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Paul A H

Spitfire Mk.VIII Weekend Edition - 1:72 Eduard

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Spitfire Mk.VIII Weekend Edition

1:72 Eduard

 

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More than any other aircraft - at least on this side of the Atlantic - the Supermarine Spitfire has attained legendary status. The type's role in the Battle of Britain, combined with its enduring presense at air shows, have combined to ensure the Spitfire is the one combat aircraft pretty much everyone can identify. One of the ultimate Merlin powered variants was the Mk. VIII. The Mk. VIII was intended to be the next major production variant after the Spitfire Mk. V, but the Mk. IX, intended to be an interim design while the Mk. VIII was being readied, proved to be up to the job. Nevertheless, it was the third most numerous variant after the Mk. IX and Mk. V although it served exclusively overseas. Supermarine's chief test pilot, Jeffrey Quill, considered the Mk. VIII the best Spitfire from a flying perspective but was scathing of the extended wingtip fitted to some early Mk. VIIIs, insisting that it did nothing other than reduce the rate of roll. 

 

Eduard's range of small scale Spitfires are typical of their recent output: exquisite detail and superb – if complex – engineering which puts them right at the pinnacle of modern kit manufacturing. This Weekend Edition of their Spitfire Mk. VIII joins the Mk. IX and Mk. XVI in replicating the 1:48 scale range of Spitfires that were released a few years ago. Even though this is a Weekend Edition kit it comprises well over 100 parts, although a large number of them are not used for this particular variant. The quality of the mouldings is up to the usual Eduard standard, with clean, crisp details and no flaws anywhere. As with other recent kits from Eduard, there is plenty of fine detail, with parts such as the cockpit comparable to high-end resin items (which, in turn, should tell you how good Eduard's resin cockpit is). The surface detail on the outside of the airframe is exquisitely rendered, with fine recessed panel lines and delicately engraved rivet and fastener detail.

 

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 Eduard take an uncompromising approach when it comes to detail, resulting in a cockpit that is extremely well detailed. The pilot's seat is made up from three parts, while the cockpit sidewalls have been moulded separately in order to maximise the amount of detail they have been able to pack in. Once the cockpit has been assembled and painted, it can be fitted between the vertically split fuselage halves, along with the engine firewall, a blank part into which the propeller is fitted later on, and the pilot's head armour. The leading edge wing root also has to be fitted at this stage. The fact that these parts have been moulded separately to the rest of the kit is testament to Eduard's commitment to detail, if not buildability!
 
The breakdown of the wing is no less complex. As you might expect, the lower wing has been moulded as a single span, with separate upper wing surfaces. Between the two you must sandwich seven parts which together make up the walls of the main landing gear bay. The ailerons and wing tips have been moulded separately, which allows for the extended wing tip fitted to some early Mk. VIIIs to be used (one of the decal options has the extended wing tips). The same applies to the rudder and elevators. Multiple alternatives are included on the sprues, so make sure you use the correct version for your intended subject. The upper and lower cowlings are moulded separately, with the former split along the middle. Even the wing radiators are made up of six parts each, with the surface of the radiators themselves picked out in photo etched metal in this boxing. 

 

Turning the model over, the undercarriage is just as detailed as the rest of the kit. Each of the main landing gear legs is made up of seven parts, with the tyres moulded separately to the hubs and photo etched parts to represent hub covers (where fitted). The separate tyres will make painting easier and the wing cannon barrels are moulded separately, which means they can be added at the end of the build in order to avoid accidental damage. The transparent parts are nice and clear, and of course the canopy can be finished in open or closed position as you wish. 

 

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Eduard are usually pretty generous with the decal options in their profipacks, and this is no exception. Choices are provided for a generour five aircraft:
⦁    Spitfire Mk.VIII A58-602, flown by W/C Bobby Gibbes, the CO of No. 80 Wing, Mototai, April 1945. This aircraft is finished in Dark Green/Foliage Green and Ocean Grey over Medium Sea Grey; and
⦁    Spitfire Mk.VIII JF330, Flown by AVM Harry Broadhurst, 1943. This aircraft is finished in Dark Earth/Middle Stone over Azure Blue;

Each option is illustrated with a four-view colour profile. The decals look crisp, thin and glossy and the colours used are nice and bold. A seperate sheet of stencils is also included.
 

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Conclusion

 

Eduard's range of 1:72 Spitfires is simply excellent. The kits are accurate and highly detailed, putting them some way ahead of the competition on both counts. This Weekend Edition kit may omit some of the luxuries in favour of a lower price, but it is still a highly detailed and complex kit. The marking options are attractive too, which is a distinct plus point. Highly recommended.

 

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Review sample courtesy of 


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