Profile Photo
Chuck A. Villanueva
121 articles

Review: Revell’s 1/48th de Havilland MosquitoActually not a bad kit

May 26, 2019 · in Reviews · · 17 · 3.5K

A quick summary of a review I did on the last in comparison to the Tamiya Mosquito.
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 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.

Will only review the Revell kit. 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.
The Revell kit is an alternative to a bit more expensive Tamiya kit and face it, its not Tamiya. It does have options that Tamiya does not have. It is a bit labor intensive, it's Revell, not a critique just know from experience that it will not assemble as easily as a Tamiya. It does have some shape issues, not the end of the world and can be overcome if you choose to do so. I have provided a couple of links for you to read and make your own decision from 2 credible modelers which are fair in their assessment of the model. Don't let the local "experten" tell you what is not right, yes it has issue and reiterate that they are not insurmountable. You can build as it is and like the Monogram A-26 kits, it looks like an Invader, it's a Mosquito. An old saying from an old mechanic from yesteryear, "there are lot of experts out there but very few mechanics who know what their doing" you can substitute the words in place of the auto mechanic reference in modeler terms. I just reviewed the Hasegawa Tomcat compared to the newer Tam offering and its fantastic, but it does not relegate the Hasegawa kits to the trash bin. It's an alternative, though a not much cheaper alternative as the prices have remained stable at 40+ for a Hase F-14. Much more choices these days. We still have only the Monogram A/B-26's but soon ICM will have a new series hopefully looking forward to that. Acc Miniatures B-25 is a nice supplement to Monograms B-25. This hobby is fun and should be. But not a perfect model exists. To me if it's perfect you can fly it. Otherwise your limiting your views when you read some loud mouth bagging a kit, just point out the issues and let the modeler decide if he/she wants to deal with it. Personal feelings on a company is well kept to yourself. YOU CAN BUILD THE REVELL 1/48TH MOSQUITO, REMEMBER IT IS NOT A TAMIYA KIT. BUT IT'S OK TO BUILD IT. And have fun doing it.
Fly Navy

Reader reactions:
8  Awesome

15 additional images. Click to enlarge.

17 responses

  1. I always look to modeling as therapy, having a little peace of mind, a learning experience and having a little fun. Keeping an open mind to new and different techniques and in the end keeping things positive. Like baseball modeling allows you to strike out but, you get another chance at bat too. If you give yourself permission. I agree all models have issues and are as good as the people who design and build them. Sometimes the model you choose is about how much time your willing to invest into the kit. What your comfortable in being able to do with a kit and being able to come up with a result that is within your expectations and being rewarded with something that might even look like whats on the box.

    Reading reviews does give you a feel for what the kit is about and they do help in showing the reader what may or may not need correcting or how much time will be need to invest into the kit for a positive result. Some people are willing to pay a little more for a Tamiya kit to save time and cut down on the assembly time so they can paint and decal the kit. Others don't think twice about correcting things and adding all the resin and PE. On the other hand some folks feel comfortable after reading a few reviews to have a go at a reasonably priced Revell kit and others will buy both kits cut them make a better mouse trap. Reviews are one persons opinion and I usually read more than one ...a minimum of three to have reasonable under standing of the plastic. In the end buying a flawed kit is ok and it is about beeing happy,positive and doing what floats your boat.

    I've got several 1/48 Mossies in the stash and the Revell kit is one of them, along with the Monogram B-25, P-38 and P-39 (Old flawed classics) .The commercialization of the hobby with the advent of computers ,batteries and youtube place new distractions and pressures on perceptions of what is right and wrong with kit building too. In the end are you happy and a little reading, looking at reviews and a grain of salt go along way in help meeting that end.

    • Well put Stephen... You're right on the money here.

    • Stephen it is exactly what it is for me, therapeutic, when a part of the build starts to get fiddly or just not cooperating. I have to put it down and work on something else. One of the reasons I have several projects going at the same time. But it is fun for me in not just the building but the history of the plane. It's character, some planes have character, the cowling with a smile built into, like the Lightning and it's twin booms, yet the P-38M can look sinister in black. The grace of a Spitfire, we can go on. But to build them to your expectation not others, it's one thing if your building a show bird, you put a lot of effort to make a perfect model from pieces for a show. But those days building for competition as satisfying as it was winning a few, it was not as fun. And love the baseball analogy having passion for the game, is the passion you have for modeling. 70% of the time you didn't get a hit. A .300 avg was good enough to have a good year. In modeling you may miss a swing on the angle of the landing gear so you struck out there, but hit a home run on the next one. Its choosing what is best, for me building the Monograms and Revell's is just a good way to hone your skills. So when you pop the lid on that kit that is close to a S100.00 price point, your ready to build it with passion and then as you get into it, unless it's a Tamiya and most Hasegawa kits, it's not any easier than the Monogram kit you just wrestled with, then look over at it and you tell yourself, that looks pretty good.

  2. I also have this Revell of Germany Mosquito kit in the stash. I have looked at it in the box and I like what I saw... I'm sure there will be a few areas that will need attention. All kits do at some point.

    To this day I can't think of any kit that is 100 percent "OEM perfect" right out of the box. Some come very close... but still no cookie.

    The spinners from this kit come to mind as they don't look quite right. But at the original price they were selling these at, I could afford to get a replacement set of propeller spinners should I chose to do this. I could even buy a set of resin wheels if the tread design bothered me that much... 🙂 The length of the landing gear is another area that was also reported to be a fault of this kit. I'm fairly certain that a little bit of work will fix this "fatal error"...

    At least I (the end consumer) have choices... and more building options that are available with this kit.

    I also have the old / ancient Monogram Mosquito, (still not bad for it's age), and a few of the Tamiya Mosquito kits also in the stash. I hope to build up a PRU "Mossie" in the near future, and will be using the Tamiya kit to do so. But who knows ? By this time I just might decide to build up an old Monogram and the new tool Revell kit at the same time... in the typical "Iron Werks" fashion. This would be a true to life comparison as I did with the ICM new tool He-111 and the old Monogram Heinkel. Speaking of which, I really need to get that ICM model done... it's a real beauty.

    Time will tell...

    Bottom line I take away from all of this is as follows:

    We ask a company to make a newer and improved kit... Then we bash them to pieces for doing so because this part isn't just exactly right, or this part doesn't fit without "Some modeling skills"...

    These companies give us what we want, then we force them out of business because of a few of the so called "Experten" that give it a bad wrap... Try to find a Revell kit on the shelves right now at most of the hobby stores in the USA. The basic original Monogram offerings from the 1960's and 70's are occasionally available.

    Speaking of the old Monogram ... guess what happened to them? Yet we still didn't learn a thing. Then it was Revell / Monogram... same deal.

    It's a piece of plastic... not a piece of something else, though some would lead you to believe otherwise...

    The "new tool" Revell of Germany stuff like the 1/32 scale beauties are non existent on the shelves at any local hobby store. Try finding one online for that matter. Sort of like trying to find hen's teeth. It's not gonna happen...not right now here in the USA.

    Good news is that they should start releasing some of these newer offerings to us again in the near future. From what I have been told (by a few that are "really" in the know), a deal has been made. So the majority of these Revell kits will again be available to us in the future. Some are in the pipeline as I'm typing this...

    So should we keep complaining about this nonsense ? I don't think so. When it's all said and done, and we are on our death beds, it's not going to matter one damned bit... Someone else will build the majority of our stash anyway, so who cares ?

    What I do like about this Revell kit is that it has engines and a very nice looking bomb bay. It gives you options that the other guys don't. The cockpit doesn't look too bad either.

    Now how would we act if the old original Aurora kits were released again ? I'll bet they wouldn't stay in business too long either...

    Some kit manufacturers have a good reputation for quality and fit. Tamiya and Hasegawa come to mind right off the top. ICM isn't too far behind them. The newer tooled 1/48 and 1/32 scale Revell of Germany kits are nice too, especially when you consider the price.

    Certain companies also have a poor reputation for fit and quality. The early Classic Airframes, Frog, Lindberg, Aurora, or Azure kits come to mind. But these companies offered us something that no main stream company does... or will. All of these kits can be made into something spectacular if the builder takes the time to do so.

    Or a person can say the heck with it and build it right from the box as is... warts and all.

    Just try to have some fun... life is too short not too.

    Checks and Balances.

    Each company has been making improvements along the way. Things are getting better for us as time goes on.

    Thanks for taking the time to post this Chuck. For me the good majority of this kit outweighs the few minor things that are bad... In the end it still looks like a Mosquito to me...


    • Thanks Louis, all the correction set, improvements over the kit parts, or even to create a different variant off the base kit are the choice of the modeler to do if they wish to spend more time and money on that project or otherwise go with whats in the box. Even Hasegawa gets criticized for a misshapen cowl on their 48th scale Hellcats, excellent kits otherwise, but the error is not glaring, so why spend 10.00 for a replacement cowl. When the kit one 90% will use anyway as it doesn't matter. There is always a discrepancy somewhere from either end of the scale. Most of the time is the limitations of the plastic. Some though are outright wrong, and is just won't build right no matter what you do. So there are those who will make a correction set, to fix what is wrong like on the KH Banshee. Which really needs help. Your correct in pointing some companies that make kits of some obscure models, but are quite difficult to build, but Travis Davis makes them into museum quality works of art when he gets his skilled hands and techniques. So just take your time on such models, they are not for beginners and even some experienced modelers won't even care tackle any of those tough kits. Just write them off as c**p and not worthy. Those are not fair to those who wish to give it a go and seeing some of those tough kits on here shows they can stand along with the mainstream models with some honest effort. I have yet to build a full resin kit. And I would love to try to build one. Your NMF builds using aluminum foil technique is awesome, but for me I will stick to NMF paints to achieve that finish. It is what makes you comfortable. No technique is better than the other though the bare metal foil does look really good. It is the choice of the modeler, easy peasy or full on wrestling with plastic and all the resin/PE add on goodies. In the end it's you the modeler who decides what to build, how to build it in your favorite scale.

  3. Thanks Chuck, I also beware from too much negativity on kits. I always imagine you could go back in time and talk to the brave men flying the machines or riding the vehicles for real. They could certainly point errors in every kit. If the subject is British, then "where is the kettle" would be the their first comment for sure... (No offense @dirtylittlefokker)

    I realize every kit I ever built had either dimensional or shape issues compared to the 35x or 72x real subject. I share the view that building is mindfulness to me, like Yoga is for others, and that the main purpose is not to bash kit makers for a half-a-millimeter error some place but the purpose is to build. Remember we live in the golden age of modeling and when one kit doesn't fit your purpose, you can buy the next two!

    Thanks for sharing!

    • Thanks Michel, I appreciate that point of view. You go the extra mile with not only enhancements, but you scratchbuilt most of it and that is a skill I can admit that I just don't have or have limited desire to do so, probably the latter. But also tell a visual story, and that my friend is a unique talent you have in your models. The Yoga analogy is perfect, Patience and will. which equals passion, Thanks for your insight.

    • Never drink tea, Michel. It’s the Devil’s brew.

      And if you don’t stop with the ‘therapeutic’ stuff, I’m going to have to tell you about all that glue sniffing, social isolation, overthinking, the evils of hoarding plastic, the fostering of compulsive disorders, and...wait, that all the stuff I lik3 about the hobby.

      As you were.


  4. I don’t get it with Revell’s bad reputation within some modeling web circles.

    It’s not my first option to go, but I have several kits built in my life, a couple more in the stash for a rainy day and I’ve never felt let down. True that their old kits can be a pain, but since the nineties the quality as improved, and their latest kits are second to none when it comes for what you pay in the bag.

    About the Mosquito, I only have the Tamiya kit in the stash (for some 19 years or so) still wrapped inside the plastic bags and all, but that didn’t deterred me from buying a few AM products, including decals. Was it Revell’s kit I would have done the same. Like you say Chuck, there is NO perfect kit. Thanks for bringing this up and excuse my rant.

    • Believe me Pedro, I don't think you are ranting...

      I also like Revell kits and don't understand all of the bad publicity they have received myself. Just like you mentioned, some of the older kits can be a little trying at times and test your patience. This seems to be especially true if it's a 4th or 5th pressing of the same kit and the molds begin to show their age.

      Ironically, I have some original issue Monogram kits in the stash from the 1970's. These have a lot less flash present, fewer sink marks and the fit is actually better than the newer release of the exact same kit. Is this due to lax quality control issues for the newer versions of the same kit ? or the molds are beginning to wear some ? or possibly a little of both ?

      It seems that the 1990's was the turning point as far as improvements with plastic models. Since then things have been getting better each year for the most part with new tooled kits becoming more available.

      But even still once in a while I will purchase a set of resin wheels or an aftermarket set of decals or exhaust pipes to make the model look even more presentable to my tastes. But we are all different and what one person likes, another may not.

      What really annoys me is when someone makes a statement about a kit and condemns it as rubbish, even when it's not. Sure every kit will have something in it that is not perfect. A perfect model kit has yet to be made...

      But to do a kit injustice based on a few things that are an easy fix is just wrong... This kit of the Mosquito is a perfect example of that. It has a few faults, but none are a deal breaker for me. If it was, I would have paid a little more money and purchased another Tamiya kit.

      The good from this model is the cockpit, bomb bay, it has engines, and the overall shape looks like a Mosquito. I didn't pull out a slide rule and go all crazy with it, but it's close.
      The bad things are the shape of the spinners, the length of the main landing gear struts and the tires. These can be easily fixed, so for me it's a no brainer to want one for my collection.

      It looks very nice in the box... and I paid for mine. No one offered it to me as a present to do a biased review on it.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this. 🙂

      • And that my friend is what I like about you, an honest perspective on what you see about this hobby (well you can also add great article writing, great looking models and a soft spot for Luftwaffe subjects) 😉

        It’s a bloody shame that new kits like Meng P-51 is criticised in several reviews because of having rivets on its wings, or actually needing glue in some parts (!) Eduard P-51 is not out yet and people are already finding “critical” errors in the kit. To me this is some sort of mental disorder or plain wrongful doing to hit the brands value perception. Revell has been in this “badmouth” limelight for years, often for petty mistakes, as you say, easily corrected by anyone with average skills or enough pocket for AM goodies. What we fail to see is the gigant offering makers like Revell have been delivering to our hobby in the last decade, to speak the least, some subjects like the BV222 in 1/72, or the Henschel 219 in 1/32 just to name a few, were previously unheard of in moulds plastic. Personally if I ever buy a second mosquito I’ll try this one this time

    • Pedro, it's a unwarranted bad rep, just like Kitty Hawk has with some modelers as well. And they are tough to build, but again it takes patience to build them. Revell, with Monograms heritage have always needed a bit of elbow grease to build them. In the early 90's when Monogram started to produce engraved panel line kits. Correct me if I'm wrong the 72nd F-104C and F-89 Scorpion, (which was the 48th scale kit downsized) excellent little gems. Then the F-15E Strike Eagle kit came out in the year 2000. A true accurate F-15E, at the time. The Hasegawa and Academy F-15E were actually "Bravos" with add on parts to make it look like an "Echo". The kit was nice and not a labor intense build neither. But the only gripe, it pulled a Hasegawa and had no weapons. The Pro modeler version does, but not the base standard kit. Revell is an alternative to much more higher priced offerings like from Tamiya, Hasegawa, Hobby Boss and Trumpeter. Every company no matter high end to the low budget stuff has a few dogs in the kennel, just be aware of what they are, tough kits can help hone your skills before you tackle a kit you really want to upgrade, add enhancements or build it as it is. As good as Tamiya is, their decals are not the greatest. While for years if everyone remembers Monogram for the longest time had decal issues. I wish I didn't use the kit decals on my recent Lancaster build for the squadron codes. It's a decision we make at times. But bear with it. Like Louis says it is your choice to make. You know that the kit is ok in your heart. Build it, I seen your stuff Pedro, it is very good. So I hope that you will down the road.

  5. I can only think of two states of perfection death and what ever is your higher power. All of the major kit manufactures have their dogs and angels. What people remember are those angelic kits and the more you have in your line up the better. Another thing to think of is parts count. Having a kit where you can have a go and maintain enough moment to finish it. Ease of assembly. There are kits that are highly accurate have lots of parts (tanks with their tracks) and you either loose your momentum or what frequently happens life gets in the way. Finding that kit with the sweet spot that has the right parts count,easy of assembly , good decals that can be had and will provide a satisfactory build experience and the kicker is that it doesn't have to be perfect. I'd like to come across a review that stated " I had fun building this " or " I had a good time" what motivates a lot of modelers is that five your old high (we all were 5 at one time) at making something and having that pride of accomplishing something. That gets distorted with age, experience, sarcasm, knowing the rules or lack of but, if your lucky you keep that 5 yr old a live with modeling. Every day is a new excitement and adventure.

  6. Well said Stephen W Towle. Well said.

    We bring a form of reverse entropy to the universe. Taking a disordered randomness, adding energy, and binding it into a (hopefully) complex and evolved system. Of course, (spoiler alert) then we die, the model gets binned and our stashes get sold. Thought I was onto something there. Brings us back to whoever your deity of choice is, and death.

    Told you...well said, Stephen.

Leave a Reply