Eduard 1/48 Spitfire Mk.IIa ProfiPACK
The Supermarine Spitfire Mk.IIa was based on the earlier Mk.I and it was externally identical except for a small blister on the starboard nose covering the Coffman starter. The Mk.IIa was powered by the 1175 hp Merlin XII engine and was built exclusively in a new factory at Castle Bromwich. A total of 920 aircraft were produced. The first 750 planes retained the 'a' wing armament of 8 0.303 in. Browning machine guns. The final 170 Mk.IIs had the 'b' wing with 2 machine guns and 2 20mm cannon. It had a maximum speed of 362 mph, a rate of climb of 2,530 ft. per minute and a range of 395 miles.
This is the ProfiPACK boxing of the new Mk.IIa. It consists of 209 injection molded parts, molded in gray and clear on 6 sprues. It also includes rice paper masks and a photo etch fret containing 42 parts, some of which are pre painted. The surface detail of this kit is impressive. The fuselage features a mix of raised rivets and cowling fasteners while the wings have recessed rivets and panel lines. All of this surface detail is faithfully executed. The raised rivets on the fuselage in particular are spectacular and they will look wonderful under carefully applied paint and discreet weathering.
There are numerous parts for the spares box: you have a choice of 2 different propellers and spinners (De Havilland and Rotol), seat armor, 3 different cockpit access doors, etc. The cockpit is a detailed assembly that uses many of the PE parts. You can use a decal for the instrument panel or a 4 piece plastic and photo-etch "sandwich".
The PE upgrades also include a seat harness, rudder pedals, throttle quadrant, head armor, etc. The 2 decal sheets (there is a smaller one for air frame stencils) are comprehensive and the include 5 different decal options:
"PR-B", P7881, S/Ldr. Michael L. Robinson, CO of No. 609 Squadron, RAF Biggin Hill, Great Britain, April 1941. The plane was painted in type B camouflage in Dark Earth and Dark Green over Sky with a Sky fuselage band and spinner. The lower port wing was Night (black) and the Rotol spinner had a thin red band.
"PK-H", P8387, Sgt. Stanislaw Blok, No. 315 (Polish) Squadron, RAF Northolt, Great Britain, August 1941. This MK.IIa carried camouflage pattern type A in Dark Earth and Dark Green over Sky with a Sky fuselage band and Dehavilland spinner.
"UD-W", P8038, F/Lt. Brendan E.F. Finacune DFC, No. 452 Squadron RAAF, RAF Kenley, Great Britain, August 1941. This MK.IIa carried camouflage pattern type A in Dark Earth and Dark Green over Sky with a Sky fuselage band and Rotol spinner.
"DU-R", P8081, F/Lt. Tomáš Vybiral, No. 312 (Czechoslovak) Squadron, RAF Ayr, Great Britain, November1941. The plane was painted in the type A camouflage pattern in Ocean Grey and Dark Green over Medium Sea Grey with a Sky fuselage band and Dehavilland spinner.
"GW-E", P7840, No. 340 (Free French) Squadron, RAF Ayr, Great Britain, November1941. The plane was painted in the type B camouflage pattern in Ocean Grey and Dark Green over Medium Sea Grey with a Sky fuselage band and Rotol spinner.
The decals are very well printed, in register, and have accurate colors, and there is a separate sheet of stencils.
This is a superb kit. It's accurate and well detailed right out of the box, and of course if so inclined, you have Eduard's Brassin enhancements. I recommend this kit, and I would like to thank Eduard for providing the review sample.
Modeler's Datafile 3: The Supermarine Spitfire, Part 1: Merlin Powered, by Robert Humphries, SAM Publications, 2000
Spitfire in action, Aircraft No.39, by Jerry Scutts, Squadron/Signal Publications, 1980