Spitfire Mk VIII in 1/72...
...a lovely new Weekend series kit from Eduard
Eduard have come a long way in the last few years with not just their etch metal detailing sets, but with a great range of injection moulded kits a well. The Spitfire has long been a favourite for modellers and is likely to remain so for many years to come. This is not the first Spitfire kit from Eduard, indeed they have done quite a few and in a variety of scales. For this one we have a recent addition to their series of 'Weekend' kits, kit reference 7442. These differ from the ProfiPack series as these are simpler for being just a basic plastic kit but without the inclusion of extras such as etch metal detail sets and painting masks. If you want to upgrade it, then as illustrated here they also do a separately available 'Zoom' series set which has the extra etch detailing, including the lovely pre-coloured instrument panel and seat belts.
Let's talk about the kit itself first. Moulded in a grey plastic, the detail and quality of the mouldings is excellent, and will leave you with a number of extra parts to add to your spares box as they use common sprues in different kit variants. This includes the three different tips for the main wings. The standard wing tip, the short, clipped wing and the extended point wing for high flying variants. This kit is one of those where your build options provide a choice for either the standard wing or the extended style. Detail inside the cockpit is very good, as is all the external detailing on the airframe itself. The instrument panel can be painted, you can use a transfer, or of course you have the option to buy the additional Zoom detailing pack.
I think the enjoyment from this particular release will be from the choice of colours and markings which are provided. The first is for The first is for 'Grey Nurse', a Mk VIII with the pointed tail and standard wings. It represents A58-602 as flown by W/C Bobby Gibbes, CO of No 80 Wing based at Morotai in April 1945. Upper surfaces are Dark Green/Ocean Grey though with a Sky Blue underside. Being in the Far East theatre, it also has the red removed from the roundels, which was done to prevent mistaken aircraft identification with the red 'Hinomaru' (Circle of the Sun) markings used on Japanese aircraft. This Spitfire also carries a colourful Shark Mouth and eyes on the nose.
The second choice is also a great choice as this is a Mk VIII with a standard tail but with the extended wing tips. It represents JF330 as flown by AVM Harry Broadhurst when he was appointed commander of the Desert Air Force in North Africa. Not only is this one finished in the Mid Stone/ Dark Earth upper surface and Azure Blue lower surfaces used on RAF aircraft in North Africa as well as the code of HB as the Air Vice Marshall was entitled to use his initials for his aircraft code. I particularly like this one for having the extended wing tips which give the Spit such as distinctively 'different' look.
If you want to add the extra level of detail of the pre-painted instrument panel of the etch detailing set, then their SS601 Zoom set is also available, and is included in the illustrations below.
Thanks to Eduard for this example.
Colours and marking options
Separately available Zoom detailing set
Separately available Zoom detailing set - fret with details including pre-coloured instrument panel and seat belts