied.

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After priming I always expect to find areas theat need more rubbing back or scratches and blemishes that need attending to with Tippex. This project was no exception and the next stage will be cleaning up, attaching the smaller components and then planning the painting. Oh yes. I've also got to face my demons with the extensive cockpit framing which I think I'll make with painted decals. Thanks for looking. Good luck to fellow STGB builders.

Mark

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Looking good, I do so like a build that gets on with it, rather than interminable shots of hyperdetailed interiors, wheel bays etc. My kind of modelling. :thumbsup:

Steve

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Aeroclub do/did a 72nd Mosquito canopy set that included a PR34 nosecone. Send a PM to John Aero as he may have a few left in stock.

Some lovely work there.

Edited by The Wooksta!
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  • 4 weeks later...

Hi again. Well here's the latest instalment of my build. With construction largely complete and primer applied, I began the lengthy process of remedying any blemishes highlighted from the priming. The deeper gaps were filled with Zap-A-Gap and the smaller abrasions with Tippex. The model was then treated to several sessions of rubbing doem with medium sanding sponges and then with increasingly finer Micro-Mesh polishing cloths. When I was happy with the overall smoothness and finish I prepared for painting. Transparencies were masked with Tamiya tape and Maskol. The overall PRU blue was brush painted with a couple of thinned coats of Xtracolor enamel, lightened with a few drops of matt white for scale effect. I do like Xtracolor enamel but it taskes for ever to dry throroughly! I then proceeded to paint some of the details such as the resin camera ports beneath the belly. After further buffing up with Micromesh 600 and 12000 grit cloths the Mossie was then given a couple of coats of brush painted Klear to get a nice even finsih prior to dealling.

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Hopefully nearing the last lap now, thanks for looking!

Mark

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Well she’s finally ready for inspection with just over a month to go! The last phase of the build required decaling using a combination of the kit supplied decals and the lovely Freightdog Post War Mosquito set. It was while decaling that I noticed a problem with the positioning of the port fuselage camera port. Evidently for the PR.34 it was moved aft from the more central position on the earlier PR versions. Oh well, this is an error I will just have to live with! I also made a late decision to do a PR.34A rather than the standard PR34 which required the addition of whip aerials on the fuselage top which I fashioned from toothbrush bristles. Dipole antenna are on the wingtips which I made from stretched sprue as was also used for the HF wire leading to the fin. The final stages were to take off the high gloss with a coat of Vallejo satin varnish which was misted on in a couple of coats. Exhaust stains were added from Tamiya soot weathering and the tyres were muddied using artists pastels.

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The Mosquito PR.34 first flew on 4 Dec 44 and came into service right at the end of the war in the Far East. In the PR.34 the bomb-bay was filled with two huge tanks holding an additional 1192 gallons of fuel and, with the addition of two 200 gallon drop tanks on the wings, the range was extended to 3600 miles whilst flying at 300mph and 25,000ft. The PR.34 was equipped with four F52 cameras, two forward and two aft of the belly tanks, together with either one F24 oblique camera or a vertical K17 camera for air survey work. A total of 118 PR.34’s were built and they were powered by two 1690 hp Rolls Royce Merlin 114 engines. After the war 35 aircraft were converted to PR.34A’s this involved replacing the engines with 1710hp RR Merlin 113A’s. Visual differences between the two versions were small. The latter had an aerial mast on the rear fuselage and dipole antennae for the IFF system above and beneath each wing tip.

Post WWII the PR.34/34A became the RAF’s primary long range reconnaissance platform at home and abroad and remained so until a PR variant of the Canberra became available from 1952. In the UK the type was flown by both 58 Sqn, and 540 Sqn which had reformed at RAF Benson in 1947 from the Mosquito element of 58 Sqn to meet the growing demand for peace time surveying and damage assessment.

No.540 Squadron was formed on 19 October 1942 at Leuchars from H and L Flights of the Photographic Reconnaissance Unit. The squadron's Mosquitoes carried out reconnaissance missions over Norway and based a detachment at Benson for similar flights over France and Italy. From Leuchars, long-range trips were made to German and Polish Baltic ports, while another detachment covered southern France and Algeria from Gibraltar in preparation for the landings in North Africa. From February 1944, the squadron was wholly based at Benson and sorties ranged as far afield as Austria and the Canary Islands. At the end of March 1945, No.540 moved to France for the rest of the war, returning in November to Benson where it was disbanded on 30 September 1946.

On 1 December 1947, No.540 Squadron reformed at Benson, and used its Mosquitoes for photographic reconnaissance and survey duties, converting to Canberras at the end of 1952. Its aircraft adopted a ‘DH;’ code after WWII. My Mossie depicts PR.34A RG245 of 540 Sqn RAF Benson in 1948. I have used some artistic license here as I don’t know for sure whether RG245 ever had the upgrade to make it into a PR34A variant but to add some interest I did it anyway! The real RG245 was struck off charge on April 5th 1950 after it swung on take off from Benson causing the undercarriage to collapse; the aircraft was not repaired. I’m pleased with the end result, I’m sure my dad would be too. Cheers all, thanks for looking!

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Steve, Peter,

Many thanks for the kind words - much appreciated!

Steve in answer to your question, the book in question is Mosquito - Britain's World War Two 'Wooden Wonder' which is a special in the 'icons' series from Aeroplane Magazine. I only found this book in my local newsagent on the day I was ready to photoshoot my finished Mossie. There is a nice feature on the Mosquito PR variants with actual period photos of RG245 DH-S the subject of my build. This has revealed a number of extra details which I missed off which I will ned to address later. Shame I didn't know about the book's existence a month ago!

Cheers all

Mark

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