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Eagles Call Dual Combo Sptfire Mk.V


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Eagles Call

 

Supermarine Spitfire Mk. V Dual Combo Limited Edition kit

1:48 Scale

Part no.11149

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As far as Spitfire history is concerned, I’m sure that everyone has heard of the Supermarine Spitfire and I’m not going to throw myself under the bus by getting something wrong!

The kit:

Right well apart from the Mk.1 has there been a spitfire that’s been kitted as much as the Mk. V? as far as I can remember just about everyone has produced one in 1/48 over the years the Mk. Va and b that is…………………

Not quite so common however is one of the more overseas Mk. V’s that being the Vc. The introduction of the C wing allowing for multiple weapons set ups. The only Vc’s in the scale are either the good Special Hobby Kit which I have built in the Seafire Guise twice, but it appears that it inherited some of the problems of Tamiya’s kit and has an issue with the wing position (so I’m told, I’m not expert enough to notice). And then there was one of the dying breaths of Airfix before the Hornby Buy-out which married their 70’s 80’s Mk. Vb kits to a new tooled C wing and some parts to apparently build a Seafire III (no catapult spools or strengtheners). The main problem however was a mix of 1970’s raised panel lines with hideously deep engraved lines and clunky Seafire bits. So, there was probably more Mk. Va kits out there than Vc and I still know of only one Va used in service! (Happy to be proved wrong).

Some time ago if you wanted a Mk VIII or Mk.IX you had a few choices all of which could have been problematic especially the Hasegawa kit which also found its way into a Revell box and was arguably the worst shape wise then; Eduard their Mk. VIII, IX and XVI series were released with both a C and E wing and this changed the landscape the kit was to be honest what 1/48 scale spitfire modellers were waiting for with fine recessed rivet detail and some real accuracy, the kits sold like hot cakes and were re-boxed by other companies and yeah I’ve even built a Mk.VIII and enjoyed the experience. Then last year the Mk. I and II were released and again here was a new kit that looks to be the standard for this kit (eclipsing the Tamiya kit) as Jens pointed out in the recent Spitfire group build there were the parts to build a Va or b in the kits available except for some of the later fuselage and windscreen options, although the windscreens were in the kit. In which case it was only a matter of time before a Vb came along I was however surprised to see a Mk. Vc announced as well so we have if you want to build it, I’m guessing you could just about build any of the Merlin engined fighters and fighter bombers (there are currently no windscreens or wings for PR variants and please please Eduard some Seafires?)

As is has been the case before the first of the new variant is here with a limited-edition kit and this is a cracker Eagle squadron and American pilots flying Spitfires, so what’s in the box?

Well first the box art is what we’ve come to expect from Eduard you know you have a quality product, a nice thick corrugated tray, and a single ply box lid. Inside we have parts to build two complete kits but only one Vb and one Vc (you can’t build 2xb’s or c’s).

 2 clear sprues 23 grey sprues 1 very large decal sheet with marking for 12 variants and 2 sheets for stencils, 2 frets of photo etch parts and a masking sheet for clear parts and finally a 40-page instruction booklet printed on good quality paper and a separate paper sheet for stencil placement.  

The Best way for me to do this will be for me to describe the parts as they come rather that in view of the instructions as a lot of the parts are common between the Vb and c. so to start with let’s have a look at the different sets of wings as these are the only different parts between both variants.

Sprue L and N, the wings

Surface details are very nicely done with restrained rivet detail and nicely engraved panel lines its here that the differences between the B and C wings are apparent with the B being covered in blisters in various places and just the two cannon fairings. Undercarriage bay details are nicely moulded into the top half of the wings and the flaps are moulded closed, I’m all for this as they were very seldom parked on the ground  with the flaps dropped Eduard do have photo etched flaps available if you want to model this particularly for the Malta aircraft if you want it parked on the deck of USS wasp with a couple of wedges to provide some lift on marking scheme F. This scheme brings me nicely to the C wing Sprue N this wing will allow you to build a plethora of variants from 2 cannon only (you need to cut the outer fairings away) 2 cannon 2 faring, and 4 cannon (scheme F again, this scheme also has 2 blisters to be added to the outer section of the wing, outer machine gun ports are blanked over but can be opened, and there are different shaped upper cannon blisters to be used however this release only call for one set to be used (Seafire?)

While I’m talking about assembly of the wing lets talk about the wheel bays a multi part assembly is used on this and the B and C wings call for different undercarriage attachment parts because there is a difference of angle between the B wing and the C wing, the C has more Rake angle on this is great attention to detail. The wheel bays are made up of 14 different parts, take your time with assembly here and you’ll be rewarded well. Another nice touch is the fitting of the Pitot pylon with a socket moulded into the top wing to provide plenty of support and this will also hold the pitot straight.

Outer machine guns are supplied to be inserted into the wings before assembly.

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Sprues C and D Fuselage halves,

Well this is a first for me 2 different types of fuselage half one with an early type deep windscreen and one with a later type shallow windscreen and there are two of these in the kit so you can build an early or late Mk.Vb as well as a C pay attention to the instructions when building the B winged aircraft as this will call out what type of fuselage you need (I did spot a difference between the marking scheme for sprue D and the fuselage called out but Eduard have got on to this and have published a PDF for those who got one of the earliest released and Eduard have told me that this is corrected in later issues of the kit (you can get the correct one in Pdf form on the Eduard website here. (Add web address) there are different parts for the leading-edge faring and gun camera there is a separate lower cowling allowing for a tropical filter. There is an Aboukir filter included so You will be able to build Gleeds IR-G. The Mk. IX had separate top cowls and a tricky exhaust arrangement with the top cowl spilt down the middle (allowing for different versions) this is not the case on this kit and the assembly is simplified as a result meaning the exhausts can be installed after painting. The shape to me looks good (its an early spitfire, can you get it wrong?) and the surface details look excellent to me, you are either a lover or hater of recessed rivets but to me they look about right, as is common the door is cut out so it can be posed open, and this looks to be about right. There are some sidewall details on the top section of the interior which looks excellent to my untrained eye.

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Other bits Sprue P, R, S and T

There are 2 of each of the following sprues

You’re going to have lots of spares as Eduard have done their usual of producing different wing and fuselage parts but then having common sprues for everything else, this does mean that for each kit lots of parts will be spare, but I would rather this than awkward inserts into wings and fuselages.

Sprue P

On this sprue there are the flying surfaces including wingtips, and tail parts, there are cues from the Mk. IX series of kits here such as the attachment of the elevators.  I don’t have the Mk I or II kits but I’m fairly sure most of the parts for these aircraft are on this sprue such as the spinner. There are six types of fuselage door attached, some with crowbar and some without. Radiator and Oil cooler parts are on here too. While on the radiator, this has to be probably a, the most detailed radiator assembly for a 1/48 spitfire including a pipe that was used to feed heat to the guns to stop them freezing thanks Jens. But with this detail comes complexity there are including the photo etch 13 parts that make up the radiator assembly, wow. The undercarriage parts are included on sprue P also. There are different wheel inserts for the 4 spoke or non-spoked wheels. There are also 2 different tailwheel assemblies, a 1-piece assembly and a 3-piece assembly with a separate tailwheel. Finally, the lower cowling and Supercharger intake are on here.

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Sprue R

This sprue has lots of the cockpit parts, the cockpit builds up in what has now become the traditional way to build up Spitfire cockpits with a lower section that builds up around the fuselage frames, which is then sandwiched between the fuselage sides the seat is on here two with the choice between fitting the flare rack or leaving it off, there is a plastic or photo etched seat armour plate included. The full compliment of cockpit parts is included including oxygen tanks, throttle, and undercarriage levers etc. Be warned only one of the lower parts of the cockpit is used on the Mk. Vb and c with the other part coming from Sprue S. there are 2 different instrument panels, one for the Photo etch and one for the moulded panel, which is very nicely done. Next there are the undercarriage bays and again this is a multipart assembly with a 13-part assembly starting with a mainspar, the parts for the Vb undercarriage mounts are here with a different sprue for the Vc then box sections. Finally, the outer wing machine guns and the cannon barrels for the Mk Vb, the Vc parts are on sprue T

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Sprue S

Here’s where things start to get a bit more complex, be careful as there are now different call outs for ailerons Exhausts, Oil coolers and propellers and spinners, exhausts just plug into the fuselage but there are small parts to be glued to the top of the exhausts check your references for the correct ones.

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Sprue T

On sprue T there are tropicalised parts Air filter etc, and Mk. Vc parts, cannon barrels, undercarriage doors undercarriage mounts remember the C wing had a different rake angle. Finally, yet another different oil cooler. On the do not use parts are some other goodies too, late style exhausts and a slipper tank, different cannon blisters (Seafire perhaps, Please Eduard?) the slipper will do nicely for an aircraft launched from USS wasp should you want to fit it I personally don’t like them but that’s me.

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Clear parts, Sprue A

3 different Windscreens, 5 different sliding hoods 5 different closed hoods, Gunsights, and clear wingtips for a clipped wing variant. Hoods contain the Perspex sliding panel and non-panelled, there is also a very early Mk. I canopy so be careful what one you use. If you want the canopy closed the rear canopy and the sliding canopy are joined making this easier, but you do need to cut part of the fuselage away to get this to fit properly, My guess is with the gubbins in the cockpit most people will have as much open as possible to show it all off the clear parts are crystal clear however on my sample one of the hoods had become detached from the sprue. On both ones but the clear parts are protected by a thicker plastic bag than the rest of the kit.  

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Photo etch

Two identical frets containing belts Cockpit parts instrument panel, radiator and oil cooler grills printing on these parts are spot on and being steel they will be easy to work with you can have a PE seat flare rack as well as cockpit armour probably more in line with the scale.

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Masks

Two sets of Kabuki tape masks for canopies and these look to be the standard Eduard fare and I’ve never had issues with them.

Decal sheets

There is a huge decal sheet for all of the markings, with decals, stars and bars, and codes/ serials, these look in perfect register, with good colour density and thickness, also on this sheet are decals for the instrument panel should you wish to use them. There are two sheets of stencil decals included also. There are 12 marking options all American pilots, either American pilots flying for RAF units or Eagle squadron or US units. These are

A.      Mk. Vb P/O Joseph Kelly 71 Sqd 1942

B.      Mk. Vb P/O Donald Blakeslee 401 Sqd 1942

C.      Mk. Vb P/O William Kelly 121 Sqd 1942

D.      MK Vb Lt. Roland Wooten 307th FS, 31st FG 1942

E.       Mk Vb Lt. Dominic Gentile 336th FS 4th FG 1942

F.       Mk. Vc Trop Sgt Claude Weaver, 185 Sqd 1942

G.      Mk Vb Trop Lt. Col. Fred Dean 31st FG 1943

H.      Mk. Vc Trop Capt. Jerome McCabe 5th FS 52nd FG 1943

I.         Mk. Vb Trop Maj. Robert Levine 4th FS 52nd FG 1943

J.        Mk. Vc Trop 307th FS 31st FG 1942

K.       Mk. Vc Trop Lt. George Loving 309th FS 31st FG 1943

L.       Mk. Vc Trop Lt. Richard Alexander 2nd FS 52nd FG 1944

The colour schemes are nice and varied and to be honest F would be on my list being a blue scheme but also would be K but I can’t build two Vc’s, so I’d be stuck, oh well

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Instructions

40 pages in the instruction book the first 5 of which are given over to the history of Eagle Squadrons and American pilot and USAAF units that flew Mk. V spitfires which gives a nice background to the type. Then the instructions are separated between the Mk. Vb first the then a complete set given over to the Mk. Vc the clears up lots of confusion on here. Pay attention to the particular aircraft you want to build because different parts are called out across the instruction sheets. The last pages are given over to Paint schemes and decal placement with a short history of the particular aircraft or pilot for that scheme. Colour call outs are made throughout the instructions and again Eduard get this right, not only the particular code (Gunze or Mission Models), but also the actual colour as well other manufacturers take note this is simple and quick to produce as more often than not, I don’t want to go out and but a complete range of paint to build a kit.

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Conclusion

When the Mk. I was announced a couple of years ago my first thought was “not another one” that said it was a brilliant kit.  I had the feeling a Mk. V wouldn’t be far behind, but I really didn’t expect this. It maybe another Spitfire but I honestly believe Eduard have raised the bar here with this Both this or the Standard Profipack or even Weekend boxes when they come along will give you comprehensive coverage of the type you want all in one box and then some. Surface detail I would say is excellent according to your taste. Particular options for building any particular aircraft are all in here so with that in mind I would not hesitate to buy and build this kit. The options in the box are all interesting options (I have my favourites) and the accuracy does some things that I have not seen done on other kits (undercarriage rake for example) so yes, this one has to rate as THE state-of-the-art Mk. V kit out there in 1:48 (in all scales to be honest) Scale. If I was to have one reservation and this really is a minor gripe, certain assemblies may be a bit too complex I’m not denying the detail offered is excellent but 13 parts to a radiator may be a bit daunting for some.

Verdict

Well, if you want a Spitfire Mk. Vb, c or if you are interested in US pilots in Spitfires or US Spitfire units you really can’t go wrong. If you just want to build a kit with great detail loads of options and fits well. Then buy this kit you really won’t be sorry. Most highly recommended.

Available from your Model shop of choice or direct from Eduard 

Our thanks to Eduard for the chance to review this kit

 

 

I also got one of the look cockpits from Eduard for this

And these are  a resin Instrument panel, prepainted including a clear laquer over the instrument faces, a direct fit on the aircraft along with a PE seat belt you really cant go wrong.

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Holy carp, that looks humongous, although having the Mk I/II kit I shouldn't be too surprised. They really have crossed every t and dotted every i.

In respect of the wing, the old Tamiya (and a few other) kits are flawed by misrepresenting the elliptical shape. The Spitfire has a continuous ellipse, tip to tip. In the case of the Tamiya kits the ellipse has an origin aligned with the wing root, but it should be at the fuselage centre-line. This gives the appearance of an elongated ellipse and from some angles the wing can look as if it has forward sweep. This is not a feature of any of the Eduard kits and from what I've seen Tamiya nailed it with the recent Mk I. I'm not sure the latter has been completely supplanted by the Eduard offerings, if nothing else the assembly is a lot simpler and I suspect there's a market for that amongst the shakers 'n bakers.  

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332 (Norwegian) Squadron operated the Spitfire Va as the first aircraft type they received when established in January 1942.  This was X4615 with R7127 following.  Other examples are AH-J/R7335, AH-O/P9563, AH-R/R7060, AH-Z/K9825 (originally built as a Mk. I), AH-K/W3114, AH-F/R7022.  In all the pics I can see in Spitfire Saga, vol. 1, the spinners are the short, pointy type.

So there was more than Douglas Bader's Va around:)

 

Jens

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32 minutes ago, mac1677 said:

I thought Spitfire's were the work of the Devil where you were concerned Darren? 😂

I'll be honest Chris if this was any other aircraft I'd be buying 10 

16 minutes ago, Paul Brown said:

Quite a bit of commonality with the Mk I which is basically of the same quality. Certainly kits of choice for the ultra hobbyist.

I dong think the ultra hobbyist thing is quite that with Eduard kits now, I'm really struggling to think of one in the last 5 of 6 years that I wouldn't be happy giving to a novice, the 109s, MiG 21s new tool 190s Spitfires etc going right back to the hellcats I think anybody could build and tbh the prices are sensible too. Yes there is PE but it is so good these days that anyone with a scalpel, tweezers and a bit of CA can cope. What impressed me was the completeness of the plastic with just about any b or c wing mk.v being doable there really is no need for aftermarket even if you bought a weekend boxing. 

 

32 minutes ago, Jens H. Brandal said:

332 (Norwegian) Squadron operated the Spitfire Va as the first aircraft type they received when established in January 1942.  This was X4615 with R7127 following.  Other examples are AH-J/R7335, AH-O/P9563, AH-R/R7060, AH-Z/K9825 (originally built as a Mk. I), AH-K/W3114, AH-F/R7022.  In all the pics I can see in Spitfire Saga, vol. 1, the spinners are the short, pointy type.

So there was more than Douglas Bader's Va around:)

 

Jens

Jens I refer you to my comment about being thrown under a bus!🤣 Baders Va was the only one I knew about.  too much spit knowledge in my head as it is without that too 

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The Va was a hedge against the cannon armament being unreliable - the Mk Ib cannon was prone to giving up the ghost. Once the cannon was sorted the Va fleet was quickly re-allocated to OTUs and unlucky Norwegian units. ;)  There were only 90 odd manufactured.

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9 hours ago, Paul Brown said:

The Va was a hedge against the cannon armament being unreliable - the Mk Ib cannon was prone to giving up the ghost. Once the cannon was sorted the Va fleet was quickly re-allocated to OTUs and unlucky Norwegian units. ;)  There were only 90 odd manufactured.

332 Sqn were luckier with their first mounts than 331 Sqn who got clapped out Hurricane Mk.Is:)

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1 hour ago, Col. said:

Think I'm having some form of psychological episode! :blink: Not only is @Grunhertzpraising a Spitfire kit but @BlackMike Modelshas liked the review :o 

Seriously though, a useful review of the kit Darren, thank you. If only they'd done a Seafire instead...

Ok firstly as a kit it is without doubt the most complete kit for options I've seen. as I said to Chris, any other aircraft I'd have bought 10. this in mind surpasses their MiG 21 kit, 

Secondly as for the seafire well I don't know but their are some late six pipe exhausts on the sprues and it wouldn't take much to produce another set of fuselage halves after all they've done it for this. However knowing the tie in with SH recently? Never say never mate 

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