Monday, February 6, 2012
Forces of Valor/Unimax U.K Spitfire Mk. IX
It is always an exciting day when a new 1/72 Spitfire hits the shelves. While the world is not exactly in need of another new Spitfire kit, I look forward to viewing the new plastic. Sadly, this was a day I should have stayed in bed.
I'm not exactly sure who Forces of Valor are, but I think they have something to do with wargaming or diecasts; though this plastic kit is one of the start of a new series of 1/72 World War Two fighters. Opening the box finds four bagged sprues of grey plastic, one clear sprue, a decal sheet with one option, and an instruction sheet. One feature that immediately catches the eye is the open engine compartment...but immediately after that things start to go wrong...
It is not often that I find myself looking at a new kit and wondering what the design team was smoking. In this case it must have been some damn good quality hallucinogens, because even on cursory inspection this thing bares only a slight resemblance to a Spitfire. The rear fuselage and rudder are...well not Spitfire like at all. Maybe they look better on mushrooms?
The underwing radiators are huge. The wing is supposed to be a "c" wing with the large cannon blisters, but then they give you bomb racks usually seen on later models. (And those racks are crude and way outboard of where they should be on the wings.) The bombs themselves look more like fishing sinkers.
The scribing is deep with some odd raised areas and rivets. The cockpit detail is a figment of someones imagination, and only includes a seat, floor, and instrument panel. The exposed engine's resemblance to a Merlin depends on how much you squint. Heck, you are probably better off just closing your eyes entirely.
The canopy is thick, misshapen...surprise, eh...and looks huge. Ugh. There are huge locating pins and holes on almost every part and it almost looks like a snap-tite, but the box says glue is necessary. The instruction sheet may be the highlight of the kit, and quite honestly I was so appalled by the plastic I couldn't bring myself to look at the decals.
This kit is bad. Actually beyond bad...aweful, so much so that I can't understand who the market for this kit is. Yes, it was cheap...under $10...but honestly Forces of Valor/Unimax should pay me for the pain and suffering I suffered by opening the box. Stay away!
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Jim, Thanks for taking the bullitt for us on this one.
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