MPM's 1/72
Fairey Battle Mk. I

By Chris Banyai-Riepl

History

The history of the Fairey Battle has been well covered in other articles here at Internet Modeler, including a profile feature.  Check these articles in the archives for an in-depth history of this famous but fairly unsung plane of World War Two.

The Kit

This kit follows on the heels of the Classic Airframes 1/48 kit and in looking at the MPM kit I can see that there was a lot of collaboration between the two.  Unfortunately this means that the problems with the Classic Airframes kit are also present in the MPM kit (something with the shape of the nose, if I remember right).  There is a fairly extensive article in a recent issue of Scale Aviation Modelling covering the problems of the Classic Airframes kit and those changes can be adapted to the MPM kit as well.

Errors aside, this is a well-produced kit with a full resin interior and a very nicely done injection canopy.  All the parts feature recessed panel lines and there is no flash present.  The cockpit is a jewel to behold and will take some time with a steady hand and a fine brush to do it justice.  Both the front and rear cockpit receive equal treatment, with separate floor and side panels.  The front cockpit gets an instrument panel and rear bulkhead along with a nicely detailed seat and control stick.  The rear office gets a two-piece seat, radios, and a machine gun that can be placed in the stowed or, with some work, the open position.

The wings have complete wheel well detailing made up from individual wall pieces and the one-piece lower wing will make alignment easy.  The tailplanes are one-piece and are in excellent alignment, while the wheels are split in half.  The final construction is very straightforward and it appears that with care you can build this kit with a minimal amount of putty.

The marking choices are all British and there is a total of four options, including a VC winner.  All are finished in the standard dark earth and dark green over black.  The decals are very well printed and are in perfect register.  They are a bit thicker than the traditional Propagteam-printed MPM decals, but they should settle down nicely.

Conclusion

It's been a long time since we've had a 1/72 Battle and while this kit may have some errors in the long run this kit will build up much easier than the ancient Airfix kit.  Out of the box I think this kit will look like a Battle, while those who wish to have a 100% accurate Battle can make one from this kit with only a little bit of work.


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