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In Box review and Comparison of Revell and Tamiya de Havilland Mosquito B. MK IV

As progress of the RAF GB continues on and the October reveal now would you believe less than 2 months away. I have 4 projects on going with 2 completed and the other 2 coming along nicely. With some time left to build a 5th model in which I was considering either the Revell fairly new release of the Tornado in 48th scale or the Revell Mosquito both in 48th scale. Both kits very detailed. The idea was bandied about among friends and not so friendly ones as well. Anyone remember the response when Tamiya announced a new kit of the Mosquito back in the late 90’s, and not just one, but 3 of them in the end. Then about 10 years later or so, Revell announced a new mold Mosquito. And the oh’s and ah’s this caused when the kit was released with some extra options the Tam kit didn’t have. And no it did not trump (no pun intended) the Tamiya kit. It was a cheaper alternative with easy to fix issues. And don’t get me wrong the Tam kit has some if it’s own as well. You know one must know if serious in this hobby, what it takes to build a model. There is no perfect kit, as easy to assemble Tam kits are they are not perfect, you still have to build them as well as any other kit. Not only not perfect as the 1:1 aircraft in every way. But plastic has it’s limitations. Where PE and resin comes in to play that make the details pop more in subtle ways. Seatbelts and and instrument panels more distinctive and sharper compared to plastic molded parts and decals. Yet we still get the whiners that point out the nose is off, the wings are to thick the fuselage is not deep enough, the cowl is to narrow. Props are the wrong shape. wrong pattern on the tires, etc etc etc, boo hoo. Shut up!

We have new kit manufacturers now that have come along the last 20 years or pretty much since the turn of the century that have raised the bar a bit as well as the prices. Whence Hasegawa, Tamiya, Revellogram, Fujimi, Airfix and Italeri with a bit of ESCI, Hobbycraft and AMT were the kits that we bought and built. Then Trumpeter comes along, next Hobby Boss, Kinetic (a name associated with toys, but they have come along ways), KittyHawk, Great Wall, AMK, Eduards and HK. With new technology and CAD. Yet they are not perfect. We thought at one time Hasegawa was the kind with all the parts even in their wonderful K series 72nd scale kits. And paid the price for them. But with all that detail, they were not always easy to build. Like the F-14 a bear of a kit but beautiful when completed. Then at the same time their F/A-18 series and A-7 kits went together with some ease. Then their WWII kits and again were a hit as well starting with the BF-109 series. Then we come to Kittyhawk, tons of detail, tons of parts, even in 48th scale very small petite and fragile. And they are difficult. Suffer shape issues, but like most modelers that have built them, say just take your time, and being experienced modelers will eventually figure it out, just like the wrestling match with my recently completed KH Jaguar, I had moments, but I knew what I would run into with several written and video reviews known issues and armed with that knowledge still very tough moments. So it is best to build any Tam kit at the same time or even a Monogram kit is easier than a KH kit so you don’t lose your mind. So don’t get discouraged or be discouraged by the local know it all. Look at the WIPS going on in the section that interests you, there are quite a few going on, learn from our mistakes and how we are able to overcome them. Different techniques, in assembling, modifying, correcting issues encountered. Painting, detail, weathering. Some easy some quite difficult even some beyond my capability. I am just a humble modeler and build for fun. And now back the review.

Now first I will say that I have been building models since I was 8 years old starting of course with MPC , AMT, Johann car models in the 60’s/70’s.

What else, I really don’t remember which air plane I ever built first as I was more into cars. Until I met a kid in Junior high that introduced me to Tamiya and Polly S Acylic paints. No more cars (though I do have a few in the stash) after that. It was armor and airplanes.

For this review I will use the Revell 1/48th de Havilland Mosquito B Mk.IV kit #04555 and compare it to Tamiya’s Mosquito B Mk. IV/PR Mk.IV kit #61066, their 2nd offering as this is the bomber version which what the Revell kit is. When I first ordered this kit about 5 years ago, I had to be careful as the older Monogram was also sold reboxed as Revell also. The Revell Mossie new mold kit first appeared in 2008. Of course what most people don’t like is the open ended boxes that Revell currently uses. Tam is in the usual standard top lid box.

Will start with the Revell kit first. What is in the box as I pop open the end and several bags of light grey styrene along with the instruction sheet manual and decals.

1st the instruction sheet, the Revell instructions are not like the old instructions sheets of my youth. Written in several languages, parts map and painting guide listing the Revell line of paints. The paint flags will be next to the part to be painted that suggested color. Out comes the pen to write in which color I will use on that part. When I start that actual WIP I will show the manual in more detail.

Next up the decals. Which will have markings for 3 different units. 2 night schemes to go along with a Dk Green/Med Sea Grey over Light Grey, and the Dk Green/Med Sea Grey over Black. Stencils, wing walks, are also provided. Instrument panel decal as well as seat belts are also in decal form.

The clear parts are next, Clear, crisp and the frames are well represented on the main canopy. Once on the model will see hopefully how nice the clear bits are. Includes the nose and wing tip lamps

Next the sprue that contains the fuselage halve which comes in four sections. Also included are the slipper drop tanks and interior components. The forward sections of the fuselage also contains some finely detailed interior components, radio, electrical boxes , racks and some conduit.

Next sprue up contains two type of propellers, the wheels and 2 style of wheel hubs. Main landing gear components as well as the gear doors and interior bits. A very nice touch is that Revell provides the engines. though basic, something to really detail out if you wish to display them with the engine covers removed.

Next sprue contains I believe the most interesting set of parts, the wings and tail components. This allows you to build the Mossie with the flaps down, poseable tail rudder and stabs. As we do see a few pics of Mosquitos with the flaps down when parked and the tail also deflected down as well.

The sprue also contains the engine nacelles as well as the tail wheel components rather unusual the way Revell will have this part assembled when we get to this step.

The last sprue contains the upper wing halves. flaps, horizontal tail and one of the engine nacelles.

After I show the Tam kit, I will go over the known issues with the Revell and Tamiya kit. As I summarize at the end of the posting.
Now the Tamiya kit. Whats is in the box! kit #61066, Bomber version. Molded in the well known medium grey plastic.

The instruction sheet manual is typical Tamiya, simpler to follow and easier to read than the Revell manual. Several languages, and paint codes in Tamiya colors, just as Revell annoying and again will write the colors I will use next to the suggested paint flags next to the part being to be painted.

Next is the camo scheme sheet which I love that Tamiya provides in each of their kits.

The decal sheet like the Revell kit offers 3 options, and 2 of the options are the same schemes that are in the Revell kit. The 3rd option is one in PRU Blue for a recon PR. IV Mossie, nice touch. The sheet again has stenciling, wing walks, instrument panel and seatbelts. Which I will get an aftermarket set for both kits.

Next up the clear parts, typical Tamiya very nice crisp and clear. I kept these in the clear wrapper to deter scratching.

Then next is the sprue that contains the forward section of the nose, lower fuselage insert and interior components. You will notice that Tamiya splits the nose farther forward from the main fuselage than the Revell kit, which is closer to half the fuselage but not quite. Tam’s nose interior is well done with the electrical boxes, some conduit etc.

Next sprue will show the big difference to me between the Revell and Tam kit, nice wings but offered in the fully closed position. Contains the lower wing halves and lower stab halves. Also fully locked as well.

The next sprue is the upper wing halves and upper stab halves.

Next up is the main fuselage halves, bomb bay interior, interior components and wing spars are as well.

The next sprue contains the engine nacelles, and the drop tanks. Notice they are smaller than the ones that are provided in the Revell kit.

Finally the last sprue contains the detail bits for the interior, antennas, and again the w style of propellers and wheel hubs.

So there you have it both kits from 2 well known well respected kit manufactures. The issue with the Revell kit are the tire assy’s are too tall and narrow, so resin wheels will fix this. The prop spinners are off in shape, they look too bulbous. They should be sharper in shape not so rounded, it really shows. So you can replace them or sand them into shape. The instruction sheet can be vague at times, but as you notice the start of the kit is typical at the interior portion before tackling the main air frame. But take your time as there a few more parts on the Revell compared to the Tam kit. The real nice thing is the ability to drop the flaps on this not that you can’t on the Tam kit, this one you can just display fully deployed or locked in place. You have a choice. Otherwise seeing some built up have been well done. You just don’t see many even the Tam kit. Now on to the Tam Mossie. You know just looking at the parts, it is known to be a fun and straight forward to assemble kit. Being more complicated that being a twin engine, but if it is like the Beaufighter, it will go together nicely. Just like anything take your time. Remember the Tamiya kit was out first before the Revell kit. Two planes same variant, yet both build a little differently from the other. Seeing that, Revell chose to offer a little bit more at a cheaper price, yet it is not a cheap kit in quality. Like dropped flaps and engines. It does have it’s problems, but nothing that anyone can handle. I can’t wait to get started on it. If I decide to go ahead with it. On the Tam kit, I believe it will be a quicker build as it is not as labor intensive in my opinion. Both wings are correct in being smooth with no seams as they are wood and were made that way. One little issue with the Tam kit as some has reported and saw one video showing where the cockpit canopy will need some work so it will sit properly on the fuselage. Surprising isn’t it. At the WIP I will show a better comparison on shape as both seem to be correct. Though I believe someone may have mentioned the tail on the Tam kit was too narrow, will see when it is time to build it. But that would be next year. There you have it a quick rundown of the Revell and Tamiya Mosquito, price should never be an issue if you can afford it. This is an expensive hobby. 40.00 kit, (Tamiya), decals around 8-12.00 USD, Eduards zoom set 5-10 usd, paint, glue, supplies, tape, masking set and the most valuable asset, your time. No body can tell me how or what to buy or what is affordable. If I want it I’ll get it.

Fly Navy

1 additional image. Click to enlarge.

18 responses to In Box review and Comparison of Revell and Tamiya de Havilland Mosquito B. MK IV

  1. Nice review Chuck, I have the Tamiya Mosquito on the shelf and looking forward to building it. For me I would always go for Tamiya over Revell every time ,there is no doubt in my mind if the box says Tamiya I will be getting an enjoyable built with few if any problems.

  2. As it it should be Neil, reading other reviews on just the Tam kits show that to be the case, though the canopy issue is rather unusual for Tamiya to have. I just wonder if it is a batch issue. But other than that it is a fun to assemble kit with excellent results. Sometimes I like to tackle one every once in a while, so the Revell kit I’m sure will be challenging.

  3. When I saw your ‘headliner’, I said to myself, “..there IS no comparison between a Revell kit and a Tamiya kit…” – but thanks for taking the time to review them both.

  4. When they put so much effort into the presentation and packaging you just know the kit will be as good as it gets, the box ,logo and artwork ooze quality.
    As I said my Tamiya Mosquito is still on the shelf but when I get round to it (soon) if I have a problem with the canopy I will let you know.

  5. Very nice review and useful to me as a model maker with an eye on both kits.

  6. Nice review Chuck. I detected a slight tartness in the Kool-Aid. 🙂 Excellent! I look forward to your WIP.

    • Well let say that Just being the New England Patriots or the LA Dodgers, just being a good team doesn’t guarantee a win, you need to show up and play the game. Just like “Tamiya” usual quality, ease of assembly doesn’t guarantee a perfect build, it takes effort and some skill to assemble the kit, it does not build itself. As other kit makers the name will make you cringe at times as you know what your challenges will be despite how it looks in the box.

      • Agreed. I grew up on Monogram/Revell A/C kits and early Tamiya AFV. If I see a particular model I want, even if it is know to have challenges I’ll go after it. My tongue in cheek comment was more about outside influences. I’ll leave it at that, no sense in dragging that dirt with us. I truly am interested in how this works out, the Mossie is one of my favorites and is on my wish list.

  7. Nice review Chuck, word of caution though, the Tamiya decals stink, had a problem with there FB version do to those.

  8. Yeah I know they are not very good. Though the newer kits seemed to be better after using some from the F-16 Decal sheet.

  9. Thanks, Chuck. As you know, I’m in transition. But The Tamiya Mossie is next up for me. I may do aftermarket for the flaps, to make the possible. I just like that aspect.

  10. Chuck,
    I would have replied earlier, but we were having computer problems. I think I have that all sorted out now…………..

    This is a very nice review. I have both of these kits in the stash, and about a month or so ago I was looking at both of them. They are definitely on the “short list” for future builds………… It’s a hard choice to make if I had to pick which one to build next ……………. They each have their own benefits.

    Thanks for posting.

  11. Thanks for taking the time to write and share, Chuck. In terms of the old Revell/Tamiya question, as dear old Lee Trevino used to say when it comes to quality and class, “it ain’t the arrows, it’s the Indian”.

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