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1/48 Tamiya Mosquito F.B. VI "Hairless Joe"

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Hi all!


The subject of this build will be a Mosquito F.B.VI flown by W/C Russ Bannock DSO DFC of 418 Squadron RCAF and I'll be using the Tamiya F.B. VI/N.F. II kit for this. The build in this scheme would not have been possible without the generous help of @Terry @ Aviaeology who was able to provide me with a set of the wonderful Aviaeology decal sheet AOD48005m which is long out of production and hard to find. Thanks Terry!


Though the instructions would have you do otherwise, I started with assembling as many of the cockpit components as I could to make painting reasonably efficient. As always, I'll be adding some missing do-dads or modifying kit parts.




The first order of business before painting was to add the two throttle and prop pitch torque tubes that run along the vertical wall immediately behind the observer's seat. First though, the slots for the radio equipment were filled as the T1154B-R1155 radio set combination supplied with this kit was almost certainly not used on this particular Mosquito. According to the FB.VI manual, these were fitted to Mosquitoes HJ662 to 682 and HJ715 to 745. All the rest, including my subject, would have been equipped with the ARI 5083 Gee equipment.




I like to model my subjects as accurately as possible so wanted to get a better handle on what equipment would have been carried by this aircraft on the wing shelf in the back of the cockpit. Though this is an oft-discussed topic, I have not found the answers I needed on this forum so started a topic here:




 While I continue to try to resolve the wireless setup questions posed in that thread, I did proceed to fabricate the Gee sets as I'm as certain as I can be that they would have been present on this aircraft. The boxes are built up of styrene card cut to the dimensions I measured on a local museum Gee set. Once the glue dried, I smoothed the visible surfaces with a fine file and filled some minor grooves with CA. I then propped them into the dry-fitted cockpit to see how they would work out.:





There are a couple of other things to point out in the above pics. First of all, just visible behind the Gee receiver you can make out a bent rod representing the fuel filler tube. This was made from some bendy blue aluminum wire that came with a flower arrangement. Handy stuff that. Also, the parachute pack has been removed from the floor in front of the observer's position and the resulting hole was filled with CA glue and smoothed flat. To the observer's right and just beside his seat, I added a scratch-built gun heater duct. This took warm air from the starboard radiator passage and piped it down into the gun bay via the cockpit.


Following the test fit, it was time to detail the scratch built Gee Indicator. Connecting wires are yet to be attached to the front and the receiver unit will follow.



The below pics show the result of my efforts to make the map box on the forward bulkhead look a little more delicate. This item is rather clumsily represented by Tamiya as seen here to the right of the rudder pedals:


19081302-jpg.548797, to the right of the ridder peda


The face of the box was drilled out and the edges were thinned with a scalpel and jeweller's file. I than added the shelf runners with snips of styrene card and ran some stretched sprue on the top. Pardon all the file dust please! Oh, and the rudder pedals also got some thinning treatment as they looked like concrete before. I think they could stand a little more but these will be mostly hidden from view.



While mulling over the electronics, I proceeded with modifying and painting the unaffected areas. The starboard side shown below has had the detail on Junction Box B removed in preparation for the Eduard PE part. Attempts have been made to smooth or fill in the multitude of ejection pin marks but only insofar as they will be visible. In front of the door, I had drilled out the hole for the drift recorder in the location marked in the exterior moulding but decided that it was placed too far forward. I therefore filled it in and have since redrilled it. The two circles on the bottom of the doorway are to hook on the ladder but these are unrealistic and have since been removed. Also, the trailing antenna reel, seen behind the door, would have been removed by the time my subject was flying around so this was also scraped away.




Below is the same area with the noted mods made and a first coat of interior grey/green applied. Note the scratch-built drift recorder tray and port in front of the door. The trailing antenna reel removal left the area a bit rough but it's passable. The two rails at this location were, in reality, wooden parts glued to the fuselage inner skin during manufacture so these would likely have stayed in place.



Here's the tiny, scratch-built drift recorder which, once painted, will be placed on the tray noted above. Those are millimeters on the ruler. 




With paint left over in the cup, I went ahead and painted the seat but this was after I had added some detail. On the pan under the armrest is the harness release lever that I fabricated out of stretched sprue. I have yet to add the cable from this lever to the back of the seat. Under the seat is the added support bar with the end drilled out. This important piece will be seen through the open door and wasn't included in the kit so I felt obliged to add it. 




Here's the main cockpit tub with initial painting, highlighting and shading done. The flare cartridges and fire extinguisher are moulded to the wall so I did my best to try to make these pop out by running some panel wash along the edges. To the immediate right of the extinguisher and on the floor is a scratch-built emergency hydraulic hand pump. More details have yet to be painted here so, no, I'm not done yet!




Here's the Eduard instrument panel mounted on the now-painted bulkhead. On the vertical piece that extends to the floor, I added the missing fairing and button for the windscreen de-icer pump but everything else is Tamiya and Eduard, except for the previously noted map stowage box that was thinned.




urning this assembly to the side reveals a couple of points of note. First, the Eduard detail set omitted the 3 levers for the bomb bay, undercarriage, and flaps which stuck out of the center console. I scrounged through my spares and found 3 from my P-47M detail set that did the trick. Some way below these you can see the aforementioned de-icer pump control. The black dots above the map stowage box represent lightening holes that were present on the rudder pedal "doghouse". I punched these from old wing-walk decals rather than drill the actual holes through the thick plastic.



Sorry for the long first post and I appreciate your patience. The above summarizes about two weeks of work and this gets us up to the present day. Thanks for looking in!





Edited by Crimea River
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Nice work and great choice of scheme, I’m ex-418 and I have had the privilege to meet Russ Bannock on several occasions. Russ is still with us!


418 was re-activated this past July in Comox, BC. One of my former Squadron mates who is still serving, escorted the colors to the re-activation.


I had the hair corrected on the Avi decal sheet you are using, originally the hair was white on their sheet. Russ assured me it was painted yellow, he even had wartime Al Capp comics in color to back it up. I produced two 418 Intruder decal sheets with Cutting Edge, many years ago.

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Thanks Scooby. Interesting info and thanks for the comment on the yellow hair. I was leaning that way anyway but there any more weeks before that will be an issue.


I'm aware that Russ is still around and saw him at the Canadian Warplane Heritage in in Hamilton when the then-new flying Mosquito KA114 visited in 2013. Russ is also the subject of one of the short documentaries that was produced by the Calgary Mosquito Aircraft Society, of which I'm a board member.



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A cool and rainy day - perfect for a cuppa tea and some modelling. Work started with positioning the now-painted Gee Indicator (sloped unit by the Observer's seat) and the Receiver (immediately aft of the Indicator). A frame was build for the Indicator using solder and this was painted grey/green. Note also that harnesses and a scratch made oxygen hose have been added to the Observer's seat since we last spoke. The harnesses are a combination of Eduard PE and left over bit of their "superfabric" belts. I must have stolen the PE shoulder harnesses for another build so I made these from scratch, including the flattened lead wire buckles. Not as easily seen is the brake handle and wiring added to the control column.



The pilot's chair. Eduard PE shoulder harness and superfabric lap belts. The latter are somewhat rudimentary but acceptable for viewing through the glazing. Also visible is the the lever to raise the seat, a part that I made as it is not included in the kit.




On the back is a scratch-built harness release mechanism. The wire from the release lever on the seat pan was also added.



The mess of wiring for the Gee equipment has been added. It's still a bit glossy as the paint was still curing at this point. I actually used a wiring diagram to run these as realistically as possible. The wire to the back panel represents the connection to the self destruct circuit and this one may or may not have gone to that bulkhead.



Below is something I should have done before adding all the above intricacies. Tamiya does not provide a full gun bay but the bomb bay is meant to be opened as it is quite detailed. Accordingly, the only visible evidence of the guns is a moulded frame with the butt ends which will be seen from the opened bomb bay. The problem is that the fuel thanks are wrong for the FB VI as, in reality, these were shortened to make room for the gun supports and ammo feed mechanisms. Note how the moulded tanks extend uninterrupted all the way through the gun bay.



Well, we can't have that says I so I set about creating a break and false front for the visible section of the tanks by cutting away material using a Dremel tool, scalpel and saw.




Here's how it looks with the gun support frame temporarily back in place. This should all look fine once painted and highlighted.



Lots more to come in the bomb bay so stay tuned. It;s also crunch time to decide what mystery box I will put next to the Gee Receiver. At his point I'm leaning toward going with the Gee Control Panel rather than the IFF box. Thanks for watching.

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On 9/4/2019 at 12:34 PM, dogsbody said:

The Alberta Aviation Museum did theirs with yellow hair.







Not originally, the artist Ray Cryderman originally painted the nose-art with white hair until Russ Bannock saw it and had him change it.


Ray passed away from cancer 15-20 years ago, he was a great man. He was my CWO in 418. Ray served many years in the RCAF/CAF and was an avid contributor to Canadian aviation and IPMS Canada. A lot of the postwar Lancaster photographs are his.

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38 minutes ago, Scooby said:

Beautiful work btw, I guessing the two of us may know one another now that I see your location. I frequent the Calgary model shows. I originally thought this build was by a UK modeler.


I'd like to go to some of those shows, too but it's a long, expensive drive down to Calgary from up here.




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It's possible Scooby though I have not been to a show for some time. I did manage to bring a couple of models to this year's Western Canadian Regional but only because it was in Nanton and that's where I hang out every Saturday working on my "1:1 Mosquito" CF-HMS. Much more fun than 1:48!

Edited by Crimea River
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  • 2 weeks later...

Slow going on my build so just a small update. I have decided to place the Gee control panel (actually another electrical box) up front on the deck next to the other Gee equipment. The option of putting the IFF box there was considered but we know by looking at reference pics of this aircraft that the remote switchbox for the IFF was placed up front on the canopy frame where the Gee switch panel is called out in the manual, leading me to the perhaps incorrect conclusion that the need for the Gee switch box disappeared with the control panel relocation to the front. The remote IFF switch box MIGHT suggest the box being placed out of reach and that it could be in the center of the fuselage behind the wing. This setup is supported by reference to the "Mosquito Explored" DVD so that's what I'm going to do.

The control panel and a secondary junction box that will also be mounted on the deck were scratch built from styrene card and rod. Both are seen here ready for paint. Thanks for looking!



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  • 2 weeks later...

An issue that was pointed out to me by @tango98with the Tamiya fin being moulded a bit on the tall side. The issue has been documented in an Osprey publication authored by Roy Sutherland and I found a diagram of this while trolling around the net on the subject. Having access to an actual Mosquito, I was able to both verify the issue and confirm various dimensions of the fin. Below is my markup of the diagram that I found on the net with my additions shown in red:




With the exception of the height issue, all the dimensions matched the Tamiya tail exactly so repairs will be confined to fixing the height issue and placement of the top rudder hinge.

The modified shape of the fin was traced by measuring down 2.2mm (1/48 of 4.25 inches) from the top of the rudder using a vernier gauge and then tracing the shape to be cut using the other fuselage half placed in the slightly lowered position. Using this method, the port side was then roughly cut and filed to shape along that line. Shown below is the newly shaped port side with the new cut for the lower horn balance started. To the right is the starboard side with the newly traced cut line from the port half.




In the photo below, the port rudder has been cut away and the starboard fin has been reshaped. Using the port side as a template, the horn balance cut for the other side was made and then the starboard rudder was removed.




The two rudder halves were glued together and a copious amount of surface primer was applied to both sides so that the "starving cow" look of the ribs could be toned down. Below can be seen the first sanding.




With a coat of primer applied, the rib effect has been greatly reduced with just a hint of the ribbing now showing. This test coat also reveals that some further work is needed in the corner of the horn balance to sharpen the joint.




Leaving the fin for a minute, I want to catch you up on something I did a few weeks ago. If you go back to post #10 you can see a picture of the part that represents the back of the 20mm gun butts and the moulded support structure. Unfortunately, that part does not reflect reality as the support structure was, in fact, an open truss structure and the hangers for the middle guns were not present here, these being located on a similar truss further forward. In hopes of making this look a little better, I removed the material between the lattice work, leaving the part as shown below.



This piece will be visible through the open bomb bay and I will continue to clean it up and modify it with added details. The two center cannon butts will be cut away and resupported in a manner yet to be decided.


I appreciate you looking in!



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Excellent progress Andy, always checking in for more updates......................... saw the snow you guys got last week...yuk !  Friends in Clareshome got a tron of it too.....


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Thanks Chris and Jeff. Got about 6 more inches yesterday but it should all melt by the weekend. I have roofers waiting to re-shingle my roof so hope we get a nice dry spell.


With yesterday's snow day, I managed to do some more work on the Mossie. The gun mount was cleaned up some more and the gun butts removed. The mounting bar was cut away and replaced with two different diameter styrene rods. A bit crooked I'm afraid but this should be tucked under the closed access doors. A couple of other small detail bits were also added and these will have some pneumatic lines added for the cocking mechanisms. The frame, when complete, will be painted black.




Here's the starboard interior side showing the completed cockpit and the beginnings of a cleanup in the bomb bay. If Tamiya had moved their ejector pins up a half inch, the marks would have been above the roof and invisible. As it is, these are now being filled and smoothed. The moulded "fuel gallery" will be cut away and replaced with a scratch built one that protrudes further out. Wiring aft of Junction box C in the cockpit has been bent away at the moment. When the cockpit is cemented in, these will be cut and routed to the bulkhead connectors.




Here is the pit with the additional boxes and more wiring added. The wiring mentioned above will be attached to the connectors seen on the left. Some more random wiring will be added on the right side but this can be done with the pit glued to the starboard half.



Thanks again for following and for the encouragement.

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Wow andy thats looking awesome! 

I tried scratch building (a less accurate) gee system in a tamiya 1/48 mozzy not so long ago but its not a scatch on yours (no pun intended) ☺️



Build thread is here if its of interest.



keep up the amazing work it looks ace!



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Thanks guys.


Nice looking pit Paul and your scratch work is very good. Your receiver unit is much longer than mine but looks better!. I scaled mine to 8 x 9 x 18 inches per the specs.

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7 hours ago, Crimea River said:

Thanks guys.


Nice looking pit Paul and your scratch work is very good. Your receiver unit is much longer than mine but looks better!. I scaled mine to 8 x 9 x 18 inches per the specs.

Yours looks spot on andy mine definately wasn’t 😊

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Thank-you Paul.


Moving on, a friend of mine in the UK sent me some aftermarket goodies which took the pigeon a long time to deliver here over the pond:




If you can excuse the lighting (I shouldn't have used a white background), the Rob Taurus vacuum formed canopy looks like this. It's beautifully moulded and extremely clear with some very subtle riveting. I will be making the internal framing from scratch which should make this assembly quite attractive if I can pull it off. The one disadvantage is that only one canopy is provided so if I screw up cutting this from the backing then there is no second chance.I will leave a little extra on the edges and slowly sand them back while regularly dry-fitting the part. I'll also need to add the wiper blade on the windscreen which is no biggie.




This will be the first time that I've tried aftermarket brass machine gun barrels as I've tended to make my own in the past when the real things are just plain tubes. However, the .303's that poke out the front of an F.B. VI have lots of detail that is difficult to replicate so I thought it best to get a set. The 20mm cannons and the pitot tube are less of an issue, though a welcome addition to the package. I did not take these out of the wrap lest I lose the things so, for now, you'll need to look through the wrapper.




Back to the bomb/gun bay. In our last episode, I mounted the rearmost gun butts and began work on the ammo boxes. Below you can see the ammo boxes assembled and installed with the gun butts painted.




With that done, I set about building a contraption to support the middle cannons which were mounted forward of the outer ones so that the ammo feeds would not interfere. The kit butts are seen in light grey here and are glued to a built-up T post made of styrene card. The horizontal part of the T was made with varying thicknesses until I got the right height to mount the butts.




It should be noted that the doors that cover the guns will be displayed closed so I took this into account by concentrating on only those details that will be seen through the open bomb bay. The only parts of the middle guns that will be seen are the butts and the lines lading to the firing mechanisms.

Once the center guns were secure, they were painted black and the pneumatic tubes to each firing mechanism were added. The pipe that runs along the base of the support truss represents the fuel line from the wing tanks and the end will be connected to the soon-to-be-built fuel gallery. The pipe is made of solder.




Here's what this all looks like on a real F.B VI. I took this pic crawling under KA114 when it was rolled out in Hamilton in 2014. Note that the ammo boxes can be seen but that they are a very dark brown colour in this case. I chose to make mine bare aluminum.




The strut and hydraulic cylinders that operate the doors will be added once the fuselage comes together but you can see what I've been driving at here. In order to compare, I took the below pic to put us in more or less the same orientation.



It was only after I took this pic that I realized that I screwed up the fuel line I mentioned earlier. The loose end that I left to connect to the fuel gallery is on the wrong side! The gallery can be seen in the reference pic as the grey casting in the top right of the photo. I was constantly working with this reference pic with my model flipped over relative to the pic so I got discombobulated. It should be an easy fix though, provided that I've left enough material on the right side.

That's all for today guys. Thanks again for your interest and comments/likes. As always, critiques and suggested corrections are welcome.



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