iModeler Review – Airfix 1/48 Bristol Blenheim Mk.IF
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Airfix Bristol Blenheim Mk.IF
Kit No: A09186
Finally a new kit of this early-war fighter, with comprehensive interior detail and options for two different aircraft. Airfix’ surface detail is getting there, but could still be impoved.
Long awaited by many, Airfix just released their Blenheim Mk.IF in 1/48 scale. Up until now, the only option to get this plane in your collection was the Classic Airframes kit, and that one was not for the faint of the heart. A true multimedia kit, it offered injection molded plastic, resin, and even vacu-formed canopy parts – so it couldn’t hurt having some experience with short-run kits, and lots of patience.
What Do You Get?
The Airfix kit (No. A09186) comes in the usual Airfix-style box and contains
– Seven grey sprues
– One clear sprue
– Decal sheet
– Instruction booklet
– Full-color paint guide
As usual with Airfix, all sprues are packed into one large plastic bag, resulting, in my case, in a broken antenna mast. The clear parts are bagged separately, but one of the main canopy parts had almost come off already. Meh.
These guide you through the process in no less than 116 steps. And if this sounds like a lot, that’s because it is. I can understand Airfix trying to make things easy for the novice builder, but I feel this approach actually leads to cluttered and somewhat confusing instructions.
What is missing from the instructions is any mention of antenna wiring, so yo will have to consult your references.
As usual you get color call-outs in Humbrol only, and apart from the main camouflage scheme, no color names are provided.
Out of the box you get two options:
– 23 Squadron, RAF Wittering, February 1940, in Dark Green/Dark Earth with Black underside
– No. 54 Operational Training Unit, RAF Church Fenton, December 1940, Black over all
There is not a lot going on in regards to stencils, so decaling the plane will be a rather quick affair.
The grey plastic looks and feels like what we have come to expect from recent Airfix offerings – a tad softer than other manufacturers, and with a slight texture. Interestingly, however, the wing parts seem smoother and more polished than the fuselage. Panel lines are still a bit heavy, although not as overstated as they used to be with kits like the P-40 – and we even get a mix of raised and recessed riveting on the wings.
On the sprues you will find parts which are not used – basically a compliment of bombs and open bomb bay doors, hinting at the future release of a bomber version from Airfix.
The kit you see here suffers from a rather large short shot at the trailing edge of the right upper wing part. I don’t know if all kits will have that, uhm, feature, so you might want to check your kit.
7 additional images. Click to enlarge.
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Airfix Model Kit A04059Bistol Blenheim MK1F by Airfix