After a bit of a break from building Airfix (I've just completed a Fujimi E-2C Hawkeye and a Revell Gannet AS.1, bit of a naval theme going on there), I thought I'd get back to the Red Box fold with the RAF Mitchell boxing.
The plastic parts have fine engraved detail (though not as fine as the Hasegawa Mitchell), and the engineering for the kit seems straightforward. The internal detailing is very complete in the front end and bomb bay, but not much in the rear end. Here Airfix have Hasegawa beat. Spars are included with the bomb bay sections to make sure the wings go on at the correct angle, and alternate parts include different engine cowls and exhaust layouts for early and late 'C' versions. Two cockpit canopies are also included, one with extra framing.
Some issues include the under-wingtip shape, which has been mentioned in previous reviews, and is very noticeable when compared to the Hasegawa kit, but I will live with that. Only an American Norton bomb sight is included, no RAF sight, again not to bothered, and American bombs are in the bomb bay, but were American supplied aircraft able to carry British bombs?
Instructions are the usual Airfix standard, ie good, with a glossy, colour paining and decal placement guide, and another guide for stencil placement (there re a lot of stencils, even each bomb has three decals to put on!). There are markings supplied for two similarly painted olive drab over neutral grey machines, a Polish operated later Mk.II and an earlier RAF Mk.II with nose art and a bomb tally. I think I'll go for the second one.
Construction starts, surprisingly enough, with the flight deck.
Here all the parts for the fight deck are laid out, including a bicycle seat for the bombardier, as said earlier a very detailed representation.
All went together easily using Tamiya Extra Thin. One of the fuselage sides was used a jig to make sure all was lined up correctly. The front spar can be seen attached to the bomb bay front bulkhead.
The fight deck painted up. the main colour is Hu226 American cockpit green, as advised in the instructions, with various boxes and controls picked out in matt black, and seat covers in leather brown. The green was dry brushed in yellow zinc chromate to bring out the detail. Basic lap straps are painted sliced Tamiya tape.
All the internals painted and ready to go into place. The bomb bay walls are separate inserts which include the bomb doors moulded in place, for a closed bay these are left out. If mounted the bombs must be cemented in place before joining the fuselage halves as it would be almost impossible to get them in afterwards. The part with the round hole with cross members attached to the rear spar is the mounting for the underbelly gun turret. Again all painted Hu 226 and dry brushed in the chromate yellow. Note the amount of detail in the centre and front and none in the rear.
All the internals in place, and fuselage about to be buttoned up. Everything fitted well with no issues. Note that the only place for nose weight is a void space under the starboard side of the fight deck where I have crammed some nuts and bolts held with Blu Tack, don't think it will be enough though!
That's it for now, I'll post again soon when there's some more progress.