AIRFIX 1:72 SUPERMARINE SPITFIRE VB
Reviewer: Peter Knight (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The Spitfire laid its first claim to fame in World War 2's famous dogfighting era in the Battle of Britain. It was one of the most successful fighter planes of World War 2 that saw it participate in many fields of battle, including Europe, North Africa and Australasia. It appeared in many variants and the Vb was one of the more common examples in the early to middle stages of the War.
This is vintage Airfix make and the Spitfire injected molded styrene certainly indicates this. There is a reasonable amount of detail on the exterior of the aircraft with finely raised panel lines and a number of ejector pin marks. Cockpit detail is very sparse as well as the wheel well detail. However, the canopy is nice and includes the armour reinforced windscreen that was apparent on many of the earlier Mk.V variants.
Some extra preparation work is required to fix some over accentuated detail. Ribbing needs to be sanded so it takes on a less heavy appearance. The Cockpit needs a lot of spicing up to become anything other than basic, so scrathbuilding skills will need to be called upon. There are a few aftermarket cockpit detail sets that can be used, but you will need to thin out the cockpit interior to ensure a smooth fit. The wing-root has a noticeable line that is raised above the rest of the fuselage so after glueing the wings on I would suggest some sanding to bring it back into the correct proportion.
Construction is generally straightforward and would only give the beginner a few problems. Most parts fit quite well with only a bit of extra attention called upon for the nose cone, engine shaft and wings. These are all fairly easy to overcome providing you give it the care it deserves. The nose cone/spinner requires to be filed into a better shape, with it appearing a bit too large and lumpy - again relatively easily overcome if you reshape it correctly. The beginner may want to just leave it on the way it is as the problem is not too bad because it doesn't stand out like a palm tree in Antarctica
On reflection of the built kit it is basically a mirror image of the Airfix 1/48 Spitfire Vb - I know that may sound corny, but I am talking about construction and parts break-up. In a sense everything is exactly the same minus a few smaller details and the fact that it has been scaled down to 1/72 size and 1/72 detail. The outline of the Spitfire is captured quite well apart from a few anomolies, a couple already noted above. The basic tail shape - a common problem with 1/72 spitfire kits - is again a touch broader than one would like. There is also a noticeable sharp slope on the upper nose surface which is quite incorrect. I'd probably rate the overall shape about 7/10 and if you take into account the lack of some of the external detail then this would be reduced to about 5/10 & 6/10 - depending how harsh you were going to be.
In conclusion this makes up quite a reasonable kit of the Mk. V spitfire - construction is relatively easy and would suit a beginner to hone his/her skills on or to add this momentous aircraft to the model cabinet. Airfix have built quite a few 1/72 spitfires and this would be about the best of them. It comes moderately Recommended for all modellers.
In the Box reviews: Italeri 1/72 Spitfire Mk Vb