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markleecarter

2015 New Tool 1/48 Airfix Spitfire Mki (A05126)

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I'm not able to post reviews but the first part of this wip will be a review so if any moderators would like to move it to the review section then please feel free!

For anyone who has built the excellent recent MkV, this boxing is very similar with many shared parts but also a few key differences. And for anyone who has built the rather disappointing Airfix Mki/ia/iia kit of a couple of years ago this is miles ahead in terms of detail and finesse.

One of the very interesting things about this boxing is that it contains many items that allow you to build a pre-war spit and far more satisfyingly than the previous release.

As you can see from this page of the instructions, there is a whole separate lower starboard sidewall and undercarriage lever for the pre-war option (option 'C' in the instructions). This could also allow for quite a nice and easy build of a prototype without too much additional work.

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You can see these parts below:

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And alongside the undercarriage lever is the early style pitot which is a very welcome addition:

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Another very visible difference with the pre-war Spitfire is the lack of headrest and seat armour which is also addressed in the instructions:

DSC_0270.JPG

Edited by markleecarter

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Here is the complete additional sprue that covers some of the main changes from the MkV boxing:

DSC_0274.JPG

Included in this is the 2 blade Watts propeller as well as the DeHavilland 3 blade prop and spinner. Also on this sprue are 2 versions of the petrol tank cover - one without armour plating or the fixing for the bulletproof windscreen. Again this would save quite a bit of time if using this to build a prototype.

This sprue also contains parts for the Browning machine guns so that the gun bays can be modelled open. (Or at least most of them. There is no provision for opening the outermost ones.) They seem ok but I think to get the most out of this you'd need to scratch build extra detail or wait for some aftermarket:

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Another feature of the Mk.i was of course the fabric covered ailerons which are quite nicely represented although may need a tiny bit of toning down.

DSC_0277.JPG

Edited by markleecarter

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For the sake of completeness here are the remaining sprues, most of which are the same as the Mk.V, although the wings are obviously different because of the different armament and also include some other differences such as the retractable landing lights that didn't carry forward to later marks, and some internal detail for if you model with the bays open.

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DSC_0294.JPG

Edited by markleecarter

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Decals are good and you get three quite different options to choose from:

DSC_0285.JPG

DSC_0288.JPG

DSC_0287.JPG

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When I ordered this I was planning to do a BoB Spit but seeing how well this kit addresses the differences present in the first production Spitfires I might go for the 1938 19 Squadron option. As you can see, you do need to decide before you begin to build!

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The big h is wrapping mine as I type, feeling like a child on xmas eve!

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Mine had been left in the recycling box and I didn't know until I went to put the bins out! I ordered direct from Airfix so I've no idea how long it was in there but very glad I got to it before the binmen!

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First step done!

DSC_0302.JPG

I'm using Vallejo pastel green as I understand that the cockpit colour of early spitfires was quite a bit lighter than later on in the war.

Edited by markleecarter

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That looks pretty complete, I like the addition of the early pitot, gun mountings and different saddle tank parts. Looks like Airfix have included just about everything you need.

Now where's that Mk XIV?

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Yes, there is a lot there and lots of parts for the spares box too which is always a bonus!

I did some work on the starboard lower sidewall too:

DSC_0304.JPG

As you can see I've gone for the early version with the long lever undercarriage just because it's a bit different (and will also give me a spare undercarriage quadrant for the Mk.24 that I'm working on!)

Looking ahead there will be a couple of issues to be addressed: one is that this early version should have the ring and bead gun sight that will need to be scratch built and also I noticed that the separate cockpit door has the crowbar moulded on. These were not fitted to the Mk.I so that will need to be sorted out. Interestingly the door that needs to be cut out of the fuselage side doesn't have the crowbar.

So far though it's a very enjoyable build and the hardest thing has been not rushing it because it's going together pretty well at the moment.

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Got this kit yesterday, and its great "in the flesh" so to speak. I'm puzzeled why Airfix insist on offering the same markings options for their 1/72 scale kits, a minor grumble from me but with it being a BoB issue i'd have thought more BoB markings options would have been better. Great work on your example so far, enjoiy it!

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I like the manual undercarriage control, it looks much more realistic than on their earlier Mk1 which I am building at the moment?

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Nice start mark - the colour looks very good. One thing to watch ( if this is the same as the Mk Vb cockpit). The fit of the two rear bulkhead into those slots is VERY tight - so make sure the are clear of any paint.etc

I speak from experience here, and will be double checking this fit on my Mk 1 pit too. Ditto for the instrument panel where it fit into the separate upper nose insert too - that was tight on the Vb, and I have feeling it may be the same here.

Anyhow- that looks cool :)

Jonners

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Thanks everyone! Jonners, I have also made the MkV and it was indeed quite tricky to get everything to fit so I will do lots of dry fitting this time around.

i have mainly been tinkering this evening. I have deviated from the instructions and rather than build the cockpit sub-assembly, I've glued the lower sidewall to the fuselage to enable me to do a bit more 'plumbing'. Time will tell whether this was a mistake or not!

I've also added some detail to the underside of the tank saddle piece. Photos of the restored P9374 show an interesting wheel device that is labelled 'Height and Airspeed Computer' so I reproduced it as best I could using various little bits of photetch from the spares box. I also added what is supposed to be a little light and some more placards from an airscale set.

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When buttoned up I think it looks ok.

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I would normally add some electric guitar string as an oxygen hose but does anyone know if this would be incorrect for this early build?

Edited by markleecarter

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Good start! This kit is so good that I went and bought my first Spitfire (as opposed to Seafire) kit in over forty years!

Martin

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Great start :) i need to have one of these

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One of the very interesting things about this boxing is that it contains many items that allow you to build a pre-war spit and far more satisfyingly than the previous release.

As you can see from this page of the instructions, there is a whole separate lower starboard sidewall and undercarriage lever for the pre-war option (option 'C' in the instructions). This could also allow for quite a nice and easy build of a prototype without too much additional work.

well done review Mark.

But, the Spitfire prototype varies in a lot of way to a production aircraft, the big jobs are the wing panelling and exhaust slots, but there are many others.

http://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/234946183-prototype-spitfire-k5054-cockpit-and-propeller-colour-questions/

has links to most of the relevant threads

plus Alleycat did a resin kit, http://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/234949814-supermarine-type-300-spitfire-prototype-148-alleycat/

which unless you like doing some serious modifications, is the way to go.

HTH

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It's coming along nicely. I think that the oxygen hose came up from the bottom of the cockpit on the early Mk1, the oxygen bottle was not on the starboard wall behind the seat. The other thing that just occured to me is that the throttle quadrant supplied is for a later model with variable pitch/constant speed prop so you need to remove the black outer lever on the quadrant. I think all these things are covered on the " Spitfire questions" thread.

Don't look back, Jonners is coming up fast.

John

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It's looking rather good Mark. Great cockpit detailing. Definitely going to have to get one of these at some point.

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Ah, good catch on the pitch control lever, Biggles!

There was no oxygen hose in the cockpit- the hose was attached to the mask in the early days.

bob

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Yes, thanks for pointing that out, Biggles. Now I have to work out how to fix it without making a mess!

Troy, that resin prototype looks good - somehow it had slipped under my radar so I might well put it on a future shopping list. i still think that this would be a good base kit (better for example than the Tamiya) to try for a prototype conversion if anyone doesn't fancy the resin. I suppose much depends on how much work you want to put in and what stuff you have lying around. I'd probably fill all the panel lines and I've got the Falcon canopy set that includes the prototype canopy so that's sorted. For the exhausts I would probably fill the slots and file out some holes or something, and make up the extended radiator and undercarriage wheel covers with plastic card.

But looking at the Alleycat one and also the 19 squadron press day pictures made me realise that the Airfix have missed some key panel lines on the unarmoured fuel tank section which I will have a go at scribing in. (Not something I've done before so I'm a bit nervous)

mki.JPG

I've also noticed that although these machines don't have the armour behind the head, they do still have the circular headrest so that will need to be built. Moral - Always check your photographs!

I also really like the unpainted aluminium canopy frame on the machine nearest the camera. I'm very tempted to leave the 'H' off and model this one instead.

Edited by markleecarter

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Is there any representation of the landing light control ( the cylindrical object with a large lever) immediately beneath the instrument panel on the left. It was a fairly prominent item on the early marks but I haven't see one on a kit, not even in 1/32 scale.

If you don't already have enough pictures of a Mk1 cockpit have a look at markonepartners.co.uk there are some nice pictures of a restored Mk 1 on there.

Cheers

John

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Is there any representation of the landing light control ( the cylindrical object with a large lever) immediately beneath the instrument panel on the left.

No, it's not on there. It's one of those tricky things - it is prominent in pictures but it is still tiny in 1/48 and would be quite difficult to do accurately. I'll have a try and see what i can do though.

The markonepartners website is an excellent resource, as is the book by Andy Saunders about the recovery and restoration of that very same Spitfire and has a lot of extra photos that aren't on that site.

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I wonder if anyone could help me with a question about the Sutton harness and how it works without the head armour. I assume it goes directly through the big opening that is normally covered by the armour behind the seat. However this photo seems to show straps going either side of the section where the headrest is.

spit_sutton.jpg

Now I wonder if actually the loose ends that normally drape into the seat have just been placed there to get them out of the way. I suppose (if you will excuse my rather shoddy scribble) is the photo showing a set up like A or B?

harness_question.jpg

Edited by markleecarter

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