- Published on Monday, 02 August 2010 13:10 Peter Buckingham
REVELL 1/32 SUPERMARINE SPITFIRE Mk.I
No.00021 'Revell Classics Limited Edition'
Release date 05/2010
No. of parts76
Length285 mmWingspan342 mm
This is one of the 'new' re-releases by Revell Germany. I don't know exactly when this kit first appeared, but on the inside of the top starboard wing covering, the year stamp adjacent to 'Made in USA', states '1990'. This re-release coincides with the 70th Anniversary of the Battle of Britain for which this boxing offers the option of two of the combatant's markings.
I did a quick check on the number of injection moulded Spitfire kits available in 1/32 scale, and, including this one, I was surprised to see that there were only four - two from Revell (Mk.I and Mk.22/24) and two from Tamiya (Mk.IXC and Mk.VIII). There is a future release by Hobby Boss of a Mk.Vb but I have no idea when this will be. Spitfire fans in this scale are having a 'field day' providing they don't mind shelling out a great deal of their hard earned for the Tamiya offerings. The price difference between the latest Tamiya kit and either of the Revell kits is..............(wait for it)........ approaching £100! Yes, that is not a mis-print. OK, you are supposed to get what you pay for and the Tamiya marque is well known for it's engineering excellence, but that is an awful lot of price differential.
So what do we get when we open the Revell box of tricks? Well, for me, it was initial disappointment! Every piece of plastic looked as though it had just been thrown into one big plastic 'bag of bits' which has resulted in a number of pieces being broken away from their sprue frames during transportation and lying in the bottom of the bag. The fuselage sides looked like they had been separated, as had the one piece bottom wing surfaces and fuselage central section. Had they all be attached together? I have no idea. Zero points therefore for Messrs Revell in the packaging department but is this a cost cutting exercise? If so, I for one, and I would think most modellers would agree, an extra 50 pence or £1on the retail price for having the sprues separately bagged and everything protected would be money well spent.
Having got that rant out of the way, the kit contains a total of 76 pieces, of which most are attached to the sprue frames! There are marking options for two Battle of Britain aircraft:
Supermarine Spitfire Mk.IA, N3029, c/n 318, DW-K, 610 Squadron, summer 1940
Supermarine Spitfire Mk.IA, L1004, LO-Q, 602 (City of Glasgow) Squadron, Sqn. Ldr. A.'Sandy' Johnstone, Westhampnett Air Base, June, 1940.
There is the usual format Revell A4 sized Instruction Booklet which gives very clear drawings of the assembly sequences and colour call outs which refer to Revell's own make of paints or mixtures thereof. Both markings options are shown in mono at the rear of the book with detailed stenciling instructions.
The decal sheet is excellent and although I do suffer from a certain amount of colorblindness, the colours look OK to me. The decals are in perfect register and the smallest print is very clear. However, they do feel a tad thick but I could be mistaken on this point. The proof of the pudding............... Time will tell.
Along with the big 'bag of bits', there is a small clear plastic bag which contains the clear canopy parts, of which one piece was badly scratched but which should polish out OK. I was pleasantly surprised by the etched panel lines and recessed rivets on the wings, everything was crisp, clean and in my view, scale like in appearance. Unlike the Luftwaffe fighters, the Spitfire fuselage was not flush riveted but this did not seem to detract from its performance. The raised riveting on the plastic fuselage sides has been very well done indeed but I would think a couple of light passes with a sanding board might be required after a primer coat just to ease them down a tad.
Revell also provide a nicely detailed pilot and an engine upon which the super detailers could happily spend a few hours to produce a very acceptable example. The builder has the option of leaving off the engine side panels to expose the engine if that takes his/her fancy. The cockpit, as you would expect from a kit in this price bracket, is not too detailed, but a very acceptable 'pit can be achieved from what Revell has on offer plus the ingenuity of the builder. The instrument panel is detailed enough to be reproduced 'as is' or one can use the superb IP decal if that is what you desire.
One thing the buyer has to do - and you have no option - you will have to spend a considerable amount of time cleaning up the plastic parts and orifices to make them presentable. This was always par for the course in days of yore, and as this is a 'classic kit', you can be transported back to those days quite easily. Tamiya it aint. But you aren't paying Tamiya prices.
I think this kit will make up into a splendid version of the Marque and if it is put into the hands of those such as Ted Taylor, Geoff Coughlin or Tony O'Toole, then I doubt you would notice the difference on the competition table. Well done Revell Germany for this very timely re-release.
SO WHAT DO WE THINK?
Excellent value for money for beginners and experienced builders alike. I am not an expert on the profiles of the Spitfire, but it certainly looks like a Mk.I to me. With a bit of TLC, this kit will make up into a superb model.
8/10 - shame about the packaging.
Our thanks to Revell Germany for this sample.
You can get this kit in the united kingdom for £17.99 from Wonderland Models