Mosquito Mk IV Royal Canadian Air Force

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Company: Revell, Inc. - Website: Visit Site
Provided by: Revell, Inc. - Website: Visit Site
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Thanks once again to our friends from Revell in Elk Grove, IL, who continue their program of re-releasing some of the best 1/48 models out there! Your efforts are truly appreciated by us old guys…good to see this one back.

Yes, this is the venerable Monogram kit, re-released under the Revell banner. Consisting of 125 parts, this was as good as it got back in 1966 when it was first released. In the box, the changes are new decals and a generic instruction sheet. What has not changed is the model itself; it still holds its own with the newer releases from other companies, with the exception of interior details! Box art is a bit of cut/paste; looks a lot like a Korean village below that is exploding in volcanic fashion.

The mold has held up well; the review kit had just a touch of flash on one propeller tip. Not bad for a mold that is approaching 50. This kit retains all the options previously released – you can build a night fighter with all the associated antenna, a standard fighter bomber with either 8 rockets on rails or underwing bombs, or you can build the glass-nosed bomber version with external slipper tanks (so-called because they look like foot slippers when off the aircraft) and the four-bomb-in-the-bay option.

The kit comes with the bomber nose molded to the fuselage; to convert to a gun-nosed fighter you have to cut the nose off. This is clearly marked on the inside, where a slot has been molded to facilitate the change. Also note: if you choose this option, don’t ignore removing the forward bombardier’s floor from the main floor (just read the instructions), as you won’t get the nose on otherwise.

I opted to not kill myself on this build; rather, I went forth as a relative newcomer would with new techniques. I drilled out the four nose .303 gun flash hiders and cemented them in place. Right off the bat I decided to build the model “gear up,” an option already catered for in the form of the gear and bomb bay doors being molded closed. Again, if you want them open, you must score and snap them apart using interior slots molded in place. Small triangular hinges are included to reinforce the doors if you do decide to model “gear down” and “bomb bay open.” The bomb bay has four standard British bombs with circular fin supports.

The cockpit is basic but serves the purpose. Two control columns are provided, one with a standard stick for the fighter and one with the “eyeglass” yoke for the bomber. Two seats with standard excellent sculptured pilot and navigator figures are included. The instrument panel is provided with raised detail, good for drybrushing, or you can use the decal item for a quick option. I used the crew members as they provided visual interest without requiring me to install a bunch of extra detail. A shelf with radio boxes is provided for the aft portion of the cockpit. Paint them all, use a wash to bring out the detail, and it’s good ‘nuf.

Don’t forget to install the tailwheel assembly before closing up the fuselage. There is provision to install extended (gear down) or retracted. A touch of filler was required on all the fuselage seams; this is a smooth aircraft, and I didn’t want to look too out of it as far as that went.

The wings are simple two-half (upper/lower) affairs; again, if you want the gear down option, cut open the doors where indicated. The landing gear is well detailed and installs from the inside; no option to install after the kit is finished. They are more than adequate for the weight of the kit. Detail in the bays is nonexistent, but remember when this kit was designed – before judges with mirrors and mini-flashlights! The wings have strong spars that key into the fuselage slots, and can be installed after the model is painted, if you so desire. Fit is that good. Wingtip lights are a decent fit for “end of the build” efforts; notable also are the landing lights which I cemented in place, backed with bare metal foil from the inside, and masked with Micro Mask. End of spraying session – presto, two decent landing lights!

The stabilizers are also two-part affairs, and key together in the tail; this ensures the tail is strong and straight.

Propeller assemblies are designed to be installed after everything is done. The prop has a backplate which slots into the spinners; these fit into a bulkhead, after which you cement the retaining collar (carefully). These can then be painted and installed at the end of the build. Very nice!

Painting options are for a standard glass nose bomber Mk XX, KB 253, Royal Canadian Air Force (ocean gray over light sea gray undersurfaces); a fighter bomber with invasion stripes, FB VI, HR 241, 418 Squadron, Royal Canadian Air Force (ocean gray/green camo over semi-gloss undersurfaces); and a fighter bomber FB IV PZ165, 4th Squadron, in overall Medium Sea Gray over Black in a post-war scheme.

I used ModelMaster acrylics for detail work, Duplicolor for the underside black and pre-decal glosscoat, and Tamiya sprays with masking tape for the upper surface work. It’s all freehand cutting with blue low-tack tape; nobody is going to use a ruler to measure your camo scheme!

A word about the decals – they worked, but were a bit thick and required a bit of coaxing to snuggle in. The overall performance, however, was pretty good, considering I didn’t bother to sand down the camo ridges from the masking tape, etc. Final flat coat sprayed on well, and the decals performed admirably.

I found a stand in my stash, drilled a couple of holes where they needed to be (based on fingertip center of gravity issues and “that looks about right” drill work), and in the end it was great to work with an old friend. I highly recommend this kit for all; it has enough challenge to work the old guys/gals, and newcomers can learn to deal with new things.

Thanks again to Revell for the opportunity to build this kit and IPMS/USA for the opportunity to review it.


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