1/72 Hobbyboss Morane-Saulnier MS 406

Gallery Article by Bruce Grayson on June 3 2011


Most serious modellers wanting to build the French MS 406 would probably opt for the Hasegawa kit, but as an exercise in display of "different" markings, and certainly as a departure from the usual Finnish or French markings, Hobbyboss offers an example commandeered by the RAF  and flown by Free French pilots, in Egypt from 1940 to about 1942. Black and white photos of this machine show that it was well-maintained, and sufficiently polished to have reflections of the aerial and fuselage on the wings. I finished the model in 8 days. Some could doubtless do it quicker, and it was my intention to do so.

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You are probably familiar with the level of detail in a Hobbyboss kit. I added a ventral aerial, seat belts, rudder aerial post, Aeroclub rigging thread for the wire aerial, and a pitot tube from stretched sprue. I replaced the gunsight with a fabrication of stretched sprue, and relocated it to the starboard side, forward of the windscreen. The kit item is ok, but centrally-mounted, and my example was not particularly round (mismatched mould). Most of the work in the filling of the seams was in the wing/fuselage joint, which was stepped.  The wing panels of the MS 406 featured raised joint details. Hobbyboss represented these with parallel recessed lines, which I think is acceptable in this scale. I thinned the undercarriage bay fairings. The kit's items are thick, but tapered on the edges to appear thinner than they really are. The undercarriage is simplified, but acceptable. 

I sprayed the camouflage using a Badger 360 in gravity mode. I mixed Tamiya paints according to the recipe provided for Tamiya's 1:48 Dewoitine D.520. The upper grey is one part XF-2 to two parts XF-25; the upper green is one part XF-5 to two parts XF-49, and the upper brown is XF-10 (easy). The lower grey recipe was one part XF-18 to two parts XF-53, but I substituted Gunze Sangyo Mr. Aqueous Hobby Color Neutral Grey for the XF-18. The white is XF-2, and the black is XF-1. As per my usual practice these days, I did not coat the entire model in Future prior to decalling - I just dipped the individual decals in Future. The decals generally behaved well, but were fragile, and two spilt while applying them. The wingtip roundels needed some application of Micro Sol to settle down due to the compound curvature of the wingtip. I did not apply Future to the canopy - it was sufficiently clear out-of-the-box. There's not much to see inside, anyway. On completion of decalling, I sprayed a mixture of Future and Tamiya Flat Base to give it a satin finish.

Bruce Grayson

Photos and text by Bruce Grayson