HISPANO Spitfire Mk.V 20mm Cannons

Published: October 17th, 2010     
Reviewed by: Stephen Bierce - IPMS# 35922
Scale: 1/72
Company: Master Model
Price: $4.99
Product / Stock #: AM-72003

I'll admit to being a little confused when I requested this assignment. I was expecting something else. Still, these are very welcome components as I have two 1/72nd scale Spitfire Mk.V's in my "to-build" pile.

The Spitfire was among the earliest production fighter aircraft to adopt a 20mm cannon as armament; with the "B" arrangement for the cannon being introduced in the Mk.I and Mk.II models that fought the Battle of Britain. While the success of the armament was spotty at that time, it became the standard on the Mk.Vb [the same guns also found their way into the initial production Sea Fury]. The earliest Mk.Vc Spitfires also used this pattern of gun barrels before going to the "beefier" barrels as standard (parts that Master also offers separately). So these parts are not only compatible with the Spitfire Vb, as advertised.

The brass parts are sturdy and very well machined. In fact, the fine detail on the parts was too sharp for my digital camera to readily pick up on, so my apologies for the inadequate visual evidence. The cannon barrel even has a depression at the muzzle hole so it can be blacked in for the illusion of hollowness.

I made a trial installation on the port wing of my Smer (ex-Heller) Spitfire Vc. My other Spitfire is an Italeri Vb-2c which, while a closer match, also meant more work to remove the existing molded-on cannon barrel and drill a hole to receive the Master parts. Whereas the Smer kit's cannon parts were already separate pieces, and all I had to do was clean the mounting hole out to make the Master barrel fit.

The Master cannon barrel parts are a simple and effective way to improve a "legacy" model kit. They look right, and are quite impressive when installed. Highly Recommended. Thanks to Stevens International and to IPMS/USA for my sample.

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