|NOTES:||Variations on standard kit to produce a series of Seafires|
Some historians have derided the wartime Seafire as too fragile and too sensitive to be an effective naval fighter and there is no doubt that its deck landing history reflects many accidents. It is, however, acknowledged as one of the finest low level fighters afloat in 1945 and one of the few that could tackle a Japanese Zero on equal terms.
Special Hobby provides the same basic moulding for its 1:48 Spitfire Vc and Seafires, with additional parts frames for 3 or 4-blade propellers as appropriate, a choice of inserts for three types of wing cannon bulge, inserts for the lower rear fuselage where the arrestor hook mechanism is located, a choice of 3-stub or 6-stub exhaust outlets, and a choice of three types of wheel hub insert.
The original Special Hobby Spitfire Vc was reviewed by Tom Cleaver in MM in March 2009, in yet another of its guises as an Eduard boxing. Reference to this article is a reasonable review of the whole package, so this article will deal with matters relevant to the Seafire versions.
The parts bear a close resemblance to the Tamiya Spitfire V and Spitfire 1 series, although they differ in that the cockpit interior has separate side walls and the wheel wells are built up from separate components.
The basic difference between the two Seafire types is the fact that the Mk
Common to both kit versions is a small sheet of pre cut vinyl, which on initial inspection appears to be paint masks but in fact is a thin overlay for the external strengthening plates over the fuselage longerons and around the port side rear fuselage radio hatch – a very neat idea. The comprehensive multi-media approach extends to a film insert for the instrument panel and an etched fret which provides instrument panel, seat belts and external strengthening plates for the catapult spools.
The only real flaw in the kits is the thickness of the ailerons, which are noticeably undersized. I fixed this by plating over the under surface with 10 thou plastic card trimmed to shape and with the panel lines rescribed.
The most versatile of the kits is the MkII boxing, since the parts and decals
provide a choice of variants with 3 or 4-bladed propellers, standard or clipped
wing tips or even an ultra-rare version with a shark mouth, flown by a Royal
Marines pilot. This boxing alone also includes resin inserts for the wheel
Supplied as standard in each kit are of good quality and printed by Aviprint of
Common to all of the kits that I have examined, Spitfire and Seafire, is a separate comprehensive sheet of stencils and walkways, some of which are alternative versions of the same stencil. Densely printed in black they tend towards over-emphasis but provide a realistic-looking tattoo of markings, especially obvious against the sky-coloured undersides.
|COLORS & MARKINGS|
These Seafires form a part of my ever-increasing collection of
Spitfire variants, currently 48-strong, so I elected to cover the principal
variants with the Mk.IIC carrying the distinctive American-style stars used
during the first Allied combined operations in the invasion of
Within the illustrations to this feature are:
Seafire Mk IIc ,MB156 ,O6*G
of 885 Naval Air squadron during the Operation Torch
Seafire L.MkIIC, LR642, 8*M, of 807 NAS during the Salerno landings, Italy, September 1943.This carries the unusual day fighter colour scheme that was only applied at the Westland factory. Again a straightforward kit option.
When finishing my early Seafires, I cannot resist showing the A frame arrestor hook extended just a fraction. In reality the hook was only fully extended in flight or was tight shut, but since Special Hobby have gone to the trouble of tooling separate parts for the whole assembly I feel it only fair to show them off.
I use Xtracrylix paints for the camouflage colours, decals over a coat of Future/Kleer and an overall finish of Xtracrylix varnish.
Spitfire International by Helmut Terbeck, Harry van der Meer and Ray Sturtivant,
Spitfire, the History by Eric B. Morgan and Edward Shacklady, Key Publishing, 2000
Profiles 5, Supermarine Seafire Mk.1b – Mk.47, by Jon Freeman. The Aviation Workshop Publications Ltd.
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