Improving the Spitfire Mk.XVI from Italeri

1/48 scale

by Claudio Kalicinski © Modeler Site

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As you probably already know, the Italeri kit is a reboxing of the Occidental kit. This kit was harshly criticized because it had some nose shape problems. I read in other web pages that the kit was fixed, but it wasn’t. However, this reboxing looks far better, with its stunning box art and large decal sheet, than the previous Occidental release.


My first impression was really good, the panel lines are nicely engraved, no flash, and only a couple sink marks on the upper surface of the wing (near the wing tip).


The cockpit does not have many details but they are enough to create a good looking interior, I like the instrument’s panel and its raised detail but a decal of separate instruments would be nice to complete the effect. However a decal is given for the seatbelts.

The spade grip on the control stick is square shaped, this is a mistake because they were round on all Spitfire variants.

The kit provides a beautifully clear (but a bit thick) separate canopy and windscreen, so you can display the canopy open.

Only clipped wings are provided and they represent the "C" wing, canon bulge inboard.

You have to remove the wing molded gun access doors and (the plastic in the wing interior for this panel is thinned down to aid cutting) replace them with the separate gun access doors, to make the "E" wing (canon bulge outboard). You also need to fill the four cartridge ejector holes because the "E" wing does not have the .303in guns and open the ejector hole for the canon. Also, the wing lacks the prominent bulges over the wheel wells.



The tires are nicely represented, even with the maker name on them (Dunlop). Wheel hubs are separate from the tires, and you have the choice between covered or three spoke wheel hubs. Anyway I never saw a picture of a Mk.XVI with covered wheel hubs.

The undercarriage legs have a separate part for the oleo link, but the instructions show that the oleo link should be on the back of the undercarriage leg. This is a mistake the link was placed on front of the leg.

The fuselage is nicely done but I think that the cowling’s bolts are oversized.

An upper section of the Merlin engine is provided on which you have to attach the exhausts. The disadvantage of this is that you have to attach the exhausts before painting the kit, therefore, it involves unnecessary masking when painting this area. By the way, the exhaust are not well represented, it would better go for an aftermarket replacement for these, (Ultracast from Canada make excellent exhaust for the late Merlin engines).

The propeller has separate blades, but the spinner has an extra wrong line, this one has to be filled or sanded.

The build

Fixing the nose profile

Because of the concern about the accuracy of the Occidental kit and being the Italeri model a reboxing of that kit I decided to compare it against the Spitfire scale drawings found in “The Supermarine Spitfire Part 1” by Robert Humphreys and published by SAM Publications.

Sadly, the problem was not fixed, the lower cowl is to deep near the spinner and the fuselage is too long by 1.5 mm.

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