/48 Miles M14A Magister
In my continuing search for something
different to model I had started to look at the Miles Magister
M14A in RAAF
colours. A single Magister was taken on by the RAAF for
comparison with the Tiger Moth and the CAC Wacket. It arrived
in Australia on 18 Feb 1938. This sole representative of
its type served with No.1 Flight Training School at Point
Cook from May 1940 and was transferred to the Engineering
School in July that year. It was converted to components
later that same month.The photo on at the right is the
only photo I have ever seen of the Magister in RAAF service and
was sourced from the Australian
Previously there had been only the Pegasus kit in 1/48
of the Magister available. During 2005, Special Hobby
came to the rescue with their rendition of the aircraft
during a flurry of releases.
The kit comes in the usual Special Hobby
box with a ? page instruction book. This release is a multimedia
- 13 pieces of resin,
- A number of injected plastic parts,
- two small sheets of PE (one coloured, one plain),
- one set of vacform covers for the cockpits, and
- two clear windscreens.
The resin parts replace a number of the parts also supplied
in plastic eg the wheels and the cockpit floor.
1. Plain PE
2. Pre coloured PE
3. Plastic sprue 1
4. Plastic sprue 2
5. Resin parts
6. Remaining parts
I started off the interior by painting all
the required parts in British Interior Green (Humbrol 78).
After it dried I gave it a wash of very diluted matt black
which, when dried, then recieved drybrushed highlights of
lightened Interior green. I use matt white to lighten the
green as I feel it looks better than using yellow to lighten
Once all was dried I started to build this
little bird. The fueslage halves were commenced by inserting
the PE. This PE is very fine and diificult to handle, I also
had difficulty in trying to work out where each piece
went as the instructions were not THAT specific nor were
there any locating markers. Image 8 shows where the ejection
pin holes are, these are not of a concern as they are hidden
by the rear bulkheads and instrument panels. I eventualy
put the PE in position then realised that no-one would even
see it as it would be hidden in the depths of the two small
cockpits behind everything else.
There are a number
of areas in this cockpit that need good fitting to avoid
problems, they are the cockpit floor and the bulkheads. Before
any work is commenced on these parts I fitted them the fueslage
and shaved off litle bits of resin all around. The lack of
any real position markers slowed this process dow considerably.
Even though I did test fit, I know I didn't do a good enough
job as it came back to haunt me later.
in this aircraft is very simple but the small pieces of PE
were the biggest time consumer of all. The rudder pedals
each consist of the pedal bar and two tiny little pieces
of prepainted PE that have to be fitted to them after bending
into the correct shape. I ended up using a small screw driver
to get them to that rounded shape. Once the super glue had
set the complete assembly was glued into position on the
floor and the rest of the cockpit assembly could start.
The prepainted PE for the instrument panels
looks very good in this scale and has great detail, much
better than I can paint. These parts also require correct
placement as there are no markers to indicate where they
are located. I ended up having my rear panel on a slight
angle that is noticable if you look. The seat belt is also
supplied in the pre painted PE and when bent to shape and
draped in a realistic position also looks great. Special
Hobby also supply two resin compasses which have to be fitted
in next to the instrument panel.
Once all inside was together I put it into
position on the fueslage half and didn't pick up the bad
fitting between the rear cockpit bulkhead and the fueslage
(how I don't know). Once all was set I stuck the fueslage
7. The resin floor
8. The ejection post marks
9. completed interior
10. Prepainted PE seat belts and
The exterior was as much fun to put together
as the interior. Due to the aircraft being in NMF you realy
have to get rid of all lines, scratches etc as they show
up realy well under NMF paint.I chose to join the fueslage
together then add the engine cowling rather fit the cowling
half to the relevant fueslage half then join them. The fueslage
joint was a poor fit and required a fair amount of filler
and filing as can be seen in images 12 and 14. Luckily there
was very little detail to be lost on the upper and lower
join line so that was easily fixed. The engine cowling also
required some fitting and filling as can be seen in images
12 and 13.
The wings are another of the poor fitting items
in this kit. Each pair of wing halves need to be fitted and
can use some thinning on the trailing edge as they are quite
thick. The wing/fueslage joint is the next drama as there
are only lines on the fueslage for locating the wings. Once
you have cleaned up the wings and joined them together, the
thickness of the wing halves and the poor fitment of each
needs work. As can bee seen in images 11 and 14 the wing/fueslage
joint needs a fair amount of help. The angle and alignment
of the wings was no problems as the joint is sturdy and aligns
Moving on, the tail assembly was then attached
with no dramas. The RAAF used the smaller of the rudder assemblies
provided so the resin rudder goes to the spares box. The
wheels are next and here is where the choice of aircraft
affects the parts used. Special Hobby provides sufficient
parts to do resin or plastic wheels and the undercarriage
with or without spats. I went for the spats with resin wheels
as this was correct for the RAAF version. These went together
easily, but this time there was locating lugs of sorts to
place the spats in the correct spot.
After all of the main parts were assembled
there was only the small parts to go. There are a number
of PE parts that require to be placed underneath the fueslageand
wing as well as some horn (?) looking devices. I left the
tail wheel off until after painting. Some of these PE items
were tricky due to their small size and could be left off
till after painting, especialy those under the wings themselves.
Once all of these were on I moved onto the paint job.
11. Port wing root
14. Starboard wing root
The model was given an undercoat of Humbrol
primer followed by two thin coats of Humbrol 27002 for
the fueslage and Hu 27001 for the engine cowling and wheel
spats. I ran into a problem with masking the fueslage / cowling
join as the tape I used ripped some of the silver paint off.
I ended up stripping the whole aircraft back again with oven
cleaner and starting it all over. I was given a tip which
helped me solve this problem, I was told to seal the paint
with varnish and then do the nose. I did this and after the
varnish dried thoroughly I masked and painted the cowling,
it worked perfectly. In retrospect I should have used a different
paint for the cowling as it looks totally wrong compared
to the picture I have seen of the original aircraft. After
all the paints had dried I applied another coat of 'One Go'to
seal it all and get a good surface for the decals.
During the stripping of the paint after the
first botched paint job I managed to crack the lower seam
on the fueslage. I tried to fix it but after a few tries
I gave it up as a bad joke with the logic that no-one will
ever see it when looking. The seam is in photo 18.
I used the kit decals as layed out on the instructions
(image 17). The decals are very thin and stick well to the
model after a coat of 'One Go' is applied. The only problem
I had was the black walkway decal decided to fold together
and not come apart. This was easily solved as I simply painted
the walkway with Humbrol matt black.
The options for the decals in photo 17 are:
Miles M.14 Magister Hawk trainer III, G-AFBS/A1
of No 8 EFTS RAF, Woodley, Berkshire in 1941. It was originaly
the civil aircraft of P&PAL flying school. Dark Green
/ Gark Earth and Yellow scheme.
Miles M.14 Magister Mk 1 'early',
L8052, 11 RFS, RAF, probably 1938 - 1939. Trainer Yellow
/ Glossy Aluminium scheme.
Miles M.14A Magister Mk 1,
No 130, Irish Air Corps, Baldonell 1946. Black fueslage with
Alumunium dope wings.
Miles M.14A Magister
Mk 1, c/n 547, No 1 Flight Training School, Point Cook 1938
- 40. Aluminium dope fueslage and wings with Glossy Aluminium
spats and cowling.
After the top coat of varnish dried I then
applied all of the remaining PE, resin and plastic that was
too delicate to originaly put on. The majority of it went
on well but I had some dramas with the small PE that goes
on the wings toward the outer wing underneath. This PE is
very small and hard to place as well as glue. My lack of
experience came into play with these bits as I stuffed them
and managed to lose one of them, and of course there are
no spares supplied with the kit. Photo 19 shows one of the
fine pieces of PE that are attached to the wing, these look
In summary this kit is a bit of a frustrating
kit in that not all of the parts fit and it requires heaps
of fitting, filing and filling. I would recommend that you
have some experience under your belt with limited run kits
before you tackle this kit.
This kit was supplied by my wallet for review
and is available from NKR.