The Supermarine Walrus was designed to be an amphibious reconnaissance aircraft, built and first flown in 1933. The aircraft was used by the Fleet Air Arm and Royal Air Force, as well as both Australian and New Zealand services. The original requirement for the aircraft came from the Royal Australian Air Force for a plane that could be catapult-launched from a cruiser. Originally called the Seagull, with the first being delivered to the RAAF in 1937. The Walrus did see action at the beginning of World War 2, but catapult launched aircraft began to be phased out in 1943. With the Royal Navy, the Walrus did continue to be operated from aircraft carriers for search and rescue as well as communication.
During the production life of the Seagull/Walrus the early model were built with metal hulls, with the final variant, the Walrus Mk.II having a wooden hull. A recently release from Airfix
is an example of the Walrus Mk.I with the metal hull.
5 Plastic Sprues
1 Clear Plastic Sprue
1 Decal sheet
2 Colored Painting and Marking Guide(includes rigging diagram)
Having been a fan of the Walrus for sometime, especially after a visit the Fleet Arm Museum to see one in person, I was excited when Airfix
announced a 1/48 scale kit. Opening the box I was even more excited, as I caught a glimpse of the newly tooled kit and saw some great looking surface detail. A closer examination of the sprues showed some great looking moldings, with fine engraved panel and rivet details. I found no flash or sink marks, but was a little disappointed in the large number of ejector marks. As the aircraft does have a full interior, including ribbing, the ejector marks are mingled between the ribbing, but at least none straddle the ribbing like I have seen with other kits.
The detail of the interior does look extensive, and the first eight pages of the instructions are all interior. As mentioned the ribbing detail is included from head to tail, including the top. All parts look to be very well done, with what looks to be a well detailed cockpit and radio operator section. Unfortunately Airfix
does not include any photo-etched parts, which would have been nice, especially for a seatbelt or two. A decal is included for the instrument panel.
The exterior detail looks great as well, with a few options. The options include folded wings, landing gear up or down, and close front and rear gunner hatches as well as open cockpit. With all these options, you will need to pay a lot of attention during construction to ensure holes are drilled accordingly and the right parts are used and placed at the right time for the option you chose. It should be noted that the kit does provide a nice option for an underwing stowage of ordnance.
As the engine will be fully expose, the detail is decent. I found that the rib detail on the pistons is very fine for the two parts(front/back) construction. The exhaust and push rod components are there as well. Again, some photo-etched details here, like a wiring harness, would have been nice.
The instruction book has 108 steps across 23 pages, but based on the detail it is needed. The steps do look to be well done and organised. Something I have been see for a bit now from Airfix
is that they show the parts from the previous step in red for the current step. I find this helpful in knowing where I am in the construction and with part alignment. Also included is two fold out colored sheets for the painting and marking, as well as a nice diagram for the rigging. The kit includes markings for the following:
- No.5 CF, Royal Australian Air Force, Australia and New Guinea, early 1943
- No.276 Squadron, Royal Air Force, Harrowbeer, Devon, England, 1944
- No.700 Naval Air Squadron, HMS Sheffield, 1941
All paint references included are for Humbrol paints. The decal sheet looks to be very well printed, nice looking colors, and all in register.
Overall I am impressed with this new release from Airfix
. The newly tooled Walrus kit looks to be very well done. The kit has great looking moldings and surface detail, both inside and out. Unfortunately the kit has many ejector marks dispersed between the internal ribbing and lacks some much needed photo-etched details. I still say this is a great kit, and should build into a great looking model, and with some aftermarket details could be built into a masterpiece, highly recommended.