Airfix released an nice kit of the Supermarine Spitfire Mk.I a few years ago (see review here
) at a very attractive price, making it a perfect candidate for the inclusion of photo etched detail parts. Eduard have now produced some interesting sets destined to ameliorate the appearance of the cockpit interior, the exterior and the landing flaps of the model.
Spitfire Mk.I S.A.
This set is composed of two photo etched frets (one pre-painted) and is destined to ameliorate the cockpit interior and the external appearance of the Airfix model. A small acetate sheet (gun sight glass) and instructions are provided as well.
The coloured fret is composed of 39 parts and is exclusively destined to the cockpit interior ("sandwich" instrument panel, seat belts, rudder pedals, instruments, levers, etc...).
The bigger fret is composed of 94 parts. It also holds some parts for the cockpit interior (new seat, new seat support frame, sidewall structures, boxes and cases, gunsight, etc...) and the exterior of the aircraft (air intake grills, actuators, wing radiator flap, landing gear leg covers, landing gear bay structures, gear legs break line, rear view mirror, complete cockpit access door, aerial wire attachment points, etc...).
Both frets are of very good quality as one would expect from Eduard. The printing on the pre-painted one is excellent.
The instructions are printed in black & white on an A4 size sheet and divided in 4 A3 size pages. One additional A3 sheet is included with recommendations on how to apply the self-adhesive parts (the one on the pre-painted fret). The drawings are easy to read and the areas that must be removed on the original kit's parts to make room for the new PE parts are highlighted in grey. A colour version of the instruction is downloadable on the Eduard website.
The pre-painted fret is also available separately in the "Zoom" range (Ref. n° FE539). This means that the second fret is not included and that only the most important parts (instrument panel and seat belts) are provided. The price of this set is also much lower.
Spitfire Mk.I/II landing flaps set
This set is composed of 12 parts and will allow you to replace the plastic flaps included in the kit. Some work will be necessary to remove the unneeded plastic from the original parts but other than that construction shouldn't be too complicated despite the complex appearance of the main parts. Don't forget to add the small "flap down" indicators on the upper wings.
I don't want to start the "I've never seen a Spitfire parked with flaps down" debate and I think that if a modeller wants to show his Spitfire in such a configuration then he should do it with the knowledge that it was almost only for maintenance purposes in this case.
It's a good idea from Eduard to have designed some photo etched frets for the Airfix Spitfire Mk.I., because even though the kit was released back in 2007 it represents a very good basis. Admittedly, the additional detail parts will cost more than the kit but in the end one will get a fantastic representation of this iconic aircraft. Highly recommended!
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