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  1. Hi everyone! Let me present my new model. This time it’s Supermarine Spitfire, one of my favourites. There’s no need to specify the facts about the prototype because everyone knows this plane inside out and it’s one of the most frequently assembled models. However, I should point out that I wanted to show the qualities which were specific for early Spitfires. Those were the fighting machines whose creators had no idea about real combat conditions. They were equipped by a streamlined flat canopy that didn’t provide 360-deg vision or have any armoured windscreen panel (when you come to think of it, the plane had no armoured protection neither for life-critical units nor for a pilot). Moreover, the early models were built up with an old-school two-bladed rotor and some throwbacks such as an antispin parachute, and there wasn’t any weapon heating. It rendered the fighter useless on apparent combat heights of German bombers because frozen machine-guns didn’t work there. In other words, the early Spitfires were like Englishmen with enormous potential but poorly aware of what was waiting for them in the heat of the coming major war. I’ve chosen Airfix A02010 Supermarine Spitfire Mk.I/Mk.IIa set for assembling. The set makes a good impression, the details are well-fitted, but still there are certain drawbacks in canopy-fuselage attaching and wing-fuselage blending. The model is quite accurate, so it hasn’t raised a lot of my criticism. The only thing is that the upper part of cowl panel has square-flat shape closer to the Mk.V rather than Mk.I. The panel lining is pretty true-to-fact although a bit simplified and needs improvement. The model features the 9th manufactured prototype of Spitfire K9795 from the 19th Royal Air Force squadron in Duxford as in October of 1938. Thanks for looking!
  2. Supermarine Sea Otter Mk.I/ASR Mk.II "Foreign Service" 1:72 Special Hobby (72431) The Se Otter was developed by Supermarine from its famous predecessor the Walrus. As a longer range Sea Plane the main difference is the arrangement of the engine from the pusher as seen on the Walrus to the more conventional puller. The Sea Otter was the last Sea Plane to be designed by Supermarine, and the last biplane to enter service with the RAF & FAA. Despite the prototype flying in 1938 it was not ordered until 1942 with only 292 of the nearly 700 ordered being produced before the end of WWII. Many aircraft were sold and used in civilian use post WWII with conversions to passenger and freight transport for remote locations being done. The Kit This is a re-release of the Azur Ffrom kit originally from 2011. The kit arrives on 4 spures, a clear spurue, A sheet of PE, a bag of resin parts and a cockpit film. Construction starts with the interior. Two seats complete with PE belts are made up these are fitted to the cabin floor along with all of the internal bulkheads. The instrument panel with its POE part and film goes in. The two rear windows go into the fuselage halves from the inside and then the fuselage can be closed up around the cabin interior. Now the tailplanes and rudder are fitted to the completed fuselage before work can start on the wings. Both the upper and lower wings are 3 part. There is a single upper with left & right lowers. The engine pod fits under the top with with the engine, cowl, and exhaust being in resin. The lower wing is attached to the main fuselage and then the upper wing is fixed on with all of the struts. There are shallow locating points for all the struts. Under the lower wing the stabilising floats can be fitted along with a pair of resin & PE bomb racks. At the rear the tail wheel is added and the main wheels are also built up ad added. To finish up PE & wire (not supplied) hand rails are fitted to the front and rear fuselage. These were used in SAR operations. A full rigging diagram is provided if the modeller wishes to rig the finished aircraft. Decals Three options are provided on the decal sheet, these look to have been made in house, they look to be in register with no issues.: Mk.I, 8S-10 8S Sqn, Cat Lai Air Base, French Indo-China 1949. Mk.II ASR - Dutch Navy 1950. Mk.I JM833 Danish Navy, Copenhagen 1947. Conclusion This is a good kit of an overlooked aircraft. The fabric effects are well represented without being overscale and there is a fair amount of detail. With some care this will build up into a good looking model. Recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  3. In August 2020, Eduard is to release in August 2020 - just in time for the 80th Anniversary of the BoB - a new tool 1/48th Supermarine Spitfire Mk.I limited kit - ref. Source: https://www.eduard.com/out/media/InfoEduard/archive/2020/info-eduard-2020-01.pdf V.P.
  4. Spitfire Mk.IIb ProfiPACK (82154) 1:48 Eduard The Spitfire was the champion of the Battle of Britain along with the Hurricane and a few other less well-known players, and it’s an aircraft with an amazing reputation that started as a bit of a damp squib in the shape of the Supermarine Type 224. This gull-winged oddity was the grandfather of the Spitfire, and despite losing out to the biplane Gloster Gladiator, designer R J Mitchell was spurred on to go back to the drawing board and create a more modern, technologically advanced and therefore risky design. This was the Type 300, and it was an all-metal construction with an incredibly thin elliptical wing that became legendary, although it didn’t leave much space for fuel, a situation that was further worsened by the Air Ministry’s insistence that four .303 machine guns were to be installed in each wing, rather than the three originally envisaged. It was a very well-sorted aircraft from the outset, so quickly entered service with the RAF in 1938 in small numbers. With the clouds of war building, the Ministry issued more orders and it became a battle to manufacture enough to fulfil demand in time for the outbreak and early days of war from September 1939 onwards. By then, the restrictive straight sided canopy had been replaced by a “blown” hood to give the pilot more visibility, although a few with the old canopy still lingered for a while. The title Mk.Ia was given retrospectively to differentiate between the cannon-winged Mk.Ib that was instigated after the .303s were found somewhat lacking compared to the 20mm cannon armament of their main opposition at the time, the Bf.109. As is usual in wartime, the designers could never rest on their laurels with an airframe like the Spitfire, as it had significant potential for development, a process that lasted throughout the whole of WWII, and included many changes to the Merlin engine, then the installation of the more powerful Griffon engine, as well as the removal of the spine of the fuselage and creation of a bubble canopy to improve the pilot’s situational awareness. Its immediate successor was the Mk.II that had a better Merlin engine and higher octane fuel to give it a healthy boost in performance. The IIa was armed identically to the Mk.Ia with four .303s in each wing, while the IIb carried the two 20mm cannons of the Ib and two .303s in each of the wings. It was followed by the Mk.V that had yet another more powerful Merlin fitted, which returned the fright of the earlier marks’ first encounters with Fw.190s by a similar increase in performance from an outwardly almost identical Spitfire. The Kit This is a reboxing with new parts of a new tool from Eduard, following on from their other later marks of the Spit in their usual manner, providing us modellers with a wide selection of types and sub-variants as they proceed through their launch schedule. This is a thoroughly modern tooling with immense detail squeezed into every part, and for the inveterate upgraders, the kits are moulded with that in mind, to be augmented by a raft of super-detailed resin and brass sets from Eduard themselves, which benefit from concurrent launch and excellent fit. The outer skin has been fully riveted with fine lines and rivets everywhere, plus different widths of engraved lines, Dzuz fasteners on cowling panels, and even some lapped panels such as the fuel tank in front of the canopy. It arrives in Eduard’s new ProfiPACK box featuring a gold banner, with five sprues in their grey/blue styrene, a clear sprue, a fret of Photo-Etch (PE) that is nickel-plated and pre-painted, a small sheet of pre-cut kabuki masking material (not pictured), a large decal sheet with separate stencil sheet, and the glossy instruction booklet with painting guide at the rear in full colour. It is nearly identical in terms of sprues to the Mk.IIa that we reviewed recently apart from the new wing sprue, so four sprues and the clear parts in common with its sibling. The differences between the two versions are otherwise small, but you use alternative parts on the sprues for the cannons and for some decal options, plus the decals themselves. Construction begins with the cockpit, which will probably be familiar to most, although there is a huge amount of detail when it’s done the Eduard way. It is built up on the starboard sidewall insert, with equipment, controls and a choice of seat-carrying fuselage frames depending on which decal option you have chosen. The seat is next, having the flare rack at the front added from PE, as well as some nice painted PE seatbelts and rear armour. The control column is also made up, and has a PE trigger added before it and the flight control box (more of a tangle, really) are joined to the seat and inserted in the next two fuselage frames forward. The next frame forward holds the instrument panel, which can be plastic with decals, or the more complex and detailed lamination of PE parts with those lovely glossy dial faces on a separate backing plate, either of which then glue to the frame, with the gunsight at the top of the panel, and the compass just below, then the rudder pedals are outfitted with PE straps and footrests, before being put just inside the footwell below the panel. Forward of that frame is a blanking plate that is glued in place along with the spinner back during the fuselage closure procedure. The socket for the tail wheel and the leading edge of the wing fairing are also glued in, and take care here, as there are two diagrams below the fuselage closure that cover the painting and decaling of the cockpit sidewalls, which must be done before closure, as you’d imagine. The canopy will require small parts of the sidewalls removing to accommodate the appropriate glazing, so make sure you cut those parts off too. They slip in a mention of a panel line on the very front of the nose that you need to fill in, so don’t forget that one, as it’s called out with a line and the word “fill” during the attachment to the wings later on. There is also a hole to be drilled in the port wing root fairing as well. The lower wing is a single part out as far as the clipped wing rib, and there are two pairs of small holes that need drilling out on both undersides before you go any further. A long wing spar bridges the gap between the wheel bay cut-outs, then the rest of the bay walls are made out of short sections and just the two wing-gun barrels per side are dropped into their slots ready for closing up the wing, then placing the fuselage into the gap and gluing it home. The empennage is next, with separate elevator fins and flying surfaces, plus the rudder and its control link, chopping off the short tube on the top of the fin. Back to the wings, and the elliptical tips are slid into place along with the ailerons, which you can pose deflected if you wish. Staying with the wing, the model is flipped over, and the radiator, oil cooler and chin intake with fairing are all added in, the radiator and oil cooler both having PE mesh inserts, L-shaped feeder pipes at the rear, and a scale-thickness PE flap with two actuators for open and closed positions. The narrow track landing gear has replacement PE details fixed to the leg after removing the plastic representation, and these then have the captive doors attached to the rear, and wheels made up from a tyre and two hub parts, with a split yoke and wheel for the tail, which slots into the socket buried in the fuselage. The 20mm cannon parts simply slide into their sockets in the leading edge of the wings, which explains the requirement for the new sprue with the small circular fairings moulded into it. The canopy has a choice of PE or styrene rear-view mirror on the windscreen, and a choice of open or closed canopies with a PE pull-handle in the top. The fixed rear glazing is fitted first for the open option, but is moulded into the closed canopy for better fit. The locations for the masks are shown in a diagram at the end of the instructions, using liquid mask for highly curved areas of the blown canopy. The cockpit door can be mounted open or closed, then the aerial is glued to the rear of the canopy on a base, two small holes are opened up on the upper wing for the PE landing gear markers, with a fuel filler cap on the cowling in front of the windscreen. The exhaust stacks have been moulded carefully to give hollow tips, and the prop is a single part, covered front and back by the two-part pointed spinner, with the peg on the rear sliding into the front of the fuselage. The final steps show two aerial wires from the fuselage sides to the elevators, which you will need to provide from your own toolbox. Markings There are a generous six marking options from the box, including some early war in Dark Earth/Dark Green and later examples with Ocean Grey and Dark Green camo. From the box you can build one of the following: P/O Frederick A O Gaze, No.610 (County of Chester) Sqn., RAF Westhampnett, West Sussex, 1941 P8519 No.306 (Polish) Sqn., RAF Northolt, July 1941 P8646, No.616 (South Yorkshire) Sqn., RAF Kirton in Lindsey, Lincolnshire, Oct/Nov, 1941 P8505 Sgt. Eric S Dicks-Sherwood, No.266 (Rhodesia) Sqn., RAF Wittering, Cambs., Sept 1941 P8533 S/Ldr. Percival S Turner, CO of 145 Sqn., RAF Catterick, North Yorks., Oct 1941 P8348 No.52 OTU, RAF Debden, Essex, Summer 1943 The decals are printed by Eduard and are in good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin gloss carrier film cut close to the printed areas. The stencils are on a separate sheet, and are marked on a page of the booklet, separate from the rest of the markings to avoid confusion from trying to read overly busy diagrams. Conclusion There are always some moans about "yet another" Spitfire model, but other people’s kits don’t make money for Eduard, and they do it their own unique way. They’ve done a great job of these early marks, and the detail is excellent from the box, with nothing else needed to create a great replica other than paint and glue, a little bit of fine wire for the aerials, and some of your hard work. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  5. Spitfire Mk.Ia ProfiPACK (82151) 1:48 Eduard The Spitfire was the champion of the Battle of Britain along with the Hurricane and a few other less well-known players, and it’s an aircraft with an amazing reputation that started from a bit of a damp squib in the shape of the Supermarine Type 224. The gull-winged oddity was the grandfather of the Spitfire, and despite losing out to the biplane Gloster Gladiator, designer R J Mitchell was spurred on to go back to the drawing board and create a more modern, technologically advanced and therefore risky design. This was the Type 300, and it was an all-metal construction with an incredibly thin elliptical wing that became legendary, although it didn’t leave much space for fuel, a situation that was further worsened by the Air Ministry’s insistence that four .303 machine guns were to be installed in each wing, rather than the three originally envisaged. It was a very well-sorted aircraft from the outset, so quickly entered service with the RAF in 1938 in small numbers. With the clouds of war accumulating, the Ministry issued more orders and it became a battle to create enough to fulfil demand in time for the outbreak and early days of war from September 1939 onwards. By then, the restrictive straight sided canopy had been replaced by a “blown” hood to give the pilot more visibility, although a few with the old canopy still lingered. The title Mk.Ia was given retrospectively to differentiate between the cannon-winged Mk.Ib that was instigated after the .303s were found somewhat lacking compared to the 20mm cannon armament of their main opposition at the time, the Bf.109. As is usual in wartime, the designers could never rest on their laurels with an airframe like the Spitfire, as it had significant potential for development, a process that lasted throughout the whole of WWII, and included many changes to the Merlin engine, then the installation of the more powerful Griffon engine, as well as the removal of the spine of the fuselage and creation of a bubble canopy to improve the pilot’s situational awareness. Its immediate successor was the Mk.II with a new Mk.XII Merlin, followed by the Mk.V that had yet another more powerful Merlin fitted, which returned the fright of the earlier marks’ first encounters with Fw.190s by a similar increase in performance of an outwardly almost identical Spitfire. The Kit This is a new tool from Eduard, following on from their other later marks of the Spit in their usual manner, providing us modellers with a wide selection of types and sub-variants as they proceed through their launch schedule. This is a thoroughly modern tooling with immense detail squeezed into every part, and for the inveterate upgraders, the kits are moulded with that in mind, to be augmented by a raft of super-detailed resin and brass sets from Eduard themselves, which benefit from concurrent launch and excellent fit. The outer skin has been fully riveted with fine lines and rivets everywhere, plus different widths of engraved lines, Dzuz fasteners on cowling panels, and even some lapped panels such as the fuel tank in front of the canopy. It arrives in Eduard’s standard ProfiPACK box, with five sprues in their grey/blue styrene, a circular clear sprue, a fret of Photo-Etch (PE) that is nickel-plated and pre-painted, a small sheet of pre-cut kabuki masking material (not pictured), a large decal sheet with separate stencil sheet, and the glossy instruction booklet with painting guide at the rear in full colour. Construction begins with the cockpit, which will probably be familiar to most, although maybe not in so much detail if you’re not used to the Eduard way. It is built up on the starboard sidewall insert, with equipment, controls and a choice of seat-carrying fuselage frames depending on which decal option you have chosen. The seat is next, having the flare rack at the front removed and replaced by the daintier PE part, as well as some nice PE seatbelts and rear armour. The control column is also made up, and has a PE trigger added before it and the flight control box (more of a tangle, really) are joined to the seat and inserted in the next two fuselage frames forward. The next frame forward holds the instrument panel, which can be plastic with decals, or the more complex and detailed lamination of PE parts with those lovely glossy dial faces on a separate backing plate, either of which then glue to the frame, with the gunsight at the top of the panel, and the compass just below, then the rudder pedals are outfitted with PE straps and footrests, before being put just inside the cut-out below the panel. Forward of that frame is a blanking plate that is glued in place along with the spinner back during the fuselage closure procedure. The socket for the tail wheel and the leading edge of the wing fairing are also glued in, and take care here, as there are two diagrams below the fuselage closure that cover the painting and decaling of the cockpit sidewalls, which must be done before closure, as you’d imagine. The canopy will require small parts of the sidewalls removing to accommodate the appropriate glazing, so make sure you cut those parts off too. They slip in a mention of a panel line on the very front of the nose that you need to fill in, so don’t forget that one, as it’s called out with a line and the word “fill” during the attachment to the wings later on. The lower wing is a single part out as far as the clipped wing rib, and there are two small holes that need drilling out on both undersides before you go any further. A long wing spar bridges the gap between the wheel bay cut-outs, then the rest of the bay walls are made out of short sections and the wing-gun barrels are dropped into their slots ready for closing up the wing, then placing the fuselage into the gap and gluing home. The tail feathers are next, with separate elevator fins and flying surfaces, plus the rudder and its control link. Back to the wings, and the elliptical tips are slid into place along with the ailerons, which you can pose deflected if you wish. Staying with the wing, the model is flipped over, and the radiator, oil cooler and chin intake with fairing are all added in, the radiator and oil cooler both having PE mesh inserts, L-shaped feeder pipes at the rear, and a scale-thickness PE flap with two actuators for open and closed positions. The narrow track landing gear has replacement PE details fixed to the leg after removing the plastic representation, and these then have the captive doors attached to the rear, and wheels made up from a tyre and two hub parts, with a split yoke and wheel for the tail, which slots into the socket buried in the fuselage. The canopy has a choice of fittings on the windscreen, and a choice of open or closed canopies with a PE pull-handle in the top. The fixed rear glazing is fitted first for the open option, but is moulded into the closed canopy for better fit. The locations for the masks are shown in a diagram at the end of the instructions, using liquid mask for highly curved areas of the blown canopy. The cockpit door can be mounted open or closed, then the aerial is glued to the rear of the canopy on a base, two small holes are opened up on the upper wing for the PE landing gear markers, with a fuel filler cap on the cowling in front of the windscreen. The exhaust stacks have been moulded carefully to give hollow tips, and the prop is a single part, covered front and back by the two-part spinner, with the peg on the rear sliding into the front of the fuselage. The final steps show two aerial wire layouts for the different markings, which you will need to provide from your own toolbox. Markings There are a generous seven marking options from the box, including some very early war aircraft with the black and white underwing markings, and the over-sized roundels with yellow outer rings under the wings. From the box you can build one of the following: R6709, flown by P/O Colin Falkland Gray, RNZAF, No. 54 Squadron, RAF Hornchurch, United Kingdom, March 1940 N3250, flown by P/O Allan R. Wright, No. 92 Squadron, RAF Croydon, United Kingdom, late May/early June 1940 R6690, flown by P/O John C. Dundas, No. 609 Squadron, RAF Middle Wallop/RAF Warmwell, United Kingdom, August 13th, 1940 R6835, flown by F/O Brian J. Carbury, No. 603 Squadron, RAF Hornchurch, United Kingdom, late August 1940 P9386, flown by S/Ldr Brian J. Lane, No. 19 Squadron, RAF Fowlmere, United Kingdom, September 1940 X4253, flown by P/O Wilfrid G. Duncan Smith, No. 611 Squadron, RAF Hornchurch, United Kingdom, February 1941 X4828, flown by F/Lt Wojciech Kolaczkowski, No. 303 Squadron, RAF Speke, United Kingdom, September 1941 The decals are printed by Eduard and are in good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin gloss carrier film cut close to the printed areas. The stencils are marked on the rear page of the booklet, separate from the rest of the markings to avoid confusion from trying to read overly busy diagrams. Conclusion There are bound to be some moans about another Spitfire model, but other people’s kits don’t make money for Eduard. They’ve done a great job of this early mark, and the detail is second to none from the box, with nothing else needed to create a great replica other than paint and glue, with a sprinkling of talent. Very highly recommended. You can also get an ART poster of the full box art, which really is a nice one. You can see that below: Review sample courtesy of
  6. After the Seafire 5 kits set (link) Sword Models is to release in late October 2020 a 1/72nd Supermarine Spitfire Mk.XIVc/e 3 kits set - ref. SW72133 Sources: https://www.hannants.co.uk/product/SW72133 https://www.aviationmegastore.com/spitfire-mkxiv---3-in-1--expected-october-2020-sw72133-sword-8596444721332-aircraft-scale-modelling/product/?action=prodinfo&art=173345 V.P.
  7. Supermarine Sea Otter Mk.I "WWII Service" 1:72 Special Hobby (72429) The Se Otter was developed by Supermarine from its famous predecessor the Walrus. As a longer range Sea Plane the main difference is the arrangement of the engine from the pusher as seen on the Walrus to the more conventional puller. The Sea Otter was the last Sea Plane to be designed by Supermarine, and the last biplane to enter service with the RAF & FAA. Despite the prototype flying in 1938 it was not ordered until 1942 with only 292 of the nearly 700 ordered being produced before the end of WWII. Many aircraft were sold and used in civilian use post WWII with conversions to passenger and freight transport for remote locations being done. The Kit This is a re-release of the Azur Ffrom kit originally from 2011. The kit arrives on 4 spures, a clear spurue, A sheet of PE, a bag of resin parts and a cockpit film. Construction starts with the interior. Two seats complete with PE belts are made up these are fitted to the cabin floor along with all of the internal bulkheads. The instrument panel with its POE part and film goes in. The two rear windows go into the fuselage halves from the inside and then the fuselage can be closed up around the cabin interior. Now the tailplanes and rudder are fitted to the completed fuselage before work can start on the wings. Both the upper and lower wings are 3 part. There is a single upper with left & right lowers. The engine pod fits under the top with with the engine, cowl, and exhaust being in resin. The lower wing is attached to the main fuselage and then the upper wing is fixed on with all of the struts. There are shallow locating points for all the struts. Under the lower wing the stabilising floats can be fitted along with a pair of resin & PE bomb racks. At the rear the tail wheel is added and the main wheels are also built up ad added. To finish up PE & wire (not supplied) hand rails are fitted to the front and rear fuselage. These were used in SAR operations. A full rigging diagram is provided if the modeller wishes to rig the finished aircraft. Decals Three options are provided on the decal sheet, these look to have been made in house, they look to be in register with no issues.: JN106 - No. 1701 Sqn FAA, Maryborough Australia 1945 JM744, No.771 Sqn FAA, RNAS Hatson (HMS Sparrowhawk) Orkney Islands, 1944 JM808, No.712 Sqn FAA, RNAS Hatson (HMS Sparrowhawk) Orkney Islands, 1944/45 Conclusion This is a good kit of an overlooked aircraft. The fabric effects are well represented without being overscale and there is a fair amount of detail. With some care this will build up into a good looking model. Recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  8. Supermarine Spitfire Mk.Vc 1:72 Airfix A02108 The Spitfire hardly needs an introduction, an iconic war machine and graceful lines satisfying the technical theory that ‘If it looks right, it flies right’! With around 6000 aircraft produced across the various sites, the Mk.V was the most produced version of the 20,000+ built. Coming in to service in 1941, it incorporated many of the improvements developed in the Mk.III, however instead of using the planned Mk.XX Merlin which was in short supply, the Mk.45 with a single stage single supercharger was used as it could easily be fitted to the standard fuselage of the Mk.I/II. Three types of wing were available in the Mk.V range, the ‘A’ wing using the traditional 8 gun layout and the ‘B’ wing housing two 20mm cannon and 4 machine guns. The universal ‘C’ wing introduced shortly afterwards had a more flexible arrangement being able to house either the ‘A’ or ‘B’ configurations or 4 cannon and 4 machine guns. A key feature of the Mk.45 Merlin introduced in late ’41’ was the ability to cope with negative ‘g’ without cutting out significantly improving dogfight performance in an effort to close the gap on the newly developed FW190. As well as being used in the UK, the Mk.V saw considerable service abroad. The need to cope with hotter and harsher climates led to some of the ugliest and slowest Spitfires to be built (I say that in principal, but I actually like the tropical versions!). Tropical versions accommodated a deep chin Vokes filter, but the extra drag and reduced intake charge speed affected the performance by around 8mph and clime rate aby about 600ft/min. Later, in-field improvements led to a more streamlined ‘Aboukir’ tropical filter which went some way to restoring the original lines of the spitfire too. The Mk.V’s endured fierce combats with front line fighters of the Axis air forces across most theatres of WWII including Europe, the Mediterranean, Pacific and Russian. In an ironic turn of developments, the ‘stop gap’ MkV was gradually replaced by the next ‘stop gap’ version, the Mk.IX which became the second most widely produced variant. The key difference in the two aircraft was a notably longer nose to accommodate a two stage supercharger giving a much improved high altitude performance to deal with the FW190’s over Europe. The Kit The kit is a new tool kit from Airfix, and its good to see them returning to their root with their important British Aircraft. The kit arrives on four sprues of grey plastic and a clear sprue. The panel lines are recessed and seem finer to a degree than other kits, the plastic also seems better in that it is not as soft as previous new releases. It is noticeable from the sprues that the normal and clipped wings are in there, as are normal and tropical air filters, a slipper tank, and two types of propeller/spinner combinations. The only negative in the box is the overly thick main canopy parts. Construction starts with the cockpit, and for this kit Airfix have come up with a complete cockpit including sidewalls which when assembled will just fit into the fuselage. To the left side part the oxygen tanks are fitted, and then the rear bulkhead frame to which the seat will attach. Behind this goes another complete fuselage frame. In front goes the frame with the instrument panel in it. Instruments are provided as decals. The floor part containing the rudder controls goes in, and then the control column attaches to this. The seat attaches to its mount which has the seat armour on it also, this then goes into the cockpit. Some controls are fitted to the right side part and then this is attached to the rest of the structure. The gunsight is then fitted and at the very front another bulkhead is added. The complete cockpit assembly is then added into the fuselage and it can then be closed up, not forgetting to add in the prop mounting boss at the front. Next up we move to the wings. There is a single part lower wing with left and right upper. To the lower wing the wheel wells must be added. If fitting the slipper tank then holes need to be drilled for this at this stage. The wing can then be assembled. and added to the fuselage. At the rear the single part tailplanes are added along with the rudder. The at the front the volkes filter is added. On the wings the correct armament for the decal option needs to be added. Moving on to the underside of the wings the radiator and oil cooler are added Next up the undercarriage is added. Airfix as seems to be normal for them now offer separate parts for retracted and lowered undercarriage. If lowering this then single part legs are added with the gear door attaching to the legs. With either option the tail wheel is also added now. To finish off the exhausts and propeller are added at the front. The wing Pitot tube is added along with the main aerial mast. A pilot figure is provided if the modeller wish to us it, however he seems a bit underscale? The last item on is the canopy. There is a single part canopy and a multipart option available. The main part seems overlly thick for both options. Decals The decal sheet is from Cartograf so should post no issues, it has two options; ER180 - 307th Fighter Sqn, 12th Air Force, USAAF. La Senia, Algeria Nov/Dec 1942 JL115 - No.2 Sqn SAAF Gioia del Colle, Italy, October 1943 Conclusion This is is a great new kit from Airfix, overall recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  9. Spitfire Mk.II Cockpit (648621 for Eduard) 1:48 Eduard Brassin If you have one of Eduard’s new Spiotfire Mk.IIs in 1:48, this new resin set to upgrade the detail in the cockpit from excellent to exceptional. The set arrives in the familiar shallow black Brassin cardboard box, and inside, protected by the folded instructions are three bags of resin and Photo-Etch (PE) that make up the set, as well as the aforementioned instruction sheets. Within the bags are thirty-two resin parts, a sheet of nickel plated and pre-painted PE, a small decal sheet with instrument dials and placards, plus a small slip of acetate sheet with the shapes for the gun-sight glazing printed upon it in duplicate in case you lose one. Clean-up of the resin should be done carefully with a scalpel or razor saw, and the casting blocks have been sensibly placed to help with this. Give the parts a bath in warm soapy water (not hot, which might deform them), and they should go together like any other kit. The instrument panel is made up from a lamination of three layers of PE and one of resin, one early, one late, with an optional resin only panel with decal if you don't like the printed PE. This fixes to the frame through which the pilot's feet reach for the rudder pedals. The frame behind his head is backed with a PE armour panel and head cushion, while the cockpit floor is made up by the addition of the rudder pedals and their linkages, the wing spar and other equipment. The instrument panel frame slots into a groove in the floor, and the control column slots into the linkage assembly. The pilot's seat is made up from a resin body, PE armour and connectors, with a resin frame, after which yet more PE is added to firm up the connections, adding adjustment handle and the prominent flare rack that sits under the pilot on the front lip of the seat. The previously built-up frame is added to the floor along with the frame behind it, and the seat is installed on the small mating points along with its belts that slip through the framework. Attention then turns to the sidewalls, which are based on thin resin skins that have much of the interior detail moulded in, with extra resin and PE parts added to complete each one, including the twin cylinders that typify early Spits. Before they are added to the sides of the cockpit assembly, a little bottle on a rib is added between the seat and next frame back, after which you have a proper cockpit tub. The upper sidewalls are detailed inside the fuselage with PE and resin parts, and once complete and painted, the assembly is placed within the fuselage halves. The roll-over protection frame is outfitted with a resin bracing piece and added behind the pilot's head. The resin and acetate gun sight fits to the top of the instrument panel, and you have a choice of two types, with circular or rectangular glazing. A number of additional PE wires are inserted later from outside, and the placard decals that are provided are applied to the sidewalls during construction, with colour call-outs using Gunze codes throughout. Conclusion With careful painting you will have the ultimate cockpit for your Spit Mk.II, adding a fantastic focal point to your model. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  10. Spitfire Mk.I Early ProfiPACK (83152) 1:48 Eduard The Spitfire was the champion of the Battle of Britain along with the Hurricane and a few other less well-known players, and it’s an aircraft with an amazing reputation that started from a bit of a damp squib in the shape of the Supermarine Type 224. The gull-winged oddity was the grandfather of the Spitfire, and despite losing out to the biplane Gloster Gladiator, designer R J Mitchell was spurred on to go back to the drawing board and create a more modern, technologically advanced and therefore risky design. This was the Type 300, and it was an all-metal construction with an iconic thin elliptical wing that became legendary, although it didn’t leave much space for fuel or weapons, a situation that was further worsened by the Air Ministry’s insistence that four .303 machine guns were to be installed in each wing, rather than the three originally envisaged. It was a very well-sorted aircraft from the outset, so quickly entered service with the RAF in 1938 in small numbers. With the clouds of war accumulating, the Ministry issued more orders and it became a battle to create enough to fulfil demand in time for the outbreak and early days of war from September 1939 onwards. Fairly early on the restrictive straight sided canopy was replaced by a “blown” hood to give the pilot more visibility, although a few with the old canopy still lingered. The difference between the Mk.I early and Mk.Ia was negligible and the A was given retrospectively to differentiate between the cannon-winged Mk.Ib that was developed after the .303s were found somewhat lacking compared to the 20mm cannon armament of their main rival, the Bf.109. As is usual in wartime, the designers could never rest on their laurels with an airframe like the Spitfire, as it had significant potential for development, a process that lasted throughout the whole of WWII, and included many changes to the Merlin engine, then the installation of the more powerful Griffon engine, as well as the removal of the spine of the fuselage and creation of a bubble canopy to improve the pilot’s situational awareness. Its immediate successor was the Mk.II with a new Mk.XII Merlin, followed by the Mk.V that had yet another more powerful Merlin fitted, which returned the fright of the earlier marks’ first encounters with Fw.190s by a similar increase in performance of an outwardly almost identical Spitfire. The Kit This is a revised tooling from Eduard, following on from their other later marks of the Spit in their usual manner, providing us modellers with a wide selection of types and sub-variants as they proceed through their launch schedule. This is a thoroughly modern tooling with immense detail squeezed into every part, and for the inveterate upgraders, the kits are moulded with that in mind, to be augmented by a raft of super-detailed resin and brass sets from Eduard themselves, which benefit from concurrent launch and excellent fit. The outer skin has been fully riveted with fine lines and rivets everywhere, plus different widths of engraved lines, Dzuz fasteners on cowling panels, and even some lapped panels such as the fuel tank in front of the canopy. It arrives in Eduard’s standard gold-themed ProfiPACK box, with six sprues in their grey/blue styrene, a clear sprue, a fret of Photo-Etch (PE) that is nickel-plated and pre-painted, a small sheet of pre-cut kabuki masking material (not pictured), a large decal sheet with separate stencil sheet, and the glossy instruction booklet with painting guide at the rear in full colour. Construction begins with the cockpit, which will probably be familiar to most, although maybe not in so much detail if you’re not used to the Eduard way. It is built up on the starboard sidewall insert, with equipment, controls and a slot in the rear that needs filling. The seat is next, having the flare rack at the front removed and replaced by the daintier PE part, as well as some nice PE seatbelts and rear armour – you should probably check to see whether the rack was fitted for your decal option. The control column is also made up, and has a PE trigger added before it and the flight controls box (more of a tangle, really) are joined to the seat and inserted in the next two fuselage frames forward. The next frame forward holds the instrument panel, which can be plastic with decals, or the more complex and detailed lamination of PE parts with those lovely glossy dial faces on a separate backing plate, either of which then glue to the frame, with a choice of gunsight at the top of the panel, and the compass just below, then the rudder pedals are outfitted with PE straps and footrests, before being put just inside the cut-out below the panel. Forward of that frame is a blanking plate that is glued in place along with the spinner back during the fuselage closure procedure. The socket for the tail wheel and the leading edge of the wing fairing are also glued in, and take care here, as there are two diagrams below the fuselage closure that cover the painting and decaling of the cockpit sidewalls, which must be done before closure, as you’d imagine. The canopy will require small parts of the sidewalls removing to accommodate the appropriate glazing, so make sure you cut those parts off too. They slip in a mention of an access panel on the very front of the nose that you need to fill in, so don’t forget that one, as it’s called out with a line and the word “fill” during the attachment to the wings later on, plus an access hatch on the rear port wing fillet. The lower wing is a single part out as far as the clipped wing rib, and there are two small holes that need drilling out on both undersides for various decal options before you go any further. A long wing spar bridges the gap between the wheel bay cut-outs, then the rest of the bay walls are made out of short sections and the wing-gun barrels are dropped into their slots ready for closing up the wing, then placing the fuselage into the gap and gluing home. The tail feathers are next, with separate elevator fins and flying surfaces, plus the rudder and its control link, and a PE antenna at the top of the fixed part of the tail. Back to the wings, and the elliptical tips are slid into place along with the ailerons, which you can pose deflected if you wish. Staying with the wing, the model is flipped over, and the radiator, oil cooler and chin intake with fairing are all added in, the radiator and oil cooler both having PE mesh inserts, L-shaped feeder pipes at the rear, a cooling flap with two PE stiffeners and actuators for open and closed positions. The narrow track landing gear has replacement PE details fixed to the leg after removing the plastic representation, and these then have the captive doors attached to the rear, and wheels made up from a tyre and two hub parts, with a split yoke and wheel for the tail, which slots into the socket buried in the fuselage. The canopy has a choice of open or closed canopies with a PE pull-handle in the top. The fixed rear glazing is fitted first for the open option, but is moulded into the closed canopy for better fit, with the flat un-blown canopy used on the majority of the markings options. The locations for the masks are shown in a diagram at the end of the instructions, using liquid mask for highly curved areas of the blown canopy. The cockpit door can be mounted open or closed, then the aerial is glued to the rear of the canopy on a base, two small holes are opened up on the upper wing for the PE landing gear markers, with a fuel filler cap on the cowling in front of the windscreen. The exhaust stacks have been moulded carefully to give hollow tips, and the prop is a single part, covered front and back by the two-part spinner, with the peg on the rear sliding into the front of the fuselage and a choice of two or three bladed options, the former having the central section of the spinner moulded into each blade. The final step shows the aerial wire for the early variants, which you will need to provide from your own toolbox. Markings There are a generous seven marking options from the box, including some pre-war and very very early war aircraft with the black and white underwing painting, and over-sized roundels plus some yellow outer rings and faint overpainted rings for some markings options. From the box you can build one of the following: K9797 Flown by Sgt. George Unwin, No.19 Sqn., RAF Duxford, Cambs, United Kingdom, Oct 1938 No.19 Sqn., RAF Duxford, Cambs, United Kingdom, early 1939 K9843 No.54 Sqn., Hornchurch, Essex, United Kingdom, early 1940 K9938 No.72 Sqn., Church Fenton, North Yorkshire, United Kingdom, Apr 1939 K9962 flown by S/Ldr. Andrew Farquhar, CO of No.602 Sqn., RAF Abbotsinch, Renfrewshire, United Kingdom, May 1939 No.609 Sqn., Drem, East Lothian, United Kingdom, Mar 1940 No.602 Sqn., Drem, East Lothian, United Kingdom, Apr 1940 The decals are printed by Eduard and are in good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin gloss carrier film cut close to the printed areas. The stencils are marked on the rear page of the booklet, separate from the rest of the markings to avoid confusion from trying to read overly busy diagrams. Conclusion There are always moans about yet another Spitfire model from some quarters, but other people’s kits don’t make money for Eduard. They’ve done a great job of this earliest variant, and the detail is second to none from the box, with nothing else needed to create a great replica other than paint and glue, with a sprinkling of talent. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  11. Spitfire Mk.IX 3D Interior Decals (QD32018 for Tamiya) 1:32 Quinta Studios When Quinta’s innovative products first came to our attention, they caused quite a stir, as well they should, and they still are. The replacement Instrument Panels and internal details are mind-boggling to look at, because we’re used to seeing simplified styrene instrument panels, or pre-painted Photo-Etch Brass panels with either two layers of etch, or laminated parts that can be tricky to glue together, even though they are pre-painted for your ease. But decals? These aren’t your run-of-the-mill decals though, they’re 3D printed in many layers and colours on a flat carrier film, having as much in the way of relief as is needed to complete a realistic panel printed in the correct colours, complete with shiny dial faces, MFDs and metallic-effect hardware, often also including cushions and seat belts in the set. Each set arrives in a ziplok bag with two folded instruction booklets protecting the decals, which are also separately bagged, so they should reach you in good condition. The pictorial instructions are printed on glossy paper, and are shown in full colour as befits the detailed nature of the sets, showing exactly where each part should go on the actual model, so there’s no confusion due to pictures speaking a thousand words, as they say. Additional hints and instructions for the uninitiated are also included, marking out parts needing bases, kit parts and other useful tips. The technical instructions in the text-based sheet give additional tips to the new user about maximising adhesion and preventing lift at the edges by wicking in super glue. Application is much the same as your standard decal, but you will need to remove any raised detail that would be underneath the location depicted in the instructions, and some new parts will need small backing panels or bases on which to apply the decal. A slim piece of sheet styrene would perform that task, and painting the edges a matching colour should minimise its appearance or turn it completely invisible. This set is patterned for the excellent Tamiya Spitfire Mk.IX kit that was released a couple years back now, which is the definitive kit of the type, with a huge amount of detail engineered in. The set comprises one large and one small sheet, containing instrument panel with separate raised sections added in the middle for early and late panels, the dials having a lustrous shiny finish, just like the real glass; two large wiring looms that run down and through the panel; green rudder pedal surfaces; A full set of four-point crew belts with realistic furniture; instrument faces on the cockpit sidewalls; throttle quadrant levers and other small parts. The depth of the parts is greater at 1:32, taking full advantage of the printing process, but on a couple of the red levers there are some flecks of white visible that would benefit from touching in with some paint. This isn’t meant as a criticism, just something to note while fitting the set. Conclusion The detail on the parts is incredible, even down to the infinitesimal switches, the texture of the main panel and impressive crispness and depth of the set. Any Quinta equipped cockpit demands a crystal-clear or opened canopy to show off the details. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  12. Spitfire Mk.I Early & Late 3D SPACE Cockpit Sets (3DL48005 & 3DL48006 for Eduard) 1:48 Eduard SPACE Eduard have been busily treating us to new state-of-the-art kits of various types of Spitfire for a while now, with their jump back in time to the Mk.I a welcome addition to the line, and now we have a couple of 3D Printed instrument panels with Photo-Etch (PE) accessories to use instead of either the kit parts or traditional PE. Eduard's new SPACE sets arrive in a flat resealable package, with different branding and a white backing card protecting the contents and the instructions that are wrapped around. Spitfire Mk.Ia Early SPACE 3D Printed Cockpit Set (3DL48005) Part of Eduard’s new range of combination 3D Printed decals with a pre-painted PE sheet to complement the details. The 3D Printed sheet contains a brand-new one-piece instrument panel with glossy dial faces plus a number of dials, compass face and a few small placards. The PE set has a quartet of four-point seatbelts with spool; a trigger for the control column; flare rack for the front of the seat; two-part seat armour for the pilot; rudder pedals with straps; canopy opener and rear-view mirror; cockpit hatch operating mechanism, and two tiny indicators on the wings for the pilot to check whether his gear is down or not, to avoid embarrassing belly-flop landings. Spitfire Mk.Ia Late SPACE 3D Printed Cockpit Set (3DL48006) At first glance this set is identical to the Early set above, but if you look really hard at the panel, there are a couple of small rectangular items in the mid-right that are a different colour. That’s all I could spot in a side-by-side comparison, but let it not be said that Eduard don't differentiate between the smallest details. You might also have noticed that the PE sheets are the same for both sets. Conclusion 3D Printed panels are very impressive, and Eduard’s 3D Printing method really lends itself to these WWII birds, so the resulting panels are believable, simple and realistic, backed up by the PE extras that give you a little more depth around the rest of the cockpit. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  13. Building the Spitfire (9781916100558) Model Aircraft (Extra) Special #6 MA Publications Whilst you may not be familiar with the name MA Publications, you’ll surely know some of their magazines, such as Model Aircraft Monthly, Scale Aviation Modeller International, and Scale Military Modeller International. This book from their Model Aircraft Special range is the sixth in the series of course, and arrives as a perfect-bound A4+ portrait formatted book, with 112 pages of genuine content within, covering a massive 24 builds of the illustrious Supermarine Spitfire in great detail. It is printed in full colour on glossy paper with masses of large photos throughout, accompanied by a lot of text to keep you busy reading, while assimilating a gamut of modelling techniques, some of which you might have heard of, others you might not. The book begins with an index of the builds so that you can flip to any particular build if you’re so minded, after which there is a not-so-brief history of the Spitfire that stretches across eight pages with some interesting photos of various types mixed in. Then the builds begin, in the following order: Photo Fighter - Airfix 1:48 Spitfire FR.XIV by Jezz Colman Jungle Shark! – Tamiya 1:32 Spitfire Mk.VIII by Andrew Root Black Spitfire in Egypt – Hasegawa 1:32 Spitfire Mk.Va by Andrew Root Silver Spitfire – Pacific Coast Models 1:32 Spitfire FR.18 (using conversion) by Chad Summers Step By Step Spitfire – Trumpeter 1:24 Spitfire Mk.Vb by Olivier Soulleys Janetka – Tamiya 1:32 Spitfire Mk.XVIe by Mark Casiglia PRU Blue Thai Spitfire – Airfix Spitfire PR.XIX by Gerry Doyle African Ace – Eduard 1:48 Spitfire Mk.IXc Early by Jay Blakemore Doodle-Bug Destroyer – Pacific Coast Models 1:32 Spitfire Mk.XIV by Andrew Root Spitfire Over the Sphinx – Eduard 1:48 Spitfire Mk.IXc by Alex Roughsedge Invasion Striped Spitfire – Revell 1:48 Spitfire Mk.XIc by Gerry Doyle American Spitfire – Ari 1:48 Spitfire Mk.VIII by Angel Exposito Tropical Times – Airfix 1:48 Spitfire Mk.Vb by James Ashton Maltese Mask – Tamiya Spitfire Mk.IXc by James Ashton Amphibious Spitfire – Airfix 1:48 Spitfire Mk.Vb with conversion by Gerry Doyle A Super-Detailed Spitfire – Airfix 1:72 Spitfire Mk.IX by Andy Bannister In the Pink – Revell 1:32 Spitfire Mk.IX as an FR.IX by Andrew Root Super Size Spitfire – Revell 1:32 Spitfire Mk.IIa by Alan Kelley Black Panther Spitfire – Pacific Coast Models 1:32 Spitfire Mk.XIVc by Andrew Root Seafire! – Revell 1:32 Spitfire Mk.22/24 with conversion by Andrew Root Fleet Air Arm Fighter – Airfix 1:48 Spitfire F.XVII by Chris McDowell A Civilian Spitfire – Tamiya 1:32 Spitfire Mk.XIc by Andrew Root Supermarine Bomber – Eduard 1:48 Spitfire Mk.XVI by Dirk Schmitz Spitfire Specifics – Airfix 1:48 Spitfire Mk.XIV by Alan Price I think I detect a possible theme here. Spitfires, maybe? Each build spans several pages and has good sized pictures so that you can see the detail in… detail! There are a few too many red crowbars on the entry door for the purists, but don’t let that put you off. I think they look rather nice personally. The builds use a variety of techniques to achieve their effects, so if you’re still learning (aren’t we all?) then you might pick up some new things to try, and even if you think the schemes depicted are over- or underdone, your next model can use a modulation of those techniques to achieve the effect that you want. I’d love to know if Andrew Root ever builds anything that’s not a spitfire! In jest of course. It’s nice to see the use of older kits with a variable quantity of aftermarket, as well as some unusual conversions from various companies. Conclusion If Spitfires are your thing, and for plenty of people they are (self included), there’s a lot of Spitfire action to be had in this book, and we can all learn a little bit more about modelling this thoroughbred fighter from our Darkest Hour. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  14. Spitfire Mk.IIa ProfiPACK (82153) 1:48 Eduard The Spitfire was the champion of the Battle of Britain along with the Hurricane and a few other less well-known players, and it’s an aircraft with an amazing reputation that started from a bit of a damp squib in the shape of the Supermarine Type 224. The gull-winged oddity was the grandfather of the Spitfire, and despite losing out to the biplane Gloster Gladiator, designer R J Mitchell was spurred on to go back to the drawing board and create a more modern, technologically advanced and therefore risky design. This was the Type 300, and it was an all-metal construction with an incredibly thin elliptical wing that became legendary, although it didn’t leave much space for fuel, a situation that was further worsened by the Air Ministry’s insistence that four .303 machine guns were to be installed in each wing, rather than the three originally envisaged. It was a very well-sorted aircraft from the outset, so quickly entered service with the RAF in 1938 in small numbers. With the clouds of war accumulating, the Ministry issued more orders and it became a battle to create enough to fulfil demand in time for the outbreak and early days of war from September 1939 onwards. By then, the restrictive straight sided canopy had been replaced by a “blown” hood to give the pilot more visibility, although a few with the old canopy still lingered. The title Mk.Ia was given retrospectively to differentiate between the cannon-winged Mk.Ib that was instigated after the .303s were found somewhat lacking compared to the 20mm cannon armament of their main opposition at the time, the Bf.109. As is usual in wartime, the designers could never rest on their laurels with an airframe like the Spitfire, as it had significant potential for development, a process that lasted throughout the whole of WWII, and included many changes to the Merlin engine, then the installation of the more powerful Griffon engine, as well as the removal of the spine of the fuselage and creation of a bubble canopy to improve the pilot’s situational awareness. Its immediate successor was the Mk.II that had a better Merlin engine and higher octane fuel to give it a healthy boost in performance. The IIa was armed identically to the Mk.Ia, while the IIb carried the cannons of the Ib. It was followed by the Mk.V that had yet another more powerful Merlin fitted, which returned the fright of the earlier marks’ first encounters with Fw.190s by a similar increase in performance of an outwardly almost identical Spitfire. The Kit This is a reboxing with new parts of a new tool from Eduard, following on from their other later marks of the Spit in their usual manner, providing us modellers with a wide selection of types and sub-variants as they proceed through their launch schedule. This is a thoroughly modern tooling with immense detail squeezed into every part, and for the inveterate upgraders, the kits are moulded with that in mind, to be augmented by a raft of super-detailed resin and brass sets from Eduard themselves, which benefit from concurrent launch and excellent fit. The outer skin has been fully riveted with fine lines and rivets everywhere, plus different widths of engraved lines, Dzuz fasteners on cowling panels, and even some lapped panels such as the fuel tank in front of the canopy. It arrives in Eduard’s new ProfiPACK box with the gold banner, with five sprues in their grey/blue styrene, a clear sprue, a fret of Photo-Etch (PE) that is nickel-plated and pre-painted, a small sheet of pre-cut kabuki masking material (not pictured), a large decal sheet with separate stencil sheet, and the glossy instruction booklet with painting guide at the rear in full colour. It is a very similar airframe to the Mk.Ia that we reviewed recently, so shares four sprues and the clear parts with its sibling. The new sprue has many of the external differences upon it, so keep your eyes open for the options as they occur through the build. Construction begins with the cockpit, which will probably be familiar to most, although maybe not in so much detail if you’re not used to the Eduard way. It is built up on the starboard sidewall insert, with equipment, controls and a choice of seat-carrying fuselage frames depending on which decal option you have chosen. The seat is next, having the flare rack at the front added from PE, as well as some nice painted PE seatbelts and rear armour. The control column is also made up, and has a PE trigger added before it and the flight control box (more of a tangle, really) are joined to the seat and inserted in the next two fuselage frames forward. The next frame forward holds the instrument panel, which can be plastic with decals, or the more complex and detailed lamination of PE parts with those lovely glossy dial faces on a separate backing plate, either of which then glue to the frame, with the gunsight at the top of the panel, and the compass just below, then the rudder pedals are outfitted with PE straps and footrests, before being put just inside the footwell below the panel. Forward of that frame is a blanking plate that is glued in place along with the spinner back during the fuselage closure procedure. The socket for the tail wheel and the leading edge of the wing fairing are also glued in, and take care here, as there are two diagrams below the fuselage closure that cover the painting and decaling of the cockpit sidewalls, which must be done before closure, as you’d imagine. The canopy will require small parts of the sidewalls removing to accommodate the appropriate glazing, so make sure you cut those parts off too. They slip in a mention of a panel line on the very front of the nose that you need to fill in, so don’t forget that one, as it’s called out with a line and the word “fill” during the attachment to the wings later on. There is also a hole to be drilled in the port wing root fairing as well. The lower wing is a single part out as far as the clipped wing rib, and there are two small holes that need drilling out on both undersides before you go any further. A long wing spar bridges the gap between the wheel bay cut-outs, then the rest of the bay walls are made out of short sections and the wing-gun barrels (four per side) are dropped into their slots ready for closing up the wing, then placing the fuselage into the gap and gluing home. The empennage is next, with separate elevator fins and flying surfaces, plus the rudder and its control link, chopping off the short tube on the top of the fin. Back to the wings, and the elliptical tips are slid into place along with the ailerons, which you can pose deflected if you wish. Staying with the wing, the model is flipped over, and the radiator, oil cooler and chin intake with fairing are all added in, the radiator and oil cooler both having PE mesh inserts, L-shaped feeder pipes at the rear, and a scale-thickness PE flap with two actuators for open and closed positions. The narrow track landing gear has replacement PE details fixed to the leg after removing the plastic representation, and these then have the captive doors attached to the rear, and wheels made up from a tyre and two hub parts, with a split yoke and wheel for the tail, which slots into the socket buried in the fuselage. The canopy has a choice of fittings on the windscreen, and a choice of open or closed canopies with a PE pull-handle in the top. The fixed rear glazing is fitted first for the open option, but is moulded into the closed canopy for better fit. The locations for the masks are shown in a diagram at the end of the instructions, using liquid mask for highly curved areas of the blown canopy. The cockpit door can be mounted open or closed, then the aerial is glued to the rear of the canopy on a base, two small holes are opened up on the upper wing for the PE landing gear markers, with a fuel filler cap on the cowling in front of the windscreen. The exhaust stacks have been moulded carefully to give hollow tips, and the prop is a single part, covered front and back by the two-part spinner in either blunt or pointed versions, with the peg on the rear sliding into the front of the fuselage. The final steps show two aerial wires from the fuselage to the elevators, which you will need to provide from your own toolbox. Markings There are a decent five marking options from the box, including some early war in Dark Earth/Dark Green and later examples with Ocean Grey and Dark Green camo. From the box you can build one of the following: P7881, flown by S/Ldr. Michael L. Robinson, CO of No.609 Squadron, RAF Biggin Hill, Great Britain, April 1941 P8387, flown by Sgt. Stanislaw Blok, No.315 (Polish) Squadron, RAF Northolt, Great Britain, August 1941 P8038, flown by Fl/Lt. Brendan E.F. Finucane DFC, No.452 Squadron RAAF, RAF Kenley, Great Britain, August 1941 P8081, flown by Fl/Lt. Tomáš Vybíral, No.312 (Czechoslovak) Squadron, RAF Ayr, Great Britain, November 1941 P7840, No.340 (Free French) Squadron, RAF Ayr, Great Britain, January 1942 The decals are printed by Eduard and are in good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin gloss carrier film cut close to the printed areas. The stencils are marked on the rear page of the booklet, separate from the rest of the markings to avoid confusion from trying to read overly busy diagrams. Conclusion There are always some moans about another Spitfire model, but other people’s kits don’t make money for Eduard. They’ve done a great job of these early marks, and the detail is excellent from the box, with nothing else needed to create a great replica other than paint and glue, with a soupçon of talent. Very highly recommended. You can also get a Dual Combo containing a Mk.IIa and a Mk.IIb for a bit of variety, which named “SPITFIRE STORY: Tally ho!”. You can see that below: Review sample courtesy of
  15. I have been diverted off my Dynavector 1/48 Scimitar build by these two kits - one is the CMR Scimitar and the other is a rebuild of an old Skybirds 86 Scimitar in 1/72 The CMR had come up against a brick wall when I discovered that there were two right hand inner wing panels and no left hand panel - thanks to Hannants and CMR I happily ended up with the missing part - https://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/235079067-cmr-supermarine-scimitar-wing-fold-set/ CMR SUPERMARINE SCIMITAR 1/72 XD275 117/E 800B flight HMS EAGLE 1966 Basically built straight from the box with a few minor changes - I lowered the canopy sill line carefully as I thought the kit canopy sat a little high and then moulded a new canopy as the windscreen needed to be a bit wider-I struggled to get the canopy anywhere near the clarity of the kit offering but I am happier with the look of the windscreen - a lot of clear plastic ended up in the bin. I lengthened the tail bumper a tad. made a new refuelling probe from 1/16inch aluminium tube. scratch built a ladder from model railway 4mm scale signal ladder and Evergreen strip. The palouste starter pod is from CMK inserted some fine brass wire pins at the wing hinges for added strength. Jury struts made from brass wire/tube rather than the flat kit etch part. I found the kit pretty fiddly to get together in parts but the moulding's are superb, in particular the wing fold break - if you are building this CMR Scimitar do be careful of some of the fine moulding that could be mistaken for flash eg on the flaps and wing fold break - the wing fences are very delicate too and I managed to break them during handling & had to replace them. I referred a lot to Navy Bird's CMR Scimitar build along the way Added a slice of Evergreen 3.2mm square tube to the top of the main landing gear struts to make the joint a bit stronger - The front wheel and strut of the polouste had to be scratch built a the kit part disappeared into the carpet never to be seen again! SKYBIRDS86 SUPERMARINE SCIMITAR rebuild 1/72 XD317 as operated by Airwork FRU 1969 at Hurn Airport - decals are left overs from the CMR sheet I now had a spare wing from the CMR Scimitar so I fitted it to the Skybirds kit and added the front end of an old Xtrakit Scimitar - a lot of work but it seemed to work out ok. Home made canopy & white metal ejection seat from the spares box although the Skybirds Ejection seat is ok Scratch built FOD blanks & Harley Light nose from CMR kit The Skybirds86 kit has some beautiful white metal castings for the landing gear etc CJP
  16. Spitfire Mk.XIV Civilian Schemes (A05139) 1:48 Airfix The Spitfire is possibly the most iconic and well-known fighter of WWII, so I'll not drone on about how great it was, as we already know - It and the Hurricane were the saviours of our bacon on a number of occasions, and are immortalised in aviation history as a result. The Mark XIV was powered by the powerful Griffon 61 and later on the 65 engine, with the resulting extension in forward fuselage, power bulges, not to mention pure grunt as it was pulled along by the massive five bladed prop. It was based upon the XIII, and gave a substantial performance increase over the popular Mk.IX, later having the cut-down fuselage back and teardrop canopy and new E-type cannon wings. The extra weight of the engine required centre of gravity motivated changes, and the wash off the props necessitated a new larger tail empennage to maintain control authority within acceptable ranges. It entered service in late 1943, and was capable of almost 450mph at 25,000ft and could climb like the proverbial homesick angel, giving anyone on the receiving end of its wrath a serious reason for concern. The Griffon engine had a drinking problem and drained its tanks with a frightening efficiency, so drop-tanks were often carried on longer missions, allowing it to range a lot further from home. It was also a good candidate for knocking V-1 Flying Bombs out of the sky, and was considered the best Spit for the job by many. Its successor the XVIII was an evolution of this successful type, but wasn’t in squadron service until after WWII had ended. The Mark.24 was the last of the land-based Spitfires, thus ending its service in the RAF but continuing with other countries that bought retired airframes that they flew for a while longer. The Kit This is a reboxing from Airfix of their Mk.XIV, but with new decals depicting the retired airframes that saw civilian service once they had been superseded by the new jet engined alternatives that grew in performance and firepower through various generations. The kit arrives in a red-themed top-opening box with a bright red Spit on the lid, four sprues of grey styrene, one of clear, a long narrow decal sheet and the instruction booklet with spot colour throughout and full colour painting and decaling guide on the rear pages. Construction begins with the cockpit interior, which consists of two inner skins that are decorated with the usual items we all know and recognise instantly. The pilot's seat is made from an L-shaped seat with separate sides, which has an armour panel fitted behind it and the adjustment lever on the right side. The frame behind the pilot has moulded-in lightening holes that you can either pick out with wash or drill out at your whim, then add the seat frame and head-armour, finally fitting the seat to the frame on its four corners. The rudder pedal assembly goes through a depiction of a section of the wing spar and has separate pedals that you should leave off if you are intending to fit the pilot, and the control column is planted in the middle of the sub-assembly. The instrument panel is glued to the next frame forward and has a nice decal with just the dials printed, which should settle down with a little decal solution. The instrument panel is inserted into the port cockpit side along with the rudder pedal assembly, allowing the two cockpit tub halves to be joined and an angled front firewall bulkhead to be fitted to close in the foot well. Then the seat assembly and next frame to the rear are slotted into the grooves, and your optional pilot with his two separate arms can be plonked in if you’re using him. Before inserting the cockpit tub you need to paint the interior of the fuselage above the waistline, and remove a small part of the sill if you are posing the canopy closed. Then it is mated to the starboard fuselage half, together with an insert in front of the canopy, which is where the fuel tank filler is found. You can also cut out the access door on the left side of the fuselage, bearing in mind that you have a new door on the sprue so you can be a bit brutal in removing the plastic. For decal option A, the tip of the moulded in fin is shortened according to a scrap diagram nearby. The full-width lower wing has two circular bay walls fitted along with a section of the front spar, which holds the landing gear top sections, before the rear spar and front extensions are also attached to stiffen the wing. Decal option B has you cutting the upper wing tips and cannon fairings are removed as per another scrap diagram, then you pop the upper wings on and move on to joining them to the fuselage after making sure you’ve fitted the light in the belly first. The elevator fins are slotted into the tail at 90o to the rudder fin, then the three flying surfaces are added with any deflections that you might wish to portray. The ailerons are also separate and can be posed deflected if you wish. Under the nose the chin-insert is glued in, noting the finely moulded Amal fastenings there and on the side cowlings. Under the wing the two square radiator baths with textured radiator panels and separate open or closed cooling flaps on the rear are glued into their recesses. The fuselage has a couple of camera ports in the sides, which are supplied in clear styrene, and should be filled before painting, as they were faired over to streamline the sides in civilian service. Option A has the gun fairings attached to the stubs in the wing’s leading edge, while option B has a couple of smooth inserts to fill the cut-outs you made earlier. You might need a little filler here if you’ve been clumsy, but test-fitting should make that easier. Option B also has clipped wingtips, which are clear to include the lights, and both have their characteristic Griffon power-bulges added at this time. The tail wheel was retractable in the Mk.XIV, so you have the choice of wheels up or down for all three rubbery bits. In-flight a small portion of the wheels can still be seen, so Airfix have provided a slim wheel to put on the doors so that a realistic look is obtained, and a single door piece for the tail is also included. For the wheels down option, you have separate struts and doors, which slot into the sockets within the bay and have a pair of diamond treaded tyres with separate hubs added, making sure that the slightly flattened section is facing the floor. The tail wheel bay and doors are a single part, with the wheel inserted once it is applied to the fuselage. A T-shaped pitot probe goes under the wing with small hooks under the trailing edge and a centreline aerial at the rear, then the tubular exhaust stubs are glued into the nose, and joined by a one-piece five-bladed prop, two-part spinner, and three parts that slot into the front and will permit the prop to spin if you don’t flood it with glue. You then have a choice of open or closed canopies, using the winddscreen and canopy assembly for open, and a different canopy part for the closed option. The open option also allows the door to be posed down, which as previously mentioned uses a new part. Markings There are two options in the box, one in bright red, the other in silver, and as you may have already gleaned, they have different wings. From the box you can build one of the following: Supermarine Spitfire FR Mk.XIV G-Fire, Duxford, England, 1988 Supermarine Spitfire FR Mk.XIV CF-GMZ, Canada, 1949 Decals are by Cartograf, which is a guarantee of good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin gloss carrier film cut close to the printed areas. Conclusion Seeing a civilian Spitfire makes a change from your average camouflaged Spit we see on the forum every day, but if you’re not into modelling warplanes, these civilian options make a colourful alternative. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  17. After the 1/48th kit (link), AMP is to release in 2020 a 1/72nd Supermarine S.5 kit - ref. 72009 Source: https://www.facebook.com/mikro.mir.dnepr/photos/a.1416729748404757/2912209615523422 Sprues V.P.
  18. Supermarine S-5 1/72 AMP / MikroMir via A-market The S-5 was one os a series of flying boats designed by RJ Mitchell specifically to compete in the Schneider Trophy races of the 1920s. The aircraft was designed as an all metal structure following the crash of the wooden S-4. The aircraft though was not all metal as the wings would feature a spruce main spar with ply ribs and skin. The S-5s came 1st and 3rd in the 1927 race. Later the first S-5 would crash during an attempt on the world speed record tragically killing the pilot RAF Flight Lieutenant S.N Webster. Mitchell then came to the conclusion that the Napier engine had reached its peak and looked to Rolls Royce for a new power plant which then became the S-6. These aircraft would ultimately lead Mitchell into designing the Iconic Spitfire, but that's another story. The Kit This is a new tool from AMP (Part of the MikroMir family) for 2020. This is a fine tooling on three sprues with excellent detail, there is a small amount of flash on some parts which should be easy to clean off. As well as the plastic parts the bracing wires are provided in photo etch. There is a tiny canopy with an even smaller mask. Construction starts in the cockpit which for the size is quite detailed with a control column, rudder pedals and other details going in. The frame is attached to the rear bulkhead and placed inside the fuselage which can be closed up. The engine covers and prop go on next which about completes the fuselage. The single part main wing is then attached. Next up the floats are assembled and added onto the main fuselage. All the bracing wires for these are provided as PE should the modeller wish to use the, Rigging is shown on the instructions if the modeller wants to make their own. Now the wing ailerons, tailplanes and rudder can be added. Lastly the small canopy is attached. Decals There is no printer name on the decals, though they look good and are in register. There are three markings for N220; at the factory in 1927, in Venice 1927 when it won the race, marked with No.4 race number; then finally at Calshot in 1928. Conclusion Its good to see a new tool of this important aircraft in 1/72. Highly Recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  19. Matchbox 1/72 Supermarine Walrus 23hours 5 minutes. Waterlined and rigged. Spitfire wing section from Matchbox kit. Figures from Matchbox and Airfix. Dinghy Milliput and Plasticard. This was the image that inspired my build
  20. AMP is to release a 1/48th Supermarine S.5 kit - ref. 48009 Source: https://www.facebook.com/mikro.mir.dnepr/posts/1959896374088089 V.P.
  21. Airfix Supermarine Spitfire Mk.I - ref.A05126 Sources: http://www.airfix.com/catalog/product/view/id/8404/category/1213/ http://www.primeportal.net/models/thomas_voigt9/airfix/index.php?Page=3 V.P.
  22. Hello guys, here's my latest model, Airfix's Spitfire Mk.22 in 1:48. The kit had some moulding issues, and the landing gear struts don't have the most positive attachment points, but I got there in the end.
  23. Hello guys, this is my quarentine project number five, the Spitfire 22/24 from Airfix in 1:48. As you can see in the following photos, this kit came with missing plastic in some areas. Nothing some CA can't fix, but still annoying: Here's where I'm now, a fully built airframe:
  24. Spitfire Mk.XIV Bubble Canopy Cockpit (4397 for Airfix) 1:48 CMK by Special Hobby This newly tooled Griffon engined Spit from Airfix is fresh off the blocks and here’s a super-detailed resin cockpit from CMK that will give it a lift in that department. Arriving in their standard bubble-pack with card rear, the set contains 21 resin parts, a small sheet of Photo-Etch (PE) brass, and a slip of printed clear acetate. The instruction sheet is folded up inside and a small rectangle of clear plastic helps to protect the parts from damage. It's a complete drop-in replacement for the kit tub and builds up in a similar manner, but with the benefits of using resin instead of styrene, with its ability to capture more detail. It begins with the cockpit floor, which removes the seam that’s present in the kit version and adds more detail. To that the rudder pedals and their actuators are installed, then three fuselage frames with the rear side walls having grooves to accept them. The front frame has the seat attachment frame added, plus the head armour with more armour sandwiched between the seat and frame in the next step. The kit’s control column is topped with a new grip, and a full set of detailed seatbelts are included on the PE fret, which you’ll have to paint yourself. The seat is quite exposed at this stage, which is rectified by building up the instrument panel and frame complete with film instruments that should be painted white on the rear, the PE panel, and another double layer for the centre panel that stands slightly proud. The compass is installed in the footwell, and then the completed panel is sited on the floor and held in the correct place by the forward side walls, which also have grooves to assist with location. The access door is separate, and a gunsight is glued to the top of the panel, with a front bulkhead closing off the footwell. Providing you have painted it all, you should now be able to slot it into the model with minimal effort, but it’s always worth test fitting these things anyway. Conclusion Highly detailed resin usually beats styrene, and this set is no exception. With the door open you should be able to see your handiwork, making it all worthwhile. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  25. Finished today: And the three Strike Witches themed aircraft. I have a fourth one, and three more should arrive to my stash in the near future.
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