Wednesday, September 30, 2009


Today’s the day in 1975 that an army’s best friend - or deadliest enemy - the AH-64 Apache attack helicopter, made its first flight. The two-seater totes a belly-mounted chaingun, with Hellfire missiles and rocket pods carried under stub wings either side of the fuselage. It’s an all-hours helo, with nose-mounted night-vision sensors that allow the crew to literally see in the dark. The present production model is the AH-64D Longbow, with a saucer-like fire-control radar mounted above the main rotor disc.

Model fans are spoilt for choice and scale, with kits ranging from 1:144 to 1:48, and from highly complex for the experienced modeller to snap-fit offerings for those with less time or skill (or patience!).

Among the simplest Apache kits is the Revell 1:100 Easy Kit, presented in an alarmingly bright yellow-and-black camo scheme, with quad-packs of garish blue missiles. Decorative these may be, but the kit is easy enough to put together, and just about makes the cut as a ‘model’. Attention with satin-coat spray and knocking back those vivid colours with careful weathering will work wonders for this little helicopter.

Up the size scale is Italeri’s fine 1:48 scale Longbow Apache. There’s not a lot to say about this one - the parts fit well, and it looks great when completed, scaling out to some 312 mm (12.3 in) long. I just love aircraft that have lots of bits-and-pieces sticking out - and the AH-64 is utterly satisfying in that regard. Even so, there’s room in future for an enterprising manufacturer to open up the interior with detailed compartments, control runs, equipment boxes and storage bays. And of course, a nice add-on pack of maintenance techs and their equipment. Incidentally, Italeri has some more 1:48 helo kits on offer - the heavyweight Chinook, for example, would make an excellent pairing with the Apache.

The pictures show, top to bottom:

1 Kuwaiti AH-64D.

2 Two of the SMN crew (Mat Irvine and Mr J) reflected in a nose sensor at the UK’s premier Farnborough Air Show.

3 Revell 1:100 scale Easy Kit.

4 Italeri AH-64D box art.

Visit Italeri’s 1:48 scale helicopter range here.

See a range of AH-64 kits on offer here.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009



Recent news that the Russians have delayed the launch of their latest Mars probe made me think about a Mars Probe kit from that old-stager of the US model scene, Lindberg.

Though its glory days were many years ago, Lindberg never really went away, though it has certainly had its ups and downs. Currently, a very wide-ranging list includes kits from the original ‘Lindberg Line’, along with companies Lindberg acquired along the way, such as Hawk and IMC.

But if we go back to the 1950s, Lindberg was in at the dawn of the Space Age, with four kits of ‘factual futuristic’ rockets and spacecraft, based on designs from science-luminaries of the time, such as Wernher von Braun, Willy Ley and the space artist Chesley Bonestell. Four kits were issued in 1958: a wheel-shaped Space Station, a Moonship, and two versions of a winged Transport Rocket - one carrying a crewed delta-wing shuttlecraft, the other carrying a satellite.

These kits were reissued in 1970, this time as the Mars Probe series, and again in 1977 as the Star Probe series, though the satellite launcher was absent that time round.

Now, almost 40 years on, the satellite-carrying Mars Probe kit has been reissued. It’s a nice kit of a concept for a Mars-orbit relay satellite, with some parts moulded in clear plastic so you can see the internal parts. There’s a mystery bonus too - the instruction leaflet doesn’t mention it, but you also get a complete winged shuttlecraft from the ‘other’ kit, so that you can build two models if you want - just swap the upper stages over!

This raises an intriguing point - until now, I’d assumed the scale of the two kits to be the same. Lindberg says 1:200, (perhaps taken from the listing in my Creating Space book), but on reflection there would be a vast difference in size between a winged shuttlecraft with crew aboard, and a far smaller satellite - if they were to the same scale, the satellite would have the unlikely diameter of some 46 m (150 ft)! So a rethink of scales is necessary - the shuttle can remain at 1:200 scale, but a satellite scale of 1:32 seems more reasonable.

The pictures show, top to bottom:

1 Original kit from the 1950s.

2 New box 2009.

3 Winged shuttlecraft and satellite, with launcher.

4 Satellite atop launcher. It stands some 330 mm (13 in) high.

You can buy the Lindbergh Mars Probe here, and my Creating Space book here.

Visit Lindberg here.

Monday, September 28, 2009


Here’s good news for 1:700 scale ship model fans, a kit of the huge Colombo Express from Revell. The real thing is enormous, measuring some 335 m (1099 ft) long, with a carrying capacity of 104,400 tonnes, despite which she can still plough along at more than 45 km/h (28 mph). As ships go, she’s a newbie, having been launched only in April 2005.

The kit comes in 226 parts, and measures 479 mm (18.9 in) long, which makes it a fair size, even at 1:700 scale. Revell supplies a complete deckload of containers, but if you prefer your ship with cleaner lines, then you can leave them off - it’s up to you. They don’t come as individual containers though (phew!), instead being supplied as 23 stacked blocks, which you can mix and match as you wish. There are five other ships in Hapag-Lloyd’s ‘Express’ class, and Revell supplies decals for all of them.

A nice choice of kit, and a change from all the naval stuff out there. Talking of which, here’s a chance for diorama-makers to show an Express ship defending itself from pirate raiders: “This is the Captain speaking - aim the Vulcan cannon and blast the scum out of the water...”

The pictures show, top to bottom:

1 Colombo Express sailing from its home port of Hamburg earlier this year, courtesy Wolfgang Meinhart.

2 Finished model and unpainted test shots, courtesy Revell.

The Colombo Express is expected in model stores and online suppliers shortly; meantime Amazon has a range of Revell kits here.

Sunday, September 27, 2009


Here’s a bit of fun for your Sunday delectation - a ‘model’ Ferrari whipped together by a team from the Puma sportsgear supplier. Meantime, if you prefer your sports cars in kit form, Tamiya has a good-looking Ferrari 360 Modena (pronouced Mod-en-er btw, with a slight emphasis on the ‘Mod’) that assembles into a beautiful 1:24 scale replica.

Instead of traditional Ferrari red, this one comes moulded in the same yellow that forms the background to the prancing horse logo. Tamiya has hit the shade well but, as ever, the finished thing will look better with several thin coats of spray paint, which will provide both depth and opacity to the bodywork, especially the thinner parts.

Whether you like your models shiny or satin is up to you - personally I give all but the biggest models a waft-over with satin aerosol spray, which seems to make them look a little more realistic somehow. And you can always buff the more reflective parts with your fingertips, giving the best of both worlds.

Have a look at the Tamiya Modena here - this is the best price we could find at the moment.

Visit Puma here.

Saturday, September 26, 2009


Today, the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles is hosting a sale by RM Auctions that includes one of the most famous custom pickups of the 1960s, the wildly original Dodge Deora pickup truck. Designed by Harry Bradley and built by the Alexander Brothers, Mike and Larry, the Deora went public in 1965, when the magazine Car Model ran a competition to name it while still under construction. This was in the September issue, and by February 1966, the mag had a winner. This was a freckle-faced 13 year-old, David Hagedorn of Tacoma, who came up with the winning name, part-based on the Spanish for ‘gold’ (‘oro’), his efforts earning a pile of over 40 AMT kits and a stopwatch.

The Deora was based on the Dodge A100 pickup, a workaday vehicle that the Alexander Brothers transformed into a radical low-slung cousin, painted a pearlescent gold. The Deora kept the Chrysler Slant-6 engine and running gear, but the standard cab was chopped right down. Most radical was the entry system - instead of side doors, the whole front opened up, much like station-wagon tailgate in reverse. To this end an actual Ford tailgate assembly was used - customizers never worry where parts come from. The upper section could lift, the lower section hinged on the driver’s side to open.

The Alexander Brothers were consultants to AMT at the time, so a 1:25 scale kit of the new custom was a natural, and this arrived on hobbyshop shelves in mid-1966. With over 100 parts, the kit built up in typical AMT style, with engine and chassis details, two different sets of wheels, operating entry doors and an optional clear roof for the pickup bed. There were some oddities though - the lower section of the front door didn’t open sideways: it folded down instead, presumably to make 1:25 scale operation easier. Also oddball was the empty pickup bed - the real thing was full of equipment to keep the vehicle working, a cover being used to hide it all!

The kit has been reissued at least seven, possibly eight times, the most recent being in 2001. It’s always remained basically the same, though some versions included surf boards, others changed the wheels, another was sold as a ‘topless pickup’ with the cab roof removed. A major option was added with the Vantasy version that supplied a stylish camper top.

The Deora didn’t escape the diecast market either. When Mattel introduced Hot Wheels in 1968 with a 16-model lineup, one of them was the Deora. As with the vast majority of Hot Wheels, each model was issued in a variety of colours and details, this initial issue running to ten different colours; since then, there have been many others.

The later Deora 2 was designed by Nathan Proch specifically for Hot Wheels, of which there are at least 30 variations known. However, Deora 2 was a Hot Wheels original, and only after that was it built as the full-size show car at auction today. AMT does not currently have the Deora in its lineup, but you never know, a future reissue could see it back yet again.

The pictures show, top to bottom:
1 Six of the nine AMT Deora issues, all to 1:25 scale. At top left is the very first 1966 issue. At bottom right, the most recent, 2001 offering. The middle pair have no wording on the tops - it’s all on the sides. So you know, they are the Lil’ Covered Wagon (left) and the Custom Cabana (right).
2 Two assembled AMT kits: the pickup is an original issue from 1966. The flatbed cover’s woodgrain effect was supplied with the kit. The yellowy-gold colour was probably Testor or Pactra paint, not one of AMT’s own. The camper was built from the Vantasy kit.
3 Cover of the September 1965 Model Car announcing the ‘Name the Pickup’ competition. The drawing was likely a Harry Bradley original, or one based on his work. It accurately depicts the intended ‘gold’ colour.
4 Two Hot Wheels issues: at left a Deora, complete with two surfboards; at right the curvier Deora 2.

Visit today’s auction here.

There are plenty of Hot Wheels Deoras about. Try this eBay selection here.

Visit Mattel for Hot Wheels info here.

Friday, September 25, 2009


A year ago today, China’s space ambitions took a big step forward with a spacewalk, taken by one of the three crew aboard the Shenzhou 7 spacecraft. China had become the third humans-in-space country five years before in 2003, when Shenzhou 5 carried the first Chinese taikonaut, air force pilot Yang Liwei. Shenzhou 6 followed in 2005.

Because of the difficulty of translating Chinese into English, various terms for their astronauts have been proffered, but ‘taikonaut’ - derived from ‘taikong’, Chinese for ‘space’ - is the one that has ended up in general use.

Getting details of the rockets and craft is not easy: it’s rather like getting information on Soviet rocketry in the Cold War years. However, the Shenzhou (‘Magic Vessel’ or ‘Divine Craft’) spacecraft is available as a 1:72 scale kit from Trumpeter, which is appropriate, as it is China’s main model kit company.

Shenzhou’s launcher is based on the long-running Chang Zheng, or ‘Long March’ rocket. Dragon, the Hong-Kong based model company, has issued two versions of the Chang Zheng CZ-2 to 1:48 scale, the CZ-2E satellite launcher and the CZ-2F Shenzhou launcher. At some 1220 mm (48 in) tall, the CZ-2F version is only a bit shorter than Revell’s 1:96 scale Saturn V, making it a contender as one of the world’s largest 'static space model' kits.

If you want a Chang Zheng rocket in the more widespread 1:144 rocket scale, Glenn Johnson’s RealSpace Models in the US offers a decent resin kit, complete with decals.

The pictures show, top to bottom:
1 Trumpeter 1:72 scale Shenzhou spacecraft, mounted on an included planet Earth base, here painted with simulated cloud formations.
2 Dragon 1:48 scale CZ-2F launcher, compared with the RealSpace Models 1:144 scale version. Both come with base mounts.
2 RealSpace Models 1:144 scale CZ-2F resin kit box at left, with the built model in front. A 1:144 Airfix Space Shuttle at back gives an idea of the large scale of the Chinese launch system.

Visit RealSpace here, and Dragon here.

You can view the Trumpeter Shenzou at Hannants here.

Thursday, September 24, 2009


Richard Ira ‘Dick’ Bong was born this day in 1920. He became the top US ace of World War II, shooting down at least 40 enemy aircraft while serving in the USAAF. Bong is famed for his ‘forked-tailed devil’ (as enemy pilots called it) Lockheed P-38 Lightning, decorated with a portrait of his girl, Marge, whom he married in 1945. Sadly he was killed later that year, while taking off in a P-80 Shooting Star jet.

More than 10,000 Lightnings were built in all, though as ever from that period, there are few survivors today. However, you can see a restored P-38, painted accurately in Marge markings, at the Richard I Bong Veterans Historical Center in Superior, Wisconsin. As the pictures here show, they’ve made a very good job of the restoration.

We model fans are spoilt for choice where the P-38 is concerned - from plastic kits to diecast, there are dozens to choose from. And as the video shows, there are decent flying scale models available, too. This one is an electric-powered model from E-flite. It’s made to about 1:13 scale, which gives it a 1219 mm (48 in) wingspan and, as you can see from the video, it can be a fine performer despite tipping the scales at a hefty kilo-plus.

If you like tiny things, then any one of the Corgi shelf-top Nose-Art range makes an attractive decoration. Top marks to whoever dreamt up the idea, as the combo of miniature aircraft - the P-38 in the picture has a wingspan of just 109 mm (4.3 in) - and a hunk of simulated metal skin is an attractive pairing.

Pictures show, top to bottom:

1 Major Richard Bong sitting in a P-38.
2, 3 Restored P-38 at the Veterans Historical Center.
4 Corgi Nose Art P-38 ‘Marge’.

Visit E-flite here.

View Corgi Nose Art and other P-38 models here.

Visit the Richard I Bong Veterans Historical Center here.

Video courtesy ‘Larcers2007’

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


There’s a nice little sale going on at the Airfix online store.

One of the best bargains is the 189-part 1:72 scale kit of a Severn-Class lifeboat. It’s the largest UK lifeboat type in the RNLI (Royal National Lifeboat Institution), a charity organization that has saved nearly 140,000 lives during its 185-year history. The kit forms a good partner with other Airfix shipping, such as the Vosper MTB, and would look absolutely terrific starring in a rescue diorama. The Severn scales out to 236 mm (9.3 in).

Oops - as we write these details, the Severn seems to have gone out of stock, so you'd better be a bit sharpish with the other bargains down at Airfix. The one that looks good to us is a 1:72 scale Super Constellation propliner, one of the best-looking airliners ever made, and a model with a raft of conversion possibilities.

Visit Airfix here.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


Three years ago today, the twin-engine F-14 Tomcat finally left service in the US Navy, after being the prime air-superiority fighter since September 1974 - 32 years of continuous service. The Tomcat had no real carrier-based combat rivals and, with a top speed of Mach 2.3-plus, was the ‘Top Cat’ of navy aviation throughout its service life. The multi-missile (Phoenix, Sparrow and Sidewinder) weapon load, backed up with a Vulcan cannon, kept it ahead of the pack and - though it was no dogfighter - the swing-wings and ‘centre-pancake’ fuselage design meant that it had good turning ability when needed. In all, 712 Tomcats were built.

In the model word, manufacturers have churned out F-14s for three decades, and the ones on the market today are probably the best ever. Heading the pack seems to be the complex Hasegawa 1:48 kit, though the Italeri F-14A Tomcat-Plus to the same scale is cheaper, and a careful build can result in a very impressive model. If you want some fun, it’s back to Hasegawa, with its cute little Egg Plane kit - we love EPs at SMN, and think no shelf should be without one.

Kits are available in model stores and online.

View Hasegawa 1:48 F-14 here, Egg Plane here, and Italeri F-14 here.

Monday, September 21, 2009


It’s not often that the SMN crew is stopped in its tracks by something quite so drop-dead gorgeous, but Jean-Pierre Cousinet’s 1:3 scale (yes, one-third scale!) Spitfire brought us to a halt PDQ. The gleaming Spitfire Mk IX is something of a crusade for Frenchman Jean-Pierre, who is a passionate aviation fan, for eventually he would like to see his creation produced in a limited-production run.

J-P’s Spit has a wood airframe that’s covered in aviation-grade aluminium plate, with exact reproduction of skin panels, structure and internal parts. The detailed cockpit was put together using original drawings, and has an adjustable seat, illuminated gun sight, and rear-view mirror. Future developments could include armament compartments with ammunition boxes, belts and rounds; a working scale engine is another possibility.

Incidentally, J-P dedicated the Spitfire to the late Sir Ray Hanna, famed for being a founding member of the UK Red Arrows aerobatic team, and The Old Flying Machine Company, which keeps vintage warbirds in flying condition.

It looks terrific Jean-Pierre, and SMN wishes you bon chance with the project.

For those of us who want a biggish Spitfire but don’t have room for a 1:3 scale replica, Forces Of Valor offers a diecast 1:32 Mk IX Spit, complete with decent pilot figure. It’s a hefty beast, and some of the detailing is perhaps a little heavy, but it certainly looks impressive in its 356 mm (14 in) square box. Prices vary with supplier, but Amazon has reasonable deals on the FoV Spit.

Find out more at Jean-Pierre Cousinet’s site here.

Inspect the Forces of Valor Spitfire Mk IX here.

See The Old Flying Machine Company’s Mk IX Spitfire and P-51D Mustang here.

Video and pictures courtesy Jean-Pierre Cousinet, Pyperpote.

Sunday, September 20, 2009


We were all smiles in SMN Towers yesterday when sample copies of a colourful book series, completed for Japanese publisher Holp Shuppan, appeared in the arms of our friendly postie. The books are a series of four called Robozones, and pride of place goes to the Robot Warriors jacket that features a model of the ED-209 robot from the movie Robocop - proof (as if you needed it ) that us scale model fans can get anywhere.

ED-209 started life as a cheap-n-cheerful clip-together toy, one of the ‘Ultra Police’ from Kenner, now part of Hasbro. SMN’s Mr J (David Jefferis) who authored the books, cleaned up the mouldings, assembled the parts (just two - legs and body, with a cap-firing trigger behind the head) and added a little paint detailing. Now ED-209 was ready to star in a photographic session, followed by a mega-dose of David’s favourite computer tool, Adobe Photoshop.

Using Photoshop, ED-209’s photographic image was removed from its plain studio background, and laid instead onto a suitable night-time cityscape. With that completed, extra details could be added with brush tools, highlights sprayed in, and reflections incorporated - in fact, a junior version of the special effects used in so many movies.

The cover designs for the series were completed in-house by Holp Shuppan’s designers, using images supplied by David, and a very good job they made too.

Robocop toys and models are around in droves, though ED-209 figures are rather thin on the ground, and this particular one is no longer marketed. Amazon has a selection of models, which you can browse here. You can also have a look at English-language editions of the Robozones books here.

INCOMING - SMN will be giving away a FREE ebook soon, and ED-209 will feature in that, so watch out for the offer to appear.

Saturday, September 19, 2009


As promised back in August, here’s a closer look at the handsome book we found recently, The Art of Lionel Trains by Roger Carp. Published by Kalmbach in 2003, it seems to be out of print now, so has become something of a collector’s item. The hardback format is an unusual one, some 270 mm (10.6 in) square, which makes for spacious, panoramic spreads when the book is opened out.

Roger Carp has worked on Classic Toy Trains magazine and his take with this book is mostly on the glorious artwork that Lionel commissioned for its adverts and promo material, to show kids (and their parents) that an electric train was the most exciting and worthwhile gift of all. It was a tall order perhaps, but the art chosen for this book reveals the talented pool of artistic talent (mostly unsung commercial artists) that connected product with customer.

It’s a nostalgic tome that looks mostly at artwork, rather than photography, and this means that the last decade or two gets short measure. But no matter - those gorgeous ads will bring it all back for anyone of a certain age!

It’s a shame you can’t buy a new edition, but for anyone with an interest in model railroads, a used copy of The Art of Lionel Trains is well worth tracking down.

Amazon has a range of Kalmbach trains books, many at a good price here.

Kalmbach has a book publishing site, which you can visit here.

Friday, September 18, 2009


AFV model builders will be pleased with the effort that Tamiya has put in to this 1:35 scale British Matilda tank. In its World War II fighting days, the Matilda became known as the ‘Queen of the Desert’ for action in North Africa, though it was in service throughout the war. In all, 2987 Matildas were built, but the tank did have some weaknesses, including a complex suspension system that demanded heavy maintenance, as did the two diesel engines.

Tamiya’s model captures the look of the 25-tonne machine well, and is beautifully detailed, scaling out to a length of 174 mm (6.8 in). There are three nicely sculpted crewmen, a commander, loader and driver; the first two are figures, the driver is just a head and torso, poor chap. A useful little extra in the box is a pair of photo-leaflets featuring more than two dozen close-up shots of the real thing - a nice touch for us super-detail freaks.

The surface finish of the tank deserves a mention - the dimpled armour-plate has been captured very well indeed, and you can feel the texture when you run your fingertips across it. Well done, Tamiya.

The Tamiya 1:35 scale Matilda tank is available now from stores and online suppliers, including Amazon here.

Pictures courtesy Tamiya.

Thursday, September 17, 2009


There’s a special kind of science-fiction called ‘steampunk’. It’s a fantasy mixture of Victoriana meeting high-tech, with airships, mechanical computers, and all sorts of other bits and bobs thrown in. And rayguns are part and parcel of the steampunk genre, as the pictures of ‘Dr Grordbort’s Infallible Aether Oscillators’ above make clear.

Dr Grordbort’s ‘weapons’ are actually non-lethal life-size models, designed by Greg Broadmore, conceptual designer at Weta Workshops, a world-renowned movie special-effects outfit based in New Zealand. Weta has done effects for many top movies, from King Kong to Lord of the Rings. The video gives an idea of what Greg’s about - and in particular the translation from a visual design to a ‘real’ object by the superb skills of Weta’s modelmaking team.

For sci-fi fans, having one of Dr Grordbort’s deadly rayguns on home display is something to aim for, though prices are not cheap - you’re looking at $690 USD (£420 GBP) for the Manmelter (top raygun pic). Then again, these are highly collectible items produced in a run of just 500, and each one comes in a superb display case.

Here at SMN Towers, we’re having a go at our own steampunkish raygun - we’ll post details as the killer beast takes form.

Find out about Weta rayguns here.

Video via Wired.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


October 8-13 sees Japan’s mega-size Tokyo Hobby Show - officially known as the 49th All Japan Plamodel Hobby Show - at Chiba, across the bay from downtown Tokyo. It’s an event (two language poster editions shown above) where the Japanese hobby manufacturers display their tempting wares, and news is starting to sneak in of new reveals planned for the show.

We were talking Spitfires yesterday, so Tamiya’s brand-new 1:32 scale Mk IXc strikes a particularly interesting note. Due in November, this Spit will be utterly packed with mouthwatering detail, top of which will be the Merlin engine. And there’ll be no nasty decisions as to whether to hide it or not, as Tamiya are supplying a set of tiny magnets to hold the ultra-thin cowling panels in place, making them easily removable when it’s time to enjoy looking at that mighty Merlin. There will also be a choice of standard or clipped wings, fully-detailed cockpit, plus seated and standing pilot figures.

The UK-based Hobby Company has posted details of the kit, some of which we show above. By the way, the Hobby Company is located in Milton Keynes, not far from where the November HAMEX Model Expo is being held.

Visit the Plamodel Show here.

Visit the Hobby Company here.

Visit HAMEX here.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


Today is Battle of Britain Day. From July to September in 1940, the German Luftwaffe attacked shipping and ports in southern England, moving on to target RAF airfields and infrastructure. The Battle of Britain was a close-run thing - at one point the Royal Air Force had all its aircraft in the air, with no backups left at all. But after September 15, Hitler changed tactics, and historians generally agree it marked the turning of the tide in that air war.

The aircraft heroes of the Battle of Britain were the Hawker Hurricane - a Guernsey Airport Model Show 1:72 specimen with fuel truck is shown at top - and the Vickers-Supermarine Spitfire (pictures below). There are more Spitfire kits that you can shake a stick at, but the grandaddy of them all is surely the big old 1:24 scale offering from Airfix, dating back to the 1970s. It’s still a pretty good kit that offers a wealth of detail, even if the undercarriage legs can be a little weak at the knees. The Spitfire shown was made by Warren Osborne, and looks to have just about the right amount of weathering, giving it a hard-used daily combat look.

If you like the outdoors then maybe a radio-control Spit could be a buy. ParkZone’s neat ready-to-fly electric Spitfire MkIIb is a great way into RC, as it comes complete with all the bits and bobs you need. It’s not too twitchy in the air, enabling a relative beginner (even this reviewer) to do loops and rolls in fairly short order. Unusually, the pilot figure manages to look semi-human, even if he does come minus body and appendages.

Thanks to Warren Osborne for his Spitfire pictures. You can see more at the excellent Aircraft Resource Center here.

Amazon has the Airfix 1:24 scale Spitfire here, and the ParkZone RC Spitfire here.