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Thursday, December 4, 2014

De Havilland Mosquito - Monogram 1:48


The De Havilland Mosquito was one of the most versatile aircraft of WW2. Only the German JU-88 was considered to be equal to the Mosquito. This British twin-engine aircraft gained fame in WW2 of its unique wooden wings and fuselage and it was the all wooden construction which inspired the Press to give the nickname “Wooden Wonder”. The Mosquito was also known as “Mossie” to its crews. It served in a variety of roles with great success, as a night and day bomber, long range photo-reconnaissance, mine layer, pathfinder, high speed military transport, long range day and night fighter and fighter bomber. It was a really multi-purpose aircraft. It served in Europe, the Midle and Far East and on the Russian front. The first Mosquito flew in November 1940, production continued until 1947 and almost 7.781 were built.
Mosquito fighters accounted for 487 German aircraft during the war. Some of the most successful RAF pilots flew this type.

One plane is listed to have flown with the German secret operation unit “Kampfgeschwader 200”.
The Germans seemed to have very strong views about the Mosquito. In his book “First and Last” Adolf Galland was very impressed about the plane. He claimed that the Mosquito left a faint signal on German radar.
The aircraft caused so many losses to German night-fighters that the Germans were allowed to claim two “kills” for each one they managed to shoot down. But the greatest tribute to the Mosquito came from Herman Gorȉng himself, who said, “it makes me green and yellow with envy”.
The Focke-Wulf Ta-154 was a fast twin-engined night fighter and it was named “Moskito” as a form of recognition of the R.A.F De Havillad Mosquito!
Today there are almost 30 non-flying Mosquitos around the world with two airworthy examples.

About the kit

Allthough the kit is dated since 1966, it is not bad. Suprisingly it is very good. The panel lines are recessed very well so as the raised details and there are rivets where needed. The flaps and the flying controls can be seperated. The exhausts have the necessary openings at both sides. The cockpit is well detailed with an instrument panel, control sticks, radio panel.The armament includes eight nose guns, eight rockets and two bombs with their racks. For the NF.II, Monogram offers the aerials for the radar. Alternative parts allow the construction of either fighter or bomber glass nosed aircraft.
Two different canopies are included. The kit provides four different versions and decals for four aircrafts. The bad staff now. In my kit the decals refused to settle on in any way. There is a number of outline flaws but the most noticeable one is the fuselage which is too narrow.
Fin and rudder are too tall by about 6 mm. Anyway, it can be build into a fine looking model but the competition from Tamiya and Revell is too strong for the old Monogram kit.

Construction – Painting – Decals
I started as usual from the cockpit which was painted with Interior Green using Gunze H-58. With the same color I painted the seats of the pilots and the wheels compartments. The radio set, the instrument panel and the control sticks were painted black using Gunze H-12.  For the seat belts I used an old set from Airwaves. I glued the fuselage parts and I continued with the wings. The general fit is very good for such and old kit. The landing gears and the radiators were painted silver using the Testors Metalizers. I begun painting by spraying the white parts of the D-Day invasion stripes using Gunze H-11 Flat White and adding a few drops from Gunze-311 for the scale effect. With Tamiya mask tape I masked the white stripes and I painted the black stripes using Gunze-77 Tire Black. The length of each stripe was 14 mm at the model. With little attention the result is quite impresive. I didn’t weather the invasion stripes because I was building the Mosquito as it appeared a few days after the Normady invasion. The camouflage is quite simple. I sprayed the whole aircraft with Medium Sea Grey using Gunze H-306 and I finished the painting job with Dark Green using Tamiya XF-61. I weathered the two colors using darker and lighter shades. I took off the masking tapes from the invasion stripes and I was very pleased with the result. I sprayed the gloss coat using Marabu Varnish, and after that the fun ended. The decals simply refused to set on. Having no other solution, I used decals from the spare box and the smile returned on my face again. I sprayed another gloss coat and I washed the whole kit using the Black Dirt wash from Flory Models. The nose guns were painted with Dark Iron from Gunze and drybrushed with silver. The spinners and the rocket launchers were painted also with H-306, I installed the eight rockets and painted them with Olive Drab using Gunze H-52.  The exhaust stains were made with Gunze  H-95 Smoke Grey. With the same color  I sprayed all  the panel lines in order to create more depth.   I avoided to create metal scratches (no need to tell you that if you have read the article). The only scratches I made were with a common pencil HB2.  I installed the aerial wire with superglue and at the end I sprayed the flat varnish from Marabu, adding simply a few drops of  gloss varnish.

The photos show an aircraft from 418 Sqn RCAF, the place is England and the year is 1944.

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