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sroubos

Spitfire double build - Airfix MkIIa vs Tamiya MkI

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I managed to complete my Christmas holiday Spitfire double build inside the two-week period I allocated to it! I started this build as distraction from a difficult kit I've been working on for over a year, and as such I wanted an easy kit. I made it a double build when I realized I couldn't pick which kit to do, and as I expected them to be pretty much shake'n bake. I was also quite interested to see which one would be my favourite.

The Airfix kit is built as the early Mk.I that's included in the box, I just love the white/black wing scheme. This also allowed me to do a tiny bit of a conversion on the Tamiya and build it as a MkIIa, using the spares from the Airfix kit: Coffman starter, Rotol prop and fishtail exhausts.

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This MkIIa was the personal plane of Prince Bernhard of The Netherlands, husband to Crown Princess Juliana. When Holland was occupied by the Germans in May 1940, the royal family fled to Britain, where both Juliana and Bernhard, as well as Queen Wilhelmina, worked tirelessly to support the war effort against the Axis. Bernhard took a great interest in military matters and involved himself with soldiers and pilots that had fled to Britain as well, and he played a large part in creating the 322 (Dutch) squadron. He also had a reputation for being a playboy and he enjoyed driving sports cars and flying aeroplanes.

As for my verdict on the kits: Very, very difficult to pick a favorite. The Tamiya has the best surface detail, the Airfix is (apparently) more accurate, Tamiya has slightly better fit, Airfix is considerably cheaper and in the series 2 boxing gives you lots of useful spares. Bottom line, it depends on what you value most. For me, the Tamiya's better surface detail puts it slightly ahead of the Airfix.

Apologies for the quality of the pictures, there wasn't as much light as I really needed.

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Edited by sroubos

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Nice builds. Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands was not the husband of Queen Wilhelmina. By the time war came to our country her husband, Prince Hendrik, had been dead for six years. Prince Bernhard was married to Princes Juliana her daughter our later Queen.

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For me, accuracy of outline trumps the fineness of the surface detail, so the Airfix one wins hands down. They're both cracking builds though.

John.

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Doh I meant Juliana... that's a terrible blunder.

(triple minus points for being Dutch myself :D)

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Beautiful pair of Spitfires. :goodjob:

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I'll have to do the same and get purchasing these two kits to emulate what you have done here. Nice work!

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Lovely pair of Spits

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They both look splendid. I too enjoyed the WIP.

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You've done a fantastic job on both those models, especially good with the way you dealt with the panel lines on Airfix's kit, they look fine and crisp :)

Ben

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A lovely pair of Spitfires. Excellent. Well done. Enjoyed your build thread too - it's interesting to see different manufacturers versions of the same aircraft.

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Thanks for compliments all :)

You've done a fantastic job on both those models, especially good with the way you dealt with the panel lines on Airfix's kit, they look fine and crisp :)

Ben

The only thing I did was to apply preshading. I decided not to do a full panel line wash like I did on the Tamiya as I feared it would be too heavy, and I think it was the right choice: I limited it to the moving surfaces and even there I feel it is slightly overemphasizing them.

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Very nice.... great looking pair!

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Hey a quick question.....is the prop in the Airfix kit correct? The kit has a 3 blade prop.

The smart-alec answer is "it depends which aircraft you're making and which boxing you've got".

My answer is, I think the Series 1 boxing has a DH prop which were common on Mk1s. I think the boxing which has an early Mk1 or a MkII, has a Rotol prop which was common on a MkII.

The proper answer is, it's probably best to ask your question in the WW2 forum as that's where the experts tend to hang out.

The one thing I know for sure is that nothing is ever straightforward with Spitfires.

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The series one kit only has a DH prop, the series 2 kit has a DH, Rotol and the two-bladed wooden prop.

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