Scale Modelling Now

Welcome to SMN > Here Now Reviews

Airfix Supermarine Seafire FR.Mk.46/47 1:48

Review by Geoff Coughlin (July 2012)

  • Kit Ref: A06103
  • Price around £18.99 GBP


Our thanks to Airfix for supplying our review sample. Get this impressive kit here now at:www.airfix.com

Ok, not an Fr Mk.46/47, but a Supermarine Seafire nonetheless – you have to see this!

A bit of background…

The Seafire FR.47 was the last variant of the classic R J Mitchell / J Smith fighter, with very little remaining of the Supermarine Type 300. The elliptical wing had been considerably modified and the Griffon engine with a six-bladed contra-rotating propeller had replaced the Merlin. The contrast from the Spitfire Mk I was vast, the Seafire FR 47 had twice as much power, a speed increase from 355mph to 451mph and a threefold increase in firepower.

The Mk. 46 and 47 were the navalised variants of the Mk.22 and 24 Spitfires respectively although both had contra-rotating propellers and cameras for the reconnaissance role. The Seafire F/FR 47 also had a chin-mounted intake, folding wings and short-barreled wing cannons. The Mk.46 only served with two second-line units

Intro…

Thank goodness it’s back! That was my reaction to receiving the review sample – a great kit when first release many years ago (also at the time Airfix first released their stunning EE Lightning for the first time) and still a great kit now. I built it at that time for Tamiya Magazine and loved every minute, building the Mk.47 version with folded wings. It went together like a dream and ended up going to many model shows where some of you may have seen it.

That box again…

You’ll see that Airfix has hit the mark again with some evocative box art and the four sprues; three large light grey sprue trees containing all the parts and options along with a small clear sprue with canopy and other small glazed items.

The best bit – the contents!

Click on each image below to view larger pictures:

Probably the best thing to do is just let you look at all the images I’ve taken and included here to give you the fullest coverage of the parts, but here are a few observations:

  • Overall shape – excellent in my opinion. The gull-wing is on the mark as are the 3 glazed identification lights on the underside of the gull-wing. Parts are cleanly moulded and little flash is apparent on the parts, even after this time lapse from original release
  • Panel line and other detail – accurate and just about spot on in this scale and certainly on a par with Tamiya and Hasegawa for example. You can see in the images what I mean. The wing-fold and separate centre section for the Mk.47 and wing-fold hinge detail is excellent
  • Cockpit – the cockpit is impressive although you can add a decent seat harness yourself from whatever source you like and there’s more than enough detail in here to suit most modellers.
  • So many options – folded or extended wings is probably the most significant with some beautiful, delicate detail moulded into the wing fold joins; separate rudder assembly so that you can align as desired as you can with the rudder. Flaps down or raised are available too, all increasing the possibilities
  • Canopy – option for slid-back positioning or closed
  • Stores galore – well, 60lb rockets for sure and these look good as they will under the wings of your Seafire if you decide to use them
  • Pilot – a decent pilot figure is included (Dave C take note!) and he will enhance the model no end if you display your completed project on a suitable base

Instructions…

Very clear and follow the usual Airfix way of exploded diagrams making it plain what to do with each of the options you choose.

Decals and colour schemes:

You get the two schemes illustrated in the gallery images here and again, what a great choice Airfix has made – two different and varied schemes, both interesting and typical of the type at the same, excellent! What’s also great is to see the colour diagrams back (ok, not on glossy paper maybe) but colour nonetheless and if by keeping down printing costs by going down this route helps to maintain colour in all their kits, then that’s fine by me and I’m sure many of you too.

Decals are again printed by Cartograf, just make sure you apply them to a really gloss surface – speaking of which, do check out your Techniques Bank, there’s help and a steer here if you want it.

To sum up…

What else is there to say – just buy it! As I mentioned at the start of this review, I have built this kit and it was a thoroughly enjoyable experience. The only area to watch is the fit of the bulged forward upper fuselage cowl covers.

SMN Quick Summary rating out of 5

FEATURESTAR RATING (out of five)
Quality of moulding****
Accuracy****
Instructions****
Decals*****
Subject choice*****
Overall*****

It’s probably the best value for money 1:48 scale kit available…

Geoff C.

Scale Modelling Now