by: Nigel Julian [ ]
Whatís in the box?You get 5 separate kits in this collection. The MkI, MKVc, MKIX, MKXVI and the highlight of this set for me, the 1931 Schneider Trophy winning Supermarine S.6B.
Each kit comes in its own plastic bag. Assembly and painting instructions are printed together in one A4 leaflet and are copies of the individual kit instructions. The decals all come together on one sheet.
You also get a bag containing 12 small tubs of Humbrol enamels, a paintbrush and a tube of Humbrol poly cement.
Supermarine S.6BThis model was originally released as Airfix serial number 01007 and consists of 21 parts in light grey plastic and 1 transparent part.
As you would expect on a kit of this age detail is pretty basic with but the mould is crisp with hardly a trace of flash and it should build up into a very nice representation of what is an important piece of British aviation history.
Spitfire MkIRegarded by many modellers as one of the most accurate kits of the MKI available this kit is a classic in itself. This mould dates back to the late eighties and is available separately as Airfix number 01071.A minimal amount of cockpit detail and raised panel lines are a feature of this kit but it builds up into a very nice MKI and is one of my favourite Spitfires to build.
Markings are supplied for a Spit of 234 Sqn based at RAF Middle Wallop, August 1940.
I was hoping that Airfix would take this opportunity to reprint the decals for the MKI but this isnít the case which is a shame, but a rummage in the spares box for some replacement fuselage roundels and some careful trimming of the rudder decals is all thatís needed.
Spitfire MkVcWhat you get here is a Spitfire and a half,, literally! The MKVc kit (serial number 02040) is based on the MKVb model. Included in the bag is the MKVb kit with an extra sprue containing the ďC typeĒ wings and armament plus the Vokes tropical filter. In order to make the MKVc you will have to cut away the bottom of the forward section of the fuselage to fit the filter.
Apart from this surgery youíll need to do some panel line work on this hybrid kit to produce the MKVc, as the fuselage has raised panel lines and the new parts feature engraved panel lines, which look too deep and thick for this scale.
Markings are supplied for 79Sqn Royal Australian Air Force MKVc based in New Guinea in late 1944, and a 2 Sqn Spitfire of the South African Air Force based in Sicily during the same year.
In terms of decals this is the best of the bunch. The register looks good, indeed it looks ok on all 5 kits apart from the MKI, and itís the only kit to come with a full set of factory stencils.
Shape wise its an excellent representation of a MKV but the wings for the MKVc are too thick and your going to have to resign yourself to a few rescribing sessions. If youíre prepared for some extra work though you should end up with a very nice MKV.
Spitfire MkIXAvailable separately as Airfix serial number 02081, this MKIX comes with the markings of Wing Commander J.E ďJohnnyĒ Johnson.
Originally dating back from the 1950ís it really shows its age. I have had this kit in my stash for a long time and itís the one I use as a test bed for trying new techniques.
In detail and general fit terms itís the poorest of the set and while a MKIX is an important part of the Spitfire story itís a shame this is still the only 1:72 MKIX available from Airfix.
Spitfire MkXVIThis is the old Heller kit (80282) and is one of the best MKXVI kits available in 1:72 scale. Unlike the other models in this set this one comes in black plastic. Detail is fine and crisp and you get a choice of exhausts for the Packard built Merlin. Panel lines are neatly done but are raised. Cockpit detail is very good for this scale and on a dry run the fuselage and wing fit seems fine, and it looks as though this will build up into a very nice MKXVIe.
Decals are supplied for two subjects. A 349 Sqn Spitfire based in Belgium in 1945,and a post war Spitfire from the RAF Central Gunnery School.
ConclusionAirfix have put together a very nice selection of kits covering the development of the Spitfire for their 1:72 70th Anniversary Collection.
I would love to have seen a new MKIX but this is more than made up for by the inclusion of the S.6B.
Each of the kits on offer has the usual Airfix features in this scale, a relative lack of detail and raised panel lines, but all of them are quite acceptable representations of the subjects. The moulds are crisp and clean with hardly any traces of flash.
This set should appeal both to the modeller and the collector of Spitfire memorabilia and when they are all built up would make a fine display showing the development of probably the most important fighter plane of the 20th century.
Thanks to Airfix for supplying this review sample
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