Sunday 30 January 2011

The Spitfire Project 1

The last time I built an Airfix Spitfire it had about 12 parts and more flash than George Cole. This little chap is a different beast. This is not a review, but my reaction to what has to be a quite quick project.
Things have changed somewhat: this is not the Airfix kit of my youth but a high quality Indian-made plastic kit up to the standard of the Parkside et-al products that railway modellers are familiar with. There are a couple of minor gripes, but only minor. The original was designed to be bought with pocket money in the morning, quick lunch, built and painted before tea, and hung from the ceiling before bed. This kit won't be that quick. And suspect that the target market has changed from under 12 to over 50.
Airfix Spitfire Before, as I remember, there was a spigot that came from the fuselage that the pilot sat on, now you get this (out of focus) assembly consisting of eight(!) parts. Took me over an hour to put it together and paint it. Eight bits and four paint colours. AND a transfer for the panel. there's even a firing button. Wow!
Airfix Spitfire My minor gripe is that there is a tiny bit of twist in both the fuselage and the wings. The only way to remedy was bond one end, let harden and work along to the other. Not really a problem and I'm being very picky. There is zero flash and everything generally fits very well. As I mentioned earlier I had to drive to Uckfield to get paints for the kit. While I was there my curiosity got the better of me and I looked to see how much the kit cost (£5.99). That's not bad methinks. Probably still in the range of pocket money. However there are eleven paint colours listed as required. That works out at for an initial purchase as £14.30...hmmm... I bought four that I couldn't cover from existing stock. Which would have still doubled the price. But then if this is what you do, then that's a capital expense and the next kit will use a lot of the same colours.

What this has underlined is an earlier comment about one-off projects. Plastic kit boys can jump around in subject, period and scale without a second thought. We railway-ers have to couple and match which demands and more strict and long-term approach. Which is better?

I did notice while browsing that there were at least four different Spitfires from Airfix in 1:72 alone, without all the other manufacturers and 1:48 etc. Tempting ain't it?

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