Sheet:

Model Alliance MA-72131: Photo Recon Spitfires part 1

Units: See Review

Price

Reviewer:

Scott Van Aken

I love it when someone sets out to cover a subject that only get dribbles here and drabbles there. This is the first sheet on Photo Recon Spitfires by Model Alliance and this one covers Early Merlin Spitfire Schemes. There are no fewer than 16 different aircraft on this sheet, and this can easily be handled as the vast majority of these planes carried little more than insignia and serials with perhaps a code number or letter or two. The vast majority had no under wing roundel and some had none atop.

All of the schemes on this sheet and the next two in the series are from one of the On Target books and I'm at a huge disadvantage in being able to tell you more about these planes as I don't have that book. Means I've not a clue as to where the wing roundels are placed, though the instructions do at least indicate if they are there. I can only assume they are not at the extremes and go from there. While on the subject of the instructions, I can also tell you that the printing is rather small (I needed to use a magnifier) so you older readers need to be aware of this.  The instructions also provide a listing of all the kits and aftermarket bits applicable to all three sheets in the series.

I'll just note what is on the sheet starting at the top left and going down the page.

PR 1A, #2 Camouflage Unit, 1938
PR 1B, 212 Sq, 1940
PR 1C, PRU, 1941
PR 1C, 8 OTU, 1940
PR 1D, (no unit given)
PR 1D      "
PR 1D      "
PR 1D      "

Moving to the right page:

PR 1F, (no unit given)
PR 1G,      "
PR 1G,      "
PR 1G,      "
PR IV,       "
PR IV,       "
PR XIII,    "

What sets these planes apart are the use of various interesting colors from camotint to PRU Blue, to PRU Pink, to white or even unpainted metal or a Dark Blue. I have to tell you that where to get some of these odd shades is totally beyond me as there is no paint chart provided. I have to guess that if you don't have the book, you are not going to be able to take full advantage of this sheet as I've not a clue what the difference is between the different variants or what they are based on.

The decals themselves are nicely done and I don't see any registration difficulties. There seems to be enough markings to do all the aircraft on the sheet. I should mention that the image of the sheet is a bit light. The actual colors are darker than what is shown. One will have to obtain some of the various conversion bits to do these schemes; a set of canopies at the very least and perhaps some deeper lower cowl bits as well.

This sheet is also available in 1/48 scale.

March 2006

Review sheet courtesy of The Aviation Workshop

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