Hobby Boss 1/32 Spitfire Vb/trop
KIT #: 38206
PRICE: 39.99
DECALS: Two options
REVIEWER: Mogens Lund

Aftermarket items used:  Master 32-018 cannon,  Eduard ED32705 cockpit interior,   Eduard JX126 canopy masks,   Quickboost QB32116 Spitfire Mk.V exhausts,32-114 Spitfire Mk.V stabilizers



As this article is a follow-up to my earlier review of HobbyBoss' 1/32 Spitfire Mk. Vb and as the Spitfire is so well known and documented elsewhere, it will be sufficient here, I think, to note that the tropicalized version of the Mk.Vb was introduced for service on Malta in the spring of 1942. Later increased deliveries spread the tropicalized Spitfire to the rest of the Middle East. The ordinary air intake for the Merlin's carburetor had no dust filter and therefore the large Vokes air filter was developed. The resulting drag and reduction in ram air pressure to the carburetor caused a reduction in maximum speed by about 13 km/h but on the other hand the engine could run far more hours before changing that without the air filter. The Trop-version was in action as a fighter bomber to the end of the war in the Mediterranean and supplies as hand-me-downs to the Royal Australian AF following the introduction of the Spitfire Mk.VIII in the MTO. Ventura has produced transfer sheets the Aussie Spitfires.




This kit is basically the same as the Mk.Vb and suffers from the same faults, of course. For the Trop-version you are provided both with the Vokes air filter and the special Aboukir air filter developed by the RAF maintenance works at Aboukir in Egypt. Also the kit is provided with the large 90-gallon (400 liters) fuselage slipper tank.


The Rotol propeller blades are wrong, I think. They seem to be too long and too thin compared with pictures of the real thing and an old 1/32 Rotol propeller made by Warbird Productions I had in my spares box. As I wrote in my review of the Mk.Vb the cockpit flap is wrong. It doesn't matter if you want to close up the cockpit, but with an open cockpit you have to do something. Eduard's interior set provides you with the ribbing and a separate crow bar for the flap which calls for removal of the kit's flap detail. My solution was to use a spare Tamiya Spitfire flap from my spares box. It needed only a bit of sanding to fit in.


HobbyBoss does not supply wheel covers for the undercarriage wheels, so I chose to fit them with covers left over from one of my Tamiya Spitfires. They are not supposed the cover the whole hub so you will have to paint the hubs metal before gluing the covers in place (I used Krystal Klear for that). That said, I of course am not sure whether they were fitted to this particular Spitfire in real life.



As for the construction of the kit I will direct you to my review of the Mk.Vb.




You have a choice for two aircraft, one flown by Wing Commander Ian Gleed (not Greed as the colour sheet tells you!) with clipped wings and the Aboukir filter, and one standard aircraft flown by No. 417 Sqn, RCAF. Both aircraft are finished in desert camouflage, the colours coming from Xtracrylic. I have two adverse comments to the colour profiles. One is that both profiles are produced with yellow wing leading edge identification stripes. As far as I can ascertain from my sources these were only applied to fighters flying in the ETO. The other fault is that HobbyBoss informs us that the Spitfire coded AN belonged to No. 247 Sqn. whereas it actually belonged to No. 417 Sqn., RCAF. HobbyBoss informs us further that this Spitfire was based on Sicily early 1943, maybe not knowing that Sicily was not invaded until July 1943! By that time, incidentally, No. 417 had traded their Mk.Vs in for the Mk.VIII-version. 




As this kit as noted above is basically the same as the HobbyBoss Mk.Vb with parts added for the tropicalized version I will direct you to my conclusions in my earlier review of the Mk.Vb. A very fine detail is the inclusion of both types of air filters for the Mk.V and the 400-liters auxiliary tank.


One final thought is that the basis for the earlier Spitfire marks (I/Ib, II/IIb, Va/Vc) is at hand for future Spitfire kits from HobbyBoss in 1/32. So how about it, HobbyBoss?

Mogens Lund

October 2012

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