Monday, 3 December 2012
Build Review - AeroClub 1/144 DeHavilland Mosquito
Gibson's plane was an BXX, and this kit represents a B35, although after extensive research I could not find any visible difference except the engines used, which is not of great concern in this project! So what have I got myself into this time?
After much trial and error I finally got the fuselage halves together with the seats and pilots inside. Of course, the two fuselage halves are different lengths, just to add to the fun, and I needed to do a lot of shaving and sanding to get everything together right.
Next on went the wings and tail to the fuselage, and suffice to say that the again the fit is absolutely dreadful and some surgery was needed to get flush fitting parts, essential to provide strength in these areas. I then had a lot of filling to do, and I am convinced that the end result contained more filler than plastic. But at least she was now starting to look like a Mosquito!
To turn this into Guy Gibson's plane, I would need to print my own decals. Decals for military planes in this scale are like hens teeth and there was no hope of getting any in. So I designed up the necessary AZ-E scheme. Fortunately, I was able to use roundels from an existing sheet but the lettering and codes had to be scratch printed. I also generated my own "keep off" boxes for the top front of the wings as the ones on the kit sheet were ridiculously thick and bright. Decals done, another coat of gloss sealed them in.
Once the gloss was dry, I scribed some panel detail on to the body of the plane (fortunately the "Mossie" has very little) and used black oil paint to highlight them. A final coat of matt varnish followed.
It only remained to attach the metal parts, which generally fit very well, unlike the majority of the rest of the kit. The undercarriage slotted in perfectly. But as anticipated, fitting the one piece metal exhaust stacks by sliding them through the engine nacelles proved impossible. So in the end I cut them in half and did it the "old fashioned" way as two pieces.
The last task was to put the vacuform items in place. I have to confess that I do not like vacuform canopies one bit. Sure, they are usually a better scale representation of the canopy, but they are a nightmare to cut out of their sheet and to sand/trim to shape to get them fitting snugly. And there is no positive surface to glue either! I did my best.
Now the customer wants another one, so I guess at least I know what I am in for!