Pretty mediocre modeller

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You may remember a few years ago Airfix ran a 'Kit Starter' promotion, where modellers could vote for which classic kits they would like to buy. In the end only the Basset received enough votes to go into limited production, and I was lucky enough to aquire one. The Kit starter seems to have been replaced with the Airfix Classics Range now, so let's hope this is more successful and we get to see some classic aircaft kits soon.

The uninspiring box

The instructions and decals. These are the original instructions reprinted, so have the written steps with part names as well as the exploded diagrams. The only shanges are the hornby Hobbies logo and the paint numbers changed from Airfix to Humbrol. By the way there are no internal colour callouts, and the paint guide has you painting the lower half and wings in silver when it should be light aircraft grey! The decals mirror the originals but are printed to today's standards, and give a choice of three aircraft, the only difference being the last digit of the serial number.

The plastic parts on the old type open tree frames, which leads to loose and missing parts. I'm missing one pilot figure but no big deal as I don't usually include them anyway and I have plenty in the spares box. After test fitting the fuselage and lower wings fit seems okay. Cabin detail includes floor, rear bulkhead, instrument panel with two finely moulded control wheels, and the seven seats ( for pilot, co-pilot, and the five man V-Bomber crew they would be repositioning). Clear parts are thick but clear enough and the whole airframe is cover with the typical Airfix rivets of the time, but not to pronounced, a quick swipe with the wet and dry will sort them out. Panel lines are raised and will stay that way.

I intend to build from the box, and will start with the cabin. As I have been unable to find any info on colours here I will go with cream for bulkheads and roof, a light grey for the floor, medium blue seat covers and a black instrument panel shroud, with medium grey panel. Maybe i'll do some black blobs for instruments. If anyone knows the proper colours i'd be pleased to here from you.

I would still love to see the following, all to 1/72;


Avro Manchester

Avro Lincoln

Junkers Ju88A-1 (to complete the Airfix new tool Luftwaffe BoB line up)

Bristol Beaufort

Re-tooled Bristol Beaufighter with early flat tailplane

HP Halifax with early Merlin engines

Fairey Albacore (plus any other WWII Royal Navy aircraft)

B-24 Liberator (any mark)

B-29 Superfortress

De Havilland Hornet/ Sea Hornet

DH Venom, Sea Venom single or twin seat

Newly tooled Avro Vulcan B2

Newly tooled BAe Buccaneer S2

Newly tooled Tornado GR1/4/ F3

Newly tooled Eurofighter Typhoon

Luftwaffe ground support set

RAF 50's/60's ground support set

RAF modern ground support set


Give me any one of those and I will be happy, give me two or three and I will be over the Moon!


The decal mostly went on without any problems over a gloss coat, with the exception of the wing roundels which had to go over some lumps and bumps and needed to to sliced a little and lots of decal softener applied.

The prop spinner had three decals, and the pilot is also finished. All went on without silvering, except the carrier film on the code letters, but this was remedied by cutting the decal along the panel line and running more softener under it.

When the decals were fully dry the shell ejector slots were carefully cut out of the underwing roundels.


Next the model was given a couple of coats of matt varnish, and the smaller parts and canopy added. I left the main undercarriage to last as I was not confident that the construction method was as strong as it could be. Basically the leg attaches to the stub in the wheelwell by a stepped butt joint, with very little surface area. On the Airfix Bf 109 I built recently the legs had nice sturdy square pegs that set the angle of the legs perfectly, this method may be more accurate but it seems pretty weak. I attached mine with lots of super glue!


Once the undercart was finished I applied some weathering and the Spitfire was done.

I really enjoyed this kit, it went together well with the exception of the fuel tank cover in front of the cockpit, and the only weak point was the undercarriage legs. There are plenty of options as well allowing you to build almost any Vb spitfire. I might just make another in desert camo sometime.

Hi Colin,


I believe the alternative parts represent the camera port either open (clear part) or with the shutter closed (solid part).

Hope that helps.




I've completed the basic painting of the Spitfire. Most of the colours used were Humbrol acrylics (Hu64 Meduim Sea Grey on the underside, Hu106 Ocean Grey topside), but the green was Mr Hobby Mr Color Dark Green. I did have one issue when I painted the Sky band around the rear fuselage. Where the Hu90 sky paint went over the Mr Hobby green the Humbrol paint cracked and crazed. To overcome this I coated the area with a layer of Klear then repainted the band.

The chipped paint at the wingroot was achieved by painting the area aluminium, applying Maskol with a small piece of sponge, painting the top colours over the top then rubbing off the Maskol to leave the aluminium showing through. The completed prop can also be seen as well as the pilot who is not yet fully painted.

Close up of the damaged paint on the tail band.


Now the band is repaired and the whole plane coated with Klear the decals are ready to be applied. On the final stretch now.

I built the Italeri boxing of the MPM Hudson a few years ago, and yes it was a short run kit, and construction was a little challenging, but nothing impossible. The only issue I had with the build was the Humbrol acrylic matt varnish going chalky in places. Unfortunately I can't post a picture as it's not Airfix.

Nice tidy build Ratch, it's good to do something outside your usual occasionally. Also like the use of a map as backdrop.

Things have been progressing well with my Spitfire. The wing was assembled after first removing the standard wingtips by scoring along the panel line repeatly with my craft knife, and painting the inside black to save bare plastic showing through the spent cartridge ejector slot.

In the photo you can also see the constructed wheel bays, made up from two plastic circles and two mini spars, and the wheel leg attachments all painted dull aluminium metalcote. 


Once the wing was together it was joined to the fuselage. I started by gluing the 'tail' of the wing and once that was cured worked forward, securing with tape and clamps. Even though in other online builds of this kit that I had read they had no problem with the wing attachment I was left with a step and a few gaps where it met the wingroot.

As this is a later war Mk V, I'll be leaving the two strengthening strips on each top surface. The clear wingtips have also been cemented on, and were a reasonable fit.The tail went on next, each tailplane made from two halves, then the one piece elevator followed by the small retaining part and rudder. All were slightly offset to add a little life. 


The basic airframe was soon all together and the joints filled and sanded. The only filler needed was at the wingroots and the rear of the wing underside join. On the following images the light grey painted areas are were done to check after they were filled and sanded. The radiator, oil cooler and carb intake all went on nicely, but the undernose part needed a little sanding to get a good fit.

The ailerons were also put on slightly offset. The model was washed with soapy water with an old toothbrush to remove dust and grease then rinsed, and painting will begin once dry.

Thanks for the comments guys.

Just a quick update on the armoured fuel tank cover. 

When first test fitted it looked like this as the top of the instrument panel was fouling it.


After carefully sanding down the top of the instrument panel and several test fits as I went I got a fit like this.

Note that this part should sit slightly proud of the rest of the fuselage as it represents the armour plating over the top of the tank.

In recent times there have been Spitfires flying in Malta schemes. About 5 years ago there was something called 'Merlins over Malta', when a Hurricane and Spitfire in malta markings were flown from the UK to Malta.


More recently (2016) the Heritage Hanger at Biggin Hill restored a Mk V in Malta markings aswell.

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