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Tiger Moth

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

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review January 2008 Manufacturer Revell
Subject DH.82A/C Tiger Moth Scale 1/32
Kit Number 4712 Primary Media Styrene
Pros Great to see this kit on the market again Cons See text
Skill Level Basic MSRP (USD) $26.95

First Look

Tiger Moth
Tiger Moth
Tiger Moth
Tiger Moth
Tiger Moth
Tiger Moth
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.

For those of us old enough to remember Matchbox kits, here is one of their better classics, their 1/32 Tiger Moth. This kit was one of the most detailed of their offerings, providing parts for three different configurations. At that time, one of Matchbox's claims to fame was the multicolored styrene sprues that comprised their kits, and this tended to distract many modelers from the merits of this kit.

After Matchbox went out of business, Revell/Germany acquired the molds and started re-releasing many of the smaller scale Matchbox kits under their Revell logo. Now they've released the Tiger Moth and thank you Revell!

This kit is (now) molded in light gray styrene and still presented on five parts trees, plus a single tree of clear parts. The molds are in great shape and there is no visible sign of flash problems. While the tooling is older, this is one subject where there are few raised details molded in this kit's surfaces that don't really belong there. If there are any that you object to, they are certainly few enough to clean up and scribe easily.

The cockpit of this kit is rather simplistic, though the thinking was that you wouldn't notice any issues if you planted both pilots into the two cockpits. True enough, but I can also assure you that the interior of the Tiger Moth wasn't complex, so it wouldn't take much work to 'detail' out both pits. Check out the photo walk around of this aircraft here on Cybermodeler Online (link at the bottom of this review).

The aircraft was powered by a 130 horsepower Gipsy Major four cylinder engine and the kit replicates the engine, intake and exhaust manifolds, and engine mount very nicely. The access panels are also included in four parts (top, bottom, and sides) so you can elect to leave part or all of the access panels off your model to show off the engine. Again, we have some good shots of under that cowling here on Cybermodeler Online.

The rudder and elevators are molded to the vertical and horizontal stabs (respectively) but are nicely detailed down to the control horns. If you want to pose these control surfaces in other than neutral, it won't take much to remove the flight control surfaces from the stabs. The ailerons and leading edge slats are molded separately.

The instructions do a nice job of walking you through the rigging process as this aircraft, like most biplanes, had rigging to hold the airframe together.

Among the options in the kit:

  • Positionable engine cowling access doors
  • Positionable cockpit entry doors
  • Choice of:
    • Standard landing gear with tail skid
    • Standard landing gear w/tailwheel
    • Skis
    • Floats (parts included, not mentioned in the instructions)
  • Choice of:
    • Standard DH.82A open cockpit
    • Canadian DH.82C enclosed cockpit w/positionable sliding canopies

Markings are provided for three aircraft:

  • DH.82A, DF184, No.5 Glider Training School, RAF, Shobdon, UK, 1943
  • DH.82C, 4057, No.6 Elementary Flying Training School, RCAF, Prince Albert, SK, Canada, 1940
  • DH.82A, A-10, Command of the Netherlands Army Air Force, Woensdrecht, Netherlands, 1947

I am very pleased that this kit is back on the market. I still have two of the Matchbox releases of this kit stashed away, but I couldn't resist buying this one as well. If you want a simple build that will appeal to the average modeler as well as the AMS detailer, here is one classic to put into your build pile.