|KIT:||ICM 1/48 Spitfire XVI|
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
The Spitfire XVI was basically an adaptation of the Spitfire IX. Powered by a US built Packard-Merlin, the Spitfire XVI incorporated all the improvements of the later Merlin powered Spits. This includes the larger area elevators, bigger rudder with the pointed tip, and, something relatively new to the Spitfire, a full blown bubble canopy. The last item really helped to improve the rearward vision, but by this time, the threat level of the Luftwaffe's Jagdwaffe had been seriously minimized by lack of trained pilots and lack of fuel. Nonetheless, the Spitfire XVI was a spirited performer and used mostly for ground attack with the 2nd TAF. Following the war, those European based RAF squadrons kept their aircraft when returning to their home countries. Amongst the ones flying the Spit XVI were those of Belgium, who continued to fly the type for many more years.
fdThis kit falls right in line with the others in this series. It is molded in a somewhat soft, white plastic and unlike the 'old' ICM boxing, has made real progress in getting rid of the sink areas that probably did in the original ICM. In this case, the most visible sink areas are limited to the back of the props near the root, the trailing edges of the upper wings, and the ailerons. All the other problem areas have been taken care of.
Unlike the previous incarnation of this kit, you get all of the optional bits for every ICM Spitfire kit. Many of these will not be used in the Mk XVI build. There is a major difference in that you get a new clear sprue with a bubble canopy and the fuselage halves are different. I've shown the new bits to the right so that I can still utilize the same image for the rest of the bits from the previous previews. Rather lazy of me, wouldn't you say? But it works.
If you have read the other ICM Spitfire previews, you know that the kit comes with a full complement of under wing stores, a full engine and a very nicely detailed cockpit. There is also a fuselage mounted ferry tank included which may have been used on ops, but I'm not positive as I don't recall seeing any photos with this installed. You can also display the gun bays open if you should wish.
The instructions are well done with a parts diagram, several well drawn construction steps and a nice paint reference that includes Humbrol paint numbers. Markings are for two aircraft in standard European paint schemes that differ only by unit codes. The box art aircraft is from 308 (Krakov) Squadron, RAF in mid 1945, while the other is from 74 Sq RAF. The box art aircraft is also shown on the back of the box, where a full color painting guide is provided along with Model Master paint references for the exterior colors. The decal sheet is well printed, but you do need to apply these using very hot water and setting solution. I also recommend trimming as much clear as you can for ICM decals are very much prone to silvering
This is another great addition to the ICM Spitfire line. I've said that these are the most accurate Spitfires of this type in this scale and that still holds true today. They make into superb models with a bit of care in construction and will certainly look very nice on your display shelf.
Thanks to and DLV Company for the review kit. You can find ICM kits at your favorite hobby shop.
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