Supermarine Spitfire Mk.VIII


Kit Manufacturer




Out of Box (OOB) or Modified

Rating (1-10 10=best)

Spitfire VIII



$3 (sale)


The Spitfire is the aircraft almost everyone associates with WWII Britain, or at the very least the battle of britain. Developed from a Schneider cup racing seaplane, the Spitfire/Seafire family continued to evolve throughout and after the second world war.

The Mk. 8 was a relative of the Mk. V, armed with two 20mm cannon and four .303 machine guns.

OK, I'm not a spitfire history expert. I do, however, like the lines of the airplane. Still, it had been years since I'd built one (the last one being a 1/32 scale Matchbox kit decades ago.) So when I saw this kit for sale for $3 (a "We're moving and we can't take all these kits with us" sort of situation) I snatched it up. I'd never built an Arii kit before, and I'd lately had the urge to build a Spit, so I figured, what's the harm.

What can I say. There's not a lot to the kit, but it's still very nicely detailed, and falls together almost as well as a Tamiya. Some of the internal detail is a bit weak, but you're not going to see much of it in that cramped cockpit. The instructions are all written in Japanese, and come with alternate color schemes (but no markings on the decal sheet for these schemes- similar to the F6F Hellcat, which I picked up after building this kit.) Still, this kit can be built quite well over a weekend.

That's not to say the kit is perfect. There are a few flaws - the "gull wing" seen at the back of Spitfires is nonexistant (something that seems to be missing from many kits, from reviews that keep popping up, so Arii's not the only one at fault here.) The underfuselage conformal tank is also the only place on the kit that needs some filler. Lastly, some of the panel lines do not match up - most noticably on the leading edge of the wing (gun ports.) Outside of those, though, I really cannot complain! The only "modification" I felt neccessary was to drill out the cannon barrels with the tip of my X-acto blade for that nice, hollow look.

I masked off the canopy with Parafilm-M, then used Gunze Sangyo flat white to get the white spinner and leading edges of the wing, and also to form a "primer" for the followup coat of PollyScale acrylic (the first time I'd used these.) It airbrushes quite well, caused no compatibility problems, and dries to a nice finish - which, while not "glossy" is very decal friendly! After the paint had dried, I did some weathering (exhaust and gun powder stains) with grey and black enamels. It's subtle - but there, and it works very well.

All in all, a nice little kit. Superdetailers may have a field day in this kit (other similar Arii kits - like the Hellcat, Corsair, and the like - run around $10-$12 retail, so spending another $10 on resin or photoetch won't break the bank.) And if you just want a nice, relaxing kit to build in between contest entries - this is one of "the ones" you'll want. Reccommended highly.