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1/48 - Supermarine Spitfire F.R. Mk.XIVe by Airfix - released


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The new Mk XIV Spitfire is recognisably an Airfix kit. 

 

I don't understand why this debate has developed. 

Is the panel line detail over done? To be honest it is, because the panel lines are about the same size as on the 1/32 HK Models Lancaster I have just treated myself for Father's Day..and even they are over scale, a bit.

 

But all kit panel lines are over scale, mainly because "the Customer" expects them to be visible.  

Why do I say that? 

 

I'm fortunate to have hands on access to a range of 1950s, 50s and 70s RAF aircraft through my involvement with BDAC, the Boscombe Down Aviation Collection.

I've measured the dimensions of panel lines, removable plates and their screws and for the most part, if scaled down to 1/48th they would be all but invisible. 

 

Take a look at this photo...

It is the "just painted" tail section of a Meteor NF XX1 WD 686 that BDAC are restoring. 

IMG_0755.jpg

 

Note the inspection plate just in front of the roundel. 

Here it is in more detail. 

 

Meteor-NF.jpg

 

The set screws tht hold the plate in position are 3/8", or 8.5mm in metric speak. 

Reduce 8.5mm to 1/48th and the result is 0.177mm: I doubt that any tool maker could produce them. 

The panel lines in the photo are all but invisible. 

 

Look at real aircraft before complaining about the way detail is engraved into the surface of a kit. 

 

 

More info on BDAC here... http://www.boscombedownaviationcollection.co.uk/

 

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5 minutes ago, 224 Peter said:

The new Mk XIV Spitfire is recognisably an Airfix kit. 

 

I don't understand why this debate has developed. 

Is the panel line detail over done? To be honest it is, because the panel lines are about the same size as on the 1/32 HK Models Lancaster I have just treated myself for Father's Day..and even they are over scale, a bit.

 

But all kit panel lines are over scale, mainly because "the Customer" expects them to be visible.  

Why do I say that? 

 

I'm fortunate to have hands on access to a range of 1950s, 50s and 70s RAF aircraft through my involvement with BDAC, the Boscombe Down Aviation Collection.

I've measured the dimensions of panel lines, removable plates and their screws and for the most part, if scaled down to 1/48th they would be all but invisible. 

 

Take a look at this photo...

It is the "just painted" tail section of a Meteor NF XX1 WD 686 that BDAC are restoring. 

IMG_0755.jpg

 

Note the inspection plate just in front of the roundel. 

Here it is in more detail. 

 

Meteor-NF.jpg

 

The set screws tht hold the plate in position are 3/8", or 8.5mm in metric speak. 

Reduce 8.5mm to 1/48th and the result is 0.177mm: I doubt that any tool maker could produce them. 

The panel lines in the photo are all but invisible. 

 

Look at real aircraft before complaining about the way detail is engraved into the surface of a kit. 

 

 

More info on BDAC here... http://www.boscombedownaviationcollection.co.uk/

 

Very good points. And it is a very long ongoing discussion. How close should models be to the 'real' thing? Colour intensity reduction, panel lines and all that. 1:72: walk 70 meters away from a parked plane, and what do you see. Then if this is all translated into a 1:72 model, how interesting will it be: Almost colourless, nothing in the way of details to be spotted, just dull. Not much better in larger scales. 

 

This is the same irrespective of the subject you choose. 

 

So we compensate by having stronger colours, panel lines and details, even those which cannot be seen. 

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49 minutes ago, NPL said:

Very good points. And it is a very long ongoing discussion. How close should models be to the 'real' thing? Colour intensity reduction, panel lines and all that. 1:72: walk 70 meters away from a parked plane, and what do you see. Then if this is all translated into a 1:72 model, how interesting will it be: Almost colourless, nothing in the way of details to be spotted, just dull. Not much better in larger scales. 

 

This is the same irrespective of the subject you choose. 

 

So we compensate by having stronger colours, panel lines and details, even those which cannot be seen. 

Here is a photo of the same side of the rear fuselage in primer. The lack of  panel detail is remarkable. 

 

IMG_0733.jpg

 

The inside structure shows that the rivets holding the skin to the stringers are completely invisible on the outer surface of the skin. 

Also interesting are the three red bits... they are the joints that hold the rear fuselage to the centre section... just 4 bolts....

 

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When I built 1/72 scale aeroplanes I hardly ever accentuated panel lines for exactly the reasons stated above ( scale distance ), but there were a few exceptions, like RAF grey Phantoms and some US Navy aircraft. I now build mostly 1/48 and still try to keep the weathering to a minimum. Many years ago there was a young lad, who eventually became a ‘ cottage industry ‘ manufacturer who used to produce some beautiful airbrushed models at the IPMS Nationals with accentuated panel lines and tonal differences in each panel. They were beautiful models but totally unrealistic as representations of real aircraft seen from any distance.

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1 hour ago, 224 Peter said:

I've measured the dimensions of panel lines, removable plates and their screws and for the most part, if scaled down to 1/48th they would be all but invisible. 

If ever there was a nail that needed its head to meet a hammer! 

 

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Hi, yesterday I buoght my two kits in Italy close to Milan. :yahoo:

I payd them 25 € each one.

I think it's a good job for a good price, thanks Mommy Airfix!👍

 

 

Ciao.

Davide

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My mother once taught me -- she was an artist herself -- that if you want people to be interested in what you do, you does not try to emulate reality. Thus if painting a house where the smoke from the chimney, and a flagpole with a flag going in the same direction as the smoke, nobody will stop and look at it. No eye catcher. But if the flag and the smoke go in different direction, people will sop up an look, because something is wrong. If we try just to make models of big things, and think that we should follow the rules which I cited above (faint, panels) the model will hardly attach much attention, because: What can you see from a hundred meters distance? 

 

But I agree, weathering is a trap. The guy mentioned here could have been Verlinden. 

 

So we are really ending up in a morass moving between what is just dull reproduction of 'reality' on one side and wild overdone weathering on the other. Thus I will find the panel lines on Airfix's Seafire XVII and Spitfire Mk.XII intolerable, but those on the Mk.I + V + XIV workable.

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14 minutes ago, Rickoshea52 said:

If ever there was a nail that needed its head to meet a hammer! 

 

A nail in a realistic size will not be  easy to hit!

Edited by NPL
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6 hours ago, Tbolt said:

It's funny you can talk here about lots of manufacturer kits pluses and minus but when some one does it about Airfix some people start getting all defensive about them.

 

I love Airfix Spitfire's and will continue to buy all the 1/48th scale ones ( as well as many of their other kits ).

No, I have a problem with whinging over nothing. Airfix has been rightfully slammed for various problems including short shot parts and missing panels on the Meteor, short shot parts and sink marks on the Blenheim and trenches for panel lines on various kits, this is not like that.

 

The whining is about panel lines of similar dimensions to many other manufacturers yet the people complaining neglect poor detail and what I believe is incorrect detail in the cockpit.

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2 hours ago, Harvs73 said:

No, I have a problem with whinging over nothing. Airfix has been rightfully slammed for various problems including short shot parts and missing panels on the Meteor, short shot parts and sink marks on the Blenheim and trenches for panel lines on various kits, this is not like that.

 

The whining is about panel lines of similar dimensions to many other manufacturers yet the people complaining neglect poor detail and what I believe is incorrect detail in the cockpit.

Do you have a problem with my comment or are you referring to some  one else?

 

If you were referring to me I was just stating a point about a kit. Did I say it was bad? No. Did I say it wasn't acceptable? No. Did I say this kit didn't have acceptable panel lines? No. Did I say I was going to buy this kit? Yes.

 

I said that I haven't got this kit in my hands yet and never referred to this kit. I was only pointing out the differences of some previous Airfix kits. I did not say that they weren't acceptable.

 

Even if someone doesn't agree with you and panel lines matter more to them than you, so what? That's the their opinion and they are entitled to it, don't get so worked up about it, buy the kits you want and build them how you want, don't worry so much about what other people think. After all they are just plastic models....

 

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Nice honest review of the kit here.

 

For those that are saying it compares well with Tamiya and Eduard quality wise may like to book an appointment at the opticians after viewing it! 😉

Good tip on building the cockpit tub in there as well which i'll be using when I build mine.

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26 minutes ago, tank152 said:

Nice honest review of the kit here.

 

For those that are saying it compares well with Tamiya and Eduard quality wise may like to book an appointment at the opticians after viewing it! 😉

Good tip on building the cockpit tub in there as well which i'll be using when I build mine.

A very good, unbiased report, telling it like it is. I always enjoy watching Paul's videos as he's a quality modeller with a very relaxing voice. 

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An excellent review. 

I look forward to Pt 2 and I'll be following Pauls proposed method for cockpit assembly! 

 

I think Paul was unlucky with the kit he bought, my boxing has NO flash around the cockpit floor part he highlighted, generally all the parts are sharper on the runner he mentioned.

I compared the Spitfire with the Defiant from Airfix and the Spitfire IX from ICM that I have. 

The Defiant is moulded in a darker grey and doesn't mention Made in India. It is a sharper moulding but the surface detail is similar. The ICM Spitfire is well moulded and the surface detail is, if anything finer than the two Airfix kits.  

Overall, the new Airfix Spitfire is good, but doesn't win any trophies.

The difference between my kit and Pauls suggested that moulds are wearing or that they are not cleaning them properly between injections. The flash on Paul's kit looks like an old kit... strange. 

 

It will be interesting to see the mould quality on the Wildcat. 

 

 

Edited by 224 Peter
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45 minutes ago, 224 Peter said:

An excellent review. 

I look forward to Pt 2 and I'll be following Pauls proposed method for cockpit assembly! 

 

I think Paul was unlucky with the kit he bought, my boxing has NO flash around the cockpit floor part he highlighted, generally all the parts are sharper on the runner he mentioned.

I compared the Spitfire with the Defiant from Airfix and the Spitfire IX from ICM that I have. 

The Defiant is moulded in a darker grey and doesn't mention Made in India. It is a sharper moulding but the surface detail is similar. The ICM Spitfire is well moulded and the surface detail is, if anything finer than the two Airfix kits.  

Overall, the new Airfix Spitfire is good, but doesn't win any trophies.

The difference between my kit and Pauls suggested that moulds are wearing or that they are not cleaning them properly between injections. The flash on Paul's kit looks like an old kit... strange. 

 

It will be interesting to see the mould quality on the Wildcat. 

 

 

Yes all the video and pictures I've seen so far don't seem to have the large amount of flash that Paul's ended up with on his copy.

 

The Defiant Night Fighter boxing says "Designed and Manufactured in the UK" on it like the P-40 and Meteor later boxing.

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Been reading this thread for awhile now as like many others I have been awaiting a decent mk14 to be made in kit form. I recieved my copy last week and have had some time to study it. Overall it's a bit of a curets egg. The overall shape seems fine and the molding quality varies. The main wings and body are on a par with most kits from airfix these days and the panel lines are reasonable but not upto tamiya standard. The plastic on the main 'detail sprue' are of not the same quality. They exhibit a bit of roughness and the defiition is  not the best, though not the worst. 'See the canons for what i mean'. The canopies are good by airfix standards. The main thing i dont like is the fact that the bulged engine covers are not molded as part of the fuselage as they are on the airfix mk19. I feel that this will undermine the look of any finished model as it's in such a prominent position. That seam around the covers will be difficult to conceal. Als i am not a fan of having to cut off the wingtips. 

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30 minutes ago, kitman said:

Been reading this thread for awhile now as like many others I have been awaiting a decent mk14 to be made in kit form. I recieved my copy last week and have had some time to study it. Overall it's a bit of a curets egg. The overall shape seems fine and the molding quality varies. The main wings and body are on a par with most kits from airfix these days and the panel lines are reasonable but not upto tamiya standard. The plastic on the main 'detail sprue' are of not the same quality. They exhibit a bit of roughness and the defiition is  not the best, though not the worst. 'See the canons for what i mean'. The canopies are good by airfix standards. The main thing i dont like is the fact that the bulged engine covers are not molded as part of the fuselage as they are on the airfix mk19. I feel that this will undermine the look of any finished model as it's in such a prominent position. That seam around the covers will be difficult to conceal. Als i am not a fan of having to cut off the wingtips. 

When you say the seam around the cowl bugles, from what I've seen the real thing has a small panel gap there. But if you want to fill it, or ifthe gap is a bit big, just use some correction fluid and once dry remove the excess with an IPA soak cotton bud. Maybe Airfix molded them separately to get a more accurate shape?

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47 minutes ago, Tbolt said:

But if you want to fill it, or ifthe gap is a bit big, just use some correction fluid and once dry remove the excess with an IPA soak cotton bud. Maybe Airfix molded them separately to get a more accurate shape?

Perfect Plastic Putty works really well for filling the gap around the bowling bulges. Just apply and wipe off the excess with a damp paper towel or cotton bud. That's how I did the one I am working on.

 

I suspect Airfix molded the bulges separate to be able to get an accurate shape without having to use a slide mold.

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38 minutes ago, VMA131Marine said:

Perfect Plastic Putty works really well for filling the gap around the bowling bulges. Just apply and wipe off the excess with a damp paper towel or cotton bud. That's how I did the one I am working on.

 

I suspect Airfix molded the bulges separate to be able to get an accurate shape without having to use a slide mold.

I keep meaning to pick some of that up for things like this. Correction fluid is great when the gap is small  ( great for Tamiya's P-47 dorsal fillet blending) but I think Plastic Putty would be better for a large gap as well as smaller ones.

 

Good point about the slide mold as that's what they used on the Mk.XIX.

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7 hours ago, 224 Peter said:

 

I think Paul was unlucky with the kit he bought, my boxing has NO flash around the cockpit floor part he highlighted, generally all the parts are sharper on the runner he mentioned.

 

 

It's not mentioned in the review, but he states it over on Hyperscale: he bought four kits (from two different sources) and says they're all the same. FWIW.

 

Jon

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3 hours ago, kitman said:

The main thing i dont like is the fact that the bulged engine covers are not molded as part of the fuselage as they are on the airfix mk19. I feel that this will undermine the look of any finished model as it's in such a prominent position. That seam around the covers will be difficult to conceal.

 

as others have mentioned, there is a seam, this is the Mk.24 at Hendon, but same cowling

2245.jpg&key=2c36c35c504e89bba484387daba

 

2247.jpg&key=ccf2fa39c186ee3ed9368d47a59

 

2221.jpg&key=eec48510cfc48661cc96cb925c4

 

more here

worth looking through in light of the panel line debate.

eg

2228.jpg&key=ad3468836413d41c7abc20e20a4

2227.jpg&key=0963395e9ac2626f7a93b041dcd

FWIW, @Paul Budzik, who did the video review,  when he scratch built a 1/32nd Tempest,  he engraved the panel lines in the final paint coat!  

 

the debate will run and run, but I fear Airfix have to work to a price set by the accountants. 

And as such,  they work on the principle of overall 'pretty good'  while 'we' here expect at least 'excellent' (the level of finished product that is consistently met by say, Tamiya or Eduard) and I suspect  that jump in quality is significantly higher in cost. 

 

Also, as has also been pointed out in here on many occasions,  the 'cognoscenti' if you like, are a very small (though vocal) proportion of those who buy models. 

I know Airfix staff do read what is posted here, and I suspect the creative side are unhappy about the quality issues, but it's out of their hands, and the amount of lost sales from the obsessives is minimal to the cost saved by the 'pretty good' approach, and again, part of the problem about being part of a larger group of companies with financial issues.

hope of use to the debate.

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3 minutes ago, Troy Smith said:

the debate will run and run, but I fear Airfix have to work to a price set by the accountants. 

And as such,  they work on the principle of overall 'pretty good'  while 'we' here expect at least 'excellent' (the level of finished product that is consistently met by say, Tamiya or Eduard) and I suspect  that jump in quality is significantly higher in cost. 

 

Also, as has also been pointed out in here on many occasions,  the 'cognoscenti' if you like, are a very small (though vocal) proportion of those who buy models. 

I know Airfix staff do read what is posted here, and I suspect the creative side are unhappy about the quality issues, but it's out of their hands, and the amount of lost sales from the obsessives is minimal to the cost saved by the 'pretty good' approach, and again, part of the problem about being part of a larger group of companies with financial issues.

hope of use to the debate.

Agreed. I just treat Airfix kits like a good limited run kits - accurate  but they need a little bit more work to get a good finish.

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9 hours ago, tank152 said:

Nice honest review of the kit here.

 

For those that are saying it compares well with Tamiya and Eduard quality wise may like to book an appointment at the opticians after viewing it! 😉

Good tip on building the cockpit tub in there as well which i'll be using when I build mine.

This dude would be well advised keeping to snap together kits, he has certainly lost sight of what modelling is about. I say that as someone who has not bought an Airfix kit in many a blue moon.

 

Tommo.

 

 

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37 minutes ago, The Tomohawk Kid said:

This dude would be well advised keeping to snap together kits, he has certainly lost sight of what modelling is about. I say that as someone who has not bought an Airfix kit in many a blue moon.

 

Tommo.

 

 

Your saying that about Paul Budzik? That's funny! If you don't know about him I suggest looking up some of his work. He is a very talented modeler who makes lots of improvements to kits and does some amazing scratch built models. He knows what modelling is about more than most of us who merely stick bits of plastic together.

 

 

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