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Revell Germany 1/32 scale Spitfire Mk.IIa

Kit:03986 // Scale:1/32 // Price:$29.95
Revell Germany
Clean molding; great fits; first early Spitfire in 1/32 scale since Revell’s 1967 kit
Flaps a little balky unless you pose them dropped; oil-cooler assembly difficult, inaccurate
Injection-molded, 137 parts, decals
Revell Germany’s brand-new 1/32 scale Spitfire Mk.IIa is a welcome sight — it’s been 47 years since Revell Germany’s American counterpart introduced its groundbreaking 1/32 scale aircraft series, including an early-model Spitfire.

The kit is cleanly molded in light blue plastic with a minimum of flash and no obvious molding marks. Options include open or closed canopy, detailed cockpit, and separate control surfaces.

Following the instructions, I started construction with the cockpit interior. There is a good amount of detail here — the first 20 steps are devoted to the cockpit parts!

I put the completed cockpit module in place and closed up the fuselage without a problem.

The wing assembly is quick and easy. Ailerons and wing flaps are separate parts. I planned to install the flaps (parts 98 and 99) in the closed (normally seen) position, but I found they would not fit flush — internal detail on the inside of the upper wing prevented it. Apparently, the kit was designed to have the flaps deployed. The fix was easy. I just needed to trim down the detail and the flaps came flush.

If you intend to have the flaps dropped, be aware that Revell Germany has molded closed the small upper wing door that opens up when the flaps are down.

The fit of the fuselage and wing was very good, particularly at the wing root. The elevators (parts 96A/B) are molded with future versions in mind. They need to be modified by removing the inner tip; a cut line is provided.
The lower cowling (Part 71) needed some work for a good fit. It overhangs the upper fuselage, preventing a flush fit for the spinner’s back plate. A little work with a sanding stick resolved the issue.

I wasn’t too pleased with the oil cooler. It is a jigsaw-puzzle construction of four pieces and requires putty and sanding to make it look good. It also appears to be a later model than what is normally seen on a Mk.IIa. On my next build of this kit, I will replace this part with an aftermarket item.

The landing gear is a two-part assembly. Use a strong bonding glue to attach the short locators (80/91) to the legs. Two-part landing gear assemblies always make me nervous, as they introduce a weak point. If I were to do this again, I would drill a hole in the top of the assembled gear leg and insert a metal rod or use aftermarket metal legs.

I painted my Spitfire with Hobby Color’s acrylic Royal Air Force colors and coated the finish with Tamiya spray clear semigloss.

Decals are provided for two aircraft. They performed extremely well, and I was most impressed after they settled down to make the markings look as if they were painted on.

My primary reference was The Supermarine Spitfire: A Comprehensive Guide for the Modeller, Part 1 — Merlin-Powered, by Robert Humphreys (SAM Publications, ISBN 978-0-9533465-4-7).

I completed my Mk.IIa in 27 hours and was very happy with the outcome. It’s an easy build with no overt problems or faults. Built from the box, this one can be managed by most modelers. If you are a large-scale Spitfire enthusiast, you definitely want to add this version to your collection.

Note: A version of this review appeared in the January 2015 FineScale Modeler.
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