Supermarine Seafire Mk III
"Last Fights Over The Pacific"
S u m m a r y
Special Hobby Kit No. SH48052 - Supermarine Seafire Mk III "Last Fights Over The Pacific”
Contents and Media:
89 parts in grey coloured plastic, 26 parts on a photoetch sheet, instrument film & vinyl masking sheet; markings for three aircraft.
USD$24.58 plus shipping available online from Special Hobby
GBP£14.27 EU Price (£11.89 Export Price) plus shipping available online from Hannants
Accurate outline; crisply moulded plastic parts; nicely printed decal sheet for the PTO with minimal carrier film and perfect register.
||Multi piece canopy only option and no stencil decals despite instructions for them. Limited release kit so will need some test fitting to ensure a good fit.
||Special Hobby has released another repackaging of an earlier boxing with PTO options for the end of WWII. It appears to be accurate and easy to build kit of a colourful WWI subject.
Special Hobby's 1/48 scale Model 339-23 Buffalo will be available
online from Squadron
The Seafire naval fighter aircraft came into existence during WWII as a mere stopgap measure based on a standard Mk.V Spitfire airframe adapted by adding naval equipment. Three versions were produced, which were fitted with a RR Merlin engine, which were the Mk.I to Mk.III, followed later by Griffon-equipped Seafires Mk.15, 17, 45, 46 and 47.
The Seafire Mk.III was improved upon its predecessors, equipped with a folding wing, which certainly helped in storage room on board the British carriers. A low-altitude tuned Merlin 45 engine made the plane much faster at sea level than the then current land-based Spitfire Mk.XII was.
Eventually, the Mk.III Seafire version turned out to be the best WW2 naval fighter of British origin. In the end 1,220 Mk II Seafires were manufactured, which was about half of all Seafires ever constructed. During its service on aircraft carriers, the Seafire´s delicate and fragile undercarriage was a drawback, but once aloft, the fighter became a formidable enemy, which may have been witnessed even by Japanese pilots in the final stages of the war.
Special Hobby’s Seafire Mk. III “Last Fights over the Pacific” is a reissue of their earlier 2009 Mk. III kit. This kit contains 6 shiny, grey styrene sprues (3 large and 3 small) containing 89 parts, 1 containing slipper drop tanks which were very rarely used, 1 clear sprue, a sheet of photoetched brass parts and new decals.
The kit also includes a piece of clear film for the instrument faces and a small precut vinyl sheet depicting strengthening panels. A colour instruction booklet guides the build through eleven steps with a separate coloured painting and decaling guide with colour call outs from the Gunze range, both Aqueous and Mr. Color.
This sprue consists of the fuselage halves, the majority of cockpit details, rudder and the engine chin panel. Moulding is of a high quality, with small sprue gates and very little flash evident. Typical of the short run kits, there are no locating pins on any of the parts, so alignment is likely to challenge you in the build. Panel lines are finely and evenly recessed, with excellent finer details representing the Druze fittings around the engine panels and smaller access panels. The instrument panel is on this sprue. It has been moulded with raised detail, but the kit also offers the option of using a photoetched instrument panel with a clear film to sandwich with instrument details.
Sprue B offers you the wings. A one piece lower wing with a high degree of fine detail moulded into it. The upper wings sections are well detailed and again, the actual moulding displays very few flaws. Also on this sprue are the ailerons, which are moulded separately, giving you some artistic arrangement options. There are also interior wing spar sections that run beside the wheel bay. There are cut out sections into which you add a choice of cannon covers, although only the narrow ones are used for these aircraft.
This sprue contains in main, the undercarriage components, tail planes, underwing oil coolers and radiators as well as carburettor intakes. Also supplied are 4 different sets of covers for the cannon bays, 3 which you won’t use and can go into the spares box. Of note, is that the outer wheel halves are moulded such that you can use an option of different wheel hubs, spoked or the plain variety. Again the plain hubs go into the spares box.
A small sprue, holding the propeller, hub and spinner. Also on this sprue are the finely molded exhausts, which are not hollowed out. The tail hook insert and actual tail hook are on this sprue.
A small sprue consisting of the 2 wing tips only.
A set of 3 different slipper tanks makes up this sprue. Slipper tanks were rarely used by Seafires, so once more, the spare parts bank gets added to.
This is the clear sprue. The canopy is only supplied as a 3 part canopy but is well moulded and very clear. This may cause some issues to some modellers. Also on this sprue are a number of lights and internal mirrors.
There are 22 etched parts on the sheet. 2 are for the instrument panel, 10 make up the seat belt set, 2 strengthening plates for the rear fuselage and a few other incidental cockpit details.
Vinyl Cut sheet
The vinyl sheets is used to represent th strengthening ribs that run down the side of the Seafires and around the rear fuselage radio doors as well. These have enabled Special hobby to use the standard Mk V fuselage’s with retooling. I do have some reservations about how well they will adhere to the plastic and if they will ever lift, but I suppose the answer will be given when the kit is built.
Markings are provided for three airframes:
Seafire Mk. III PR 256, 894 Squadron, HMS INDEFATIGABLE, Sakishima Gunto Islands, April 1945, which was flown by Sub/Lt R.H. Reynolds, the pilot with the highest score achieved in a Seafire.
Seafire Mk. III PR 240, 880 Squadron, HMS IMPLACABLE, Truk Islands, June 1945
Seafire Mk. III NN 212, 887 Squadron, HMS INDEFATIGABLE, 15 August 1945 (final Fleet Air Arm combat sortie of WWII). This aircraft took part of the very last combat of WW2 that British naval fighter pilots fought in. On the morning of August 15, 1945, the morning of the Japanese surrender, Sub/Lt G.J.Murphy shot down two Zero fighters in this engagement.
The decal sheet has Pacific Theatre markings in a gloss finish that appear in excellent register, printed by AVIPRINT.
The disappointing aspect of this kit is that the kit instructions supply a detailed stencil application guide, of which there are many, yet fail to supply the decals in the kit, leaving the modeller having to source them with aftermarket decals. I
n checking my other Special Hobby Seafire II kit, the stencils are included, so were readily available to Special Hobby to add to the kit.
This kit adds to the possible Spitfire/Seafire variants that can be made and certainly looks as if it will build into an excellent model with a little TLC by the average modeller. A must for those interested in all things Pacific Theatre.
Thanks to MPM / Special Hobby for the
kits are available worldwide through hobby retailers
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Page Created 7 November, 2017
7 November, 2017
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