Kit: Airfix Seafire Fr. 46/47

Scale: 1/48

Variants/Decal options: Two variants, the fr 46, and the folding wing fr 47. One decal option for each variant.

Price: $33 CDN

After market Accessories: Areomaster decals 48-296

Luckily I started this as soon as I brought it home. Since after reading several other reviews of this kit I don’t think that I would have started it. However I think it builds into an excellent model of a very rare aircraft. I’m glad that airfix is starting to undertake a few of the lesser known aircraft , and turn them into beautiful 1/48 models. I’m eagerly awaiting the BAC Lightning for later this year.

There is not very much information available on the seafire fr. 46/47, other than only two reserve units were equipped with the fr 46, and that the fr 47 served with two front line units No. 800, and 804 H.M.S. Triumph & H.M.S. Glory. The seafires of 800 squadron flew 245 CAP missions, and 115 strike missions over Korea without a single loss toenemy fire. If anyone else can provide more information please pass it on to Now for the model

The kit has 119 parts, placed in an oversized box. The surface detail is fully recessed panel lines, and rivet detail. The surface detail is right up there with Tamiya, and Accurate Miniatures, and generally better than most Hasegawa kits. There are two sets of wings one for the non folding fr 46, and a folded set for the fr 47. There are drop tanks, and rockets as external ordnance. As with most kits construction begins with the front office, detail is a little light in this area and a resin cockpit set would be a dream. However construction is straight forward, and with the wings folded not a lot of the cockpit can be seen. At least they got the cockpit colour right, black. Next comes the contra rotating prop. The arms for the front blades are a bit long. But I chose to ignore this since most of the attention is drawn to the fact that there are two propellers. Next comes the opening of the recon windows, which I made too big. I chose to sand down the inside of the fuselage, to achieve the proper scale thickness, and glued clear sheet styrene in place. Now here is the real trick to making this kit no together without a lot of fuss. Glue the upper wing sections to the fuselage before assembling the wings. By doing this the glue can be applied from the bottom, making a perfect fit, with no sanding to remove the excellent surface detail. When I added the lower wing section, the fit was very good overall, with a bit of filling and rescribing underneath the fuselage.

The only time I find myself questioning Airfix wisdom on this kit is for the header extensions on the nose for the Griffon engine. As best that I can tell the fuselage tooling is only good for the Spitfire MK 22/24 ,and the Seafire Fr. 46/47, which all had these extensions. Why not mold them in place? Anyway the parts fit fairly well, and need to be faired into place with a little liquid cement, and putty mix. Use a hot knife to cut the canopies from the tree, even the best clippers will tear the very brittle clear parts. The fit of the front windscreen is excellent, the rear canopy rides high, so I would recommend leaving the canopy open. The dropped flaps fit quite well, and appear to have a good scale thickness.

Airfix suggests painting the landing gear aluminum, my photos, and knowledge of other spitfires suggests that they should be painted the same as the underside of the aircraft, in this case sky. The landing gear was a bit tricky to get it seated in the mounts, and I strengthened it with a drop of superglue around the joint. The brake section of the wheel is attached to the gear leg, however it doesn’t really fit into the wheel that well. I had to file mine down to get it to fit. I chose to build the fr 47, with the wings in the upright position. I also added all three drop tanks, the wing tanks need to be added before painting to get the proper fit. Which make applying the large under wing aircraft codes difficult indeed.

My model was painted with Polly Scale sky & extra dark sea grey paints. The invasion stripes were painted one with Polly Scale white, and Tamiya flat black. I used Tamiya masking tape, the 6 mm size which is about the perfect size for the stripe width. It was first time that used the tape. After using it, I purchased all the other sizes. Its the best tape I’ve used. I also purchased the Areomaster decal sheet.  I was very disappointed to find that it had no stenciling, they said use the kit stencils. If the kit stencils were usable then couldn’t I have used the kit decals? No because they are of very poor quality, just like the stencils. I guess that $9(CDN) for decals just isn’t enough.  Well I used the kit stencils, and the model requires a few gloss coats to blend them in. The folded wing attachment are very weak, but will still survive being transported around.

I think that the kit builds into an excellent model, and I’ll build it again. I’m just waiting for a resin detail set, and any other goodies that may appear. The model requires some advanced building tricks but is still easy enough to build. The kit is best suited for the advanced, or upper end intermediate builder. Airfix did an excellent job on this kit, and things will only be better in the future.

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