Spitfire MK VIII 1/48 scale
For years modelers dreamed of a well engineered 1/48 Spitfire model that was accurate and well detailed. Finally, Eduard answered those calls with a very nice kit, and have continued to entertain us with various versions of this iconic warbird showing those beautiful lines and detail they offered with their kit.
I now have to ask, how many of you actually realized, "This ain't it"?
This is the 2mm short Hasegawa kit, from the Hasegawa special edition "against Japan" MK VIII release !
Yes, it doesn't have that nice taper all the way down the spine toward the tail, however it does appear that Hasegawa managed to cheat a little by lengthening the spinner and maybe the tail (I actually like the look of the spinner) to give it that longer look over the MK V's and earlier versions.
Most the kits I build I can and would recommend, this is not one of those. I bought two of these and they were actually quite a bit different despite coming out of the same boxings .
The first kit simply did not fit together well at all. A lot of large gaps and miss-aligned parts. The plastic itself was brittle and hard, making it difficult to sand and re-scribe. This kit was such a problem that after weeks of getting nowhere with it, I junked it.
Enter Kit #2. With this kit, I immediately noticed a difference in the plastic, more like the Hasegawa quality I was used to. Although, it did suffer from some of the same fit issues, they were manageable. I can only guess that after decades of cranking these kits out, the molds for these kits are simply wore out. I have not idea about the differences with the plastic.
The one very nice area is the cockpit, I'll simply say, "its beautiful". Overall, it can be built into what I think looks like a nice MK VIII. However the differences can be noticed if you park it next to a more accurate represented kit such as the Eduard kit.
I used model master enamels that I had bought before the purge of their enamel line, and Aeromaster decals. The art work (Fargo Express) decal was beautifully done, however I found it was slightly oversized than it should be.
The gun barrels were drilled out and I also hollowed the ends of the kit exhaust stacks. Thin solder was used in the brake lines. The darken areas (from the removal of the RAF roundals) on the upper wing surface was achieved by using a very thin coat of Tamiya acrylic smoke.
Overall, I'm happy with the results despite the difficulties I experienced.
7 additional images. Click to enlarge.