Hasegawa 1/32 Spitfire VI


S 19


Not in the current (May 2004) catalogue


Three options


Scott Van Aken




Make a list of the five most important aircraft of WWII and one of those has to be the Spitfire. It is the epitome of British fighter aircraft of the period and probably more were built/upgraded than any other British fighter. The Mk.VI was a highly specialized aircraft, powered by a Merlin 47/49 and driving a four bladed prop. Though basically a Mk.V airframe, it had extended wing tips and a cockpit pressurization system to allow the aircraft to fly at high altitudes where the Germans were flying their Ju-86Ps with impunity. This invulnerability came to an end in 1942 when the Mk.VI was able to finally reach the altitude of the Junkers recce aircraft and began shooting them down. It was still a dicey job as the Spits were at the maximum altitude during these missions and so maneuvering wasn't as easy as in the more dense air at sea level. Simply doing a sharp turn was enough to cause the plane to stall and spin out. The major problem was that all the extra equipment added weight and the engine was unable to produce sufficient power to allow much more than just getting there. This was fixed with the Mk.VII which had a better engine, but while they were in operation during 1942,/43, the Mk.VI was able to at least cut back on the amount of intelligence that the Germans were able to gather from high altitude photo flights.


Typical of Hasegawa's big Spits, and the simplicity of the aircraft itself, there really are not a lot of bits to this kit. A new kit it isn't as all of the detailing is of the raised panel line variety. There is a pretty complete cockpit complete with sidewall detailing. No harness is supplied as it is expected that you fit the pilot figure. Aftermarket companies do supply a goodly number of bits to help out these big scale Spits if you desire more detailing.

An interesting option is one that allows you to have the landing lights in the extended position. Since these would only be visible while the plane was coming in for a landing or taxiing, it is puzzling why this option is offered. I'd think that these would be retracted before shut-down as a matter of course. The kit also includes a few extra scoops and bumps to add to the kit for the pressurization system. The prop is one with separate blades and hub. The entrance door can be posed open as can the canopy.

The instructions are really excellent. For one thing, they are in English. Secondly, there are 15 well drawn construction steps along with photos of how the completed step should appear. Now this is something I really like and I'm glad that some companies (like AMtech) are returning to this format. Markings are provided for three planes, all in Dark Green/Ocean Grey over Medium Sea Grey and with yellow wing leading edge ID bands on two of them. The box art plane is from 124 Sq in July of 1942. A second option, with earlier fuselage and lower wing roundels is an un-remarkable plane flown by Johnnie Johnson when with 616 Sq. The final option is the #2 production aircraft in markings similar to Johnson's, but without the yellow wing ID bands. Sadly, most Mk.VI aircraft were pretty non-descript. Decals are the usual fare from Hasegawa so they should work out perfectly well, even when placed over a matte surface. The usual complaints about them is that the red is too bright and the white code letters should probably be Light Grey or Sky.



This is a variant that I've never seen built. In fact, I've not seen many of the Hasegawa 1/32 Spitfires on contest tables and I must only conclude it is because they are 'old' and don't have recessed panel lines. That is silly as these do look like excellent kits. I'd even suggest them to a youngster who is ready to tackle something a bit more challenging but doesn't want to mess with small parts.

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