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KIT REVIEW


Eduard Spitfire Mk. VIII ProfiPACK Edition
1:72 Scale

The legendary Supermarine Spitfire is an aircraft that needs no introduction.  Similarly, Eduard’s 1:72 scale family of Spitfire kits is also one of the best regarded of any of their injection-molded products over the last several years.  Recently, Eduard sent us a copy of their Spitfire Mk. VIII ProfiPACK edition in 1:72 scale.  Let’s take a look! 

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Before 1941, early marks of the Spitfire found themselves relatively evenly matched against Germany’s Bf 109.  Yet, the arrival of the Fw 190A precipitated a crisis for the British, as it significantly outclassed the Spitfire Mk. V.  Losses mounted to the point that Spitfires were held back from nearly all daylight RAF operations over mainland Europe.  The response featured a few new and improved variants such as the Mk. VII and Mk. VIII centered around the Merlin 60 or 70 series powerplants.  These airplanes evolved around the two-stage supercharged Merlin 61 engine which powered its first Spitfire in September 1941.  This engine and the follow-on Merlin 63s in 1943 provided immensely improved speed and climb performance especially between 20,000 and 40,000 feet where German opponents had seriously outclassed the Mk. V.

The first of these new versions ready for combat was the Mk. IX and it beat the Mk.VIII into production.  By this time, the majority of the Spitfires from the Mk. VIII on used only 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 manufacture and could be fitted with various armament options.  The D-type wing was specifically tailored for PR Spitfires (recce Spits with no armament and more gas).  In 1944, the E-type wing was introduced.  It was structurally a C- but the outboard .303 cal machine guns were deleted in favor of a mix-and-match configuration of .50 cal Browning M2s or 20 mm Hispano cannons for maximum offensive punch.

The introduction of the Mk. VIII allowed momentum in the air war to shift back towards the RAF allowing them to resume offensive Spitfire operations over Europe.  This variant served almost exclusively overseas in the Mediterranean theater with the RAF’s Desert Air Force and the China-Burma-India region with the USAAF in the Pacific, and the Royal Australian Air Force.  The Mk. VIII was the third most numerous Spitfire with 1,658 airframes produced by war’s end.

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Eduard’s Spitfire Mk. VIII ProfiPACK in 1:72 scale comes on five dark blue-gray sprues holding a total of 165 parts, though about 60 parts go unused in the Mk. VIII kit.  Likewise, nine of the 13 clear parts are used in this version.  One fret of mostly pre-painted photoetched metal parts containing 36 parts and one pre-cut self-adhesive vinyl mask set for the masking of the clear parts are also provided.  The instructions guide the build over some 30 steps.  The markings come on a single Cartograf-printed decal sheet for the following airplanes:   

Strengths:  Eduard’s line of 1:72 scale kits, such as their Grumman Hellcat and Bf 110, have garnered a stellar reputation and great following.  Their line of new tool 1:72 scale Spitfires, first released in 2016, is consistent with the excellent quality seen in Eduard’s other 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. 
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.  

This ProfiPACK edition adds a great deal (I’d say some critical features) to the base plastic kit.  The pre-painted photoetched parts are great and bring out the details of the instrument panel is ways that very few scale modelers could do on their own, especially in this scale.  The pre-painted belts are also quite impressive and well done, and the underwing radiator faces are beautifully represented, especially in 1:72 scale, as photoetched parts.  Builders everywhere can also appreciate the value in the masking set, too, which saves a lot of time and provides very precise edges and geometry for all the masking on the clear parts.

The markings options are all great, and the decals look to be very well printed.  In fact, each one of them is very inviting (practically inspiring) to the point that I think I will get a few of the Eduard Overtrees (70128X) of this kit to indeed do more than one of the schemes included in the kit.  I love the RAAF Grey Nurse scheme, but the natural metal USAAF airplane is, for me at least, equally appealing.

Weaknesses:  About the only critique I can think offer involves the fact that the mold seam on the engine exhaust stacks that extends across the exhaust port itself. You’ll want to eliminate that seam.

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Eduard’s Spitfire Mk. VIII is an excellent kit of this legendary aircraft, and you cannot go wrong with this model.  If you 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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** Click on the thumbnails below to view a larger image.**


 

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Just Released!

JET FIGHTERS
OF THE U. S. NAVY AND MARINE CORPS
PART 1: THE FIRST TEN YEARS
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Detail & Scale Special Edition Books

U. S. Navy and Marine Carrier-Based Aircraft of World War II
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Attack on Pearl Harbor, Japan Awakens a Sleeping Giant

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Colors & Markings Series



Colors & Markings of U. S. Navy
F-14 Tomcats,
Part 1: Atlantic
Coast Squadrons
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Colors & Markings of the F-102
Delta Dagger

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Colors & Markings of U. S. Navy
F-14 Tomcats,
Part 2: Pacific
Coast Squadrons

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