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1:72 Tamiya Mosquito FB Mk. VI (woodgrain finish)


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Hello All,


This is mt first WIP thread here. I did submit my completed WnW SE.5a in the early days of LSM, but I'm afraid since then I've been mainly modelling 1:72.


Anyway, this project was started recently, and featured on Quitmodeller until recently...that's another story I guess. This is the story so far. I thought starting a build thread would motivate me to at least get on with the preliminary research, but more on that later...


Usual Tamiya quality, looks like little or no filler will be needed, which is a good job in this case...


I also went for the simple Eduard etch set, Master Model brass machine guns, and as an experiment in time saving (ha ha) a set of Eduard pre-cut canopy masks:


Even though the Mosquito is undoubtedly a beautiful aircraft, in model form I think it can often look a bit bland and “seen one seen them all” –ish. Maybe it’s because of the lack of surface detail to break up the wooden airframe skins, I don’t know. So I’ve decided to finish mine in unpainted form, just a bare wood finish with the appropriate bits finished in aluminium, steel and fabric. I realise that this would never be possible (or extremely unlikely) in real life due to the way the aircraft was assembled and finished, but the idea is to give an impression of the different materials used in construction. I’ve seen a couple of Mosquito models either semi, or completely finished like this, but none are particularly accurate as far as I can tell. Anyway, with all this in mind, I got some Uschi woodgrain decals (more on this later):



And I’ll probably be using these in conjunction with the oil paint method of simulating woodgrain on certain features, as I did on my WnW SE.5a here:


...and Vallejo Air Silver (for the ailerons, elevators, nacelles, various fairings and covers), a CDL colour (for the rudder, which was fabric covered), and Vallejo Air Steel (for the forward cockpit armour). The Interior will be painted as normal, as will the propellers.


I made a start by sketching the various panels onto photographs of the kit fuselage and wings. It’s not at all easy to figure out the panel breaks from reference photographs, but I’m getting there. In reality there would be hundreds of white dots all over the skins where the outer ply sheets were screwed and the heads filled, but I’ll not be including these:


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I made a start on trimming and fitting the main sub-assemblies together. I'll probably be deviating from the kit assembly plan quite considerably in order to make the woodgrain decal demarcations easier. This is where a perfect fit of the main components is important - no way I can use filler. Since there was a longitudinal split down the fuselage on the real thing, my intention is to finish each half, then join together during final assembly. Time will tell if this was a good idea. At least if the decals don't work first time, I can strip the whole thing and start again with the minimum of hassle.

Two identical "C" sprues for each nacelle, I thought Tamiay had mistakenly moulded four identical propellers, but someone pointed out the are early (pointed) and late (wide) bladed versions:


Fuselage halves are split to allow different nose versions. Again, the front sections snap into place leaving little sign of a join:


Wings, nacelles and nose sections glued together, all taped together dry to check fit:


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I guess I convinced myself that this wouldn't be that difficult to do. But it actually is. First off: Do some test pieces for woodgrain decals and oil paints, then compare results.

Decals: Paint and preshade base colours:


Then cut a mask for the panel:


Transfer to the decal paper:


Cut out and apply decal (+repeat):



Basecoat, preshade, mask and than add wavy lines of oil paint:




So the decals tended to blister, and they are not as nice a colour (too pink IMO). The woodgrain effect is very nice, although there is no long grain decals so I can't get the herringbone effect apparent on certain adjacent panels. Alex from UvdR has offered to try and print some long grain to try, so we will see how it goes. One big problem with the decals would appear to be cutting them around small access panels which need to remain base colour (silver). The decals are extremely fragile, so masking and painting these bits last would be a very risky business.

The oil paint method looks nice enough, but takes ages to dry (although I've experimented with W&N Liquin this time to try and speed it up), and again it's a very fragile finish and more masking is needed becasue each panel needs masking and painting individually. However, I've found that small details can be msked over with latex and the oil paint removed very easily, then cleaned up if necessary with white spitit on a fine brush.

So...pros and cons for both methods. I'm erring towards hand painting in oils, but I do like the grain of the decals...

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This illustrates the problems I have with oil paint woodgrain (and why I was keen to try decals):


The first panels I did (the lighter ones) were masked off and more oils applied in another direction.

1) It's very difficult to judge the amount of oil paint to remove during the graining process. The second panels are much darker than the first, even though I assumed they'd look similar. As it stands there is too much contrast for my liking.

2) Even though I used Liquin drying medium again, the paint hasn't dried. The first panels went matt within a few minutes, whereas these look like they could take weeks to set, judging by how similar they look to my SE.5a parts did (in terms of sheen). Obviously there can be no masking before the oil is fully cured.

So there you go. I wondered whether to try using enamels instead of oils for the grain, after all its a dissimilar paint to the acrylic basecoat, and has the same thinners, but they dry predictably...so why not? In fact why use oils over enamels in the first place - it's not like oils are widely used in model aircraft modelling to start with?

A long way to go with this one I think.


Alex from UvdR has very kindly been offering me some advice on how to perfect these techniques, so I'm sure with a bit of guidance I'll get a nice result.


At present, I'm working on painting the interior. More updates soon hopefully. Ta.

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I'm still figuring out the subtleties of woodgrain. Alex from UvdR has been very helpful with this, although his work is do damned good, and he makes it look so easy, it can be a bit overwhelming to try and match his standards.


Anyway, in the meantime I made a start on cleaning up the cockpit parts and assembling the engine nacelles etc. There are a few ejector pin marks still to fill in the wheel wells, and I'm not sure if the ones in the cockpit are covered by random bits of office furniture or not, but it looks OK so far:



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  • 2 weeks later...

Bit of progress:

Cockpit partially complete - I added Eduard pre-painted harnesses, since the kit decals look a bit crap:


Cockpit sides painted - all the ejector marks will not be seen once complete:


Radio Tx & Rx and electical panels painted:


Just need the instrument panel finishing, and a few wires adding and that will do - it's not a super-detal job.

And the wheels (filed some flats on them), which need a coat of matt varnish:


Then get the fuselage assembled...

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Started to drill out the mudguard brackets in accordance with Eskimo's reference pics:


And made a start on the instruments. Good illustration of why aftermarket parts can increase the complexity and duration of a build by several orders of magnitude - the Eduard blind flying instrumet panel didn't have an apaerture for the gunsight to be fitted, and once identified and modified to the extent needed to fit, it looked terrible:


So I've opted to go for the original decal for the main panel, and the Eduard stuff for the peripheral bits. In fact the decal is probably better in this case, since the low-contrast Eduard acetate instruments would be pretty much invisible under the panel cover.

I pressed my home made punch and die set into action again to make some yellow circles for the pilot's seat and bulkhead. There should be one behind the navigator's set too, but it's covered up in this case). I believe the markings are to indicate ferrous or armoured parts within the cockpit, although I think their true function has been lost in the mists of time:



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Landing gear and oil tanks assembled - although the modified mudguards still need painting, and a few bits of lead wire adding perhaps for brake/oil pipes:


And painted the exhausts for the V-10 engines:


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The cockpit still looked a bit sparse, and looking at some reference photos, I thought I'd scratchbuild an additional radio for behind the pilot's seat, a fire extinguisher and what looks like a row of cartridges or flares in front of the navigator's seat:



Looks better now when viewed through the canopy.

Then assembled the fuselage halves. I temporarily fitted the wings to make sure the spars were aligned while the Araldite set:


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The Mosquito has some distinctive framing visible inside the canopy, which is difficult to replicate at small scale. The kit has decals, which are OK, apart from being a strange pea green colour. I had some clear decal film, so I sprayed it interior green:


...and cut it into strips which were applied to teh inside surface of the canopy, then the whole thing was dipped in Klear to seal them in:


So now its a perfect match for the cockpit, and will hopefully look OK when the outer framing is masked and painted aluminium.

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Super progress!! Love the cockpit and landing gear detail.I just started a vintage 1/32 Revell Mossie. I've opened the crew hatch and bombay doors and will scratch build the bombay interior, I hope, lol!!


Sounds good - always satisfying to update an old kit. There is certainly no shortage of Mosquito kits at the moment!

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  • 3 weeks later...

Much appreciate the comments guys.


Got a bit distracted by the random Spitfire build, but I'm now getting to grips with ths one again. Modified the nose cone to accommodate the Master Model brass guns. Basically filled it with Milliput and then drilled out some sockets for them to locate into:


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Tried the Eduard canopy masks for the first time tonight. As expected they weren't perfect, but at least the ones that were wrong were too big, so I could cut them to size:


Gave it a coat of cockpit green first so that the internal frames are the right colour:


Then sprayed with Vallejo Air Aluminium and matt varnish. After a bit of scraping with a wetted cocktail stick to remove any imperfections, it looks OK:


Windscreen wiper needs picking out in black, and a bit of a wash in the small nooks and crannies and it will be ready for fitting. Whenever that might be.

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 2 months later...

Now begun applying white primer to the airframe (wings and tailplanes first). Once preshaded with NATO black, this will form the basecoat for the wood decals:


Still rescribing the lost detail on the fuselage resulting from filling the joins:


Not even sure if it woud be better to make these panels smooth (dinghy hatch, camera blank plates etc) and represent them with decals later.

TBH I don't really know what I'm doing - despite having had lots of advice, it's still all a bit odd, and I'm not clear as to how the decals will respond to cutting/forming once in place.

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So having had a chat with Alex from UvanderR about his decals and my issues with them, I tried again following a slightly diffrent technique. The following is definitely not meant to be a "how to", rather a record for myself of my experiments so far!

First, spray with white - in this case Tamiya white primer. Then a bit of my own experimentaton - rather than scribe panel demarcarions, draw them on with a pencil. Then preshade with Tamiya Clear Smoke (preshading with a solid colour over white just means more overcoating to knock the effect back):


I've also experimented with the Vallejo Air Aluminium and Steel to give some metal panel contrast.

Next, cut Tamiya Tape to form templates for the woodgrain decals:


Then transfer the templates to the decal sheets, and cut out the decals:


For the record, l-r:

"Horten 229 Special Edition 1 of 6"
"WSGF48B Knotless Pine"
"WSGF48B Knotless Rich"

These dcals are primarily intended for 1:48 scale, but since real woodgrain has a wide dimensional range, it makes little difference accross the smaller scales.

Then apply Klear (I will try Mr.Paint varnish next time since it is apparently more suited to these decals), and apply decals using diluted PVA (the decals themselves don't have enough residual adhesive once removed from their backing sheet):


No MicroSol was used this time, and I think this gave a smoother finish than previously. It has a coat of Humbrol matt applied (this will be replaced next time with Mr.Hobby Gloss + Tamiya Flat Base). Obviously the light base coat makes the woodgrain far more visible than when using light browns, and it all looks way better than the last experiment:


So I went ahead and completed the airframe in white primer, and will now draw the panel breaks on in pencil. In the end I did fill the dinghy hatch and a few other small panel lines, and will represent them with pencil lines:


As an aside regarding the Vallejo Air Aluminium/Steel: I saw the new Vallejo "Metal Colour" acrylics (think Alclad without the hassle) at Telford. They look OK, but to my eyes didn't seem a big enough step - if at all - from their "Air" counterparts to be worthwhile.

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