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Spitfire F/FR XIVe Conversion
for Tamiya's Spitfire Mk.XVI kit

Laminar Flow Design, 1/32 scale

S u m m a r y
Catalogue Number, Description, Scale & Price

Laminar Flow Design's Item No. LFD32-001 - Spitfire F/FR XIVe Conversion for Tamiya's Spitfire Mk.XVI kit

€69.00 plus shipping available online from Laminar Flow Design's web store

Listed as out of stock on the website but an additional batch of around 60 is being manufactured now. Check out the Laminar Flow Facebook page for availability details

Contents and Media:

65 parts in grey 3d printed resin; four self-adhesive, die-cut masking sheets for two paint schemes; instructions

Scale:

1/32 scale

Review Type: FirstLook
Advantages: Perftectly printed; high level of detail including panel lines, rivets, fasteners; hollowed-out exhaust stack ends; minimal surgery to donor kit.
Disadvantages: None noted.
Recommendation:

If you have always longed for a high-quality 1/32 scale low-back Spitfire Mk.XIVe, Laminar Flow Design has now answered your prayers. This is a very high quality product with surface textures equalling the Tamiya donor kit. The design is clever and allows for assembly with a minimum of surgery on Tamiya's 1/32 scale Spitfire Mk.XVI. Fitting the resin conversion parts looks like it will be relatively straightforward too..

Reviewed by Brett Green

FirstLook

 

Laminar Flow Design is a new company from Belgium that is producing a range of 3d printed aircraft conversions and accessories.

Their debut production is a Spitfire F/FR XIVe conversion for Tamiya's Spitfire Mk.XVI kit.

I love the beefed-up engine cowl, the bubble-top fuselage and bigger fin and ruddr of the Mk.XIVe, and I am sure I am not alone.

Laminar Flow Design has now put this variant within reach with their conversion.

The conversion is delivered in a stout cardboard box packed securely.

 

 

The set comprises 65 grey 3d printed resin parts, 4 self-adhesive, die-cut masking sheets and detailed instructions.

 

 

The parts are enclosed in four resin printing cages.

 

 

The instructions advise the modeller to cut the four pillars at the base of each cage, then work inward as required. It is also recommended that a razor saw or a new scalpel blade should be used to free the parts.

 

 

I used a combination of a sprue cutter and a new hobby knife blade to remove the cage and then separate all the individual parts.

 

 

I did break two of the resin parts - the clever, one-piece tail wheel well and door assembly, and the backing plate for the spinner. Both of these parts were quickly and cleanly repaired using thick super glue, although I probably would have avoided the breakages if I had followed the instructions and used a razor saw.

 

 

Once the parts have been freed, you can appreciate the quality of this conversion.

 

 

Surface textures are as good as the Tamiya kit - high praise indeed. External surfaces feature panel lines, rivets, fasteners, rib tape on fabric surfaces and more, all crisply and evenly recessed.

 

 

The jewel in the crown is the big, one-piece nose. This captures the bulky lines of the Griffon powerplant beautifully.

 

 

The instructions suggest that the outside surfaces may require Surfacer and some sanding. However, striations and other printing artefacts are almost non-existent. Any marginal benefit of further surface preparation will be countered by the risk of damaging the lovely fine surface textures.

Other resin parts include a replacement propeller ssembly with six blades (one spare), a retracting tail wheel well with doors cast in place; two styles of fin and rudder - larger and evern more large; individual exhaust stacks with perfectly hollowed-out ends; new wing radiators with fine face detail inside the housings; camera, lenses and PR hatches; resin templates for positioning, scribing and cutting new hatches and fuselage windows for the cameras.

 

  • Laminar Flow Design's Item No. LFD32-001 - Spitfire F/FR XIVe Conversion for Tamiya's Spitfire Mk.XV: Image
  • Laminar Flow Design's Item No. LFD32-001 - Spitfire F/FR XIVe Conversion for Tamiya's Spitfire Mk.XV: Image
  • Laminar Flow Design's Item No. LFD32-001 - Spitfire F/FR XIVe Conversion for Tamiya's Spitfire Mk.XV: Image
  • Laminar Flow Design's Item No. LFD32-001 - Spitfire F/FR XIVe Conversion for Tamiya's Spitfire Mk.XV: Image
  • Laminar Flow Design's Item No. LFD32-001 - Spitfire F/FR XIVe Conversion for Tamiya's Spitfire Mk.XV: Image
  • Laminar Flow Design's Item No. LFD32-001 - Spitfire F/FR XIVe Conversion for Tamiya's Spitfire Mk.XV: Image
  • Laminar Flow Design's Item No. LFD32-001 - Spitfire F/FR XIVe Conversion for Tamiya's Spitfire Mk.XV: Image
  • Laminar Flow Design's Item No. LFD32-001 - Spitfire F/FR XIVe Conversion for Tamiya's Spitfire Mk.XV: Image
  • Laminar Flow Design's Item No. LFD32-001 - Spitfire F/FR XIVe Conversion for Tamiya's Spitfire Mk.XV: Image
  • Laminar Flow Design's Item No. LFD32-001 - Spitfire F/FR XIVe Conversion for Tamiya's Spitfire Mk.XV: Image
  • Laminar Flow Design's Item No. LFD32-001 - Spitfire F/FR XIVe Conversion for Tamiya's Spitfire Mk.XV: Image
  • Laminar Flow Design's Item No. LFD32-001 - Spitfire F/FR XIVe Conversion for Tamiya's Spitfire Mk.XV: Image
  • Laminar Flow Design's Item No. LFD32-001 - Spitfire F/FR XIVe Conversion for Tamiya's Spitfire Mk.XV: Image
  • Laminar Flow Design's Item No. LFD32-001 - Spitfire F/FR XIVe Conversion for Tamiya's Spitfire Mk.XV: Image
  • Laminar Flow Design's Item No. LFD32-001 - Spitfire F/FR XIVe Conversion for Tamiya's Spitfire Mk.XV: Image
  • Laminar Flow Design's Item No. LFD32-001 - Spitfire F/FR XIVe Conversion for Tamiya's Spitfire Mk.XV: Image
  • Laminar Flow Design's Item No. LFD32-001 - Spitfire F/FR XIVe Conversion for Tamiya's Spitfire Mk.XV: Image
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The instructions are clearly laid out and include text and photographic assembly steps.

Fuselage and tail cuts will be fast and easy as they all fall on natural panel lines. In fact, with the kit engine parts not used, basic assembly will arguably be easier by using this conversion!

 

 

Attention to detail abounds. Examples include the resin templates for the wing leading edge fuel tanks and instructions for the fuselage ID light.

For FR Spitfires, three hatches need to be installed. This will be done with the assistance of three resin templates. This will be probably the most challenging aspect of assembly, but the resin templates will make the task as manageable as possible. Just drill multiple hole along the inside guides of the templates and clean-up with a sharp hobby blade.

Markings for two aircraft - one Belgian and one Canadian - are offered on the four self-adhesive die-cut vinyl masking sheets.

 

 

As mentioned in the instructions, Aviaeology offered these two schemes on a decal sheet more than a decade ago, but they are sadly now long sold out.

Also please note that this conversion is aisted as out of stock on the website but an additional batch of around 60 is being manufactured now. Check out the Laminar Flow Facebook page for availability details.

 

 

Conclusion

 

If you have always longed for a high-quality 1/32 scale low-back Spitfire Mk.XIVe, Laminar Flow Design has now answered your prayers.

This is a very high quality product with surface textures equalling the Tamiya donor kit.

The design is clever and allows for assembly with a minimum of surgery on Tamiya's 1/32 scale Spitfire Mk.XVI.

Fitting the resin conversion parts looks like it will be relatively straightforward too.

This is an excellent conversion. I look forward to working on mine.

Thanks to Laminar Flow Design for the sample


Text and Images Copyright 2023 by Brett Green
Page Created 8 September, 2023
Last updated 8 September, 2023

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