Tamiya’s Mosquito masterpiece
I’m not sure that there’s anything left unsaid about Tamiya’s 1/32 Mossie. She is big, beautiful, and generous to a fault. Having coveted this kit for some time (and not being shy about sharing this fact), I received the Mossie as a gift last Christmas and after the shock of seeing it in person I thought, “this will take an age to build”. How wrong I was, because the ease with which it went together and the self sustaining momentum generated by the sheer joy of the build meant the time just flew past.
The aircraft I chose to make is G/Capt Pickard and F/Lt Broadley’s HX922, both crew shot down and killed by a FW190 on the return home from the controversial Amiens raid on February 18th, 1944.
The Mossie has long been one of my cherished aircraft, the lines and angles flow in a way that begs you to make her. One of my future projects has got to be making another (HK Models 1/32 Mark IV this Christmas? Is my darling wife reading?) and posing her in flight (the Mossie, not my wife) to capture that unbroken shape in her working element . But for the time being, the detail and sub assemblies of this kit meant I had to build her grounded. Can you tell that I enjoyed this?
I know the shading in this build won’t suit everyone (I’ve heard this style described – on other forums I have to say – as ‘cartoonish’) but I love this look. And although the Mossie had no panels as such, the shading and gradients of colour has precedent in real life (below). I haven’t quite finished with this kit as yet – I want to touch up the paint (there are a few blemishes including two glaring glue spots) and find a nice base for it, but I thought I’d share what I’ve done while she is in the ‘finishing touches pound’.
I’ve heard it said that our hobby is divided by those who love to build, and those who see the building as something they have to do in order to get to the painting stage. This truly is a model that transcends that idea; beautiful to build and an absolute pleasure to paint. I tried to create an ‘English winter’ look for the model – without being too ‘grungy’ – and I was quite happy with the results. I airbrushed the registry letters and the spacing was a bit squiffy – but hell, it was 1944 and you know what ground crew are like…
I can sometimes understand people’s aversion to ‘shake and bake’ models, but I think you have to have iron in your soul not to love this kit.
Oh, and she’s big…
3 additional images. Click to enlarge.