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Amodel 1/48 DH.60M Moth Kit First Look

by Michael Benolkin

Date of Review September 2010 Manufacturer Amodel
Subject DH.60M Moth Scale 1/48
Kit Number 4804 Primary Media Styrene
Pros Very nice kit of this unique aircraft Cons Nothing noted
Skill Level Basic MSRP (USD) $20.00

First Look


In the mid-1920s, noted aircraft designer Geoffrey de Havilland launched the first of a new series of aircraft that would become the standard for training aircraft. This first design was scaled down from the DH.51 biplane and powered by a Cirrus engine, the result of which became the DH.60 Moth. This aircraft first flew in 1925 and would become a popular flight trainer in civilian schools in England. The biggest problem with Moth production was the Cirrus engine because while it was reliable, it was assembled from World War I Renault engine parts that were getting harder to acquire.

The solution to the Cirrus engine problem was simple enough, build your own engine and de Havilland started production of the Gipsy I, and the resulting installation on the DH.60 was called the Gipsy Moth. As engine production evolved, so did enhancements to the DH.60 airframe. Like most aircraft of the day, the DH.60 was covered with fabric over wood and metal structures, but overseas customers wanted metal-skin sections on the fuselage aircraft and the DH.60M was created.

The Gipsy II engine provided greater performance and in a novel engineering change, the Gipsy II was inverted and redesignated as the Gipsy III. This inverted engine moved the thrust line (and propeller) up and would power a more advanced Moth with slightly swept wings and result in the DH.60T Tiger Moth. With the additional enhancements to the Tiger Moth's wing arrangement and marriage to the Gipsy III, de Havilland would eventually redesignate the aircraft as the DH.82 and launch the ultimate flight trainer that would bring so many new pilots into the RAF and Commonwealth air arms as World War II approached.

Here is a new kit from Amodel and in a scale you don't usually associate with this company - 1/48. This is a nice-looking rendition of the DH.60M which provided a more rugged trainer for de Havilland's overseas customers. The kit is molded in light gray styrene and presented on six parts trees.

Like the full-scale aircraft, the Moth kit is simple and straightforward in construction. The cockpit is the first step and the kit provides seats, control yokes and rudder bars. The insides of the fuselage halves have molded in structural detail which might be enhanced by the AMS modeler with some control wires and aftermarket instrument faces on the simply panels front and back.

While the kit doesn't have a complete engine inside the cowling, it does provide the cylinder head details that portrude out the top of the cowling as this version still had the upright Gipsy I engine installed.

Amodel designed the cabane struts and interplane struts where installation of the upper wings to the lower wings and fuselage should be very simple.

Two different types of landing gear assemblies are provided depending on which of the two aircraft depicted you choose to build. Either way, a little care and patience will result in a solid landing gear assembly.

The only thing I wish Amodel would have provided was a diagram to show how to rig the aircraft. Some modelers are happy to build their biplanes without the all-essentiall flying wires that hold the aircraft together, but for those who wish to rig their aircraft, it would have been easy enough to add a drawing or two to show the layout of the rigging.

Markings are provided for two examples:

  • G-AAMX, a UK-registered trainer
  • SP-ADY, a Polish-registered trainer

This is a nice-looking kit and I certainly hope someone (maybe Amodel?) will also produce the Moth series in 1/32 scale so I have more of the de Havilland family to park next to my trusty Matchbox 1/32 Tiger Moth.

My sincere thanks to HobbyTerra for this review sample!