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Crimea River

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

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Hi all. Back with another installment with work continuing on the wells and wings. First, a bit of an accident.

My handy old chisel bit is no more. I was using it to carve away the up-stop block moulded in to one of the wells and the bit snapped at the junction of the blade and holder and the holder pierced the wing. You can see the crack in the plastic between what's left of the bit and the wheel well.
 

19120201-jpg.562599

 

Fortunately, the damage was limited to a thin slit with no fine detail damaged so this was an easy filling job.

Below are the reworked starboard wheel well details. After scraping away the moulded-in hydraulic lines, up-stop, and electrical cable, all of which were mirror imaged to the port well, shown at left, I replaced the details in the correct position in the starboard well using lead wire, solder, and styrene rod.

 

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To uncross my eyes, I moved onto something simpler and attached the upper wing tips. Two options are provided with the kit and I went with the tip with the single nav light lens and the later rear-facing formation resin lamps.

 

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The rear face of the radiators, which can be readily seen through the exit louvres, are moulded in plain, flat plastic with no texture or detail. To represent the proper details, I made up some new faces with card and stretched sprue and etched them with a scalpel to make them look like cooling fins. The separate oil cooler was also represented.

 

19120204-jpg.562602

 

One of the things that I mulled over in my mind, for maybe 2 nanoseconds, was to eliminate the wheel well roof in its entirety and use the inner surface of the upper wing half instead. In real life, that's how the aircraft was built and the Tamiya moulding results in a somewhat unrealistic flattening of the wells and the associated details. This would have resulted in a lot of extra work that I was unwilling to undertake as the value added would have been minimal. So, the wheel well upper surfaces were painted and these areas can be considered finished.
 

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The picture revealed a few areas where I dribbled the silver and these have since been touched up with the grey/green. Note that I also glued on the external wing tanks as I've decided to pretty much finish each wing before gluing them to the fuselage in order to make detailing and cleanup easier. One area that did need a bit of surface treatment was each wing tip. I made sure that the upper tips were glued on first so that these would be flush and this resulted in the lower tips needing a bit of attention. The step was small and a brushed-on thick coat of primer did the trick.

 

19120402-jpg.562777

 

The next day, I was in the right mood to kick my detailing up a notch and I went ahead and made some better looking ribs on the nacelle walls. I did 4 at a time and then took a break before doing the next batch as this is pretty fiddly stuff and brains my hurt. And yes, I did not fill in the ejector pin mark but this will be hidden behind the undercarriage struts.

 

19120404-jpg.562778

 

I also finished off the main gear assemblies and post pics below. This time I used my macro lens instead of my cell phone so I could get in tight. Detailed additions, if you look hard, include brake hoses and tubes, 4 cables that form part of the system to retract the doors, a hydraulic tube connection on the retraction jack, and two oil lines connecting to the oil tank sump. A wash has been applied and mud, in the form of dry, cakey paint, has been splattered onto the mud guard.

 

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Back at the nacelles, these have now been glued in place after making sure that I can insert the undercarriage later without breaking anything. You can also see that the flame dampers have been added.

 

19120501-jpg.562892

 

At the rear bulkhead, the springs that help close the doors have been added. The spirals were formed by rolling a length of solder on my cutting mat with a coarse wood file.

 

19120502-jpg.562893

 

 

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A colleague on another forum pointed out that I omitted the rollers for the gear door cables on the undercarriage legs so it was a simple thing to go back and add them. These can be seen as the small, brown bits added to the struts above the top of the wheel, which I trial fitted here with the brass axle described earlier. The axle has yet to be cut to length.

 

19120601-jpg.563030

 

I'm now at that seemingly endless stage of fixing small imperfections, usually not once but twice or even three times with filling, filing and polishing. The fit on this kit is very good and doesn't warrant putty. I prefer using thick primer if I can get away with it which, in this case, I can. The paint allows for better rescribing, something that I find that putty is not well suited for. Below can be seen the end of one of the nacelles and the port wing tip, the latter having received the clear nav light with the bulb, already moulded in, painted red. The flap seams were also opened up with a thin saw as the joints looked too tight for my liking in the as-moulded state. They still look a bit too perfect and I may go over them some more.

 

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At the nose, I finished the insert for the cannons by cutting away the kit barrels and gluing in the brass upgrades. The insert was then glued in after a bit of finagling with the opening to achieve a good fit. The small gaps will be filled with primer.

 

19120801-jpg.563382

 

he nose cone with the protruding .303s will be left for later as the sticky-outy bits will be prone to breakage. Thanks again for your interest and kind comments.

 

Andy

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This is a master class in detailing, Andy - and painting, too; the spattered mud on the mudguards is highly effective. Looking forward to seeing how this progresses. Does it get more straightforward from here, or is there still a lot of upgrading to do?

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Thanks Tim and all who have reacted. There's a bit more detailing to come. The bomb bay still needs the hydraulics installed for the rear door jacks and the UBC's need sprucing up before I install them. The canopy is a vac formed affair and the separate interior frames also need to be made. After that , it will be a matter of slapping the wings on and spritzing paint. Oh, and I want to separate the elevator and deflect them downwards.  

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Thanks everyone! Truly appreciate the visits and comments!

 

This morning, I finished off the hydraulics for the rear bomb bay door jacks. Also done are the aileron trim and control cables that turn up into the space between the wing rear spar and the bomb bay roof and the electrical cable to the black disc on the rear wall, the identify of which I have not been able to ascertain. Methinks it may be a light for the bomb bay but it doesn't show up in any of the manuals I have.

 

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The next decision is whether, or not, to mount bombs in the bay. The Pro is that the bombs will obscure the rather rudimentary UBC racks provided by Tamiya but the Con is that the bombs will also obscure some of the detail that I've achieved here. The UBC's provided with the Revell kit are much nicer; they even included the cranks for adjusting the stabilizers. I will fiddle with some dry fitting before making a decision but I'm leaning toward installing the bombs since I left them out of my Revell B.IV.

Thanks for looking.

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Thanks Paul. I'll prime a few seams on the fuselage tomorrow and if all is well, I should get the wings on.

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Lovely job, excellent detail.

 

I'm not sure if it helps but recently I completed this kit as a MkXIII.  Due to the fact this is a brilliantly fitting kit I didn't permanently fit the wings until after painting and decalling.  If you can take the wings off it makes weathering the cowlings and exhaust much easier..  just a thought..

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Thanks to all for the comments and likes and for the suggestion Grey. It's a good point and I may just do that. The way I build, there will be still be a need to touch up paint around the wing roots as I always run Tamiya Extra Thin into the joints to ensure a strong bond with no visible gaps, however small. However, this is no big deal and certainly a smart option.

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Thank-you Alex and I appreciate the kind words.

 

I have not much to show as I've been mostly checking and adjusting seams on the fuselage and wings by priming and sanding. I did, however, attend to some of the details on the tail feathers. First, in order to break up the flatness of the moulded wings, I cut the elevators at the horn balances, scored the hinge line, and gently bent them downward. Below can be seen the one at left done and the one at right yet to be done. This technique saves a lot of work in that the control surfaces need not be entirely separated and reattached but not all details will allow this. 

 

19121301-jpg.563854

 

 know the trim tab should deflect upward as the elevator goes down but I didn't bother as the elevator deflection is pretty small.

At the rudder, the underside of the received a torque tube and there's a small plate near the trim tab:
 

19121302-jpg.563855

 

These details can be seen on the restored KA114:

 

img_5286-jpg.563857

 

With that all done, the rudder was glued to the tail. Note that the "starving cow" ribs have been toned down with a couple of coats of primer followed by sanding.
 

19121303-jpg.563859

 

Thanks again for looking in, hitting the "likes", and for the comments.

 

Andy

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Thanks for the feedback gentlemen. As suggested above, I've decided to go ahead and paint and weather the inner wing and nacelle surfaces before attaching the wings permanently so that I can better get access to these areas with my airbrush. Work started with a thin black preshade that intensified around the engines. I then sprayed a thin coat of Tamiya's Medium Sea Grey, slowly covering the preshade. Before I got too far, I then mixed some white into the MSG and went over the areas again in a random pattern to finish off the base coat and to incorporate the preshading until it looked right to my eye. Below can be seen the finished result with the wings dry fitted. Unfortunately, the shop lighting tends to wash out some of the shading and reduces the impact of the effect somewhat.

 

19121703-jpg.564296

 

The rectangular indentations with the holes are Tamiya's method of locking in the wings. The inserts come with pins that line up with the holes in the wing and fuselage to pull everything tight. These, and the wing roots, will need to be touched up once the wings are glued.

The next step was to add the exhaust stains. A study of many photos shows a wide variation in the extent of these but the shot of Hairless Joe in from the front quarter shows that my subject was quite dirty. Below shows how the exhaust staining on the inner nacelle surfaces were done. The high temp metal panel immediately behind the flame damper opening had initially been painted with Alclad Magnesium. Once the very thin brown and black staining was sprayed, the panel was exposed by dabbing it lightly with a cotton swab soaked in lacquer thinner.

 

19121702-jpg.564339

 

With the tight areas now painted, I glued the wings on. Now, I tried to dry fit first with the pin piece in on one side and the trial showed that I should have filed the inner flap surfaces further back so that there would be a gap between the flap and fuselage. Tamiya's moulding is so precise that the flap is much too close. I had opened the gap on earlier dry fits but I noticed after installing the pin that it still was not enough for the deployed flap to clear the reinforcing strip over the rear hatch on the starboard side. Well, there was no fixing it now as the pin was so tight that I could not get it out again without causing a lot of damage. These wings would have stayed on without glue but I went ahead and glued them anyway.

There is a small gap that will need attention and the elastic bands were not able to close it completely.

 

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With the wings setting, I placed the model on my granite tile and checked that everything was level and symmetrical. Satisfied, I then glued in the horizontal stabs and adjusted the level with clothes pins, making sure that they were square with the fin and main wings.

 

19121705-jpg.564342

 

With the major parts now together, I will need to clean up the wing/fuselage seams, including those pin inserts, and get on with getting the vac-formed canopy installed. In hindsight, it may have been better to add this before putting the wings on but I didn't want to risk damaging it as it's a bit delicate. The downside is that the seams will be harder to work but hopefully the fit will be good.

The canopy will also receive a scratch built internal frame using lead wire or solder that I will need to carefully shape, glue in place, and paint without marring the clear part. Interestingly, the outer canopy framing will be all black as it appears in photographs a detail of which I attached below. It's been suggested that this aircraft received a replacement canopy scavenged from an all-black NFII. Though the outer frames appear to be black, it looks to me as though the interior frames remained grey/green so that's the way it will be.

 

00-hairless-joe-russ-bannocks-mossie-det

 

Thank-you all again for following along!

 

Andy

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Hi Andy, I have been  a silent follower of this build since you started.  Just lovely work and an inspiration for me with my own 1/24 Airfix kit. 

 

Like you I am involved with a Mosquito restoration and it's great to have such reference material to study.  We have FB-VI HR339/TE758(NZ2328), a composite restoration to be completed as the HR339 identity.  She is an ex 487 combat vet.

 

Anyway I digress, keep up the awesome work.  I have made more mods to the shape and parts of the Airfix kit than I care to remember.  Sometimes I think...'should I' then I look at what you are doing in 48th and realize I can if you can do this in this scale, then I can do it in twice the size!  My build is on LSP and has been going for several years LOL.  Finally fixed the outer wing profiles.

 

Looking forwad to your next update

 

Cheers Anthony

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Hi Andy I have spent a pleasant time this morning catching up with your build. Wow, what fantastic work, your scratch building work is fantastic and like others have commented I am in awe of your skills and this build.  I too will bookmark to use when I build my Mossies in my stash.

Thanks for sharing and Seasons greetings to you and yours.

All the best

Chris

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Thanks everyone and a belated Season's Greetings to all!

 

Anthony, great to hear of your involvement in a restoration. The project I'm involved with is B.35 RS700 that we are restoring to the state in which it was used as a civilian photo mapping platform with Spartan Air Services in the 1950s:

 

garrison-3.jpg

 

Thank-you too Chris. A pleasure to have you follow.

 

Since my last update, I had time to cut out and detail the canopy which is a Rob Taurus aftermarket vac-formed piece. This is not the typical hair-thin vac-formed unit that I'm used to as it's made of a much thicker plastic and yet beautifully clear and well-formed. It is, however, a bit thinner that the kit-supplied part.

To cut the excess material off, I squashed some moulding clay into the cavity to give the canopy some rigidity and to allow it to be handled easier. A sharp scalpel was used to gradually score the plastic until it was cut through.

 

19121901-jpg.564641

 

I spent a good hour cutting away the last few bits and making fine adjustments with a file while constantly checking the fit. The canopy ends up fitting very well if one is careful to cut away just the right amount. The trickiest part was the small box on the windscreen which represents the enclosure for the wiper motor. I could not get this to work well so I ended up cutting the box off along the line of the windshield. I'll add it back later along withe the actual blade which is missing. The pic below has the box still in place.

 

19121902-jpg.564642

 

With the canopy cut to size, I gave it a wash with dish detergent to remove all traces of the oil in the clay and got on with adding the internal frames. The Mosquito's canopy was made up of bent circular steel tubes with flat plates welded to them to which the glazing panels were attached. The tubes came in two diameters: 7/8 inches and 5/8 inches which scales to 0.46mm and 0.33mm respectively. I ended up using 0.4mm lead wire for the larger tubes (seen partially installed in the below pic) and 0.3mm lead wire for the smaller. Both have been prepainted with grey/green and the pieces were cut to length and glued in place with tiny dots of CA. The main frames shown below will also have the exterior panels masked and painted, first with grey/green so that they are visible from inside and then black. The remaining smaller frames, which are yet to be installed, will not have any further outer frames painted as these served as support frames only for the clear panels that spanned over them without any external framing.

 

19121903-jpg.564643

 

Framing complete:

 

19122001-jpg.564661

 

After masking, the canopy was first painted grey/green and then black. Here is the finished canopy dry-fitted to the fuselage:

 

19122201-jpg.564800

 

Back to those pesky pins on the wing underside, a close study of plans and photos confirms that this area was free of any rectangular panel which these pins may have represented so it's now a matter of blending them in with the surrounding surfaces. Tamiya surface primer was dabbed into the seams and allowed to dry.
 

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Careful filing revealed that the plates were not entirely flush with the wing surface. The high points were filed away but the low points needed more fill so another dab of primer was been applied. This is my least favourite aspect of modelling and I hate it when surface detail disappears as a result of this kind of work. I'm trying to be careful not to scrub away the nearby access hatches but one (on the right) is already marred.

 

After final prep, here is the same area with the panels now invisible:

 

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Over to the nose, where the cap has now been glued on with the nice bras Master gin barrels replacing the kit parts.

 

19122202-jpg.564801

 

That's it for today my friends. Thanks again for following and for the kind reactions.

 

Andy

 

 

 

 

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Andy, I am glad you fixed the squares under the wings....

Here is our HR339 after returning from Op Clarion

HR339a%201_zps0ezopo18.jpg

And here is a model I built to sell as a fund raiser.  Looking at the photo I wish I had kept it LOL

IMG_1346_zpsvhfioxcs.jpg

HR339's FB page.  We have several spares and if you are looking for anything then PM me.

https://www.facebook.com/NZMosquito/?__tn__=kC-R&eid=ARAViOsbJ7Qtx_pY-F_BDro5s9kE1r0w7g_O410atmvIxhsdYPApGwvZ2LoigdpgiDHeGPJfx0HB9C8f&hc_ref=ARS1AslDhiJ9qAcmccCNehV1XOfwgNaT2VeN6urFdNbJ7PoM3mdQnXzedGXvSICD-cI&fref=nf&__xts__[0]=68.ARD-Tu0fcIQN2HoI6Ik0aChBZGj3wjwUqKJYfujhqzHs7mIBoHWw4ijZJhZOmd_aJO1Uk-geHDk5JCiydJxQyNl7Av0dMvNrzOMz6YUL1lnMnjQaNdZEflVRgRiwWaSSBCm_c3FFN1yf9DI_8vhSbi4aV9Zw7hSJ6kOewssv34kesIKB8GE47sJAoOXEtOOi08xsv84KtIsNDe1u0hjGRVX_w1qLAQPIwS9GTF2zySdDKI41K9hRLfbC6LfV58Io3msUKQi3viKCVjOefdtYDd7QEBv9T5dTaM6K7tIaw_M7AzJHY8jGg1DxYA3On6ntRBu-goHMquACeTIHrX2ujpPBLw

 

Actually the point of that second photo is because for some reason I the Tamiya Canopy was a royal pain to get to fit properly!  Especially on those front corners.  Wish I had known about that canopy you have...looks nice and a better fit..or my lack of skills to make it fit!

 

Sorry to hijack your thread..... I don't want to take anything away from your fantastic build.

 

Cheers Anthony

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No problem Anthony and I really like how your build turned out. Hope I can get as good a paint job as yours.

 

We are in definite need of some parts and also have a number of spares we can offer up for possible trade. I'll be in touch. Our project also has an FB page and here it is. https://www.facebook.com/groups/MossieSociety/?ref=bookmarks

 

Also, our web page: http://www.calgarymosquitosociety.com/home.htm

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19 minutes ago, Crimea River said:

No problem Anthony and I really like how your build turned out. Hope I can get as good a paint job as yours.

 

We are in definite need of some parts and also have a number of spares we can offer up for possible trade. I'll be in touch. Our project also has an FB page and here it is. https://www.facebook.com/groups/MossieSociety/?ref=bookmarks

 

Also, our web page: http://www.calgarymosquitosociety.com/home.htm

Brilliant, it would be good to see if we can help each other out.

 

If you stumble across any Auster spares I am rebuilding an ex RAF Auster T.7 WE552 to fly again

https://www.facebook.com/Austerwe552/

 

Looking at your work I suspect you will put mine to shame!

 

Cheers Anthony

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Thanks again Anthony and all who have reacted. Anthony, I don't think I can access any Auster parts but will check with our museum. I had thought that we had an immediate need for some rudder pedals for our Mosquito but, as it turns out, we are getting some made by the group in Windsor to whom we lent our ailerons so they could get them reverse engineered.

 

Anyhoo, let's get back to the build as I have some paint to show you. The AEAF stripes have been masked and painted: 

 

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19122403-jpg.564971

 

Since taking the above picture, I've toned down the stark nature of the stripes by scratching them up a bit and misting over them with a very thin mix of MSG sprayed from 6 to 8 inches away.

 

Here's a close-up of the radar fairing. I'm not sure what the exposed end should look like and I'll need to come up with something. Anybody have details?

 

19122402-jpg.564970

 

And here's the camouflage to date. The MSG has been thinly applied to the upper surfaces to the rough camouflage pattern and dappled with even thinner MSG cut with a drop of white. The Dark Green has been free handed in a patchy fashion for a start and will be gone over again with thin tonal variations when I get the pattern done. I can only do so much at a time painting this way. All paints are Tamiya's RAF colours.

 

19122901-jpg.565410

 

Recall that the visible portion of the fin in the earlier photo appears to be Dark Green, despite the standard all grey colour applicable to this scheme. The Aviaeology decal set documentation notes this and offers four suggestions for this:

1. An all green fin/rudder, possibly due to a repair and repaint. I discounted this option.
2. An all green rudder/horn balance with grey fin. I discounted this as well.
3. A camouflaged fin/rudder which was a replacement from a MM*** series FB VI. It's noted that this series, as well as some TIII's, had some non-standard camouflage applicaitons. That may be true, though I've not seen any evidence of this in my photo collection. I'd love to see some if anyone can point me to it.
4. Same as 3 but fin only. I went for this option because I think it looks better and it seems to me more likely to replace just a rudder than a whole vertical stab. I was inspired by the below pic of a B. XVI from 109 Squadron, which looks to be a very oddball scheme. Pic credit - Neil Hutchison.
 

16-07-ml980-109sqn-roston-reduced-jpg.56

 

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Yup, back to your lovely build!  

That fairing you mention is a Type F Equipment Transmitter.  You will see a photo of it on page 1 of my build log here HTH

 

http://rnzaf.proboards.com/thread/27614/mosquito-hr339-48-fund-raiser

 

Nice paintwork, I like your approach!

Edited by Anthony in NZ

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I have a recollection they were often removed and blanked off.  The switch box was behind the navigators knees on the armor plate. There has been a lot of speculation on this fairing, that it was for Gee, Rebecca or Monica.  Avspecs came to the same conclusion that it was a lamp after much research.  They used the std 'Flat' Air Ministry Downward Ident lamp in their modern rebuilds.  I am not entirely sure Tony's example is correct.  Check your refs on this one!

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A separate discussion on this tail fairing detail is happening here. If anyone has something to add there, please do!

 

 

Regardless of whether or not a light was present, I will need to go back and hollow out the tail cone and and fix the fairing. 

Edited by Crimea River

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