Airfix continue to release new molds faster than I can build them. I have made a start on their lovely 1:72 scale new tool Spitfire MK 22. Considered by many as the 'ultimate' Spitfire, the Mk 22 was almost the last of the RAF's Spitfires into service and one of the first RAF types postwar to feature a move from the early 1940s war-time camouflage schemes of Dark Green and Ocean Grey to a more US-style natural metal finish. Other major differences from more 'conventional' war-time Spitfires include the five-bladed prop, 'bubble' canopy ( you get two in the kit, one of which allows the canopy to be posed open), the 'cut-down' rear fuselage, re-designed wing and the armament of four 20mm cannon. The first squadron to equip with the type was No. 607 Sqn of the Royal Auxiliary Air Force - the RauxAF becoming the biggest user of the type - see the Paul Lucas feature in Model aircraft Monthly, April 2009 (Vol 8 issue 4)
This looks to be a lovely little kit. Personally I'm a big fan of the new look Airfix - they are at least releasing new kits on a regular basis, re-packaging if not re-tooling older ones, which makes them (along perhaps with Trumpeter, maybe Revell and Eduard..) the current standard bearers of the hobby! Valiant, Swordfish, 24 scale Mosquito, 48th scale Lynx (..there, got my argument in first in case you were about to start ...)
And while the fitment of the cockpit may be a little tricky, simply shave a little plastic off the 'shoulders' of the instrument panel, dry-fitting as you go. And neither have I seen any 'supposed' quality control issues with this lovely kit, see my part 4 on sprue C below..perfectly molded!
Of course there has been the usual spouting off on the forums, but at first view the detractors have very meagre pickings again - I've even read some comments on the placement of the ejector pin marks - which can merely be swiped off with some basic tools ! Personally I have little time for Airfix's critics - if they can't see that a good quality £5 'buildable' Spitfire or Hurricane or Me 109 or P-51 is not a good thing for the hobby then, well.... there were comments about the new tool Emil that conveyed the impression that the kit was virtually 'unbuildable' - comments that are frankly ridiculous and completely over the top. Got a problem with dihedral flattening out because the wing fit is pretty tight, then sand a little off the wing root, its not difficult! Funny too how the knockers (oo-errh!) and nit-pickers don't ever show any of their models - I suspect that their egos wouldn't stand it..