Construction is nearly done as I glued the wings on yesterday;
The fit of all the wings is pretty good considering the age of the kit with a minimal amount of filler required;
Before fixing the exhaust shrouds into place I opened up the front of them and thinned down the plastic at both ends;
This certainly improves the look of the model and is easy to do as well. The canopy will be fixed into place next and for this I have a Falcon vac-form replacement as the kit item is quite thick. I’m glad Falcon supplied two canopies as no doubt I’ll bugger one of them up when removing it from its surrounds, in fact I might have to use the kit one if these two are ruined.
After the canopy is in place the final details will be stuck on and it should be ready for painting, the first coat will be to see if any areas require attention but hopefully it will be minimal. The scheme chosen is for a RAF Mossie serial number NT202 AJ-N. The aircraft was at RAF Woodhall Spa with 617 sqn in July/August 1944 and I chose the scheme because it was in overall sea grey medium/dark green with black and white invasion stripes. Sadly further research showed that in October that same year the aircraft crashed while on a training mission, killing both crew members.
I can start closing up the fuselage then after it has been cleaned up the model can then be assembled as most of the work has been done.
I have a set of wheels for the model by Brengun as the kit tyres are smooth whereas Mossie tyres had a square block tread pattern. Also the set includes a tail wheel so the kit one was removed and the fork unit for the tail wheel was thinned down until the resin replacement wheel fitted;
The copper wire in the tail wheel is just temporary.
The hubs for the main undercarriage wheels are a bit too deep so I cut 6mm discs from .10 thou plastic sheet to shim them out a bit;
The wheel on the left is before a shim was fitted behind the hub. It is starting to come together pretty rapidly so hopefully it will be finished before the year is out.
The main undercarriage was next for some TLC and in my kit the gear retraction struts were bent or broken;
To overcome this the diagonal struts were removed completely with new ones made from plastic rod, they were also placed 4mm higher up the gear legs as the originals are too low down;
I also added the engine firewalls. The mudguards were thinned down and lightening holes drilled into them as well. The axles were also broken on my example so I drilled through one side on each gear leg and enlarged the hole on the other side ready for new axles. This also makes fitting the wheel a lot easier, I just hope I can fit the gear legs after painting without breaking them.
The rear bulkheads just need some sanding so that the engine nacelles join together then these can be glued. These will also be painted at the same time as the cockpit then the rest of the assembly should be fairly straight forward. One thing to note is that some recent Airfix kits have had ‘short-shot’ parts (including their 1/48 Sea Fury as I had one) much to the angst of modellers everywhere, however it’s nothing new as this kit has one of these too around the trim tab;
A bit of filler will sort that so no real worries.
Edit; that’s the kit in sub-assemblies and once the nacelles have been filled and sanded and the interior painted I’ll be able to put it all together;
Apart from the instrument panel, rudder pedals and control column I think I’ve done enough in the cockpit and it will look good enough when painted and the canopy attached;
Quite an improvement on what Airfix provided back in the 1970s when the kit first appeared;
The instrument panel was actually moulded onto the front bulkhead but I reversed it to accomodate the etched panel.
Thinking about it today, this was supposed to be a nostalgia build as I loved the kit as a kid but now it’s turned into something like ‘how can we improve this one?’ and really if I was going in depth I should have bought a Tamiya Mossie and saved a lot of work. Anyway it doesn’t hurt to practice making stuff from scratch so the project will continue and it still is a decent replica of a Mossie even if it’s a bit basic.
To say the cockpit is basic is a bit of an understatement;
So I’ve been improving it;
The etch comes from an Eduard set that is actually for the Tamiya 1/72 Mosquito which I got mainly for the instrument panel but the seat belts have come in handy too. I guess I could have saved the hassle by getting the Tamiya kit instead but where’s the fun in that? :o)
Earlier this year I made a start on this Mosquito primarily as a trip down memory lane but also with a view to improving the model, unfortunately it got shelved due to the amount of review kits I had to build.
With a couple of those review kits now done and wanting to kill a couple of hours until bedtime, I got the model out of the box to see where I had got up to. The answer to that question was ‘not very far’ as all I had done was to remove a couple of panel lines on the wings. With that I rescribed the panel lines around the engine nacelles and inner wing plus I removed the oversize rivets around the nacelles too;
once the lines had been rescribed, rivets removed and sanded the raised panel lines flush, liquid glue was run around the rescribed panel lines to remove the swarf.
I know there are far better kits of the Mossie available such as those from Tamiya and Hasegawa but I remember really enjoying building this kit as a kid so it will be yet another trip down memory lane, especially in my fiftieth year of model making. This project will be done in between everything else I have on the go so updates will be fairly sporadic.
There will be better pictures on The Modelling News as these two images were taken with my phone. For some reason I can’t control the depth of field so that’s why the model is a bit blurred either end. Anyway it’s done and that makes the count for this year so far at eight finished models, still loads to do though so I’ll try and get to ten before the year is out.
Now that the L1500S cargo truck is done, my attention now goes to getting this one finished;
So far it has had a thinned black/brown mix sprayed onto the chassis, wheels and lower surfaces of the cab and crane followed by a light overspray of Tamiya XF-55 Deck Tan. At the moment I’m applying various pigments and then I’ll build up the mud using a dark brown pigment powder and Winsor and Newton Stucture Gel as this vehicle will be a lot more dirtier than the L1500S. As there are no mudguards on the rear wheels I should imagine the vehicle, particularly the back of the cab would be covered in mud so that’s what I’m aiming for.
When I’ve finished messing about with the weathering I can paint the final details and then call it done so hopefully either tonight or on my next days off from work.
I managed a couple of hours at the bench tonight so decided to stick the various components such as the cab, cabin glazing, cargo bed and mudguards to the chassis. Along with the trailer the model is ready for the final weathering stages and I can call it done.
In hindsight the blue (Tamiya XF-5) may have been too dark but I’m stuck with it now, at least it’s nearly finished and then I can write it up for The Modelling News.