Tamiya 1/48 Mosquito B/PR.IV
KIT #: 61066
PRICE: 2800 yen SRP
DECALS: Three options
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: 1999 tooling


On 21 June 1941 the Air Ministry ordered that the last 10 Mosquitos, ordered as photo-reconnaissance aircraft, should be converted to bombers. These 10 aircraft were part of the original 1 March 1940 production order and became the B Mk IV Series 1. W4052 was to be the prototype and flew for the first time on 8 September 1941.

The bomber prototype led to the B Mk IV, of which 273 were built: apart from the 10 Series 1s, all of the rest were built as Series 2s with extended nacelles, revised exhaust manifolds, with integrated flame dampers, and larger tailplanes. Series 2 bombers also differed from the Series 1 in having an increased payload of four 500 lb (230 kg) bombs, instead of the four 250 pounds (110 kg) bombs of Series 1. This was made possible by cropping, or shortening the tail of the 500 pounds (230 kg) bomb so that these four heavier weapons could be carried (or a 2,000 lb (920;kg) total load). The B Mk IV entered service in May 1942 with 105 Squadron.

In April 1943 it was decided to convert a B Mk IV to carry a 4,000 lb (1,800 kg) Blockbuster bomb (nicknamed a Cookie). The conversion, including modified bomb bay suspension arrangements, bulged bomb bay doors and fairings, was relatively straightforward and 54 B.IVs were modified and distributed to squadrons of the Light Night Striking Force. 27 B Mk IVs were later converted for special operations with the Highball anti-shipping weapon, and were used by 618 Squadron, formed in April 1943 specifically to use this weapon. A B Mk IV, DK290 was initially used as a trials aircraft for the bomb, followed by DZ471,530 and 533. The B Mk IV had a maximum speed of 380 mph (610 km/h), a cruising speed of 265 mph (426 km/h), ceiling of 34,000 ft (10,000 m), a range of 2,040 nmi (3,780 km), and a climb rate of 2,500 ft per minute (762 m).


Tamiya's Mossie, considered by many to be the best ever done in this scale, is now 20 years old. Hard to believe isn't it, but such is the case. Tamiya has released this kit in several versions, this one being the initial bomber version. From the look of things, the main changes between kits are supplied on a single sprue with the majority of the airframe being the same from boxing to boxing.

Interestingly, Tamiya wants you to start by building up the wings. This includes the engine nacelles and the landing gear. Several folks have commented that the landing gear is overly complex and difficult to install. Complex it is, but knowing Tamiya, if you follow their guidance, it should not be an issue. One thing that surprised me somewhat is that the gear wells and inner doors are silver/bare metal instead of the expected RAF interior green primer color.

It is only after those are done that the cockpit is attended to. This includes building up several black boxes and building up the bomb bay. Attached to this is a pair of stub spars on which to attach the wings. In the bay you can either put four large bombs or the cameras if doing the photo reconnaissance version. Those building the bomber and not wanting the doors open can simply skip all the bits that go into the bomb bay. For the PR.IV you'll still need to build it up for the cameras to be visible through the openings in the bay. Doing an open bay means separating the doors as they are molded in one piece. For those who like their models crewed, a pilot and bombardier are included.

Once that is done, various bits are added to the inside of the nose and fuselage halves those items are closed, with the fuselage halves trapping the interior/bomb bay. The nose is then attached and all the various clear bits added to the assembly. The cockpit canopy has separate side windows with bulged fairings, making that part a bit tricky to mask. Prop assemblies are built up, trapping within them the usual polycaps.

It is only now that the wings and tailplanes are attached The tailplanes are upper and lower halves and the wings will require the tips attached. The two lenses per tip have little indentations for you to color the 'bulb' within. The kit also has an open crew hatch on the bottom and a ladder.

Instructions are typical Tamiya 'road map' style with Tamiya only paint references. The interior color will need to be mixed if you are using Tamiya paints. The decal sheet provides markings for three planes. Two B.IV bombers are dark green/ocean grey on the upper side. The box art plane from 105 squadron has medium sea grey undersides. The other from 109 squadron has black undersides. The PR.IV from 540 squadron is overall pru blue.  The decals are nicely printed and include belt and instrument panel decals.

This kit has been built by the thousands and every one I've seen has been very nice. The kit is fairly inexpensive in the scheme of things and there is no reason why your next Mossie build should not be this one. I've seen these as low as $25.00 shipped as a 'used' kit.



August 2019

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