Tamiya 1/48 Mosquito FB.VI Build Review
By Michael Benolkin
|Date of Review||January 2015||Manufacturer||Tamiya|
|Kit Number||61062||Primary Media||Styrene|
|Pros||Easy build||Cons||Nothing noted|
|Skill Level||Basic||MSRP (USD)||$44.00|
The de Havilland Mosquito is a favorite subject of mine and one of the nicest kits of the Mosquito comes from Tamiya in 1/48 scale. I've built several of these kits and nobody has done a better version of this kit in this scale (so far). About ten years ago, I reworked one build that I had produced in the late 1990s depicting one of the aircraft of 418 Sqn (RCAF) where my son's godfather had become an ace prior to being pulled into the USAAF. I had actually built two Mosquitos in that 1990s effort, the other depicting an RAF Coastal Command 143 Sqn aircraft which looked interesting with its rocket rails. What surprised me when I entered both aircraft into an IPMS contest, the judges and several others focused on this aircraft as (according to them) there had never been a gray over gray Mosquito scheme. Rather than detract from my 418 Sqn entry, I simply took this model out to the car and waited for the other folks to put their torches and pitchforks away. Of course I didn't place in the contest due to my Mosquito camouflage heresy. I was still happy with both models and they remained on display on my shelf.
Ironically the 418 Sqn Mosquito model was destroyed in one of the moves up to northeast Indiana but this 143 Sqn model arrived unscathed. I pulled this model off the shelf for a look while I considered another Mosquito build project. Over the years I've seen more photos of this aircraft and that it was indeed one of the few aircraft to wear the gray over gray camouflage (the instructions had been correct!). While handling the model, I realized I had accidently rubbed a clean spot into the upper surface of the model - it needed to be cleaned.
At first I used a paint brush and compressed air to remove the dust. While that removed much of the dust layer, the flat paint wasn't giving up that easily - plus I had made the mistake of cleaning the clear cockpit enclosure and the upper roundels with some of my homemade acrylic thinner. That only made the rest of the model look worse!
I grabbed a microfiber towel and soaked it with the homemade thinner and carefully rubbed down the upper and side surfaces of the model. I noticed that the cat had been sleeping on that towel and now I had cat hair on the model. A blow-down of compressed air not only quick-dried the model, but it also removed the cat hair as well. Now that I've got the model clean, I thought I'd take that closer look at the model.
While the model is a simple build, it does feature some very nice detailing which can be highlighted with proper painting. Among the features and options in this kit:
- Nicely detailed cockpit
- Positionable cockpit door
- Optional boarding ladder
- Positionable landing gear
- Positionable bomb bay doors
- Optional bombs (FB.VI version)
- Optional outboard rocket rails/rockets (Coastal Command version)
- 20mm gun breeches visible in open bomb bay
- Fuselage fuel cells visible in open bomb bay
- Merlin oil tanks visible in open main landing gear wells
- .303 machine guns and ammo cans visible in removable nose access cover
This model was really an easy build (which is why I built two at once) and you can see the results for yourself. In addition to this FB.VI/NF.II, Tamiya has also produced the B.IV/PR.IV and the NF.XIII/NF.XVII versions. A number of aftermarket items have also been produced over the years and some careful selections can help you enhance the cockpit as well as provide a conversion for the later marks that use two-stage Merlins for power.
As soon as I get caught up on some other backlogged projects, I will build another 418 Sqn (RCAF) aircraft (or two). If you're looking for a pleasant build, this is definitely a must-have kit for your bench!