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World War II
Discuss WWII and the era directly before and after the war from 1935-1949.
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REVIEW
Supermarine Sptifire Mk. I
Jessie_C
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British Columbia, Canada
Joined: September 03, 2009
KitMaker: 6,883 posts
Model Shipwrights: 11 posts
Posted: Friday, January 20, 2012 - 06:09 PM UTC
Tamiya's 1/48 Spitfire Mk. I immediately rendered all other Spitfire kits obsolete when it was first issued. Even now nearly 20 years later it''s still a strong contender for the title of "Best Spitfire ever!"

Jessica Cooper takes us inside the box of this classic kit.

Link to Item

If you have comments or questions please post them here.

Thanks!
Tailor
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Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany
Joined: May 26, 2008
KitMaker: 1,168 posts
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Posted: Friday, March 09, 2012 - 08:59 PM UTC
Hello, Jessie!
Thanks for the review.
I bought that kit from a modeller's stash at show a few months back. I hope to build it for the "Duel" campaign.
Can you recommend a suitable and good money value product to replace both the seat and the decal sheet? BoB preferred, of cause!
TIA,
Guido
lentorpe
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Alava, Spain / Espaņa
Joined: August 12, 2010
KitMaker: 104 posts
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Posted: Wednesday, March 14, 2012 - 11:34 PM UTC
Hi Jessie and all,

What about the pilot? Maybe it can be a good way to hide the offending seat. Is it well sculpted? does his ass (can I say "ass"?) fit properly the seat, is there enough room for the legs? In other words, is he a generic pilot like old Airfix Archibald, or has he been sculpted specifically to match this cockpit?

Greetings, and thanks for your review.
David (from Spain)
Jessie_C
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British Columbia, Canada
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Posted: Thursday, March 15, 2012 - 02:39 AM UTC
Hi Guido and David,

The Ultracast seat I mention in the review is an absolute must for this kit. They're available as the standard bakelite seat, or the early metal seat used in aircraft built before March 1940. They solve the seat problem in one neat drop-in part. The kit pilot is moulded to fit the cockpit, and is quite decent as figures go. If you use him you won't need to replace the seat.

I have no plans to replace the decals from my kit so I haven't researched them, but there have been a multitude of sheets available to fit this kit. Aeromaster 48-078 Battle of Britain Spitfires would be a good option if you can find it these days. Jays Models offers a couple of interesting sheets for BoB Spitfires.
Tailor
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Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany
Joined: May 26, 2008
KitMaker: 1,168 posts
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Posted: Thursday, March 15, 2012 - 04:13 AM UTC
Thanks for the pointers!
Cheers,
Guido
Kornbeef
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England - South East, United Kingdom
Joined: November 06, 2005
KitMaker: 1,659 posts
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Posted: Thursday, March 15, 2012 - 06:39 AM UTC
Next question.. How does she compare to the Airfix 1:48th, early Spit? I've a yearn to build something made out of metal for a change. Just wonder which is a best base to start.

Keith
Jessie_C
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British Columbia, Canada
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Posted: Thursday, March 15, 2012 - 07:55 AM UTC
The Airfix has somewhat better shape (and its own handful of errors), but the plastic is softer, the detail is much less crisp but chunkier and the fit needs more tweaking. The flaps are separate, with associated fit problems if you want them up. The Airfix kit also offers the choice of Rotol, DeHavilland and Watts propellers, flat or blown hood, armoured or unarmoured windscreen, streamlined or pole antenna mast and markings for 19 Sqn's early Mk.Is at their 1938 Press Day or a Mk.II from 118 Sqn in 1941. Here's Mal's take on the kit.

For sheer options the Airfix kit is the one to go for. For ease of build, choose Tamiya. For the non-Gastons among us, either one will be hugely enjoyable.

If you want to go nuts with the aftermarket parts you can make an eye-popping marvel out of either of them.
EdgarBrooks
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England - South East, United Kingdom
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Posted: Thursday, March 15, 2012 - 08:25 AM UTC
Somewhere in Hades, there is (or should be) a former civil servant, who quakes with fear whenever a modeller's soul comes near, since it was he who wrote "bakelite" in the Spitfire repair manual. Seats were never made from bakelite (they couldn't, since the material needs high temperature control and high pressure, which can't be done with something that large); the material was simply known as "plastic," and was a combination of paper, or flax, and resin. The plastic seat (which arrived in May, 1940, not March) was complimentary to the metal seat, and did not replace it, so any airframe could carry either type, right through the war (and beyond.) The Very cartridge rack, on the front of the seat, is fairly unlikely in early Spitfires, since the Very pistol stowage was deleted in September 1937, and it's a bit pointless carrying (explosive) cartridges, with nothing to fire them. Seafires saw the rack, and pistol, reintroduced.
A downward-firing device was fitted from June, 1940, and was moved, to fire upwards, in April, 1941; this is the hole, sometimes covered by a red patch, seen halfway along the Spitfire's spine.
The flash suppressors, sticking out of the leading edges, were deleted, by the introduction of more advanced Brownings, at the start of the war, so only pre-war airframes should have them.
There was no armour, behind the seat, fitted before mid-May 1940; armour, behind the headrest, only appeared in January, 1940.
Somewhere beside the pilot's left knee, Tamiya would have you instal an oblong box; we think that they measured AR213, at a time when she carried a multi-channel modern radio where the map case should be.
The rudder pedals should have only a single crossbar; the second wasn't fitted, by the factory, until 1941, though some pilots, like Stanford Tuck, stole a march, and had them fitted privately during the Battle.
Do not be tempted to fit an oxygen hose in the cockpit; it was actually attached to the pilot's facemask, and plugged into a bayonet fitting in the front right corner of the cockpit. The early system killed several pilots, who baled out, only to find that they were still attached to, and being strangled by, the aircraft.
There were no mirrors factory-fitted until 24-9-40, though pilots are known to have "borrowed" examples from local car dealers.
Aerials were stainless steel, so should not be painted black, and, of course, there were no IFF aerials, from fuselage to tailplane, until the end of 1940.
Further to that (and a murderously difficult modification to the kit,) there were no explosive charges fitted, anywhere, so no firing buttons on the starboard cockpit wall.
Edgar
Jessie_C
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British Columbia, Canada
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Posted: Thursday, March 15, 2012 - 08:47 AM UTC
Here we have it folks, I defer to the Expert. The definitive Word has been spoken, much to the relief and enlightenment of all

I fear though, that the phrase "Spitfire bakelite seat" is going to be as difficult to erase out of modellers' minds as "Sky Type S" has been

And what am I going to do with that nifty seat with the fancy very pistol rack now that I don't need it? I guess I need a Seafire to put it in.
EdgarBrooks
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England - South East, United Kingdom
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Posted: Thursday, March 15, 2012 - 09:24 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Here we have it folks, I defer to the Expert.
And what am I going to do with that nifty seat with the fancy very pistol rack now that I don't need it? I guess I need a Seafire to put it in.


"Ex" as in "has-been." Spurt as in "drip under pressure."
Regarding the seat, you could always build AR213 as she was, in an OTU (I have a photo, somewhere, of her.) I've no idea when, but she collected a Very-type seat at some stage; it might be because she was built by Westland, who specialised in Seafires.
Edgar
Littorio
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England - South East, United Kingdom
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Posted: Thursday, March 15, 2012 - 10:09 AM UTC
Edgar,

Thank you for your sharing of knowledge, I have two of these Mk.I's waiting for space on the bench and maybe they may find it after a Seafire III has been across it. Still need to pick up a Mk.Vb to turn into a hooked Spitfire though.
Kornbeef
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England - South East, United Kingdom
Joined: November 06, 2005
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Posted: Monday, March 19, 2012 - 07:35 PM UTC
Thanks Jessica and Edgar, more than a wealth of information to digest there. Lots of food for thought too.


Once I finish this Rumpler then maybe time to dip my toes in the water.

Ta
keith
ludwig113
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England - South East, United Kingdom
Joined: February 05, 2008
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Posted: Tuesday, March 20, 2012 - 02:41 AM UTC
thanks for that info edgar, very helpful.
personally i think the tamiya kit is far better overall, i know the airfix has alot of options but i was disappointed with the soft moulding and detail of the kit.