Now let’s move on to the most important ingredient of the kit, the plastic parts.
The main components are moulded in grey polystyrene. The surfaces have a very slight “orange peel” texture which should not be visible after painting. The parts breakdown is entirely traditional. Looking at the surface detail, there is no doubt that we’re looking at the modern kit. The panel lines and various edges have a slightly soft feeling to them.
In an effort of keeping the kit simple to build for the youngest audience, Airfix seems to have has carried over the utterly simplistic cockpit from their 1960’s design. The cockpit consists of floor, seat and the pilot figure, that’s all. There is no cockpit sidewall detail.
Another feature which may disappoint advanced modellers is the fact that undercarriage legs have been moulded integrally with the doors. While this is regrettable from the accuracy point of view, I think that such arrangement is necessary for a younger modeller – the undercarriage is the most fragile part of any aircraft model, and on 1/72 Spitfire that means fragile indeed.
On the bright side, the kit provides separate cannon barrels, separate exhausts and the wheels (4-spoke) are nice. Two different carburettor air intakes are provided as separate pieces, but I have my doubts about how they would fit under the nose.
The one-piece canopy is rather thick, but looks the part.
The propeller (of correct diameter, as opposed to the Hasegawa kit) looks good and is accompanied by two-piece spinner with backing plate. Note also separate radiator housings with open rear flaps.
Judging the finesse of the surface detail is much a matter of personal taste. In my opinion, Airfix got it quite convincing, albeit the detail is rather simplistic compared with the best of their competition – for example, DZUS fasteners, various hinges and bolts have all been omitted. Whether they should be included in this scale is open to discussion.
The simplification of detail is most evident at the lower wing centre, which featured many more panels than the kit shows.