How to Build Tamiya's 1-32 Spitfire

October 14, 2017 | Author: Carlos Alberto Buhler | Category: Supermarine Spitfire, Aircraft, Aerospace Engineering, Aeronautics, Aviation
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SPITFIRE Mk.IXc, Mk.VIII and Mk.XVIe Brett Green



■ Late Merlin Spitfires close-up ■ Step by Step – Tips and techniques for building the ultimate Spitfires ■ Historical summary ■ Aftermarket decal and accessory summary

FEATURING THE WORK OF From the publishers of Tamiya Model Magazine International, Model Military International, Model Airplane International and Military Illustrated Modeller

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Brett Green, Chris Wauchop and Dave Johnson

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FOREWORD AND ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS How to build... Tamiya’s 1:32 Spitfire Mk.IXc, Mk.VIII & Mk.XVIe


n today’s hyped-up world it is common to see adjectives such as “superb”, “excellent” and “superior” when describing a new product. The hobby of scale modelling is no exception. We are fortunate to live in an era that is seeing an unprecedented number of brand new kits released across a wide range of scales. Many of these releases are very good indeed. Late in 2009, however, Tamiya lifted the bar with their 1:32 scale Spitfire Mk.IXc. This was followed in mid-2010 by their Spitfire Mk.VIII and Mk.XVIe in 2011. Tamiya’s 1:32 scale Supermarine Spitfires are truly superb kits in terms of level of detail, engineering innovation, fit and presentation. In the warm afterglow of its release, many modellers have declared Tamiya’s Spitfire kits to be the best scale models released to date. Naturally, such a subjective assertion is very much a matter of opinion, but the four modellers in this book would not argue with this view! Even so, there are some areas of the kit that might be improved, and there is massive potential for conversions and alternative colours and markings. The purpose of this book is to suggest how Tamiya’s kit may be improved, deliver a step-by-step illustrated guide to building the model, and finally to offer some inspiration with four complete builds, including one conversion and one with additional detail. Any modelling book is an ensemble effort and this title is no exception. I would like to extend my sincere appreciation to Chris Wauchop, Roy Sutherland and Dave Johnson, whose wonderful Spitfires appear in these pages. Roy went especially far out on a limb with his extraordinary super detailing and conversion. Thanks to all of you for your efforts and your sense of urgency. We are very grateful to Tamiya Japan for providing the kits built in this book. I would also like to thank Barracuda Studios and Eduard for the aftermarket samples used on the Spitfire Mk.VIII. The photos of the Spitfire Mk.XVI Merlin engine in the Close-Up section were kindly provided by James Levingston, and Spitfire expert Bob Swaddling provided a helpful list of improvements. Finally, thanks to Dr Charles Metz for the list of Spitfire Mk.IX reference publications that appear at the end of this book.

■ Chris Wauchop Chris Wauchop was born in Deniliquin in regional Australia in 1954. Chris’s career began in the photo studio of a major Sydney advertising agency. From here, Chris moved on to professional model making at Lego. After nearly five years, he decided to go solo, opening a hobby shop called “Absolute Hobbies” in suburban Sydney. This became a Mecca for local modellers. The end of the property lease after seven years prompted another career change, this time painting props and vehicles for the science fiction movie, Red Planet. Chris has built many models for commercial advertising, displays at trade shows, articles for magazines and websites including Tamiya Model Magazine, AIR Modeller, HyperScale and Missing-Lynx, and has been a contributor to many modelling books. Chris now lives in semiretirement on Sydney’s northern beaches with his wife Deirdhre.

■ Roy Sutherland Roy been a modeller since the age of 6, and a professional model maker for the last 21 years. He has worked in a number of model shops in the SF bay area, including Industrial Light and Magic (credits include Star Wars Episode II), and M5 Studios (where they film Mythbusters). Roy has worked for Toy Companies such as Worlds of Wonder, Galoob, and 21st Century Toys, where he was in charge of the development of the entire product line. These days he runs Barracuda Studios, which produces the BarracudaCals, BarracudaCast and BarracudaGraphs product lines. For more info go to He lives in Fremont, CA and has a son, Cooper.

■ Dave Johnson Dave Johnson is 33 years of age and lives in Wellington, New Zealand. He works for Wingnut Wings. He built his first kit model kit around the age of 8, but got back into the hobby in 2005 after a long break. Dave’s favourite modelling era is World War II aircraft, especially RNZAF aircraft during this period. He is an enthusiast of WWI aircraft too. Working for Wingnut Wings, his interest in these early but fast developing aircraft grows each day.

Brett Green, February 2015

■ Brett Green Brett Green was born in Sydney, Australia in 1960. Brett displayed a passion for aviation and aircraft modelling from an early age. This developed into a particular interest in camouflage and markings. Brett established the popular scale modelling website HyperScale ( in 1998. He is also Editor of the ADH Publishing’s Model Military International and the Aircraft Edition of Military Illustrated Modeller magazines, the armour modelling website Missing-Lynx, and author of more than 20 books. Brett concluded his 25-year career in the Australian telecommunications industry in 2003, when he decided to pursue his interests in online publishing and writing as a full-time occupation. He still lives in Sydney today with his wife and two children, Charlotte and Sebastian.

2 How to Build... Tamiya’s 1:32 Spitfire Mk.IXc, Mk.VIII & Mk.XVIe

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CONTENTS 2 Page 4 Page 6 Page









12 13 16 32 40 41 42 52

Copyright © 2015 ADH Publishing Ltd.

All rights reserved. Reproduction in part or whole of any text or photographs without written permission from the publisher is strictly prohibited. While due care has been taken to ensure the contents of this book are accurate, the publisher cannot accept liability for errors.



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First Published in the United Kingdom by:

ADH Publishing Ltd., Doolittle Mill, Doolittle Lane, Totternhoe, Bedfordshire, LU6 1QX Telephone: 44 (0) 1525 222573 Fax: 44 (0) 1525 222574 Email: [email protected] Website: Designed by Alex Hall



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Foreword Introduction Chapter 1 LLate Merlin Spitfire Close-Up

Chapter 2 Spitfire Mk.IXc in Profile S

Chapter 3 T Tamiya’s 1:32 scale Spitfire Mk.IXc in the box

Chapter 4 B Building Tamiya’s 1:32 scale Spitfire Mk.IXc Step by Step

Chapter 5 R RAAF Spitfire Over the Continent – Brett Green

Chapter 6 S Supermarine Shangri-La Chris Wauchop

Chapter 7 Spitfire VIII in the Box

Chapter 8 Shark Attack! Chris Wauchop and Brett Green

Chapter 9 High Atitude Fighter – Roy Sutherland

Chapter 10 Spitfire Mk.XVIe in the Box

Chapter 11 Sweet Kiwi Sixteen – Dave Johnson

Appendix After-Market Accessories and Decals


How to Build... Tamiya’s 1:32 Spitfire Mk.IXc, Mk.VIII & Mk.XVIe 3

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he Focke-Wulf Fw 190 asserted its authority as soon as it appeared over the Channel Front in September 1941. It was so clearly superior to the Spitfire Mk.V that RAF Fighter Command curtailed operations twice - from November 1941 to March 1942, and again from 13 June 1942 - due to unacceptably high losses against the Luftwaffe’s “Butcher Bird”. The Rolls-Royce Merlin 60 series engines would offer the Spitfire the essential edge it needed to balance the scales against this new foe, but the high altitude Spitfire Mk.VII and the unpressurised Mk.VIII were still many months away from production. An interim proposal was therefore made to provide a suitable solution in a more timely fashion. The Merlin 61 engine would be fitted to the existing Spitfire Mk.V airframe, matching the Fw 190s performance at medium and high altitudes. This aircraft was known as the Spitfire F.Mk.IX, Type No.361. The resulting Spitfire retained the clean lines of the earlier Mks. I, II and V, but featured a longer and modified fuselage to accommodate the bigger engine, revised intakes, radiators and oil coolers,

and a four-bladed propeller to handle the greater power. Although initially conceived as a stopgap measure, the Spitfire Mk.IX and the essentially similar Mk.XVI (powered by a Packard Merlin engine) eventually became the most numerous of all Spitfire variants with more than 7,000 delivered to the RAF, the VVS and other Allied air forces. The Spitfire Mk.IX continued in front line service until the end of the Second World War. The new and improved Mk.VIII featured a strengthened fuselage and retractable tail wheel. It was fitted with the new Volkes Aero Vee air filter, which was also adapted to the later production Spitfire Mk.IX. Each wing was also fitted with self-sealing 14 gallon fuel tanks and the capacity of the main tank was increased to 96 gallons. All Mk.VIII Spitfires were fitted with the C wing, with either four 20mm cannon; or two cannon and two machine guns In the end, the Spitfire Mk.VIII never replaced the “stop-gap” Spitfire Mk.IX in northern Europe. The Spitfire Mk.VIII entered service around the middle of 1943 in Italy and the Far East and in 1944 with the Royal Australian Air Force in the Pacific, largely in a ground attack role.



odellers have been waiting a very long time for a 1:32 scale Spitfire Mk.IX and Mk.VIII. Until now, our only options have been expensive resin or vacform conversions requiring considerable skill and effort, or the limited-run Pacific Coast Models kit released in 2008. Now Tamiya has released the first long-run injection moulded kits of late Merlin Spitfires in 1:32 scale. These are remarkable kits in terms of detail, accuracy, engineering and presentation. It has been well worth the wait. Before we examine the Tamiya kits in detail though, let’s take a look at some of the options open to us until now.

Spitfire Mk.IX Conversions in 1:32 scale A number of vac form or resin 1:32 scale Spitfire Mk.IX conversions have been released over the last few decades. These have all been designed for the venerable Hasegawa Spitfire Mk.Vb. The base kit is reasonably accurate in outline but suffers from a very poor cockpit and non-existent wheel well detail. The raised panel lines of this 1970s vintage kit won’t be to many modellers tastes either.

4 Introduction

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Paragon’s resin conversion was the best way to build a Spitfire Mk.IXc in 1:32 scale before 2008.

The best of these conversions were offered by Paragon Designs and Warbird Productions of the UK. Paragon produced a number of conversions designed for Hasegawa’s 1:32 scale Spitfire Mk.Vb, including one for a Spitfire Mk.IX. Paragon’s Spitfire Mk.IX conversion 33 parts in. The parts will need to be removed from casting blocks, but this should not be difficult or time consuming. Even so, this is a comprehensive conversion requiring significant surgery to the base kit, so significant modelling experience will be helpful. Paragon supplies all the parts necessary for a Spitfire IXc including an entirely new three-piece engine cowling, supercharger intake, exhausts, spinner and propeller blades, pointed rudder, double-kinked elevators (you’ll need to modify the kit tail planes to fit these), second under wing radiator and housing, five-spoke weighted main wheels, upper and under wing bulges for cannon and undercarriage (broad and narrow cannon bulges are included), plus new cannon barrels and stubs. The high altitude extended wing tips are supplied too, making it possible to build a Spitfire HF Mk.IXc. The most difficult aspect of this conversion will be transforming Hasegawa’s “B” wing to a “C” wing. Although Paragon provides all of the fittings, the real hurdle will be cutting, filling, fitting the new radiator and scribing the many new panel lines. For those who do not feel up to the task, Warbird Productions released a full resin “C” wing. This presented its own challenges though, as the wing was supplied in left and right halves. Joining these heavy one-piece resin wings to the fuselage would require reinforcement and careful alignment. In addition to the C wing, Warbird Productions also offered a wide range of late Merlin and Griffin Spitfires.

Warbird Productions offered a full Spitfire C wing in 1:32 scale.

PACIFIC COAST MODELS’ 1:32 SCALE SPITFIRE MK.IXC, MK.IXE AND MK.XVIE Pacific Coast Models released their 1:32 scale limited-run Supermarine Spitfire Mk.IXc in 2008. This was the first complete injection moulded kit of a Spitfire Mk.IX in this scale. Pacific Coast Models’ Spitfire Mk.IXc comprises 70 parts in grey plastic, 9 parts in clear, 21 resin parts, a colour photoetched fret and markings for six aircraft. The plastic parts are moulded by Sword of the Czech Republic. The plastic is shiny, and surface detail is well done with recessed panel lines. The 21 grey resin parts are mainly used in the cockpit, but also include wheels, undercarriage bays and two different styles of exhaust - flared and tubular. The two styles of wheels included are five spoke and covered hub. The resin parts are excellent. The colour photo-etch fret offers attractive eye-candy for the front office including a detailed

instrument panel and a Q harness with printed stitching. The clear parts are very nice - thinly moulded and good looking in shape. The overall outline looks good but there are some shape issues with the propeller blades. The undercarriage doors also lack the characteristic bulge of the Mk.IX. Due to its limited-run nature, you should ideally have had some experience with short run kits or resin accessories before tackling PCM’s Spitfire Mk.IXc. However, If you spend sufficient time preparing the parts and test-fitting (in other words, showing this kit the respect that any limited run offering demands), then you will be rewarded with a nicely detailed model of this most numerous Spitfire variant. I built this kit shortly after its release in 2008 and was pleased with the result. Pacific Coast Models followed up with a 1:32 scale Spitfire Mk.IXe and a resin low-back XVIe conversion.

The cockpit is well detailed with resin and colour photo-etched parts.

A good result can be obtained if care is taken with parts preparation and alignment.

Pacific Coast Models’ 1:32 scale Spitfire Mk.IXc was released in 2008.

How to Build... Tamiya’s 1:32 Spitfire Mk.IXc, Mk.VIII and Mk.XVIe 5

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CHAPTER 1 LATE MERLIN SPITFIRES CLOSE-UP A nice overhead view of Temora’s Spitfire Mk.VIII in flight. Note the narrow C wing cannon bulges, and the absence of inboard wheel well bulges.



We take a close-up look at two late-Merlin Spitfires at Temora Aviation Museum

he Spitfire Mk.XVI and Mk.VIII were both very similar to the late Spitfire Mk.IX. Many of the engine, cockpit and airframe details will be helpful to modellers building Tamiya’s new 1:32 scale Spitfire Mk.IXc. The Temora Aviation Museum has not one, but two late-Merlin Spitfires, the only two Spitfires in flying condition in Australia. The Museum’s Mk.VIII was the last Spitfire taken on charge by the Royal Australian Air Force. It was manufactured in England during 1944, and shipped to Australia where it was delivered to the RAAF in April 1945. Its RAAF serial number was A58-758. The aircraft was immediately placed in storage and never saw active service. Post-war, this Spitfire was employed

by Sydney Technical College as an instructional airframe. Mr. Sid Marshall purchased the aircraft in 1982 and stored it in components, Mr. Colin Pay of Scone then acquired and restored the Spitfire. After four decades of storage and disassembly, this marvellous aircraft took to the skies again in 1985. It has been part of the Temora Aviation Museum’s collection since 2002, and regularly takes part in flying displays. The aircraft is painted in the Ocean Grey and Dark Green camouflage worn by RAAF Spitfires in the South West Pacific. These markings represent the personal aircraft of Wing Commander R.H. (Bobby) Gibbes AM WG CMR DSO DFC. The Spitfire Mk.XVI was manufactured at Castle Bromwich in late 1944, and under-

took its first mission with 453 Sqn. RAAF on 24 March, 1945 wearing the codes FU-P. After being written off by the Royal Air Force in 1951, this aircraft started a film career, first as a prop in MGM’s 1955 adaptation of the Douglas Bader story, “Reach for the Sky”, and again twelve years later as a non-flying extra in “The Battle of Britain”. Sir Tim Wallis purchased the partially restored airframe in 1987, completing the project and shipping the Spitfire to New Zealand as the centrepiece of the Alpine Fighter Collection. Temora Aviation Museum acquired the aircraft in April 2006. It is currently finished in the colours and markings of its first sorties over the skies of northern Europe with 453 Sqn. RAAF.

6 Chapter 1 - Late Merlin Spitfires Close-up

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The Spitfire Mk.VIII was a later development, but shared many of the characteristics of the Spitfire Mk. IXc. This beautifully restored example is displayed at the Temora Aviation Museum.

The most obvious external difference between the Mk.IXc and the Mk.VIII is the retractable tail wheel. Note that the Mk.VIII is always fitted with the late-style pointed rudder.

A closer view of the instrument panel.

Temora’s Spitfire Mk.VIII cockpit is mostly original. The configuration wil be almost identical to a Spitfire Mk.IXc. Here we can see the instrument panel, slightly overshadowed by a large cover over the modern avionics mounted on the instrument coaming.

Black leather cushions are fitted to the Spitfire’s composite seat. We can see the characteristic brown colour of the composite material. Some modern avionics are also visible behind the seat on the starboard sidewall.

The starboard cockpit sidewall is quite bare, as it was on the wartime aircraft.

The rear cockpit frames feature lightening holes. These are not drilled out in the Tamiya kit – a simple improvement if you wish to spend a few minutes with a pin vice. How to Build... Tamiya’s 1:32 Spitfire Mk.IXc, Mk.VIII and Mk.XVIe 7

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The well of the Spitfire’s floorless cockpit is a jumble of wires, actuators and structural details. The large quadrant and trim wheels may be seen on the port sidewall here too.

Glimpses of the air bottles for the pneumatic systems may be seen behind the seat. These are painted in a slightly pale version of British Interior Grey Green, but some were seen in silver, grey or other colours.

The pinch bar clipped to this open hatch was intended to break the Perspex canopy in case of emergency. In common with most restored Spitfires, this one is painted red, although wartime pinch bars were more commonly seen in bare metal or Interior Grey Green.

A round mirror with a streamlined fairing was fitted to the top of the windscreen.

This Spitfire Mk.VIII is equipped with flattened and flared ejector exhaust stubs.

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Note the slight bulge at the rear of the tail wheel doors to accommodate the tail wheel when retracted. This retractable tail wheel was not fitted to the Spitfire Mk.IX.

All Spitfire Mk.VIIIs were configured with the universal C wing. Most, if not all, Mk.VIII Spitfires featured the narrow inboard bulge for the 20mm cannon, plus two .303 machine guns outboard on each wing.

The bulge on the upper engine cowl just aft of the middle is for the compressor intake.

The Spitfire Mk.VIII was fitted with the later style “double kinked” elevators.

A small clear navigation light is present just under the rudder trim tab.

Note how the wheel tilts out at the top. This permits the wheels to be accommodated inside the wheel well without any additional bulges or fairings. How to Build... Tamiya’s 1:32 Spitfire Mk.IXc, Mk.VIII and Mk.XVIe 9

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The large supercharger intake was common to the Mk.VIII and late Mk.IXs. A cover is in place here.

A front view of the Temora Spitfire Mk.VIII showing the wing armament and the narrow undercarriage track.

Temora is also home to a Spitfire Mk.XVIe.

Main wheels are the later style with four lightening holes.

10 Chapter 1 - Late Merlin Spitfires Close-up

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In contrast to the Mk.VIII, this Mk.XVI is fitted with tubular exhaust stubs.

The geometry of post-war Spitfires was often modified to improve performance on sealed runways. Note how the angle of the wheels is more vertical compared to those on the Spitfire Mk.VIII.

A closer view of the main landing gear. The oleo scissors are a feature of later Mk.IXs and Mk.XVIs. Early Mk.IXs were not fitted with oleo scissors.

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Radiator face detail.

Note the different size and location of the E Wing cannon bulge. We can also see the additional wide teardrop-shaped fairing needed to accommodate the reconfigured angle of the main wheels.

This Mk.XVI has the same style of large supercharger intake as the Mk.VIII, but the cover is not in place here.

This Mk.XVIe is also fitted with the late-style double-kinked elevators.

Spitfire wing tips were separate panels that could quickly be replaced.

A side view of the Rolls-Royce Merlin 70 engine in Temora’s Spitfire Mk.VIII. Note the bare copper coolant pipes.

The curved oil tank under the engine and the long supercharger intake are obvious from this angle.

The small bare metal reservoir behind the propeller is the Glycol tank. Ethylene Glycol was used as the coolant in the Spitfire. Note the circular black filler cap near the top of the tank. Tamiya missed this feature. Also missing from the Tamiya kit is the filler neck for the oil tank. This may be seen in the photo a little more than halfway back on the oil tank, curving upwards.

The rear of the engine bay is crowded with the carburettor, supercharger and various gear housings, plus plenty of plumbing. Although the engine is largely authentic, the bright orange tubes and coloured wiring are very much a modern feature.

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Richard J. Caruana explores the colours of the Spitfire Mk.IXc in worldwide service. MJ840 Supermarine Spitfire LF Mk.IXc, MJ840/DU•L, No. 312 (Czech) Squadron, 11 June 1944. Ocean Grey/Dark Green/Medium Sea Grey scheme with Sky spinner and codes; Yellow leading edge to wings. Black/white bands around wings and fuselage; Czech roundel under both sides of windscreen while unit badge is carried only on port side. Note fuselage bands roughly painted leading an irregular boarder around codes and roundel; blue/ red roundels above wings.

Dutch H-60 Supermarine Spitfire Mk.IXc, NH238/H•60 (ex-MK606), No. 322 Squadron, Netherlands Air Force. Experimental scheme of Light Grey and Jungle Green upper surfaces with Light Blue undersides; orange spinner, white codes. National markings in six positions; Olive Drab anti-dazzle panel. ‘Three mice’ marking on nose.

Italy 5-20 Spitfire Mk.IXc, 5•20, believed to be MM.4112 (ex-RR235, serial partially overpainted by code), of the 92a Squadriglia, 8o Gruppo, 5o Stormo Aeronautica Military Italiana, Orio al Serio (Bergamo), 1949. Aluminium (silver) overall with black anti-dazzle panel and white spinner front. Roundels in normal six positions.

EN315 Supermarine Spitfire Mk.IXc, EN315/ZX•6, No. 145 Squadron, flown by fighter ace Squadron Leader S. Skalski (five kills). Dark Earth /Mid-Stone upper surfaces with Azure Blue undersides. Red spinner, blue codes outlined white; note Polish flag (reversed) and five white swastikas ahead of windscreen. Blue/red roundels above wings.

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We take a close look at the contents of Tamiya’s 1:32 scale Supermarine Spitfire Mk.IXc

amiya’s 1:32 scale Spitfire Mk.IXc comprises more than 360 parts in grey plastic, 17 parts in clear, two nickel-plated photo-etched frets, six parts in flexible black vinyl, eight steel pins, seven miniature magnets, various small screws and metal parts, a self-adhesive masking sheet for the canopy parts, two metallic self-adhesive name plates and two decal sheets with markings for three aircraft. The top of the box forecasts the contents even before the lid is lifted. Luxurious gold lettering is printed below attractive artwork. The impression of quality is unmistakable. Inside the box, sprues are carefully

packed in separate plastic bags, while metal parts and the delicate plastic cowls are contained in boxes. The quality of the plastic parts is all that we have come to expect from Tamiya. The surface of the plastic is smooth, while the parts are thoughtfully placed on the sprues to make removal and cleanup as fast and as easy as possible. Indeed, most of the cockpit and wheel well parts can be pre-painted while still on the sprues, as the attachment points will not leave scars on the visible surfaces. Surface detail is exquisite, featuring very fine crisp panel lines and some of the subtlest renditions of recessed rivets that I have ever seen.

The fuselage is broken down into main halves, but the lower empennage (the area of the fuselage under the horizontal tailplanes) is supplied as a separate insert. This breakdown suggests that we will probably see future releases such as the Spitfire Mk.VIII and VII with the retractable tail wheel. Many optional parts are included in the kit. Most are mentioned in the instructions but some are not. These include alternate style exhaust stacks (flared or tubular); two styles of lower cowl supercharger intakes (long Aero-Vee and short); two styles of upper cowl (early “flat” style and the later bulged version, usually seen covering Packard Merlins on the Mk.XVI,

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CHAPTER 3 IN THE BOX Decals are well printed. The kit includes self-adhesive canopy masks and metallic name plates for the stand.

Marking options are supplied for three aircraft, including one French Spitfire in Indochina and a Polish machine in North Africa.

plus various blisters and intakes for subtypes), two varieties of separate wing tips (standard and clipped LF); two versions of wing gun covers (standard two-gun C and four gun C); early and late gunsights; slipper style drop tanks; wing-mounted bombs; and three wheel patterns – five spoke and four spoke, both with smooth treaded tyres, and covered hub via photoetched parts. Both styles of elevators are also supplied – the early style with the angled mass balance and the late “double kinked” version. Early (rounded) and late (pointy) rudders are also included. All of these options mean that the modeller can build virtually any production variant of the high back Spitfire Mk.IXc or Mk.XVIc except for the high altitude versions with the pointed wing tips. The list of kit features is equally impressive. All control surfaces are separate. The ailerons, elevators and rudder are fitted with metal hinges, while the flaps may be posed open or closed. The little flap indicator hatches on the top of the wings are supplied as separate parts that may be posed open or closed. Alternate parts are given to display the undercarriage retracted or extended.

The undercarriage legs are held in place not by glue, but screws. Configuration of the landing gear may be changed even after the model has been built thanks to removable fairings on the lower wings. A display stand is supplied for in-flight display. This attaches to the centreline slipper tank. Tamiya also includes two metallic nameplates for the base of the stand. A beautifully detailed Rolls-Royce Merlin engine is also included. One of the problems with previous models with detailed engines was that the thickness of the engine cowing plastic meant that the powerplant was undersized. In this case, Tamiya’s cowl panels are a fraction of a millimetre in thickness. Another innovation is the use of tiny magnets to permit the cowl panels to be fitted and removed with ease. The cockpit is fully equipped with a multi-media sandwich for the instrument panel, photo-etched harness and an optional seated pilot. A standing RAF figure is also included. Two styles of

Surface detail is beautifully crisp and restrained. The instrument panel may be seen here too.

The lower empennage is a separate insert, pointing to later releases with the retractable tailwheel such as the Mk.VII and Mk.VIII.

The pilot’s entry door is a separate part.

The wings feature separate panels for the gun covers and leading edge ports.

There are even more panel inserts on the bottom of the wing. These are for the cannon and machine gun ejector ports.

The early rounded and late-style pointed rudders are offered...Engine cowl covers are ultra-thin and held in place with tiny magnets, permitting the engine to be displayed.

instrument panel are offered – early and late. The master compass is beautifully represented in plastic and photo-etch with a decal to top it off. The control column is even fitted with a separate photo-etched brake handle. Pilot’s armour is supplied scalethickness in photo-etch. The cockpit door is poseable, and two are supplied – one for the open option and one for closed. It is a little surprising that the crowbar on the inside of the door is moulded in place. The inside of the door also has some of the only ejector pin circles in a visible location, although they are very feint. Clear parts are very thin and free from distortion. The sliding section of the

14 Chapter 3 - In the Box

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Clear parts are thin and free of distortion. The clipped wing tips are supplied as clear parts too, making it easy to mask the navigation lights before painting. A standing RAF figure is included. The seated pilot figure is nicely detailed.

canopy is appropriately bulged. The two gunsights are amongst the best I have seen in any scale. Two sets of black vinyl tyres are supplied for the main wheels. One is halfthickness for the retracted gear. Although I am not generally a big fan of vinyl tyres, these ones do look quite convincing. The seemingly inevitable raised centreline seam is very slight too. Self-adhesive canopy masks are included, but you will need to cut the shapes out from the printed on, small yellow kabuki masking sheet. In addition to the two busy photo-etched frets, multimedia parts include metal hinges, screws, nuts and magnets. A small Phillips Head screwdriver is also supplied. Three nicely varied marking options are provided: A. Je-J of Wing Commander J.E. “Johnnie” Johnson, Kenley Wing, July 1943, finished in standard mid-war colours of Ocean Grey and Dark Green over Medium Sea Grey. B. ZX-6, Polish Fighting Team, 145 Sqn.,

Tunisia 1943. This aircraft is finished in tropical colours – Middle Stone and Dark Earth over Azure Blue. C. “P” of GC 1 / 4, “Dauphine”, French Air Force, Nha-Trang, Indochina, 1948. This is finished in Ocean Grey and Dark Green over Medium Sea Grey. are early (single kinked) and late (double kinked) style elevators.

Single and two-cannon blisters are supplied. The wide two-cannon blister is a slightly unusual pattern with a squared-off front.

The small centreline slipper tank and five-hole wheel hubs may be seen here. Four hole and covered hubs are also provided.

Cockpit detail is superlative, but you might like to drill out the lightening holes in the cockpit frames. Much of this detail may be painted while still on the sprue.

Engine detail is equally good.

The engine bay is built up in layers, just like the real thing. Here is the outer frame for mounting the starboard engine cowling.

Decals are provided on two sheets. The red and blue of the RAF insignia look a little too bright to my eye, but register is good and the printing is very crisp. Construction is called out over 71 steps in a 36 page stapled instruction guide. A 16 page reference booklet rounds out the package. This contains historical notes, a pictorial explanation of wing tips and armament, variants and 41 small detail photos. Tamiya’s 1:32 scale Spitfire Mk.IXc is an extraordinary kit. The level of detail is second to none, and the sheer number of optional parts should please even the fussiest Spitfire-o-phile. As good as it looks in the box though, let’s take a look at how it actually goes together.

Multimedia parts include two busy photo-etched frets.

Nuts and bolts.

Vinyl parts include two sets of main tyres (different sets for retracted and extended) plus hydraulic lines for the gear legs.

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BUILDING TAMIYA’S 1:32 SCALE SPITFIRE Mk.IXc STEP BY STEP We take a detailed look at how to build and improve Tamiya’s superb new Spitfire Mk.IXc


amiya’s 1:32 scale Supermarine Spitfire Mk.IXc is a magnificent kit with extraordinary detail. In fact, the contents can look a bit imposing upon first inspection. The good news is that the kit fits together precisely and presents few serious challenges. However, you do need to follow the instructions carefully and keep focused.

CORRECTIONS AND DEVIATIONS The kit is generally very accurate, but there are a number of areas where you might consider deviating from the instructions. Let’s discuss these before we begin: 1. The instructions suggest that the fuselage interior (except for the cockpit area) should be painted Bare Metal Silver.

This is correct for aircraft manufactured after September 1943. For aircraft built before this date, the entire interior would have been painted RAF Interior Grey Green. 2. In Step 6, the artificial horizon decal for the blind flying instrument panel is blue. This should actually be black. Replacements may be found on aftermarket decal sheets from Mike Grant Decals or MDC. 3. The flare cartridge rack (part F48) in Step 7 was not usually fitted to the Spitfire Mk.IX. Do not glue this to the front of the seat. 4. Spitfire seats were often fitted with a leather backrest. A simple backrest could be made from Tamiya masking tape with

the vertical pleats fashioned from very thin strips of the tape. This backrest should be painted semi-gloss black. 5. In Steps 8 and 9, you might consider drilling out the lightening holes in the rear cockpit frames, parts F11 and F19. 6. In Step 13, the instructions call for the compressed air bottles to be painted Sky Grey. Wartime compressed air bottles were unpainted steel colour. Some restored Spitfires today have these bottles painted various colours such as Sky Grey or Interior Green. 7. The oxygen bottle (part F5) should be painted gloss black. The kit supplies the oxygen hose for the seated pilot that is connected to his mask, but there is no hose attached to the oxygen bottle. The

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The very first step was preparing the photo-etched metal parts with Tamiya’s Metal Primer. This is a clear finish.

The photo-etched frets were also treated to a coat of Tamiya Grey Surface Primer. This helps improve the “tooth” of the shiny metal for subsequent coats of acrylic paint.

absence of the oxygen hose is obvious, so the missing length may be fashioned from a guitar string bent to shape. This should be glued to the starboard cockpit wall disappearing behind the seat toward the oxygen bottle (it really should go to the oxygen regulator as should the fitting from the oxygen bottle but it would be impossible to see and this gives the impression that we are after). 8. Tamiya suggests that you fit the tail wheel in Step 20, but I left mine until the final stages of construction. 9. Tamiya would have you install the main landing gear in Step 42, but I strongly suggest that this is delayed until the very end of the build. 10. At the front of the engine bay, the filler

The interior of the fuselage halves were sprayed with Tamiya’s AS-12 Bare Metal Silver straight from the can.

The areas surrounding the cockpit were masked off in preparation for Tamiya XF-71 Cockpit Green. The base colour was streaked and mottled with a paler shade for variety.

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All the interior surfaces received a selective wash in a heavily thinned mixture of Lamp Black and Raw Umber oil paint.

Cockpit parts were painted on the sprue. Here we can see the cockpit sidewalls and forward bulkhead in the base Cockpit Green colour with irregular streaking and subtle shading, all applied with the airbrush.

The cockpit components have received a gloss coat using Tamiya’s acrylic X-22 Clear before application of an oil wash.

The gloss coat on the cockpit sidewalls will improve the adhesion of placard decals.

for the glycol tank is missing. Check the “Close Up” chapter for a view of this filler high on the port side of the glycol tank. 11. Below the engine, Tamiya has also missed the curved filler neck for the oil tank. Once again, this feature may clearly be seen in the “Close Up” chapter. 12. In Steps 49 and 50, the instructions call for the coolant and oil pipes (parts X1, X2, X3, X7 and X8) to be painted Interior Grey Green. These were more likely a dirty bare copper finish. Check the “Close-Up” chapter for detail photos. 13. The 20mm cannon barrels (parts CC3 in Step 64) are really only appropriate for the early Spitfire Mk.IXc. 14. Early Spitfire Mk.IXs were fitted a mechanical undercarriage down-lock indicator on the upper surface of each wing. These were small red blade-shaped indicators that popped up when the undercarriage was down and locked. Although these parts are not supplied, their locations are marked if you look carefully. The indicators themselves may be easily made out of thin plastic. 15. If you are installing the centreline slipper tank (part J4 in Step 65), you will also need to fit the small hooks, parts J1 and J2. These hooks are included on the sprues but not mentioned in the instructions. The holes for the hooks are located inside the wing just forward of the innermost flap need to be drilled out. There are three holes. For the smaller hooks only the forward holes need to be opened. Remember that these hooks don’t support the slipper tank so don’t try to make them meet the tank. These hooks were there for when the slipper tank was jettisoned, so that it would slide back into these hooks. Otherwise, being an airfoil shape, the tank would slide back along the fuselage underside and cause damage. 16. Tamiya’s decal placement guide would have the modeller apply the wing walk lines over the upper wing roundels. This is not correct. They also have you extend the starboard wing walk line all the way to the fuselage. Although this was seen on early Marks II Spitfires and II Spitfires, it does not apply to the Mk.IX. The starboard side wing walk lines should appear exactly as the port side. I am grateful to Bob Swaddling for many of these handy tips. Of course, Murphy’s Law dictated that I was not aware of many of these issues until I had already finished building my kit, so the list is offered in the spirit of “do as I say and not as I do”!

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Even the metal parts may be painted before removal from their frets.

Harness straps were sprayed Tamiya XF-55 Deck Tan.

Building Tamiya’s 1:32 scale Spitfire Mk.IXc

removing the parts from the sprues. However, it also means that there will be some raised “pips” on the mating surfaces of each fuselage half once they have been cut free. These must be totally eliminated or they will interfere with the fit of the fuselage halves. The photo-etched frets were prepared for paint, first with a coat of Tamiya’s clear Metal Primer, followed by Grey Primer,

Work on Tamiya’s Spitfire starts in the cockpit, but there are a couple of important tasks to perform before heading to the front office. Tamiya has cleverly attached the fuselage halves to the sprues at the mating surfaces. This reduces the chances of scarring the exterior of the fuselage when

The instrument panel, forward bulkhead, control column and rudder with actuator rods have been brought together as subassemblies.

Tamiya’s depiction of the Spitfire’s “bottomless” floor is very convincing.

The flying instrument panel and the base for the gun sight were painted XF-1 Flat Black.

both applied straight from the spray can. I painted most of the cockpit parts and the fuselage interior before I had cut a single piece of plastic from the sprue. A Tamiya spray can was used for the next job too, this time AS-12 Bare Metal Silver to coat the entire fuselage interior. This paint delivers a lovely smooth grainless finish ideal for bare aluminium.

The seat and rear cockpit frames may be seen here. The perforated rack in front of the seat is for flare cartridges. Research suggests that this rack was not fitted to the Spitfire Mk.IX, but I found out too late!

The photo-etched armour plate at the rear of the seat delivers a scale appearance.

The photo-etched harness straps were bent into shape before gluing them to the plastic seat.

The central cockpit sub-assemblies.

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The instrument panel is a sandwich of plastic, photoetched and clear parts, with decals bringing up the rear.

The dials are printed on the back of the decals, so don’t panic when you see plain black disks on the front of the decal sheet!

The blue artificial horizon is undoubtedly striking, but the wartime instrument was invariably black.

The Front Office Tamiya suggests that the cockpit parts should be painted XF-71 Cockpit Green. Being a Japanese WWII cockpit colour, I was originally a bit dubious about this shade representing RAF Interior Grey Green, but in the end I think it looks quite good. The cockpit area was masked off and XF-71 was sprayed on the fuselage and relevant cockpit parts on the sprues. The base colour was then mixed with light grey to create a lighter shade, applied in thin streaks and mottles over Tamiya’s XF-71. Details were then picked out with Tamiya and Vallejo paints with a fine brush before further weathering with a thin wash of Lamp Black and Raw Umber oil paints. Assembling the cockpit is a real education. The little spheres at the top of part F30, which attached to the upper starboard sidewall, are spare light globes for the early-style GM2 gunsight. The master compass, often an afterthought on other models, is just gorgeous with a folded metal mount and a decal compass face. I applied a few coats of Future floor polish over the decal with a clean brush to

The core of the cockpit has now been assembled.

The two main instrument panel sub-assemblies ready to be installed. This is the early style panel.

suggest a glass lens. The bottomless cockpit floor and the control column need extra attention during assembly. The fit is very precise and, if correctly assembled, they will fit very perfectly behind the forward firewall. The seat fits together well too, but don’t forget that you will not need to attach the flare rack (part F48) to the front of the seat. I painted my seat in a mix of Tamiya

XF-64 Red Brown and XF-3 Flat Yellow to represent the unpainted brownish Paxolin composite material. The photo-etched harness straps look good. Unfortunately, I did not pay close enough attention and draped the starboard strap over the side of the seat instead of threading it through the hole. If you are planning to use the seated pilot, you will not install the lap harness,

The photo-etched harness straps look good in place.

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Details are picked out on lower sidewalls with a fine paint brush, and small parts are glued in place. The placard decals on the air bottles are sourced from Reheat.

The lower starboard sidewall is less of a jumble.

The instrument panel has now been added to the cockpit core, but the gun sight will not be installed until much later.

The cockpit is really taking shape now.

Test fitting is crucial. The cockpit core sits snugly against the inside of the port fuselage. Note that the lower sidewall parts have finally been freed from their sprue and glued to the cockpit core.

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Small grey polythene caps are fitted near the base of the forward bulkhead. These will permit the press-fit of the supercharger intake assembly.

and you will use a different shoulder harness (photo-etched part a-20). The regular harness for the empty seat requires a little photo-etched origami. There are two layers of shoulder straps. The rearmost layer needs to be folded to slip through a hole in the back of the seat and drape behind the main shoulder straps. With the benefit of hindsight, this would have been easier if I had annealed the photo-etched parts before folding them. Annealing involves waving the photo-etched part over the top of a flame until the metal becomes discoloured (usually blue), before dunking it in cool water. This process significantly softens the metal, resulting in a more natural fold and drape. Fortunately, the straps looked pretty good even without annealing. The only non-Tamiya additions to the cockpit were a few placard decals from Reheat. These were applied over a gloss coat, followed by Polly Scale Flat to restore the dull finish. The compressed air bottles, Part F14, were painted with Tamiya XF-71 Cockpit Green, not Sky Grey as called out by the instructions. This was in line with the colour of the bottles I photographed in

A placard has been added and final weathering applied.

The cockpit core was now glued to the inside of the starboard fuselage.

Temora’s Spitfire Mk.VIII. Reheat Placard decals were applied to the front of the bottles too. The instructions would have you install the gunsight at Step 14, but I would suggest you leave this until just before the windscreen is installed to minimise the

The tail wheel insert is reinforced with a wide locating strip on the fuselage side.

risk of knocking off the protruding reflector during subsequent handling. In Step 15, don’t forget to install the small grey polythene caps in the back of the forward firewall. These are the only things that hold the supercharger intake in place.

Fit is extraordinary. It’s hard to tell that this is a separate part once the insert is glued into place.

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The cockpit and engine firewall are trapped between the fuselage halves, which are temporarily secured with clamps and Tamiya tape while the glue sets. The control surfaces are secured with photo-etched steel hinges and metal rods.

Here are the components for the rudder.

Here, one of the metal rods has been glued onto the channel in an aileron half.

The photo-etched hinges are slid onto the rod.

The wings, fin and horizontal tailplanes are moulded with slots to accommodate the ends of the hinges.

When the control surfaces are glued together, the metal hinges extend from the mating surface.

This is simply pressed into the corresponding part, in this case the horizontal tailplanes. Glue is not required. The control surfaces may now be posed according to your preferences.

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Wheel wells are fully boxed in and well detailed. A clamp was used to ensure a gap-free fit.

I test fitted the cockpit and forward firewall a half dozen times before committing to glue. The fit was perfect. I suspected that the cockpit would stay in place without glue, but I decided not to take the chance!

Around the Airframe The Spitfire Mk.IX could be fitted with either of two styles of elevators. The early style was the same as the Mk.V, with a

single outboard angled kink. The later style had a double kink – one angled and then another at 90 degrees to the elevator hinge line. Installation of the early version requires no modification to the kit parts, but if you are using the later “double kinked” style, you will need to cut a small section from the outer edges of the upper horizontal stabiliser halves (parts B19 and B20). I have never been a big fan of metal

hinges for control surfaces, but Tamiya’s work very well. Just be careful to use the correct hinges with their related rod. For the elevators, photo-etched hinges B-8 and B-9 are associated with steel rod ST1. Once the elevators are assembled with the steel rods and hinges sandwiched between, the control surfaces may simply be pushed into place.

The inside surface of the bottom wings were sprayed with Tamiya AS-12 Bare Metal Silver straight from the can.

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The bottom of the cockpit area was masked and sprayed XF-71 Cockpit Green. This was weathered in a similar fashion to the rest of the cockpit. We can see the wheel well components plus the wing spar here.

The wheel well and wing spar have been installed.

Separate panels are supplied for the C Wing cannon and machine gun fairings. These are the lower covers.

The back of the lower cannon covers needed a little persuasion to keep them aligned with the wing.

Here is the inside of the lower wing with all the parts in place. Take a good look now, because you won’t see this again!

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Clamps and tape keep the upper wing in place as the glue dries.

Tamiya suggests that you fit the tail wheel in Step 20, but I left mine until the final stages of construction. In Step 21, take careful note of the holes that need to be drilled out in the bottom of the wing to accommodate various stores. If you are fitting bombs, drill the holes now. Also, as mentioned in the “Corrections and Deviations” section earlier in this Chapter, if you are fitting the slipper tank you will need to drill holes and to fit the small hooks, parts J1 and J2,

although these are not mentioned in the instructions. If you are building a late Mk.IX, don’t forget to cut off the small wedges at the middle front of the wheel wells as indicated in Step 21. In Step 22, before assembling the wheel wells, make sure that you cut away the small flashed-over rectangles at the bottom of parts G11, G12, G21 and G22 as indicated in the diagrams. In fact, you may have to cut away a little more to clear

The wing tips are supplied as separate parts. A clipped wing tip option is also offered. These parts are moulded in clear plastic.

the structural detail moulded to the wheel well ceiling. Take care aligning the two wheel well sub-assemblies and the wing spar (part A10) when securing them to the bottom wing. Don’t forget to install parts B1 and B2 near the front of the bottom wing either (I did!). From this point onward, construction of the basic airframe is straightforward and fast. Just follow the instructions and you should have no trouble.

Ailerons are also hinged.

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Here are the engine block and cylinder head sub-assemblies.

The supercharger ducting is fitted with a threaded bolt. This will eventually secure the engine to the firewall.

The crankcase and oil filter have been added.

The supercharger ducting, blower and other details await assembly.

The engine block, initially painted in basic black, test fitted inside the main engine mounts.

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So far, so good, but the paint job is very bland at this stage.

In Steps 33 through 35, we have the option of building the flaps up or down. For the deployed option, Tamiya supplies some nice photo-etched structural detail. Bear in mind, though, that Spitfire flaps only had two positions (fully extended or up), and that it was very, very rare to see Spitfire flaps down at any time other than when the aircraft was coming in to land. However, if you do decide to defy RAF regulations, don’t forget to attach the flap indicators (parts B13, B14, B23 and B24) “up” to indicate “flaps down” in Step 36. In Steps 38 and 39, you will need to cut off the top mounting lug for the oleo scissors if you are building an early Mk.IX. The later Mk.IX was fitted with oleo scissors (parts CC12).

The engine is treated to a more varied finish, starting with two shades of grey.

Tamiya would have you install the landing gear in Step 42, but I strongly suggest that this is delayed until the very end of the build. The method of securing the main landing gear legs with part AA5 and a screw works perfectly. The fit of the legs may seem very tight at first, but the screw will force part AA5 down, resulting in perfectly aligned landing gear. The screw covers, parts A3 and A4, fit perfectly with the magnets alone. Do not use glue on any of these parts.

Merlin Magic Perhaps the most daunting element of Tamiya’s 1:32 scale Spitfire Mk.IXc is the engine bay. It is beautifully detailed and quite complete from its splined propeller

shaft back to the firewall. Don’t worry though, there are few challenges during construction. The engine bay is built up in layers, starting with the core of the engine block, the sump and cylinder heads; then the crankcase, the supercharger, carburettor, intercooler and firewall details. We next move on to the engine bearer, oil pump and lines, coolant pipes and tank, plus smaller details. Some of the sequences are tricky, but everything goes together exactly as advertised. I would only recommend that the engine bearer parts be allowed to dry thoroughly overnight following attachment to the firewall in Step 49 before proceeding. Test fit the oil pump

The firewall and engine mount were washed with a thin mix of Lamp Black and Raw Umber oil paints.

The engine, glycol tank and supercharger intake received the same treatment. This is the long intake for the later Spitfire IXc.

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The engine is fixed in place with a single screw behind the firewall...

...then the firewall is attached to the front of the fuselage. The fit is so good that I did not use glue to fit the firewall. This means that the engine can be easily removed if required. The dark engine was buffed and shined to a semi-gloss finish – more realistic for this type of equipment. But we are not quite finished yet!

The individual exhaust stubs were tacked to a box, labeled to keep track of them, and sprayed a rusty shade.

The outer engine frame has been fitted. Note the splined propeller shaft at the front of the engine.

Tamiya has beautifully captured the crammed appearance of the Merlin engine bay.

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CHAPTER 4 STEP BY STEP With the detail parts complete, assembly of the main airframe is incredibly fast.

Unsurprisingly, fit is superb. Just a smear of Tamiya Surfacer was added to the area where the trailing edge of the wing meets the bottom of the fuselage.

Hairline gaps were dealt with around the machine gun ejector chute panels.

and radiator pipes a few times before committing to glue. You need to feed these pipes between various bearer frames. This assembly looks like plastic origami at first, but the pipes really do fit perfectly if you take your time. You might like to add the missing cap for the glycol tank and filler neck for the oil cooler at this stage. The one area where there is some margin for error is the attachment of the cowling frames (parts Q1 and Q2) in Step 54. These do not snap into place – some work is required. If you don’t get this step 100% correct, the magnetic cowls will not fit perfectly. I also found that the locating stubs on the individual exhaust stacks were quite shallow, resulting in a vague fit compared to the precision of the rest of the kit. I used super glue to set these quickly. With the engine bay complete, the entire sub-assembly may be fitted to the front of the fuselage without glue.

The profile of the front of the cannon fairings is questionable, but some photos suggest that this style did exist.

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The undercarriage legs are reinforced with steel rods. Early Mk.IXs were not fitted with oleo scissors, but the kit supplies these as an option for later versions.

FINISHING TOUCHES I skipped Steps 61 and 62 at this stage, which dealt with the canopy, and moved straight to assembling the propeller in stage 63. This is a particularly clever design that I have not seen before, but I will bet that we see it again in the future. Two pairs of two blades each are mated diagonally to deliver the four-bladed propeller assembly with perfect pitch. It is almost a shame to

The landing gear is precisely secured with a single screw, seen here being fixed in place with the kit-supplied screwdriver. A small plastic panel covers the screw. This clicks in place with a magnet, so that the undercarriage legs may be removed and replaced with the retracted version if desired.

cover up the front of the engine and that splined shaft, but the propeller assembly is secured with a polythene cap and so may be removed at will. If you are planning to mount the model on its stand, just follow Steps 65 and 66. You can dismount your Spitfire at any time and replace the slipper tank with the non-stand version. This is also the time to assemble the alternate landing gear if you

want to display the model with retracted undercarriage. Because the gear and covers are held in place with screws and magnets, you will be able to swap the raised and lowered gear whenever you like. Nice! After the main airframe was complete and painted, I installed the delayed subassembles – the gunsight, canopy, main undercarriage legs and tail wheel.

Building Tamiya’s 1:32 scale Spitfire Mk.IXc is more than mere pleasure. It is a true odyssey and an education.

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Brett Green finishes his 1:32 scale Tamiya Spitfire Mk.IXc as an RAAF machine in the UK with the aid of home-made markings and masks.

amiya’s 1:32 scale Spitfire Mk.IXc was built straight from the box. Construction of the model has been comprehensively covered in the previous chapter, so we will focus here on the painting and customised markings.

PAINTING The lower surfaces of my model were painted with Tamiya’s AS-11 Medium Sea Grey straight from the rattle can. The finish was smooth and satin - just what I was hoping for.

Tamiya AS-11 Medium Sea Grey was used for the lower surface colour.

Some colours are only available in aerosol cans. For example, automotive touch-up paints are matched to specific colours from car manufacturers, so these will be very helpful to car modellers. Other aerosol paints may have technical

Tamiya Sprays were also used for the upper surface colours, but these were decanted into glass jars and applied with the Testor Aztek airbrush.

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It is important to thoroughly seal off the cockpit. Here, the cockpit door has been used to aid this important task.

Tamiya masking tape was applied to the painted lower surfaces and the bottom of the horizontal tailplanes. The extra time spent masking is more than compensated by the speed and precision of subsequent painting.

The upper surfaces are coated in Ocean Grey. A slightly gritty finish at the wing roots has been polished out with Micro Mesh abrasive cloths.

The base colour was broken up with streaks and patches of a paler shade.

advantages over tinned or bottled products. For example, my favourite silver

paint is Tamiya’s AS-12 Airframe Silver, which is only available in an aerosol can. This covers thoroughly, dries quickly, resists fingerprints and other damage, and features a very fine metallic grain. It is ideal either as an overall Aluminium paint colour, or as a dull metallic shade combined with

Tamiya’s camouflage instructions were enlarged to 1:32 scale and printed out.

Alclad or other metallic lacquers. The problem with aerosol cans is that that the air pressure and width of the spray are not adjustable, making fine line and mottling work virtually impossible. Also, aerosol cans often leave an orange peel effect on the surface of the paint.

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CHAPTER 5 SPITFIRE Mk Mk.IXc M k.IX .IXcc (EARLY), 453 SQN RAAF Tamiya AS-9 RAF Dark Green and AS-10 Ocean Grey were used for the upper surfaces.

The camouflage pattern is previewed with all the masks in place.

Tamiya AS-9 Dark Green was sprayed between the masks in several thin coats.

We can overcome these limitations yet still take advantage of the aerosol paints by decanting them from the spray can into a bottle for later use in our airbrush. The first step is to find a disposable glass or plastic container. I usually cover the top of the container with cling wrap, and punch a small hole in one corner. The hole should be large enough to spray paint from the can, but small enough not

to let too much vapour escape from the container. Next, find a common household bendy plastic drinking straw and attach it to the nozzle of the paint can. The diameter should be close to the diameter of the nozzle, but the nozzle may need to be trimmed with a sharp hobby knife if it is too large. After thoroughly shaking the aerosol can, a quantity of paint may be sprayed through the hole in the cling wrap into the container. Tip the container so that the paint starts to pool in a bottom corner (if the paint is spread too thinly along the bottom of the container, it will quickly congeal).

The areas surrounding the rear fuselage band were masked off with various widths of Tamiya tape...

You might notice that the longer you hold down the button on the spray can, the colder the can will get. Spraying pressure will also decrease. If you want to decant the entire contents, you will probably need to do so in several sessions to allow the can to warm and for normal spraying pressure to return. Immediately after decanting, the paint will be cold and may be effervescent. The propellant gases from the spray can will need some time to bleed out of the paint, so leave the jar open until the liquid stabilises. Once the liquid has stabilised, the paint may be used normally in your airbrush. After decanting Tamiya spray paints, I find

...and sprayed with Tamiya XF-XX Sky.

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Similar to the Ocean Grey, the Dark Green camouflage was treated to irregular mottling.

that they do not usually need to be thinned. If they do, however, I use lacquer thinners. The lower surfaces were masked with Tamiya tape, and the fuselage, wings and tailplanes received a base coat of Tamiya AS-10 Ocean Grey decanted from the spray can into a jar. The paint sprays beautifully straight from the jar after it has settled, but it may be thinned with up to 70% Tamiya Lacquer Thinners if it thickens over time. The upper surface camouflage plans from Tamiya’s kit instructions were

The artwork under the cockpit was drawn freehand onto a large piece of paper.

scanned, scaled up to 1:32 in Photoshop, increased in contrast and converted to monochrome before being printed and cut into masks. These were attached to the model using small blobs of Blu-Tack underneath, and Tamiya tape at the edges, in preparation for the disruptive camouflage colour of Dark Green. I did not worry about camouflage masks for the mid-rear fuselage, as this would be completely covered by invasion stripes. Tamiya’s AS-9 RAF Dark Green was used for this colour, also decanted from the spray can into a jar before being applied with the airbrush. The Sky fuselage band was the last masking and painting task for the moment. I used Tamiya XF-21 Sky acrylic

The artwork was scanned, scaled down to 1:32 and printed onto clear decal film. The outline was then filled in with a fine paintbrush.

paint. While the airbrush was still loaded with Sky paint, I sprayed the spinner and backplate at the same time. When all the masking tape was removed, the overall picture was revealed. The paint job looked very stark, but this was toned down once weathering and decals were in place. I was not really satisfied with some of the camouflage demarcations on the fuselage, so these were revised and improved until I was eventually satisfied with the result. I think that there are particular elements of RAF camouflage that really define the scheme. Two coats of Future were now sprayed, providing a nice glossy coat for the decals.

The question mark code was created by cutting up and rearranging the parts of a number 2 on a Carpena decal sheet.

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Here is the model still wearing its glossy coat of Future floor polish following application of the decals.

The propeller tips receive a base coat of Tamiya White Primer to ensure opacity of the yellow to come.

I used Tamiya TS-34 Camel Yellow for the propeller tips. The tips were masked prior to painting the rest of the propeller assembly.

The propeller hub was painted using Tamiya AS-12 Bare Metal Silver, followed by a wash of thinned Raw Umber and Lamp Black oil paint.

It is a shame to hide all that lovely detail. Fortunately, the fit of the spinner cap is so good without glue that I can remove it to admire the hub detail whenever I like!

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Decal setting solution stained the gloss coat.

MARKINGS I wanted to finish my Spitfire as an early Mk.IXc attached to 453 Sqn. RAAF. Several of these aircraft featured interesting artwork on the nose or under the cockpit. I have built a few of these 453 Sqn. Spitfires in the past, so I was looking for something a little bit different. One of these early Spitfire Mk.IXs from 1943 featured an interesting “Question Mark” code and a boy painted under the windscreen holding a sign bearing the words, “You Have Been Warned!”. As there was no commercial decal release for these markings, I set about making them myself. Decals were scrounged from a number of sources. The under-windscreen artwork was a homemade decal. Using a wartime photo

Sometimes this stain will disappear over time. This one persisted, however. A further thin coat of Future eliminated the pale discolouration.

as a reference, I first drew the artwork onto a half a sheet of A4 paper using a pencil. When I was satisfied with the design, the pencil outline was then traced over with a black Sharpie. I scanned and reduced the line drawing to 1:32 scale, then printed the artwork onto clear decal film. The outline was sealed with a coat of Flat Clear, then the coloured details were picked out in Tamiya and Vallejo paints with a fine brush. The outline was tidied up with a 0.03 Copic Multiliner before another coat of clear. The decal was then cut out and applied under the windscreen. The Sky codes came from a Carpena decal sheet. The question mark was a bit of a challenge. In the end, I sliced up a number “2” and rearranged it into the

appropriate shape. The roundels and fin flash were robbed from Barracudacals’ 1:32 scale BC32004 Spitfire Mk. IX Series - Part 1. I think these offer the best representation of Dull Red and Dull Dark Blue of any decals available today. A selection of stencil markings from Tamiya’s decal sheet completed the job.

FINISHING TOUCHES The model was given a topcoat of Polly Scale Flat. Two thin applications over the glossy surface resulted in a nice flat finish. The airframe was shaded with a thin

Additional weathering was applied by airbrush over a topcoat of Polly Scale Flat. Key panel lines and structural details were highlighted with a thin mix of Tamiya XF-1 Flat Black and XF-64 Red Brown.

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Tamiya supplies self-adhesive painting masks for the canopy, but you’ll have to cut them out yourself.

The masks were applied according to the instructions.

A base coat of XF-71 Cockpit Green was sprayed first. This will remain visible on the canopy framing when viewed from the inside.

The painted canopy fits perfectly on the completed model.

Many scale model gunsights seem to be oversimplified afterthoughts, but this is probably the best WWII example that I have seen in any scale...

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Smaller detail parts were painted and weathered in preparation for final assembly.

The bottoms of wartime Spitfires were usually filthy with oil and exhaust stains. These were replicated mainly with the airbrush.

The engine is simply plugged into the front of the fuselage for an impressive result.

Tamiya’s 1:32 scale Supermarine Spitfire Mk.IXc is a magnificent model.

mix of Flat Black and Red Brown. This was sprayed along control surface hinge lines, selected panels, in a few random spots and streaks and along the demarcation line between the Ocean Grey and Dark Green. This slightly reduces the harshness of the sharply masked demarcation. This same mix was used to apply generous staining on the lower surfaces, as was frequently seen. A silver pencil was used to apply some “chipping” to the wing walks. The early version GM2 reflector gunsight was glued into the slot at the top of the instrument panel. This is a

beautifully detailed assembly. Many scale model gunsights seem to be oversimplified afterthoughts, but this is probably the best WWII example that I have seen in any scale. Careful painting is well worthwhile. The kit-supplied masks were cut out and applied to the thin and crystal clear canopy parts. I would normally dip clear parts in Future floor polish for additional clarity but these parts simply did not need it. A base coat of XF-71 Cockpit Green was sprayed first. This will remain visible on the canopy framing when viewed from the inside. Once the RAF Dark Green had been sprayed, the masks were removed and the canopy parts glued in place. The fit was perfect.

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Chris Wauchop presents his 1:32 scale Tamiya Spitfire Mk.IXc

ere is another rendition of Tamiya’s 1:32 scale Spitfire Mk.IXc. The vast majority of this model was built straight from the box. But what a box! There were only a few areas where I deviated from the instructions. In the cockpit, I added some wiring to the sidewalls, and a locking collar to the rudder actuators. The prominent oxygen hose is missing, so I made one by winding fine wire around soft fuse wire. This makes a big visual difference to the starboard sidewall. I also scratch built a rectangularstyle mirror, as the kit only supplies the round type. Probably the only disappointing aspect of the kit is the pilot’s entry door with its moulded-on crowbar and ejector pin circles. I chiselled the crowbar off the door and replaced it with an item scratch built from scrap plastic. The tiny mounts were cut from styrene strip. Externally, the only addition was the actuator rod and bracket at the base of the rudder.

was sprayed freehand. The spinner and fuselage band were painted Gunze H74 Sky. The interior colour is a 50/50 mix of Gunze H312 Green and H306 Grey. Decals were sourced from Victory Productions’ excellent “Spitfire Eights and Nines”, Item No. VPD32004. These decals performed beautifully - I was very impressed. Wing Commander John Ratten of 453 Sqn. RAAF flew this aircraft in June 1943. With the model now painted, I spent some anxious time trying to get the thin cowl panels to fit over the engine. I had my doubts at first, but eventually the little magnets did their job and the cowls fitted in place with only the tiniest gaps here and there. The instrument panel was built straight from the box. Engine instrument bezels were carefully painted.

Chris reworked the cockpit entry door, replacing the moulded-on crowbar with a scratch built item. A glimpse of the wound wire oxygen hose is visible here too.

Adding some grime and realistic wear and tear to the engine, the mounts and the exhausts makes a big difference.

PAINTING AND MARKINGS My model was painted mostly with Gunze acrylics and entirely using my Testor Aztek A470 airbrush. Lower surfaces first received a blend of 50% Gunze Sangyo H307 Grey pus 50% Tamiya XF-2 Flat White. The disruptive camouflage on the upper surface was Gunze H330 Dark Green and H75 Dark Sea Grey. The tight demarcation

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The lower rear fuselage insert is cleverly designed to permit the raised and lowered tail wheel assemblies to be swapped out after construction.

The kit wing features revised panel lines to reflect the new fuel tanks.


The lower wing has plenty of separate panels, but they all fit perfectly.

We examine the differences between Tamiya’s original release and their new 1:32 scale Spitfire Mk.VIII


amiya released their second 1:32 scale Spitfire kit, a Mk.VIII, in mid-2010. Tamiya’s 1:32 scale Spitfire Mk.VIII comprises nearly 400 parts in grey plastic, 17 parts in clear, two nickel-plated photo-etched frets, six parts in flexible black vinyl, eight steel pins, seven miniature magnets, various small screws and metal parts, a self-adhesive masking sheet for the canopy parts, two metallic self-adhesive name plates and two decal sheets with markings for three aircraft. Not surprisingly, most of the parts are common with the earlier Mk.IXc kit, including the main fuselage halves, the engine, cowling, undercarriage and cockpit. The obvious and subtle distinctions between the variants have been thoroughly covered in this new boxing. The “wet wing” is new for a start, with the panel lines accurately indicating the 14 gallon fuel tanks. The arrangement of the navigation lights is different as well. This time around, Tamiya has included the option of high-altitude pointed wingtips for the HF.Mk.VIII as well as the standard rounded wingtips for the F.Mk.VIII. The upper halves of the short ailerons are new too. Perhaps the most obvious external difference for the Mk.VIII is the retractable

tail wheel. The new retractable tail wheel assembly is delivered via a different insert below the fuselage empennage. This has been cleverly done via two removable assemblies that are fitted to the main insert panels – one for the lowered tail wheel with open doors, and one with closed doors for the retracted undercarriage. These are held in place with a plastic plug, a polythene cap and a magnet, so they may be switched even after assembly if you want to retract the undercarriage. The joins of the main insert panels, Parts HH4 and HH5, fall on natural panel lines. Fit is perfect and no filler is required. Another first-time appearance in this kit is the large 90 gallon slipper tank. As a bonus, the initial Spitfire VIII has been issued with an attractive mouse mat adorned with the kit’s box art.

Three marking options are provided – the American aircraft on the main box art, plus Australian and Canadian Spitfires.

High altitude pointed wing tips are new in this issue.

The pointed rudder was also included in the Mk.IXc kit.

A new 90 gallon slipper tank supplements the 30 gallon tank from the Mk.IXc. In fact, two of each are included in this kit. This must be a first – Tamiya has supplied a mouse mat with their Spitfire kit!

The decals are well printed. Comprehensive stencil markings are included. How to Build... Tamiya’s 1:32 Spitfire Mk.IXc, Mk.VIII and Mk.XVIe 41

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Brett Green and Chris Wauchop team up to build Tamiya’s new release of the classic Spitfire Mk.VIII.

he Spitfire Mk. VIII might be referred to as the definitive Spitfire. Its two-stage Merlin engine improved performance considerably, yet this variant retained the classic slim lines of the earlier Spitfires. The RAAF received 410 Spitfire VIII aircraft, although 120 of the later deliveries were immediately stored and destined never to see service. The Spitfire Mk VIII replaced the Spitfire Mk Vc in four of the Australian Spitfire Squadrons. 85 Squadron soldiered on with their old Spitfire Vs until the end of the war. The Mk

VIII was used until the cessation of hostilities in September 1945. 457 Squadron RAAF remains perhaps the most famous of the Australian Spitfire units thanks to its striking “Grey Nurse” shark mouth markings. Both Chris Wauchop and myself had already built one each of Tamiya’s magnificent Spitfire Mk.IXc kits. We decided to team up on this project. I would build the model, and Chris would apply his considerable artistic talents to painting and weathering.

VIVE LA DIFFÉRENCE! Tamiya has done a thorough job in depicting all the unique characteristics of the Spitfire Mk.VIII, including the retractable tail wheel, the panel arrangement for the wet wing, and the navigation light arrangement. None of these make any real difference to the build sequence or difficulty. More significantly, however, a number of after market accessories were available by the time this kit was released. I decided to use some for this project. The sole slightly disappointing element in Tamiya’s entire Spitfire IXc kit was the

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The rear interior fuselage was first sprayed with Tamiya AS 12 Silver, straight from the can, before masking and painting the cockpit sidewalls.

Similar to the Spitfire Mk.IXc, the vast majority of the interior parts may be painted and weathered before they are evcn removed from the sprues.

A wash of enamel paint thinned with Pure Gum Turpentine (called White Spirits amongst other things in different parts of the world) highlights the structural detail in these shadowed areas.

pilot’s entry door, which featured a shallow crow bar moulded in place and several ejector pin circles that were difficult to deal with. The same part is included in the Spitfire Mk.VIII. Fortunately, Barracuda Studios has now released a resin replacement door with a smooth surface and a separate crow bar. This represents a noticeable improvement over the kit part. Spitfire seats were often fitted with a cushioned leather backrest. BarracudaCast also offers a one-piece replacement seat with this backrest cast in place.

This time, I drilled out the lightening holes in the cockpit bulkheads with a small drill in a pin vice.

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CHAPTER 8 SPITFIRE Mk.VIII, 457 SQUADRON RAAF Photo-etched parts are also painted before they are cut from their frets. First they received a sprayed coat of Tamiya Metal Primer, followed by Grey Primer, and finally XF-71 Cockpit Green.

Continuing on its quest for Spitfire perfection, Barracuda Studios offers a cockpit upgrade set with replacement throttle quadrant, landing gear quadrant, control column and a curved length of resin oxygen hose. This last item is not included at all in the Tamiya kit, so it is especially welcome. This set also includes cockpit placard decals. The final item from BarracudaCast used for this project is a set of four-slot resin main wheels. The wheels in the kit are beautifully detailed, but many modellers are not fond of vinyl tyres. The new resin wheels are presented as one piece each, with subtle bulging and flattening, and no centreline seam. Not surprisingly, Eduard from the Czech Republic has released a number of accessories for the Spitfire Mk.IXc kit, in both early and late production guise. Although specific sets for the Mk.VIII had not been released by the time I built this kit, the parts included in the late version Mk.IXc sets would do the job equally well. I decided to use the self-adhesive Eduard Zoom Interior set for the late Spitfire IXc. Eduard’s 1:32 scale pre-painted harness straps were used too. Armed with the kit and the accessories, I set about construction.

Eduard’s self-adhesive photo-etched set was used to add even more detail to the cockpit.

Cockpit sub-assemblies are attached to a small box using Blu-Tack for additional painting and weathering. Note the Barracuda Studios replacement seat with the padded backrest moulded in place. This will look more authentic after a coat of flat varnish.

Eduard’s instrument panel is made up from layers of photo-etched parts. These were glued together using Gator’s Glue, an acrylic adhesive, before being attached to the kit’s plastic panel (sanded suitably flat). The frosty residue around the dials is from a bad coat of Flat Clear.

UPDATING THE FRONT OFFICE Tamiya’s Spitfires are fabulous kits, but you need to stay focused and pay attention to the instructions during assembly. One of the beauties of this model, though, is that most of the interior detail parts may be completely painted and weathered before they are even cut from the sprue. This makes handling much easier, and it is less likely that small parts will be lost. My first deviation from the Mk.VIII build was to drill out all the lightening holes in the cockpit bulkhead frames (parts F11 and F19). I used a fine drill fitted to a pin vice for this job. It did not take long, and it does make a visual difference from certain angles. The BarracudaCast seat was painted in a dull red shade representing the Paxolin composite material, then I picked out the

The two main cockpit sub-assemblies are taking shape.

The Eduard instrument panel features beautifully pre-printed detail, including fine coloured bezels in the appropriate places.

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The starboard lower sidewall is still attached to the sprue. Cables have been added to the undercarriage control quadrant. Decals are from Barracuda Studio’s detail set.

backrest cushion in black. I did not fit the flare rack, Part F48, to the front of the seat. My early sample BarracudaCast did not include the control column, and I managed to drop and consequently lose the lovely delicate resin throttle quadrant. As the odds seemed stacked against me, I decided just to use the oxygen hose, compass and placard decals from this set. The oxygen hose was a particularly welcome enhancement. This was painted Gunze H71 Middle Stone and carefully set aside. While I was still working on resin parts, I cleaned up and assembled the BarracudaCast entry door. All the interior parts were painted using Tamiya’s XF-71 Cockpit Green. Detail parts such as panels, switches and handles were picked out with acrylic white, yellow, red and black applied with a fine brush; and the tip of a toothpick for tiny spots. This time around, I painted the compressed air bottles silver and the oxygen bottle black per the instructions. Next up was a coat of Tamiya acrylic X-22 Clear. This was the first time I had used Tamiya’s acrylic clear as a gloss coat, and it seemed to work very well. With the cockpit parts nicely glossed up, I added the cockpit placard decals. These are quite small, but I think they have a big impact on the authenticity of the interior. While the parts were still glossy, I applied a wash of black and brown enamel paint thinned heavily with Pure Gum Turpentine. This lent depth to areas of natural shadow, and also added a bit of welcome grime to this working cockpit. Two thin coats of Gunze H20 Flat Clear were applied after the wash had thoroughly dried, The instrument panel was next on the agenda. Although Tamiya’s instrument panel is very nice indeed, Eduard offers a pre-painted photo-etched version in several of their detail sets. I used the Spitfire Mk.IX Late Interior Self Adhesive Set

The port lower sidewall, with the jumble of a throttle quadrant at the front and the compressed air bottles at the back.

The lower sidewalls have finally been freed from the sprues and attached to the fuselage interior.

The port cockpit sidewall completed. The fuselage remains attached to the sprues to make handling easier.

Barracuda Studio’s replacement resin cockpit entry door with its separate pinch bar is a noticeable improvement over the kit part.

The cockpit interior is a tight, accurate fit between the fuselage halves.

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CHAPTER 8 SPITFIRE Mk.VIII, .VIII, 457 SQUADRON RAAF No. 33 064. This is in Eduard’s “Zoom” series, which contains just one colour photo-etched fret. It is simpler than the full set, but provides all the extra detail I was looking for. The instrument panel is made up from a sandwich of three main photo-etched parts. The base part has the instrument faces printed in place. The next layer up is the main panel itself. The final layer is the panel for the flying instruments. A few smaller printed parts complete the instrument panel. Prior to assembling the instrument panel, I brush painted several coats of Future floor polish onto the base layer to represent glass on the dials. Make sure that each layer of Future is properly dry before painting on the next coat. As the panels featured a satin finish, I decided to spray a flat coat prior to assembly. This turned out to be a mistake, as the Gunze Flat Clear imparted a fine chalky white residue on the photo-etched parts. Although the worst of this effect was removed with a damp fingertip, some of the frosty residue still remains. Even so, the printed panel looks very impressive. The photo-etched parts are self-adhesive. The adhesive is not very strong, so careful handling is required to avoid neutralising it altogether during handling but the adhesive worked well on my panel. The kit instrument panel, Part R3, needs to be sanded flat to act as a mount for the photo-etched parts. This was quickly achieved with a coarse MasterCasters sanding stick. The photo-etched panel was secured to the plastic part with Gator’s grip acrylic glue. I used Eduard’s Mk.IX Harness , Set No. 32 669. This is also a pre-painted colour photo-etched product. Maddeningly, I had the same problem with the frosted flat coat on these parts too. The impact was worse here, as the frosting obscured much of the subtle printed stitching detail. The balance of the cockpit was assembled per the Spitfire IX build.

The tail wheel bay insert fits perfectly in the lower fuselage.

No putty was required, as the joins all lie on natural panel lines.

Tape and clamps were used to hold the fuselage halves in place while the cement dried.

AIRFRAME ASSEMBLY The fuselage in this kit is the same as Tamiya’s Mk.IXc parts. The new retractable tail wheel assembly is delivered via a different insert below the fuselage empennage. This has been cleverly done via two removable assemblies that are fitted to the main insert panels – one for the lowered tail wheel with open doors, and one with closed doors for the retracted undercarriage. These are held in place with a plastic plug, a polythene cap and a magnet, so they may be switched even after assembly if you want to retract the undercarriage. The joins of the main insert panels, Parts HH4 and HH5, fall on natural panel lines. Fit is perfect and no filler was required. The wing is a new part that provides the

accurately revised panel arrangement of the wet wing. Panel lines for the leading edge fuel tank are scribed in place. A few other subtle changes have been made too, but the modeller is not troubled to do any filling or scribing for the Mk.VIII wing. Other differences to the wing include revised upper aileron parts plus the option of the long pointed HF wing tips. In this case, however, the standard wing tips were used. As the flaps were rarely seen deployed except during landing, these were fixed in the closed position.

The kinked elevators are attached to the stabilisers via steel hinges. These permit all the control surfaces to move after assembly.

Care is required when removing the wide sprue attachments from the leading edges of the wings. I cut the sprue off higher before cleaning up the attachment point.

These later Spitfires were fitted with cranked mass balances. The ends of the horizontal stabilisers must be cut off along the scored internal line. This is a very simple piece of surgery.

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Taking no chances – clamps hold the top wing halves in place over the main wheel bays and wing spar.

The bigger clamps are useful for holding the wing in place at the wing root.

Many Pacific Spitfires were pressed into service as ground attack aircraft due to the absence of Japanese aircraft in the last few years of the war. I therefore fitted the bomb racks and sway braces to the bottom of the wings. As I had already built one Tamiya Spitfire with the engine on display, I decided to finish this one with the cowlings sealed shut. I figured that this would be helpful when aligning the big shark mouth decal too. This being the case, I did not need to add all the detail parts to the engine as they would never be seen. The basic engine and cylinder blocks plus the engine mounts and cowling frame are all still required though, as there is nowhere else to mount the exhaust stubs. Likewise, the splined propeller shaft and reduction gear have to be installed for the propeller. In

This model was destined to have a closed cowling, so not all the details were added to the engine.

The exhausts feature deeply hollowed ends for an authentic appearance.

the end, I wound up assembling more of the engine than I really needed too, but at least I know it is there! I took a bit more time and care cleaning up the exhaust stubs for this build. On the Mk.IXc, I managed to gouge out a hunk from each stub when attempting to remove the sprue attachment. I did not even notice this until the model was assembled and painted. This time, I made sure I had plenty of light on the parts, and a defter touch with a sharp hobby knife. The shallow attachment points for the stubs presented a few challenges though. I applied liquid glue sparingly to both mating surfaces and waited plenty of time for the parts to dry, but three stubs still dropped off shortly after assembly. I replaced them with super glue. Next time, I will drill and pin all the stubs for a more robust connection.

The completed engine sub-assembly was glued to the fuselage firewall, then the engine cowling panels were persuaded to fit. I started with the port side cowling, followed by the bottom and the starboard side. These were secured with Tamiya Extra Thin Liquid Cement, then taped until the glue had set. Finally, the top cowl part was added and similarly cemented in place. A little squeezing was necessary, but a perfect fit was eventually achieved. My final little construction job was to assemble the 90 gallon centreline slipper tank. This is a new addition to the Mk.VIII kit, and these tanks were often seen fitted to RAAF Spitfires in the Pacific. The extra range would have come in handy for all those long over water flights and above the unforgiving jungles of New Guinea and the Pacific islands.

The engine is still required to attach the exhaust stubs and the propeller, but I could have gotten away with leaving off quite a few of the other parts.

Tamiya Extra Thin Liquid Cement was used to secure the cowlings. Tamiya tape held the panels in place as the glue set.

The upper cowl was added after the glue had set the side and lower covers in place.

The large 90 gallon centreline fuel tank was frequently used by RAAF Spitfires to provide longer time over the vast distances of the waters and jungle of the Pacific.

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The subject of this build is ZP Y of 457 Squadron RAAF. Note the heavily weathered and uneven paintwork. Of particular note is the overpainting of the wing markings resulting in a dark circle surrounding the roundels. The port side roundel is particularly malformed.

TAG TEAM TIME – PAINTING AND MARKINGS At this point, I handed over the nearly-complete Spitfire for Chris Wauchop to paint. Chris and I dug up as much reference as we could find on this aircraft in particular, and other 457 Sqn. RAAF Spitfire Mk.VIIIs in general. It would appear that the aircraft were delivered in two batches, and quite a few aircraft shared the same codes. For example, there were at least two ZP Ys. The earlier aircraft featured smaller shark’s mouths and large wing roundels. In fact, these are most likely simply RAF roundels with the red circle in the centre overpainted with white. Some time later, these

aircraft were repainted with much larger shark’s mouths and small upper wing roundels. On some of the later aircraft, the old eyes could be seen partially painted over by the new mouths. The Australian War Memorial website had a fascinating inflight photo of ZP Y, serial number A58-672. Weatherbeaten hardly describes the condition of the paintwork. It was positively pulverised! Of particular interest are the dark circles on the upper wings indicating the overpainting of the old large roundels, and the incomplete painting of the port side upper wing roundel.

Basic colours are Gunze and Tamiya acrylics. The spinner backplate has been painted to represent bare metal.

The dark overpainted circle has been sprayed on the port wing here.

The wartime photos show extensive chipping of the wing root area on this aircraft. This effect was achieved with a Prismacolor silver pencil.

The landing gear is finished in Medium Sea Grey – the factory lower surface colour. The landing gear legs and covers have been weathered using the same mix of Tamiya XF-1 Flat Black and XF-64 Red Brown. Weathering is underway on the lower surfaces. The port side has already received streaky weathering using a mix of Tamiya XF-64 Red Brown and XF-1 Flat Black.

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All of the elements have now been brought together. Tamiya has delivered another truly outstanding kit.

In fact, the outer gun cover on the port wing appears to be a replacement from an aircraft with the large roundel, as the white section covers most of this panel. A remnant of the blue surround can be seen at the rear of this panel too, but the blue surround to the small white centre does not seem to have been applied yet. The small white circle also seems to be located too far back. The rest of the paintwork is heavily weathered. Several patches of paler Ocean Grey may be seen on the rudder and the other control surfaces. Similarly, darker patches of Dark Green are

It would appear that the outermost top machine gun access panel was sourced from an aircraft with the large blue and white roundels. The small partial white circle seems too far back in the reference photo, but the camera does not lie! It seems likely that the roundel is incomplete on the real aircraft, and this was our interpretation in scale.

The characteristic shark’s mouth of 457 Squadron RAAF.

present elsewhere on the airframe. A chalky exhaust stain, petrol spills from the fuel filler and heavy walkway chipping complete the picture of a Spitfire that has experienced a hard operational life. All camouflage paints were applied with the Testor Aztek A470 airbrush. Chris kicked off the paint job with his custom blend of Medium Sea Grey. 60% of Gunze Sangyo H307 FS36320 Grey was mixed with 40% Tamiya XF-2 Flat White. The upper surfaces were painted Gunze H330 Dark Green BSC381C/641, and H75 Dark Sea Grey to represent RAF Ocean Grey. All the colours were sprayed freehand in a tight demarcation, using the reference photos as a guide for the

camouflage pattern. The black wing walkway lines were masked and sprayed black. Decals are supplied for this job, but spraying entirely precludes the risk of silvering. The spinner, the thin leading edge stripes and the rear fuselage band were masked and sprayed Tamiya XF-2 Flat White. The spinner backplate was painted a bare metal shade. Gun dust, panel highlights and the dark areas representing the old overpainted roundels were sprayed with a thin mix of Tamiya XF-1 Flat Black and XF-64 Red Brown. The exhaust marks, fuel stains and fading were achieved with Tamiya XF-57 Buff,

The outboard machine gun has been fired recently, as indicated by the torn red doped fabric patch.

The resin replacement pilot’s entry door by Barracuda Studios hangs open.

The exhaust and fuel stains are a thinly sprayed mix of Tamiya XF-57 Buff.

The white fuselage band was sprayed. The serial numbers were sourced from Aussie Decals set no. 703, ‘A’ Numbers.

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CHAPTER 8 SPITFIRE Mk.VIII, .VIII, 457 SQUADRON RAAF once again thinned heavily and sprayed freehand. With the airbrush weathering complete, a very thin water wash of Tamiya X-18 Semi-Gloss Black was applied with a fine brush to all panel lines and fasteners. The prominent scratches to the paint on the wing root walkways and various panels were added with careful application of a Prismacolor silver pencil. Decals were applied following a gloss coat of Future floor polish. The national markings, shark mouth, stencils and Grey Nurse decals were sourced from the Tamiya kit. These performed perfectly, even the shark’s mouth over the compound curves of the lower cowling. The white ZP Y codes were ALPS-printed decals from Aero Imageworks’ set no. A13202, “Shark Attack”. The thin carrier film disappeared completely and the white was pleasingly opaque, but the markings remained delicate even when completely dry. Chris gripped the decals while lifting the model prior to applying a topcoat and part of one of the codes practically dissolved. We would suggest applying a flat clear coat as soon as possible after applying these decals. The grey serial number was not in my decal package. I am not sure if it is a small separate sheet that I lost or if it was never included in the first place. Regardless, Aussie Decals offer the correct style of grey codes with their waterslide decal set no. 703. These were cut out of the sheet and applied individually. The canopy was masked and sprayed with the help of the self-adhesive sheet included with the kit. Although these Pacific Spitfires were not fitted with aerial wires, the mast was still in place. Some of the reference photos also showed the fuselage aerial lead-in hole in the white section of the roundel, surrounded by a spot of paint or primer. Chris depicted this as a grey spot over a drilled hole. The model was finished off with a coat of Polly Scale Flat Clear.

The redundant fuselage for the aerial wire was drilled and surrounded by a spot of grey paint.

Tamiya includes underwing shackles and bombs. Many Pacific Spitfires were pressed into service as ground attack aircraft due to the absence of aerial targets.

The small roundel is completely painted on the starboard wing, but the position of the early, larger roundel is still obvious.

The chalky stain on the fuselage sides is also applied to the ends of the exhaust stacks.

Tamiya’s 1:32 scale Spitfire Mk.VIII kit is every bit as good as its Mk.IXc predecessor.

THE BEST – AGAIN All that we have declared about Tamiya’s 1:32 scale Spitfire IXc kit is equally true of the new Spitfire VIII. It is beautifully detailed, cleverly engineered, an education to build and looks magnificent when finished. With a growing number of marking options, conversions and detail sets, will you be able to stop at just one?

The shark’s mouth, “Grey Nurse” script and national markings all came from the Tamiya kit. “ZP-Y” codes were sourced from Aero Imageworks “Shark Attack” set no. A013202.

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The tight camouflage demarcation was sprayed freehand with a Testor Aztek A470 airbrush.

With a growing number of marking options, conversions and detail sets, will you be able to stop at just one?

The four-slot wheels are resin replacements from Barracuda Studios. They are subtly weighted.

The tail wheel assembly is a clever “plug in / unplug” configuration that permits an insert with closed doors to be fitted when the main gear is retracted.

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Roy Sutherland converts his 1:32 scale Tamiya Spitfire Mk.IXc to the refined high altitude fighter variant, the HF Mk.VII.

he Mk. VII was the first two-stage Merlin powered Spitfire to be designed and built. Unlike the Mk. IX, which was rushed into production to counter the new threat posed by the Fw 190, the VII incorporated all the refinements to the airframe, including a fully retractable tailwheel, short span ailerons as well as leading edge wing tanks that added 25 gallons of onboard fuel. It was also designed with the high altitude wingtips fitted to its

predecessor, the HF VI, and a pressurised cockpit with the new Lobelle sliding hood, which was a big improvement over the old non-sliding hood as fitted to the Mk VI. This hood, which needed to be removed and replaced by ground crew to allow the pilot access, was unpopular with the pilots, who felt trapped inside. The HF VII was designed to counter the high altitude bombing threat from the Luftwaffe that was never to materialise. Just after D-Day, most HF VII airframes

had their high altitude wingtips replaced with standard tips, and were repainted by late August of 1944 in the standard day fighter camouflage.

MODELLING THE HF VII When Brett sent me the new Tamiya Spitfire Mk. IX and asked me to write a chapter for this book, I decided to do something a little different. As far back as I can remember as a modeller, there is one two stage Merlin Spitfire that has

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The first step in the conversion was to cut back the fuselage for the deeper rear fixed canopy fitted to the Mark VII Spitfire. A new rear canopy section will have to be created.

I have built a lot of models in my life, but I think it is safe to say that this is the best aircraft model I’ve ever had the pleasure to build. It is labour intensive and a little fiddly here and there, but in the end, it is a stunning piece of work.

The resin plug that replaces the cockpit door is shown installed. The door was deleted on the HF VI and VII due to the pressurisation of the cockpit. Note the repositioned crowbar.

always held a special place in my heart; MD111, an HF VII of 131 Squadron, in the high altitude scheme of Medium Sea Grey over PRU Blue. I am not sure where I first saw the photo, possibly in the old ArcoAircam on the Merlin engined Spitfires. I have always wanted to build this particular aircraft, so when the opportunity came up to build this model, it seemed like the time had come to scratch that itch. In hindsight, it might have not been the best decision. The scope of the conversion

The lower cockpit sidewalls were attached to the fuselage halves to allow adding the wiring and plumbing that was prevalent on every Spitfire from the prototype to the last Seafire 47. The square tank at the bottom of the sidewall is for windscreen deicing fluid.

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The seat mounting bracket is a complex affair, and Tamiya have done a nice job representing it. I added detail by drilling out the lightening holes, but it’s not really necessary as it is very hard to see once the seat is installed.

I drilled out the lightening holes in the cockpit bulkhead to add depth. Again it is not really necessary, but it’s an easy upgrade and looks good to my eye. I brushed the drilled out holes with liquid cement to clean up the fuzzy edges.

I scratchbuilt the rear pressure bulkhead for the Spitfire HF VII. It required a lot of clever engineering to create seals for the flying controls that would keep pressure from escaping, while allowing unrestricted movement of the control cables. The scratchbuilt patterns for the upper sidewall for the MK VII, as well as the oxygen hose, made from a carefully bent wound guitar string with mounting bracket made from styrene.

The seat mounting bulkhead with seat mounting bracket installed. I also opted to drill out the holes on the bulkhead. The moulded in detail on the bulkhead is very impressive.

Controlled chaos! I am deep into work on the interior, and the inevitable encroachment of the workspace with tools and paints should look familiar to most modellers. Evident in this image is the exhaustive nature of the kit cockpit.

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The starboard cockpit sidewall with basic painting completed. A wash will soon be applied to help pop out the detail. It is a good idea to not be too subtle with washes and drybrushing in cockpits. They are small and dark, and detail easily gets lost under these conditions.

in this scale turned out to be more work than I bargained for, especially given that this chapter had to be done to a deadline. The work necessary to make a Spitfire IX into a VII is, in itself, not that complex, and could be done quickly on a simpler kit in a smaller scale. Doing the conversion in 1:32 required more detail, and parts that could have been robbed from other kits in a 1:48 or 1:72 build, needed to be scratch built. This is only a problem when you have to make a deadline!

The port sidewall painted Interior Grey Green. Tamiya have you paint the ribbed chain guards black, but they are painted green in the sole surviving Spitfire HF VII, on display at the Smithsonian. The cockpit on this aircraft is completely original.

The conversion work comprised the following: • Fabricate retractable tailwheel and doors • Shorten ailerons by 8 scale inches • Seal up cockpit door and move crowbar • Fabricate rear pressure bulkhead • Fabricate other variant specific cockpit details • Fabricate pressurisation intake • Scribe wing tanks and filler caps • Create external canopy rails • Vacform deeper rear fixed canopy section

The reworked and cast copies of the throttle and gear quadrants are shown painted in this view. Careful painting really adds to the look. A Winsor-Newton Series Seven 000 brush was used to paint the white stenciling in the cockpit.

MD111 is an odd mix of features. While it has the late style gun bay blisters, four-slot main wheels and double cutaway elevators of a later production aircraft, it has the early style carburetor intake. At the time the only known photo was taken, sometime shortly after D-Day, the high altitude wingtips had already been replaced with standard elliptical tips, which was fine with me as they look better on the Spit.

The Compass mount was moved to the starboard wall, so a new mount had to be scratchbuilt. Thankfully, I made resin copies of this part, as this one flew off into the ether, never to be seen again.

The kit instrument panel built mostly out of the box. The engine priming pump was moved to the lower right hand side of the instrument panel on the HF VII, next to the red ringed gauge. Careful painting brings this part to life.

The retract quadrant with its hydraulic hoses attached.

My reworked control column casting with pneumatic hoses added from fine wire.

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The floorboards and rudder pedal mechanism almost stock from the kit. I did cut little wedges out of the raised rings to create star wheel adjusters for the rudder pedals. A little fussy, but it looks cool!

I created a backpad from scribed thick lead foil from a wine bottle. The beading was created with very fine solder bent and glued into position. The kit seatbelts are OK, but I would have preferred separate buckles in this scale.

The Sutton harness, painted and tacked in place. The belts were made from heavy canvas and each had a series of large grommets on it. The harness was secured by feeding the belts over the center pin, then locked with a large clip that was attached to one of the belts by a cord.

Deviating from the instructions, I started by building the engine, which is superb. With over 50 parts going into the engine alone, it takes some time to clean up all those parts, and to figure out how all those parts go together. I left the engine in four subassemblies as shown in the accompanying image to allow painting of all the various nooks and crannies. Fully assembled, it would not be possible to do this. Next is the firewall and all of the accessories, to which are added some very detailed bearer arms. Take your time here. Removing the mould parting lines from those bearer arms and the various hoses and braces requires patience. This is certainly not a quick weekend build. Be prepared to spend some time on this kit. Everything fits well and looks great. One note of caution; take your time and read and follow the instructions carefully. I assembled the oil tank and forgot to install the little magnets that help hold the lower cowling on. By the time I had discovered my mistake, the glue had fully cured. I had to grind large holes in the top of the tank with a motor tool in order to glue the magnets in. These holes were then filled and sanded out. With this stage behind me, it was time to get down to the business of converting the cockpit to a pressurised Mk VII office. A new rear pressure bulkhead, port upper sidewall and crowbar, silica gel canister and revised compass mount were scratchbuilt using cockpit photos of the Smithsonian’s sole surviving Spitfire Mk. VII, EN474. I again deviated from the instructions and attached the lower cockpit sidewalls to the fuselage halves, as I would be adding a lot of the wiring and plumbing to the sidewalls. Careful study of photos and especially pilot’s notes helped to sort out what lines went where. Be careful using modern Warbirds for reference. Some of the equipment may be modern, and other non-essential systems may be left out. Overall, the Tamiya cockpit is very accurate. I am glad they chose to ignore the wiring, as moulded in wiring looks cheesy and is very difficult to paint cleanly. The wiring was added from wire of different gauges as well as fine solder for the bigger hoses. More detail was added from styrene rod and strip, as well as discs punched out using Waldron punches. The stick, throttle quadrant and gear quadrant were detailed

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The starboard sidewall with all painting completed. You can see how much visual interest the wash adds by comparing this photo to the earlier one. The large diameter tube that snakes up the sidewall is part of the cockpit pressurization system.

The port sidewall fully painted. The compressed air bottles are called out as steel color, but they could also be painted cockpit green or black as well. The crowbar has yet to be installed.

One little odd point on this beautiful model. You will note the bottom left instrument seems to be glowing. With the fuselage halves together, this effect was even more pronounced. I resolved this by running some thinned black paint around the edge of this instrument’s clear glass.

The cockpit is now coming together. with the lower sidewalls glued to the fuselage halves, you need to take care lining everything up when you put the fuselage halves together, but it does work. Note compass position and installed gear quadrant hoses.

This view shows the installation of the rear bulkhead to good effect. Note the correct oxygen hose installation and the rudder and elevator cable runs added from wire.

Normally, I like to install seats and belts after the model is assembled and painted, but it would be very difficult to install this seat with the fuselage halves together. Tamiya’s excellent cockpit is starting to look finished.

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The tailwheel doors are cut away using a fine razor saw with a photoetched blade. The blades are extremely thin and sharp, so use with care. They also tend to break if you use too much pressure, but they are a very useful tool.

The tailwheel well blocked out with sheet styrene drilled for later installation of the scratchbuilt retractable tailwheel strut. This bay would be painted Interior Grey Green in wartime service to prevent corrosion.

The tailwheel doors with small cutout backed with Tamiya tape and the cutout filled with CA glue. Once set, the CA glue can be sanded to shape. The cured CA glue allows you to build up missing areas, and can be sanded to a thin, sharp edge, unlike solvent based putties.

and reworked, and resin castings were made. These will be available soon, along with other resin upgrade parts for this kit, from Plug inserted? Check! The seat on the Spitfire has a ribbed leather backpad. Tamiya chose not to replicate this feature, probably due to moulding limitations. I made mine from thick wine bottle foil cut to shape and

scribed to simulate the ribbed look of the pad. I simulated the beading using fine solder. Painted very dark brown, it looks the part. The etched belts are a little two-dimensional for my tastes, but I used them anyway. I added character to them by bending them up and flattening them again to make them look more like cloth. I rolled a fine rat-tail file over the belts to give them a fabric pattern. I spent quite

The kit engine is a wonderful little model on its own. I recommend painting it in subassemblies as shown. Otherwise there will be many inaccessible areas that will be almost impossible to reach with paint.

a while bending and posing each belt to give it a natural sit when installed. When I was satisfied, the belts were primed with Tamiya grey primer, then painted a canvas colour. All cockpit parts were then painted Interior Grey Green. Detail painting was done using Polly Scale acrylic and Testor’s enamel paints using various paintbrushes. After this was complete, a wash of heavily

The 60 series Merlin was fitted with a two stage supercharger, and Tamiya have gone to extremes to reproduce every aspect of this engine in amazing detail. All you need to add are ignition harnesses, some wiring and plumbing to make this engine really stand out.

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thinned scale black was applied to all the parts to pop out all the detail. Stenciling was simulated with fine dots of Testor’s white paint applied with a Winsor & Newton Series Seven 000 paintbrush. Not a cheap brush, but worth every penny. When painting was completed, the cockpit was carefully assembled. The Mk. VII had a retractable tailwheel, so the doors were marked out using scale drawings of the Mark VIII. The doors were cut out, and the roof and forward bulkhead of the tailwheel bay was fabricated from styrene sheet. The tailwheel strut was also scratch built and cast in resin with a steel pin inserted for strength. It will be available, along with the doors and rear fuselage inserts, shortly from BarracudaCast. With this done, it was time to close up the fuselage. I took my time fitting the fuselage halves together, making sure the lower cockpit sidewalls cleared the floor as they should. When I was confident that everything fit, I assembled the halves using Tamiya liquid cement.

Winging It The wings went together with no surprises, although the parts count is higher than any single-engined fighter I’ve ever built! I cut the outer 8 scale inches off the ailerons and attached them to the wings as shown. The gaps were filled and sanded out. I also scribed the access panels and filler caps for the 12.5 gallon leading edge fuel tanks specific to the Mk. VII and the Mk. VIII. Tamiya is just about the first manufacturer to correctly portray the wingtips as flat bottomed, with the top surface curving down to meet at the tip. Note that the leading edge inserts with the machine gun openings and the cannon barrel mounts should be filled and sanded to remove any trace of seams. There are no panel lines around these parts on the real wing. Flaps were attached in the up position, as they were rarely ever deployed on the ground unless the aircraft had just landed and not yet shut down the engine. I painted the inside of the radiator fairings, the entrance and exit ramps, and the radiator faces before attaching these parts to the lower wing. It greatly simplifies painting this area later on. Attention then turned to assembling the horizontal stabilisers, as well as all the flying surfaces. The hinge mechanisms consist of sturdy photo-etched tabs and steel pins. They are a bit floppy for my tastes, but they work prototypically and allow you to pose them if that kind of thing

The Mk VII’s pressurised cockpit had a unique sliding hood that was locked down with external locking canopy rails that allowed the hood to be slid back, instead of being clamped down like on the Mk VI.

MD111 was fitted with the early carburetor intake. It’s a nice moulding, but I chose to grind off the internal bump for the locator pin and socket, which is visible when you look up inside the intake. Careful sanding with small scraps of sandpaper glued to the end of toothpicks finished the job.

Don’t forget to paint the inside of the upper wing black so that you don’t see bare plastic when you look up inside the shell ejector slots on the underside of the wing.

The HF VII had short span ailerons like the Mk VIII. I cut off a scale 8 inches from the outer end of the aileron and glued it to the wing. Filling was accomplished with CA glue and sanded out.

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CHAPTER 9 Spitfire HF Mk.VII, 131 Sqn RAF

There are some prominent ejector pin marks on the inside of the radiator exit doors. If they are going to be closed, they will not be easily seen. Mine are displayed open, so I filled the depressions and sanded them flush.

The beast takes shape. With so many parts in the cockpit, wings and engine, it takes surprisingly long to get to this stage. The wait is worth it, as the resulting model looks every bit the two stage Merlin powered Spitfire.

The intake for the cockpit pressurization pump is fabricated from strip styrene sanded to shape and cemented in place on the starboard engine cowling panel.

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After masking off the cockpit and canopies (the supplied masks are excellent) the undersides were sprayed with PRU Blue. I mixed mine from Tamiya paint, but this color is available in a number of aircraft model paint lines.

turns you on. The wings and tailplanes were attached using liquid cement and the fit was excellent. The fuselage is very tail heavy, and I noticed that the glue joint was beginning to pull open after a few minutes. I recommend leaning a small book on top of the forward fuselage while the wing to fuselage joint sets, preferably overnight. Some filling and sanding is necessary on the rear underside fuselage to wing joint, but this was minimal and to be expected. The airframe was now mostly together and painting could start soon. The design of the engine assembly is such that it can be attached after painting and decaling, if you prefer. The canopies were masked using the preprinted tape masks. I cut carefully along the lines and was rewarded with great fitting masks. This is a great masking medium. I wish they sold this stuff in sheets! The windscreen and rear canopy section were attached and any gaps filled with thinned white glue.

With the undersides masked off, the upper surfaces were sprayed in Medium Sea Grey. Don’t forget to paint all the other uppersurface parts at the same time, such as the spinner, engine cowlings, antenna mast, mirror, and the like. Ask me how many times I’ve forgotten to paint some small parts and had to go back and load the airbrush up again!

The undersides are masked off in preparation for painting the narrow invasion stripes. Don’t skimp on the masking. Overspray can travel quite a way and mess up your other color applications.

Painting and Decaling The cockpit and tailwheel bay were masked off with tape and facial tissue in preparation for painting. I wiped the model down with 70% alcohol to remove finger oils. The undersurfaces were painted PRU Blue using custom mixed Tamiya paints. A number of commercially available model paint ranges feature this colour, but I like working with Tamiya paints. I added a few drops of white to the base colour and went back and painted small random areas to break up the monotone. I repeated the process with the blue darkened a bit with black paint. The undersurfaces were masked off and the Medium Sea Grey was applied using my trusty Paasche H airbrush. Again, a number of shades of the grey were

I always mask and spray the upperwing walkway lines on my Spitfire models. It takes a bit longer, but it looks great, and its easier than fighting with very long and very thin decal strips.

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Small parts painted and ready for weathering. I always paint the prop tips white first, then yellow. Note that RAF Identity Yellow has a orange cast to it. Once cured, the tips are masked off and the blades are sprayed scale black.

sprayed at random to give the paint a subtle blotchy look. A look at real vehicles and surfaces will show that few colours are even and unaffected by the environment. The more they are exposed to the elements, the more organic and visually textured they become. Even one night of dew and dust kicked up by passing vehicles or even the wind will dull down an aircraft, and impart a subtle visual texture. The invasion stripes and wing walks were next masked off, and sprayed with Tamiya Flat White. The white areas were masked off, and scale black was applied to the invasion stripes and the wing walks. With all painting completed, all masking was pulled off, revealing the finished basic scheme. At this point, there is usually some touchup work to do to make the scheme as clean and complete as possible. The entire model is then sprayed with Future Floor

With the panel line wash finished, and the final satin coat applied, it’s time for final assembly. Due to a tight deadline, the engine on my model was painted but not detailed. I may come back to this later.

Wax (Johnson’s Clear in some parts of the world) thinned with a few drops of water. Left to dry overnight, the model is now ready to be decalled. One of the reasons I decided to model MD111 was that I had included this scheme on the BarracudaCals Spitfire Part 1 sheet (BC32004 for 1:32 scale), and was looking forward to using them to build one of my all-time favorite Spitfires. Now, I have an embarrassing admission to make. When I started to apply these decals to the model using photographic references of NX-Q and other aircraft from 131 Squadron, I discovered that these reference photos showed that this Squadron did not use the standard roundel sizes called out for high altitude RAF fighters at this point in the war. They should be 30” diameter for the fuselage and 40” for the wings. Neither looked right when applied, so I removed them before they started to stick. Some deeper research and taking careful

measurements, I discovered that both the fuselage and wing roundels were actually 32” in diameter. Decidedly non-standard. As time was short, I started searching desperately for replacements. As luck would have it, the upper wing roundels for a 1:48 scale Typhoon are exactly the right size. I used 4 of these roundels from an Aeromaster roundel sheet and they worked perfectly. The only trouble was that the roundel red that Aeromaster used was too red. The real colour is very close to Model Master Rust. The centers were masked off and later repainted, after the decals had dried. The balance of the decals was now applied and everything looked great. The next day, the model was washed to remove excess decal adhesive and the decals were sealed with a coat of Future. The panel lines were highlighted with a thin dark grey enamel wash. A few minutes later, I wiped off the excess with a cotton rag lightly moistened with mineral spirits. Done properly, this leaves the wash

My Spitfire HF VII completed. I am pretty fussy about Spitfires. Tamiya have done a terrific job of capturing the subtle shapes of the Spitfire. The shape of the prop and spinner has eluded many manufacturers, but they have nailed it.

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The undersides, showing the non-standard narrow invasion stripes and the lack of underwing roundels typical of the high altitude scheme. Note that both ailerons are up in this photo; A function of the somewhat loose hinges on the posable flying surfaces.

This image shows well the subtle variations of paint colours as discussed in the text, the medium grey wash applied to the panel lines, and the fuel stains and dirt I applied to make the airframe looked “lived in”. Subtlety is the key for weathering most aircraft.

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This shot of the tail shows the finished effect of the work done to recreate the retractable tailwheel. Note also the rudder with its nice depiction of fabric covering. Tamiya thankfully avoided the heavy scalloping that other manufactures apply to fabric flying surfaces.

in the panel lines but cleans the excess off the surface. Once this process was finished, the model was oversprayed with a satin coat. I do not like dead flat finishes on aircraft. It makes them look lifeless. I use Testors Dullcoat mixed with Glosscoat to make a light satin sheen. Two tips for applying clear coats: First, thin them enough so they will go on wet and not orange peel on you. I tend to thin with as much as 40% Testors Thinner and Brush Cleaner. The second tip is to apply the clear coats liberally. Some modellers tend to jut mist them on, but this leads to uneven coverage and a spotty finish. I lay it on almost wet. All that remained now was some further weathering and final assembly. All small parts had been previously painted and finished and only needed to be attached. The excellent engineering of this kit

This view of the upperwing shows the leading edge fuel tank access panel and filler cap just inboard of the cannon barrels that I scribed into both the port and starboard wing. Note also the fabric patches doped over the machine gun ports to keep out dirt and debris.

contributed to getting this job done with minimum fuss. I unmasked the canopies and cockpit. A careful study of the model at this point will help you find any areas that need touchup. I was sure that the removable cowling panels would not fit, but they do surprisingly well. Getting the cowlings on and positioned properly takes some care, but the final effect looks almost like they are not removable. Earlier, I had ground out an ice cream scoop shaped area from each wingtip nav light and cut off the blister for the nav light on the trailing edge of the rudder. These depressions were painted silver. I then mixed some 5 minute epoxy and filled the scooped out areas until they were nice and round. I also built up a new lens for the tail light. When set, I painted the port tip light clear red and the starboard one clear green.

CONCLUSION That pretty much brings this build to a close. I have been building models for some 34 years now, and I have to say that this kit represents the pinnacle of plastic aircraft models. It is a truly awe-inspiring kit that is as close to flawless as it gets. If I have one concern regarding the accuracy, it would be that the model seems to sit a little low on the main gear. It’s subtle, but when viewed from some angles, it strikes me. That said, this is far and away the most accurate and detailed Spitfire kit ever produced. I thoroughly enjoyed building it, and once the memory of the late night marathons I put in getting this model, photo and article finished in time to make the publishing deadline fades, I will look forward to building another one.

Tamiya really paid attention to the details. The subtly raised cover over the fuel tank in front of the cockpit, the amazingly clear and distortion free blown sliding hood, and the lack of upperwing wheel bulges show the research and clever engineering that went into the design of this kit.

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The removable cowling panels are impressively thin, and fit pretty well with a little tweaking and prodding. Still, I’d love it if Tamiya would release a version with no engine and a simple 4 part nose. Note the incorrect rear fixed canopy section. Later on, I will replace it with a vac formed clear part.

The individual exhaust stubs are labour intensive to clean up, but look very good with some careful painting. The camera port in the wingroot should have a glass lens, the one part that seems to be missing from this otherwise very complete kit.

This is far and away the most accurate and detailed Spitfire kit ever produced...

The sideview shot recreates the wartime photo of MD111 that originally inspired me to want to build this model. I really like the high altitude scheme, and it makes a nice change from the disruptive camouflage scheme worn by most Spitfires.

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lthough initially conceived as a stop-gap measure, the Spitfire Mk.IX and the essentially similar Mk.XVI (powered by a Packard Merlin engine) eventually became the most numerous of all Spitfire variants with more than 7,000 delivered to the RAF, the VVS and other Allied air forces. The Packard Merlin Mk.XVI was fitted with revised armament where the 20mm cannon was relocated to the outboard position. This was known as the E wing, and was also fitted to some Mk.IX variants. During the production run of the Spitfire Mk.XVI, a low-back "bubble" canopy version was introduced. The camber of the main wheels was changed on the Mk.XVI, necessitating a shallow bulge on the top of the wing to accommodate the tilted wheel in the undercarriage bay. The Spitfire Mk.XVI continued in front line service until the end of the Second World War.

IN THE BOX Tamiya released this Mk.XVIe, their third Supermarine Spitfire kit, in early 2011. Tamiya’s 1:32 scale Spitfire Mk.XVIe comprises around 360 parts in grey plastic, 18 parts in clear, two nickel-plated photo-etched frets, six parts in flexible black vinyl, eight steel pins, seven miniature magnets, various small screws and metal parts, a self-adhesive masking sheet for the canopy parts, two metallic self-adhesive name plates and two decal sheets with markings for three aircraft. Not surprisingly, most of the parts are common with the initial Mk.IXc kit, including the main wing parts, the engine, cowling, undercarriage and cockpit. The unique attributes of the Mk.XVIe have been thoroughly covered in this new boxing. The most obvious difference in this version is the low-back fuselage. This is moulded in one piece from the firewall back with no inserts required. This time around, the fixed tail wheel is the only option, so the tail wheel bay insert is omitted from this set of fuselage parts. Cockpit bulkheads and some other details have been revised too.


The third and most recent in Tamiya’s extraordinary family of 1:32 scale Spitfires is the bubble top Mk.XVIe. The cockpit is fully equipped with a multi-media sandwich for the instrument panel, photo-etched harness and an optional seated pilot. You won't need to attach the flare rack (Part F47) to the front of the seat for this variant though. The E Wing configuration is delivered by alternate inserts for the upper and lower gun bay covers and ejector ports. The biggest change on the wing is the relocation of the narrow blister to the outboard position, but the shape of the blister itself is also different and there are some subtle changes on the surfaces of the panels. The new bulges on top of the wheel bays and small blisters are supplied as separate parts. To their great credit, Tamiya has

moulded the inverse part of this new bulge on the inside of the wheel well ceiling. Bombs, alternate cannon styles, slipper tanks and two versions of exhausts are provided as options. Five spoke wheel hubs are included too, but they are not used for this variant. There will be a few other leftover bits for your spares box too. As with Tamiya's other 1:32 scale Spitfire releases, surface detail is some of the best I have ever seen on a plastic model kit. The recessed panel lines are supplemented with beautifully restrained lines of rivets and raised hinges as appropriate. There are no giant divots here - the surface detail really looks the goods. Transparencies are thin and totally free of distortion. These sprues are dominated by the new bubble top canopy.

Markings for the two Grey and Green machines are supplied on one decal sheet.

The second sheet includes bright markings for the later machine, plus common stencils.

The other two colour schemes are printed on the side of the box.

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re Mk.XVIe. Kit No. 60321

The new low-back fuselage does not have the cutout below the empennage of the previous kits, as this variant was only ever fitted with the early-style fixed tail wheel.

Surface detail is magnificent – fine, crisp and in all the right places.

New bulkheads have been supplied for the Mk. XVIe.

The inboard blisters are supplied as separate parts. These accommodate the increased camber of the main wheels.

Tamiya has moulded the inside of the bulge to the ceiling of the main wheel wells.

E Wing bulges and guns are supplied on the same new sprue.

This is beautifully thin, but does have a faint raised seam line running along the centreline. This will be easy to remove with the back of a hobby blade and some Micro Mesh cloth. The clear sprue also includes the clipped wing tips, making it a simple matter to ensure nice, smear-free wing tip navigation lights on the LF version. Instrument lenses are also supplied as clear parts. These are backed with decal dials, and then inserted into the main plastic and metal instrument panel. Quite clever really. Self-adhesive masks for the canopy parts are also included. The outline is printed on the yellow masking material, and the modeller cuts them out before applying them to the clear parts. The photo-etched frets provide the aforementioned instrument panel (two versions), plus a Sutton Harness, pilot's armour and smaller details. The list of kit features is equally impressive. All control surfaces are separate. The ailerons, elevators and rudder are fitted with metal hinges, while the flaps may be posed open or closed. Alternate parts are supplied to display the undercarriage retracted or extended. This may be changed even after the model has been built thanks to removable fairings on the lower wings. A display stand is supplied for in-flight display. A beautifully detailed Rolls-Royce Merlin engine is also included. One of the problems of earlier models with detailed engines was that the thickness of the

engine cowing plastic meant that the powerplant was undersized. In this case, Tamiya’s cowl panels are a fraction of a millimetre in thickness. Another innovation is the use of tiny magnets to permit the cowl panels to be fitted and removed with ease. The cockpit door is poseable too. The tyres are presented in flexible vinyl. Two alternatives are provided - one for extended undercarriage and one for retracted. Three varied marking options are supplied on the two decal sheets: • D GE, No.349 Sqn RAF, Germany, Summer 1945. Day Fighter camouflage of Ocean Grey and Dark Green over Medium Sea Grey. • OU V, No.485 Sqn RNZAF, Fassberg Germany, Summer 1945 finished in the Day Fighter Scheme. According to the pilot Murray Lind's logbook, the serial number is actually TB675. TB625 was transferred with TB675 on the same day from 74 Squadron to 485 Squadron. Also, the spinner appears to be Black and White not Red and White, as 74 Squadrons Spitfires had black spinners.* • FD AA, No.1 (Pilots) Refresher Flying Unit, Finningley UK, March 1949. This aircraft is finished in overall silver. The decals are well printed and in perfect register. In addition to the instructions and a separate marking guide, this package includes an A5 sized, 16 page full-colour booklet containing reference photos. This will be especially helpful for painting and detailing the engine.

Conclusion Tamiya’s 1:32 scale Spitfire Mk.XVIe continues the tradition of these extraordinary kits. Will we see more variants in this series? Logically, the last version that might be wrung from this set of golden moulds might be the Spitfire Mk.VII, the pressurised version of the Mk.VIII. We can only hope! Highly Recommended. Thanks to Tamiya Japan for the sample.

The bubble top canopy is a beautifully clear moulding.

The remaining 17 clear parts include instrument panel components and the clipped wing tips.

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Dave Johnson builds and details Tamiya’s most recent addition to their benchmark 1:32 scale Spitfire family - the bubbletop Mk.XVI.

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RE M Mk.XVIe. k.XVI .XVIee. KIT NO. 60321


ew Zealand has a proud and rich military history, with many men and women volunteering to serve their country in times of war. During World War II there were a few Kiwis (New Zealanders) that were involved with important missions and outstanding feats. Charles Upham was awarded the Victoria Cross and Bar in North Africa, Sir Keith Park defended the skies against the Luftwaffe over England during the Battle of Britain. 487 (NZ) Squadron flew missions during Operation Jericho (Amiens prison) and destroyed the Gestapo headquarters twice, at Arhus and Copenhagen. Johnnie Houlton, a Kiwi pilot from 485 (NZ) squadron, recorded the first aircraft kill on D-Day when he shot down a Junkers Ju-88 over Omaha Beach. When Tamiya released its box work for the Mk.XVI Spitfire, which included RNZAF markings for 485 Squadron in Germany, there was no choice... I knew that this kit had to be built with Kiwi markings! 485 (NZ) Squadron was formed at RAF Driffield in Yorkshire on 1 March 1941 and was equipped with Spitfire Mk Is. 485 (NZ) Squadron was the first RNZAF squadron formed under Article XV of the Empire Air Training Scheme. 485’s main task was as a day fighter squadron until March 1944 when the unit was transitioned to a fighter bombing role. 485 Squadron flew 10,717 sorties totalling 14,494 hours. During this time they achieved 63 enemy aircraft destroyed, 25 probably destroyed and 32 damaged. During the short period that the squadron was employed against ground targets, pilots destroyed some 70 motor vehicles and blew up 5 railway engines. A total of 27 decorations were presented to Kiwi pilots serving with the Squadron. 485’s last patrol was on the 7 May 1945 and the squadron was disbanded in October 1945.

Rongotea at Fassberg, Germany 1945

Murray Lind from 485 Squadron posing in front of his Spitfire Mk.XVI

Murray sitting in the cockpit of his Mk.XVI Spitfire.

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Dots from a marker pen are placed on the visible pins that need to be filled.

Mr Surface 500 is applied to the pin holes that need to be filled.

Pin Holes are filled and sanded back with sandpaper.

A DAY AT THE OFFICE Most instructions these days commence in the cockpit area, and this is where I would make my start on this build. I started off with the interior cockpit fuselage halves, as they have some injector pins marks in the cockpit area. Some of these pin-marks are hidden behind the interior side-framing, but some are some still visible once these parts are attached to the fuselage. I started off by dry-fitting the side framing, and by marking the pins with a black marker pen so that I could determine which marks would be exposed and would require filling. I used Mr. Surfacer 500 to fill the pin marks, and repeated this process several times as the filler shrank after it dried. Once the pin marks were fully filled, I used a Hasegawa Micro Mark Chisel and scraped the Mr. Surfacer until it was nearly flush with the plastic. I finished the surface by sanding it with 1000 and 1500 grit sandpaper. I deviated from the instructions here and attached the cockpit sidewalls to the fuselage halves using Tamiya Extra Fine cement. The main reason I chose this route instead of following the instructions was to facilitate the addition of details. Tamiya’s cockpit detail is fantastic straight from the box and would please 99% of the modellers out there, but I chose to add extra wiring and hydraulic lines that were omitted from the cockpit area. I used 0.3 mm copper wire that I sourced from a local electrical supply store and fine wire that I stripped from a one of my son's broken radio-controlled toys. After referring to all the reference photos that I had of Mk. IX and XVI cockpits, the wiring ran slightly different on each airframe, which gave me a bit of freedom. Using a 0.3 mm drill bit in a pin vise, I drilled small holes at each end point where the wire was attached to the cockpit parts. Then the wire was bent into the desired shapes and attached with CA/Superglue at each end. This was a lengthy process but the results were worth it. Unfortunately for me, once I had completed the wiring in the cockpit area,

Cockpit Frame detail is excellent, but could be improved by drilling out the lightening holes.

Added cockpit detail, done using various grades of wire and Barracuda’s Cockpit Upgrade set.

Ah, thats better! A small task can improve the look of a part.

The copper wire was purchased from an electrical store.

Cockpit parts ready to be painted.

Roy Sutherland from Barracuda Studios announced that he was releasing a new sidewall that will feature all this detail that I just added! To make matters worse, there was a sample in the mail for me... oh well! I have a Mk. IX that is sitting in the stash

that will receive this excellent addition in the future. Before I started the painting process, the cockpit received a few extra aftermarket items from Barracuda Studios’ Cockpit Upgrade set and Padded Seat, and

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RE Mk.XVIe. KIT NO. 60321 Eduard’s Late Interior Mk. IX sets. Since Mk. IX and Mk. XVI aircraft were manufactured on the same production lines, there are a few items in Eduard’s Late Interior set that are applicable to the Mk. XVI kit. The nickel-plated photo-etched parts that required painting were glued into place with CA/Superglue prior to painting. The cockpit then received a coat of Gunze Mr Color H312 Interior Green and Mr. Color Super Metallic SM01 , thinned to a 40/60 ratio with PPG Two-way thinners that I purchased through my local automotive body shop. I have read/heard many people stating that the Mr. Color lacquer paints can only successfully be thinned with Mr. Color thinner. I have found that this is not the case, and PPG thinners that I currently use does a fantastic job. Details in the cockpit and hydraulic line were picked out with a fine brush and Tamiya and Citadel acrylic colours. I attached the pre-coloured photo-etched parts then sprayed a gloss coat of Tamiya X-22 Clear to prep the cockpit area for decals. Once the clear was dry, the Barracuda Placards from the cockpit upgrade set were added. Most of these of these are two-part decals that went down beautifully and caused no troubles at all. I suspected this was to be the case, as they are printed by Cartograf in Italy, a company noted for high-quality decals. To finish off the cockpit, the Barracuda seat was painted with Tamiya XF-9 Hull Red to achieve the red-brown seat found on most Spitfires. The seat padding was finished with Tamiya XF-64 Red Brown and weathered down with Tamiya XF-57 Buff to achieve a worn look. Then the seat received a black oil wash mixed with brown and thinned with mineral turpentine to tone the colours together. Before the seat and framing assembly was attached to the rest of the cockpit, I attached the seat harness seat back. I opted to ditch the photo-etched harness from Tamiya straight away, as I had problems getting it sit nicely on a Mk. VIII kit that I built

Details in the cockpit and hydraulic line were picked out with a fine brush and Tamiya and Citadel acrylic colours. Placard decals from the Barracuda cockpit upgrade set were added.

The extra aftermarket items included Barracuda Studios’ Cockpit Upgrade set and Padded Seat, and Eduard’s Late Interior Mk. IX sets.

I attached the pre-coloured photo-etched parts then sprayed a gloss coat of Tamiya X-22 Clear to prep the cockpit area for decals. The instrument panel looks great. I used the Eduard Late seat harness for the Spitfire Mk.IX.

The cockpit received a coat of Gunze Mr Color H312 Interior Green and Mr. Color Super Metallic SM01

The Barracuda seat was painted with Tamiya XF-9 Hull Red.

I applied an oil wash of Burnt Umber and Raw Umber mixed together.

A coat of Testor’s Dullcote to tone down the shine.

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CHAPTER 10 TAMIYA 1:32 SUPERMARINE SPITFIRE Mk previously. I addressed that challenge by fitting a replacement harness from Eduard. I used the Eduard Late seat harness for the Spitfire Mk.IX, as it seems right for the time period for this airframe. I found that this harness had colour printing only on one side of the harness, and once it was fitted into place it had an unwanted silver side facing out! To solve this small problem, I decided to cut the harness off at the point as it hung over the rail (part MM8), then I just flipped over the harness. The cut line is hidden by the rail, and my problem was solved! Before I closed up the fuselage halves to encase the cockpit assembly forever, I applied an oil wash of Burnt Umber and Raw Umber mixed together, and a coat of Testor's Dullcote to tone down the shine. Subtle paint chipping was done with a Faber Castell Silver pencil on the flat coat once it dried.

Tamiya has done a wonderful job with the cockpit, even without any further enhancements.

Scratches were made using a silver pencil and applied in area of the cockpit to show wear.

Kristal Klear is applied to the clear faces of each instrument face.

THAT SMOOTH BODY The fuselage halves were mated up and glued together with Tamiya Extra Fine Liquid Cement. The tooling of this kit is outstanding, From here, everything clicks into place beautifully when the parts are dry fitted. Glue was applied to set everything in place, and no filler was required on any of the seams once it had dried, except for a couple of small areas that I failed to clean up properly. I planned to correct this oversight later on in the build once the wings, horizontal tail stabilisers and rudder were fitted. The horizontal tail stabilisers and rudder were built up as per Tamiya’s instructions with the photo-etched parts to make them moveable. Moveable control surfaces are a nice addition to include in any kit, as it gives modellers the opportunity to change them when they see fit, and no major surgery is required to adjust them from the natural position that some companies tool on their parts. Once

Control surfaces were glued into position to prevent parts moving and getting damaged in the future.

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RE Mk.XVIe. KIT NO. 60321 these parts were attached, I referred to a photo of the aircraft that I was modelling and positioned the rudder and elevators according to the photo. I glued them into place with Tamiya extra fine cement. The wings were next parts to be built. Initially, I decided to leave the bomb racks off, as the time period of this aircraft was just after Germany surrendered, and I thought these racks would not be installed. But then I found a larger, clearer version of a photo that I already had and it clearly shows them fitted. Tamiya’s instructions call for holes to be drilled in the lower wings halves for the bomb racks. Of course, I didn’t do this before sandwiching the wheel wells together in the wing halves. I quickly raided my stash and borrowed the lower wing half from my unbuilt Mk.IXc kit. The lower wing section mated up to the other lower wing that was fitted to the fuselage and the holes were marked out and drilled. Here I deviated from the instructions again, as the next step was to add the tailwheel and landing gear. I always leave these off until the end of the build as I inevitably damage them. Once everything was dry and set into place, the exterior received a coat of Mr. Surfacer 1200 thinned down to a 40/60 ratio with PPG Two-Way thinner. After the Mr. Surfacer dried, which didn’t take much time at all, I noticed a couple more areas I neglected to clean up. These areas were filled with CA/ Superglue and once dried were sanded with various grits of paper and buffed to smooth finish with an old piece of 2000 grit sandpaper. The re-worked areas were primed again to ensure I hadn’t missed anything. At this stage I attached the front windscreen in place with Tamiya extra thin cement and masked the clear parts with the sheet that Tamiya provides in the kit. This was also done with the rear part of the canopy. The rear section of the canopy was then fit into place with Blue Tack, as this would provide protection for the cockpit during painting at later stages. I used Krystal Klear to glue the kit’s cockpit door in place to aid in protecting the cockpit area. This is only temporary, as I plan to display the door in the open position.

CA/super glue is applied to areas that need filling.

Mr Surfacer 500 is sprayed on to show any flaws that I may missed during construction.

The area is sanded smooth, and damaged rivet detail was replaced with small pin.

Panel and rivet lines are pre-shaded prior to painting.

Pre-shading looks messy but the dark lines are toned down once the top colours are applied.

The pre-shaded coat may still be glimpsed under the camouflage colour.

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Small sink marks in the propeller blades were filled with Tamiya Basic Putty and sanded smooth. Blu Tack was rolled into long snakes to mask the lines required for the camouflage.

THE ROAR OF THE MERLIN One of the highlights of this kit, as well as Tamiya’s previous releases, is the fantastic-looking Rolls-Royce Merlin engine. The same base parts for the Merlin are include in this kit, but newly tooled components are included to build it as the Packard Merlin that is required for the Mk.XVI version. These components were assembled as per Tamiya’s instructions. Once the engine is built and fit into place, it is a very nice display piece when you leave the engine cowls off the completed model. I decided that I would include a little more detail in this area with the addition of the wiring and plumbing. I found that working in three stages would be the easiest to add this extra detail. Stage 1 would be things that were only attached to places on the engine, Stage 2 would be the engine bulkhead in the engine bay and the final stage would be items that attached to the both the engine, the bulkhead and/or engine cradle. After referring to lots of photos in reference books and photos on the Internet, I have a fair idea of lines/wiring that I was going to add to enhance this area. I eventually had to draw a line with some things. I could easily spend a few days adding everything required in that area, but my main goal was to make the engine bay look like an engine bay. Starting with the engine block, I used the same variety of wiring that I used in the cockpit area. With the ignition lines/pipes I used .9 mm copper pipe and fed 0.8 mm wire through the pipe and .4 mm copper wire for the leads going to the spark plugs. The cylinder blocks do not feature any spark plug detail, so I cut off the spark plugs from a rotary engine cylinder

The landing gear in painting process. Barracuda resin wheels where used and hubs were masked off with Tamiya tape.

Cabling detail was applied to the engine with various sized wire.

Spark plugs were removed from a spare rotary engine of Wingnut Wings’ Sopwith Pup Kit.

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RE M Mk.XVIe. k.XVI .XVIee. KIT NO. 60321 The rear engine bulkhead is painted and weathered, which makes this area look much busier.

Engine cradle awaiting fitment of the finished engine.

Missing pipe lines were added using reference photos.

that is included in a Wingnut Wings Sopwith Pup kit, as these were the perfect size for what I needed. Once I was happy with the look of the wiring on the engine it received a coat of Mr. Color Black and then was dry-brushed with Tamiya XF-54 Dark Sea Gray to bring out the details. The ignition wiring was painted with Tamiya XF-57 Buff and then a black oil wash was applied to get the look of the material that is used for the wiring sleeve. The same method for the wiring was applied for the engine bulkhead and engine cradle. The only area I held in doubt was the starboard side of the engine bulkhead, as none of my reference books or photos clearly showed where all the lines went. The engine cradle, framing and bulkhead were painted with Mr Color H312 Interior Green and the rest of the details were picked out using

Tamiya colours. These components were sprayed with Tamiya X-22 Clear to protect everything from the oil wash that was going to be applied later in the process. With this area being a hard working area I used black oil wash and applied it heavily in the corners of the parts. The wash was toned down by rubbing a Q-tip cotton swab over the parts to get the weathered look I was seeking. This was sealed with a coat of Testor's Dullcote Lacquer. All the painted components were glued together and the final wiring and plumbing was added and painted. The exhaust stacks were cleaned up after removing them from the sprue. I drilled a .5 mm hole just under the mounting tab and pushed a cocktail stick into the hole to make things easier to handle during the painting and weathering process. Tamiya XF-9 Hull Red was used

The engine was painted overall Mr Color Black.

Each exhaust stack is attached to a toothpick to make handing easier. The white spinner stripe has been masked off prior to coat of black paint.

The finished result after removing the masking tape so much better than a decal.

straight from the bottle to paint each stack. Once it dried, it provided a nice flat finish to adhere weathering pigments. Natural Black and Faded Panzer Grey Warpigs pigments were mixed together to get a sooty-looking colour and were brushed over each exhaust stack. Each received a coat of Testors Dullcote to seal the pigments in before they were handled again.

MARKINGS ISSUES Tamiya includes markings for a 485 (NZ) Squadron Mk.XVIe machine within the box, which was piloted by Warrant Officer Murray J. C. Lind, at Fassberg, Germany, 1945. The aircraft carries his personal marking of “Rongotea”, which is a small farming district outside of Palmerston North on the North Island of New Zealand where Murray came from, and a black and white shield containing the letters "NZ" and the Silver Fern. This emblem was used on several No. 485 (NZ) Squadron Spitfires, which was copied from the logo of a tin of Silver Fern tobacco, a popular kiwi brand with the New Zealand pilots during the war. This was my choice for this model. Before I start any build, I always look into the history of the aircraft and the pilot. I found a couple items that didn’t seem to match up to the profile art in the Tamiya kit and couple of other profiles that have been published. During my research, I was lucky and was able to contact Murray Lind’s son, Alan, who was happy to pass on information on his father’s Spitfire to me. The first thing that came to my attention was the serial number of TB625. The only known photo of “Rongotea” showing a serial is from the port side, which is partly painted over and is not fully visible. All profiles that have been published to date have used this serial number. I was able to ascertain that this Mk.XVI was transferred from 74 Squadron during May 1945 along with another Mk.XVI with serial number TB675. Looking

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CHAPTER 10 Tamiya 1:32 Supermarine Spitfire Mk

Paint masks are applied to fuselage.

The white part of the roundel has been sprayed.

An oversized masked dot has been applied to protect the inner parts of the roundel, and the blue area of the mask has been removed.

Mr Color C326 Blue (FS15044) is sprayed from the bottle.

The paint mask is reapplied over the blue area prior to the yellow.

Final stages of painting the roundel.

at a very high resolution scan of the photo, the serial could have been TB675 or TB625. At this stage I had not made contact with Alan Lind, Murray’s son. When I did, he confirmed my findings, as his father’s logbook states that it was in fact TB675 that he flew! The other item that I found that didn’t seem right was the spinner. In From D-Day to Victory! Fighters in Europe 1944-45 – by Malcolm Laird, Ventura Publications, the profile art depicts the spinner painted red with a white band. Lifelike decal sheet #32-011, Supermarine Spitfire Mk.XVIe Part 2, shows the spinner is again Red, but this time a Sky band. I believe both are incorrect, as Fighter Command issued orders in early January 1945 to paint spinners black instead of Sky. I found more evidence in a photo of another 485 Squadron Mk.XVI Spitfire that shows a black spinner on the aircraft. Alan Lind provided a photo of TB675 during its time with 74 Squadron (coded 4D-V), and this photo also shows it with a black spinner. So my logical conclusion is that the spinner was indeed black with a white band, as these colours are the national colours for New Zealand and would be most fitting for a Kiwi pilot and his Spitfire. The other two small details that I questioned was the shield underneath the prop, and again the colour question arises... Red or Black? I chose the black option as it matches the colour of the spinner in the photo of Murray Lind standing in front of his Spitfire. Luckily, Tamiya provides both colour options on

The roundel mask is removed. A couple of small touch ups are required, which may be done with a fine brush.

the decal sheet supplied with the kit. The last small detail was the “Rongotea” decal on the Tamiya sheet. For some reason Tamiya depicted a black outline around the lettering on the decal. Unfortunately, this is incorrect, as there is a fantastic close-up photo of this area which clearly shows no outline. Lifelike Decals sheet has the correct artwork for “Rongotea” on their sheet.

Painting With the marking questions answered, I moved along with the part that I enjoy most during building - painting and weathering. This is where the model start to come to life. My chosen brand for this task is Mr. Color Lacquers range. I have

only started using these paints in the last 18 months, and the results I’ve achieved are fantastic. The paint dries quickly and gives a smooth even finish. I started the painting process with the underside colour, Mr. Color C363 Medium Seagray. After the lower colour was dry, the camouflage demarcation line was masked off with 6mm Tamiya tape and masked off with an paper mask to prevent any over spray from landing on the freshlypainted lower surface. The complete upper surface received its first colour of C362 Ocean Gray sprayed through a Tamiya HG-III airbrush. Once the Ocean Gray was dry, I rolled out Blue Tack snakes to mask off the camouflage lines. Using the paint guide, I tacked the blue

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RE Mk.XVIe. KIT NO. 60321 All the paint masks are finally removed and reveal the fresh markings.

tack snakes on the required surfaces and masked off the gray areas with 3M 40mm masking tape those areas that needed protection from C364 Gray Green. Just recently, I started using paint masks for markings. This gives the painted-on look better than decals. Funny that! In the early stages of the build I contacted the team at Miracle Masks ( to produce the mask set required for my build. I supplied photos that I had and a scan of the decal sheet to help them with the process and advised them that I was working to a deadline, and they were more than happy to oblige. Approximately eight days later, I had a set of masks in my hand, well before I required them for the painting stage! After reading the instructions provided with the masks, I started applying the masks to the model. I decided that the easiest way was to apply all the mask to the model, and work my way around the model starting with the masks that needed the fewest colours to complete. I started with the serial numbers on the fuselage, and the outside of the paint masks were masked off with 18mm Tamiya Tape. With low air pressure running through my airbrush, I slowly started to mist on small coats of Mr Color C2 Gloss Black over the mask for the serial number. The main trick with using a paint mask is to slowly mist on the paint over the area and slowly build up the colour. You don’t want to flood the area with a thick coat of paint. Most masking materials are very thin, around 80 microns thick, and if you apply a heavy coat of paint you’ll end up with a raised ridge of paint around the outline of the mask after its removed.

The same method was used for the code letters on the fuselage, and Mr. Color C368 Sky was used for the OU letters and C62 Flat White was used for the V. The next task I had to tackle was the painting of the roundels on wings and fuselage and the fin flash on the tail. These were multi-part masks, so each part that was removed had to be kept for the next stage in the process. The first step was to paint the centre of each roundel white. I did this while I was painting the code letter V to save time and paint. Each mask was then reapplied to protect the colour that was just sprayed. I used Mr. Color C326 Blue, (FS15044) and C329 Yellow (FS13538) straight from the bottle, but the C327 Red (FS11136) that I decided use was a tad too bright from the bottle. So three or four drops of black were added to my airbrush cup to darken the red. Once everything

Wing walk lines were masked off with Tamiya tape and sprayed.

Exhaust stains were achieved by applying Soot from the Tamiya Weathering Master set.

dried, the masks were removed. A couple of small areas required touch ups, and this was done with the relevant colour, a fine tip brush, and a very steady hand.

Stains and streaking were achieved by using oil paint washes. How to Build... Tamiya’s 1:32 Spitfire Mk.IXc, Mk.VIII and Mk.XVIe 77

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CHAPTER 10 TAMIYA 1:32 SUPERMARINE SPITFIRE Mk FINISHING AND WEATHERING After the paint cured overnight, I started to apply the decals. Most of the colours in the Mr Color range are semi-gloss or gloss, so the surface is normally smooth enough to apply decals without adding an additional gloss coat. This was a quick task, as there were only a few stencils on the underside that I applied. The couple of the close up photos I had of “Rongotea” didn’t show any signs of stencils on the upper surfaces. This aircraft had previously been in the hands of four other squadrons prior its arrival at 485, and would have been repainted and touched up a few times. I decided to use the decals from the Lifelike sheet for Murray’s personal markings on the side of the fuselage, as they are more accurate than the ones that Tamiya supplied on their sheet. I used the black option from the Tamiya sheet for the shield underneath the propeller on the lower front cowl, as Lifelike only supply the

red option. The decals settled down nicely without any setting solution, but I did apply a small amount of heat to the decal with a hairdryer on a low setting and rolled a Q-tip with a small amount of pressure over the decal to get it to conform around the surface where it was placed. Prior to weathering, all the small components needed to be finished and attached to the model. Propeller blades were sprayed with Mr. Surfacer 1200, which revealed a sink mark at the base of each blade. These were filled with Tamiya Basic Putty and sanded to a smooth finish and Mr. Surfacer was re-sprayed to confirm that it was filled sufficiently. The tip of each blade was painted with Mr. Colour C329 Yellow then masked off with 6mm Tamiya Tape prior to being sprayed with Mr. Color C2 Black. My next step was to tone down the gloss finish on the blades, so I used Testor's Dullcote Lacquer and then a Faber Castell Silver pencil to apply chipping to

each blade. To finish off the propeller, the spinner was sprayed with C62 Flat White and the middle stripe was masked off with Aizu 1mm Mircon Masking Tape. The landing gear was assembled according to the instructions, but the vinyl tires supplied with the kit were replaced with BarracudaCast four spoke resin wheels. Once the landing gear was attached, everything was glued into place, as I had no plans to display it with the gear up. Before weathering, the entire model was sprayed with Mr. Color C181 Super SemiGloss Clear to seal in the decals that were applied earlier. A wash was mixed up with Raw Umber and Burnt Umber oil paints and Mineral Turpentine. This mixture was brushed on with a wide brush and left on the surface for 10-15 minutes until it was semi-dry, and was wiped off with a paper towel in the direction of airflow. Looking at a few period photographs, all the different marks of Spitfires seem to have dirty streaking in the centre of the

Glue was applied to set everything in place, and no filler was required on any of the seams once it had dried... 78 Chapter 10 - Spitfire Mk.XVIe In the Box

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RE Mk.XVIe. KIT NO. 60321 wing going down the fuselage. This effect was achieved by applying a small amount of oil paint directly from the tube to the underside of the model, and then running a brush dipped in Mineral Turpentine along the area where the streaking was required. This was repeated in areas that would catch dirt and grime. Sand and Soot pigments were used from the Tamiya Weathering Master A and B sets for exhausts stains, and Soot was applied around the shell casing chutes. Testor’s Dullcote Lacquer was sprayed to seal in the weathering, protecting it from future handling. Chipping the paintwork around the airframe was done using the silver pencil that I used earlier on the propeller blades. The only task preventing me from completing the build was removing the mould-line from the rear canopy part and attaching the cockpit door in an open position. With modern tooling technology, manufacturers are able to achieve

undercuts on parts. Unfortunately this process usually leaves a faint mould line. On most parts, this line is easy to remove and cover with a coat of paint but this can be a tricky task on clear parts. To remove this line on the rear section of the canopy I used a 7-sided nail buffer that I liberated from my wife’s cosmetics draw in the bathroom! Working through the different sides of the buffer, the line was slowly polished out of the clear part. Once complete, I used Tamiya polishing compound to remove the small amount of the fogging left over from buffing the line out. With the model nearly complete, the only part to attach was the cockpit door. I opted to use the replacement door from Barracuda as the detail is fantastic, and the crowbar is cast separately and simply clips into place. The door was painted and weathered with the same colours that were used on the cockpit, and the crowbar was painted with Citadel Mithril Silver and attached in place using Super T super glue.

MODELSPEC Accessories Used: Barracuda Studios - Spitfire Seat with Leather Backpad (BCR32001); Spitfire Cockpit Door with Separate Crowbar (BR32002); Cockpit Upgrade set (BCR32003); Spitfire 4-Slot Main Wheels (BR32006) Miracle Mask – Custom made paint masks Eduard - Late Interior Mk. IX Set (ED32670), Eduard Spitfire Mk.IX Late seat harness (ED32667) Tools and Materials Used: Tamiya Extra Fine Cement, Tamiya Basic Putty, Copper Wire, Fine Electrical Wire, Hot Stuff Super T Super Glue, Stretched Sprue, Tamiya HG-III Airbrush, 7 Sided Nail Buffer, Tamiya Compound, Aizu 1mm and 3mm Mircon Masking Tape, Wave Brass Pipe 1.1mm, Mirco Kristal Klear, Hasagawa Tritool Chisel, Hasegawa Punch 1mm and 1.5mm, Blue Tack, 3M 40mm Masking Tape Paints and Finishing Products Used: Tamiya Acrylic Paints – X-7 Red, X-18 Semi Gloss Black, X-22 Clear, X-25 Clear Green, X-27 Clear Red, XF-9 Hull Red, XF-24 Dark Gray, XF-52 Flat Earth, XF-64 Red Brown, XF-69 Nato Black. Mr Color Lacquer – C2 Gloss Black, C62 Flat White, C181 Super SemiGloss Clear, C326 Blue FS15044, C327 Red FS11136, C329 Yellow FS13538, C361 Dark Green BS641, C362 Ocean Gray, C363 Medium Seagray, C364 Gray Green BS283, C368 Sky. Mr Hobby Super Metallic Range – SM01 Super Fine Silver, SM03 Super Iron, SM05 Super Titanium. Citadel Mithril Silver, Burnished Gold Maries Oil Paint – 687 Burnt Umber, 688 Raw Umber, 793 Black Faber Castell Silver pencil Testors Dullcote Lacquer Isopropyl Alcohol PPG Two Way Thinners Mineral Turpentine References: From D-Day to Victory! Fighters in Europe 1944-45 – by Malcolm Laird, Ventura Publictions No.485 (N.Z) Squadron 1941-1945 Spitfire – by Paul Sortehaug & Phil Listemann Murray Lind’s Flight Log Book. Acknowledgements: Thanks to Alan Lind, for the information and photos of his father’s aircraft provided to me.

How to Build... Tamiya’s 1:32 Spitfire Mk.IXc, Mk.VIII and Mk.XVIe 79

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References The Spitfire Mk.VIII, Mk.IX and XVI in Print n ‘Spitfire: The Canadians’

n ‘Czechoslovak Spitfires in Detail’

(Stoddart / Boston Mills Press [Canada], 1995; 160 pages)

(History Profile series, No. 2; Wings & Wheels Publications [Czech Republic], 2002; in Czech and English; 48 pages)


n ‘The Supermarine Spitfire — Part 1: Merlin-Powered’ Humphreys (Modellers Datafile series, No. 3; SAM Publications [UK], 2000; 184 pages)

n ‘Spitfire LF.Mk.IX in Detail’ Koran, Danda, Martinek and Khol

(Special Museum Line series, No. 26; Wings & Wheels Publications [Czech Republic], 2002; in English; 153 pages)

n ‘Spitfire IX & XVI of Polish Airmen, Vol. I’ Matusiak

(Wojny - Bitwy - Kampanie series, No. 3; Mirage Hobby [Poland], 2002; in Polish and English; 96 pages)

n ‘Spitfire Mk. IX & XVI Engineered’ Monforton: (Monforton Press [Canada], 2007; 423 pages) n ‘Spitfire: The History’ Morgan and Shacklady

n ‘Spitfire in Action’ Scutts

(Aircraft in Action series, No. 39; Squadron/Signal [USA], 1980; 58 pages)

n ‘Spitfire in Blue’ Smallwood (Osprey [UK], 1996; 158 pages) n ‘Dutch Spitfires: A Technical Study’ van der Meer and Melchers

(Repro Holland [Netherlands], 1988; in Dutch and English; 116 pages)

n ‘Vickers-Supermarine Spitfire Mk.VI-XVI’ Yamada and Ohasato

(Aero Detail series, No. 27; Dai-Nippon Kaiga Co., Ltd. [Japan], 2000; in Japanese and English; 84 pages)

n ‘Spitfire - Star of Israel’ Yofe

(Key Publishing [UK], 1987; 634 pages) n ‘Spitfires and Polished Metal: Restoring the Classic

Fighter’: Moss and McKee


(Classic Warbirds series, No. 1; Ventura [New Zealand], 1996; 48 pages)

(MBI [USA], 1999; 144 pages)



After-market companies have been quick to launch an interesting selection of accessories and decals for Tamiya’s 1:32 scale Spitfire Mk.IXc, VIII & XVIe kits.

amiya’s 1:32 scale Spitfires are undoubtedly beautiful kits, but there is always room for some more detailing and customisation. The most ambitious accessory released was a conversion to the low-back bubbletop Spitfire Mk.IX or Mk.XVI. This is a resin conversion from Alley Cat that provides new fuselage halves, E Wing blisters and a new clear resin bubble top canopy. Of course, this has been made redundant since Tamiya’s subsequent Mk.XVIe release. Roy Sutherland’s Barracuda Studios has been quick to produce a number of update sets, some of which have been used in the Spitfire VII and VIII builds in this book. The replacement pilot’s entry door is an inex-

pensive accessory that represents a big improvement over the kit part. The separate pinch bar is a nice touch. Barracuda Studios’ also offers subtly weighted resin replacement wheels (choice of four or five slot) for those who do not like vinyl tyres, wide upper gun blisters with a more conventional rounded shape at the front, and an excellent cockpit upgrade set that includes placard decals. A new pilot’s seat with the cushioned backrest moulded in place is another upgrade worthy of consideration. Replacement wheels are available from MasterCasters and True Details too. The prolific Eduard from the Czech Republic has released a good selection of

photo-etched accessories for the interior and exterior of Tamiya’s Spitfires, in both early and late production configurations. In my opinion, the self-adhesive interior sets, with their precisely pre-painted instrument panels, are a wonderful boost to the kit’s gorgeous cockpit. There is no shortage of marking options either. Whether you are building a Mk.VII, VIII, IX, XVIe or even low back conversions or a Mk.XIV, you will find a good selection of screen printed and ALPS markings, as well as masks. The lists of available accessories and decals on these pages may not be exhaustive, but they will give you a good idea of what is currently available.

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Item No.


Alley Cat


Spitfire Mk.IX and XVI Bubbletop Conversion

Barracuda Studios


Seat with padded backrest

Barracuda Studios


Cockpit entry door with separate crowbar

Barracuda Studios


Cockpit upgrade set

Barracuda Studios


Merlin engine rocker covers with Rolls-Royce logos

Barracuda Studios


Main wheels - five slot

Barracuda Studios


Main wheels - four slot

Barracuda Studios


Wide upper wing gun blisters (rounded at the front)

Barracuda Studios


Starboard sidewall with plumbing

Barracuda Studios


Australian treaded tyres

Eduard has a big range of photo-etched accessories and masks for Tamiya’s Spitfire kits.

Eduard EBIG3283

Big Ed set for early version Spitfire Mk.IX, including photo-etch for interior and exterior plus masks

Eduard EBIG3286

Big Ed set for late version Spitfire Mk.IX, including photo-etch for interior and exterior plus masks

Eduard ED32246

Supermarine Spitfire Mk.IX landing flaps

Eduard ED32249

Supermarine Spitfire Mk.IX exterior

Eduard ED32666

Supermarine Spitfire Mk.IX early interior (self adhesive)

Eduard ED32667

Supermarine Spitfire Mk.IX late seatbelts

Eduard ED32669

Supermarine Spitfire Mk.IX early seatbelts

Eduard ED32670

Supermarine Spitfire Mk.IX late interior

Eduard ED33064

Supermarine Spitfire Mk.IX late interior

Eduard ED33066

Supermarine Spitfire Mk.IX early interior (self adhesive)

Eduard EDJX103

Supermarine Spitfire Mk.IX



Supermarine Spitfire Mk.IX Undercarriage legs

Master Model


Supermarine Spitfire C wing - Hispano 20mm cannons in fairings

Master Model


Supermarine Spitfire B wing - Hispano 20mm cannons in fairings

Master Model


Supermarine Spitfire E wing early - Hispano 20mm & .50cal in fairings

Master Model


Supermarine Spitfire E wing late - Hispano 20mm & .50cal in fairings



Supermarine Spitfire 20mm Cannon Barrels



Supermarine Spitfire Mk.IX 4 spoke weighted wheels



Supermarine Spitfire Mk.IX 5 spoke weighted wheels

True Details


Supermarine Spitfire Mk.I/IX main wheels

BarracudaCast’s range of Spitfire accessories.

Some of the contents from Barracuda Studios cockpit update set, including placard decals.

Above: Four-slot weighted wheels from Barracuda. Top Right: Barracuda’s replacement seat includes the frequently-fitted padded backrest cast in place. Right: This resin pilot’s entry door from Barracuda Studios will have a big impact on this highly visible area.

The Alley Cat resin parts include new fuselage halves.

Master Model offers a good selection of C and E wing armament.

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Item No.


Aero Imageworks


Pacific Spitfires “Caldwell”. Spitfire Mk.VIII, CR-C A58-484

Aero Imageworks


Pacific Spitfires “Shark Attack”. Spitfire Mk.VIII, ZP-Y A58-672

Aero Imageworks


Pacific Spitfires “Shark Attack”. Spitfire Mk.VIII, ZP-Q A58-672

Aero Imageworks


“Ramrod” Part One. Spitfire Mk.IX and XVI from 453 Sqn. RAAF.

Aero Imageworks


“Ramrod” Part Two. Spitfire Mk.IX from 453 Sqn. RAAF.

Aussie Decals


Australian Spitfire Mk.VIII (Four options – ALPS printed sheet)

BarracudaCals BC32004

Supermarine Spitfire Mk.IX Series Pt. 1 (4) HF Mk. VII MD111 NX-Q 131 Sqn RAF Culmhead Med Sea Grey/PRU Blue 1944; MB820 ON-E 124 Sqn RAF Northolt 1943; FR.IX MK716/X 16 Sqn Overall PRU Pink 1944; MB883 VZ-B 412 Sqn RCAF Fl.Lt Buzz Beurling RAF Biggin Hill 1944

BarracudaCals BC32008

Supermarine Spitfire Mk.VIII Pt. 1 (4)

Berna Decals


Supermarine Spitfire LF Mk.IX (3 d,corations)

Kit at War


Supermarine Spitfire/Mustang (4) Spit Mk IX MJ238/X 73 Sqn Malta 1946; RB185 FT-C 43 Sqn Austria 1946; MA454 UM-V 152 Sqn Italy 1942; Mustang Mk 4 KM272 QV-V 19 Sqn RAF Acklington F/Lt A.S.Doley `Dooleybird’.

EagleCals EC32114

Supermarine Spitfire Mk.IX (3) MA585 KH-B 403 Sqn RCAF P/O Buzz Beurling; EN354 WD-W 52nd FG Lt Leonard V. Helton N.Africa camouflage; MH454 FU-N 453 Sqn RAAF F/O J.Boulton Full D-Day stripes

EagleCals EC32115

Supermarine Spitfire Mk.IX (3) BS104 YO-R 401 Sqn RCAF F/O T.K.Ibbotson Nose art 1942; MK636 2I-E 443 Sqn RCAF S/L Wally McLeod Full D-Day stripes; EN459 ZX-1 145 Sqn RAF Polish Fighting Team N.Africa camo

EagleCals EC32116

Supermarine Spitfire Mk.IX (3) BS152 AE-W 402 Sqn RCAF S/L L.M.Cameron; MK826 GC-K 412 Sqn RCAF W/C George Keefer; EN398 AE-B 402 Sqn RCAF Ian Keltie. All 1943

Montex Mask


Supermarine Spitfire Mk.IXc (Masks to replace kit decal options)

Montex Mask


Supermarine Spitfire Mk.IXc (2)

Montex Mask


Supermarine Spitfire Mk. VIII (2)

PT Decal


French Miscellany (7) Supermarine Spitfire Mk.IXc (3) MJ897 GR 2/33 Savoie `Curieux’ 1945; PL159 U6-V GC 3/3 Corse 1945; BL993/W GCB 2/18 Saintonge 1945. Ju 88A-4 50-AAB-1 EPS 1/81; No 12 GB 131 1945; No 5 Groupe Dor 1944; No 22 AAB-1 1945

Sky’s Decals


IAF Supermarine Spitfire Mk.IX. D-130 the First Israeli; Velveta I and Velveta II and other aircraft from The First Fighter Sqn, The Scorpion Sqn and 107 Sqn, No 58 Silver Supermarine Spitfire and No 57 Ezer Weizman’s Black Supermarine Spitfire

SuperScale SS32254

Supermarine Spitfire Mk.IX USAAF 52nd Fighter Group (2)EN354 WD-W ‘Doris Jean II’ 1st Lt Leonard Helton 4th FS, La Sebala, Tunisia 06/1943; EN447 WD-L ‘Kay III’ Lt Victor Cabas, 4th FS 1943. Includes color profiles, upper plan views, painting reference, stencils and detailed placement guide.

Techmod TM32001

Supermarine Spitfire Mk.Vb (5) RM144 RF-D 303 Polish Sqn 3 versions; W3902 WX-T 302 Polish Sqn; EE781 ZX-A 145 Sqn Desert camouflage.

Techmod TM32019

Supermarine Spitfire Mk.Vb (4) EP594 RF-D 303 Polish Sqn Lt Jan Zumbach 1942; P8742 WX-A 302 Polish Sqn Lt Glowczynski 1941; AB968 ZF-H 308 Polish Sqn Sgt Schiele 1941; W3207 JH-M 317 Polish Sqn 1943

Tally Ho


Supermarine Spitfire Mk.IX

Tally Ho


Post War Czech Supermarine Spitfire Mk.IX (9) SL628/HL; SL654 DU-G 312 Sqn; TE563 NN-O 310 Sqn; TE954 RY-K 313 Sqn; All RAF Manston 1945. SL662 KR-7; TE524 JT-5; TE561 LS-6; MH758 A-717; TE554 A-708. All based in Czechoslovakia. Double sheet

Victory Productions


Spitfire – Aces of Empire

Victory Productions


Supermarine Spitfire Mk.VIII and Supermarine Spitfire Mk.IX

Vingtor VTH32108

Supermarine Spitfire Mk.IXc RAF 132 North Weald Wing (6) EN177 AH-Z or LZ919 AH-T 332 Sqn 1943; MJ462 RAB Wing/Co Rolf Arne Berg; MA225 FN-S or MA756 FN-W 331 Sqn; BS458 KB Wing/Co Kaj Birksted;

Xtradecal X32025

Supermarine Spitfire Mk.IXe/Mk.XVIe (3) RK855 FT-C 43 Sqn Zeltweg Austria Sept 1945; TB890 ZF-M 308(Polish) Sqn Germany 1945, Both with clipped wing tips; PV303 ON-B 124 Sqn RAF Hutton Cranwick 20 June 1945, all with pointed rudders

Zotz ZTZ32033

Supermarine Spitfire Mk.IXs and Supermarine Spitfire Mk.XIV (8) Mk.IXc MK210 `Hello Tolly’ Boscombe Down; ML214 5J-K 126 Sqn `Muscat/Kay’ S/Ldr John Plagis; ML296 DU-N Flt.Lt Otto Smik; MK227 5 Stormo Italian Air Force 1946; Georgios Smyrniotopoulos Greek Air Force Pointed fin and clipped tips; Mk.XIVe RB188 DL-K 91 Sqn West Malling Flt.Lt Johnny Johnson;RN133 FF-B 132 Sqn Sqn.Ldr K.L.Charney Hong Kong 1946; RN135 YB-A 17 Sqn ...

82 Appendix - References, Accessories & Decals

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The ‘HOW TO BUILD...’ series

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Tamiya’s 1:32 scale Supermarine Spitfire is truly a superb kit in terms of level of detail, engineering innovation, fit and presentation...

SPITFIRE Mk.IXc, Mk.VIII & Mk.XVIe Although initially conceived as a stop-gap measure, the Spitfire Mk.IX (and the essentially similar Mk.XVI) eventually became the most numerous of all Spitfire variants with more than 7,000 delivered to the RAF, the VVS and other Allied air forces. Premier Japanese model company Tamiya has released Spitfire Mk.IXc, Mk.VIII and Mk.XVIe kits in 1:32 scale. These three kits are simply superb in terms of detail, engineering innovation, fit and presentation. In the warm afterglow of their release, many modellers have declared Tamiya’s 1:32 scale late model Spitfires to be the some of the best scale model aircraft kits of all time. This book details the construction of all three kits in step-by-step illustrated guides, and also suggests how Tamiya’s kit may be improved and describes the after market decals and accessories that are available for these magnificent models.

Published by: ADH Publishing Ltd., Doolittle Mill, Doolittle Lane, Totternhoe, Bedfordshire, LU6 1QX Telephone: 44 (0) 1525 222573 • Fax: 44 (0) 1525 222574 Website:

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