What more can be said of the Supermarine Spitfire that you don't already know.
One of the most iconic and beautiful aircraft of all time, the Spitfires fame started with the Battle of Britain, where it outfought the German aircraft and outshone Britain's main fighter of the day the Hawker Hurricane.
The Spitfire Mk.IIa was produced at the Castle Bromwich "shadow" factory rather than at the Supermarine works at Southampton, production of the mark II had just got into full swing when the Supermarine works were badly damaged by bombing. The mark II was powered by the more powerful Merlin XII giving 1,175 hp increasing speed by some 10 mph. This may seem only a modest gain - but the Merlin XII used a Glycol/water mixture under pressure for cooling rather than the unpressurised pure Glycol system used on earlier Merlins. The new system removed heat from the engine more efficiently and made possible the later jumps in engine power of later Merlins. Armament was the same as the Mk I with different IIA and IIB versions with machine guns and cannons respectively. Production was 750 mk IIA and 170 mk IIB.
Living on the south coast of England I witness a Spitfire about twice a week practising for airshows, and the unmistakable roar of the Merlin powered aircraft still stops me dead in my tracks to watch the Spitfire being hurled around the sky.
in the box
Packed in Revells trademark end opening box the Spitfire is built from around a hundred and thirty parts, split over three clear sprues and thirteen light grey sprues. The sprues are packed in threes and fours, and all the clear sprues are packed together in one bag. Not a fan of the clear sprues packaged together as scratches and parts falling off can occur.
Exterior detail for the kit is recessed panel and rivet lines for the fuselage and the wings. There is raised rivet detail for the engine cowling. The recessed lines are quite fine and not overdone on the most part.
The raised rivet detail is a little exaggerated, but light sanding should take it down a bit.
On the upper wing there is a bulge for the wheels, which is the wrong shape, it should be more kidney shaped then the elongated oval it already is.
The control surfaces are similarly over done with the rib detail, except for the wing ailerons which have rivet detail instead of ribbing, which is correct for the two schemes included in the box, which had metal control surfaces.
The flaps can be modelled down, with the inside faces having raised detail.
The interior for the cockpit is well detailed, with the instrument panel having recessed and raised areas for the instruments dials. A decal is supplied if you don't fancy painting this part.
The cockpit floor and the separate sidewalls are nicely detailed, with various parts to attach and the internal ribbing moulded onto the walls.
The seat has the framework for mounting it, and is fairly fragile looking. The seat however isn't brilliant with a strange looking back cushion and no harness supplied. A flare gun holder is attached to the bottom front of the seat, which if I have read right, shouldn't be installed. The armour plate behind the seat is also missing, but a simple plasticard part can be fashioned.
A separate cockpit door is supplied, which looks like it has a crowbar moulded onto the inside, and can be modelled open or closed. I do believe the crowbar was discontinued when the MkII was introduced.
The undercarriage is a bit hit and miss with the wheel wells not having a great deal of detail in them. The undercarriage legs are pretty good, but do lack brake lines.
The wheels are two piece, and are split down the middle of the tyres into two halves. The detail for the hubs is fairly good with the five spoke hub having raised bolts in the centre. The rear of the wheels are pretty devoid of detail.
The exhausts are moulded as two parts for each side, are split down the middle of exhausts, so any seam work is going to be a royal pain. The exhausts have been hollowed out though, so that's one good sign.
The machine guns for the Spitfire are non existent in the kit, with the wings just having the holes in the leading edges.
The various radiators and coolers have moulded on mesh detail, which with a dark wash should pop the detail out.
The prop is made up with separate blades with tabs which fit into holes on the back plate. The completed blade and spinner snap fits onto the propeller shaft.
The clear parts are thin, and clear. The canopy can be modelled open or closed. The front windscreen has a separate armoured glass front.
All the canopy parts have raised frames.
instructions, markings and decals
The instructions are printed on A4 size pages with the build printed in the black line drawings. The build takes place over 69 stages, is easy to follow with internal colours given along the way for Revells range of paints. Any decals that need to be added or optional parts are clearly marked.
The paint guide for the two aircraft that can be modelled out of the box are unfortunately also in black/grey/white drawings. All for views of the aircraft are given for painting and decaling.
The decals are printed in Italy, are thin, with little carrier film. The roundels for the lower and fuselage sides have separate inner red parts. Centring these is nearly always a pain in the proverbial backside.
The two schemes provided are
Supermarine Spitfire MkIIa, No 19 Squadron, Royal Air Force, Fowlmere, England, June 1941.
Supermarine Spitfire MkIIa, No 65 Squadron, Royal Air Force, Kirton-in-Lindsey, July, 1941.
Some of the accuracy issues for this kit are discussed in this forum thread here
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