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DH.82A Tiger Moth

ICM 1/32 DH.82A Tiger Moth Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review March 2021 Manufacturer ICM
Subject DH.82A Tiger Moth Scale 1/32
Kit Number 32035 Primary Media Styrene
Pros Nice details Cons See text
Skill Level Experienced MSRP (USD) $59.99

First Look

DH.82A Tiger Moth
DH.82A Tiger Moth
DH.82A Tiger Moth

The de Havilland Company had developed a family of trainers and sport aircraft around a versatile biplane airframe called the DH.60 Moth. A number of variants of the Moth emerged as its popularity grew in the early 1930s. de Havilland tried to sell the aircraft as a military trainer with his DH.60T, but its design didn't allow the occupant of the front seat with a reliable way to bail out of the aircraft with a parachute. The de Havilland engineers incorporated the feedback received from the military and designed the DH.82 Tiger Moth. This design was robust, easy to fly, easy to maintain, and would become the gold standard for military trainers in the Commonwealth. As Great Britain was drawn into World War II, the Tiger Moth was training the pilots that would go on to defend her skies and take the fight over Germany. After the war, the Tiger Moth would continue as a primary trainer into the 1950s and many can still be found still flying around the world as private aircraft.

The folks at ICM have been producing an interesting series of new-tool trainer kits and here is one of their latest: the de Havilland Tiger Moth in 1/32 scale. For such a popular aircraft, the subject has been produced fairly well in 1/72 scale, but not so much in 1/48 or 1/32. Airfix recently released a nice Tiger Moth kit in 1/48, but until now, the only options for the aircraft in 1/32 was the old Revell/Matchbox kit or a limited production resin (expensive) kit. You may recall that ICM released the first of their Stearman kits a few months ago but many folks were hesitant because Roden(t) beat them to market with their poorly engineered Stearman kit. We've since learned that ICM got the Stearman right and I expect that their Tiger Moth will be even better. The kit is molded light gray styrene and presented on three parts trees, plus a small tree of clear parts. Among the features and options:

  • Simple instrument panels w/decals for instruments
  • Nice cockpit seat and flight control details
  • Positionable cockpit entry doors
  • Optional stowed hood behind rear cockpit
  • Nicely detailed Gipsy Major engine
  • Positionable cowling panels
  • Only ailerons molded separately
  • Choice of standard rear deck or anti-spin strakes
  • Kit was designed for rigging (flashed over holes that can be left alone for those who do not wish to rig their model)
  • Nice rigging instructions in this kit (take note other manufacturers!)

Markings are included for two options:

  • DH.82a, K-2579, 9, No.3 FTS, RAF Grantham, 1938
  • DH.82a, T-7741, 42, No.25 EFTS. 1944

This kit is clearly the nicest injection-molded kit of this classic aircraft in any scale. While there are opportunities for the AMS modeler to enhance the front and rear instrument panels as well as add crew restraints and ignition wiring for the engine, this kit will look fantastic straight from the box. I expect that we might see the DH.82C with canopies, skis, and/or updated tail wheel version in our future and it will be a welcome release. Thank you ICM for answering the call for a new-tooled Tiger Moth that is laid out for rigging.