Amodel 1/48 DH-60C Cirrus Moth
|PRICE:||$20.45 at www.scale-model-kits.com|
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
The DH 60 was developed from the larger DH 51 biplane. The first flight of the Cirrus powered prototype DH.60 Moth (registration G-EBKT) was carried out by Geoffrey de Havilland at the works airfield at Stag Lane on 22 February 1925. The Moth was a two-seat biplane of wooden construction, it had a plywood covered fuselage and fabric covered surfaces, a standard tailplane with a single tailplane and fin. A useful feature of the design was its folding wings which allowed owners to hangar the aircraft in much smaller spaces. The then Secretary of State for Air Sir Samuel Hoare became interested in the aircraft and the Air Ministry subsidized five flying clubs and equipped them with Moths. The prototype was modified with a horn balanced rudder, as used on the production aircraft, and was entered into the 1925 King's Cup Race flown by Alan Cobham. Deliveries commenced to flying schools in England. One of the early aircraft was fitted with an all-metal twin float landing gear to become the first Moth seaplane. The original production Moths were later known Cirrus I Moths.
Three aircraft were modified for the 1927 King's Cup Race with internal modifications and a Cirrus II engine on a lowered engine mounting. Originally designated the DH.60X (for experimental) this was soon changed to Cirrus II Moth, the DH.60X designation was re-used in 1928 for the Cirrus III powered version with a split axle. The production run for the DH.60X Moth was short as it was replaced by later variants but it was still available to special order.
Although the Cirrus engine was reliable, its manufacture was not. It depended on components salvaged from World War I–era 8-cylinder Renault engines and therefore its numbers were limited by the stockpiles of surplus Renaults. Therefore, de Havilland decided to replace the Cirrus with a new engine built by his own factory. In 1928 when the new de Havilland Gipsy I engine was available a company DH.60 Moth G-EBQH was re-engined as the prototype of the DH.60G Gipsy Moth.
It is a delight to have a series of DH-60 aircraft being produced by Amodel. This is, of course, the initial Cirrus Moth version and in among the seven grey sprues of plastic, are two that are dedicated to the Cirrus Moth (the fuselage and the engine cowling sprue). The plastic is standard Amodel in that the detailing is quite good. You'll find some flash that is typical with the molding process that they use, but it is minimal and easily cleaned up.
The kit provides a complete interior and there is framework detailing on the inside of the cockpit sidewalls. Much to my delight, Amodel has provided interior color information for this kit, something that has been lacking in many of their other products. Construction should go rather quickly as there is not all that much to these types of aircraft. There are the usual number of struts that will have to be carefully aligned. An interesting way of doing things is that the very center section of the upper wing (actually the fuel tank, I believe), is assembled along with the cabane struts. Once that is solid, the upper wings can be attached to it. I like that the wheels have separate outer inserts as this will help in painting. The windscreens are provided on an acetate sheet.
Instructions are quite well done with ten clear and uncluttered construction steps. There are markings for the box art plane in blue and silver. I'm sure research will find other alternatives, but you'll be on your own in terms of decals. The kit decals are well printed and matte. Rigging can be determined from the color and markings guide as well as the box art. Color information is via generic and Humbrol colors.
It is great that Amodel have decided to do 1/48 versions of these famous 1920s/30s aircraft. I can only hope that this is a trend as civil light aircraft are not very well represented as models.
Thanks to www.scale-model-kits.com for the preview kit. Get yours at the link and at a discount.
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