Airfix 1/72 Spitfire Ia






One aircraft


Scott Van Aken




Hands up those who know zilch about the Spitfire. I see no hands so won't tarry on a history. I'll just say that it is probably the most kitted British warplane (though the Hurricane may be close) in any scale. It was also the neatest looking of the two and is undoubtedly one of the few WWII planes that non-airplane enthusiasts can recognize.



Previewing this kit seems like stepping backwards. I built an earlier incarnation of this kit when it was boxed in a much smaller container as a 'snap and glue'. Back then I commented on what a really nice little model it was and bought this one because a) it was on sale cheap, b) I wanted to see what, if anything had changed since then.

The big answer is that not much has changed. It now comes in a box that could hold several of these kits quite comfortably. It has a new set of decals, and the bag with the kit parts in it is not sealed. Other than that, it is very much the same kit as before. Attachment tabs are large so there will be no problems finding a fit. Gear legs are molded on the gear doors. The cockpit is a floor with a seat. You need to install the pilot or you'll have to fill a large mounting hole in the seat. No instrument panel or control column is provided. The canopy is molded as one piece.

Basically, your only option is wheels up or down, but no stand is supplied. However, the notch is there in the wing if you happen to have a spare to use. The mold has held up very well. My copy had no sink marks and no flash. Ejector pin marks are non-existent as well. Because of the minimal number of parts, this is a kit that should build rather rapidly. Despite its simplicity, it has the ever-elusive under wing gull that so many Spitfire enthusiasts seek when picking a kit. Unlike the Hurricane of similar vintage, this one has the gun ports open on the wing leading edge

The instructions are  very well done in 5 construction steps. There is a small but well printed decal sheet for a single aircraft from 234 Squadron at Middle Wallop in August 1940. Colors given are Humbrol numbers, but we all know that these planes were Dark Green and Dark Earth over Sky (or perhaps light blue, or duckegg blue.....). Anyway, if you don't like the kit markings, there are lots of aftermarket decals available. To take care of the emptiness of the cockpit, there are etched brass detail sets also available.



This is probably one of the most accurate 1/72 Spits around. It is a kit that can be recommended to all levels, including the raw beginner. If you are an experienced modeler, you'll like it for the hassle free build. Every once in a while one has to have an easy build (unless you have a steady diet of Tamiyagawa kits). Try it, you'll like it!

Review kit courtesy of my kit collection.

If you would like your product reviewed fairly and quickly by a site that has over 100,000 visitors a month, please contact me or see other details in the Note to Contributors.