Airfix 1/72 Spitfire MkI/MkIIa review and a few surprises

Discussion in 'Model Kit Reviews' started by Rustybugs, Dec 19, 2012.

  1. Rustybugs

    Rustybugs Banned

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    Recently I had watched the great movie Battle of Briton 1968. I have seen the movie several times and enjoyed it.
    So I thought why not make a couple of the BoB aircraft Hurricane and Spitfires.

    The first kit I ordered from Squadron was the 1/72 Airfix Hawker Hurricane Mk.I. I was disappointed in the kit as to cockpit and wheel well details. In that there was none.

    So when I ordered the Airfix Spitfire Mk1/Mk2a $7.95 I also ordered the Czech Masters interior set for the Mk1. $16.20:shock:

    So now I have a 24 dollar investment for two things site un-seen. I was in for a pleasant surprise.

    Box cover

    MK I Spitfire Build 001a.jpg

    Czech Master kit
    MK I Spitfire Build 002a.jpg

    Here's a shot of the Kit spread out. Nice detail work on the cockpit panels and the Photo Etch was great.

    MK I Spitfire Build 016a.jpg


    More later

    Rusty
     
  2. meatloaf109

    meatloaf109 Well-Known Member

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    Keep us posted!
     
  3. Rustybugs

    Rustybugs Banned

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    Now I know most of the folks here are into larger scale. But there is a dedicated group that are 1/72 diehards. For whatever reason, price, storage area, variety etc. Not too many reviews of 1/72 stuff that is in detail.

    Back to the model

    So now I have all the parts to start the build. Open all the relevant baggies and boxes. First thing I notice is that the detail of the Spitfire for the cockpit and wheel wells is pretty good.
    Here are some pic to show what is on the model verses what is in the detail kit.

    First comparison is the fuselage halves. You will notice I have removed the entry hatch from the model so that the detail kit one can be used.

    MK I Spitfire Build 001 (2)a.jpg MK I Spitfire Build 002 (2)a.jpg

    As you can see the model itself has a very good rendering of the inside cockpit. Plus to use the kit you will need to grind off a good size area to glue the kit piece in place. And as we all know, when you start to grind off something, sometimes you goof. At this scale you have very little room for making errors without causing serious problem to the structure of the model.

    Next lets look at the Airfix cockpit assembly. In these pictures you will see it assembled and first painting just to bring out some details. According to the reference books I have seen, Airfix did a pretty good job putting things where they're supposed to be. The detail on the floorboard area is especially good.

    MK I Spitfire Build 006 (2)a.jpg MK I Spitfire Build 017a.jpg MK I Spitfire Build 020a.jpg

    Now the detail kit. It has a bathtub type assembly that has very little detail on the floor, it also has a great deal of flash that needs to be very carefully cut and trimmed before you can assemble the components. It is kind of a toss up on the seat itself. Compare the Airfix control stick on the sprue to the detail kit. Hands down Airfix's is better and not as fragile.
    You will also notice that the tires on the model are molded to look like they have weight on them

    MK I Spitfire Build 003 (2)a.jpg MK I Spitfire Build 004 (2)a.jpg MK I Spitfire Build 005 (2)a.jpg MK I Spitfire Build 009a.jpg

    The detail kit has some obvious advantages. Etched metal seat belts, highly detailed gauges, cockpit door hatch detailed and at the right scale.
    The gun sight on the model is far better than the detail kit.
    There is a fair amount of detail in the gear wells also.

    There is a gold pot at the end of this rainbow though. I had also purchased 2 Spitfire MkIX kits. They have almost no detail for the cockpits, soooooo what I did with a lot of sanding and cutting and grinding, was to fit the MK1 detail parts I did not use and modified them and the model to use in the MkIX's

    Here's a couple of pics of the cockpit installed, the first 2 are of the MK1 and the last is the MkIX. Neither model is near completion and there is still work to do refining the little details for the cockpit areas
    MK I Spitfire Build 001 (3)a.jpg MK I Spitfire Build 002 (3)a.jpg MK I Spitfire Build 003 (3)a.jpg

    Now the big question, was the detail kit worth the additional cost????? For me it was because I could also modify the Mk9's with additional parts. The Mk1 has a pretty good instrument panel decal that I used in the Mk9 kit. So it all worked out in the end. Now if I was to do it all over again, I would buy some generic RAF seat belt photo etch and stick with the kit by itself.

    When you look at the detail of this $8.00 USD Airfix kit, it is well worth the money.

    A side note, Czech also makes detail kits for the engine, gun bays, and fight controls, so if you really wanted to go hog wild on this 8 dollar kit, you could spend an additional $60.00:shock: on super detailing it. Of course by the end of all that, your friends will be visiting you at the asylum on week-ends:D

    Another side note that maybe you kind folks who are very familiar with the kit manufactures, and a little bit of a rant, Why do they have to make the canopies so darn thick! Also when they know that folks modify them, can't they add a few parts, like the side hatch. Also why can't they make the canopies in separate pieces so they can be displayed open. I know the larger kits now have these options, but it wouldn't take much for them to do it for the smaller scales. I would gladly pay an additional couple of bucks for the few extra details.

    Ok I think I am done. It's 11:30 PM here in sin city and I am bushed, mom had a bad day. Damn Alzheimer's!!!! :evil: :evil: :evil:
     
  4. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Good stuff so far. Note that the aircraft used in the BoB movie were predominantly later versions, and a lot of cosmetic work was done to try to attain uniformity of appearance. The Spitfires were mainly MkIX and MkXVI, some of the latter the low back version. Fuselages were built up where needed, and the windscreen standardised on the later , internal type. Hurricanes were later versions, so the MkII kits would be better for this.
     
  5. A4K

    A4K Well-Known Member

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    Great work mate! (from another of the diehard 1:72 builders) :)
     
  6. Rustybugs

    Rustybugs Banned

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    Interesting info Terry thanks. (I would like your opinion on a photo I have posted in my album. It is of a 2 seat Spitfire. I only have the one pic that I took during the open house event at Edwards AFB USA back 04. Strange variation on it.)

    The rest of the model is very straightforward. I don't know if there was an earlier release of this model and how the newer release stacks up against the older one. Could be all new tooling. But with very few exceptions, a well done kit

    Good fit on the wings top and lower pieces. Something I liked was in the instruction sheet, it gave the correct angles for the landing gear and how they should be positioned.
    Decal sheet is great, gives you two options for Mk1 and Mk2. Lots of tiny stencils for well over 25 different locations. Haven't used them yet, but I hear newer Airfix decals are much improved.

    The instruction sheet also gives you or at least for me, very well detailed painting and decal placement for both versions. Color chart is for Humbrol paints only.. but I know a lot of you have your own conversion charts. According to what I have read in other threads about the RAF camouflage colors, the ones used by Airfix and Humbrol are very close if not spot on.

    I was puzzled as to why the kit gave you three different propeller types. 2 obviously for the two versions. The third 3 blade is not mentioned in the instructions, so I assume that some future release will offer a third version of the Spitfire that will have that sprue tree.

    This wasn't intended to be a step by step build, that is for another time and thread, but just a quick over view of the kit IMHO.

    Glad to answer any questions if any or to post any other pictures of the model or detail kit that anyone might need.

    I hope being a newcomer to the site and doing a kit review this soon, hasn't overstepped some unwritten boundary.
     
  7. A4K

    A4K Well-Known Member

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    Not at all mate, the more the merrier!
     
  8. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Where's the photo of the 2 seat Spit Rusty - I'll have a look?
     
  9. Rustybugs

    Rustybugs Banned

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    #9 Rustybugs, Dec 20, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2012
    oops
     
  10. Rustybugs

    Rustybugs Banned

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    #10 Rustybugs, Dec 20, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2012
    Terry it's in my photo album in my profile area. Album is open for all to see I just checked, it's there or I think it's a spitfire, looks like one from the late 40's or early 50's. Landing gear makes it look like a P-51 but the rest of it looks like a Spit. Interesting that it has invasion stripes on it???? For all I know, it could have been a secret German hologram :p

    here it is

    100_0377.jpg
     
  11. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Nope, that's a Fairey Firefly, a Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm ASW and fighter aircraft, used in various Marks from late WW2 to Korea. The one shown is a MkV, and the 'Invasion stripes' are recognition markings used during the Korean war.
     
  12. Rustybugs

    Rustybugs Banned

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    oops my bad, kida looked like a spit:oops::oops: Didn't know they used those stripes in the Korean war. You sir, are a fountain of information.
     
  13. A4K

    A4K Well-Known Member

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    No worries Rusty, does look similar to a Spitty!
     
  14. Rustybugs

    Rustybugs Banned

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    Got me interested in them now, don't mean to hi-jack my own thread but looked up the one I had a pic of and according Wikipedia : AS 6 WB518, another former RAN machine, now in the USA. (Damaged at the Wings Over Gillespie Airshow in June 2012, airworthiness currently unknown)
    WB518 was one of the first 10 Mk 6s built, but retained the earlier Mk 5 fuselage. It was originally delivered to the Royal Australian Navy's 817 Squadron and then served in 816 Squadron before being retired and ending up as a memorial on a pole in Griffith, New South Wales, Australia. WB518 was then purchased by American Eddie Kurdziel, a Northwest Airlines captain and former U.S. Navy pilot. WD518 was extensively restored and made its first public appearance at Oshkosh in 2002. Restoration of WD518 used parts salvaged from WD828 which was written off after a crash into a cabbage field in Camden, New South Wales in 1987.
     
  15. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Hope they took the cabbages out first!
     
  16. Lucky13

    Lucky13 Forum Mascot

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    Great stuff Rusty!
     
  17. ArmouredSprue

    ArmouredSprue Active Member

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    Very nice indeed! (From another 1/72 die harder here as well :D )

    I'll start this very model shortly and I'm doing my home work at the moment and I'll definitely will use your post as reference.

    Cheers mate!

    Paulo
     
  18. errant82

    errant82 New Member

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    Firstly, I want to point out that neither variant in that kit is a Battle of Britain Spitfire. Airfix did release a new-tool Spitfire Mk.Ia in Battle of Britain markings (actually, several boxings), before they released the Mk.I/II kit. This is what the other prop is meant for!

    As for the Firefly looking like a Spitfire? Really? LOL :shock:
     
  19. errant82

    errant82 New Member

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  20. A4K

    A4K Well-Known Member

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    Front canopy to nose does IMO, to an untrained eye could easily enough be mistaken I reckon...

    Looks like a good kit that btw, have to try and grab it sometime!
     
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