HK 1/32 DH Mosquito BMk XVI build Pt. 5
Now on to the cowls. After assembling the distinctive MkXVI lower cowls, I painted all the cowls to make life easier when applying the paint job, I wouldn't have to worry so much about masking the landing gear without tearing something up...I also went ahead and built up the basic Merlin engines, leaving off some of the detail bits as I was going to build the plane buttoned up so I didn't need to detail the engine.
The engines themselves are simpler than the Tamiya versions of course, but are very reasonable in their own right and a superdetailer could go to town on them. They are the correct Two-stage Merlins and include the longer supercharger manifold, as well as the longer cowlings and the distinctive lip and larger carb intake, and after carefull assembly and finishing really look the part! Kudos to HK for getting this crucial detail right! Since only the side panels are designed to be removable they don't have to be super detailed, and I like the approach HK took on them. The engines are designed to be plugged in to the firewall onto a substantial D-shaped plug that provides a very stout support for the rest of the assy. I left off the engine supports as well since they would nt be seen and added no support to the assembly anyway. I painted both engines Semi gloss blackand added the coolent tank and ring to the front of the engine, making sure that part is squared up properly to the engine and the previously-added upper cowl.
Next I went ahead and put the engines in place and taped on the all the panels, checking for fit. I found I had to do a little adjusting to get everythiing square but once I was satisfied with how things looked, I went ahead and carefully ran some TETC in the seams. As you can see the dry fitting paid off handsomely, now those engines give this Mk of Mossie a more distinct look, and different from everybody else's Mossie on the contest table!
Another interesting feature of this series of kits from HK is the curious lack of spinner backplates?! The spinners themselves look great, from all the drawings I have the shape looks to be spot-on, and have the correct blade cutout shape for the paddle blades used on this version, but the absence of the backplate itself is puzzling to say the least. After painting the spinners with my 50-50 mix of semi-gloss black and red-brown, and finishing the props themselves I added the props to the nacelles and found that you really don't notice that the backplate isn't there after all.
I wanted to see how my hard work on the landing gear worked out with the Brassin wheels in place and I am very Very happy with the overall look and function. The axles are snug but not tight and I can slip them in and out with ease while I finish the wheels. At first I thought the plane looked a little 'light on the loafers' with the smaller wheels but I think thats because the gear was designed for the larger tires so some of the details are slightly longer than correct. Overall thought I am Stocked to get this bird painted!