Dekno 1/72 Mew Gull E.3H

KIT #: 720300
PRICE: 24 Euro direct from Dekno
DECALS: One Option
REVIEWER: Peter Burstow

Resin kit with vac canopy


Designed by Captain Edgar Percival for racing, 6 Mew Gulls were built from 1934 to 1937. All the Mew Gulls were custom built for different customers, so had a variety of engines including Napier Javelin, Regneir, de Havilland Gypsy Six, and Gypsy Six series 2. There were also differences in structure and wing span between the models.  They had a family resemblance to the Vega Gull and Proctor, but were much smaller single seaters.

 Mew Gull model E2H, registered G-AEXF was flown by Alex Henshaw from England to Cape Town and return in 1939, averaging 209 mph, and setting a class record not beaten until 2009. This aircraft, much repaired, restored and somewhat modified is still flying today.

The subject of the kit, Mew Gull E3H G-AFAA was Captain Edgar Percival's personal “Super” Mew Gull. Built in 1937 at Luton, it had a superficial resemblance to the earlier Mew Gulls but was substantially different. It had a more powerful engine and smaller wing span, altogether faster with a higher climb rate and longer range. It was written off when on loan to de Havilland for propeller trials during the Second World War, and was burnt at a garden fete after the war.


Coming in a small but very strong end opening box, there are 18 cream coloured resin parts, and a vac-formed canopy (sorry Scott). The parts are packed in a small segmented plastic bag to minimise scratching. My kit had the seat back broken off, but no other damage, though the rudder had separated from the pouring stub. The parts have a smooth surface finish, as befits a wooden aircraft, but are slightly rough around the edges. The control surfaces will need special care when cleaning up as they are finely detailed and thin enough to be translucent. There are very fine but soft engraved panel lines.

Cockpit detail is sparse, with a car like seat, a control stick and an instrument panel. A bit more detail may be wanted as there is a relatively large cockpit opening and the vac-formed canopy is very clear. Some of the parts, especially the mass balances and the fighter style control stick are very small and will need careful handling to prevent them disappearing or falling apart 

G-AFAA was all white, with blue and gold trim and an aluminium prop and spinner. The decals are for G-AFAA only and are printed in dark blue and gold. The include all the serials and the trim. Spare patches of blue are provided with instructions on doing the wing tip trim. They look very attractive and but do have a slight registration problem.

The instructions are a single sheet of A5, clearly printed on both sides in English, showing 4 construction steps, painting and decalling guide, and a short history. It includes paint references with Humbrol numbers only for the internal cockpit (what is #78?), white and polished aluminium exterior.


 A small model of a one-off racing aircraft. With some work, and good access to reference drawings, the other 5 Mew Gull aircraft could probably be made from this kit.  Recommended for anybody with some experience, and could be a good first resin kit with it's small parts count and simple paint job.


A.J. Jackson, British Civil Aircraft 1919-1972: Volume III. Putnam, London, 1974. - Has photographs of three of the Mew Gulls.

Alex Henshaw, The Flight of the Mew Gull. Hamlyn, London 1980 - Has a number of photographs of G-AEXF including cockpit close ups.

Kit Instructions.

Peter Burstow

February 2013

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