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Passion for Mosquitoes

n by Raúl Hrubisko


When I was fourteen, I read a book which I thought was the best book I had ever read. It was a wartime aviation story involving some gallant men a de Havilland Mosquito. My fascination for the Mosquito as the most ingenious and beautiful warplane ever designed began then and has lasted ever since.

This was also the beginning of my long road in modelling. When I was 14 there were not that many kits available but I purchased a Revell Spitfire Mk II, Airfix Spitfire Mk IX, Frog Spitfire Mk XIV, built these and then also tried to do some different marks like Mk IX floatplane… Soon I had six different Spitfire models on my shelf. I then went on to look for some other British aircraft kits, those from Frog Revell, Airfix, Lingberg, Aurora…. Eventually I found many of them: Lancaster, Sunderland…. and the Mosquito. Of the latter I built two models, Mk IV and Mk VI, from Frog and Airfix.

In 1964, at the age of 18, I had about 150 completed models, and was well underway to formulate what has become my hobby project of a lifetime. It is to model a 1/72 collection of all British military aircraft of the 1935-1947 era, including not only types used by RAF but also the commonwealth, prototypes and captured planes. Readers of this magazine may recall my previously presented sub-collections of Spitfires and Typhoon-Tempest-Fury fighters.

The name “Mosquito” sounds the same in both English and Spanish and represents the small, fast and harmful sting, one which can seemingly pop up from nowhere.

Planning

Much later, in the 1990s, I began to plan for a sub-collection of de Havilland Mosquitoes. With more modern kits on the market - Airfix in two variants and the Matchbox , then the all-new Hasegawa, the conditions were favourable.  As a curiosity, I could never obtain a Frog Mosquito again, or its Novo reissue. As a side note the latest Tamiya kit appeared too late to take part in this project.

After thorough consideration I decided to make 17 different aircraft.

   Download  

The master list of Raul's Mosquito collection is available for download. You will need Acrobat Reader to view the list.  The list comes as a PDF (Portable Document Format) file, which requires Adobe Acrobat Reader to view (Ed.)

The 1/72 Mosquito Collection List

Modelling Different Mosquito Marks

The prototype was certainly the most attractive “Mossie” with its overall yellow finish. I used a Matchbox kit with modifications like a short engine nacelles, short span tailplanes , early style exhaust units...etc

Throughout the development of the Mosquito there were numerous other prototypes for different variants, like the photo-reconnaissance W4051 or fighter W4052 to name only two. For my collection I only did one more prototype machine, the W4057 Prototype B. MK V.

Modelling the initial bomber version Mk IV was a breeze. I just obtained a new Hasegawa kit and it was an easy build indeed.

Modelling less well-known versions of the Mosquito would be a problem if it were not for the work of one company - Paragon Designs. It is the Paragon conversion sets which allowed me to fairly easily complete the following Mosquito marks:

  • NF Mk XV with extended wings for high altitude interception
  • MK IV “Highball”, experimental aircraft  for spherical bouncing bomb (Dam Buster) trials
  • TR Mk 33 Prototype Sea Mosquito (although I had to scratchbuild the RATO bottles)
  • PR Mk 34 with bulged bomb bay
  • B Mk XVI serialed 8K/K ML963, also featuring an enlarged bomb bay. This plane was flown for Charles Richard, an argentine volunteer aircrew in No. 571 Squadron

The most ungainly Mosquito in my collection is a NF MkII, W4087, fitted with 2,600 million candlepower Turbinlite. I used the old Airfix kit  with new scratchbuilt nose to do this airborne searchlight.

The Airfix kit was also built out-of-the-box for NF MK II, finished in this utterly black overall finish.

FB Mk. VI was the most numerous mark of the Mosquito that prompted my special attention. Using Eagle Strike decals sheet, I did three significantly different Mk. VIs:

  • FB MK VI G-AGGE operated by BOAC on a route to Sweden
  • FB MK VI NE/D in Coastal Command 143 Squadron with two-tier rocket installation
  • FB MK VI in 86 Attack Wing , RAAF with overall silver finish

Another interesting Mosquito variant was Mk. XVIII, a ship-destroyer fitted with Molins 57 mm cannon. This variant is also covered in the Airfix kit.

The two last Mosquitos built were the Mk III trainer - an easy conversion, essentially a Mk. II with armament removed, and the PR Mk XVI used in Italy late 1944, with red-white recognition stripes on the tail.

Diehard Mosquito afficionados may notice that the Mk 35 and Mk 39 Target Tug versions are not included in my collection. Well, it is only a matter of consequence - I build aircraft used during 1935-1947, remember?

I want to thank to all the kind people in Argentina and England for help with information and kits , without it I could never do my Mosquito collection.

I used a good quantity of book and magazines, but the The De Havilland Mosquito Modelers Datafile by Richard Franks from SAM Publications was the very best source of information which I can recommend to all.

Additional images, click to enlarge

  

 

 

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