by: Luciano Satornetti [ ]
HistoryThe Seafire Mk.45 was a modification of the Spitfire Mk.21 and was only intended as a development and trials machine rather than a front line fighter. As such only fifty were completed by Vickers Armstrong Supermarine’s Castle Bromwich factory.
The Mk.45 was the first Seafire to feature the bigger new shape laminar flow wing which due to the Mk.45 never being intended for carrier borne use was not fitted with a folding capability. The Mk.45 also retained the high back spine of the Spitfire Mk.21 and broad chord fin, initially fitted with the Seafire Mk.17 rudder but late fitted with a broader chord rudder which it appears was retrofitted. Both rudders had the sting type arrester hook.
The Mk.45 only equipped eight second line trails / training units.
The KitThe parts arrive in a stout top opening box and are contained in several plastic sealed bags, one contains the fuselage halves and the wing, while two smaller bags contain the large parts in one and the smaller in another. The Kit consists of seventy cream coloured resin parts, two white metal under carriage legs and a vacform canopy (plus spare). The parts are nicely moulded and are quiet thin where required but a fair amount of clean up will be required along the edges of the fuselage join and the leading and trailing edges of the wings. Very fine panel lines and rivet detail are in evidence on the wings and fuselage and are not over done. On first inspection no pin holes could be seen but the fin trailing edge has a uneven edge which will require some careful clean up. There was also one part which has arrived broken but is only a small pin knocked off a larger part so will be no problem to fix. Choice of either three spoke or four spoke wheels are supplied but although mentioned in the instructions it does not state which should be used for which scheme.
The InstructionsThese consist of four double sided A4 sheets with the top sheet giving a history of the type and a parts break down on one side and then the first stages on the reverse side. The next two sheets continue the construction with the back of the third sheet being an advert for some of Planets other kits. The fourth sheet covers the two marking option, more of which later. The construction should be straight forward following the instructions as they are clear and concise, including an actual size view to help with the placement of the cockpit side wall parts. Colours are called out during construction and are listed by name only with no reference to any FS / BS or paint supplier colour system.
The MarkingsTwo marking options are provided both of which are for 771 Naval Air Squadron, 51st Miscellaneous Air Group based at RNAS Lee-on-Solent (HMS Daedalus) 1949.
The first is Seafire Mk.45 LA438, 560/LP, finished in the post war FAA scheme of Extra Dark Sea Grey and Sky to Pattern 2 with 1-3-5 proportional post war roundels with full FAA shore codes.
The second is Seafire Mk.45 LA489, 568/LP, finished as above, except for a white spinner.
Full stencil detail is provided.
On the second aircraft my references state that the spinner may have been white or sky.
In ConclusionThis I believe is a welcome addition for those that want to complete that Seafire line up or have a leaning towards Fleet Air Arm or naval aircraft in general. With careful clean up this kit should build into a very nice replica.
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