Airfix A55100 Supermarine Spitfire Mk.1a

This is probably the most iconic military aircraft of all time. It’s the aircraft that was instrumental in bringing the air supremacy of the Luftwaffe to heel. Having already completed its German counterpart I’m looking forward to completing this model and displaying in a dog fight.

The Box

The box displays an illustrated dog fight on the front, Skill Rating on the side and painting / decal guide on the back.

This is another “starter set”.

In the Box

All contents present. Unfortunately two of the paints were a little thick and had obviously been drying out. This seems to be a theme with the small pots in the “starter sets”. I noticed some of them aren’t closed tight around the lid.

The detailing on the model is really good. However, there was more flash around some of the smaller parts following the injection moulding process.

Painting Begins

As is now my standard I painted all parts on the frame first. 90 (undercarriage) and 30 (green camo) were too thick and left brush streaks. I’d happily apply two or three coats of thinner paint rather than have to deal with thick paint. The paint dries within minutes too so you have to be careful with your painting. This is a key difference between the enamel and acrylic paints.

I used the brush that came with the set for most of it but had to use of my other brushes to complete as it had started to fray.

Again the paint shades don’t actually look anything like the illustration on the back of the box. I also painted the camo on the wings as it makes it easier to complete the camo on the fuselage once assembled.

I chose landing gear down which is why one set of landing gear remains unpainted.

To get the perfectly straight line for painting the black wing I used some masking tape.

Assembly

First stop the inner cockpit. Unfortunately the pilot doesn’t fit very well. In the end I didn’t glue him in for fear the cockpit wouldn’t fit properly into the fuselage.

As the cockpit will be sealed I applied the instruments decal.

Inner cockpit with dials decal

Next on the list is the nose cone. The design allows a free moving propeller however, I decided to fix with glue.

Fuselage, propeller and cockpit assembled. The fit wasn’t great. I had to widen every single hole for the small pegs to fit properly. Then when the the cockpit was inserted the two sides didn’t fit well and had to be compressed using a small g-clamp. Even then there was a small gap as you can see from the pictures.

However, the propeller design is good so was easy to install a spinning propeller rather than fix it.

Next the wings. These fit together really well. Only a little clamping was needed.

Now forward and rear wings attached. All slotted into place fairly snug. The glass for the cockpit didn’t fit and had to be trimmed.

Airfix-A55100-Image14

Under carriage assembled the build is complete. Wheels and struts fit really well, no trimming necessary for any of the fittings. Assembly complete!

Final Touch Ups and Camouflage

Finally I completed the camouflage painting and touched up scrapes that occurred during build.

Decals

Decals were simple to apply with nothing fiddly.

Final Thoughts

A great model with fantastic factory quality. Assembly was let down by an ill fitting cockpit I couldn’t rectify when assembling the two sides the fuselage. This lead to an ill fitting canopy. However, all other parts fit together really well and the detail is fantastic.

This will be the first and last starter kit I purchase simply because the paints that come with it are inferior.

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