Sunday, September 8, 2019
Airfix Spitfire FR Mk XIV, 1/48th scale, Kit A05135
I have been looking forward to the arrival of this kit for some time. The Mk XIV was the most advanced version of the Spitfire to see action in WWII.
A number of fairly critical kit reviews have appeared on YouTube from reputable channels, and that bothered me as I began the kit. Unfortunately, the criticism was not unfounded. For a kit that came on the market in 2019, the fit problems are simply not excusable.
I used three kinds of putty getting the airframe together: Perfect Putty, Vallejo Acrylic Putty and Tamiya Putty. The gap between the wings and the fuselage and the lower air intake were the worst offenders. Forward cowling top, part B01, has a loose fit, to be kind.
All the above being said, are these gaps a big deal? I don’t think so. I have come to expect this kind of thing with Airfix kits. Just don’’t believe the hype in the British model magazines. These kits do not assemble as well as Tamiya or Eduard kits, nor are they as well-detailed. But, they are a lot less expensive.
The kit is molded with the light blue styrene that is somewhat soft and has the tendency to tear even if you cut it very carefully. I wish they used the same kind of plastic other manufacturers use.
Ultimately, with some extra effort, Airfix kits turn out okay. And, getting decent models of such aircraft as the Spitfire Mk. XIV or the P-40C Warhawk, they are worth the challenge. And, in the 1/72 range, the new Airfix kits are very nice.
In spite of some fit problems, I like Airfix kits.
Some of the paints and other materials used:
Vallejo Model Air 71.078 Gold Yellow
Vallejo Model Air 71.003 Red
Vallejo Model Air 71.080 Rust
Vallejo Model Air 71.096 Panzer Olive (DarkGreen)
Vallejo Model Air 71.049 Medium Sea Grey
Vallejo Model Air 71.051 Barley Grey
Vallejo Model Color 70.873 US Field Drab
Vallejo Model Color 70.891 Intermediate Green
Tamiya Acrylic X-18 Semi-gloss Black
Tamiya Acrylic XF-71 Cockpit Green
Microscale Micro Flat
Microscale Micro Satin
Tamiya Putty - White
Vallejo Plastic Putty
Perfect Plastic Putty
Very desirable subject.
Excellent decals with markings for two aircraft - one end of the war Spitfire in camouflage and one natural metal post-war version. Very well-printed. Went down well with Tamiya Mark Fit Strong.
Very clear assembly instructions.
Nice price for a 1/48th scale kit.
Number of gaps to fill.
Decals - prop logos shattered
All colors called out with Humbrol numbers only. I made a chart translating those numbers to Tamiya and Vallejo paints before I started.