Supermarine Spitfire Mk VB Aircraft (New Tool)

This is the 1/48 Scale Supermarine Spitfire Mk VB Aircraft (New Tool) Plastic Model Airplane Kit by Airfix.

Airfix Supermarine Spitfire Mk VB Aircraft (New Tool) Plastic Model Airplane Kit 1/48 Scale #5125
 (10)
 Airfix # arx5125
$36.99
 
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Airfix Item # arx5125
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Spotlight Review

 
"A great Mk.Vb representation kit at a reasonable price with options included..."
Martin L (Manchester, NH)
The molded product was clean, crisp and without warp, sink and ejector pin stress marks or witness marks on seen surfaces. Flash was zero if next to nothing, but expected from a new tooling. The panel lines are nicely recessed- not too deep or wide as can be seen on some of the Airfix kits, these are a definite improvement. The kit comes with two options of colors and markings, one representing a Royal Canadian Air Force version flown in Malta during Operation Spotter and one representing a Polish squadron version that is kept at the RAF Duxford Museum historical collection. I chose to go with the first option, which has a Sea Grey and Dark Earth camouflage color, the Sea Grey being painted over the Stone color of the typical two-brown Tropical camo pattern. Because of the two options of markings, there are different options of canopy, air filters, oil coolers and radiators- the Maltese version having a deeper Vokes air filter, oil cooler and radiator. It also includes a extra long range fuel (slipper) tank that fits to the underside of the fuselage and wraps around the Vokes air filter. I chose to leave this off because my boy is staying local around the Island of Malta and he prefers his bird to be more streamlined and more maneuverable without the hindrance of extra cargo! The kit also includes bombs, which are not required for either of the two versions on offer, but could be utilized if after-market decals are purchased to represent Mk.Vb's that were used as fighter-bombers and dive-bombers, roles to which they were not well suited. The cockpit is nicely detailed and would be furthered enhanced with the addition of after-market seat-belts. There are no separate flap components with this kit, as there are with other Airfix Spitfires, they are molded solid, so no dropping the flaps down to produce some extra interest. The ailerons are also molded solid, but the elevators and rudder are separate components. The undercarriage can be modeled up or down, and at first glance, one feels that the design of the location areas for fitting into the wheel wells isn't particularly solid. The end of the oleo struts has a step that locates onto a step inside the wheel well. It doesn't look positive enough and also seems not to provide enough surface area for cementing. But, that said, when it came to gluing them together, I used a spot of CA glue on each of the opposing step joints, held the wheels in place for 30 seconds whilst visually checking that the angles of location looked good, and, hey presto, I was surprised that they were solid once set. Meanwhile, the rear wheel is a nice push fit into the tail of the plane and required no glue. The assembly, painting and decal instruction booklet is very clear, concise and easily understandable, using nice 3D CAD images for the assembly instructions and color illustrations for the painting and decaling guides. Although, as normal with Airfix, all colors are called out referencing Humbrol paints with no conversions for other paint brands. During the build, I did encounter two issues: 1) The wing root to fuselage joint areas had gaps that needed some filler and smoothing down with lost panel lines having to be re-scribed after the sanding. A easy fix to remedy. It would be easy for some modelers to push the wing-tips upwards to close the gaps tight during the cementing stage, but the dihedral would be incorrect with a much larger angle created, producing a somewhat flaccid V shape when viewed from the front. 2) The rear upper cowling that incorporates the front end of the cockpit, onto which the gun-sight is mounted, has a larger profile geometry than that of the front upper cowling to which it mates. It therefore stands proud by about 0.5 to 0.75mm and requires smoothing down and blending to the front cowling. Again, lost panel lines from this process require re-scribing. I'm surprised by the two issues with the knowledge that this kit was new tooling in 2014, which means Airfix have had two years to address the molds to correct them. Maybe they have been corrected and the kit I purchased was one from an earlier run in 2014? But, that said, surely a manufacturing company would check the fits of their products prior to releasing them on the market, and if they did check, are we to assume Airfix let the issues go, to satisfy the pressure from their Sales and Marketing division to meet the release date deadline promised to their customers/suppliers of these kits to us, the consumers? Apart from the above two issues, everything else went together great. The decals are excellent, as I have always found with the more recent Airifx kits, and they look painted on when applied to a gloss clear coat surface. Is this kit good VFM- Value For Money....I'd say that it was reasonable, not excellent VFM, based on the fact that for exactly $2.00 more, I can buy a Revell of Germany 1/32 Supermarine Spitfire Mk.IIa that offers a lot more volume/weight of molded product and is a nice larger kit that goes together without issues...I know, I built one! Would I recommend this kit: Yes, apart from the two issues and it's price not offering exceptional value, it is a great representation of a Mk.Vb Spitfire, probably considered one of the best and most loved versions of this iconic aircraft and I had fun building it. My personal opinion regarding a score out of 10: I would give this kit 8 out of 10, based on the above.

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Specs

  • Airfix Product Number: 5125
  • Skill Level 2
  • Length 195mm
  • Width 232mm

Includes

  • 151 Parts

Requirements & Suggestions

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Reviews

  
 
"Amazing detail and value for money"
BlucherFamily (Overland Park, KS)
First off I must say I am enjoying these Airfix 1:48 Aircraft kits, of the 3 so far I have found no fault, and have been extremely impressed. This kit has amazing detail and is incredible value for money. First, there was no over-flash and the parts came off the sprues cleanly with next to no sanding needed for clean fitting edges. Second, the detail in the parts is crisp and clear and obviously came from a superb mold. Third, the cockpit detail, landing bay/gear detail is what I would expect of a much more expensive kit, and very accurate. The instructions are clear with before and after pictures for each step and the build was smooth with everything fitting together well. The only anoyance, and it is easily overcome by going to Humbrol's website, is that most the colors needed are listed by number with no reference provided to their name. Once you have the names however, they are easy to identify in Tamiya or Model-Master alternatives if you don't have a Humbrol source handy. I would strongly recommend this kit to anyone looking for acuracy, detail, and value. The finished product will amaze you.

 
"Beautifully moulded"
sharpe_wr
I love Airfix kits. Simple construction and great Engineering. Will build quickly and easily. Comes with a Canadian pilot offering with the decals which is a nice touch.

Information

The MkVb was the first Spitfire fitted with drop tanks to increase range and many were equipped with bombs. Until the end of the Battle of Britain in 1940, all Spitfires were used for defense of the UK. In an overseas role it had a dust filter modification to protect the engine. The new Mk V outclassed the Messerschmitt 109E.


Markings

  • (A) Supermarine Spitfire Mk.Vb Aircraft Flown by Pilot Officer Robert Wendell Buck McNair D.F.C. (Royal Canadian Air Force), No. 249 (Gold Coast) Squadron, Royal Air Force, Operation 'Spotter', Ta; Qali (Ta Kali), Malta, March 1942
  • (B) Supermarine Spitfire Mk.Vb BM597 (G-MKVB) restored in the colours of No. 317 Polish Fighter Squadron for the Historic Art Collection Ltd, Imperial War Museum, Duxford, England, 2013

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