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Spitfire Mk VIII
Weekend Edition

Eduard, 1/48 scale

S u m m a r y :

Catalogue Number:

Eduard Kit No. 84139 - Spitfire Mk.VIII Weekend Edition

Scale:

1/48

Contents & Media:

207 parts in grey coloured plastic; 17 parts in clear; markings for two aircraft

Price:

US$29.95 plus postage, available online from Eduard

$US23.99 plus postage, available online from Squadron

Review Type:

First Look

Advantages:

Accurate fuselage and wing dimensions; very high level of detail; outstanding surface features including crisply recessed panels and subtle rivet lines where appropriate; brand new fuselage and wings depicting subtle changes to the Mk.VIII; optional HF pointed wing tips (but no decal option of an aircraft with these fitted); separate parts for closed and open canopy.

Disadvantages:

Instructions suggest instrument detail and seatbelts be provided by way of decals. Kit does include a moulded instrument panel that, with care, can be painted to represent the instrument panel.

Conclusion:

Eduard's Mk.IX kits are acknowledged to be among the best Spitfires in 1/48 on the market. The Spitfire Mk.VIII is excellent, and when presented as a Weekend Edition kit very affordable. As Brett commented when he first reviewed the ProfiPACK edition of this kit “Eduard has gone the whole nine yards with their brand new fuselage and wings depicting the unique attributes of this later variant”. In my mind, the choice for modellers is whether to opt for the marginally more expensive ProfiPACK version which, includes a colour photo-etched fret, self-adhesive die-cut masking sheet and extra decal options. This will be a matter of personal choice. Either way, the Weekend Edition is excellent value for money.


Reviewed by David Harmer


Eduard's 1/48 scale Spitfire VIII Weekend Edition is available online from Squadron.com
 

Background

 

The Spitfire Mk VIII was an adaptation of the Mk VII without the pressurised cabin.

 

 

The Mk VIII could carry a single "slipper" drop tank of 30, 90 or 170 gal capacity. With a 170 gal tank, the aeroplane could fly over 1,500 miles (2,400 km). When carrying the filled 90 or 175 gal tank the aircraft was largely restricted to straight and level flight. A maximum external bomb load of 1,000 pounds (1 × 500 lb (230 kg) bomb attached to the centre bomb-rack plus 2 × 250 lb (110 kg) bombs, one under each wing) could be carried.

 

 

The Mk VIII served in the Mediterranean, with both the Desert Air Force and the USAAF, in the Pacific, with the Royal Australian Air Force and with the RAF in the China-Burma-India theatre. After the Mk IX and Mk V, the Mk VIII was the third most numerous operational variant with 1,658 examples.*

 

 

Most importantly, particularly for our Australian readers, the Mk VIII is a stunning looking aircraft when finished in RAAF colours and sporting a huge shark’s mouth. I have included a few reference photos of Temora Aviation’s restored Mk VIII to prove this point. Happily, Eduard have included decals for a shark mouthed spitfire in this boxing.

 

 

FirstLook

 

Brett has already published a comprehensive two-part review of Eduard’s ProfiPACK Edition of the Mark VIII, which is recommended reading.

 

  • Eduard Kit No. 84139 - Spitfire Mk.VIII Weekend Edition by David Harmer: Image
  • Eduard Kit No. 84139 - Spitfire Mk.VIII Weekend Edition by David Harmer: Image
  • Eduard Kit No. 84139 - Spitfire Mk.VIII Weekend Edition by David Harmer: Image
  • Eduard Kit No. 84139 - Spitfire Mk.VIII Weekend Edition by David Harmer: Image
  • Eduard Kit No. 84139 - Spitfire Mk.VIII Weekend Edition by David Harmer: Image
  • Eduard Kit No. 84139 - Spitfire Mk.VIII Weekend Edition by David Harmer: Image
  • Eduard Kit No. 84139 - Spitfire Mk.VIII Weekend Edition by David Harmer: Image
  • Eduard Kit No. 84139 - Spitfire Mk.VIII Weekend Edition by David Harmer: Image
  • Eduard Kit No. 84139 - Spitfire Mk.VIII Weekend Edition by David Harmer: Image
  • Eduard Kit No. 84139 - Spitfire Mk.VIII Weekend Edition by David Harmer: Image
Thumbnail panels:
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The Weekend Edition lacks the colour photo-etched fret, self-adhesive die-cut masking sheet and extra decal options included in the ProfiPACK, posing a simple choice for modellers:

  • buy the well-appointed ProfiPACK edition at higher cost (approximately US$12), or

  • opt for the cheaper Weekend Edition.

For those who are happy masking canopies, and using instrument decals or adding their own painted detail to a cockpit, there is no question this kit represents real value for money. The Spitfire cockpit is small and a dark space at the best of times, the well printed instrument decal may work very well. As I am one of those modellers who will use a die cut mask whenever it is available, I would almost certainly opt for the ProfiPACK if forced to choose between the two. Your mileage may vary.

 

 

One word of caution, in the review sample, most of the clear parts had broken away from the sprue and were floating loose in the bag, at risk of scratching or worse. I’m not sure whether to attribute this to rough handling by Australia Post or the unusual clear sprue layout. Perhaps check the box after purchasing to make sure you don’t have any damaged clear parts.



Markings

Markings are provided for the following Mk VIIIs:

  • A58-631, No 457 Squadron, Morotai, Borneo, April 1945

  • JF470, 31st Fighter Group, Fano Air Base Italy, 1944-45

 

 

Colour call-outs in the instruction sheet are for the Mr Color range.

 

 

Conclusion

 

This excellent kit will build quickly to a faithful replica. The Weekend Edition makes Eduard’s Mk VIII available to those who don’t feel the need to add the extras included in the marginally more expensive ProfiPACK Edition.

* Background information adapted from Wikipedia articles.

Thanks to Eduard for the sample.


Review Text Copyright 2016 by David Harmer
Page Created 25 April, 2016
Last updated 25 April, 2016

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