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  1. 1:32 Supermarine Spitfire Mk.XVIe (E-wing) Weapon bays (TAMIYA) Kopecky Scale Models Catalogue # 32015 Available from Kopecky Scale Models for $28.00 Kopecky Scale Models are a very new name to our hobby, and from the Czech Republic, and you may not even have heard of them unless you frequent Facebook etc. Jan Kopecky is the very genial guy who runs this new enterprise, and his work so far has been nothing short of superb. KSM caught my eye a few months ago when they were offering a gun bay set for Tamiya's Spitfire Mk.IXc with the 'C-Wing'. As I was planning to crack open my Mk.XVI with an 'E-Wing', I contacted Jan and asked if this was in his plans. Luckily for all us late Spit fans, he planned to release it within months. First of all, here's a couple of extra promo photos from KSM. Last week, the latest fruits of his labours dropped through my letterbox, and here it is! For me, the Tamiya XVIe has always been in need of this addition to perk it up a little, and I don't think anyone will be disappointed by what is supplied here. Kopecky's new Spitfire Mk.XVIe gun bay set is packaged into a series of ziplock wallets, and then stapled as shown. Inside the packaging is a folded A4 sheet of instructions. There will be some very minor modification to the host kit, and certainly nothing that a total beginner to aftermarket, couldn't handle very easily. That will include cutting away the outboard panel of the main gun bay. Of course, this set does supply two new panels for each side, with detail both inside and out. The bare gun bays themselves are cast in single pieces with a beautiful level of detail inside. Here you can see the inboard wing rib and the river detail, plus ribbing and plating on the floor under where the guns will sit. In the narrow forward area, more plate and rivet detail. The casting blocks on these are quite minimal, but you will need to carefully grind these away from the main part to avoid any damage. Here you see then guns themselves and the level of detail this set provides. These are cast in the same dark grey resin, on traditional casting blocks with parts numbers in place. Here you also see the feed chutes, Hispano gun feed belt units, and the fillet that sits between the guns at the front of the bay. Casting blocks will be very easy to remove here as the connecting webs are reasonably thin. Two different type of gun requires two different ammunition belts, and here they are. The larger rounds are the 20mm Hispano cannon ones, and the smaller are the 0.50' Browning (1.27cm). All are cast in stackable rows, complete with their clips. Here you see the gun bay doors with the blister shapes which look correct, and also internal detail, fasteners etc. Kopecky have even included the hinges as separate parts, and these are cast in a different resin, presumably with more strength to prevent any accidental breakage. The hinge detail is clearly seen in the above photo. Instructions are simple yet clear, with all parts easily identified. There is no mention of the kit modification needed, but for this, it's very easy to see what's needed to fit this detail set. Conclusion I have to say I'm massively impressed with this set and also with Kopecky Scale Models themselves. The detail in this set really does mirror the guys who've been doing this for years, including the quality of the castings. A very easy set to fit that will massively enhance one of Tamiya's finest 1:32 kits. There's everything to like about this set, and the price is very reasonable too. My sincere thanks to Kopecky Scale Models for the set you see reviewed here. To purchase directly, click the link at the top of the article.
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