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KIT REVIEW


Eduard Spitfire HF Mk. VIII Weekend Edition
1:72 Scale



The legendary Supermarine Spitfire took many forms and was produced over many variants, but the HF series were the highest-flying of all the Spitfires.  These were modified to function as a high-altitude interceptor.  Eduard’s Spitfires are the best in 1:72 scale, and recently, Eduard released a Weekend Edition of their HF Mk. VIII as part of their family of small-scale Spits.  Let’s see what we’ve got here.

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Before 1941, early versions of the Spitfire found themselves relatively evenly matched against the Bf 109.  Yet, when the Fw 190A came on the scene and significantly outclassed the Spitfire Mk. V, the Germans started to attain air superiority.  The response featured the development and introduction new and improved variants such as the Mk. VII and Mk. VIII centered around either the Merlin 60 or 70 series two-stage supercharged powerplants.  The need for a stopgap Spitfire was urgent.  The first of these new versions ready for combat was the Mk. IX in June 1942.

While a bit out of number order, the Mk. VIII followed the Mk. IX into service.  It was itself derived from the Mk. VII but featured an unpressurized cockpit, a stronger fuselage, and retractable tail wheel.  Mk. VIIIs were powered by either the Merlin 63, 66, or 70 powerplants.  Also, Spitfires from the Mk. VIII onward used three basic wing types; C, D, and E.  The C-type wing was known as the "universal wing" seen on most Spits after mid-1942.  This standardized wing design was simplified for faster manufacturing and could be fitted with various armament options.

The Spitfire HF Mk. VIII was optimized for high altitude flight, powered by the Merlin 70 and could reach 44,000 feet.  Many featured extended wingtips.  Up in the rarefied air, the HF found its prey – high flying German bombers and reconnaissance aircraft.  The HF served widely in the European theater, North Africa, and Asia.  The RAF was the primary operator of the type, but the USAAF was another operator of smaller numbers of HF Mk. VIIIs as well.

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Eduard's Spitfire HF Mk. VIII Weekend Edition kit in 1:72 scale comes on five dark blue-gray sprues holding a total of 165 parts, though about 70 parts go unused in the HF Mk. VIII kit.  Likewise, nine of the 13 clear parts are used in this version.  The markings come on a single Eduard-printed decal sheet for the following two airplanes:   

Strengths:  Eduard’s line of 1:72 scale kits, such as their Grumman Hellcat and Bf 110, have garnered a stellar reputation and a great following.  Their line of 1:72 scale Spitfires, first released in 2016, is consistent with the excellent quality seen in Eduard’s other modern 1:72 scale kits.  It’s an awesome kit simply on its own terms, and further, it strikes me as the very best of all the 1:72 scale injection-molded Spitfire Mk. VIIIs. 

As a Weekend Edition kit, this is a no-frills offering:  no detail parts, masking sets, or lots of markings options.  That said, what you’ve got in the box is no less impressive.  Parts breakdown is excellent – simple, straightforward, and logical.  Test fitting of the wings and fuselage revealed perfect fit.  Detail is exceptional, especially the exterior surfaces (just rich with detail, especially for a 1:72 scale kit).  Interior detail is also very nice, from the complete cockpit to the main gear bays.  There are also parts for a centerline drop tank and air-to-ground bombs.  

The two markings options are great, and they do a nice job of presenting two classic HF Mk. VIII schemes – camouflage and overall gray.  The decals look to be very well printed. 

Weaknesses:  Since this is a Weekend Edition kit, the instrument panel and shoulder harnesses/lap belts are provided as decals.  For someone who is spoiled by Eduard PE details, decals are not my preferred way to go, but for a Weekend Edition offering, they can work just fine.   

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Eduard’s Spitfire HF Mk. VIII is an excellent kit of this legendary aircraft, and you cannot go wrong with this model.  If you DO seek more detail, Eduard also produces a range of Brassin detail sets including a new cockpit and a gun/cannon bay detail set, resin wheels, the top cowling, a landing flaps set, and an exterior PE detail set for their 1:72 scale Spitfire.  However you choose to proceed, this kit represents a great combination of fit, detail, great markings, and overall allure that’s hard to beat.

Sincere thanks are owed to everyone at Eduard for the review sample.  You can visit them on the web at http://www.eduard.com and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/EduardCompany.

Haagen Klaus
Scale Modeling News & Reviews Editor
Detail & Scale

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