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The Great LSM Twins Group Build ends July 3, 2024 ×

1:32nd scale Mosca-Bystritsky MB bis fighter

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Hi all,
I can't finish the Hansa-Brandenburg W.20 as I'm still waiting for the propeller.
Also I can't progress the Ponnier M.1 until I receive the replacement Lewis gun, so that I can modify the fuselage accordingly.
So I've started researching what will probably be the 'next' model, which will be the last of the problematic resin kits I have.

This model will represent a Mosca-Bystritsky MB bis fighter, flown by the Imperial Russian Air Force from 1916.
The Italian aircraft designer Francesco E. Mosca worked at the Russian Duks factory, along with Bezobrasov, Lerkhe and Yankovski.
The initial MB design, first flown in 1915, was a two-seat reconnaissance aircraft, similar to contemporary French Morane and Nieuport monoplanes.
During 1916, a smaller and faster single seat version was developed as the MB bis.
The MB bis was similar in construction to the MB, being constructed largely of wood with a linen covering.
The wings were mounted in the shoulder position with gaps between the wing roots and sides of the fuselage, which allowed for easier access to the cockpit and gave the pilot an improved field of view.
When being transported on the ground, the wings were folded to lie along the fuselage sides and the tail-planes were folded forward and upwards.
The aircraft used wing warping, rather than aileron control and was powered by a 80 hp (60 kW) Le Rhone 9C engine.
The armament consisted of a single 7.7 mm machine gun (type and make not known, but looks to be a Lewis variant).
The machine gun was mounted in one of two ways. The forward firing machine gun was fuselage mounted and fired through the arc of the propeller, which was fitted with deflector plates to prevent damaging the propeller.
Otherwise, the machine gun was mounted on the fuselage to fire either upwards and outside of the propeller arc, or was mounted parallel to the fuselage, similar to the earlier French Nieuport fighters, again to fire outside the arc of the propeller.
A total of 50 MB bis fighters were built up to 1918 and a few additional aircraft of this type were reportedly built after the revolution.




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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi all, 
Now that the Hansa-Brandenburg W.20 is finished it's time to start the resin Mosca from 'Omega'.
I sometimes wonder if the company is called 'Omega' because of the reaction modelers get when they open the box - 'OhMyG--'
As you can see, most of the resin, especially fuselage and wings is so thin in places it's virtually see-through.
The instructions are, to say the least, minimal.

Hey-Ho - I've built 'Omega' kits previously, so at least I know what I'm in for,



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Hi all,
The fuselage of this model is constructed from six resin parts, which are the right side, left side, top forward panel, top rear of the fuselage, engine bulkhead and the underside.
The underside of the fuselage is a single piece, but the molding of this part is bad.
Not only is the part twisted and with air ‘blow’ holes, but the thickness of the molding is uneven, being thick on the right side and wafer thin on the left side.
This makes the underside of the fuselage virtually unusable.
Therefore I decide to discard this part and make the underside from 0.8 mm thick plastic card, with 0.2 mm thick plastic card strips to represented the linen tapes.

I've also decided not to make the kit supplied photo-etch cockpit, which I think is too flat and two-dimensional.
So that's the next step,






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Hi all,
The cockpit is complete now.
I found the photo-etch cockpit parts supplied in the kit were too flat and two dimensional.
Therefore, apart from the compass, single instrument and seat straps, the rest were either scratch built or I used appropriate parts from my 'spares' box.
As there is no information on the cockpit detail for this aircraft, I suspect 'Omega Models' used some 'poetic license' creating there parts.
The cockpit frame work is 1.0 mm and 0.85 mm plastic rod.
The pilots seat is a resin 'Barracuda Studio' part, intended for the Sopwith Camel.
Frame cross bracing wires are 0.1 mm diameter blackened Nickel-Silver rod with 0.4 mm blackened Brass end fittings.
The hand priming pump is 0.6 mm tube, lead wire and plastic rod.
The throttle, although not I think strictly accurate, is from a Wingnut Wings Camel kit.
Rudder and elevator control lines are 0.08 mm diameter mono-filament with 0.4 mm blackened tube end fittings.
The linen paint is the MRP CDL lacquer and wood work is 'DecoArt' craft Burnt Umber acrylic.
Weathering is Flory Models' Dark Dirt wash.

I've now fitted the fuselage top rear decking and found it's 5 mm too short at the fuselage rear.
So filler needed,




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Hi all,
I've fitted the top, rear of the fuselage and then filled the 5 mm gap at the rear of the fuselage.
I also sanded off the linen tapes on that and replaced them with sanded down 0.2 mm thick plastic card.

The kit supplies one photo-etch access panel for fitting to the forward, left side of the fuselage.
This panel was used to gain access to the fuselage internal components.
The few available photographs of this aircraft and subsequent colour profiles seem to show that some aircraft had this access panel fitted and some did not.
Those that did had the panels fitted into wood or metal fuselage panels (certainly not into just the fuselage linen covering).
Also, some profiles show the wood access panel to be fitted into either a plywood or metal covered forward fuselage.
However, all reference material shows only the left side of the aircraft, not the right side.
[b]My assumption[/b]
I believe it’s probable that early versions of the aircraft had no forward fuselage side or access panel, but instead had just the fuselage linen covering.
On later versions it seems likely that the wood access panel was fitted and into fuselage forward side panels of metal, as used over the forward top of the fuselage and engine cowl.
It also seems probable that these panels were fitted to both sides of the aircraft, so  full access to fuselage internal components was possible.
I couldn't find any evidence to prove otherwise.
I scratched the fuselage side panels and access panel with hinges and lock plates from 0.2 mm thick plastic card.




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Hi all,
The underside of the fuselage had a 'V' strut, on which the wing warp controls were located.
Given the lack of detailed information for this aircraft, it's difficult to figure out exactly how these control were configured.
I believe the controls were configured as follows:
Two control cables from the rear bell cranks of the control column torsion bar, were routed vertically through the underside of the fuselage. 
These cable were attached to a control lever at the bottom, rear of the V strut.
At the front of the V strut was a 'pulley' and control lever.
Wing warp control cables from both the 'pulley' and lever were attached to the rear spar of both wings.
Flying and landing wires were attached to another V strut towards the front of the fuselage underside.
All wires were routed above the wings to an inverted V strut forward from the cockpit.
The wing warp wires were routed over a pulley on the cockpit strut.

As the control column was moved left or right, the lower rear levers rotated the front pulley and lever.
This caused the trailing edge of the wings to twist either up or down, causing the aircraft to roll in the required direction.

So, based on this I scratch made the underside V strut assembly.
I used the two control levers from the kit.
The struts were 1.4 mm tube with 0.5 mm rod reinforcing.
Control mounting rod is 0.5 mm rod.
The pulley is a spare photo-etch propeller boss plate, secured onto 0.5 mm thick plastic card. 
The lightening holes were drilled through using a 0.9 mm diameter drill.

Now it's onto the underside forward V strut,



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Hi all,
Also the forward V strut on the underside of the fuselage.
This was used for attaching the fixed flying and landing wires to the front spar of the wings.
The protruding 0.5 mm rods have a collar of 0.7 mm diameter added to retain the wires, when fitted.

Now onto the wing supports, the top V strut and machine gun support,



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Hi all,
The basic 'V' strut assembly for the top of the fuselage is done.
The strut supported the flying and landing wires at the front and the pulley on the rear for the wing warping wires.
The machine gun mounting was also attached to this assembly, but that will be added later in the build, as will the rigging fittings.
The assembly was made with soft soldered Brass Tube of profiled 1.1 mm and 1.4 mm diameter with internal reinforcing Brass rods of 0.4 mm and 0.8 mm diameter.

Now onto the wing supports and landing gear.





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Hi all,
I've added the rear support for the wings, made from 1.5, and 1.1 mm diameter tube with 0.8 mm internal rod.
I've also added 0.5 mm diameter rods to the engine cowl, which helps to support the thinly moulded cowl to the fuselage.
I need to add a wind blat screen below the rear wing support and a filler cap as well as rudder and elevator control line exit ports under the fuselage.

Then it's onto the landing gear.






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Hi all,
A few updates.
I didn't bother using the kit supplied resin landing gear - enough said.
Instead, I made a replacement using profiled Brass tube of 1.2 mm, 1.4 mm and 1.6 mm diameter and 0.5 mm diameter Brass rod.
All of which was soft soldered.
The axle retaining hoops were made from 0.4 mm diameter lead wire.
I've added a scratch made tank filler cap, cockpit rear wing shield (0.5 mm thick plastic card) and engine cowl retaining straps (0.5 mm sanded flat plastic rod).
The cockpit surround padding was added using ANYZ’ silver braided line (AN015).
Lastly I've added the rudder and elevator exit ports in the underside of the fuselage. 

Suffice to say I'm not using the kit supplied rudder assembly and tail skid.
So that's the next job,






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