Subject: Vickers Supermarine Spitfire Mk.IXc and Mk.IXc/Mk.XVIc

Scale: 1/72

Manufacturer: Matchbox

Kit No.: IX and XVI -PK0050 (Squadron Mail Order No.); IX - PK-2

Parts: 28 (1 transparencies, 27 gray and green styrene); different count

for dual version kit

Media: Injection molded styrene

Price: US$6.00 (Squadron catalogue price)

Detail: 3 (ascending scale 1-10)

Accuracy: 6 (ascending, 1-10); see review

This kit can be summed up quite easily - no cockpit to speak of, deep panel lines and a fair exterior. This kit has mutated over the years, and I apparently got an LF Mk. IXc before the molds were switched to allow for the full fuselage and bubble-top versions of the last standard Merlin fighter marks.

In spite of a lack of detail, this kit is light years ahead of the old Airfix Mk. IX that had questionable outline, wings that were actually TOO thin for scale, and even less detail than the Matchbox Spit. I'm not familiar with the method used for the dual-version kit, but the PK-2 kit has separately-molded wing radiator and oil cooler fairings, separate exhaust banks, separate cannon barrels, a separate and acceptable low-profile Vokes carburetor filter, clipped wingtips and the pointed LF rudder. Outline is good, and filling in the panel lines would actually result in a nice little "standoff" or in-flight model. A beginning modeler would have fun with this one as a second or third kit.

- Mike Still

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