Airfix 1/72 Spitfire Mk. V

Apologies to Mike for adding photos of my Spit Vb as it could not be as good as his. Another shot at the bottom of the page

In the continuing saga of older Spitfire kits . . .

If you've built the Airfix 1/48 Mk. V, the 1/72 kit shows a strong family resemblance in parts breakdown - albeit with scale-related simplifications. As I recall, the 1/48 came out after the 1/72 version. Effectively, the interior is vintage 1960's Airfix style - none, really. The exterior detailing makes this a transitional kit, though, with fine raised line detail and a few heavy raised fasteners on the nose. The landing gear wells are not boxed-in, and options are provided for extended or retracted landing gear. The tailwheel is molded separately, and a decent canopy included the external-armor windscreen of early production Mk. V's.

The wing-root fillets are noticeable raised above the rest of the fuselage surface so some snading is needed to bring that effect into scale. If you want a visible interior, you'll either have to build one or find an aftermarket set AFTER you thin the inside cockpit walls and cut out the side access hatch. Rudder ribbing is also a bit heavy but easily sanded down. Outline appears good except for a noticeably sharp slope on the upper surface of the nose. My example's spinner was a bit lumpy at the tip, but easily fixed with a jeweller's file and sandpaper. The kit includes the long spinner and Rotol broad-root propeller.

For the beginner, construction is easy and the kit looks OK. For the more advanced modeler, the Airfix 1/72 Spit is a good starting point for a MK. V without the wing troubles found in Heller/Smer's Mk. V, or even a start for a Mk. VIII/IX conversion as I did with mine. This kit is by far the best oflegacy Airfix's three forays into 1/72 scale Spitdom. From personal experience, I can say with certainty - DON'T buy their older 1/72 Mk. IX unless you enjoy a good joke at your expense.

- Mike Still


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