Price around £7.49 GBP (Jun 2012)
Review by Geoff Coughlin
Our thanks to Airfix for supplying our review sample. Get this kit here now at www.airfix.com
A bit of background…
The F Mk.22 Spitfire was about as sophisticated as the post-war Spitfires were to get. It differed from the final variant, the Mk22, in only minor respects, but used the same massive Griffon engine delivering well over 2,200hp which dictated the enlarged tail control surfaces introduced with the Mk 21. The redesigned wing was a distinctive feature of the type which performed well until eventually being outclassed by the first jet fighters.
The new-tool Airfix kit…
The Supermarine Spitfire F Mk.22 has always been quite elusive in kit form, in any scale. With this new kit Airfix has made available a state of the art kit that many will just love and enjoy. I remember writing something similar to this when Airfix released their nice little PR Mk.XIX in 1:72 but this is better, much better!
This new style box art is as ever with new Airfix kits superb and definitely designed to help us part with our hard earned – and why not? The contents certainly live up to and surpass expectations, especially in 1:72 scale. The great thing about these box art images is that you can use them as a guide for weathering purposes and to that end they are realistic and useful.
Click on the images below to increase / decrease the picture size:
Now this is where things get interesting – for a start what strikes you immediately is the smooth lustre of the components and very precise engraving of the panel lines. The panel lines are clearly visible and maybe a bit over scale but I for one think you need some panel lining to break up the otherwise two-dimensional looking surface. Already I am planning whether to use a wash – it will certainly work well with these new-style panel lines.
The cockpit seems very well appointed with a very neat seat and separate forward and rear bulkheads with accurate engraved detail. The lightening holes are missing but will only need drilling out with a small pin vice drill (see your Techniques Bank) for how to do that. The fuselage side walls have a superb level of detail moulded in that will look great under some subtle weathering – again, better than the PR Mk.19 kit. A decal is included for the main instrument panel and this is ideal in the small scales like 1:72nd.
The new 5-bladed prop spinner looks accurate in shape and blades in outline.
If you want to add a pilot figure the one supplied is about as good as it gets in 1:72 scale.
Many of the parts have a mould seam that will need to be carefully removed through sanding but hardly a chore as this is modelling after all!
The overall shape of the fuselage and wings is good, accurately representing the Spitfire F Mk.22. I can see nothing that looks ‘wrong’ after carefully looking at the main components – so far, so good. The unique ‘gull-wing’ shape of the underside below the cockpit has been captured perfectly. This isn’t always the case with Spitfire kits.
Nice touches are definitely the detailed wheel hubs as well as a separate large rudder applicable to the type. The latter option will offer just enough variety in ‘look’ to make the final model interesting and varied. The wheel wells are also detailed and look scale-depth so that’s a plus. Raised or lowered gear are options.
Two canopies are provided for either open or closed positioning. They are very clear and the small sprue also features the clear gun sight and three belly lights typical of the type. The canopy is pretty thin too and another improvement over previous Spitfire releases.
Instructions and decals…
The instructions are clear and logical with the usual exploded diagrams on a fold-out sheet. Colour diagrams illustrate the two marking options included.
The decals are good quality and in register. Colour looks accurate and opacity also good. Aircraft options featured are:
- Supermarine Spitfire F Mk.22, Aluminium overall with Gloss Red spinner. No. 603 (City of Edinburgh) Squadron Royal Air Force, RAF Turnhouse, Edinburgh, Scotland 1951
- Supermarine Spitfire F Mk.22, RAF Dark Green and Ocean Grey over Medium Sea Grey undersides with Beige Green spinner. No. 607 (County of Durham) Squadron Royal Auxiliary Air Force, RAF Ouston England. The aircraft took place in the Cooper Trophy Race of 1948.
This is a good package by any standards. Good quality moulding and decent decals. Levels of detail in the cockpit and wheel wells are highlights and the fact that we have a readily available late-Mk Spit is great and very welcome. Congratulations to the manufacturer on another winner!
SMN Quick Summary Rating out of 5
|FEATURE||STAR RATING (out of five)|
|Quality of moulding||****|