Saturday, January 7, 2017

DH Mosquito FB.VI: opening the box

Welcome to my new blog, which is meant to chronicle my adventures with the Airfix 1/24 scale model of the De Havilland Mosquito FB.VI fighter bomber. If I survive the Mosquito, there could be other planes here later.

I introduced this topic in a post in my other modeling blog, here, where I have been posting about adventures in the automotive modeling world.  I mentioned my interest in the Mosquito which arises from its unique construction methods (the fuselage was largely of plywood). Today we'll begin with the ceremonial opening of the box.

And what a box it is. The dimensions are dictated by the wingspan, which will be something like 26" at scale. The box overall is 27" x 16" x 7". Taking out the various sprues, it looks like this:

The fuselage, at about 18" long, takes up an entire sprue. Nothing about it points to the fact it was made of plywood.

Next is the wing. Apparently this was also built of plywood. The photo shows a second sprue with a range of flaps and things -- I am sure there are proper aeronautical terms for all this! The instruction booklet unfortunately does not name any of the components, unlike the good old AMT instruction sheets.

More flaps, rudders, nacelles and other unidentified bits...

Next we have a number of sprues that are duplicated. The obvious one is the two Rolls-Royce motors; it sure would be nice to have a couple of spares for kitbashing. The second pair of duplicated sprues models engine nacelles and landing gear, while the last pair models what looks suspiciously like armaments.

Random stuff at the end includes a black sprue with two plastic tires that clearly need air, a clear canopy, and a pair of sprues with the rest of the engine nacelles and the propellers. I took the advice of the IPMS site and ordered the Scale Aircraft Conversions landing gear, which is made of spun cast white metal; it seems the styrene bits are particularly fragile. The ISPM site generally seems to be an excellent source for aircraft modellers, with a very through review of this kit here.

The final picture shows the crew, in two poses: seated at the controls, or standing next to the ladder.

Some other random comments:
  • Paints are called out using Humbrol numbers. Fair enough, Humbrol and Airfix are owned by the same company, but nowhere is there a list showing what colour Humbrol 11 is. (It's silver). Fortunately there are correspondence charts out there, for instance here. I sense the ISPM will become a good friend of mine going forward... the little Humbrol paint pots look like a pain to keep sealed, unlike the screwcaps on Model Master or Tamiya paints.
  • There are 236 steps in the 55-page manual, and some need to be repeated twice. For example, the motors are steps 69 to 100.
  • The level of detail is high, judging by the motors.
So where to start? Assembly starts with the cockpit. Stay tuned...

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