|KIT:||ICM 1/48 Spitfire VIII|
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
The Spitfire Mk. VIII was a development of the high altitude Mk.VII. Both aircraft used the newer two stage Merlin 60 series engines. The increased wing span was accompanied by a slight reduction in aileron length. The longer engine meant a longer nose and the increased power also meant an increase in fin/rudder area, though this was not done until later in production. This is also the first production Spit to have a retractable tail wheel.
The Mk VIII was basically a low level Mk. VII. It did not require the additional wing span nor the pressurized cabin of the earlier variant. However all the other improvements, such as increased radiator area along with the earlier mentioned larger engine were kept. It proved to be a very potent machine. Over 1,600 were built in three variants. The HF, high altitude fighter, the LF (of which a majority of the type were built) and the F. All had the Volkes style tropical air intake fitted as standard. The Mk.VIII was used mostly in the Mediterranean and Pacific theaters. Both the USAAF and RAAF utilized a number of the type.
I'm basically going to repeat much of what I said about the Spit IX kit as all the sprues are identical. I have looked at several of these kits and while all of them show some sink marks on the wing parts and prop blades, gone are the really horrid ones on the fuselage and the landing gear and just about everywhere else. Those still on the wings are concentrated at the aileron hinge line for the top and on the underside opposite some thick reinforcements near the radiator. The elevators also have some sink on the thickest parts as do the prop blades, but they are nowhere near as deep as before and are easily taken care of.
The Spit VIII was a much more limited production aircraft to the Spit IX. This means that fewer of the optional bits will be used. For instance, you have to cut away the area for the tail wheel doors. Only two cannon bay panels can be used. The later rudder and elevators are used. The Mk VIII does not have rockets for an option. A separate canopy allows the interior to be shown or you can use the one piece option. For things under wings or fuselage, you can use the bombs or the ferry tank. Four spoke wheels are provided. A lower cowling with the larger filtered intake was used on almost all Mk.VIII Spits.
Instructions are same as from the previous ICM and do not show the additional bits that are included. The instructions are well done an provide both Humbrol and generic color references. The two markings options are for Dark Earth/Middlestone over Azure Blue aircraft with the 31st FG in Italy during 1944. The box art plane is 'Fargo Express' from the 308 FS and has yellow wing bands to accompany the theater ID red spinner. The other is from the 31 FG commander and is otherwise pretty standard except for the group badge under the windscreen. Decals are well printed and appear in register. ICM decals have been problematic in the past so you may want to have some aftermarket ones available just in case. There are also a plethora of aftermarket bits for this kit so you can replace a number of bits should you wish.
Still the most accurate 1/48 Spitfire on the market. Reasonably priced and you get a ton of stuff, including the option to have full engine detail should you wish it.
Thanks to and DLV Company for the review kit. You can find ICM kits at your favorite hobby shop.
If you would like your product reviewed fairly and quickly by a site that has over 300,000 visitors a month, please contact me or see other details in the Note to Contributors.
Back to the Main Page
Back to the Previews Index Page