|KIT:||Tamiya 1/72 Spitfire Vb|
|PRICE:||$15.35 from GreatModels|
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
|NOTES:||Includes a display stand|
The Spit V was basically an update of the earlier Spit I and II versions with a more powerful Merlin. Just about all of the fuselage aft of the engine was identical in all these variants and a number of Mk Vs were re-engined Mk I/II airframes. With the more powerful engine, it was able to briefly best the 109s of the Luftwaffe. That all changed with the introduction of the FW-190, but such is the way of war.
This kit includes a tropicalized version of the Mk V. Basically that means that it has a large filter fitted over the carb intake to keep sand out of it as sand will severely shorten the life of an engine. Initially the Vokes filter was fitted, but this very large filter was not only ugly, but quite detrimental to speed. A much more streamlined and equally effective filter was developed locally in Aboukir, Egypt and fitted to many aircraft in country.
I have noticed that when Tamiya does a 1/72 version of one of their 1/48 kits, they tend to simplify it somewhat by not providing some features, such as separate flaps and molding some smaller parts in with larger constructs. They also seem to include as many viable options as they can that may have been separated into different boxings with the larger kits.
This kit is basically three sprues, two grey and one clear. The clear sprue offers two different windscreens and three different hoods, with the instructions telling you which to use for which markings option. You will also find two different wheel options and three different carb intake options; two of which are for sand filters of different designs. In addition, you have two different wing tip options with the standard or clipped wings. This makes for a most complete kit that provides a nice variety for the builder.
The interior is also well done and very much like the larger kit with a forward and aft bulkhead, floor, control stick, seat and armor plating. There is also a decal for the seat belt and instrument panel. Aside from the compressed air bottles, all the sidewall detail is molded in place. The rest of the build seems very straight-forward with no pesky cannon bay inserts or the like. In line with other Tamiya kits, the prop is held in place by a poly cap, making it easy to add at the end of the build.
Instructions are superb, as you'd expect from Tamiya will complete color references. Typically, only Tamiya paints are used and you'll have to mix all of the desert colors. Markings are provided for four aircraft. Two in European scheme from 243 squadron and 316 squadron, with full and clipped wings respectively. The other two are in desert schemes, the 417 sq aircraft having a Volkes filter and full span wings while the 601 sq aircraft has the Aboukir filter and clipped wings. Decals are well printed and provide wing leading edge ID bands as well as a full stencil suite. These will work well if one uses very hot water when applying them
It is a fine kit from the Tamiya line and probably the best Spit V on the market, though the Airfix one is still very good. I know it will make into a fine model and one could only hope that in the future, Tamiya will see fit to do the Spit IX that everyone is wishing for as well as a line of Griffon Spits.
You can find this kit as well as many others at GreatModels
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