First Look Review
PRU Spitfires
Photo-reconnaissnce Spitfire PR Mk.1C (Mk.III), PR Mk.1G (Mk.VII), PR Mk.VI
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by: Rowan Baylis [ MERLIN ]

Pavla Models have released an updated conversion set for the Tamiya 1:48 Spitfire Mk.1 and Mk. V kits that should please Spitfire fans, containing as it does parts for a selection of early mark PRU aircraft.

The set comprises:

8 x dark grey resin parts
2 x vacuformed canopies
Decals for 3 x colour schemes

The casting throughout is basically perfect - not a bubble in sight, and the detail is very nice.

The parts provided are:

Camera blister
2 x blister tanks
Lower nose cowl
Bulged fuselage camera window
Oil cooler intake
Pilot's seat and armour

The vacuformed canopies feature flat and curved windscreens. The parts are quite clear, but both versions were slightly scuffed in the review sample, so polishing and a dip in Klear/Future will be needed. Overall, they aren't "Falcon" quality - but, to be fair to Pavla, I don't know of any other producer whose clear vacuformed parts are either! I have to say though, at first glance I'm a little wary of the shapes, but with all my references packed up ready to move home, I'll have to wait to check further. (Note: Falcon also include both styles of PRU canopies in their Spitfire Special set of vacuformed canopies).

Decals & Instructions
The small sheet is printed perfectly in register and looks to be very high quality, with markings for:

1. Spitfire PR Mk. 1C, R6903
2. Spitfire PR Mk. 1G, R7059
3. Spitfire PR Mk. VI, BR880

The painting guides double up as instructions for the conversions. An unusual arrangement, but it works fine, showing clearly which parts are needed for each aircraft featured. The only shame is that an extra canopy isn't included because sufficient resin parts (except for the seat) are provided to model all three.

Pavla's Spitfire PRU conversions are simple and an ideal introduction to using resin parts. The results will be eye catching among the massed ranks of conventional Spits. Recommended to anyone with a few builds under their belt looking to try something a little "different".

Please remember, when contacting retailers or manufacturers, to mention that you saw their products highlighted here - on AEROSCALE.
Highs: Excellent casting and decals.
Lows: Vacuformed canopies slightly scuffed, and I want to check the shape further.
Verdict: Pavla's PRU Spitfire conversions are simple and very attractive, and an ideal introduction to using aftermarket parts.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:48
  Mfg. ID: U 48-34
  Suggested Retail: 19.75
  PUBLISHED: Sep 19, 2009

Our Thanks to Pavla Models!
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 Rowan Baylis (Merlin)

I've been modelling for about 40 years, on and off. While I'm happy to build anything, my interests lie primarily in 1/48 scale aircraft. I mostly concentrate on WW2 subjects, although I'm also interested in WW1, Golden Age aviation and the early Jet Age - and have even been known to build the occas...

Copyright 2021 text by Rowan Baylis [ MERLIN ]. 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.


Recommended: Classic Warbirds no 10 Merlin PR Spitfires, Wojtek Matusiak, ISBN 0-9582296-2-7 Classic Warbirds no 11 Merlin PR Spitfires in Detail, Malcolm Laird & Wojtek Matusiak, ISBN 0-9582296-5-1
SEP 19, 2009 - 02:16 AM
Thanks Antoni I'll definitely check them out. I have to admit my attempt to buy fewer kits isn't going very well - I couldn't resist picking up a bargain-price Tamiya Spitfire Mk.1 at Modelzone to use this set on once I've got my breath back after moving! All the best Rowan
SEP 19, 2009 - 04:15 AM
Thanks for the review Rowan. I would have liked to see the instructions indicating which panel lines on the wings to fill (mostly just those associated with the machine guns I guess), as this is key to the clean appearance of the PR machines (obviously the armed PR Mk.I G excluded).
SEP 19, 2009 - 10:07 AM
Hi Ben Fair point. The painting instructions do actually show different panel details on the wings of each variant, but I'd prefer to consult further references such as Antoni lists above before deciding what's correct. All the best Rowan
SEP 19, 2009 - 10:28 AM

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