Spitfire Mk V Cockpit Set for Tamiya Kit
“So many Spitfires…so little time…” or at least that’s the way seems to die-hard modeling fans of Supermarine’s legendary fighter. Of all of the kits offered in 1/48th scale, Tamiya’s varied offerings of the Mk V are among the most popular with competitive and serious modelers. Excellent accuracy, detail, and general engineering of the kit put it in an elite class of quarter-scale Spitfires.
If Tamiya’s outstanding kit weren’t enough, those folks from Aires just had to take things a step further with their recent release of a cockpit set for Tamiya’s Mk V’s. Boy, do they deliver! Eight crisply-cast chunks of resin, a fret of top-notch photoetch, and a small sheet of acetate with instrument faces and gunsight glass to raise a high bar even higher.
Upon inspection of the parts against the Tamiya kit and reference photos of actual Mk V cockpits, basic proportions and detail level and location appear to be accurate, and provide markedly increased detail above that of the standard kit cockpit detail – believe it or not. Detail is crisp and true, as one would expect from Aires, and lends itself well to painting, washes, and drybrushing. The fret of PE includes harnesses, buckles, instrument levers and handles, with no single piece too tiny too handle with a decent set of tweezers.
Instructions are clear and accurate, and the set builds up quickly in a logical sequence, with the exception of the addition of the gunsight PE and acetate. Recommend those be left off until the cockpit module is assembled into the kit fuselage, as the assembly is very delicate and vulnerable during the installation process.
A bit of kit interior detail will need to be removed with a motor tool to accommodate the modular cockpit assembly. Basic dry-fit, shown below, suggests ample space to fit the Aires assembly into the Tamiya shell once the kit ribbing and boxes are ground flush with the interior fuselage surface. For sake of time, I just dry-fit the tub into the cockpit for the review.
Only notable oversight on this set was the omission of an optional-position pilot’s door on the left side of the cockpit. Aside from that, the set is absolutely stunning and suitable for modelers with limited resin and PE experience. Highly recommend!!
Thanks to Aires for the sample to review.