Airfix 1/72 Spitfire Vc
|KIT:||Airfix 1/72 Spitfire Vc|
|PRICE:||$9.00 CDN MSRP|
|NOTES:||Updated Spit Vb kit.|
In 1941, the Supermarine Spitfire V was fitted with a new wing (universal ‘C’) that could carry four 20mm cannon, plus four .303 machine guns, to become the Mk. Vc. In practise, usually two of the cannons were fitted. A strengthened undercarriage, more armour, and changes to the elevators and ailerons (metal covered) were progressively introduced during production. Entering service in 1942, the Vc formed the bulk of the Spitfires assigned to the defence of Malta. They also saw extensive service with the Desert Air Force in the North African, Italian and Balkans campaign, and served with 5 RAF S.E.A.C. Squadrons in the India-Burma theatre. About 300 of the Mk. Vc were sent to the Royal Australian Air Force for the defence of Northern Australia and operations in New Guinea and the South West Pacific. 12 went to the Royal Egyptian Air Force, with a few to the Turkish Air Force. The U.S.A.A.F , through reverse Lend-Lease, operated the type in North Africa and the MTO. The Royal Air Force was the major user, with small numbers in training roles with the Fleet Air Arm. In total, 2447 were manufactured. One 500lb., two 250lb. bombs, or an under-fuselage drop tank could be fitted. In tropical service, a Vokes air filter was fitted under the nose. The engine was a Rolls Royce Merlin 45, 45M or 46, giving approx. 1470 h.p.. This gave a top speed of 374 mph at 13,000 ft..
This model kit was purchased in mid-2007, after the time of Humbrol’s demise, and subsequent purchase by Hornby. It carries the Humbrol name on the instructions. It is a re-boxed early 1970’s Airfix kit of the Spitfire Vb, with an extra sprue and new decals. Accurate in outline, the original mouldings exhibit few signs of their age, except for minimal detail (cockpit, undercarriage) and raised but discreet panel lines.
(see Modeling Madness http://modelingmadness.com/scotts/allies/gb/afxspit5preview.htm )
The new sprue has parts for the Vc wing, with both narrow and wide cannon bulges, four cannon barrels, cannon stubs, and a Vokes air filter. The new parts are free of flash, well moulded, and feature pronounced recessed panel lines on the wings. The underside of the wing has the characteristic ‘gull’ at the root. Wheel wells on the new part are boxed in. The cannon bulges are slightly oversize; a mild reduction in height with a file and sandpaper will benefit their scale appearance. The new wing suffers from excess thickness, and requires thinning to match the full-size aerofoil section. On the plus side, the aileron shape is considerably improved on the new wing.
Decals for two aircraft, (No. 79 Squadron, R.A.A.F, New Guinea 1944, and No. 2 Squadron, S.A.A.F., Sicily 1944) are well printed, in register, with enough stencils for one aircraft. They are matte, and appear to be thicker than after-market products. Instructions are of the line-drawing variety; colours are given as Humbrol paint numbers.
Use of the Vokes filter requires cutting the underside fuselage nose to fit. No additional stores (bombs or drop tanks) are supplied. Two (?) clear canopies , in their own protective clear bag, with a landing light complete the contents.
This updated kit is an economical, accurate alternative to the ne plus ultra CMK resin version, or the crude PM Spitfire Vc. It is unfortunate that the cannon bulges and wing suffer from thickness problems, but used as-is, are acceptable. Accuracy demands some attention to remedy this failing, and it can be accomplished either with a file, and/or cutting the original wing to take the new panels. The panel line discrepancy is another area that will bother some, but again, a re-scribe of the fuselage will match the recessed detail of the new wing. Aftermarket decals for non-RAF air forces should be in good supply; will the new Airfix be issuing alternate boxings?
Recommended for modellers of all skill levels.
If you would like your product reviewed fairly and quickly, please contact me or see other details in the Note to Contributors.
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