Tamiya 1/48 Mosquito Mk IV by Tony Adams
Due to moving house, I have done very little modelling this year. With the annual competition coming up in three weeks I wanted to build something quick. I had a 5% complete 1/32 Mitsubishi Zero on the work bench (see my now complete zero build), there’s no chance of finishing that this year (or next), so I had to find an impressive kit that I could complete out of the box in three weeks. I found a 1/48 Spitfire that seemed to fit the bill in one of the many boxes that now fill my bedroom, but I needed some paint. Not having time to wait for the post I drove to Just Add Imagination where along with the required paint I ended up purchasing Tamiya’s beautiful 1/48 Mosquito Mk IV. On opening the box all plans for the Spitfire disappeared: this was the model to build!
First thing first, quick wash with soap and water (then the kit) then straight down to cleaning up the large kit parts. I still haven’t got an internet connection so I didn’t do any detailed research, but the quality of the kit meant that out of the box would not be a problem.
The cockpit detail is excellent; I painted it according to the instructions weathering the floor and walls with “oil stain” from Tamiya’s new weathering kit. The instrument panels were tarted up by the addition of a decal which sunk nicely into the dial details with a little help from Micro Sol solution. The one thing I did regret was using the decal seatbelt which look a bit naff compared to photo etch.
With the cockpit complete I constructed the bomb bay and wings. Finally the fuselage halves where brought together and the joint filled with a little Mr Surfacer 1000. The whole model was primed with Alcad grey primer. I pre shaded all panel lines with black; it was only when I started painting the bottom surfaces gloss black that I realised that pre-shading this area had been a total waste of time! Once the black was on I masked it off and painted the top surface with Vallejo intermediate grey left over from the Corsair competition. This proved to be a bit of a nightmare as the paint had thickened considerably and constantly blocked my airbrush. Still after a bit of a struggle I had a reasonable surface with the pre-shading showing through nicely. I outlined the camouflage pattern with pencil before filling with Tamiya dark green. This seemed very dark so I lightened the centres of the panels with a slightly lighter colour that worked well. Once painting was completed the whole plane was given a couple of coats of Klear.
I built the undercarriage and painted it with Alchad chrome which looked wonderful. Until I handled it that is, then it just ended up on my hands. I wish I primed the parts first! The canopy was masked with Tamiya tape which seemed to take days and sprayed with the interior colour before having the camouflage colours applied. The two canopy blisters (separate parts) where given the same treatment.
I always seem to have some sort of cock-up with decals and this build was no exception. I was having a problem getting the starboard fuselage roundel and identifying letters to set in properly. Having applied lots of Micro Sol, I managed to be rather too brutal with it and ended up breaking it up. After much swearing I managed to patch it up: just don’t look too closely!
The panel lines where highlighted with thinned black oil paint on the top surfaces and grey on the bottom surfaces. I was pleased I did this as it breaks up the black quite nicely and makes this area much more interesting. The whole plane then got a coat of matt varnish before the ancillary parts where applied. When I went to attach the starboard canopy blister it wasn’t where I left it! I sent hours crawling about on the carpet but the pixies had made a damn good job of running off with it. Let’s just pretend I have left it off deliberately to provide a good view of the detail in the cockpit.
All in all I am very pleased with the result; I ought to rush build more often.