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Tom Cleaver
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Review: Just arrived – Mikro-Mir 1/48 DeHavilland DH88 Comet

January 16, 2020 · in Reviews · · 8 Comments

Just arrived an hour ago from Ukraine. $65 delivered via eBay.

I've long thought the DH88 was one of the best-looking 1930s airplanes, and have wanted a 1/48 kit for a long time. Finally, Mikro-Mir delivers!

Looking through what's in the box, this is a typical Mikro-Mir limited-run kit. Not as advanced or "high-end" as other Ukraine-based kitmakers like Dora Wings, AMG, or Modelsvit, but if you're a modeler with experience in doing limited run kits that involve more than "assembling what's there," the result looks like it will be first-rate - which is pretty much the rule with the other Mikro-Mir kits.

Nice surface detail with restrained fabric detail on the control surfaces. Two really complete engines that would make this a prime candidate for a neat diorama (Jim Mollison and Amy Johnson dealing with their engine problem at Allahabad anyone?). If you don't opt for displaying the engines, you still need to do a basic assembly with the engines and mounts since you can see them through the air intakes (just paint the front end).

Detailed cockpit, but a lot of it is some pretty primitive p-e - time to bring out your collection of Evergreen plastic and do some minor scratchbuilding. Nice clear canopy and they provide the two-part option for G-ACSR.

Decals are nice - thin enough to go down, thick enough to cover without bleed-through. Markings for Grosvenor House, black Magic and G-ACSR.

Did I mention it's the only one out there in 1/48? I'm really glad the Ukraine guys are realizing there's this whole period from 1919-39 with a lot of interesting subjects.

If you know what you're doing with a limited-run kit, you can Buy. In. Confidence.

Photos of the parts are found over at Scalemates.

8 responses

  1. Nice! Perhaps I can finally build this beauty in my favourite doubt aftermarket decals will pop up eventually

    1 attached image. Click to enlarge.

  2. Nice to know this is out! I remember when the replica first came to EAA in the late '80s or early '90s I was disappointed at first. When I heard a DeHavilland Comet was coming to EAA I thought someone restored one of the jet liners! This was cool to see as well though and was a regular visitor up until about a decade ago. I haven't seen it in a while. I think the real one flies with the Shuttleworth Colection.

    • The replica is owned by the Wathen Collection and is out at Fla-Bob Airport in Riverside CA. It was built by my old friend the late Bill Turner, who made several other Thompson Trophy replicas. They no longer fly the airplanes due to insurance problems and fear of losing them in an accident, but they're beautifully maintained.

  3. Between Bill Turner, Jim Moss, Jim Younkin and Delmar Benjamin I've been able to see quite a few golden age air racers (albeit replicas) in the air.

    • And I gotta say, every one of those airplanes that I have been up close and personal with - you couldn't pay me enough to have flown one of them!

      I remember at the Merced Antique Fly-In in 1979, Bill had his Gee Bee Z there. I sat in the cockpit. In tail-down position, if you took your arms, extended them as much as you could, start below your shoulders and describe an arc to where your hands touch over your head, all that area inside that was what was filled with engine in front of you and what you could not see ahead of you. And then he took it back to Half Moon Bay and couldn't see the runway and ended up upside-down in the ditch beside the runway - the only GeeBee pilot to crash on landing who didn't kill himself.

      I've sat in the Turner Meteor and that thing is DEADLY.

      • Delmar even had a run in with a berm short of a runway when he had his R2 in Germany. Video of it is on YouTube. He saved it but nearly stood it on its nose trying to get it stopped! Flew the rest of his displays missing one of the wheel pants! Forward vision? Meh, it's overrated!

  4. Good luck with it, chap. I am fond of this kind of bird, but if it is of the same kind of their Piaggio Pegna PC7, it is far from shake and bake...

  5. Hi Tom! Nice to see that You will make a Comet. Actually there is (or was) a kit out there in 1:48: the Heritage resin kit (which is horrrible to be frank - just see it in my gallery here Micro Mir probably better, but based on my previous experience with this firm that's still a huge amount of work to make it good.

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