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Special Hobby 1/48 scale Supermarine Seafire Mk.III

Kit:SH48128 // Scale:1/48 // Price:$38
Special Hobby
Open cockpit
Soft detail, especially on canopy; fit issues
Injection-molded, 89 parts, (26 photoetched metal, instrument panel film, precut masks)
Special Hobby’s latest release of the Supermarine Spitfire is the Seafire, the carrier version of the British stalwart. The kit includes optional clipped wings, a photoetched-metal instrument panel, posable control surfaces, and photoetched-metal seat belts. Markings are supplied for two different squadrons.

I chose the optional photoetched-metal instrument panel, a sandwich comprising photoetched metal, clear film, and the kit’s plastic panel. The plastic panel is sanded smooth to take the film and photoetched metal. I painted the inside with Tamiya cockpit interior, NATO black, and red brown, and applied a light wash of dark brown to the interior walls. After bending the photoetched-metal seat belts into shape, I painted and installed them.

With the interior panels, parts A29 and A3, added to the fuselage, the subassemblies from steps 2 and 3 didn’t fit. I sanded their edges to get them into the fuselage.

Choosing the clipped-wing version, I added those clear parts to the wingtips. You can either mask them off or paint over them. I found the ailerons (parts B3 and B4) were undersized and did not blend with the wing bottom. I drilled out the cannon barrels, then installed them.

Dry-fitting the fuselage to the wing, I found the center space was too narrow for the fuselage; sanding improved the fit. I applied the self-adhesive tape panels (parts MP1, MP2, and MP3) at this time, as well as several photoetched-metal parts, and left the tail hook up.

The soft, indistinct molding of the canopy made masking difficult. The windscreen did not fit to the fuselage and was marred by flash. I left the canopy open to display the interior. If you want it closed, you’ll find it doesn’t fit between the windscreen and rear clear section.

I painted the plane with Tamiya colors: dark green (XF-61), ocean gray (X2-82), and medium sea gray (XF-83), and cockpit interior (XF-71). The humps and underwing scoops made masking to paint invasion stripes tricky.

I used decals for the markings of Naval Air Squadron 885. The decals went down well on every surface but the bottom of the wing, where raised surfaces made for a difficult application.

With the fit issues and difficult painting, I can only recommend this kit to experienced modelers.

Note: A version of this review appeared in the March 2015 FineScale Modeler.


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