HIGH PLANES MODELS


1/72 RAAF Moth Minor

by David Edwards

Introduction

For a comprehensive "in box" review, read David Harvey's article Here.

You may have read Peter Hobbins' excellent article in Modelart covering the construction of masters and building the end result of this kit.  Before the efforts of Peter and Highplanes, the only kit available is a far rougher and expensive Djinn resin.

The kit


The cockpit seemed like a good place to start.  Detail is excellent, but sadly you won't see much of it once the fuselage is buttoned up.  I added some lap seat belts from tape, but I'd recommend the generic etched brass set from Red Roo as a better and affordable option.  For the interior colour, I went with silver as suggested by Dick Hourigan and Fred Harris.  Once this was done, I used Superglue gel to join the fuselage halves.

On to the wings, where I experienced the only real drama of the build.  The lower surfaces of the wings needed about a millimetre trimmed off at the tips to fit, which led to a bit of a mismatch on the leading edges that needed a bit of filling and sanding.  I also had a problem lining up the trailing edge of the lower wing part with the control surfaces, as there is no support for this edge along its length.  In hindsight, I should've glued in some chunks of plastic card to provide this support.  As it was, I ended up with a step just outboard of the airbrake that was a pain to try and reduce, and is still visible on the finished model.

Once wings and tail were joined, I did some filling with Tamiya putty and Mr Surfacer before sanding, more filling and sanding again.  Attaching the tail was straightforward, and as the instructions advised some filling was required her also.  Once complete I of course broke off it off and had to do this again!

The tailplane struts and aileron mass balances were provided in resin but I chose to use plastic card and stretched sprue respectively.  Locating the latter was tricky until Peter was able to provide some photos that showed their location.

The exhaust is not provided and again the location is a bit vague, but some photos on the web and more from Peter helped make them up from plastic and glue them in place.

Undercarriage is easily installed, and in a rare smart move I left the tail wheel off until everything else was completed.

Painting and Decals

A coat of auto primer from a spray can found a few items to attend to, and then I applied my current favourite silver of Gunze enamel, also from a spray can.  I chose one of the silver schemes partly due to laziness but also because I think it shows what a slender, elegant shape this particular Moth has.

The decals are excellent, though I'm not a huge fan of separate red roundel centres (I do understand the reason for printing them this way, but cutting out little red dots and applying them is fiddly). 

Finishing

Two spare windscreens are provided just in case, and I amazed myself by not needing them.  Fitting them to the cockpit openings was tricky, and I'm still not happy with their fit but have done the best I can.

After attaching wheels, all was done and I'm happy with the end result.  I hope this is a good seller for Highplanes – my only reservation is the price for a little 1/72 trainer.  However, this shouldn't deter those of us who are keen to model as many 1/72 RAAF aircraft as we can!

Many thanks to Aussie Modeller, Highplanes and Peter H.

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