AVI Models


AVI2008 1/72 Australian DH.83 Fox Moth


by David Harvey

 

Review Type

First Look

Scale:

1/72

Price:

$35.20 AUD from Red Roo

Contents and Media:

1 x gray and 1 x clear sprue with a sheet of decals

Advantages:

Decals cover a good variety of RAAF aircraft.

Disadvantages:

None at this time

Recommendation:

Highly Recommended

 

Introduction

The DH.83 Fox Moth was a successful small biplane passenger aircraft from the 1930s powered by a single de Havilland Gipsy Major I inline inverted engine, manufactured by the de Havilland Aircraft Company.

Eight new Fox Moths were shipped to Australia 1933-34, followed by 14 second-hand machines imported from Great Britain.  The enclosed cabin could accommodate a stretcher and medical attendant which made them effective aerial ambulances and the type had extensive use prewar with Australian Aerial Medical Service (renamed Flying Doctor Service of Australia in 1942, and Royal Flying Doctor Service in 1955).

During WWII four civil Fox Moths were impressed for use by RAAF as A41-1 to -4.  Two were used for military ambulance duties by No.2 Air Ambulance Unit, based at Kingaroy and Archerfield, with detachments in Australia and New Guinea.

Due to the suitability for use by the RFDS and the general scarcity of second hand airframes a small number were manufactured in Australia to satisfy the need for more aircraft.

Instructions

Due to the model being in 1/72 and relatively simple in design the instructions are a single A4 sheet with the first page covering the parts breakdown of the sprues, page 2 – 4 being the build sequence of the kit.

The instructions list options of enclosed or open cockpit or a higher spine on the aircraft behind the pilot but the decals supplied only cover the open cockpit. The other option is having covers over the wheel but once again they are not used on the aircraft covered by the decals in this kit. For the options in this kit you do need to trim the doorways to fit the supplied doors but this is shown clearly enough on the instructions.
The instructions do show the rigging of the aircraft but I would find some reference images to work off of as well.

 

Plastic

The kit comes with two sprues, one of gray plastic and the other of clear parts. The gray sprue has a bit of flash on the various parts but this should not be a problem to clear up. The surface is not too bad as they have minimal surface blemishes and is quite smooth.
The interior of the fuselage has a small amount of detail, mainly the tubing, which may be detailed by the modeller but I am not sure what the interior of the aircraft looks like so there might not be much to do. Given the size of the windows I also don’t think much would be seen in there either.

The struts have location holes in the wings and fuselage but they may need to be drilled out to allow for the rigging if you wish to drive yourself insane doing this. With the manner in which the struts are added I would suggest a jig of some type to assist in the alignment of the wings.

As could be expected, the struts are a touch overscale but they look ok. They could be replaced if you are really in to that level of detail and accuracy but I think they are good.
The clear sprue also has a small amount of flash on the parts but these are also easy to clean off. The windows could use a polish as they are not clear. Once again this is not needed due to the size of them and whether you would actually see anything through them but I know some modellers will want to do that.

 

Decals

The kit comes with one sheet of decals with national markings and serial numbers. The decals appear to be well printed and I can’t see any sign of poor printing. The roundels come have been printed slightly off centre of the transfer material but they are all still on there and will work perfectly ok.

The decals cover the following aircraft:

Recommendation

While this scale is not my normal scale I thought I would get a copy as it was RAAF related. Due to the size the kit does not come highly detailed but does come with sufficient detail to make a nice model. This lack of detail is not a negative but something I would expect in this scale. I can see nothing wrong with the kit in the box so I highly recommend it for those who have good eyes and a 'thing' for small scale RAAF biplanes.