1⁄24de Havilland Mosquito F.B.VI
IntroductionIt is with great pleasure that I share my completed rendition of Britain's wooden wonder, the de Havilland Mosquito FB.VI. My kit, represented in 1/24 scale, is an excellent and long awaited offering from Airfix. The version I chose to build was aircraft NE-A from No. 143 Squadron based in Scotland. Their mission was to engage and destroy enemy shipping off the Norwegian coast. No. 143 Squadron, along with No. 235, No. 248, No. 333, No. 144 and Beaufighters of No. 404 Squadron formed the Banff Strike Wing. Their dark gray machines shot enemy shipping to pieces in the Norwegian fjords.
Completing this kit took me about 80 hours of on-again/off-again modeling. It is essentially an out of the box project since the kit is repleat with detailed landing gear, Rolls Royce Merlin engines, bomb, 20 mm cannon and machine gun bays and handsome cockpit. It was a pleasure to construct. I hope you enjoy my project.
ConstructionConstruction was fairly straight forward. The instructions are fairly clear and printed in a large booklet. Drawings are large and clear. Parts trees are illustrated prior to the construction drawings and were very helpful. Construction starts with the cockpit, big surprise. It is fairly detailed but I was surprised no photoetched seat belts were included so mine were scratchbuilt. Because of the large canopy and open crew door, if you choose this option, a fair amount of your hard work can be seen.
Once the cockpit is finished and fuselage halves mated, construction of the wing and elevator follows. The main wing fits well into an opening on the lower half of the fuselage and is quite sturdy. The radiators are inserted into the main wing section and look very nice in-place.
After this the fun really starts. Airfix has included parts for two complete Rolls Royce Merlin engines. I chose to complete one and save the second for the spare parts box. Nothing much out of the ordinary here unless you consider excellent out of the box detail unusual. I was very impressed with these engines.
Landing gear assembly was next. Again a very nice and well detailed offering. I did add brake lines but that was about the extent here. Rubber tires were a nice touch. They are weighted. Just be careful moving this beast around. The landing gear can be a bit frail and with the "sticky" tires you could end up rebuilding your broken gear if you're not careful.
The 20 mm cannon/bomb bay is next and just a pleasure to build. Their detail is amazing and fit is perfect. Cannons have detailed belt feeds and ammo drums. Fuel tanks, bombs and a very nice bomb cradle assembly finish off this compartment.
Finally are construction of the bomb bay, landing gear door, machine gun assemblies and external weapons. Landing gear and bomb bay door actuators are accurate and fit very well. The .303 caliber machine gun compartment is also very nice and well detailed. Rubber ammunition feed belts are included and although they fit well after wrestling them into place, the curved rubber is hard to keep painted. As I chose to represent a Costal Command Mosquito, my external weapons loadout was rockets with 60-lb semi-armor-piercing warheads.
Painting and DecalsAircraft NE-A, HR405 of No. 143 squadron was finished with extra dark sea gray upper over sky undersides. I used Humbrol acrylic No.123 for topside and Humbrol enamel No. 90 sky undersides. Propeller spinners were painted with Model Master Insigna Yellow. All colors were matt finish.
Kit decals were used. Prior to their application the entire kit was sprayed with Tamiya clear gloss. The kit decals were very good to work with and took well to Microsol treatment. They set down and conformed to surface shapes with little effort. After all decals were in-place I sprayed the airplane with Humbrol clear matte, No. 40. Weathering was accomplished by post shading panel lines and other significant features with a very dilute wash of Humbrol Matte black where wear and tear "dirties" up the airplane surface. Exhaust staining was accomplished using charcoal. Since the airplane is of wooden construction, there are very few rivets or other metal details to pick out.
ConclusionOverall this was the largest kit I have ever made. It was also one of the most fun. Airfix should be complemented on their product. Although this kit is quite expensive, I can attesst to the fact that it is worth every penny. In fact, I am saving my pennies so I can buy another one to model No. 487 Squadron machine which participated in the Operation Jericho mission against the Gestapo Prison on February 18, 1944. Try one yourself, I highly recommend one!
Copyright ©2019 by John Whitbread. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. The views and opinions expressed herein are solely the views and opinions of the authors and/or contributors to this Web site and do not necessarily represent the views and/or opinions of AeroScale, KitMaker Network, or Silver Star Enterrpises. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of AeroScale. All rights reserved. Originally published on: 2011-01-22 00:00:00. Unique Reads: 9532