Hasegawa 1/32 Spitfire Mk.Vb Kit First Look
By Michael Benolkin
|Date of Review||March 2012||Manufacturer||Hasegawa|
|Kit Number||08052||Primary Media||Styrene|
|Pros||Easy build, nice details||Cons||See text|
|Skill Level||Basic||MSRP (USD)||$43.99|
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
Many years ago, this Hasegawa 1/32 Spitfire Mk.Vb was the kit to build if you wanted a Mk.V in this scale. In its day it was highly detailed and yet easy to build. Hasegawa reissues this kit periodically and I couldn't resist looking this kit over when I found one at a recent IPMS contest for $10.00 USD.
Molded in tan styrene, the kit is presented on three parts trees plus a single tree of clear parts. Surface detailing is fine but raised. Among the features and options in this kit:
- Reasonably detailed cockpit though with the number of new Mk.V Spitfires in this scale, there are numerous aftermarket options available
- Positionable cockpit entry door
- Positionable canopy
- Choice of streamlined or blown canopy
- Choice of internal or external armored windscreen
- Choice of:
- Standard 'chin' (standard carburetor)
- Vokes tropical filter 'chin'
- Aboukir tropical filter 'chin'
- Choice of Rotol or de Havilland propeller
Flight control surfaces (ailerons, elevators, rudder) and flaps are all molded closed/neutral.
Markings are provided for three examples:
- Spitfire Mk.Vb, EP689, 601 Sqn, UF-X, Sicily, 1943
- Spitfire Mk.Vb, AB183, 303 Sqn, RF-A, 1942
- Spitfire Mk.Vb, AB326, 145 Sqn, Helwan, 1942
I didn't image the decals in this kit as this kit qualifies as an 'oldie moldy' and the decals had some mold on them. With all of the aftermarket options available, this isn't an issue with me and yours will likely be in better shape. For $10 USD...
I have very fond memories of this kit as I built this for an IPMS/Albuquerque contest and was amazed at how easily it went together. With just a little work in the cockpit with painting and some creative use of wire, you can really set the cockpit off without an aftermarket set, but you can really dress this up with a resin replacement cockpit.
With Tamiya's Spitfire masterpieces, you'll definitely want one of those to really have some fun with all of the detailing in that box. Of course they haven't done the Mk.V yet, though we may get that in the future, but when you want one or more Spitfire Mk.Vs to showcase some unusual markings without the rigor of a superdetailed kit, this Hasegawa gem is just the answer.