Aussie Eight - Spitfire Mk. VIII in Australian Service, Dual Combo

Published: October 28th, 2015     
Product Image
Box Art
Reviewed by: 
Greg Wise, IPMS# 44378
Scale: 1/48
Company: Eduard
Price: $125.00
Product / Stock #: 1188

History Brief

The Mk VIII was the follow-up of the Mk VII without the pressurized cabin and differed little from it's Mk VII sibling. All Mk VIII Spitfires were built solely by Supermarine. A few early production models had extended wingtips, but the majority had the standard version. There are three sub-variants; the LF Mk VIII for low altitude, the F Mk VIII for medium altitude and HF Mk VIII for high altitude. Each was powered respectively by the Merlin 66, Merlin 63 and Merlin 70 engines.

The Mk VIII served almost exclusively overseas in the Mediterranean, with both the Desert Air Force and the USAAF, in the Pacific with the Royal Australian Air Force and with the RAF in the China-Burma-India theater. After the Mk IX and Mk V, the Mk VIII was the third most numerous operational variant with 1,658 examples.

The Product

My sample arrived in a rather large sturdy box with nice cover art featuring a pair of Aussie eight Spitfires in flight. Inside I found 2 pairs: Scale kits of 2015 tool, color PE parts, painting mask, Brassin resin wheels and Cartograf decals. Also included: a book about Australian Spitfires Mk VIII (104 pages) in English by Peter Malone, an extensive color-plate manual, instruction booklet and a poster.

I will attempt to highlight a few of the finer features. The plastic is super accurate with incredible surface details. There are 207 parts in grey colored plastic and 17 parts in clear. Choice of an open or closed canopy, rear view mirror type, F, LF or HF wingtips and early or late rudder, positional ailerons, elevators, rudder, radiator doors and cockpit entry door. Nice cockpit with separately molded sidewalls. Merlin fishtail exhaust stacks. Color photo-etched instrument panel and seat belt/harness. Optional underwing bomb racks w/bombs. Choice of styrene or Brassin wheels. The Photo-etch is very comprehensive and includes all the right pieces for all the right places. The painting mask is equally as comprehensive they fit perfectly and include roundel cut outs. The Brassin resin wheels are phenomenal and easily cleaned up.

The book is really the icing on the cake. It tells the story of the plane and it's pilots many of whom who cut their teeth in the P-40. The poster is nice ( A58-517/UP-F/'Hava-Go-Jo!!', flown by Flying Officer Norm Turnbull, No.79 Squadron, Morotai, April 1945.) but not my first choice for this build. The color plate book is a true masterpiece and includes all 30 options. The massive decal set includes one pair Eduard stencils, one large sheet of Cartograf roundels/fin flashes, one super large Cartograf option sheet and a small Cartograf correction clip.

Decal Options

  • A58-484/CR-C, flown by Group Captain Clive Caldwell, CO No.80 Wing, Morotai, Netherlands East Indies, March 1945. RAAF Foliage Green and RAF Dark Earth over RAF Azure Blue.
  • A58-411/QY-P/'Betsy', flown by Flying Officer Peter Bullock, No.452 Squadron, Sattler Airstrip, Northern Territory, Australia, September 1944. Foliage Green and Dark Earth over Azure Blue.
  • A58-435/QY-T, flown by Flight Lieutenant William 'Ron' Cundy, No.452 Squadron, Sattler Airstrip, July 1944. Foliage Green over RAAF Sky Blue.
  • A58-477/ZP-Q, flown by Flying Officer Alf Glendinning, No.457 Squadron, Sattler Airstrip, November 1944. Foliage Green over Sky Blue.
  • A58-513/UP-X/'A.V.B. The 1st', flown by Squadron Leader Ron Susans, CO No.80 Wing, Morotai, June 1945. Foliage Green over Sky Blue.
  • A58-528/CRC, flown by Group Captain Clive Caldwell, CO No.80 Wing, Clark Field, Philippines, March 1945. Foliage Green over Sky Blue.
  • A58-379/ZF-Z, flown by Flight Lieutenant David Glaser, No.549 Squadron, Strauss Airstrip, Northern Territory, September 1944. Overall natural metal with black anti-glare strip.
  • A58-482/TS-V, flown by Squadron Leader David Glaser, CO No.548 Squadron, Darwin Civil Aerodrome, May 1945. Foliage Green and RAAF Dark Sea Grey over RAF Medium Sea Grey (or equivalent local greyish blue).
  • A58-429/QY-V/'Rima III', flown by Squadron Leader Lou Spence, CO No.452 Squadron, Sattler Airstrip, late 1944. Foliage Green over Sky Blue.
  • A58-457/ZP-Z/'Sweet As A Song', flown by Squadron Leader Tom Trimble, CO No.457 Squadron, Sattler Airstrip, late 1944. Foliage Green and Dark Earth over Azure Blue.
  • A58-516/QY-T, flown by Flight Lieutenant Des Cormack, No.452 Squadron, Morotai, December 1944. Foliage Green over Sky Blue.
  • A58-504/QY-R, flown by Flying Officer Rex Watson, No.452 Squadron, Balikpapan, Borneo, August 1945. Foliage Green over Sky Blue.
  • A58-609/ZP-F/'Grey Nurse', flown by Flight Lieutenant Bill Cable, No.457 Squadron, Morotai, February 1945. Foliage Green, RAF Dark Green and RAF Ocean Grey over Medium Sea Grey.
  • A58-651/UP-Z/'Judy III', flown by Squadron Leader Ken James, CO No.79
  • Squadron, Morotai, May 1945. Foliage Green, Dark Green and Ocean Grey over Medium Sea Grey.
  • A58-606/ZP-W/'Grey Nurse', flown by Squadron Leader Bruce Watson, CO No.457 Squadron, Sattler Airstrip, January 1945. Foliage Green, Dark Green, and Ocean Grey over Medium Sea Grey.
  • A58-606/ZP-W, flown by Squadron Leader Bruce Watson, CO No.457 Squadron, Labuan, Borneo, August 1945. Foliage Green, Dark Green and Ocean Grey over Medium Sea Grey. Note that - amongst a number of minor changes to A58-606's previous finish - the name 'Grey Nurse' is now missing.
  • A58-517/UP-F/'Hava-Go-Jo!!', flown by Flying Officer Norm Turnbull, No.79 Squadron, Morotai, April 1945. Ocean Grey and Dark Green over Medium Sea Grey with white tail surfaces and wing leading edges.
  • A58-602/RG-V/'Grey Nurse', flown by Wing Commander Bobby Gibbes, Wing Leader No.80 Wing, Sattler Airstrip, December 1944. Foliage Green, Dark Green and Ocean Grey over Medium Sea Grey.
  • JF630/FL-C, flown by Flying Officer Larry Cronin, No.81 Squadron, RAF, Palel, India, 6 March 1944. Dark Earth and RAF Middle Stone over Azure Blue.
  • A58-312/DL-R, flown by Flight Lieutenant D.M. Gossland, No.54 Squadron, Truscott Airstrip, Western Australia, July 1944. Dark Earth and Foliage Green over Azure Blue.
  • A58-430/QY-V, flown by Flying Officer Jack King, No.452 Squadron, Tarakan, Borneo, July 1945. Foliage Green over Sky Blue.
  • A58-518/CR-C, flown by Flying Officer Jack Pretty, No.452 Squadron, Morotai, December 1944. Foliage Green over Sky Blue.
  • A58-522/UP-A/'Hal-Far', flown by Flight Lieutenant Len Reid, No.79 Squadron, Morotai, March 1945. Dark Green, Foliage Green and Ocean Grey over Medium Sea Grey.
  • A58-631/ZP-V/'Grey Nurse', flown by Flight Lieutenant George Scrimgeour, No.457 Squadron, Labuan, Borneo, June 1945. Dark Green, Foliage Green and Ocean Grey over Medium Sea Grey.
  • A58-303 of No.1 APU, Laverton, Victoria, Australia, late 1944. Overall natural metal with white tail surfaces and wing leading edges.
  • A58-370/DL-W, No.54 Squadron, Darwin Civil Aerodrome, May 1945. RAAF Dark Earth and probably RAAF Light Earth over Azure Blue.
  • MT687/BQ-C, No.451 Squadron, Cuers airfield, France, September 1944. Dark Green and Ocean Grey over Medium Sea Grey.
  • A58-526/UP-L/'Avagrog', No.79 Squadron, Morotai, May 1945. Dark Green, Foliage Green and Ocean Grey over Medium Sea Grey.
  • A58-543/UP-?, flown by Warrant Officer Hubert Eccleston, No. 79 Squadron, Morotai, May 1945. Dark Green, Foliage Green and Ocean Grey over Medium Sea Grey with white tail surfaces and wing leading edges.
  • A58-419/ZP-Y/'Blondie', flown by Flying Officer Fred Inger, No.457 Squadron, Sattler Airstrip, October 1944. Foliage Green over Sky Blue.
  • A58-602/RG-V/'Grey Nurse', flown by Wing Commander Bobby Gibbes, CO No.80 Wing, Morotai, April 1945. Foliage Green, Dark Green and Ocean Grey over Medium Sea Grey.

The Build

The build is pretty straight forward and intuitive. I started by building up the cockpit sub-assembly. This involved adding photo-etch bits and was otherwise a simple process of basic modeling. The photo-etch offers several alternatives to the plastic parts including a 3 piece instrument panel. After painting the cockpit assembly, I successfully closed it up inside the fuselage halves without any problems.

I then moved on to building up the main landing gear bays and closing up the wings, again, all these parts fit perfectly. Next I added the wing, rudder, horizontal tail and elevators to the fuselage. I then built up and installed the exhaust stacks, this involves 4 pieces for each side. Then the two piece upper and two piece lower cowlings were attached. The radiators came next and they're made up of several parts each, but the results are worth the effort. The landing gear struts gets a little photo-etch face lift with drag-links replacements. I suggest adding the photo etch drag-links after gluing the strut to the door.

I finished up by adding all the rest of smaller plastic bits and photo-etch pieces before sending it to the paint shop. I chose to finish out this built as decal option #3 A58-435/QY-T, flown by Flight Lieutenant William 'Ron' Cundy, No.452 Squadron, Sattler Airstrip, July 1944. Foliage Green over RAAF Sky Blue.

The Bottom Line

Yes I only built one the other one will receive the 'model-show' treatment.

I would rate the whole package a 10 outta 10 on the Greg-o-Meter. Big thanks to IPMS USA and Eduard for the opportunity to present this offering.

  • Contents
    Contents
  • PE and Masks
    PE and Masks
  • Resin parts
    Resin parts
  • Decals
    Decals
  • Decals
    Decals
  • Booklet
    Booklet
  • Cockpit
    Cockpit
  • Gear
    Gear
  • Underside
    Underside
  • Finished model
    Finished model
  • Finished model
    Finished model
  • Finished model
    Finished model
  • Finished model
    Finished model
  • Finished model
    Finished model
  • Finished model
    Finished model

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