Revell 1/48 Spitfire XVI
|NOTES:||Reboxed ICM kit|
The low-back Spitfire XVI is sometimes seen as the poor relation of the Spitfire
series. It was the last major production version of the Merlin engine Spitfire,
first seeing service in 1944 and 1054 were produced before the end of World War
2. Post war it saw service with the RAF’s Auxiliary Air Force squadrons and
small numbers were acquired by the air forces of Belgium and South Africa.
(Your editor thinks that the XVI was also solely powered by Packard built
(Your editor thinks that the XVI was also solely powered by Packard built Merlins.)
Revell’s familiar end-opening letter box style of packaging contains five frames of grey coloured softish plastic and one of clear for the canopy, gun sight and wing tip lights. A comparison with a kit in my collection confirms that this is a rebox of ICM’s rare, but good, Spitfire XVI. Now the ICM 1:48 Spitfire series is widely held to be among the most detailed and basically accurate kits on the market and a great value package. In Revell’s version the parts appear cleanly and sharply moulded and in standard ICM style include a great many optional parts, not all of which are required for the subject in the box. Briefly, you have a well detailed cockpit, a comprehensive engine compartment with a detailed engine and bearers, separate cowl panels and a neatly detailed undercarriage. Apart from the fuselage mouldings, the parts frames are generic to ICM’s whole Spitfire series, so ripe for the spares box are four different styles of wingtip for clipped, standard or extended wing plan forms, bomb sets for the centre line or under wing positions, a long range slipper-type fuel tank and three different types of cover for the upper wing cannon bays.
What sets this kit apart is the standard of the decals. Sharply printed and with good colour density and register there are two choices: A Canadian Squadron in Germany, late 1945 in standard RAF Grey/Green/Grey camouflage but wearing the late war C1 type roundels of Red, White and Blue and a version from the Royal Auxiliary Air Force in 1949, again in standard Grey/Green/Grey camo but with blocks of yellow on the wings and rear fuselage band and the post war style of red/white/blue roundels with the colour bands of equal size. Basic airframes stencils, wing walk lines and an instrument panel are included.
The instructions are a ten page booklet in black and white and half tone, setting out 38 steps of construction in Revell’s common style – packed, complex and occasionally confusing diagrams and colour call outs limited to their own paint range.
My experience of finding Revell kits in Southern England is that many releases tend to appear on the shelves just once, so I grab ‘em while I can; in this case at least two for the stash, since a decent MkXVI is a rarity.
My sample was supplied by my LHS – Spot on Models and Hobbies of Swindon, UK.
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