Pavla 1/72nd de Havilland DH.82A Tiger Moth Mk.II

By Gerry Nilles

History:

From the Instructions:

The DH.82A Tiger Moth Mk. II is probably one of the best known light military trainers of all time. Originally it was an outgrowth of de Havilland's earlier two-seat civilian Moth trainer. The initial military derivative, the DH.60T was surprisingly not used by the RAF but rather was developed and sold to Brazil, China, Iraq, Egypt and Sweden. It wasn't until the second military modification that it found its way into the RAF inventory. Redesigned per specification T.26/31 and powered by a de Havilland Gypsy Major engine the now re-designated DH.82A Tiger Moth Mk.II was ready for flight-testing. The first flight of this new model occurred on October 26th 1931. With its test flights a success the RAF placed an order for 35 of these aircraft. The first deliveries went to No 3 Flying Training School at Grantham, Lincolnshire in November 1931 and were followed by deliveries to Central Flying School in May 1932. This of course, was just the beginning.

Prior to WWII the DH82.A proved to be very popular aircraft throughout the world. It was built under license by no less than six different countries including Norway, Canada, Portugal Sweden, Australia, and New Zealand. After the outbreak of WWII Australia and New Zealand alone manufactured over 1400 aircraft between them. Large numbers of Australian built Tiger Moths were shipped to Southern Rhodesia and South Africa for use under the Commonwealth Air Training Plan. The Air Training Plan was also established in Canada where once again the Tiger Moth was redesigned to meet flying conditions in that region.

The Tiger Moth saw widespread use in WWII as a trainer, air ambulance, light communications and reconnaissance aircraft. Some were even fitted with light bomb racks and used as coastal patrol aircraft to deter U-boats from operating in British waters. Many examples of the Tiger Moth survive to this day and can be seen in the skies or parked at civilian airports and air-parks all around the world.

The Kit:

The Pavla Tiger Moth Mk.II is a combined media kit consisting of 30 injected molded parts, 11 cast resin parts and two (duplicate) sets of clear vac-u-formed windscreens. Needless to say the Tiger Moth is a small and delicate looking aircraft which is especially true in 1/72nd scale. However Pavla seems to have captured this quality quite nicely. The injected molder parts are sinkhole free and crisply cast. A little clean up is necessary along the edges of both the upper and lower wings, but a light touch with some fine grain sandpaper is all that is needed. The fabric ribbing on all flying surfaces is especially impressive with this kit. It is obvious but not overstated. The only injection parts that looks like they could use any work at all are the propeller, which seems to be a bit thick at the leading and trailing edges and the seats which also look to be thick around the rim of the buckets. The resin parts are very nicely done. Some of these parts will require a fine touch because of their tiny size and their associated delicate nature.

The assembly process is very straightforward starting with the interior then the fuselage and engine assemblies, followed by the attachment of the flying surfaces and then the landing gear. For the finishing touch a nicely done rigging illustration is provided, which looks easy to follow. The assembly instructions provided are very well done and easy to read and understand..

Decals:

To say the least the decal sheet provided with this kit is impressive and of very good quality and registration. It includes five different schemes. The first is a RAF camouflaged Liaison DH 82A that was operated by the 312 Czechoslovak fighter squadron in 1944. The second scheme is a Netherlands East Indian Tiger Moth Mk.I that was evacuated to Australia and then flown in RAAF colors. The third is a scheme from 1941 for a DH 82A that was operated by the French in Indochina. The fourth scheme is for the first DH 82A that went into operation at the Hatfield Air School in the spring of 1933. The last scheme is for a DH 82A that was flown by the No 4 Flying Training School, Heany airport South Rhodesia in 1949.

Conclusion:

This is the first Pavla 1/72nd kit I have reviewed so I can’t really compare it with any previous offering from this company. That said I am very impressed with the general quality of this particular kit. Of course being a first look I have no way of knowing how well it goes together. I also do not have any drawings to compare it with for accuracy, however a check of the dimensions show both span and length to be accurate.

Many thanks to Pavla for supplying this sample kit.

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