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Build Report: Airfix 1/48 Spitfire Mk. XII


The first time I built this kit I did it as a “what if” build, with a Volkes filter and RAAF markings. At the time, I was planning to follow up soon after with another build of the kit with historically accurate markings. I just didn’t realize it would take almost 4 years to do so. (Unfortunately I did not do a build report on it.)

This kit was the first of the “Hornby Spitfires”, being released fully under their helm. While the surface detail was more pronounced than their current work, the kit was a great improvement over the Mk. I and Mk. IX Spitfires released under the “old Airfix”.

The cockpit is nicely detailed, and apart from the need for some seatbelts, it looks good out of the box. I used an Ultracast seat, so I didn’t have to use photoetch belts. (And Ultracast seats just look great.)

Fit of the fuselage is very good. I used a bit of Mr. Surfacer here and there to fully cover the seams, but no more than on any top of the line kit, really. And the wings were the same way- good fit, and joined to the fuselage nicely. A little work will be needed at the aft part of the wing fuselage join, just as with any Spitfire kit.

Essentially, the assembly is a no drama build. (In fact, I actually like the engineering of this kit a bit more than some elements of their newer Spitfires, especially the way the landing gear is joined to the wheel wells.)

Paint options for this kit are a bit limited. Because the Mk. XII only equipped a few squadrons for a very brief period, your choices really come down to different aircraft codes and serial numbers. The decals are good, and they went down nicely with Solvaset to herd them along into the recessed panel lines. Various oils, chalks and fading/shading applications were used to weather the finish, and it was all sealed with Vallejo Satin Varnish.

This is really a great kit. You won’t find any drama with it- it just assembles nicely and looks great when completed. And it’s a bargain- it’s just $24.99 at the Airfix-US website, and you can probably find cheaper prices than that. I highly recommend it!