Tamiya 1/48 Mosquito FB.VI/NF.II
KIT #: 60162
PRICE: $40.0 SRP
DECALS: Three options
REVIEWER: Dan Lee
NOTES: Barracuda Decals Stencils, Cutting Edge Decals, AIRES Landing Gear Doors, Eduard Cockpit PE, and Master .303 Brass gun barrels used

HISTORY

 

The DeHavilland Mosquito aka Mossie was one of the (to use modern military terminology) most flexible airborne weapons systems ever created.  It could act as a high speed low level tactical bomber, recon, pathfinder, weather plane, night fighter, night intruder, fighter bomber and even transport.  It’s design was based on the DH.88 Comet racer and  the experience of building the wooden airframes from the DH Albatross airliner.

 

Thanks to Air Ministry intransigence, it took a while for the wooden streamlined dual engined Mosquito to be accepted into production (in 1941.)  The first variant, the B Mk IV, was a high speed bomber with no defensive armament as proposed in 1938 by De Havilland.  It proved to be quite the success and many variants were designed and produced including the Fighter Bomber Mk VI in 1942 which was the most produced variant.  The FB Mark VI was armed with four .303 Browning machine guns in the nose and four Hispanio Suzia 20mm cannons slung just forward of the bomb bay and could carry up to eight 60lb rockets or 4000lbs of bombs.

 

No 418 Squadron RCAF “The City of Edmonton

From its very inception, it was determined that 418 would be unique. As the RCAF's only Intruder Squadron, it was formed in 1941 when Canada was asked to come to the defense of England following the near defeat that was called the "Battle of Britain". With the night fall, 418 crews manned their Douglas Boston aircraft and prepared for a deadly hunt. They did not fly in the protective swarms as did the other fighter or bomber crews; rather they ventured alone into the night's sky to patrol the perimeters of the enemy's airfields and shoot him down as he began his night raids. 418's fame began to mount in 1943 when they converted to the DeHavilland Mosquito. They were the only Canadian unit given free rein to "intrude" into the enemy's lair from the fjords of Norway, through the Mediterranean, to the steppes of Eastern Europe. They performed a multitude of roles that was unparalleled in the history of aerial warfare. These ranged from dropping money and supplies for clandestine operations, to the lightning quick strikes at grass-top height against railway yards and airfields. They were also in the fore in the defense against the new scourge of the civilian population - the V1 and V2 rockets. It was during this period that 418 was adopted by the City of Edmonton and became known as the 418 City of Edmonton Squadron. The enemy was promptly notified of this change when bricks wrapped in issues of the Edmonton Journal were dropped during one of the subsequent raids. With the war's end, 418 was the top fighter squadron in the RCAF and its units score was one of the highest in all the Allied Air Forces. The pilots and navigators were referred to as the "finest in the World".

 

From Canadianwings.com

 

I have to admit that I have a fondness for the Mosquito because it was probably the first ever airplane I ever sat in.  When I was five I went to the Ontario Science Centre and they had the nose of a Mosquito where you could sit inside it.  Of course, I begged my parents to let me sit in the cockpit and they did for a while till they wanted to move to another part of the Science Centre.  Little did they know (or I for that matter) that it would help spark my interest in aviation.

THE KIT

 

 One of Tamiya’s best kits.  See John Doerr’s preview of the kit in the MM preview section.  I couldn’t agree with it anymore.

 

Over a couple of years I purchased AIRES resin Mosquito landing gear doors, Eduard PE for the cockpit, Master brass .303 gun barrels, Barracuda Decals Mosquito Stencils and a Cutting Edge Decal Sheet for No 418 Squadron.  All these would be used in the construction of this kit.

CONSTRUCTION

 

I followed the instructions on the cockpit parts except where I replaced the panels with Eduard PE and added the Eduard PE seatbelts for the seats and added various PE pieces based on the Eduard instructions.  Tamiya XF-71 IJN interior green was used to paint the interior (it is pretty close to British Interior Green.)

 

Next up was the painting and assembly of the bomb bay and interior fuel tanks.  This took a while as there were several areas than needed masking.

 

The interior pieces were then glued to the fuselage halves and the halves glued together.  I was not all that happy with the modular construction of the model and had a bit of a rough time putting it together.  I recommend that you be a bit more careful than I was assembling the fuselage.

 

The wings, minus the engine nacelles were glued on without much issue.  I let the model sit for a month to let the glue fully cure before filling and sanding it and the engine nacelles smooth.  It took a couple of filling and sanding sessions to make it smooth to my satisfaction.  I added the ailerons and it was ready for painting.

 

The props and prop hubs were painted (I painted the tips via masking instead of using the decals) before being assembled with supplied polycaps.

 

Lastly I glued together the wheels and filled in the gap between them.

COLORS & MARKINGS

 

418 Squadron’s Mosquitos were a little different than the standard RAF color scheme of Ocean Grey, Medium Sea Grey and Dark Green.  The color scheme just used Medium Sea Grey and Dark Green according to the decal sheet I used which was the Cutting Edge Decal Sheet 48136 Mosquito Nose Art Part 2 that contained several planes used by No 418 Squadron.

 

Unlike most of planes, I did not preshade the exterior of the plane before painting because from what I have read and seen in photos that Mosquitos were kept very clean and the paint well maintained due to the all wood construction.  I sprayed on Tamiya Medium Sea Grey first and then masked off the various areas using a combination of cut Tamiya Tape and (cheaper) painters tape.

 

When the paint was dry, I sprayed on a gloss coat of Tamiya clear gloss to provide a shiny smooth surface for the decals.  Once dry, I selected and used the markings for Hairless Joe, the 418 Squadron Leader’s plane as well as a combination of Barracuda Decals’ Mosquito Stencils and ones from the Tamiya Decal sheet.

 

The only area that I did weather were the 20mm cannons, exhaust covers which went white and corroded at the rear due to the heat and the engine nacelles (exhaust stains.)  I sprayed Tamiya flat white over the rear of the covers and then used Mig Red Dirt Pigment to simulate rust.  Next I used the Tamiya weathering set for gunfire stains and exhaust.  After that was done, I sprayed on a final coat of Xtracrylix Satin for the final coat (again based on pictures which showed a semi-gloss coat on the Mosquitos.) 

FINAL CONSTRUCTION

 

The landing gear was assembled and painted (struts, Old Silver from the spray can and tires, NATO black) then glued in place.  The tail wheel, wing tip lights, entry door, crew ladder, brass .303 gun barrels (which look way better than the plastic ones), resin gear doors (prominent ejection marks on the inside of them--I kind of regretted buying them) and various PE external pieces were painted and added.

 

The worst part was the canopy which was masked and painted with various colors during the painting stage.  Unfortunately, it did not fit as well as it should have as there was a slight gap between the canopy and the fuselage.  I ended up using clear glue to “fill” it in and then paint with a brush to eliminate the gap.

 

Finally, I put the props on and I was finished with the Mosquito.

CONCLUSIONS

 

Overall I am happy with the Tamiya Mosquito.  It is an amazing kit to build out of the box, but can be a spectacular one with some aftermarket parts (especially the Master .303 brass gun barrels.)  I recommend it for a modeler of any skill level who is a fan of British aircraft or of the Mosquito. 

Dan Lee

July 2012

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