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.
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.
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.
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.