duard’s 1:48 scale Spitfire HF Mk. VIII kit contains four blue-gray injection molded polystyrene sprues containing 206 parts. Approximately 66 of these parts go unused on the HF Mk. VIII. Panel lines, rivets, and fasteners are all delicately represented by engraved, recessed details. Seventeen clear parts are present on a single radial sprue, but only nine of them are used in this kit. The decals come on two sheets: one primary sheet and one consisting of stencils. The full-color instruction booklet organizes the build over ten pages. Decals and the markings guide cover two HF Mk. VIIIs:
- Spitfire HF Mk. VIII JF 587, flown by Lt. J. E. Gasson, No. 92 Squadron, Marcianise Airfield, Italy, early 1944
- Spitfire HF Mk. VIII JF 364, No. 32 Squadron, Foggia, Italy, early 1944
Strengths: Eduard’s Spitfires continue to be the best later model Spitfires in 1:48 scale since their Spitfire family was launched in 2013 (Tamiya has the market on the Spitfire Mk. I, of course). They are beautiful and virtually flawless, with delicately engraved surface details, great fit, and airtight engineering. This kit really does justice to the legendary Spitfire. Here, scale modelers will find a decent injection molded cockpit. The cockpit entry door can be displayed open or closed, just as with the canopy. Instrument panel details can be painted or represented by decals, and in the Weekend Edition of the kit, the seat’s shoulder harnesses and lap belts are also decals. Ailerons, elevators, rudders, and radiator flaps are all separate parts and are positionable. Exhaust stacks are hollowed out at their ends.
The instructions are well rendered, as usual, and are easy to follow. The decals appear to have been printed in-house by Eduard, and overall look quite good. The markings options are also both great choices, but the three-tone desert paint scheme is also really quite appealing, at least to me.
Weaknesses: I cannot offer any substantive critiques of the Weekend Edition this kit.