Tamiya 1/48 Mosquito B.IV/PR.IV Kit First Look
By Michael Benolkin
|Date of Review||May 2005||Manufacturer||Tamiya|
|Subject||Mosquito B Mk.IV/PR Mk.IV||Scale||1/48|
|Kit Number||61066||Primary Media||Styrene|
|Pros||Bomber or photo reconnaissance versions||Cons|
|Skill Level||Basic||MSRP (USD)||$34.00|
The de Havilland Company had a concept for a light bomber whose only defense was speed. With war looming on the horizon, the emphasis was placed on developing the aircraft from non-strategic materials - wood. The only significant metal in the design of the de Havilland Model 98 Mosquito was with the engines and landing gear.
While the Air Ministry was initially cool on the concept, a single champion authorized the production of a single prototype at the end of 1939 and the prototype first flew 11 months later. When the Air Ministry saw the Mosquito literally accelerate away from their top fighter, the Spitfire, orders started straight away.
Powered by a pair of Merlin engines, the clean lines of the Mosquito made the aircraft the fastest aircraft in the skies for most of the war. Its ample volume allowed for the airframe to be adapted to a wide variety of missions, making the Mosquito the first multi-role combat aircraft. The Mosquito carried a crew of two. In the bomber version, the second crewman doubled as flight engineer and bombardier. Its glass nose provided an ideal sighting platform for getting bombs on target.
This was the second of the Mosquito series released by Tamiya in 1/48 scale. When it was first announced, the Airfix 1/48 Mosquito was the best in any scale, but this kit has definitely raised that standard! Molded in light gray styrene, the kit comes on six part trees, plus a single tree of of styrene clear parts. What distinguishes this kit from its older Airfix brother include:
- Beautifully detailed wheel wells and main gear, including the oil tank in each well for the Merlin engine.
- Choice of two different exhaust shrouds or bare exhaust stacks.
- HIGHLY detailed cockpit (with the changes specific to the bomber/recce versions)
- Bomb bay doors can be positioned open to reveal the bomb bay fuel tanks and four 225kg bombs.
- Positionable crew entry door and access ladder.
- Choice of wingtip types.
- Choice of narrow or wide chord propellers.
I've build two of the Mosquito FB.VI kits several years ago just after they were first released as this is one of my favorite aircraft. I was amazed then at how easy the kit assembles and how the mainspars that are part of the cockpit/weapons bay assembly extend through the sides of the fuselage halves and into the wings to provide a solid and perfectly aligned assembly.
While I can't emphasize enough how well the kit goes together, there are a few details worth noting. If you want to display the aircraft with one of the engine nacelles open, you'll need to get an aftermarket Merlin engine (of course). I am not aware of anyone releasing an engine bay kit for this aircraft, but you'll need some photos to help you along.
The kit doesn't have a firewall in the forward part of the main wheel well (this is hidden by the big oil tank in the wheel well) so you'll have to start there. The engine mounts for the Mosquito are different than the Spitfire, so you won't be able to simply drop a Spitfire engine bay into the solution. Again, check the photos and you'll see the details, none of which will be difficult to fabricate.
Check out the photo walkarounds of the Mosquito here on Cybermodeler Online to help you along.
The flight controls are molded in place, but there are resin flight controls available. The aileron and rudder aren't that critical to replace, but on the ground, the elevators drooped and you may want to pose the flaps down as well. These are all simple modifications.
The weapons bay has the extended range fuel tank molded in place and would look great to display the weapons bay doors open. The photo reconnaissance windows are present in the the bomb bay doors and the kit provides cameras to display inside the bay.
Markings are provided for three examples:
- Mosquito B.IV of 105 Sqn (GB-J)
- Mosquito B.IV of 109 Sqn (HS-F)
- Mosquito PR.IV of 540 Sqn