In-Box Review
Spitfire Mk.IIa
Supermarine Spitfire Mk.IIa
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by: Andy Brazier [ BETHEYN ]

What more can be said of the Supermarine Spitfire that you don't already know.
One of the most iconic and beautiful aircraft of all time, the Spitfires fame started with the Battle of Britain, where it outfought the German aircraft and outshone Britain's main fighter of the day the Hawker Hurricane.

The Spitfire Mk.IIa was produced at the Castle Bromwich "shadow" factory rather than at the Supermarine works at Southampton, production of the mark II had just got into full swing when the Supermarine works were badly damaged by bombing. The mark II was powered by the more powerful Merlin XII giving 1,175 hp increasing speed by some 10 mph. This may seem only a modest gain - but the Merlin XII used a Glycol/water mixture under pressure for cooling rather than the unpressurised pure Glycol system used on earlier Merlins. The new system removed heat from the engine more efficiently and made possible the later jumps in engine power of later Merlins. Armament was the same as the Mk I with different IIA and IIB versions with machine guns and cannons respectively. Production was 750 mk IIA and 170 mk IIB.

Living on the south coast of England I witness a Spitfire about twice a week practising for airshows, and the unmistakable roar of the Merlin powered aircraft still stops me dead in my tracks to watch the Spitfire being hurled around the sky.

in the box
Packed in Revells trademark end opening box the Spitfire is built from around a hundred and thirty parts, split over three clear sprues and thirteen light grey sprues. The sprues are packed in threes and fours, and all the clear sprues are packed together in one bag. Not a fan of the clear sprues packaged together as scratches and parts falling off can occur.

Exterior detail for the kit is recessed panel and rivet lines for the fuselage and the wings. There is raised rivet detail for the engine cowling. The recessed lines are quite fine and not overdone on the most part.

The raised rivet detail is a little exaggerated, but light sanding should take it down a bit.

On the upper wing there is a bulge for the wheels, which is the wrong shape, it should be more kidney shaped then the elongated oval it already is.

The control surfaces are similarly over done with the rib detail, except for the wing ailerons which have rivet detail instead of ribbing, which is correct for the two schemes included in the box, which had metal control surfaces.

The flaps can be modelled down, with the inside faces having raised detail.

The interior for the cockpit is well detailed, with the instrument panel having recessed and raised areas for the instruments dials. A decal is supplied if you don't fancy painting this part.

The cockpit floor and the separate sidewalls are nicely detailed, with various parts to attach and the internal ribbing moulded onto the walls.

The seat has the framework for mounting it, and is fairly fragile looking. The seat however isn't brilliant with a strange looking back cushion and no harness supplied. A flare gun holder is attached to the bottom front of the seat, which if I have read right, shouldn't be installed. The armour plate behind the seat is also missing, but a simple plasticard part can be fashioned.

A separate cockpit door is supplied, which looks like it has a crowbar moulded onto the inside, and can be modelled open or closed. I do believe the crowbar was discontinued when the MkII was introduced.

The undercarriage is a bit hit and miss with the wheel wells not having a great deal of detail in them. The undercarriage legs are pretty good, but do lack brake lines.

The wheels are two piece, and are split down the middle of the tyres into two halves. The detail for the hubs is fairly good with the five spoke hub having raised bolts in the centre. The rear of the wheels are pretty devoid of detail.

The exhausts are moulded as two parts for each side, are split down the middle of exhausts, so any seam work is going to be a royal pain. The exhausts have been hollowed out though, so that's one good sign.

The machine guns for the Spitfire are non existent in the kit, with the wings just having the holes in the leading edges.

The various radiators and coolers have moulded on mesh detail, which with a dark wash should pop the detail out.

The prop is made up with separate blades with tabs which fit into holes on the back plate. The completed blade and spinner snap fits onto the propeller shaft.
The clear parts are thin, and clear. The canopy can be modelled open or closed. The front windscreen has a separate armoured glass front.

All the canopy parts have raised frames.

instructions, markings and decals
The instructions are printed on A4 size pages with the build printed in the black line drawings. The build takes place over 69 stages, is easy to follow with internal colours given along the way for Revells range of paints. Any decals that need to be added or optional parts are clearly marked.

The paint guide for the two aircraft that can be modelled out of the box are unfortunately also in black/grey/white drawings. All for views of the aircraft are given for painting and decaling.

The decals are printed in Italy, are thin, with little carrier film. The roundels for the lower and fuselage sides have separate inner red parts. Centring these is nearly always a pain in the proverbial backside.

The two schemes provided are
Supermarine Spitfire MkIIa, No 19 Squadron, Royal Air Force, Fowlmere, England, June 1941.
Supermarine Spitfire MkIIa, No 65 Squadron, Royal Air Force, Kirton-in-Lindsey, July, 1941.

additional info
Some of the accuracy issues for this kit are discussed in this forum thread here

Revell model kits are available from all good toy and model retailers. For details visit, @RevellGermany or

Please remember, when contacting retailers or manufacturers, to mention that you saw their products highlighted here - on AEROSCALE
Highs: Pretty well detailed kit of a much needed MkIIa.
Lows: Some accuracy issues. Not a fan of the separate inner red roundal on the decals.
Verdict: For the price you can't go far wrong with this kit. Detailed enough for the average modellor, with enough scope to super detail if your that way inclined.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:32
  Mfg. ID: 03986
  Suggested Retail: 22.99 (Hannants)
  Related Link: Spitfire Mk.IIa
  PUBLISHED: Jul 16, 2014
  NATIONALITY: United Kingdom

Our Thanks to Revell of Germany!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

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About Andy Brazier (betheyn)

I started modelling in the 70's with my Dad building Airfix aircraft kits. The memory of my Dad and I building and painting a Avro Lancaster on the kitchen table will always be with me. I then found a friend who enjoyed building models, and between us I think we built the entire range of 1/72 Airfi...

Copyright 2021 text by Andy Brazier [ BETHEYN ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of AeroScale. All rights reserved.


Hi Mal LOL! I'd hardly have bought my own plotter/cutter if I wasn't convinced of the advantages of masks in many instances, but I also can't deny that all but the simplest ones are more work to use than decals. @ Andy - I'm sure you won't mess up. @ Edgar - Many thanks for the info on the guns - I'm undoubtedly too used to seeing them poking out of the wings on the old Tamiya Mk. I in wartime markings. All the best Rowan
JUL 16, 2014 - 08:01 PM
This kit got people banned from several other fora, so passions are running high. While I would like to have seen this kit match the accuracy of Revell's JU-88, HE-111 and Arado float plane kits, let's not lose sight of the fact that it retails for 20 bucks. I could spend $50 on AM upgrades (many are in the works) and still be half the price of a Tamiya Spitfire.
JUL 21, 2014 - 09:17 AM
Hi Bill Only $20? You guys really are lucky in the States! - It's the equivalent of about twice that in most places over here... Still really good value for money though. All the best Rowan
JUL 21, 2014 - 09:22 AM
Don't forget 20% is VAT.
JUL 21, 2014 - 09:35 AM
When are we going to see the build review?? Doug
JUL 23, 2014 - 05:03 AM
My build is on the Bulldog site
JUL 23, 2014 - 06:11 PM
This could be one for me.....
JUL 24, 2014 - 02:42 AM
The price that Revell of Germany recommends in the UK is 22.99, so I would suggest the higher price is to capitalise on its desirability. At that price you don't really have much to complain about as regards bang for your buck.
JUL 24, 2014 - 03:44 AM
Hi, just got this kit today, after years away doing ship builds, and aside from the already noticed inaccuraces in the kit, the markings for P7665 YT-L state that it was from 65 Sqn, Kirton-in-Lindsey, July 1941. After doing some research, I learned that P7665 was shot down over St. Omer, France on 5th February 1941, leading to the capture of P/O Geoffrey Hill. Did the RAF just put the registration marks to another aircraft after this one was lost?
MAY 17, 2016 - 05:57 PM

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