Mosquito Mk XVIII and VI. Tamiya 1/72 Scale.
This project came to life almost by chance, started in autum 2014, when my friend Pierluigi’s brother, has decided to commission me a Mosquito 1/72, as a gift for his birthday. Mosquito Tamiya Mk. VI fighter with hard nose and Eduard PE set, was an immediate choice.
Shopping list was not that long:
.-Mosquito Mk. VI Tamiya
.-Interior PE set Eduard.
.-Decal Sheet extra decal
As usual I started from the cockpit, enhanced by the Eduard’s set and scratch build detail, the photos speak for themselves.
Fill the cockpit for good, even with some approximation or off-scale, greatly enhances the realism.
The pedals are truly horrendous, but considering the scale and their position, virtually invisible with the fuselage assembled, I decide to leave them in place.
I opened I the crew access door, by means of a needle used as a scriber, rebuilding the fuselage internal door frame in evergreen 0,5×025, and the rest of the detail in scratch.
Cockpit has been airbrushed with the base color ( Gunze ), all detail brushed on with Valleio.
A high-contrast color, even at the expense of realism, will allows you to see something, in this small scale, once the model will be finished. If you look carefully, you will notice that all the interior details edges painted in interior green, have been lightened with yellow Valleio, the various black boxes have undergone the same treatment with a light gray. While, the white wires on the sides of the fuselage, were highlighted with black, on their side.
Some instruments, not present in the Eduard PE sheet, have been made, cutting them from the original decal sheet, with the punch and die.
Assembly of the main parts as fuselage valves, wings and engine nacelles was easy an trouble free. The model does not require major modification, I decide to cut the flap and elevator to be repositioned in the lowered position, bad idea, only after the modification was completed, I realize that, in most photo, Mosquitoes has got no lowered flap on the ground.
Inevitable sacrifice to the floor’s monster, this time he eat a mud fender.
Please note the appropriate whethering of the 1cent coin.
Just to make something a little different, I decide to convert the original Mk.VI into Mk XVIII, the intended anti-submarine version, armed with a Quick-firing 57 mm gun. Less than 30 Mk.XVIII were built, modifying as many MK VI, directly on the assembly line. More or less what I have done, it may be possible that the Guys in De Haviland copied my idea!
The changes are not too many: the barrel of the gun has been made using copper tube, the bulge of the breach by a piece of Evergreen, reinforcement panels on the sides of the fuselage by adhesive aluminum tape , few panels has been re-engraved and reinforcements on inner flap’s lower surface, again made with Evergreen strip. Rescribing panels under the nose was ea thedious job, thin styrene obliged me to fill holes several time with superglue.
The rocket retaining ring has been made rolling an Evergreen strip around a drill. To cut them all same length, I scratch build a jig. It would have been better to use some parts from old PE sheet, to obtain thinner rings, but it was summer, I was for vacation at the see, and I brought only a reduced modelling set.
Not to lose the job done on the interiors, I decide to eliminate most of the canopy, rebuilding the frames only.
The real turning point in the project occurred when, surfing the net, I saw a 1:48 Mosquito, made by Julio Fuente Diaz, I suppose a Spanish modeler, half regularly painted, half-colored natural wood! I could not resist, I decided to run the risk of disappoint the customer, but I had to do that.
I immediately ordered the PE RB Production masks, there are available two different textures, I bought them both.
The “natural wood and metal” side, has been painted first. I thought, it would have been better to end the difficult one first, see the result, and then to proceed with the more conventional camouflage. In case of disaster, always possible, trying new technique, it would have been possible to revert to a more conventional project, removing the Tamiya wood color with alcohol.
To tell the truth, the orientation and the number of wood panels, in particular those of the wings and the nose, it does not reflect the real ones, but just Tamiya interpretation. Also the fuselage, before being joined to the wings, was coated with a waterproofing fabric, painted with a protective aluminum color. Therefore, this model has to be consider a mere painting exercise, more than an accurate reproduction of the real thing.
The photoetched masks are a bit hard to use on this scale, the texture is fragile. Moreover many parts, relatively small, such as the flaps, that could have been easily painted separate, had already been glued in place, forcing to cut the masks to reach all surfaces.
The wooden side has been airbrush with Tamiya acrylics, thinned with Lacquer thinner, slightly differentiating the individual panels, darkening slightly the edges.
Then were masked one by one, and RB mask applied. The wood texture has been paint with slightly darker brown shade.
The work itself, is not particularly difficult, most of the time has been spend to try blends colors that pair well chromatically on a model wreck.
I continued with the metal parts, using different shade of Model Master metallizer, applied directly on the nude plastic. A great suggestion has been found on Model Master Site: masking with wet photocopier paper. The paper perfect adhere due to capillarity to the shiny surfaces, without the needs to be secure with tape. The only care is not to direct the airbrush blow, under the paper edge.
For the camouflaged part, I proceed in a more conventional manner, masking has been made with the old, but always good method, of the Blue Tak ( or Patafix ) rolls and Tamiya masking tape,
Invasion stripe first.
Tamiya gloss cote, decals, again gloss cote, matt finish ….. mission accomplished, I thought.
In the end, however, Mission failed! The customer politely reject the subject, nice, but too unconventional for his taste, and not suited to join the other subject of his collection.
To tell the truth, I wasn’t too disappointed, and the idea to keep it for myself, even if this involved the commissioning of a second Mosquito, this time a classic fighter-bomber MK VI, with a conventional finish.
Same shopping list, same interior detailing, almost finished in just over a month, despite a major incident. After I correct a minor painting scratch on the right wing, to shorten the color’s drying time, I approached the model to the halogen lamp that illuminates the lab. Let’s see if you can guess how the styrene of the wing, reacted to the warmth of the lamp?
It was hard not to follow the instinct to launch the small Mosquito against my garage wall. At his point I had two choice: to start a third ones, really boring to to so, or improvise Dr. Barnard? Believe me or not, I decide to carry out the transplant, of the wing. The donor was an old Airfix, kindly donated by a colleague.
Shape was perfectly matching the burned wing, thickness has to be slightly increased by some Evergreen sheets and Gunze Mr. Surfacer. All panel and aileron has been re-scribed.
Sigh of relief and completion of work, model maker and the buyer, both satisfied.
Lesson learned: heat melt styrene, in case somebody did not believe that, I prove it!
Please thanks myself for my contribute to scientific community knowledge 🙂
Thanks for watching, good night iModeler!
16 additional images. Click to enlarge.