by: Martin Ramsden [ ]
The Spitfire was one of the great fighters of WW2 and had a long service life with many countries. One of the advantages of the Spitfire was the way the basic design could be continually modified and improved to keep it a viable front line fighter.
The Airfix MkVb kit has been around for many years and, although not on a par with later kits such as Tamiya's, is basically accurate. In this kit Airfix has added many new parts which put it back as one of the best. The kit comprises all the parts from the original Mk Vb kit and the addition of 4 new sprues. These new parts include a new MkVc wing, 4 blade prop, later type engine exhausts, and an arrester hook. There are many optional parts, such as the choice of cropped, normal, or extended wing tips, and 2 types of cannon breach wing blisters, as well as the option to build the naval version. The new parts have engraved panel lines, although the parts which must be used from the origional kit still have raised panel lines. Parts are also included to allow the flaps to be built in the lowered position. The combinations in which these new parts could be used would allow more variants than those depicted in the instructions.
Decals and Instructions
The instructions are of the usual assembly diagrams. The decals look to be in register and include many aircraft stencils, not something for which Airfix are renown. Decals and painting guides are included for 4 aircraft, SAAF Vc [Sicily 1944], RAAF Vc [New Guinea 1944], RAF Vc [Aboukir, North Africa] and FAA IIIc [HMS Indefagitable 1945].
This kit is well thought out and the many optional parts included will allow more aircraft to be modelled than those in the kit instructions. A bonus is that any left over could be used to build variations of the older Vb kit. A weakness is the raised panel lines on the original kit parts and no option to model folding wings on the seafire variant, but the quality and options of the new parts make it well worth the RRP. Well done Airfix.
Copyright ©2020 text by Martin Ramsden [ ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of Model Shipwrights. All rights reserved.
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