This interesting little conversion set is packed in a sturdy box and
includes just about everything you will need to make the Spitfire Mk.Vb
floatplane, except the Airfix kit for which the conversion is designed.
The conversion includes both resin and white metal parts, as well as a
decal sheet with decals to do all the Mk. Vb floatplanes and the one Mk.
The instructions are verbose and thorough, with ample illustrations
throughout. Following the instructions precisely will result in a no-brainer
in doing the conversion, as everything is mapped out very clearly. The
instructions mention using the Hasegawa Spitfire Mk. VIII/IX for the later
Mk. IX floatplane, but in comparing the Airfix Mk. V kit to the Hasegawa
IX kit, the rear fuselage of the Hasegawa kit is not as tall so some serious
fiddling would be needed to get it to fit right. A better choice would
be to use the Bilek/Italeri Mk. IX kit, which matches up much better to
The illustrations are very detailed in terms of what needs to go where.
For instance, to attach the float struts to the wing, you need to measure
out 29/32" from the centerline of the lower wing, then 1/4"
in from the leading edge. Drill a 3/32" hole at that point, then
3/8" further aft, drill a 1/16" hole. Use these for pins to
mount the struts to the wing. The rest of the instructions are as detailed,
making this a simple conversion to do.
The resin parts include the floats and struts, a new tail & rudder,
a spinner, stabilizers & elevators, replacement ailerons, exhaust
stubs, and chin intake. All of these parts are very crisply molded with
no visible air bubbles. All the parts are clearly marked starboard and
port for the elevators, ailerons, and exhaust stubs. Some minor cleanup
will be needed in removing the parts, but not much. The white metal parts
make up the beaching gear, the propeller blades, and the wing cannons.
The beaching gear will be a chore to put together, mainly because of the
large number of very small, fiddly bits. But once done it should really
decal sheet is basic and provides the yellow prototype "circle P"
and all the serial numbers for the Mk. Vb floatplanes and the single Mk.
IX floatplane. The serial number for a Spitfire Mk. I floatplane is also
included, although the struts are different than what’s given in the conversion
kit. Roundels and other detail markings are left to the builder to provide,
and any aftermarket or kit decal sheet should have plenty to work from.
If you’re interested in Spitfires, you’ve probably thought about making
a model of the floatplane versions. With this conversion set the job is
made infinitely easier than scratchbuilding one, and with the detailed
instructions and decal sheet, this kit will go together easily and quickly.
The white metal beaching gear means you won’t have to display it on water,
either, so it’s a winner all around.