Subject: Vickers Supermarine Spitfire Mk. I

Scale: 1/32

Manufacturer: Revell, Revell Germany

Kit No.: (Squadron Mail Order Nos.) RE4555

Parts: 53(3 transparencies, 50 gray styrene)

Media: Injection molded styrene

Price: US$12.25 (Squadron catalogue price)

Detail: 6(ascending scale 1-10)

Accuracy: 5 (ascending, 1-10); see review

Revell has gotten some mileage out of their 1/32 Spit mold. At various times, I've seen it boxed as a Mk.I Battle of Britain bird with No. 610 "County of Chester" Sqdn, a USAAF Mk. Vb, a Seafire, and the more recent release with Al Deere's markings.

This was my first Spitfire kit, and I still have fond memories of the box art, the visible engine and cockpit detail, the sliding canopy, the movable control surfaces and the retractable landing gear. By today's standards - especially considering the Hasegawa Spit - she's crude and toylike. The ventral wing-fuselage joint - the acid test of any model Spit's commitment to accuracy - is as flat as the proverbial board. The retractable gear means the wheel wells are not enclosed, although the gear angle is far more realistic than the gear on Revell's Bf 109G kit. That's another story.

Cockpit detail is pretty good for the time this kit was first released, especially compared to other sister kits such as the Corsair, P-40E, Bf 109G, Thunderbolt et al. Although the Haseagwa kit (see review at this site) shows what really can be done in the main office. Unless you're really looking for a project to exercise your reworking and scratchbuilding skills, I'd backdate the Hasegawa Mk. V to get a good Mk I/Mk.II Spit. If you're looking for that first big kit for a younger modeler, though, the Revell Spit is a good choice.

- Mike Still

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