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Spitfire Mk.VIII Kit

Eduard 1/48 Spitfire Mk.VIII Kit First Look

by Michael Benolkin

Date of Review March 2015 Manufacturer Eduard
Subject Spitfire Mk.VIII Scale 1/48
Kit Number 8284 Primary Media Styrene, Photo-Etch
Pros The best Spitfire Mk.VIII in 1/48 Cons Nothing noted
Skill Level Intermediate MSRP (USD) $49.95

First Look

Spitfire Mk.VIII Kit
Spitfire Mk.VIII Kit
Spitfire Mk.VIII Kit
Spitfire Mk.VIII Kit

Recognizing that a major upgrade to the Spitfire was necessary, the RAF set out to develop the Spitfire beyond the anticipated capabilities of the Luftwaffe. Also recognizing that such a major upgrade would take time, time that the RAF could ill afford, an interim solution was needed. That interim solution would become the Spitfire Mk.IX. The Spitfire Mk.VIII was to be the ultimate Merlin-powered Spitfire, developed as an unpressurized version of the high-altitude interceptor Mk.VII.

The Mk.VIII came in three versions - LF Mk.VIII powered by the Merlin 66, F Mk.VIII powered by the Merlin 63, and the HF Mk.VIII powered by the Merlin 70. One Mk.VIII was modified with a cut-down rear deck and a teardrop canopy which would lead to another generation of Spitfires. While Supermarine's chief test pilot considered the Mk.VIII the best of the series, the Mk.IX was in production of the shadow factory at Castle Bromwich and production was kept focused on that variant. The Mk.VIII was supplied to RAF and Commonwealth squadrons in the Mediterranean as well as in the CBI and Pacific Theaters. The USAAF would also operate the Mk.VIII in the Med as well.

Eduard released their Mk.IX kits two years ago and these have easily become the best kit of the Mk.IX variants in 1/48 scale. Coupled with their own series of aftermarket photo-etched details and resin BigSin updates, these kits build into breathtaking models. Eduard has returned with the Mk.VIII version which uses many of the Mk.IX parts but also adds some of the distinctive parts for the Mk.VIII including the HF and the LF wingtips.

Among the features and options in this kit:

  • Nice cockpit with separately molded sidewalls
  • Color photo-etched instrument panel and seat belt/harness
  • Positionable cockpit entry door
  • Choice of open or closed canopy
  • Choice of rear view mirror type
  • Choice of F, LF or HF wingtips
  • Reasonable Merlin fishtail exhaust stacks
  • Positionable ailerons
  • Positionable elevators
  • Positionable rudder (choice of early or late (pointed) rudder)
  • Positionable radiator flaps
  • Optional underwing bomb racks w/bombs

Markings are provided for five aircraft:

  • Spitfire LF Mk.VIII, MD280, 155 Sqn, DG-R, Burma, 1945, as flown by F/Lt Paul Ostrander
  • Spitfire F Mk.VIII, JF470, 308 FS/31 FG, HL-R, Italy, 1944
  • Spitfire F Mk.VIII, JF330, HB, 1943, as flown by AVM Harry Broadhurst
  • Spitfire F Mk.VIII, JF404, 32 Sqn, GZ-M, Italy, 1944
  • Spitfire LF Mk.VIII, MT714, 43 Sqn, FT-F, France, 1944, as flown by F/Lt A.W. Guest
  • Spitfire HF Mk.VIII, unknown, 60 FW, RG-V, East Indies, 1945, as flown by W/C Robert Gibbes

The decals are nicely printed and include a set of airframe stenciling.

This is another nice Spitfire version and I hope Eduard continues to produce other Spitfires in this scale to round out the flightline!

My sincere thanks to Eduard for this review sample!