If you’ve built a weekend edition of an Eduard kit you would think that is as cheap as you can get an Eduard kit. Well then you haven’t seen an overtree. Eduard occasionally release an overtree kit for a limited time of their new items and it is only available through the Eduard Store online. The thing about an overtree kit is it only comes with the plastic pieces. It does not come with instructions, decals, masks, or photo etch. You can download the instructions online from the Profipack or weekend kit. You have to be careful and order the correct kit. Like me I chose to review a Bubbletop Mk.XVI with Late Wings. I should have ordered the Bubbletop with Early Wings. So note that you only get one set of wings and one fuselage. You need to know what you are going to build before you order it. More on that shortly.
This approach allows the modeler to pick and choose what aftermarket they want to add. It is a great way to add a kit for minimal money and you can use a zoom set if you want or not. You can buy aftermarket decals. Bottom line you get to buy what you want. I use the overtree kit as a way to make use of some extra decals that came in the dual Profipack release. I loved the instrument panels so I used the zoom set for my kit.
In the plain white cardboard box, this kit is no different than any of the other Eduard Spitfire kits. It is molded in light grey plastic with flawless detail and engraved panel lines and rivets. As someone who has built the Mk.VIII and Mk.IX kits this was not much different however there were changes and the new D, K and J Sprue. Sprue J is the clear sprue.
This is the first time that Eduard has offered a bubbletop Spitfire. So you know that the fuselage is going to be a new mold. What about the wings? Yup they are different from the Mk.IX E wing. Since I ordered the wrong wings in my overtree I checked to see if I could use some extra Mk.IX wings but the bulges and outer wing portions were different. So I robbed my Dual Combo kit for the wings. I’ll build the late wing version later.
The kit starts in the cockpit. I decided to use the separate Zoom Pre-painted photo etch set (8285-LEPT1) with my kit and most of that is in the cockpit but not all of it. The fit of the cockpit builds up like the other kits, flawlessly and perfect fitting. Since you get no extras, the photo etch set gives you seatbelts and shoulder harness. I opted to try the new Fabric Seatbelts (49 074). They worked well if they were a little orange for my taste. I’d have preferred a light tan but I can live with it. There is one part of the cockpit that I was annoyed with and that is the photo etch horizontal ‘shelf’ on the right side. The instructions are not as clear as I would have liked in the position of the shelf. I took a guess and was slightly off but not too noticeable. I painted my kit with some Polly-S British Interior Green then dry brushed and chipped.
Following the instructions and closing up the fuselage happens really fast. Don’t forget to add the tail wheel support before closing up. The fit of the fuselage was, wait for it, perfect. This is a hallmark of the Eduard Spitfire kits. Open up the hole for the cockpit vent on the right side fairing, part G58.
The wings are next. Don’t forget to open up the holes for the bomb racks if your model should have them, mine did. Some have complained about the build up of the wheel wells but I’ve found this to be an easy area to assemble and not an issue. The two upper wings are mated to the lower wing section and the fit is, need I say it? Perfect. I could have used the kit gun fairings but I had some Master gun fairings. I used the late version with rounded fairings (set # AM-48-103). They built up perfectly and fit just as perfectly.
Offering up the wings to the fuselage showed that it was also perfect. No filler was needed anywhere up to this time. The exhausts have to be added before you can add the upper cowling. The assembly is unique so take your time while assembling and only assemble them one side at a time. Once together it is easy to understand and attach to the fuselage. I elected to use the Barracuda Mk.XVI upper cowling (BR48192) as it was available and the fit of that was perfect too. I did use a little bit of Perfect Plastic Putty to smooth it in, but that was more about my cutting and sanding than the part. The horizontal tail surface is completely different than the Mk.IX. The new tail is an all metal affair as opposed to a fabric and dope.
I opted for a clipped wing aircraft to model. You get a choice of clear plastic or grey plastic tip. I opted for the clear wing and drilled small 1mm holes on the inside and added clear green and clear red where appropriate then added the tip with Tamiya Extra Thin Cement. Don’t forget to mask them before you prime. I added my bomb racks at this time.
The lower cowling was the first place that I needed a touch of filler. That was caused by my improper removal of the parts. So some filler was added and cleaned up. No big deal and the cowling was added to the belly. I added my landing gear at this time to make things easier to paint.
The rest of the build was unremarkable and before long it was time to paint. What to paint it? Since I was going to use the Dual Combo pack decals all I needed to do was choose. That was harder than I thought as there are some nice schemes.
Once the decision was made I used the Eduard canopy masks from the Profipack offering. I know it was a lazy way to do it, but since I had it why not use it? The masks fit perfectly as expected.
The canopy area was sprayed with Polly-S British Interior Green. Then the whole model received a coat of Alclad Grey Primer. As was expected there were no place to clean up. The leading edge of the wings were given a coat of Tamiya Flat Yellow. Then when dried, they were masked off with Tamiya tape and the belly was sprayed with Tamiya British Medium Grey. The belly was masked off and the upper Tamiya Dark Sea Grey was sprayed over the entire upper surface. Then I used the instruction sheet and enlarged the drawing to create my own painting masks using Tamiya Tape. I enlarged the side profile view to 125% and the plan view by 200%. I used my new Gyro-Cut cutting tool from the Nationals which worked out rather well. Then I sprayed Tamiya Dark Green.
A coat of Mr. Surfacer Supergloss was added and left to dry. That is when something happened that I can’t explain. All the paint had been allowed to dry for a few days but despite this the colors ‘ran’ on the fuselage. Like the Supergloss melted the paint. There was nothing to do but let it dry. Sand and repaint. Then use Future to get another gloss coat in prep for the decals.
Since the Overtree boxing didn’t have decals I opted to use the set included in the original Mk.XVI dual boxing. The decals performed flawlessly as expected. And were covered with Alclad Flat in preparation for weathering.
Weathering was my usual sequence. Washes along the panel lines and areas where I wanted it a little darker. Then it was time to fade the paint a little with some artist oils and turpenoid. This was followed up by chipping with a silver pencil and some sponge work. Some artist oil steaks were added to certain panels and streaked in the direction of airflow. The mud was added to the tires, the wing walk areas, and the areas sprayed by mud. The exhaust was next with Mig Pigments and then streaked with a damp wide brush vertically as is seen on the real thing. A very thin streaking of Tamiya Buff was the last thing to impart a dirty and faded look on the model. Front to back for the wings and top to bottom on the fuselage.
Then it was time to finish everything up by adding the small parts and the sliding canopy. A small brown hair antenna was added to the spine and the model was finished.
This new tooled fuselage and wing set is up to the standard of the original Mk.IXs. Again I was impressed with the fit of everything. The Overtree kits are the bare bones but if you have your own decals then this is a super deal. The extra PE parts are an awesome addition. I think that it is essential but your mileage may vary. The Master barrels were a very nice addition. I loved the Barracudacast Upper Cowling too. It fit perfectly and meant I didn’t have to clean up the seam. Which meant it didn’t take long to do the kit. Obviously I have the dual boxing and I really can’t wait to build another Spitfire from Eduard. That should say something. This is another winner from Eduard. They set the standard for not only Spitfires but for models overall. Build one of these kits and you will really enjoy the model from beginning to end.
Thanks to Eduard and IPMS/USA for the review model. You can only obtain yours at https://www.eduard.com . Remember these kits are a limited time only. It is the same for the special photo etch set. By the time you read this I’m sure the Overtrees will be sold out, but Eduard offers new Overtree kits as they feel the need, so watch the website and sign up for the newsletter to get yours. These kits are inexpensive and just a super kit.