Revell 1/32 Spitfire F.24

KIT #: 4704
PRICE: $32.50 MSRP
DECALS: options
REVIEWER: Tom Cleaver
NOTES: Matchbox molding


   The Spitfire F. Mk. 24 was an almost completely different airplane from the original Spitfire Mk I, being twice as heavy, more than twice as powerful and exhibiting an increase in climb rate of 80% over its ancestor. 

The last Spitfire variant produced, the F. Mk. 24 (type 356) was similar to the F. Mk. 22, with an increased fuel capacity of 66 gallons in two 33-gallon fuel tanks installed in the rear fuselage.  The F. Mk. 24 was a dedicated ground support tactical fighter from the outset, equipped with zero‑point fittings for rockets, as well as one 500-lb and two 250-lb bombs.  The F. Mk. 24 also used the  larger "Spiteful" tail unit from the outset. Late production aircraft were equipped from the outset with short barreled Mark V Hispano cannon.

The F. Mk. 24's performance was impressive, with a maximum speed of 454mph, a climb rate of over 2,500 fpm that allowed it to reach 20,000 ft in eight minutes, making it one of the  most advanced piston‑engined fighters of the era. 

81 F. Mk. 24s were completed, of which 27 were conversions of F. Mk. 22s. The last F. Mk. 24 was delivered in February 1948.  

With the revolution in aircraft created by the adoption of jet power, the post-war aviation industry of Great Britain faced the very real possibility of a contraction of well over 80%, with consequent employment losses and social dislocation.  To avoid this, production of the Spitfire continued, despite its now-manifest obsolescence.

By the end of 1946, the only front‑line squadrons in Fighter Command still using Spitfires were 41, equipped with Spitfire F.21s and 63, equipped with LF Mk XVIEs.  The Auxiliary Air Force, which had been reformed in June, 1946; 13 RAuxAF squadrons operated Spitfires.  When the RNVR squadrons were formed in 1948, they operated Seafires until 1954.  While ten squadrons still operated Spitfires in the Mediterranean and Far East, on the Continent, the last Spitfire squadron in Germany was No 80, which had traded in Tempest Vs to become the only squadron completely equipped with the Spitfire F.24 in the summer of 1949.  That fall, with the Communist victory in the Chinese civil war, 80 Squadron was sent to Hong Kong to reinforce 28 Squadron for the defense of the Crown Colony in September 1949. The squadron re‑equipped with the deHavilland Hornet F.3 in January, 1952. Some of the F.24s continued in service with the Hong Kong Auxiliary Air Force until their final retirement in April 1955.


This is the old Matchbox Spitfire 22/24, originally released in the late 1970s.  As produced now by Revell, it features parts in one color, a very light green, and an excellent decal sheet, which was sorely lacking from the original release.

 Other than the decals, the kit is the same as the original Matchbox release, which means the spinner is an incorrect shape, as are the propeller blades, and the cowling rocker arm bulges, with a windshield and canopy that is mis-shaped, a canopy that is wrong in shape, and radiator housings that are too small.  Cockpit detail is nearly non-existant, and what is there is largely wrong.  I remember once back in the 1980s - before there was any sort of “aftermarket” taking a look at one of these kits and seeing just how much would need to be scratchbuilt, and taking a pass on the project.

 Fortunately, Greymatter Figures has released a resin correction set that includes an accurate spinner, correct size and shape prop blades, correctly -shaped engine cowling, correct  main wheels and tailwheel, correct cannon barrels, correct size and shape radiator housings, and an accurate canopy.  They do not include a windshield, but this can be taken from a Hasegawa Spitfire V if you build the Hasegawa kit as an early version with the external armor glass windscreen (which is what I did). 

 Fortunately, the decals are really really good, which was not the case with that kit I examined 25 years ago, the poor quality of decals being the clincher to not doing the project.


Be prepared to use a lot of putty, cyanoacrylate glue, and Mr. Surfacer.  Haul out both big and little razor saws, and your Dremel.  Take a deep breath, major surgery commences with the first step. The one good thing about this kit is that it is essentially outline-accurate for what you're going to keep.

 As a first step, I glued together the wings and horizontal stabilizers.  The wheel wells are holes in the lower wing surface, so the first thing to do there was to make wheel well bulkheads with Evergreen sheet.  This really wasn't that hard, being a case of cut a piece of the approximate size, cut down and test fit till it works, then make a second one for the other wheel well.  I did not attach the wing fairing pieces to the upper wing, as the instructions would have you do, but rather attached them to the respective fuselage halves.  The gun bay covers fit the way you would expect of a kit from this period, and after filling the gaps with cyanoacrylate, II sanded the area smooth, then filled it again with Mr. Surfacer, sanded that smooth and then rescribed the panel lines.

 I then did some test fitting of the Greymatter resin nose to the wing and saw that it really didn't fit all that well, and that there would be more major surgery than actually necessary if I used it in one piece.  I therefor cut the resin nose off at the cowling lines (this involved a fair amount of effort, given it is solid resin - this is where the Beeeeg-Ash Razorsaw blade - the BAR, I call it - came into play.

Fitting this to the fuselage involved some “wing it” cutting to get the right angle to the firewall lines of the fuselage.  I also had to cut away about half an inch of of the lower cowling part on the cowling, to make room for the oil cooler intake to fit.

I glued the fuselage together, then tubber-banded wing and fuselage together, and began test fitting the nose and carvinr or sanding away where necessary to get the fit.  The nose is actually a bit narrow - this is due to the fact that the kit fuselage is a hair too wide.  After it was glued in position, great green gobs of Squadron Putty were applied liberally and allowed to set up for 24 hours.

After that, the nose was attacked with sanding stocks of various grits, until all was nice and smooth.  I then applied several coats of Mr. Surfacer, sanding smooth between, then rescribed the panel lines.

I then made a scratchbuilt cockpit that is more an “approximation” of a Spitfire cockpit than a re-creation.  I used the Hasegawa seat for this, with photoetch seatbelts, and decided that I would do the model with the side flap closed, so I then attached that and applied a few more green gobs, to be later attacked with sanding sticks.

Once the cockpit was together - and I am really glad the kit comes with a good control panel decal - I attached wing subassembly to fuselage.  When I attached the rudder to the vertical fin, I realized the fin was not as thick as the rudder, so more green gobs were applied here, allowed to dry overnight, and then sanded smooth with sanding sticks. I had to rescribe the panel detail here and the rudder-fin hinge line.  I then attached the horizontal stabilizers and filled in the gaps there, then sanded them smooth.

When it came to fitting a correct windscreen, I found I had to build  up the area around the cockpit with Evergreen sheet to make the openings smaller (since the canopy parts supplied in the kit are too wide, among their other crimes).  I did that, covered it with putty, sanded smooth and rescribed again where necessary. 

While there is a lot of elbow grease involved here, and a willingness to cut things away that can't be undone, this is really not difficult for anyone with any experience of old kits that need extra effort with fit.

I also discovered that the landing gear legs are not that strong, and with the extra weight of the correction parts, I ended up reinforcing the attachment plug in the wheel well with lots of cyanoacrylate.


The model was painted with Xtracrylix RAF Ocean Grey, Dark Green and Sea Grey Medium, with the prop spinner painted blue and white.  Fortunately the black and white ID stripes came as decals.


The kit decals went on under Micro-Sol without problem and settled down easily. 


I did some “dings” with Tamiya “Flat Aluminum” and exhaust and oil stains with Tamiya “Smoke”. 


Using the Greymatter Figures correction set, you'll end up with a great model of a subject that is unlikely to ever be produced again in 1/32 scale.  The Greymatter Resins set is highly recommended.

Tom Cleaver

September 2010

Review kit courtesy of my wallet.  Conversion set courtesy of Greymatter Figures.  Get yours at

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