Wednesday, September 16

Gary’s HK Models 1/32 Mosquito B Mk.IV Build Review - Part IV

Gary's fourth and final part of this build of the HK Models 1/32 Mosquito B Mk.IV Build is with us today. See how it all turned out and if all of the extra work on constructions showed up in the finishing process..

Build review: De Havilland Mosquito B Mk. IV
HK Models

1/32nd scale
320 Parts + Photo Etch
Decals for 3 Aircraft from Cartograf
Price around $170 USD from HK’s Distributors Worldwide
Test shot build Part I
Full kit Review
PtII of the build

Pt III of the build
Pt IV of the Build

Today Gary Wickham continues on with the painting and weathing of his beautifully put together and detailed mosquito - Let's carry on from where we left off in part III...

...Much as I had done for the lower surface I now started with the first upper camo color of Tamiya XF82 Ocean Grey. Again the coats were applied lightly and built up with a final random application of a lightened mix.
My favourite masking tool is Blu Tack. I use this flexible putty like material for all sorts of masking. Here I have rolled the Blu Tack into thin sausages and then applied them to the model surface. Blu Tack adheres well to the surface but don’t leave it on for too long as it contains oil that can leach out over time and mark the model.
Now the Blu Tack is great for the actual demarcation line but you’ll want to backfill the masking with tape to prevent overspray (unless you are a really good airbrusher in which case you probably don’t need the Blu Tack in any case). I normally use only Tamiya tape but took the opportunity to test a low tack 3M tape I found at the local hardware shop. Note how I have cut the tape into small section to allow me to accurately position it along the curved length of the Blu Tack.
The final camo colour is Tamiya XF81 Dark Green. Once dry the Blue Tack and tape is removed. If you remember back at the start I talked about the scheme for my Mossie had invasion (or D-Day) stripes on wings and fuselage. Now was the time to mask off and paint them on.
The white is applied first (always paint lighter colours first if you can). The best white I have found is the Tamiya White Primer (again decanted from the rattle can). Being a primer it covers excellently and therefore needs only one or two light coats to give excellent coverage.
Once the white primer was dry I masked off the stripes (as an aside these were 2 ft wide on the real aircraft). I very rarely (if any) use actual Black on models. The “black” stripes here are painted with Tamiya XF69 NATO Black and then randomly varied with heavily thinned XF63 German Grey to give some variation (black fades very quickly in real life).
Last thing to finish off was the bomb bay. This was masked last and painted Mr Color C364 like all the other interior areas. The detailing on the fuel cells us pretty basic but I was not overly concerned as a) is mostly hidden in the bomb bay and b) I was planning of adding a full load of bombs anyway. 
I recently purchased a computer operated mask cutter, the Silhouette Portrait. It’s a bit like a printer but instead of having a print nozzle it has a cutting blade. I saw this Mossie project as a great opportunity to try it out. The wing roundels were very easy to design using the cutter software. I purchased some A4 sheets of Tamiya Kabuki tape from Alek at MaketarMasks and fed this to the cutter and out popped (after some experimentation with paper) a set of masking templates.
The Silhouette Studio software allows you to design the shapes the Portrait will cut out for you. It’s easy to use and is available for Windows and Mac OSX.
Some patience is needed to make sure the masks are aligned correctly on the model. Being Tamiya tape you can be assured of a clean edge and no paint leakage under the edge. 
I mixed up some RAF Roundel Red and Blue from Tamiya and applied with the airbrush. Here you can see the overspray masking has been removed but the lettering masking remains. The cutter can do quite intricate cutting as seen here with the DZ353 serial mask which is a 6mm high in 1/32.
The final result of the custom paint masks. I think it looks great and gives me confidence to try making my own masks in the future when decals are not available. 
With the painting complete its time to gloss up (Future in my case) and apply decals. By the time I got to this stage the HK Mosquito kit had been released (yes I’m slow) and Adam had received as full set of decals from HK. I used these to apply the fuselage roundels and assorted stencilling to the model. The decals behaved perfectly.
She was starting to now look like a Mossie. Very clean at this stage as no panel wash or weathering had been applied.
It was about now that I started to put the wheels in motion for the display base. This is a big model and I did not want a huge base, just something that it could sit on with some figures to add character. At this point I did not have the resin figures that HK so generously added to the release kit (my test shot was too early to include these). I started to work on the Masterbox RAF pilot set instead. The base was cut from a sheet of MDF using my friend’s jigsaw (thanks Tony).
Following decaling I decided to try out some of the MiG Ammo panel line washes. As the Mosquito has so few panel lines this was not much of a workout for the MiG product but I liked how quick and easy it was to use being pre-mixed and with such a large range of colours to choose from.

After the panel wash everything was sealed under a coat of Polly Scale Acrylic Flat Clear.
All the masking was now removed, with no accidents to be fixed I am happy to report. I was certainly happy with how it was looking but to my eye she was still too clean.
My decision to hold off “toning down” the mottling of the paint earlier had paid off. With all the decals, invasion stripes etc now added the paint fading did not look over the top (at least not to me). 
The general airframe was weathered using a selection of oil and enamel washes. Slow and steady does it on this stage as it’s very easy to overdo it.
It’s helpful to look at lots of wartime photos to get a feeling for where aircraft accumulate grime and dirt. The trick to weathering I think is to keep it subtle. In many cases less is more. 
The exhaust stain from the shrouded merlin was quite distinctive on Mosquitos. The dirt in the tyre tread was added using MiG P028 Europe Dust pigment. This was loosely brushed into the tread and then cleaned off with a cotton bud.
So that brings us to the end of my HK Mosquito B Mk.IV test shot build. This kit has unfortunately been overshadowed in many peoples mind by the Tamiya release. Having now built it I can say it is certainly worthy of your consideration. I know that many will buy the Tamiya kit just “because it’s a Tamiya” and then leave it in the cupboard too intimidated at its complexity. The HK kit by comparison is extremely buildable and for the most part it just clicks together.

As I was in the final throws of finishing the model I also received a set of the resin pilot figures (thanks Bruce).

I painted them up (as best I could) and displayed them next to one of the Masterbox chaps (and his dog) I had started earlier.
Many thanks to HK Models for providing us with the test shot kit (sorry I took so long).

Sit back now and enjoy the photos below of the finished model. First off some details...
And a walk around...
 Gary Wickham
 Check out Gary's own website & his Scalespot Facebook page for more of his builds
The new 1/32nd scale Mosquito Mk.IV kit is available worldwide from HK Models Distributors worldwide.