This kit is the 2nd release of a 24th scale Mosquito by Airfix, the first being the Mosquito kit, A25001 released toward the end of 2009. Note that the box art for the two releases is not the same and the item numbers are slightly different. The original release is "25001" and this new release is "25001a".
Opening the box, one will find 14 plastic bags containing 18 sprues loaded with 617 parts. Having some experience with the original release, a very cursory inspection leads me to conclude that the new release is the same, or very similar to the original release. I noticed the same pattern of ejector pin marks that appeared on the original release, and that is a bit of a disappointment. Many will not be visible when the model is complete, but those that are visible can prove to be time-consuming to eliminate.
Some modelers criticize Airfix for the manner in which the panel lines and hatches are engraved, used the term, "heavy handed". While in 1/72nd scale, or even in 1/48th that criticism might be applicable, on the 24th scale Mossie, I don't feel that such a criticism is as valid or significant.
The parts are free of flash and well molded with crisp, clean edges. The "glass" is clear with a well molding canopy framework visible on the canopy. The tires, including the tail wheel, are molded from black rubber. The main tires have a very clear and well-defined tread pattern with no seam lines. The main tires also are molded with a slightly flattened surface, giving the tire an authentic "load-carrying" appearance.
The instruction sheet is noticeably different from the 2009 release. The original release featured an instruction "newspaper" that was 17x12 inches. The new release features a booklet that is half that size. There are some minor differences in the steps shown in the new booklet. Those steps in the old booklet that referred to the NF version have been deleted. The new version is divided into 236 Steps while the original version contained 253 steps. Even though the new version is 50% smaller, the illustrations and coding information are easy to read and much easier to handle. Whereas in the original release the painting and decaling illustrations were provided on a separate set of papers, they are included within the booklet on the newer version, still in color and very easy to read.
The kit decals are, of course, different. The size of the decal sheet in the newer version is smaller, but not so small as to cause any difficulty when cutting out the decals for placement. There is very little excess carrier film that is visible on the decal sheet, with the notable exception of the Squadron markings for the fuselage sides and the ubiquitous Keep Off rectangles that will be applied to the upper wing surfaces between the engines and the cockpit. The original version featured decals printed by Cartograf, but it is not clear if that is the case with the new release. There is no identifying label showing if Cartograf printed the decals for the new release. It appears, though, that the decals have the traditional quality one sees with Cartograf decals.
It is always rather exciting to open a box, dig through the contents and to contemplate the beginning of another project. So without further hesitation, Part 1 of this multi-part review is closed, and now it is time to get on with the gluing and the sanding and painting!