S1/24 Mosquito scale build.

WarbirdPete

16 posts

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:

Currently building 1/24 Mosquito.

Paws4thot

987 posts

Looking good.

Have you thought about what you'll do with the gun fit yet? There are turned brass Browning and Hispano barrel sets available (and the Hispanos include stuff like separate recoil springs).

Though I fly through the shadow of the valley of death, I shall fear no evil, for I am at 65_000 feet and climbing.

T2B

769 posts

Looking very good, amazing skill and patience. I am only jealous lol

james_mower

498 posts

Looking good, I shall be following this build with interest, as I have one in my ever growing stash of kits.

 

As @Paws4thot says, the turned brass Brownings and Hispano's really enhance the kit - though only get Hispano's, if you are doing the fairing off that covers them.

 

It's also worth investing in the aftermarket Resin Wheels (Baracuda) & White Metal Under carriage (Scale Aircraft Conversions), as she's a heavy beasty.

 

There's also a nice set of aftermark dial decals for the instrument panel (Airscale) available too.

I thought I saw a light at the end of the tunnel, it was some ###### bringing me another loco!!

Padefc

24 posts

For me this is a stunning level of skill an authenticity way way above my current levels please keep this build updated for us 

John Symmons

861 posts

Hi Pete

 

So far looks like a stunning build. Like orthers I'll be following your build with interest. I've been eyeing this kit at my LMS as they have it on special at 1/3 off. Very tempting.

 

Looks like your build will be a go-to referance for building this kit. Good luck with the build and hopefully you'll keep us eager beavers up dated.

 

Remember we do this for fun                            John the Pom

WarbirdPete

16 posts

Thanks for the nice words and the advice. I am considering the metal landing gear and resin tires. By the time I'm done with the lead wire detail, this model will weigh a ton! I also have the Airscale instrument panel decals.

I made some progress today. Started on the instrument panel. The kit had a sort of "wall" on the right side of the instrument panel so I cut that away and detailed it semi-scale. The soft plastic is good and bad. It's good for carving, but gets soft with glue...I have a tendency to use thin glue after I've fit the items and that softens the detail some.

I'm weathering this with the idea that it's dirty and muddy...since most of the cockpit is actually wood, there isn't a lot of paint chipping. The pilot's floor is actually bakelite so that's how it's colored. I got the rudder pedals wrong the first time and had to adjust them. I am test fitting everything several times along the way.

I was using some flat black and metal black and wasn't entirely happy with the results when I remembered the best thing I was ever taught. To make a flat black panel look like real metal, take a pencil, shave it onto sandpaper and rub the graphite into the dry painted piece with your finger. it's really amazing how real that looks. Works great on engines and guns too. Have to paint all the little details later:

And test fit.

 

Currently building 1/24 Mosquito.

Paws4thot

987 posts

Also, can I sound a word of caution on the "muddy floor"? That will be a bit station specific. For example the Banff Strike Wing (scheme offered in both boxings AFAIK) always operated from concrete and tarmac dispersals, taxiways and runways, so boots would always be fairly clean, and the same will apply to aircraft tyres.

Though I fly through the shadow of the valley of death, I shall fear no evil, for I am at 65_000 feet and climbing.

WarbirdPete

16 posts

Looks like it would have been Hunsdon: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hunsdon_Airfield

Currently building 1/24 Mosquito.

Ratch

2209 posts


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 If you're going wheels down the metal u/c is essential, the plastic parts aren't man enough.

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