Classic Airframes 1/48 Spitfire Mk.Vc Kit First Look
|Date of Review||October 2008||Manufacturer||Classic Airframes|
|Kit Number||4152||Primary Media||Styrene/PE|
|Skill Level||Intermediate||MSRP (USD)||Out of Production|
Volumes have been written about the Supermarine Spitfire and its impact on the Luftwaffe's assault during the Battle of Britain as well as in combat theaters around the world. The Spitfire is one of the most commonly known fighters of World War II and was a fine balance of speed, agility, and firepower.
One of the more confusing aspects of the Spitfire was its sub-variant designations. In common British practice, each improved variant was usually given the next available mark number, hence the Mk.V was the fifth iteration of the design (though only the third to go into production).
Next is the letter suffix to the Roman Numeral mark - Mk.Vc or Mk.IXe. This letter suffix refers to the type of wing installed on the aircraft. While aerodynamically these wings were all the same from the wing root to the removable/interchangeable wingtips, the suffix denoted the armament on the aircraft.
- A-wing - eight .303 machine guns
- B-wing - two 20mm cannons and four .303 machine guns
- C-wing - four 20mm cannons or two 20mm cannons and four .303 machine guns
- E-wing - two 20mm cannons and two .50 caliber machine guns
The C-wing was the more common wing and was also known as the Universal wing.
Classic Airframes has teamed up with MPM with the release of this Spitfire Mk.Vc. Released under their Special Hobby brand, this kit was released with markings for several RAF examples. Classic Aiframes follows up with this release of the kit featuring four distinctive USAAF examples.
The kit is produced in light gray styrene and presented on six parts trees, plus one tree clear parts. One fret of photo-etched details is also included.
While I'll leave it to the Spitfire gurus out there to rule on its accuracy, to these eyes, this looks like one of the nicest Mk.Vs I've seen in styrene. You can see from the sprue layout that the kit has some nice features:
- Long cockpit sidewalls to provide visible detail behind the pilot's seat
- Most of the photo-etch is intended to replicate the Sutton Harness that kept the pilot firmly in the seat during combat maneuvering
- Ailerons and rudder are molded separately
- Gun access panels molded separately to allow for other wing types(?)
- Standard and Tropical filter chins are both provided
- Separately molded windscreen, sliding canopy, and rear glazing to pose the cockpit open or closed
- Separately molded entry door
- Separately molded wingtips with standard tips provided (again, more wing variants coming?)
- C-wing gun installation provisions for different configurations
Even with these various features and options, you can see that the kit isn't complex and should be an straightforward build.
Markings are provided for four examples:
- Spitfire Mk.Vc/Trop, JK250, 2 FS/52 FG, QP-K, Tunisia, 1943, 'Kwitcherdangbitchin-'
- Spitfire Mk.Vc/Trop, JK180, 2 FS/52 FG, QP-X, Corsica, 1944
- Spitfire Mk.Vc/Trop, JK226, 308 FS/31 FG, 1943
- Spitfire Mk.Vc, AA963, Flight Test Aircraft, 1942
The decals are printed by Cartograph and are nicely done!
If you're wondering what that lone RAF roundel is doing on the sheet, that goes under the port wing of the flight test aircraft.
This is a really nice looking kit and is looks to be one of the nicest Mk.Vc kits on the market (not counting the Special Hobby boxing of this same tooling).
My most sincere thanks to Classic Airframes for the review sample.