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|Catalogue No., Description & Price
Alley Cat Models Kit No AC 24005C - De Havilliand Mosquito TR.Mk.33 Sea Mosquito Conversion for Airfix
£37.50 available online via A2Zee
|Contents and Media:
||Resin conversion parts, photo-etched plus painting masks. See details below
|| 1/24 scale
||Ambitious conversion; will deliver a different look for your big Aifix Mosquito; excellent quality casting; fine surface detail; includes markings options for a one-stop conversion project.
||An amazing way to customise your Airfix 1/24 scale Mosquito
Reviewed by Rodger Kelly
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Alley Cat is a brand name of A2Zee Models out of the UK. They produce aircraft decals and resin conversions in 1/72, 1/48, 1/32 and 1/24 scale as well as 1/48 and 1/32 scale resin figures.
Recently they have turned their attentions toward the magnificent 1/24 scale Airfix
De Havilland Mosquito kit and have produced a series of five different conversion sets to enable you to produce various versions of the venerable “Wooden Wonder”.
The five different conversion sets are:
- AC24001C -Mosquito FB Mk. VI (ASH Radar)
- AC24002C -Mosquito FB Mk. XII / XIII
- AC24003C -Mosquito FB Mk. XVII / XIX
- AC24004C -Mosquito J.30 Swedish
- AC24005C -Mosquito TR Mk.33 Sea Mosquito
By far the most comprehensive conversion in the range and the subject of this review is AC24005C, Mosquito TR Mk.33 Sea Mosquito.
The De Havilland TR Mk. 33 was the naval version of the Mosquito. It was developed by De Havilland for the Royal Navy during 1944. Developed from the
FB VI version of the Mosquito the TR 33 was fitted with an arrestor hook and beefed up to withstand the rigors of operating from an aircraft carrier. Whilst the prototype TR 33 made its first carrier landing in theMarch of 1944 it did not see war time service, finally entering operational service in the August of 1946 but it only enjoyed a brief operational life with 811Squadron until 1947 being replaced by its younger sibling the De Havilland Sea Hornet. Fifty TR 33s were built and the majority of its service was land based with naval support units of the Royal Navy’s Fleet Air Arm.
Given the TR Mk. T33’s naval heritage this conversion includes far more parts than the other Mosquito conversions in the Alley Cat range.
The conversion comes packed in a medium sized stout cardboard box. The contents of the box include:
- A brass-etch fret that carries 37 parts that include among other things, a template to engrave a new hatch on the underside of the fuselage as well as the eight contra rotating propeller blades for the torpedo, attachment brackets for the Rocket Assisted Take Off (ROTAG) gear, and sway braces for the torpedo.
- New spinners and hubs to accommodate the four bladed propellers that the T33 used.
- Two new propeller blades (you use the kits other three to make up the four-bladed props).
- Two sets of RATOG including their mounts.
- A torpedo that is made up of a three-part body and four stabilising fins as well as the aforementioned brass-etch propeller blades.
- Four part wing-fold. The outer wing fold is realised by carefully cutting the Arfix kit’s wings apart and adding the resin parts into them whilst the inner wing fold is done by replacing the inner part of the wing with the resin parts and adding the upper wing from the kit – there is a whole lot more to it than this simple explanation and you are guided by both the written word and close-up photographs of a completed conversion!
- Main landing gear that comprises of new (and smaller) resin tyres and wire reinforced main struts. The wire reinforced gear legs are welcomed as the resin wings are heavy to say the least.
- New (longer) air intakes. Nicely cast with constant thickness lips.
- New nose that incorporates the “thimble” of the radar. This is nicely cast too and includes a thinner “lip” that fits inside of the kit fuselage for positive placement.
- New radar panel for the cockpit
- New enlarged elevators that have been cast with rounded leading edges.
- A resin tail hook that you add thin pies of brass wire to and plug into an under fuselage resin mount to replicate the trapeze type arresting gear.
- Lengths of brass wire, styrene strip and half round strip, the latter being to replicate the reinforcement strake for the port side of the fuselage that the TR 33 wore.
- Two sets of canopy masks sets – one for the inside of the canopy and one for the outside.
- Three sheets of markings mask sets to enable you to apply painted markings to your kit (not as hard as it looks and it gives a very realistic look to a large model like this). .
Instructions for the conversion are provided on three A-4 sized pages as well as seven a-4 sized sheets that carry excellent sharp, clear colour images of the conversion. Each image is numbered and referred to as such in the written instructions.
Two marking options are given:
- TW 720 of 790 Naval Air Squadron based at Culdrose in 1948. The machine is finished in the standard extra dark sea grey and dark slate grey over sky camouflage scheme. It also wears the numbers 413 in white on the fuselage sides and a white CW on the vertical stabiliser.
- TW256 of 771 Naval Air Squadron based at Lee-on-Solent in the November of 1948. This option also wears the same camouflage scheme with black 593 numerals on the fuselage and black LP on the vertical stabilser.
The resin parts are superbly cast. Detail is crisp and I could find absolutely no pinholes or short shots in any of the parts in my sample conversion. The resin looks to be the product of the Eastern European based company Montex as the resin and the casting stubs look to be exactly the same as the ones in my 1/32 scale Montex
CAC- 13 Boomerang kit. Experience in working with my Boomerang has shown that resin is strong and flexible but very easy to work with.
The canopy and painting masks are the work of Montex too.
All up, a very impressive conversion indeed as pretty well everything you need to complete it is in the box.
Having said that though, I would only recommend it to experienced modellers as there are many exact measurements and some delicate cutting of expensive kit parts to be made!
Thanks to A2Zee Models for
the review sample
Alley Cat and FAA Models'
accessories are available
from A2Zee Models website
Review Text and Images Copyright © 2010 by Rodger Kelly
Page Created 6 September, 2010
5 October, 2010
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