I built hundreds of models as a kid and eventually did some local IPMS competitions but life took over in about 1985 and I got into R/C planes (eventually a 1/4 scale Spitfire), real planes (eventually a Nanchang CJ-6A) and racing (eventually a Radical Prosport).
But all these years later, i wanted to revisit modeling and advance my skills with the new tools, materials and years of graphic design experience I had under my belt. Of particular interest was working with acryllic paint after many years painting things up to cars with toxic paint.
An old interest in Mosquitos lead me to the Airfix kit. I knew the level of detail I wanted would be possible, but not included, in this kit.
The first step was getting the kit! I'm in the US and was watching ebay when I found one at a great price. It is the biggest non-flying kit I'll have ever built:
One of the great things about modern model building is the readily available references available on the web. Armed with dozens of detail photos I started...with the seat. And an RB productions Sutton Harness. I have to say that it was the most difficult single kit I had ever built. My mid-50's eyes are not on par with my patience. But I did eventually get a satisfactory result:
Next up was the rather generic seat cushions. I wrestled with this a bit. If the pilots wore a seat-pack chute, they would have never had a seat cushion. But for visual interest, I decided to use the cushion. I also researched the many colors of seat cushions that Mosquitos had (everything from Green to black) but settled on weathered dark "leather" color. First I had to sculpt the cushions to suit my tastes:
After much research, I decided to go with Vallejo Air paints in my old and trusty Paasche H airbrush. A better double-action internal mix airbrush would be handy but not right now. I experimented with the paints and found that for me, high pressure (45PSI) and thin paint worked best. I mixed 4 parts cockpit green with 3 parts white and 1 part blue to get a color that looked pretty authentic to me:
I had read about lead wire...that is a great boon to model building that I didn't have available in the "old days" so I stocked up. This panel at the back of the cockpit was pretty generic in the kit:
Here's a photo of the actual panel on a Mosquito that has the wings removed:
So using the lead wires, some copper wire and a variety of tubes and sheets of Polystyrene, I set about to replicate this area as near as I could get it (excluding some detail that will come later):
The tubes are for the throttle and mixture controls so run all the way into the engine nacelles. I had to scratch make them using a micro hand drill and cutting sheet styrene. Here's how they look all put together. I'm using a variety of Vallejo washes and airbrushing techniques to start building up weathering and brush-painting the cushions to get a worn effect. I'm using tiny strips of aluminum tape to act as wiring bundle wraps.:
Now for some rason, Airfix had a zillion decals for the flares but not for the first aid kit. I found a photo reference of a fairly complex "holder" or something on the first aid kit and added that. Hand painted the flares (found good photo references on line) and also found an excellent photo of the fire extinguisher.
I didn't love how the joystick was moulded. The sides leave a lot to be desires. But I used .010" lead wire as a cord "wrap" as the original joystick had (plus the brake and pneumatic wires) and knocked that together:
There is an additional control rod at the bottom of the joystick that I added and I also found some other control boxes (for who knows what) so made them out of styrene. And this is where I am so far. Next up I tackle the instrument panel: