Mosquito Sea Conversion
Reviewed by Brett Green
The de Havilland Mosquito was a terrifically versatile aircraft. It was widely used and highly successful in roles including day fighter, night fighter, fighter/bomber, bomber and photo reconnaissance.
Despite the obvious complications presented by twin-engined naval aviation, the British Admiralty commenced carrier trials in 1943.
The prototype of the fully navalised version of the Mosquito, the TR.33, was produced in November 1944. This variant was based on the FB.VI but featured ASH air-to-surface radar, manually folding outer wing panels, four-bladed propellers, arrestor hook, detachable RATOG packs and new oleo-pneumatic main landing gear. Fuselage longerons were also added to cope with the stress of carrier landings.
Fifty Mosquito TR.33s were produced up to June 1953. The navalised Mossie saw service with 811 Squadron, and a number of second-line units.
Verlindens set number 1465 provides all of the parts required to convert Tamiyas 1/48 Mosquito FB.VI to the fully navalised TR.33. The set is produced in Verlindens familiar grey/green resin plus a sheet of photo-etched copper.
The set is securely packed in bubblewrap and a camouflaged box.
New props and spinners, lower main gear legs, ASH radome thimble, RATOG gear and longerons are supplied in resin. Verlindens very thorough set also includes a new set of subtly flattened, smooth tread mainwheels; a resin and etched torpedo and mount; plus extended elevators and an alternate radar nose.
Nice detail touches include etched wing-mounted "T" antennae, mounting rings and hatches for the RATOG gear and auxilliary instrument panel with visor for the radar operator.
The etched wing fold mechanism is a good representation, needing only a cable/control bundle near the wing trailing edge. The wing fold will be workable if you take your time and align the hinges carefully! Etched blanking plates are thoughtfully provided for the ailerons and flaps.
The resin is cleanly cast with the only imperfection being a tiny pinhole in one of the mainwheels. Casting blocks on some of the parts (namely the spinners, radomes and torpedo) are chunky, but manageable. The etched parts are very crisp and nicely detailed.
The instructions are quite good with scrap-view drawings guiding each construction step. The wing cutting directions are very clear but the locating instructions for the wing-fold interiors are a little sketchy. The main wing-fold parts should be recessed inside each wing section (about a millimetre should do it), so the modeller will have to thin the inner surfaces of the wing parts as much as possible a few millimetres inboard.
This is an unusual and interesting subject that really looks different to the basic model and, with a little care, wont be too much of a challenge to the average modeller. The set has been obviously been thoroughly researched, while the inclusion of ordnance and the alternate radomes are also a nice touch.
Reference: "The de Havilland Mosquito an Illustrated History" by
Stuart Howe; Aston Publishing Limited, 1992
Verlinden Productions have a comprehensive website with photos of virtually all their current range and future releases. Worth a visit for aircraft, armour and figure modellers.
Thanks to Wim Verlinden from Verlinden Productions for the review sample.
Review Copyright © 1999 by Brett