Scale Trap-pings by Jim Bates

RCN News - - News - By Jim Bates

The Tiger Moth in Royal Cana­dian Navy Ser­vice and in 1/72 Scale

In 1948, the Royal Cana­dian Navy pur­chased three for­mer RCAF Tiger Moths from the Ot­tawa Fly­ing Club. The air­craft ac­quired by the Navy were Cana­dian-built DH.82c Tiger Moths which fea­tured a canopy, cock­pit heat­ing, re­vised land­ing gear, and a tail wheel. Two of the air­planes did lit­tle fly­ing with the Navy, but 8865 was flown by FRU 743 as a sta­tion hack un­til 1957.

His­tor­i­cal Tiger Moth Kits

The first 1/72 Tiger Moth was is­sued by Air­fix in 1957. Very much a prod­uct of its time, it was short on de­tail and ac­cu­racy, but sur­pris­ingly was In the 1980s, Ae­ro­club re­leased a Tiger Moth which con­sisted of the ma­jor air­frame parts in short run in­jected plas­tic and th e de­tails in white metal. Cana­dian mod­ellers were ec­static that it in­cluded a Cana­dian canopy and a Me­nasco Moth cowl bowl. In the 1990s Pavla re­leased an­other short run Tiger Moth with crude plas­tic parts and nice resin de­tails. It was is­sued as both a Cana­dian and Bri­tish Tiger Moth. Last year AZ Mod­els of the Czech Repub­lic is­sued a re­vised ver­sion of the Pavla kit with much bet­ter plas­tic parts, but no resin de­tails. It was a huge step up in qual­ity, but still not quite the mod­ern kit that the Tiger Moth de­served.

Air­fix “New Tool” Tiger Moth

Is­sued in early 2014, the Air­fix Tiger Moth is won­der­ful and shows Air­fix at the top of their game. While only is­sued as a Bri­tish DH.82a Tiger Moth and not con­tain­ing canopy nor land­ing gear mod­i­fi­ca­tions needed for a de Hav­il­land Canada build DH.82c, it is a beau­ti­ful kit. (Cur­rently there are three dis­tinct box­ings, a civil­ian Tiger Moth, a mil­i­tary air­craft in cam­ou­flage over yel­low, and a gift set in all over yel­low.) Molded in great plas­tic and spread out over three sprues the kit fea­tures beau­ti­fully molded fab­ric de­tail and ex­cel­lent de­tail for the scale. The cock­pit con­sists of two seats, two con­trol col­umns, two pi­lot fig­ures, and in­stru­ment pan­els with dec als for the in­stru­ments. The cock­pit doors are molded closed, but sep­a­rate pieces are pro­vided to fit them open. (For the RCN Tiger Moth they will need to be re­moved.) The en­gi­neer­ing for adding the struts and top wing are well thought out, and should make this some­what scary part of bi­plane mod­el­ing a snap. A small clear sprue pro­vides the two wind­screens, which would not be re­quired for a RCN Tiger Moth. In­ter­est­ingly, a tail­wheel is in­cluded, though not men­tioned in the in­struc­tions. This will make build­ing a RCN Tiger Moth just a lit­tle bit eas­ier. The in­struc­tions them­selves are in­ter­est­ing in that they con­sist of CAD dra wings rather than the usual two di­men­sional in­struc­tions seen in kits. A nice lit­tle rig­ging di­a­gram is in­cluded for those who wish to rig the bi­plane. While not quite cor­rect to build one of the RCN’s Tiger Moths, the only sur­viv­ing photo of 8865 shows the plane fl ying with­out a canopy. By us­ing the tail­wheel, slightly ad­just­ing the land­ing gear struts for­ward, adding a wind­screen and canop y rails, a nice fac­sim­ile of the RCN’s Tiger Moth can be built, but the mod­eller will be on his or her own to find some de­cals. Highly rec­om­mended; it is an ex­cel­lent kit and at un­der $10 great value for the money.

in­cluded in the Air­fix cat­a­logue al­most con­tin­u­ously from 1957 un­til 2012.

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