Tamiya 1/48 Spitfire Mk.Vb Kit First Look
|Date of Review||July 2006||Manufacturer||Tamiya|
|Kit Number||61033||Primary Media||Styrene|
|Pros||Very simple build, nice detailing out of the box||Cons|
|Skill Level||Basic||MSRP (USD)||$29.00|
The Supermarine Spitfire and its contribution to the defense of Britain and to the air war in general is well documented in articles and reviews on the subject. Ask anyone to name three famous fighters from the Second World War and most folks will choose the Spitfire as one.
Developed as the RAF's advanced technology fighter in the late 1930s, the aircraft was a small streamlined airframe wrapped around a Rolls Royce Merlin engine and featuring all-metal skin on the wings and fuselage
The Spitfire Mk.V was initially intended to be an interim design while waiting for the parts/resources for the Mark III. The Mark V was essentially a Mark I/II airframe with a Merlin 45 engine replacing the Merlin XX. As the Mark III would not materialize on the production line, the Mark V became the main production variant until another improvement in the Merlin engine was grafted onto the airframe, creating the Mark IX.
Tamiya's 1/48 scale Spitfire is one of those kits that is hard to build wrong. It is a nicely engineered model that can just about be built by simply pouring glue into the box, closing the lid, and shaking the contents. Okay, maybe it isn't quite that easy, but it is one of Tamiya's better kits nonetheless!
The kit it molded in light gray styrene and presented on two parts trees, plus an additional tree of clear parts. For a model with not so many parts, the kit still features a nice array of build options:
- Open or closed cockpit entry door
- Optional seated pilot for the cockpit
- Standard windscreen or up-armored windscreen
- Streamlined or 'blown' canopy
- Standard or clipped wingtips
The cockpit is nicely detailed and will look great straight out of the box. The AMS modeler will want to consider an Eduard instrument panel and a Sutton harness as well as a few other details that are included in their Spitfire set.
Assembly of this kit is like its earlier iterations, the fit should be trouble-free, but if you take a little extra time to dry-fit the parts before gluing, you should have virtually no seams to fill.
Decals are provided for three examples:
- Spitfire Mk.V, EN821, 243 Sqn, SN-M
- Spitfire Mk.V, BL479, 316 Sqn, SZ-X
- Spitfire Mk.V, AGM, Fighter Command Hq, flown by Wing Commander A.G. Malan
As you can see in the images, the decals are provided on two decal sheets and include a complete set of maintenance stencils for the airframe. In addition, the leading edge ID stripes (yellow) are provided in decal form with the gun patches (red) in place. The gun patches are also provided separately for AGM which didn't have the yellow ID stripe on the leading edges.
This is another nice kit from Tamiya that has become one of their 'bread and butter' models as it is still a popular subject and kit among modelers.
For a look at a build-up review of this kit, look here.