Hobbycraft 1/24 Spitfire Vb


HC 1802


$110.00 MSRP


3 options


Olivier Lacombe


Reboxed Trumpeter kit.


 What more can be said that hasn’t been said on the Spitfire?  For many of us, this aircraft represents the true spirit of air-to-air fighting, when the pilots of the Commonwealth stopped the Nazi onslaught in Western Europe.  I was raised with Battle of Britain, that most wonderful of movies, never surpassed for the quality of the aerial footage.  It’s no wonder that the Spitfire is my favourite aircraft (along with the Harvard). 

 I was never really close to any Spitfire pilot, but last year, I had the good fortune of being invited to the Québec Aerospace Hall of Fame for an induction ceremony.  One of the inductees was Omer Lévesque, the first Allied pilot to shoot down a Fw 190 in combat while in England with 410 Sqn.  He was subsequently shot down and captured during the Channel Dash (Operation Donnerkiel), but he re-joined the RCAF in 1947, flying Vampires out of Saint-Hubert airport south of Montréal.  He was part of one of the very first jet aerobatic team, the Blue Devils.  He was then transferred to the USAF as an exchange pilot, and he went on to fly in the Korean War, where he was the first Commonwealth pilot to shoot down a MiG-15!  Clearly, Omer was made for firsts! 

 Having seen the man in person, I decided that I would do his Spit V, YV-Q, in which he bagged the first Würger.  But, having planned on doing it in 1/48, I saw this new Spit coming along and thought of maybe doing two YV-Qs!  One in the small scale and another big one!  Well, here I am!



In a huge solid cardboard box, you get a very nice looking kit.  In five bags, you get six sprues containing 213 grey styrene parts and a seventh bag containing 20 clear ones.  A close inspection of the grey plastic reveals extremely good surface detail made out of thousands of tiny rivets.  No sinkholes mar the surface and flash is absent.  All the controls are separate (including the flaps), being hinged on a metal pole and photo-etched parts.  The metal parts comprise 25 etched hinges, 9 shafts for the control surfaces and two springs for the landing gears.  The clear parts comprise the usual transparencies and lights, but the side cowls are also translucent, should you decide to show off the engine without having to open up the front (the cowlings can be removed).  The kit also includes some vinyl hoses for the engine compartment, rubber tyres and a piece of film for the instrument panel.  Finally, you get three resin figures. 

 Now, all that looks great, but there are some low downs.  The stabs are a curious affair, the bottom being done very nicely with rivets, while the top are done in fabric!  However, this is nothing a file and a pin vise can’t fix!  The engine compartment is surrounded by some frames, which do not exist on a real Spit.  It will be interesting to see if I can remove them to bring the kit to a higher level of accuracy. 

 The instructions are presented as a small booklet containing 22 steps on 16 pages.  There is a part map at the start, and features colour indications throughout the build.  However, I would suggest a good reference book to cross-check it.  The decals are superb, being made by Hobbycraft and are on par with any aftermarket offering as far as quality of print goes.  They are thin, glossy and in register.  The colours also appear to be accurate and you get all the stencils you need.   You also get the original Trumpeter sheet, of equal quality, but the code letters on this one are White instead of Sky as is the tail band. 

 Markings are provided for three aircrafts:

 -RCAF 401 Sqn, YO-A, EN921
- RAF Biggin Hill Wing, RS-T, BL336
- USAAF 5th FS, 52nd FG, VF*K

 The colour call-out is printed on the bottom of the box, which is a bit annoying, as I would have preferred it to be in the instructions.  A supplement is included to show you how to clip the wings for the first aircraft.


 Although this kit is much more expensive than the Airfix Spit Mk.I, you don’t need anything to enhance the details, since everything is provided in the box.  But, as always, people will find a way to make it even better!  I recommend it to all the Spit lovers out there!


Canadian Air Aces and Heroes

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