Well, I've finally managed to get my hands on one of these...'little beauties' isn't the right phrase; it isn't the largest plastic aircraft kit ever, but it's one of the biggest I've ever seen. The box is 27 x 16 x 6 inches, and it's full to the brim. This was part of the third batch which arrived at my local model shop, but everything prior to this lot had been pre-ordered, which is around 130 kits.
As I was lifting the sprues out of the box, I was surprised to find that only the mainwheel tyres appeared to be moulded in rubber - there was no sign of the tailwheel tyre there. However I found a separate rubber sprue elsewhere in the box with not only the tailwheel tyre but also four mysterious bracket-shaped pieces. It took me a while to track them down in the instruction booklet (which is the size of a tabloid newspaper and 52 pages long) - turns out they're the ammo feeds for the nose cannon, and they're in rubber because they have a ninety-degree twist between ammo boxes and the cannons themselves. (The mainwheel tyres, by the way, have flattened and spread bottoms to simulate the weight of the aircraft. I know this is common on aftermarket parts but it's the first time I've seen it on the original kit.)
There is a lot of interior detail, down to the label on the fire extinguisher. The interior framing for the cockpit canopy is supplied as a separate part, which makes painting infinitely easier. The crew entry hatch can be shown open or closed - if you choose the open option then the access ladder can be set against the side of the aircraft.
Four crew figures are provided - two seated in the cockpit, plus one standing and one with one foot on the access ladder.
All in all, a lovely kit - Airfix have put a lot of work into this, and it shows. But the fact that my local model shop has shifted 130 of them in just a few weeks shows that there is a demand for kits of this standard, so hopefully we'll see more in future.
I suspect that not many of these kits have yet found their way across the Atlantic as there has been little or no discussion of the kit on this group. I'd be interested to see what others think - I'm a keen rather than enthusiastic modeller (so why did I shell out £130 on this kit? I don't know either!) and don't have anything to compare it to. (Yes, I know there aren't any other 1/24 Mosquitoes on the market, but you know what I mean...)