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JMChladek

Tamiya's new 1/48 Spit Mk I has some nice early Spit goodies

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Hey there guys. I just picked up the new 1/48 scale Spit Mk 1 kit (#61119) today and it has some very nice features for interwar years Spit birds. If you plan to do a 1938-39 model Spitfire, here are some features which I think will be a nice surprise for you.:

 

Pre-war ring and bead gun sight- Using a combination of some styrene and included photoetch, this is the first 1/48 Spitfire I have seen which includes the ring and bead sight. When I did my Interwar 19 Squadron bird years ago, I had to cobble something together.

 

Two pronged fork pitot tube- Again, it wasn't around when I did my build. Granted Tamiya isn't the first to do this style of tube as the Hornby Airfix 2015 Spit Mk I kit (A05126) also included it. But it is nice to see Tamiya noticed it as well. 

 

Gun heater exhaust vents in the wings- This is something I have never seen on a 1/48 Spit kit. Early Spitfires tried to use exhaust gas heating to keep the .303s from freezing in flight. Heating ducts were installed along with an exhaust port in each wing. Tamiya put those into this kit! The wing mount holes are flashed over for those who want to do BoB aircraft. But, it is nice to have that option in this kit!

 

Unarmored glass windscreen- Tamiya did the windscreen un-armored with the simple frame. Two versions of armored glass can be installed over the top of this for WW2 birds. The shape of the windscreen looks beautiful and at a nice petite thickness for pre-war birds.

 

The pre-war marking option is for K9906 of 65 Squadron, FZ-L from 1939. It has the later more traditional style bubble canopy and the 3 bladed Jablo prop. There is some debate about whether the Munich Crisis camoed topside aircraft had an all aluminium underside as the kit depicts of whether it had gone with the black/white wing paint (making sure to leave the control surface undersides aluminium if you go that route).

 

Early square spine antenna- The antenna mounting for the early and late style antennas is very robust and designed to help eliminate a glue stain. The square antenna mount looks great and is less prone to flexing than the Hornby Airfix one.

 

So, you can do the kit out of the box for a pre-war Spitfire easily. Now if you want to do one of the earliest birds, such as the 19 Squadron Duxford Spits from 38-39 you are on your own for the Watts two-bladed prop and the flat canopy.  But the 2015 Airfix Spit Mk 1 and the earlier Humbrol Airfix Spit kits provide the prop to scrounge. The Hornby Airfix Mk I also includes the flat top canopy, but it is a bit too thick to use properly if you intend to pose it open. So I recommend acquiring a Falcon Spitfire vac canopy set for the sliding portion if you wish to go that route. 

Edited by JMChladek

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Saw the new Tamiya kit at Telford last year, yummy.

 

Looking  at pics, pre-war Watts-bladed Spits had protruding gun barrels on the third and fourth gun positions working outwards.  I suspect that these are flash suppressors that were left off later.  The original Tamiya Spit Ia had these included,which meant that you needed to remove them for the options offered!

 

Point is. if you want to do an early flat canopy Spit with the new kit, these need to be added as well.  

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