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Those 1/24 Airfix Spitfires... just how bad are they?


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#1 Anders_Isaksson

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Posted 12 September 2017 - 11:45 AM

I have seen a few WIPs but I just can't make my mind up on how much work is involved in getting the kit to look good.
From what I have read it seems the nostalgic value tend to overshadow any basic pros and cons, making an objective assessment difficult.

The kit has recessed rivets and panel lines, right?
And a few gaps here and there is a challrnge I can live with.

#2 GrahamF

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Posted 12 September 2017 - 12:18 PM

Well unlike Trumpeter, Airfix had some drawings to work to, hence the correct look.

#3 Kelly

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Posted 12 September 2017 - 12:24 PM

Well, they are very old and show their age, but if you want an early Spit, it's the only game in town (I think?).

Nice, accurate shapes and recessed panels. No indented rivets.

It fits together well.

The only thing that is not up to scratch from my POV is the wheel wells have no walls, but if you can live with that, then its all good.

 

I like them ;)



#4 phantomdriver

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Posted 12 September 2017 - 12:38 PM

The boxed in wheel wells, although probably not accurate, is no problem for me, at least it negates that " see through " look, and adds a little structural rigidity to the wing...



#5 fightersweep

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Posted 12 September 2017 - 01:44 PM

Better still if you can pick up an early boxing, then the moulds are much crisper. However, I have found the transparencies better on the new releases than the original boxings. I have about 12 of these kits from various eras in the stash.

 

Bottom line is this. It's a kit that is nearly 50 years old. For it's time, it was an incredible kit. It's not up to current standards. However, with a little extra work, a stunning model can be built, especially with a little help from the small amount of aftermarket available.

 

Areas that need a little help are the wheel wells and cockpit along with the radiator which is not recessed as it should be. The surface detail is very nice and far more accurate than the newer Trumpeter kits. The Airfix kit also benefits from a wing spar as the large wings can sag a little. Also, the U/C oleos are moulded fully extended. This needs fixed to obtain the correct sit.

 

It's a fun kit to build, especially if you're happy to go the extra mile with the detail. It's also a good basis for conversions to other marks. 

 

Best regards;

Steve


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#6 wunwinglow

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Posted 12 September 2017 - 03:19 PM

Hey, I'm 59. I'm definitely not up to current standards either!!!
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My Father told me two things would happen as I got older.
I can't remember either of them....

 

FLYINGSTART_TITLE%20SMALL.JPG


#7 Anders_Isaksson

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Posted 12 September 2017 - 03:24 PM

Excellent info, many thanks to all who took the time to respond! :)

I have my eye on the USAAF Mk Vb Trop in the newish red box but I suppose this is a later pressing and may suffer from inferior clear parts.
I may have to exsmine the kit before buying, if I go ahead! :)

Thanks again!

#8 R Palimaka

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Posted 12 September 2017 - 03:30 PM

I agree with all that Steve said. Those old 1/24 Airfix kits are an interesting mixed package of amazing and disappointing, but they are an excellent foundation for a spectacular model. Remember, they are almost 50 years old.

 

I've been working on the 1/24 Airfix Mustang of the same vintage, and it's almost like a sophisticated vacuform. The shapes are accurate, but it's lacking in detail, which you have to provide. The biggest challenges are the wheel wells and landing gear, and correcting the dihedral. The gear has to be modified to a shorter, weight-bearing length, and the kit wheel wells are just gaping holes. At a minimum they need the wells boxed in, a wing spar to bring the dihedral up to where it should be, and some help in the cockpit. Much of that applies to the Spitfire too. There is precious little after market, although more is available for the Spitfire.

 

Because of the accurate shapes they look the part when built with care. In the case of the Mustang, although the Trumpeter is easier to build and has finer detail...much of that is inaccurate and the dimensions are off. It looks more like a 1/24 eggplane version of the Mustang.

 

They aren't just nostalgic artifacts. I think they are still worth the effort, and a lot of fun on the way to the finish.

 

Richard



#9 fightersweep

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Posted 12 September 2017 - 04:14 PM

 

I have my eye on the USAAF Mk Vb Trop in the newish red box but I suppose this is a later pressing and may suffer from inferior clear parts.
I may have to exsmine the kit before buying, if I go ahead! :)
 

 

Do have a look at the transparencies before you buy if you get the chance. It can be surprising. For example, I have an early 70s boxing of the 1/24 Bf-109E as well as the new "red box" offering. The transparencies in the red box are crystal clear and flawless. The transparencies in the original 70s release are terrible and quite flawed. I will say though that half an hour with sanding sticks and micro mesh brought the old transparencies up beautifully. Of course I lost all of the detail, but rebuilt the frames with plastic sheet (which is quite easy on the squarish 109 canopy....I have done the same with the Spit)



#10 Harold

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Posted 12 September 2017 - 08:46 PM

I started one years ago, I completely scratched the 'pit, undercarriage and corrected about everything I could. But ended up selling it on ebay because I was moving to another city and had to get rid of unnecessary items...(boo hoo)

The guy that bought it, completed it and entered it in some contest in his state. He took home some nice gold...


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#11 TonyT

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Posted 12 September 2017 - 10:40 PM

If it's down to transparencies, can you not simply order a new sprue from Airfix as I cannot see them still stocking 40 year old sprues.
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#12 Dpgsbody55

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 04:25 AM

I've read somewhere that the old Airfix Spitfire is going out of production.  Don't ask me where, as I can't remember.  I really hope it is to be replaced with a Typhoon standard model.  That aside, the kit is very old and all parts need a clean up and test fit.  It is very basic but the shape is excellent so it makes a great basis for some extra detail.  I used some extras such as RAF early seatbelts, Airscale instrument panel and Master B wing cannon fairings.  Everything else I added was scratch built or pilfered from my scap box, such as most of the engine from an Airfix 1/24 Hurricane.  One thing I would do differently if I were to do it again is to angle the main wheels a little further forward.  The real Mk V had the main wheels angled forward a further couple of inches to cure the nose over problem af the Mk I.  I enjoyed building mine, the build to which you'll find below.  Also, for some further inspiration for a Mk Vb, check out this site:

 

http://http://spitfi...re-cockpit.html

 

BTW, most of what you'll find in the later red box is pure 1970, but with some later bits to convert to Mk V.  The kit is well worth the effort of further embellishment, and I hope you enjoy your build.

 

 

Cheers,

Michael


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#13 Cees Broere

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 06:48 AM

And the PSL book is very nice too with a lot of detail and suggestions for conversions of the good old Airfix Spitfire I.



#14 fightersweep

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 07:08 AM

Hey, I'm 59. I'm definitely not up to current standards either!!!

 

I can sympathise! I'm three months older than the Airfix Spitfire, and I'm a bit worn now and probably due for replacement! Still, stick me in a new box and add some new decals and I scrub up ok!

 

Edit,,,I forgot to mention earlier...Grey Matter Figures do some really helpful resin parts such as a replacement seat, aerial mast and U/C selector quadrant. The seat is especially useful as it's far better than the kit part which is way over scale. 

 

Harold: So some guy wins gold with what was mostly your work? Bit of a cheek!!  :fight:  :)

 

Michael: I've often wondered just how much more mileage Airfix can get out of that 1/24 Spit. Just imagine if it was retired and replaced with a new kit up to the standards of the Typhoon? My dilemma would be how many I wouldn't buy!! I'd have the same problem if they re-did the 109E.


Edited by fightersweep, 13 September 2017 - 07:09 AM.

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#15 Harold

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 02:07 PM

I can sympathise! I'm three months older than the Airfix Spitfire, and I'm a bit worn now and probably due for replacement! Still, stick me in a new box and add some new decals and I scrub up ok!

 

Edit,,,I forgot to mention earlier...Grey Matter Figures do some really helpful resin parts such as a replacement seat, aerial mast and U/C selector quadrant. The seat is especially useful as it's far better than the kit part which is way over scale. 

 

Harold: So some guy wins gold with what was mostly your work? Bit of a cheek!!  :fight:  :)

 

Michael: I've often wondered just how much more mileage Airfix can get out of that 1/24 Spit. Just imagine if it was retired and replaced with a new kit up to the standards of the Typhoon? My dilemma would be how many I wouldn't buy!! I'd have the same problem if they re-did the 109E.

Yeah, I know ,but stuff like that happens I guess. I would never think to do that myself. But the guy did a really nice job on the paint/finish work...LOL






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