Thank you to Hong Kong Models for providing an innovative and exceptional kit representing a legendary Royal Air Force aircraft, the first kit in a “Mossie, The Wooden Wonder” series. Thank you also to the IPMS Reviewer Corps staff members who do the hard work behind the scenes, getting us kits to review and publishing our work.
The following review is a compilation of the planning, preparation, and subsequent anticipation of a very enjoyable build of a de Havilland Mosquito B Mk.IV Series II aircraft. Please look for a build review soon, where I will report on how well the new molding techniques worked in a large scale kit project.
The kit is packaged in a stout 20.5 x 10.5 x 4.25 inch cardboard box, with a colorful portrait of a Mossie releasing a cookie bomb inscribed with “go to hell Adolf.” Nineteen medium-gray plastic sprues and 1 clear sprue are included, separately enclosed in poly bags and fitting snugly in the box. The small photo-etch brass (PE) fret is well protected, with instructions and decals found beneath the sprues on the box bottom.
The most striking aspect of the kit is the stunning one-piece molding of the wing, horizontal tail fins, and both forward and aft fuselage components. I can summarize the importance of this molding approach by saying that I am anticipating only 22 or so inches of seams to glue and polish out for the entire major aircraft assembly, not including small details such as the canopy, hatches, and so on. The wing root to fuselage join and the two fuselage part joins are keyed together with well-fitting attachment points, and none may require filling if I am careful with part fitting.
The instructions consist of 28 pages of perspective gray-scale construction drawings. The drawing clarity is excellent and part placement is clearly shown. HK Models has kept the number of small sub-assemblies to a minimum. Drill-out locations and metric drill sizes for optional parts are clearly illustrated, with location measurements included to help find the right places to drill. Choosing which aircraft you will model is important since you will need to follow slightly different assembly steps.
The kit may be completed with either a standard bomb bay (version A, described in the next section) or a bulged bomb bay (versions B and C, also described in the next section). The bulged bomb bay accommodates the monstrous “cookie” bomb.
A color guide is included with matching product numbers for Gunze/Mr. Hobby, Tamiya, and AK Interactive brands. I was disappointed to only see these brands listed, but I did not have much trouble finding equivalents in other common paint brands that I already have in my shop.
The decal sheet allows one of three versions to be represented. An unusual red-star scheme (version A) is an eye-catching subject from late 1943. The remaining two schemes (versions B and C) represent a night bomber during the spring of 1944 with black under-surfaces or an invasion-striped version from the summer of 1944. Excellent stencils are included with the stencil positioning clearly indicated on a separate placement guide.
I recommend this kit highly, even though I haven’t started it! I am looking forward to evaluating the new molding technologies used to produce single piece components that were often built from multiple pieces in other kits. The kit shows such allure on opening that I am finding it difficult to not work through the night building. I am lucky to have built earlier HK kits and the new Mosquito promises to be a build on a new level.
I will complete version B. The represented aircraft is DZ637/P3-C, No. 692 Sqn, from Graveley during the spring of 1944.
Thank you again to Hong Kong Models for providing IPMS with this review kit and for offering another excellent subject. I value your support of the scale modeling community. Thank you again to the Reviewer Corps, who allow me opportunities to build exciting kits like this one!