|KIT:||Czech Master Resin 1/72 Seafire XV|
|KIT #:||CMR 120|
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
|NOTES:||Resin kit with vac canopy|
Despite being a rather poor aircraft for Naval use due to its landing gear being so close together, the Seafire was continually developed, even going into the Griffon era. This larger engine provided a great deal more power than the earlier Merlins and allowed higher speeds and greater load carrying capacity. The Seafire XV was the first of these. Though developed during WWII, it is basically a post war aircraft, equipping a number of units and selling well overseas. Both the French and Canadian navies operated the Seafire XV, in both the 'A' frame and 'stinger' variety. It was replaced in Canadian Navy and FAA during the early 1950s with more capable types such as the Sea Fury and later Seafire versions.
CMR has quite a number of Spitfires and derivatives in its catalogue with more coming. This one is for the first Griffon powered navalized version, the Seafire XV. Molded in tan resin, the surface detailing is very good with nicely engraved panel lines. There is flash on the fuselage and wings that will need to be cleaned off, but the rest of the parts seem to be free of this.
As with most aircraft of this type, there really are not that many parts, making construction somewhat easy. Now as I say that, I'm sure that there will be areas that need some additional modeling skills and filler. I've not built one yet that doesn't need it. The fuselage has some pour stub areas that will need to be carefully sanded down before construction and the fuselage itself is a bit fragile so you will need to be careful when handling it. Once it is together it will gain a lot of additional strength.
The cockpit is quite basic with a trough, fore and aft bulkhead, seat, stick and pedals. There is considerable detail on the cockpit sidewalls for you to paint. The kit is molded with the entry door separate so you'll have a chance to show off your work there. Wings are a separate piece with the gun barrels butt joined. Separate exhaust stubs fit into slots in the engine cowling.
This version of the Seafire XV has the 'A' frame tailhook as opposed to the 'stinger' version This means that one has to be quite careful when installing the hook part. There is no hook well provided so that will have to be built by the modeler. You'll also have to build the protective cage that keeps the arresting wire from grabbing and snapping off the tail wheel. The spinner and prop blades are separate and you'll have to remember that the Griffon rotates in the opposite direction from the Merlin so don't goof up the angle of the blades!
Markings are provided for three aircraft. One is the box art plane from Flotille 1F in the early 1950s in the Extra Dark Sea Grey over Sky scheme. In the same scheme is a 773 squadron plane when based at Gibraltar in 1950. The roundels on this one are a bit different from what you'd normally see. Finally, an earlier plane from 806 Squadron in Dark Slate Grey/Extra Dark Sea Grey over Sky with late WWII style roundels. A complete stencil suite is provided along with an excellent placement guide. Decals are simply superb. They appear quite thin and I found no problems at all with registration.
This is the nicest Seafire XV kit I've seen in any scale. Thanks to its relatively simple design, construction should not be a problem and you'll end up with a very important part of the Spitfire/Seafire line on your shelves.
My thanks to Czech Master Resin for providing the review copy.
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