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PeteF

1/24 Airfix Scale Mosquito build

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Greetings, 

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:

 

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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:

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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:

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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 brush painted the cushions using various colors and dry-washing.

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I also repaired the only model I had built between 1985 and today which was a 1/32 scale Trumpeter Nanchang that was the actual plane I owned. It had been damaged 4-years ago in a move.

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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. The whole rear cockpit panel is the leading edge of the wing spar with the mixture and throttle control rods, a bunch of wires and some control cables so I sanded off the moulded in wires and scratch built the detail (some to come later) with wire, polystyrene tubes and cut sheets.

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The flares had insane little decals. I got the type ones to work but hand painted the colored stripes using references. Also found a great reference for the fire extinguisher.

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There was no decal for the first aid kit but the reference I had showed some sort of weird holder on the front anyway so I scratch built that.

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The sides of the joystick weren't moulded all that great but I used .010 lead wire to make the rope wrap and wires. There is also another control rod on the bottom of the joystick. That brings me up to date on the build. I have to make a second Sutton harness for the navigator before I finish that "seat." I pre-ordered a photo-etch GEE radio set but it's not supposed to be available until mid-October. Don't think I'm going to end up waiting that long so we'll see what I do with the radios. 

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Hi Pete,

You have certainly made a very good start. I really like the flare cartridges (despite the small decals) and the fire extinguisher.

Cheers

Cees

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Thanks, I'm REALLY liking using acrylic paints. Water cleanup and the ability to keep my hands clean is one of the best things I've found with the new suite of tools. Here's my little work bench in the store room.

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Hey Pete, I agree with Cees, excellent start, this will look great, have you picked a particular aircraft yet?

Jeff

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Hi Jeff, I found a plane that was in 487 New Zealand squadron that took place in the Amiens raid whose pilot has the same last name as me. Though there are no pictures of his plane, it is HX974 with the code letters EG-J. I'm pretty sure I can make that out of some of the paint masks I've found on line.

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Superb work, Pete!

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28 minutes ago, PeteF said:

Hi Jeff, I found a plane that was in 487 New Zealand squadron that took place in the Amiens raid whose pilot has the same last name as me. Though there are no pictures of his plane, it is HX974 with the code letters EG-J. I'm pretty sure I can make that out of some of the paint masks I've found on line.

Cool, I'll be watching this with great interest....

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You go Pete ! Looking really good !.....Harv:thumbsup2:

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Pete, welcome aboard.........your layoff was nearly as long as mine........great start on the Mossie..hitting the follow button now:popcorn:

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I started on the instrument panel and rudder pedals. The model had basically a "wall" around the instrument panel so I cut that all away to reveal the panel to the right of the rudder pedals and added some detail (not quite authentic). I do have a nice set of aftermarket decals. The Airfix ones are great! Only you are supposed to apply them ONE AT A TIME to the blasted instrument panel plastic. I'll add some visible wiring later.

This real plane was stored and operated outside in England. My Nanchang was relatively pampered and the cockpit still got filthy so I am going with "this thing gets filthy from the dirt and mud tracked into it by the crew". I never did a tank (some day) but this model feels a bit like doing a tank.

I did the instrument panel in a mix of metallic and flat black and wasn't happy then I suddenly remembered one of the best tips I ever got that I used in RC scale. Sand off the graphite from a pencil and rub it into the paint. It is miraculous...makes the metal look "real" with no effort. It's amazing when doing engines and guns as well.

Some test fitting here, I screwed up the rudder pedals twice but eventually got them right. Have to paint the colored details on the panel and do the instruments later...maybe tomorrow.

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At least some of the right side of the instrument panel may be visible through the door so I did some wiring there. IP is done plus the map box.

 

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Pete

Welcome aboard and terrific start on the BIG Mossie form Airfrfix. Looking forward to following your progress and enjoying your updates. A few years back, I built tamiya's 32nd Mossie and what a kit - so it goes without saying I'm a Mossie fan for sure

Keep 'em comin

Peter ;)

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When I was young, I thought nothing of 1/72 scale kits. I swear, 1/24 is about as small as I want to work now LOL.

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That looks awesome 

I built HKM'S 1/32 Mossie and loved that even though I don't have room for it 

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What a nice start here at LSM and with the Mossie. The work you have done detailing the cockpit is superb. Everything Looks right and busy and I like to read about the little walkarounds and how to's of my fellow modellers in a WIP.

Cheers Rob

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I was getting a little sick of the cockpit so I put together and painted the basices of the engines.

Below is a good example of the difference between paint-only (4 parts flat black, 2 parts metal black and 1 part gunmetal), and paint with graphite rubbed into it:

Then added Some weathering and grime...next I'll start doing the hoses/wires/pipes (those with the kit and those not in the kit) and the supercharger.

And, of course, the Rolls Royce type. I tried to do this with capillary action and rubbing the excess off with a moist Q-tip but I was lifting the paint. So I ended up rubbing the excess off with my finger and more graphite:

 

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