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MK1a Spitfire. Recommended 1:72 scale kits 2021


Lindsey C
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10 minutes ago, fishplanebeer said:

If you want/need a copy of the plans let me know and I'll scan and e-mail to you.

Wow. Thanks Colin. If you get a chance I would love to see the plans. The more info I have the better as far as I am concerned. I like learning more about the actual aircraft themselves and modelling is providing this extra, unforeseen benefit. ūüėÄ

 

Thanks

Lindsey

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17 minutes ago, fishplanebeer said:

Re' the old Airix Mk 1a with raised panel lines it could be made into a very good kit indeed as this is the one used by Ray Rimell in one of his his long out of print articles from Scale Models magazine back in 1990-ish showing how to build all the aircraft from the BoB in 72nd scale. The complete set of articles was subsequently sold in one paper back book in 1990 from Argus Books but I suspect this may now be tricky to find and it probably isn't that relevant now given all much newer kits that are available now.

 

It's not that tricky to find -- I live on another continent and was seven in 1990, and I have a copy. But yes, as you say, it's almost entirely superseded. 

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Although the latest KP releases are only slight modifications of their earlier releases, these in turn are fairly recent, postdating slightly the newer Airfix  and considerably postdating the Tamiya.  It is perhaps unfair to ask for a new Spitfire Mk.I from KP before one from these others.

 

There were considerable differences between the Airfix Mk.Vb and their Mk.I  beyond correcting the ailerons.  The wings were not readily transferable because the Mk.I avoided the slightly earlier kit's odd kink upwards near the root.  I also recall thinking that the Mk,I also showed the slight washout near the tips better than any kit before or since, though perhaps this may need checking for the latest kits.

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Re the old Argus book just checked and it's available on a very well known book seller's web site (they now sell lots of other stuff too!) at around £6 so not bad for a bit of nostalgia and/or if you want a proper modelling challenge and are prepared to forsake the later kits. That said Ray Rimmel was a real expert so what you actually end up with may be somewhat less impressive and some of these old kits are now tricky to find such as the Matchbox Bf109E.

 

Regards

Colin.

 

Ps. Lindsey, I'll drop you a pm tomorrow and you can let me have your mail e-mail address to send to

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20 hours ago, fishplanebeer said:

Pictures are pretty rare of Ib's but there are a couple of interest in Shacklady which may help if you decide to go for this version.

Shacklady? The only one I can find is a Pro Golfer ūü§£ Any more info on these image location Colin?

 

Thanks,

Lindsey

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Sorry, the book I'm referring to is what many consider to be the bible on the Spitfire and is entitled 'Spitfire - The History' by Eric B Morgan & Edward Shacklady. I have an old first edition copy and it plus the 2nd/revised edition are still available on the well known book seller's site but not cheap. However well worth the investment if you are bitten by the Spitfire bug as it has an amazing amount of detail and has histories of all Spitfires by individual serial number. Of course as is always the way new information that emerges makes all printed references out of date to some degree but the overwhelming majority of information it contains is still accurate.

 

Regards

Colin.

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Ok, thanks. I will have a look and probably be scared by prices. Still, I have picked up desirable, niche, out of print, before at very reasonable prices! Bless Ebay. ūüôā

 

Thanks,

 

Lindsey

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Hi Lindsey

 

While you're  looking/researching/waiting why not just build an Airfix Mk I anyway? 

 

It's cheap as chips and you might be surprised how well it looks with a bit of care and a decent paint job.¬†After all, it's THE Airfix kit and, if nothing else, it'll be good practice.ūüėĬ†

 

Ian

 

 

 

 

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6 minutes ago, IanC said:

While you're  looking/researching/waiting why not just build an Airfix Mk I anyway? 

I will be building the ‚ā¨7.99 A68206 kit I have anyway. It will take me a good while to cut out the undercarriage from the brutal

flashing that completely encases the top of the port landing gear however and the Orc pilot (see Avatar) is going to be replaced by the Mk1 fabric wing Hurricane pilot me thinks! This made the Starter Kit A68216 Mk1 Hurricane an open cockpit job and slowed me down considerably! lol. Still, all good fun ūüėÄ

 

Regards,

 

Lindsey

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Flash on kits is a common problem and is even present on top end kits as well to some degree not just small Airfix kits, so many happy (?) hours will always be spent refining parts regardless but it adds to the fun and the challenge. You just need some sharp knife blades, fine sanding sticks and sanding paper, a steady hand, a good pair of specs and plenty of patience but worth it in the end. Some parts are more difficult than others to clean up, such a pitots, aerials, rudder and aileron balances, which is why many people replace them with home made from stretched sprue etc..

 

Regards

Colin.

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I've already established that I am often in the minority when it comes to certain aspects of modelling such as levels of detail, totally authentic/correct colours to name just two but my approach has always been quite pragmatic due to my modest modelling skills. For me if an aircraft looks right then I'm happy even if the wing span may be 2mm too short or the fuselage a wee bit too wide at a certain point. Given that my chosen scale is 72nd the reality is that very few minor errors by the manufacturer are noticeable, even though we know they are there, and certainly don't detract from the finished product. A good example is the Tamiya Bf109E which everyone accepts is too short in the fuselage including myself yet I've seen some wonderful examples on RFI which look highly realistic.

 

We all have our own approach so there is no right or wrong here, just what happens to work for us and makes us happy.

 

Regards

Colin.

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Posted (edited)

Indeed Colin. I will have to find my 'happy place' with each model. 1-2mm extra wingspan or fuselage length will hardly be noticed but some things may well be! Just redrawn, on the Airfix box paint scheme, for reference, the camouflage scheme for Hurricane L1592 based on the original in Science Museum and other original images, for the marking and painting of the model. I think I trust the Museum and the original aircraft more than Airfix and the very wiggly lines they show. Many lines have straightened n moved a good bit! That puts me in a happier place with this model ūüėä

 

Rgds,

Lindsey

Edited by Lindsey C
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I think many people would suggest you treat museum restored examples with a degree of caution as the references they used may not be correct and that even goes for the RAF museum at Hendon. Best if you can find an actual pic of the aircraft or at least compare a few different period sources to be absolutely sure. Kit manufacturers and after market decal companies are also well known for making errors, some of them quite basic and misleading.

 

Regards

Colin.

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I eventually realised that a museum item is a perfectly valid subject.  There's nothing in the rule book says you have to make models only of service machines in service.  Actually, there is no rule book.  For me at least the satisfaction comes from doing the work.

 

Scale Models ran a series many years ago around modelling RAF Museum aircraft as they are displayed.  No weathering or staining, no mud, gunk or even squadron markings unless that is how the machine is displayed.  I find the idea liberating, allows me to focus. 

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I entirely agree that museum aircraft, like warbirds, are perfectly valid subjects, with the qualifier that the modeller should be aware of that and not think that he is producing something appropriate to deeper history.  Also that the modeller is free to do whatever he/she likes, I certainly do, but feel that the idea is less liberating than restrictive - there is a whole world outside the museum.

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On 11/08/2021 at 20:08, 72modeler said:

If you take the LH or RH upper wing half of a Tamiya kit and place it over an Airfix wing half from the opposite side, they match perfectly in chord and outline,

I'm in  agreement with you on that bit, Mike. I started a multi Spitfire build recently  which included a Tamiya Vb and Airfix Ia and Vc, I scanned a load of wing halves and superimposed them in photoshop, the difference in plan outline is negligible, you'd need a vernier to detect any differences. See scans below

On 11/08/2021 at 20:33, Graham Boak said:

I disagree that the chord matches between the two kits. 

Sorry Graham, you're seeing something both Mike and I aren't seeing, any differences in chord are less than 0.1mm, nothing a couple of swipes with a sanding stick could fix. 

On 11/08/2021 at 20:08, 72modeler said:

If you align the fuselage halves from both kits so that the front panel lines of the fuselage fuel tank covers align, that is where you can see the problem with the Tamiya kit- the cockpits do not match, neither does the wing location, and the nose is too short, compared to the Airfix kit.

Mike, I think you've picked the wrong reference point here. If you align the front of the cowling the wing location and cockpit matches, it's the firewall position on the Tamiya kit that is in the wrong position being about 1mm too far forward compared to the Airfix and Eduard kits. 

There's a length discrepancy, but it's between the wing and tailplane, being about 1-1.5mm too short compared to Airfix & Eduard. I chopped the fuselage immediately behind the wing and inserted a 1mm spacer immediately behind the wing and faired this in, the Tamiya fuselage is now virtually the same as the Airfix fuselage. 

As the KP kits are being discussed here, the fuselages of these share the same problems as the Tamiya kit ie incorrect firewall position and short rear fuselage.

 

Starboard wing upper parts comparisons:-

Airfix-Spitfire-I.jpg Airfix Mk I

Airfix-Spitfire-Vb.jpg Airfix Vb

Airfix-Spitfire-Vc.jpg AIrfix Vc

AZ-Spitfire-XIVe.jpgAZ XIVe

Eduard-Spifire-VIII.jpg Eduard VIII

Hi-Planes-Seafire-III.jpg HiPlanes Seafire III

MPM-Spitfire-XI.jpg MPM XI

Tamiya-Spitfire-I.jpg Tamiya Ia

Tamiya-Spitfire-Vb.jpg Tamiya Vb

 

 

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I have no convincing counter-argument other than to repeat, for clarity, that at the time the kits appeared neither my Tamiya Mk.I wing nor my Tamiya Mk.Vb wing matched their Airfix equivalent.  I then cut off excess chord, and having re-compared them they did match.  I can obviously accept being wrong once or even twice, but four times?  The two kits were bought at different times.  (Two wings, two separate comparisons., although in fairness the two modifications were done at the same time.)   Coming back many years later the modified Mk.I wing still matches the unmodified Airfix.  So that's five identical errors in judgement over a long period of time.  From memory, the difference was up to 1mm (some 7%ish) and so clearly visible when aligning the leading edges and tips.  Certainly much greater than 0.1mm, which is more the order of difference in the leading edge. 

 

It may be possible that Tamiya have retooled the kit, but I doubt it.  I'm afraid I have no desire to buy another example of such a flawed kit in order to establish this.  (In the unlikely event of anyone wanting to send me a Tamiya wing for comparisons I would be perfectly happy to pay the postage for its return.)  One remaining possibility is that the kit it am now looking at from the Tamiya Mk.I box isn't the Tamiya one, but if not then I don't know what it is.

 

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Tamiya is the superior kit to me, wins hands down from all the others. Fit and detail is excellent and while I fully admit I am of the school 'if it looks right its good enough for me' it amuses me to see that it's shortcomings appear to be overemphasized. It's a great kit that goes together supremely well. I also don't notice it to be different shapewise from the new Airfix and they are standing next to each other in my display case. The Airfix kit also goes together quite soundly, though needs a dab of filler in some places, but the panel lines are vastly overscale. It looks well enough under a coat of paint if you avoid the 'Spanish style' of panel washes but not nearly as nice as the Tamiya.

 

Big win for the Airfix is of course price and availability, you can get two or even three for the price of a single Tamiya kit.

 

We are a bit spoiled here as well I think; the Mk1 Spit may not have a 'definitive' recent kit out but then how many planes do. We modellers are pretty good at finding fault with pretty much anything that gets released.

Edited by sroubos
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For some reason the Tamiya and Airfix kits, both very good, share the same fault in that neither have the underwing gun heating vents which seems rather strange that both companies missed them.

 

Regards

Colin.

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16 hours ago, fishplanebeer said:

For some reason the Tamiya and Airfix kits, both very good, share the same fault in that neither have the underwing gun heating vents which seems rather strange that both companies missed them.

The Spitfire didin't have them either initially, so at least the Airfix kit is accurate for the pre-war marking options. The vents would be fitted by the BoB though.

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I doubt Airfix and Tamiya were remotely aware of this particularly as both just come in BoB markings, apart from the early Airfix boxing of the kit that provided parts for the early version. In fact I don't recall the Tamiya kit ever having early markings and parts other than the kit lacking the head and seat armour which is also common with early examples,  but I suspect this was also another oversight on their part. Would be interesting to know exactly what plans or examples they based their kits on as to be fair all the plans I have do not show the vents either.

 

The new Airfxi Vc also does not have the vents but I'm unsure at what point they were deleted as my Eduard Mk VIII doesn't have them and Eduard and usually pretty accurate when it comes to the detail.

 

Regards

Colin.

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I would like to join this interesting discussion with two questions.

First is about the old Airfix Mk.I developed from Mk.Vb. For very long time this kit was considered as golden standard regarding shape accuracy and in my opinion it still has the best shape of upper engine cowling of all.

Airfix superseded it with new tooling which (apart from surface details) has longer nose. I don't remember seeing any comment regarding this length difference anywhere, especially because noone ever considered the old Mk.I as being too short. What would you recommend as the best source for checking which one has correct length (although I must say I still prefer and like much more the old Mk.I than the new)?

 

Second, Tamiya made two parallel wing fences on the upper wing of their Mk.Vb, which Airfix is missing. Were these fences mounted on all Mk.Vs or only on some, i.e. are both producers right or only Tamiya?

 

Sincerely,

 

Marko

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I have commented on the longer nose of the new Airfix Mk.1, both when it appeared and higher in this thread.  I did make an attempt to discover the difference in length of the two engines, which would  provide the answer, but was unable to get a fully satisfactory answer.    About eight inched, IIRC.  It is worth adding that the second Airfix Mk.IX, unsatisfactory though it is otherwise, has a nose longer than those in other kits of the Mk.IX, and this is correct according to Monforton, who took his dimensions from Supermarine drawings.  I also prefer the older model Mk.1, in some ways but not in all.  The underwing to fuselage point is a particularly poor fit.

 

The wing strakes/fences were a strengthening modification to the A/ B wing, as the wing root over the wheel well had proven to be a weak point in the design.  The Mk.Vc had strengthened skin over this area, hence a flat surface and the wheel sitting lower in the well, which required the leg door to be reshaped with a bulge over the leg itself.  The Mk.Vc did not need these strakes although for some reason they are seen on Shuttleworth's Mk.Vc.  They are but rarely seen on the A wing - they may have been common in OTUs but photos of such are rare anyway.  They are usually seen on the LF Mk,Vb, as this was a later variant, and seem to be rarely visible on overseas aircraft, though this may be more a matter of visibility in photographs when it comes to late examples.

 

So both kits can be right or wrong, depending upon the subject and date.  Given that the Tamiya kit is largely sold as the desert version, I believe they should be removed on these.

 

 

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Just checked the Airfix Mk.I  (A02010) fuselage profile against Jumpei Tenma 1/72 plans and the match is very very good, the only mishap being that the firewall is placed too backwards (the related cowling line must be filled and rescribed about 1mm forward to restore the correct length of both fuel tank cover and engine cowling). For a comprehensive discussion about how to get a reasonable Mk.I from Tamiya's kit please check Jumpei web page (available in english too IIRC). There is much work to do!

Ciao

Stefano 

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