Omega Models 1/72 DH.80A Puss Moth
KIT #: 72-391
PRICE: $59.00
DECALS: One option
REVIEWER: Peter Burstow
NOTES: Resin with acetate for windows


A substantially modified version of the single, unnamed D.H.80, the D.H.80A Puss Moth was de Havilland's answer to customer demand for cabin comfort and an end to the traditional flying clothes for themselves and their ladies.

 The Puss Moth first flew in March 1930, powered by an inverted Gypsy II engine, it incorporated many improvements that became standard features on subsequent D.H. Types.  It was the first D.H. light aircraft to have a fabric covered, steel tube structure. Problems with airflow disturbances over the centre section were eliminated by not having a centre section.  There was high interest in the aircraft and mass production began at once, 260 being built by De Havilland from 1930 to 1933. A further 25 built by de Havilland Canada.

 Nine crashes marred the early career of the Puss Moth, and after testing at the R.A.E. several improvements were made. These included a small strut from the forward wing strut to the rear wing root. This is shown incorrectly on the instructions as connecting to the rear wing strut, but called out and shown correctly on the strut detail photo.

 Many long distance flights were made in Puss Moths, including, the first non-stop flight from New York to Jamaica, a 22 hour flight across the South Atlantic from Natal to Bathurst and Jim Mollison flew from London to Cape Town in 4 days. VH-UQO came third in the handicap section of the famous MacRobertson air race from London to Melbourne, won by another D.H. Type, the D.H.88 Comet. The Prince of Wales bought four, the first, G-ABBS, is the subject of the kit.


 Coming in a small top opening box, there are 3 casting blocks of cream coloured resin, a flat piece of clear plastic-card and a length of copper wire. Each block of parts is in its own bag, as are the decals. There is a thin web of flash around all the smaller parts, but no short pours. I found one tiny bubble on the leading edge of the fin.

The fuselage casting is in one piece, solid aft of the cockpit, with a separate engine nacelle. No pesky fuselage joint to clean up. The cockpit parts include the pilots seat and a bench for the two passengers. There is a control stick, rudder bar and an instrument panel.

There are a large number of struts to make up the wing support, the undercarriage and the cockpit roof framing. The instructions call for several pieces of wire to be added to the framework but no measurements are given.

The piece of clear card is intended for the cabin windows, made up of numerous small panels. The instructions suggest using Clearfix as an alternative. Either way some careful masking will be needed.

A number of extra parts are present, some small bombs, alternate smaller wheels and a pair of skis. These are to cater for some of the other boxings of the kit, which differ only in decals and painting.

The instructions are a single A4 sheet, clearly printed in Czech and quaint English, a colour profile and plan on one side, a short history, a parts layout and an exploded diagram for showing construction on the other. There are two prints of the same photo of the kit subject, and an additional photo detailing the strut arrangement. It's needed, there is a complicated strut assembly supporting the wings, and the construction diagram is less than clear and wrong in detail. I anticipate a bit of trouble getting this all together. There is a colour chart with references to generic names, AGAMA and Humbrol numbers, but no reference apart from the profile as to what goes where.

The decals are for a single aircraft G-ABBS, in silver, red and blue, which was in the Prince of Wales flying club. The registration letters for the sides of the aircraft are printed with a blue and red background, nice enough, but it means matching two colours or lots of trimming. 


 A well cast, but expensive, resin kit of a historically important and widely used light aircraft of the 1930's. Looks to be a difficult build with a complicated strut structure and the need to fabricate a number of parts including the transparencies. This boxing has a neat civil scheme which will be hard to mask, and also requires colour matching to the decals.

 There are many other boxings of the Puss Moth made by Omega Models, at least 11, differing mainly in painting and decals, though there are a few floatplanes and military options.

 Recommended for experienced modellers with patience and scratch building skills.


A.J. Jackson, British Civil Aircraft 1919-1972: Volume II. Putnam, London, 1973.

 Peter Burstow

February 2013

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