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Spitfire Mk.21 Conversion

for Airfix Seafire 46/47

 

 

 

Aeroclub, 1/48 scale

 

S u m m a r y
Catalogue Number, Description and Price Aeroclub Models K833 - Spitfire Mk.21 Conversion
for Airfix Seafire 46/47

Price 13.83 (ex VAT) or 16.85; Price (inc VAT) available online from Aeroclub's website
Scale: 1/48
Contents and Media:  
Review Type: FirstLook
Advantages: The best and easiest way to build a 1/48 scale Spitfire Mk.21; crisp surface features; high level of detail; makes use of the excellent left over wing from the Airfix Seafire Mk.46/47 kit; crystal clear vacuum formed canopy; may be adapted for use as a PR.XIX conversion.
Disadvantages: A few minor blemishes on plastic parts; only one vacform canopy supplied (so be careful!)
Recommendation: Highly Recommended

 

Reviewed by Brett Green


HyperScale is proudly supported by Squadron.com

 

FirstLook

 

If the Mk.22/24 represented the pinnacle of Spitfire development, then the 1/48 scale Spitfire Mk.22/24 and Seafire Mk.46/47 kits equally embodied the peak of Airfix's plastic kit production powers. These two kits featured a high level of detail, many useful options, beautifully crisp surface features and luxuriously smooth plastic. Ten years after their release, these kits remain the best injection-moulded Spitfires of any mark available in any scale.

Aeroclub has obviously paid attention to some of the spare parts in the Airfix 1/48 scale Seafire Mk.46/47 kit.

If the modeller chooses to build a Seafire Mk.47, he will have a complete set of Mk.46 wings left over. These wings were common to the Seafire Mk.46 and also the Spitfire Mk.21.

Click the thumbnails below to view larger images of Airfix Seafire Mk.46 wings:


There is no mainstream 1/48 scale kit of this attractive late Spitfire variant, so it is very pleasing that Aeroclub has delivered a Mk.21 conversion that will use the excellent leftover wings from the Airfix Seafire kit.

Aeroclub's 1/48 scale Spitfire Mk.21 conversion comprises 29 parts in low-pressure injection moulded plastic, 35 parts in white metal and a clear vacuum formed canopy.

 

Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:


The plastic parts are quite smooth and crisply detailed with recessed panel lines. Surface features are not quite as crisp as the Airfix wings, but they should match up well under a coat of paint. There are just a few blemishes on my sample (on the rudder and the spinner), but this will not present any great challenge. A few minutes sanding and polishing will do the trick. Plastic parts cover the fuselage halves, tailplanes, wheels, radiator housings, propeller assembly, undercarriage doors, flaps and instrument panel.

Smaller details, including cockpit parts, exhausts, radiator faces and exterior airframe details, are supplied in white metal.

 

 

The vacform canopy is thin and crystal clear. It is protected inside its own clear plastic walls. There is only one canopy supplied however, so take special care when cutting it from its backing sheet.

As far as I can tell Aeroclub has supplied all the parts necessary to build a Spitfire Mk.21 except the three small navigation lights under the fuselage. These can easily be punched from clear plastic, or added using membranes of Krystal Kleer or white glue.

Instructions are supplied on a single sheet. The main direction is to refer to Airfix's instructions for placement of parts. This supplementary sheet lists the variations from the standard instructions when using Aeroclub's replacement parts.

In addition to a Mk.21, this conversion could be adapted to build a PR. Mk.XIX using the wings of either Hasegawa's or Academy's Spitfire kits. Some extra work would be required to the fuselage (adding the camera positions plus some other details) and the wings, but it will be easier than the limited options available until now.

 

 

Conclusion

 

I have always thought that the Mk.21 was the toughest looking of all the Spitfire variants. The "razorback" lines of the rear fuselage maintained that Supermarine familiarity, but the extra bulk of the Griffon nose, larger tailplanes and the revised wing created the impression of a Spitfire on steroids.

Aeroclub's 1/48 scale Spitfire Mk.21 conversion is comprehensive and makes excellent use of the spare wing in the Airfix Seafire Mk.46.47 kit. Some experience working with limited run plastic kits and white metal parts will be helpful but this is essentially quite a simple project. What's more, you won't have to sacrifice a full kit to build this attractive, late-war fighter.

Highly Recommended.

Thanks to Aeroclub Models for the review sample


Text and Images Copyright 2006 by Brett Green
Page Created 10 July, 2006
Last updated 11 July, 2006

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