Navy Griffon : 1/48th Hobbycraft Seafire XV
In the early 90s Hobbycraft released their Seafire Mk. XV. Hobbycraft kits were known to be short on detail but very reasonably priced. That description fits this kit well. On the flip side, you have to give Hobbycraft credit for releasing kit versions that no other injection mold manufacturer had done at the time.
Notable Kit Features:
Good overall shape
Engraved panel lines (although some are missing on the lower nose)
One thing that Canadian model makers appreciated about Hobbycraft was their attention to Canadian operated airplane types. Back then, no injection molded Seafire XV existed, so unless you wanted to try a kit-bash, you were left wanting. When this kit appeared at my local hobby store I snapped one up so I could add another RCN type to the growing collection.
The cockpit is very basic and parts provided are seemingly not in proportion
The canopy glass is one-piece, not the correct shape and far too thick
Sink marks exist at many of the pin-hold locator positions
Wing lacks any dihedral
The tail shape is incorrect for a Seafire XV (it should have the taller pointed tail)
Main gear legs have no detail
Prop spinner appears to be too pointed for a Seafire
Propeller blades appear to be too short and not the correct chord
Decals in early kit releases were poor (typically out of register and too bright)
Kit Additions / Modifications:
This kit was build Out-of-the-Box
I ended up building this kit in blissful ignorance (which is sometimes nice too) only discovering the inaccuracies years afterwards. So there is the goal set for the next Seafire build - to get it (more) correct. In hindsight, I should have added the lower nose panel lines as well as some fasteners on the forward fuselage, added the wing dihedral, replaced the rudder and propeller blades, blunted the spinner and sourced a new canopy.
The paint scheme for this aircraft was fairly basic, with a combination of Extra Dark Sea Gray FS36118 and Medium Sea Gray / Sky Gray FS36373. Light weathering was done on this kit, with a bit of a panel line wash. some chipping marks and exhaust staining.
The After-Build Report:
The 1/48th Hobbycraft Seafire XV kit isn't a horrible kit, it is just lacking in enough areas to hold off on recommending it. At the time this Hobbycraft kit was the only option for a Seafire Mk.XV (early) type. Since then the Special Hobby version was released in 2012, which should produce a much better model. Revell (AG) also released this (Special Hobby) kit in a re-box of its own around 2013 (although I have yet to come across either one of these kits in my travels).
Completed build #80 - April 2005 using the 1/48th scale Hobbycraft #1584 kit.
Feel free to comment or ask any questions - Keep on building, gain experience, challenge yourself if you like, but try not to stress yourself out over the build - it is supposed to be an enjoyable hobby after all - Cheers