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DeAgostini 1/12 Spitfire Review

PostPosted: Wed Sep 18, 2013 5:53 pm
by Mark
DeAgostini 1/12 scale Supermarine Spitfire Mk Vb.
An independent review by Mark Wakelin based on the first five parts and information from promotional material.

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Model under construction. Photo courtesy of DeAgostini.

This is DeAgostini's latest offering. A massive 1/12 scale Spitfire Mk Vb.
This model is being sold via the ModelSpace on line shop only. It comes in monthly shipments, with four stages of construction in each pack. The packs just contain the parts. The instructions are a PDF download, and download instructions are provided by email.

The kit is based on the aircraft RS-T which was flown by Wing Commander Robert Standford Tuck. Wiki has a comprehensive entry about Robert Tuck, and the following is the summary of the Wiki entry.

Wing Commander Roland Robert Stanford Tuck DSO, DFC & Two Bars, AFC (1 July 1916 – 5 May 1987) was a British fighter pilot and test pilot. Tuck joined the RAF in 1935. Tuck first engaged in combat during the Battle of France, over Dunkirk, claiming his first victories. In September 1940 he was promoted to Squadron Leader and commanded a Hawker Hurricane squadron. In 1941-1942, Tuck participated in fighter sweeps over northern France. On 28 January 1942, Tuck was hit by anti-aircraft fire and forced landed in France and was taken prisoner. At the time of his capture, Tuck had claimed 29 enemy aircraft destroyed, two shared destroyed, six probably destroyed, six damaged and one shared damaged.

The full entry can be found at : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Stanford_Tuck

On to the model. The first thing that is apparent is the size of this model. It makes into a very large and very impressive display. The finished model is 76cm long, with a wing span of 93.5cm. Subscribers will get a lighting kit. The model can either be painted in authentic colours or left in its natural aluminium finish.

The model is constructed mainly from wood and metal. The basic frame work is made of laser cut ply which is then skinned with aluminium sheet. The wheels are rubber with cast metal hubs. The propeller, wheel wells, engine, etc. are made cast from metal (according to info from DeAgostini).

The first two stages

Stage 1 This contains the three prop blades and gears. The prop is a variable pitch prop with all three blades varying the pitch simultaneously on the model. The parts are well cast and will only need a bit of work with a file and sandpaper to prepare them for painting. You will probably want to polish them if you are opting for the natural ally finish.
You also get an etched brass cockpit instrument panel. This clearly has more details that need to be added, but the part supplied with well made.
The last part in this pack is a small sheet of the aluminium skin. This is thick enough to allow the model to be handled without too much risk of damaging the skin, but is easily shaped by hand.

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Part supplied with stage 1

Stage 2 This contains the first plywood parts of the frame. These are laser cut ply, and fit together well. You also get the first of the main wheels in pack two.
You also get some PVA wood glue.

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Parts supplied with issue 2

The Propeller

The rest of the prop is supplied in stages 3 and 4. The crown wheel (the large gear ring) connects all three blade together so that the work in unison. The parts are screwed together and work well. The gears are accurately cast.

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Variable pitch mechanism

The spinner comes in stage 4 and finished off the prop nicely. Each blade is 4" to 5" long and the completed prop gives a good impression of how large the finished model will be.

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Completed prop

The Wheel

This is simply made of two halves of the wheel hub and a tyre. The three parts fit together very well. I have not seen the instructions as yet, but DeAgostini's official on line build do not mention painting the hub before fitting the halves to the tyre. Personally I would paint these parts before fitting the tyre.

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Assembled wheel

The Frame
The frame is formed from flat sides and rectangular bulkheads (formers). This makes it easy to get a fuselage that is straight and true. The Spitfire has rounded sides which could not be represented with just the flat ply. From the various promotional photos and video, it appears that you are supplied with stringers (long square or rectangular planks) that are fitted along the sides of the frame. These can then be sanded to give the model a more accurate, rounded profile.
This is what the frame looks like at the end of stage 4.

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Assembled frame at issue 4

Summary

The plywood frame construction will make assembly of this model relatively easy. Far easier than if it had been made of oval frames and stringers. The aluminium skin parts seem like they are easy to work with and are thick enough to allow normal handling of the model. I haven't seen any of the engine parts, but I'm led to believe that the model has a fully detailed engine. The only inaccuracy I could see in the model is some extra wing bulges that I've never seen on any other Mk Vb model. However, these could easily be left off as I think they are separate parts that are simply fitted on top of the wing. This finished model will be fairly heavy, but should be quite robust. I think that this is going to turn into a large display piece that will be the centre of attention. As far as I know, this is the largest static, highly detailed model of a Spitfire available.

Definitely recommended for the lovers of Spitfires and large scale models.

Thanks to DeAgostini for the review samples.

Re: DeAgostini 1/12 Spitfire Review

PostPosted: Thu Sep 19, 2013 4:54 pm
by chill
Excellent review there Mark.

Does look a great kit, not for me mind, but clearly its going to be very popular.

:clap:

Re: DeAgostini 1/12 Spitfire Review

PostPosted: Mon Jan 20, 2014 4:54 pm
by Copramen
WoW :shock:
Excellent review and fantastic model. I'm a carguy but now considering how I can get this past the missus :lol:

Best Regards
Kris

Re: DeAgostini 1/12 Spitfire Review

PostPosted: Sun Feb 09, 2014 9:33 pm
by Mustang
It's a shame they didn't build it in brass, I would have gone for it then.

Re: DeAgostini 1/12 Spitfire Review

PostPosted: Sun Feb 09, 2014 10:32 pm
by chill
Mustang wrote:It's a shame they didn't build it in brass, I would have gone for it then.


Have you see the deag zero.?

Re: DeAgostini 1/12 Spitfire Review

PostPosted: Sun Feb 09, 2014 10:36 pm
by Mustang
chill wrote:
Mustang wrote:It's a shame they didn't build it in brass, I would have gone for it then.


Have you see the deag zero.?


Yes I've seen it but I can't find one so I'm going for the imcth version.

Re: DeAgostini 1/12 Spitfire Review

PostPosted: Mon Feb 10, 2014 5:55 am
by Experten
There is a Japanese seller on ebay that has been trying to sell one. The problem is that he is a wee bit over-optimistic as regards what it is worth. He keeps putting it up for $2400.00. I went back and forth with him, and he came down to 1900.00, which is about what I'll be into mine for, with the re-posting from you-all's side of the pond.

I can't imagine that the kit won't put in an appearance over here, but I also understand that parts availability is extremely limited, so perhaps not.

Anyway, if you have an extra 24 bills to spend, keep your eye on ebay USA.

Re: DeAgostini 1/12 Spitfire Review

PostPosted: Mon Feb 10, 2014 7:26 pm
by Mustang
Yep saw that one on eBay. I'll look at the imcth instead just saving the pennies. Only problem is I like all three of them.

Re: DeAgostini 1/12 Spitfire Review

PostPosted: Tue Mar 25, 2014 1:43 pm
by farrabass
When this kit was first advertised (the initial test run) I was quite keen to take on this subscription, I managed to find out at the time that it was only a test run and cancelled the subscription. When it reappeared again some time later I was again very tempted but decided to hold back and see how the build progressed!
Looking in on various build diaries it started to look like quite a nice build and some very nicely cast parts have been included with the build so far, one or two details of accuracy have been highlighted but they didn't seem too bad to me? no doubt there will be more vociferous opinions than mine.
THEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Has anyone seen the absolutely HIDEOUS pilots seat/BENCH ??
How can something like that be described as a scale replica?? its just a few bits of painted ply :laughing-rolling: and the seat belt :laughing-rolling: DISGUSTING!!
Of course if anyone wants to improve their build they a free to do so and no doubt someone will come up with a solution to make it look acceptable? but why? should the subscriber have to shell out more hard earned brass for blatantly inferior products?? there is also no guidance on how to approach a more realistic cockpit from the "professional" modeller leading the build.
Its just such a shame that a potentially wonderful model can be spoiled by such an important part of the aircraft! what's wrong with a detailed plastic or resin insert with all the relevant details included? even brass etch could have been provided on the lines of the Zero or Stuka? In my opinion the 1:12 kit can't compare in any way to even the Airfix 1:24 or any of Tamiya offerings in what ever scale you care to use. Don't even start to cost the Spitfire collection against a complete plastic kit, suffice to say you could have your kit and paints complete with glue brushes and a brand new airbrush and compressor and a couple of reference manuals and still have enough left for a steak dinner and a couple of pints!!!!!!!!!!! :evil:
Rant over, Steve.. :superlglue: