1/48 ProModeler Focke Wulf Ta-154 Moskito

Gallery Article by Chip Berseth on Feb 8 2018

 

      

While deciding one day last summer what my next build would be, I knew one thing. It had to be an old kit, something I have had forever. It also had to be something interesting that really drew me in. Most every builder has at some point in their journey put a model on the "to be finished, someday" shelf. This was where I went to find my project, ProModelers 1/48 scale offering of the Focke Wulf Ta-154 night fighter. 

While an outstanding kit, it was much too difficult and complicated for me to finish earlier in my modeling journey. I had to chuckle to myself when I opened the box to discover that I had not managed to get past the cockpit stage. With this in mind, I decided to apply the skills and techniques that I've learned in the years since to bring this lethal aircraft to life.

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The ProModeler offering of the TA-154 Moskito is a actually a decent kit. The biggest flaw associated with this kit is the incredible wing warp. This gave me a chance to learn a new skill, straightening parts with hot water. I filled a bowl with water and put in the microwave until it was boiling. Placing the wings into the bowl to get them hot, I gently pressed down on the wing. Reheated and repeated until the wings were straight. An easy fix indeed.

Building was restarted with the completion of the cockpit area. I figured that I would make use of my tools and experience to do some fun detailing. Using a pin vise I drilled out the backs of the instruments on the panel. Into this I inserted copper wire pulled from an old electrical cord. Super glued in place, these were shortened and painted to represent the instrument wiring.

A head rest for the radar operator was made using the number squares from the sprues themselves. Clipping them from the sprue, the numbers were removed with an X-Acto knife and the parts sanded. The parts were then glued together, and centered on the bulkhead behind the radar operator. The rest of the build continued per the instructions. Seat belts were made from heavy foil from work. True Details resin wheels were substituted for the kit ones. Resin wheels are usually a nice and affordable addition to any kit. Next it was time to paint.

Model Master Acrylics were used. The aircraft was painted with RLM 75 Grauviolet first, then masked with blue putty. Then the entire aircraft was sprayed with RLM 76 Lichtblau. This was allowed a little time to dry, then the putty was carefully removed. Touch ups were made and it was allowed to dry.

The model was given multiple coats of Future over a few days. The kit decals were brushed with Microscale Liquid Decal Film as they were old and I didn't want to run the risk of them falling apart after I have passed the point of no return for decals. They responded fairly well for how old they were. Testors 1260 Dullcote toned everything down and blended it all together. 

A simple base was purchased from a local craft store. After being hit with some sandpaper here and there it was then painted with Satin black spray paint and allowed to dry. Busch model railroad grass mat was then cut to fit on the base. This was glued down with superglue. A hole was drilled in the base and the bottom of the nose wheel. A length of paper clip was glued into the nose wheel hole and the other end was glued into the hole on the base. This not only secured the aircraft to the base, but also fixed a mistake that I had made by not putting enough weight in the nose. 

In conclusion, ProModelers offering of the TA-154 is a neat kit of a relatively forgotten aircraft. Construction was straightforward and the level of detail is satisfactory. When completed it looks very sinister and deadly, exactly what it was supposed to be.

This kit served as an excellent test bed to not only try new things, but also to hone other skills. The conclusion of this build brought upon me the age old question that every builder has at one point or another asked themselves, "what do I build next"? 

Chip Berseth

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Photos and text by Chip Berseth