Eduard 1/48 Spitfire Mk.22/24 Kit First Look
By Michael Benolkin
|Date of Review||April 2008||Manufacturer||Eduard|
|Kit Number||1121||Primary Media||Styrene/Photo-Etch/Resin|
|Pros||Very nicely detailed kit||Cons||Nothing noted|
|Skill Level||Intermediate||MSRP (USD)||$54.95|
Lots of histories have been written up on the Spitfire and its contributions to the war. The Griffon-powered Spitfires were the ultimate sport models of the line and in addition to the five-bladed propeller, most of the Mk.22/24 aircraft had the Spiteful's larger tail for better yaw control at low speed.
Airfix produced the nicest rendition of the late-Mark Spitfire with this release a decade or so ago. The detailing was scribed and the accuracy was spot-on. How could you top that?
Eduard has the knack of taking a nice kit and making it better. In this release, they've taken the Airfix bag shot straight from the UK, added the usual nice color photo-etch details, and also added a magnificent resin cockpit facelift. The kit retains it's styrene 'stock' interior, but if you've picked up this kit, you're going to want that resin cockpit instead!
The kit is molded in gray styrene and presented on five parts trees, plus a single tree of clears. The kit also includes one bag of resin parts, one fret of photo-etch (color printed), one set of yellow masks, and two sheets of decals.
The star of this show is that cockpit. The problem is that if you don't pose the side entry door open, you're not going to see much inside that opening. Heck, even with that door open, this will be a job for a flashlight and magnifying glass. Nonetheless, the details rendered here are fantastic and, with careful paint and weathering, will render a very realistic cockpit. You'll almost be able to read the chronometer!
The kit also goes to the trouble of giving you the right details to differentiate between the Mk.22 and Mk.24. For instance, a starboard fuselage access panel on the kit is correct for the Mk.24 and needs to be moved aft for the Mk.22. Eduard provides a scribing template to do that job! The main instrument cluster on the panel has two different faces, one for the Mk.22 and the otehr the Mk.24. When you're done, you'll be able to distinguish between these two marks with ease.
Once you've built-up the super-detailed cockpit, assembly of the kit goes more or less back to normal. The ailerons and elevators of the kit are molded in neutral position, whereas the rudder is separately provided. The kit does provide positionable landing flaps.
As we get closer to the end of the project, a few more distinctive details are also added. These include nice photo-etched radiator screens, resin wheels for the Mk.22 (the styrene wheels are correct for the Mk.24 only), photo-etched shell ejector shields under the wing, resin exhaust stacks, photo-etched canopy frame, and photo-etched landing gear scissors.
Markings are provided for four specific aircraft:
- Spitfire Mk.22, PK559, 607 Sqn, RAN-4, Cooper Trophy Air Race, 1948
- Spitfire Mk.24, VN307, 80 Sqn, W2-T, Kai-Tak AB, Hong Kong, 1950
- Spitfire Mk.22, PK570, 603 Sqn, F, Turnhouse AB, 1950
- Spitfire Mk.22, 514, Syrian AF, 1954
This limited edition kit definitely makes the Airfix kit even nicer. Who knows if Eduard will ever do this kit again, so if you are even remotely interested in the late-model Spitfire, this will be your only chance to have all these great details together in one box.
My sincere thanks to Eduard for this review sample!