Books on the

De Havilland Mosquito

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"Modelling the De Havilland Mosquito" Osprey

ISBN 978 1 84176 765 9. "Modelling the De Havilland Mosquito" by Roy Sutherland was published by Osprey in 2005. The usual Osprey small format softback supplies 84 pages in full colour. Roy is obviously a bit of a Mosquito modelling maestro and built all the kits featured. Not only this but he photographed every stage of construction and painting too. He covers the Tamiya 1/48th scale B Mk IV, a conversion of Tamiya's 1/72nd scale FB Mk VI to an NF Mk XIII, conversion of the Tamiya 1/48th scale B MK IV to a PR Mk XVI and the conversion of the Tamiya 1/48th scale NG Mk XIII to an NF Mk XIX. Not only this but you get a Foreword by Group Captain J. R. Goodman DFC AFC, an Introduction, History of the type, listing of Mosquito variants, listing of Mosquito model accessories & decals, a review of the available kits in various scales, a Gallery of completed kits from other model makers, a list of further reading, a website listing, Index and Colour Chart. Phew! This is the complete package. In previous reviews of this format I have been critical of the price of these Osprey works. If you were able to collect lots of modelling magazines over the years no doubt you will have something similar in your collection. On the face of it the Osprey book is poor value for money but it brings it all together if you don't already have that collection sitting on your shelves. Of course, being released six years ago this book doesn't mention the new Airfix 1/24th scale kit which opened the field again. No doubt we may see an Osprey Modelling book devoted JUST to that one day? The possibilities are endless. Complaints about price to one side this is a lovely book and will be a real asset in building any Mosquito kit. However Roy has clearly staked his preference for the Tamiya kits. Who can blame him? He is probably right - they will be the best ones out there in 1/72nd scale and 1/48th scale. Recommended.

Plane Essentials "Mosquito Info Guide No 1"

ISBN 978-1-906589-00-4. "Mosquito Info Guide No 1" was published by Publishing Solutions in 2008. The primary authors were John Batchelor and Malcolm V. Lowe. This is a thin large format paperback at only 32 pages long. It sells on the basis of it "exclusive full colour cockpit cutaway and side views" which is emblazoned across the colour. However you will be disappointed. The ONLY colour in this book is reserved for the covers, inside covers, one-and-a-half pages of side-views and the center-spread. The original commissioned artworks are so-so yet the entire book is bolted onto these works. In this "Plane Essentials" you get 5 chapters and an appendices. The chapters cover "Development & Background, Wartime Service", "Mosquito Versions & Roles", Trials & Post-war Service" and "Foreign Service". Given the shortness of the book you can only guess as to how brief these descriptions are. This is Mosquito-lite. At least it lives up to its name - this only covers the bare "essentials"! The text is illustrated with only a handful of pictures in black and white.  Blink and you miss it. The Appendices liven things up a bit with a set of type Specifications, Serial Numbers, a list of Kits Decals & Accessories in both 1/72nd scale and 1/48th scale, some "Further Details" (half a page consisting of two photos and two line-drawings of the undercarriage), a list of "Preserved Mosquitoes", a line-drawn cutaway and some pictures of some finished models plus some Airfix box-art. This is a nice little coffee-table number for those of us who don't want to spend too long reading around the topic. What it has isn't bad but it is all rather token-like. One for the collector I think or a nice gift for the younger model maker.

Mosquito In Action Part 1

ISBN 0-89747-283-7. "Mosquito in action part 1" by Jerry Scutts (Aircraft Number 127) was published by Squadron/Signal Publications in 1992. Colour artwork by Don Greer with line illustrations by Tom Tullis. This volume covers the bomber, photo reconnaissance and special use variants of the Mosquito. This means the prototype, PR Mk I, B Mk IV, B Mk V, PR Mk IV, PR Mk VIII, B Mk VII, B Mk IX, PR Mk IX, B Mk XVI, B Mk XX, B Mk 25, PR Mk 34, B Mk 35, TT Mk 39, Sea Mosquito TR Mk 33, TR Mk 37 and foreign operators which includes the US, Australia, Czechoslovakia, France, Israel, South Africa & Soviet Union. For For fighter, fighter bomber and trainer variants se part 2. This book has 52 pages with colour artwork on the front cover, back cover and inside centre spread only. The major external differences are illustrated with line drawings. There are also a number of three-view drawings of the major sub-types such as the B Mk IV and PR Mk 34 which includes type specifications. This is not a walkaround for the modeller but you do get a few interesting shots of the cockpit and engine mounts during overhaul. Other than a small view of the first mock-up there is one other photo of a B Mk 35 under construction. This is not a work for anyone interested in modelling the nuts and bolts. However you do get an overview of some of the paint schemes as well as a useful insight into how the different marques differed from each other. This is a slim volume of minor use.

Mosquito In Action Part 2

ISBN 0-89747-303-5. "Mosquito in action Part 2" by Jerry Scutts (Aircraft Number 139) was published by Squadron/Signal Publications in 1993. Colour artwork by Don Greer with line illustrations by Joe Sewell & Tom Tullis. This volume covers the fighter, night fighter, fighter bomber and trainer variants of the Mosquito. This means NF Mk II, NF II "special", NF XII, NF XIII, NF XV, NF Mk 30, NF Mk 36, NF Mk 38, FB VI, FB XVIII, T Mk III, T.Mk 22, T Mk 43,  and foreign service with Australia (FB Mk 40), Belgium, Burma, Canada (FB Mk 21, FB Mk 26), China, Czechoslovakia, Dominican Republic, France, Israel, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Turkey and Yugoslavia. For bomber, photo reconnaissance and special use variants see part 1. It seems somewhat strange to leave the ubiquitous Fighter Bomber marques to the "Part 2" edition of this two-piece. As with Part 1 you get 52 pages with colour artwork only on the front cover, rear cover and inside centre spread. The major external differences are illustrated with line drawings. There are also a number of three-view drawings of the major sub-types such as the NF 36 and FB Mk IV which includes type specifications. This is not a walkaround for the modeller but you get the occasionally clear close-up photo of the instrument panel and armament. This is not a work for anyone interested in modelling the nuts and bolts. However you do get an overview of some of the paint schemes as well as a useful insight into how the different marques differed from each other. This is a slim volume of minor use.

"Mosquito" Richard A Franks (SAM Publications)

SAM MosquitoISBN 0 9533465 0 1. "The De Havilland Mosquito - A comprehensive guide for the modeller" was written by Richard A Franks and published by SAM Publications in 1998. This work features art by Richard J Caruana, Steve Benstead, Anthony Oliver and Michele Marsan. This was the first Modellers Datafile that Scale Aircraft Modelling ("SAM") released. At the time the choice of kits on the market was limited although by 1998 there were rumours that Tamiya were producing their 1/48th scale kits. How much has changed in 14 years! Of course the release of the Airfix 1/24th scale Mossie a couple of years back was a game-changer too. Suddenly everyone was interested in modelling the BIG Mosquito kit and demand for this book stepped up. Of course it has been out of print for many a long year. Where are SAM these days?

This book has been available on Amazon from various secondhand sellers for a good long time but the lack of sellers and the high demand meant the prices exceeded the cost of the Airfix kit! At time of writing (Summer 2012) there is a copy available for £110 and a couple more in the £80 to £90 area. I admit to having this on my Amazon wish list since I invested in the Airfix kit but baulked at buying the Datafile at those crazy prices. How I ended up with a copy was merely good fortune. I logged onto Amazon one day to see one on sale at just £25. Curious I checked it out and it claimed to be a copy with a slight bend in it. Difficult to see why the seller knocked the price down so far. However, I wasn't bothered about a bend and immediately snapped it up saving myself a massive £60 at least. I was delighted to find that, when the book arrived, it was in perfect condition with no bend at all. Bizarre! It pays to be patient.

SAM MosquitoThis work is 160 pages long in BIG floppy A4 paper size. In the back you get great big 1/48th scale drawings of the major types. You need only hit "200%" on the photocopier and you have 1/24th scale plans! Brilliant. The production is lavish and colourful. After a Glossary, Preface and Concise History there are 8 chapters covering the service history of the type cradle to grave. Then the book moves on to some colour side-view artworks and some colour interior artworks. Chapter 9 covers modelling the Mossie with the kits THEN on the market in 1998. Chapter 10 gives a marque by marque illustration of the major differences between the types. Chapter 11 turns the Mossie inside out with colour photos of the airframe from various museum pieces as well as period line drawings. Chapter 12 models nine versions in 1/48th scale using the available aftermarket accessories from 1998. This is followed by some colour photos before chapter 13 covers colour and markings. There then follows a long Appendix with kit listing, conversions, accessories, decals, powerplants, variants, genealogy, squadrons, chronology, production and bibliography. The book is then rounded out with an index.

So there you have it - probably the most complete work for the modeller you will ever see. Sadly it is dated now by being overtaken by events. But we won't hold it against them. Good luck finding a copy though (without breaking the bank)!

Stuart Howe "De Havilland Mosquito"

ISBN 0-947554-76-9. "De Havilland Mosquito - An Illustrated History - Volume 1" by Stuart Howe was published first in 1992 by Aston Publications. It has been reprinted three times since by Crécy Publishing Limited. The reprinted versions had 60 more photographs in a new section at the back of the book. None other than Group Captain John Cunningham CBE DSO DFC AE CL wrote the foreword to this 178 page marvel. Most of the pictures are in black and white but there is colour on eight pages inside as well as the rear cover. You get nine chapters covering "Construction", "Bombers", "Fighters", "Fighter-bombers", "Photographic Reconnaissance", "Sea Mosquito", "Foreign Air Forces", "Civil Mosquitoes" and "Mosquito Miscellany". This really is an "illustrated history". All you get are photos with lengthy captions! The only thing they could have done to make this MORE helpful to the modelmaker may have been a few colour artworks of the some of the featured machines. There is lovely example of a French Mosquito with sharks teeth on page 133 that I would love to know more about. This is an invaluable resource for the model maker. You get photographs of just about everything inside and out. However the model maker was probably not the intended audience for this as it seems to have been aimed at fans of the type. The captions are lengthy and informative. Recommended.

 

"High Wycombe's Contribution to Aviation"

ISBN 978-0-9558241-1-1. "High Wycombe's Contribution to Aviation" was published by the authors David Scott and Ian Simmons. This was printed in this revised edition in 2008. This is not, at first sight, a book about the Mosquito, but it is the book that sparked my interest. High Wycombe is a large former furniture-making town in Buckinghamshire just outside of London. It is where I live. Geoffrey de Havilland was born just a short walk down the road from where I live and am writing these words today. I have met both the authors of this book, one of them, Ian Simmons, I have bumped into on several occasions. They do a regular talks about local aviation history at the High Wycombe Museum where I first met them. So what is the relevance other than the local interest? Well, the fuselages, wings and many other wooden components to the Mosquito were all manufactured in the town. This made use of the wooden furniture-making skills that the town had-a-plenty. The components (including entire fuselages) were then taken by truck for final assembly elsewhere. However the town's connection with aircraft-making and de Havilland dates back to World War One. The book boasts many great photos of Mosquito components in manufacture. (See sample below.) One extraordinary picture shows the last tail planes being made at the end of the war with the peacetime wardrobes rolling up the production line behind! Lovely. This inspiring book is 116 pages long but is in black and white throughout apart from colour covers.

 

This book was actually printed by the Wycombe District Council so you won't find it on the bookshelves of Amazon or Waterstones. You can buy copies from the High Wycombe Museum or direct from David Scott, 21 Ellsworth Road, High Wycombe, Bucks HP11 2TU United Kingdom. His phone number is +44 (0)1494 445636 and his E:Mail address is dave.scott AT portasilo.co.uk (just replace the " AT " with "@"). If you want a good compilation of pictures of the Mosquito being manufactured then this is for you.

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