ADS 12-72 DeHavilland Mosquito Part 1
Next to the Spitfire and Hurricane, the Mosquito is undoubtedly the aircraft that British aviations fans of WWII are most proud of. An exceptionally smooth design, thanks to its airframe built mostly of wood and wood composites, the Merlin-powered Mosquito was both fast and agile. The perfect light bomber. Naturally, such an airframe could not be used just for bombing, so there were fighter, recce and target tug variants as well. It was even adapted for use by the British navy, complete with tail hook and folding wings.
Interestingly, the first real use of the Mosquito was as a night fighter! Coupled with the current Air Intercept (A.I.) radar sets, it was sent into the night sky over the UK to search and destroy German nocturnal intruders. The bomber version was fitted with increasingly larger bomb bays and could carry a hefty war load. The fighter versions made for excellent ground attack platforms, especially when armed with underwing rockets. Equipped with two stage Merlin engines, the recce variants were able to fly high enough and fast enough to usually escape interception. So well liked was the aircraft by the British, that they were loathe to give any up to their allies.
A story goes around that when the US first introduced the P-61 Black Widow night fighter in mid 1944, that there was a fly-off between it and the night fighting Mosquito to see which was the best. Depending on whose account of the incident that you read, either the P-61 flew rings around the Mossie, or the pilot of the Mosquito was told to throw the match in order to get their planes back from the Americans. Whatever the case, it was an outstanding aircraft. Many survived the war and were used by other nations. Unfortunately, a wooden airframe is difficult to maintain and they eventually succumbed to wood rot and structural weaknesses. There are quite a few in museums, but to my knowledge, only one is still flying. I'm sure a reader will set me straight on that one!
As you can see from the image above, you get a rather large number of options on this sheet. In fact you get enough markings and insignia to do ten aircraft. In addition, you get a smaller strip sheet with 14 of the smaller yellow surround decals. The decals themselves are superbly printed with no misregistration problems at all. Another nice touch is that the yellow surrounds to the code letters/numbers are given separately.
Being Mosquitos, there is very little in the way of nose art or other really colorful markings for most of them. The camo schemes can be broken down into green and grey over grey and overall PRU blue. Most of them are based on the bomber version of the Mosquito. They are also mid-late war aircraft
There is no preferred kit for this sheet, but until Tamiya downsizes their B.IV (2006 note: which they have), and unless Airfix also makes a B.IV, you have but the Hasegawa kit to choose from in 1/72. I have not built this kit, but have read that it can be a real bear to build; similar to a DML 1/72 kit. There is an addendum added to the sheet that states that very few of these aircraft can be built straight from the box and recommends Paragon as a source for the required new canopies, bulged bomb bays, wing tanks and the like.
OK, so what's on the sheet. Well, I'll just give you a rundown by type and unit.
B.XX -- 627 Sq --
B.XXV -- 627 Sq -- AZ*P
B.XVI -- 128 Sq -- MS*Q
B.XVI -- 128 Sq -- MS*F
B.XVI -- 128 Sq -- *X
PR.IX -- 1409 Flt -- *D
PR.32 -- 540 Sq
PR.XVI -- 140 Sq
F.8 -- 3PRG (USAAF)
NF.30 -- 416NFS (USAAF)
As ou can see, two are US, and have the areas where the British roundels used to be overpainted. The instructions are very good, giving references for each as well as color callouts. I have shown one of the four pages of instructions for 3rd through 5th aircraft on the list (the 128Sq ones).
Overall this is an excellent looking sheet and one that, along with the required extra bits, should make a superb model.
Review copy courtesy of NORTH AMERICAN HOBBIES Thanks for your support
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