I'm a big Spitfire fan and I was really excited to review this new item from 3D-Kits. The decal sheet provides marking for four Spitfires. You get two identical sprues containing all the parts needed to convert two Spitfire Mk I's to Mk II standards. This set reminds me of the old Airform conversion set for 1/72 Spitfires from the mid-seventies, but much better. The parts are flash free and very nicely molded. A new seat, control column, Rotol propeller, blunt spinner and teardrop shaped Coffman starter fairing complete the conversion parts. This conversion is intended for Airfix (old and new tool), and Tamiya Spitfire kits. Although it may also fit the aging Hasegawa, Heller, and Revell kits as well (I don't have these kits handy and could not verify). The new parts are direct replacements for kit parts. However I found that the new seat will require a little adjustment to fit the Airfix kit to get an acceptable result. The decals options are as follows:
- 54 Squadron, Hornchurch, March 1940. Spitfire Mk I (retro fitted with Rotol prop unit only), Dk green/Dk earth upper with half/half night/white lower surfaces.
- 71 Eagle Squadron, August 1941. Spitfire Mk II, Scheme 1 Dk green/Dk earth upper with Sky lower surface. Scheme 2 Dk green/Ocean grey upper with Medium sea grey lower surface. (So two options for the same A/C).
- 19 Squadron, June 1941 Armagh. Spitfire Mk II, Dk green/Dk earth upper with Sky lower surface.
The decals are in perfect register and you get a sheet of corrected codes. All in all, enough to badge two complete Spitfires. For further information on the decals for this conversion refer to Fred Amos' review of the 3D-Kits 1/48 decal sheet (decals similar to the 1/72 ones in this set).
I have included pictures of the Coffman starter on the new tool Airfix Spitfire Mk I and the prop assembly on both new and old tool kits. Also there are comparison pictures of the seats and control columns (3D-kit parts on the right). These parts are easy to use and should pose no problems for the newbie to conversion work. I feel this set is really good value for the money and everything needed is in one package. If you do not intend to build more than one Spitfire Mk II why not share the set with a friend. Highly recommended.
I would like to thank 3D Kits for providing the conversion/decals for review and the IPMS/USA for allowing me the privilege of reviewing it.