How To Build Tamiya's 1/32 SpitfireMKIX.pdf

October 14, 2017 | Author: K | Category: Supermarine Spitfire, Aviation, Aircraft, Aeronautics, Aerospace Engineering
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Descripción: A guide to building Tamiya's Supermarine Spitfire Mk.IX scale model airplane....





Brett Green



■ Late Merlin Spitfires Close-Up ■ Profiles ■ Step by Step - Building the Perfect Beast


From the publishers of Tamiya Model Magazine International, Model Military International, Model Airplane International and Military Illustrated

Brett Green, Marcus Nicholls and Roy Sutherland



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. Tamiya’s 1:32 scale Supermarine Spitfire is truly a superb kit 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 Mk.IXc to be the best scale model kit released to date. Naturally, such a subjective assertion is very much a matter of opinion, but the three 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 three complete builds, including one conversion. Any modelling book is an ensemble effort and this title is no exception. I would like to extend my sincere appreciation to both Marcus Nicholls and Roy Sutherland, whose wonderful Spitfires appear in these pages. All of the models were built in record time to permit early publication. Roy went especially far out on a limb with his extraordinary super detailing and conversion. Thanks to both 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 Spitfire expert Bob Swaddling for providing a helpful list of improvements. The photos of the Spitfire Mk.XVI Merlin engine in the Close-Up section were kindly provided by James Levingston. Finally, thanks to Dr Charles Metz for the list of Spitfire Mk.IX reference publications that appear at the end of this book. Brett Green, January 2010

2 How to Build... Tamiya’s 1:32 Spitfire Mk.IXc

How to build... Tamiya’s 1:32 Spitfire Mk.IXc

■ 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 magazine Model Military International, the armour modelling website Missing-Lynx (, and author of more than 15 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.

■ 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, age 16.

■ Marcus Nicholls Marcus was born in Hertfordshire, England in 1966 and still lives in this area with his wife Emma and two sons, Joseph and William. Marcus has been making models since about the age of eight, and has worked on Tamiya Model Magazine since 1991. He has been its Editor for about the last fourteen years and is Group Editor of ADH Publishing’s scale modelling magazines which include Model Airplane International and Model Military International. He is a qualified photographer and places special emphasis on photographic quality in Tamiya Model Magazine. Marcus is an enthusiastic modeller of all subjects and feels equally at home building armour, science-fiction, cars and bikes as well as aircraft.


2 Page 4 Page 6 Page

Foreword Introduction Chapter 1 Late Merlin Spitfire Close-Up



Chapter 2 Spitfire Mk.IXc in Profile



Chapter 3 Tamiya’s 1:32 scale Spitfire Mk.IXc in the box



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



RAAF Spitfire Over the Continent – Brett Green

Copyright © 2010 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.


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

Chapter 5


Chapter 6 Tropic Spitfire – Marcus Nicholls


Chapter 7 High Atitude Fighter – Roy Sutherland



Appendix References & After-Market Decals

How to Build... Tamiya’s 1:32 Spitfire Mk.IXc 3




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 190’s 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 fourbladed propeller to handle the greater power. Although 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 Spitfire Mk.IX continued in front line service until the end of the Second World War.

4 Introduction



odellers have been waiting a very long time for a 1:32 scale Spitfire Mk.IX. 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 kit of a late Merlin Spitfire in 1:32 scale. This is a remarkable kit in terms of detail, accuracy, engineering and presentation. It has been well worth the wait. Before we examine the Tamiya kit 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. 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 comprises 33 parts in cream coloured resin. The parts will need to be removed from casting blocks, but this should not be difficult. 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.

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

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

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

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

The cockpit is well detailed with resin and colour photoetched parts.

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

a 1:32 scale Spitfire Mk.IXe and a resin low-back XVIe conversion.

USEFUL ACCESSORIES NOW AVAILABLE Grey Matter Figures from the UK has recently released a 1:32 scale Spitfire seat with moulded backrest, and a retractable tail wheel conversion. Although these were designed to use with other kits, they will be perfectly suitable for Tamiya’s Spitfire IXc too. The tail wheel will be especially handy for anyone converting the kit to a Mk.VII or a Mk.VIII.

Grey Matter Figures have Grey Matter also offers a resin Spitfire seat with a retractable tail wheel backrest cast in place. conversion. This will represent a good start for a Mk.VII or Mk.VIII conversion from Tamiya’s kit.

How to Build... Tamiya’s 1:32 Spitfire Mk.IXc 5

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

6 Chapter 1 - Late Merlin Spitfires Close-up

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.

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 7


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.

8 Chapter 1 - Late Merlin Spitfires Close-up

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 9


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

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.

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.

How to Build... Tamiya’s 1:32 Spitfire Mk.IXc 11



Richard J. Caruana explores the colours of the Spitfire Mk.IXc in worldwide service. EN479 Supermarine Spitfire Mk.IXc, EN479/N, No. 126 Squadron, Safi. Dark Earth/Mid-Stone upper surfaces with Azure Blue undersides; white codes, Night serial. Spinner is believed to be dark blue with a white backplate. Note short carburettor intake; blue/red roundels above wings.

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.

MK392 Supermarine Spitfire Mk.IXc, MK392/JE•J, flown by Wing Commander ‘Johnnie’ Johnon, OC No. 144 Wing, summer 1944. Ocean Grey/Dark Green upper surfaces with Medium Sea Grey undersides; Sky rear fuselage band and codes. Night serial; Night/white bands around wings and fuselage. Red Maple Leaf within a white disc below windscreen; white spinner.

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.

12 Chapter 2 - Spitfire Mk.IXc in Profile

EN199 Supermarine Spitfire Mk.IXc, EN199/D•V, No. 1435 Squadron, Brindisi (Italy), 1944. Dark Green/Ocean Grey upper surfaces with Medium Sea Grey undersides. Medium Sea Grey codes; red spinner with a thin white backing. No underwing roundels; blue/red roundels above wings. This aircraft is now preserved at the Malta Aviation Museum.

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.

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.

MJ642 3W-11 Supermarine Spitfire Mk.IXc (clipped wing), MJ642/3W-11, No. 322 Squadron, Royal Netherlands East Indies Air Force. Aluminium overall with black spinner and anti-dazzle panel. Red rudder tip with white ‘11’. National markings in standard six positions.

PT529 Supermarine Spitfire Mk.IXc, PT529/AH•G, No. 332 Squadron, Norwegian Air Force, Vaernes, 1946. Ocean Grey/Dark Green upper surfaces with Medium Sea Grey undersides; Sky rear fuselage band and spinner, the latter having red/white/blue bands around it. White codes, black serials; national markings in six positions.

How to Build... Tamiya’s 1:32 Spitfire Mk.IXc 13

CHAPTER 2 SPITFIRE Mk.IXc IN PROFILE Left: Full black and white D-Day invasion stripes were only worn for a relatively short period before partial removal from the upper surfaces and eventually from the lower surfaces too. Below: Desert colours were Middle Stone and Dark Earth on the upper surfaces.

Above: Supermarine Spitfire Mk.IXc, PT529/AH•G was finished in Ocean Grey/Dark Green upper surfaces with Medium Sea Grey undersides. National markings in six positions. Right: On the lower surfaces, invasion stripes extended across landing gear covers.

14 Chapter 2 - Spitfire Mk.IXc in Profile




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,

How to Build... Tamiya’s 1:32 Spitfire Mk.IXc 15

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.

16 Chapter 3 - In the Box

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 scale-thickness 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

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.

distortion. The sliding section of the 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.

How to Build... Tamiya’s 1:32 Spitfire Mk.IXc 17


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.

18 Chapter 4 - Step by Step

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

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.

How to Build... Tamiya’s 1:32 Spitfire Mk.IXc 19


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.

20 Chapter 4 - Step by Step

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”!

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

Harness straps were sprayed Tamiya XF-55 Deck Tan.


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.

How to Build... Tamiya’s 1:32 Spitfire Mk.IXc 21


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.

22 Chapter 4 - Step by Step

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.

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.

How to Build... Tamiya’s 1:32 Spitfire Mk.IXc 23


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

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.

24 Chapter 4 - Step by Step

A placard has been added and final weathering applied.

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.

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.

How to Build... Tamiya’s 1:32 Spitfire Mk.IXc 25


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

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

26 Chapter 4 - Step by Step

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 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!

How to Build... Tamiya’s 1:32 Spitfire Mk.IXc 27


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.

28 Chapter 4 - Step by Step

Ailerons are also hinged.

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.

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.

How to Build... Tamiya’s 1:32 Spitfire Mk.IXc 29


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.

30 Chapter 4 - Step by Step

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.

How to Build... Tamiya’s 1:32 Spitfire Mk.IXc 31

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.

32 Chapter 4 - Step by Step

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.

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

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

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.




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.

34 Chapter 5 - Spitfire Mk.IXc (Early), 453 Sqn RAAF

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.

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.

The printed camouflage pattern was cut out and applied to the model using a combination of Blu-Tack and Tamiya tape. How to Build... Tamiya’s 1:32 Spitfire Mk.IXc 35

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...

36 Chapter 5 - Spitfire Mk.IXc (Early), 453 Sqn RAAF

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.

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.

How to Build... Tamiya’s 1:32 Spitfire Mk.IXc 37


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!

38 Chapter 5 - Spitfire Mk.IXc (Early), 453 Sqn RAAF

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.

How to Build... Tamiya’s 1:32 Spitfire Mk.IXc 39


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...

40 Chapter 5 - Spitfire Mk.IXc (Early), 453 Sqn RAAF

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.

How to Build... Tamiya’s 1:32 Spitfire Mk.IXc 41




Marcus Nicholls finishes Tamiya’s new 1:32 Spitfire Mk.IXc in desert colours

t is hard to know where to begin when describing this model. Tamiya’s large scale Spitfire must be one of the most hotly anticipated model releases in recent years, so it has a lot to live up to. It is also one of the most studied, discussed and scrutinised subjects imaginable, so it really had to deliver in terms of accuracy. Plus, it just had to have that extra something that will elevate it over other similar models, giving it ‘star quality’. Having just completed this model, I can put my hand on my heart and say that it is

really very special indeed. In fact, I will be so bold as to say it sets a new standard for model kit design. Tamiya’s new Spitfire Mk.IXc kit perfects the art – because it has become an art – of model kit production to the point where it is hard to see how it could be taken further, although I’m sure it will be.

FITTING OUT THE COCKPIT The odyssey begins with the cockpit. Before I go any further, it is worth pointing out that you need to decide on which

42 Chapter 6 - Spitfire Mk.IXc (Early). Polish Fighting Team, 145 Sqn., Tunisia 1943.

of the three markings options you are going to depict from the outset, because there are subtle differences in equipment options between the wartime variants ‘A’ and ‘B’ and the post-war option ‘C’ and holes occasionally need to be drilled to accommodate various parts etc. Assembly follows the conventional pattern whereby the fuselage sandwiches the cockpit unit when the halves are brought together, but one usually reaches this point early on. In this case it is all the way down at stage fifteen! The reason for such

M, 145 SQN. TUNISIA 1943.

Here we can see the assembled cockpit side walls, pneumatic system bottles, pilot’s oxygen bottle and other small items fixed to a piece of card in readiness for painting. Double sided tape and Blu-Tack are invaluable for this.

The side wall frames have been painted here, as well as drybrushed with a pale green shade. A wash of brownish oilpaint has been applied, deepening the surface detail. The detail painting of the controls will follow; Vallejo paints are very useful for this.

a late ‘mating of the halves’ is thanks to the truly awesome cockpit, which takes a full twelve assembly stages to complete. The floorless design of the real thing has been faithfully reproduced. In fact, it is open all the way to the navigation light in the aircraft’s belly, the upper side of which is represented inside. Very nice. The cockpit module is held together by two perfectly-fitting side frames that lock into the central ‘backbone’ portion and in turn, fit into moulded grooves within the cockpit walls. The two structural frames

Although the side walls are designed to be mated with the floor panel to form a cockpit module, it’s well worth ‘dryfitting’ them in their places within the fuselage halves first to check their weathering matches that of the painted cockpit walls within the fuselage itself. How to Build... Tamiya’s 1:32 Spitfire Mk.IXc 43


Above, we see the major cockpit components in their base colour of XF-71 Cockpit Green.

The finished cockpit with seat fitted, minus side frames. Seen here is an almost completely box-stock build up – the only modification was the drilling out of the lightening holes in the frames.

The instrument panel is formed from injection parts, photo-etched metal and decals – the latter are best applied once all the components have been brought together to avoid damaging them.

that sit behind the pilot’s seat feature moulded circular depressions to depict the lightening holes; I chose to drill them out, but in reality you can only see a handful of them once the model is complete. The kit comes with the two armour plates that are positioned behind the seat and for scale appearance. They are formed from photo-etched metal. These parts are very visible on the model, even with the access door shut, and their effect is most impressive. The Sutton harness is also to

be found on one of the two included PE sheets. I decided to anneal these parts to ease their handling and the formation of the webbing into natural positions. Aside from drilling out the lightening holes, the cockpit was built entirely ‘box-stock’, as was the rest of the kit. The instrument panel is moulded in opaque kit plastic and apertures where the dial faces should be. These are provided by two clear inserts that fit from behind, backed up by reverse-printed decals car-

rying the dial detail. The effect is flawless, but a word of advice; fit the clear parts before your apply the decals to avoid them being damaged during handling. I followed the instructions and painted the cockpit structures with XF-71 Cockpit Green (IJN). This is a good match for the interior colour of Spitfires, if a little on the dark side. To counter that, I over-sprayed lightened layers followed by a light drybrushing and some colour washes to bring out the detail.

Looking down onto the cockpit with side frames in place – the unit is ready to be fitted into the fuselage halves. The Sutton harness is formed from rather stiff PE nickel-steel and required annealing in order to form into a natural shape.

44 Chapter 6 - Spitfire Mk.IXc (Early). Polish Fighting Team, 145 Sqn., Tunisia 1943.

M, 145 SQN. TUNISIA 1943.

The Merlin engine in this kit is quite simply a work of art – the detail is phenomenal, even though there is no wiring supplied. The engine bearer is equally well appointed and hugs the powerplant very efficiently. The design allows the engine to be fitted easily after all parts are painted without causing damage to the finished surfaces.

The bearer/firewall assembly was base coated in XF-71 Cockpit Green as per the cockpit, but the brown oil paint washes were more heavily applied.

This view clearly shows the fantastic detail on the firewall - all completely standard, nothing added.

The exhaust stubs are actually fitted over the cowling frames and are individual parts, so accurate alignment is crucial.

The engine of this Spitfire received a heavy layer of grime as it depicts a Tunisian desert based machine.

The entire engine, its bearers and firewall build up into a neat module that fits to the fuselage in an unbelievably neat and easy manner. How to Build... Tamiya’s 1:32 Spitfire Mk.IXc 45


In this shot, we can see the insert (fitted) below the horizontal stabilisers that will allow the Mk.IX to become a Mk.VIII with a retractable tail wheel in future releases.

Halfway through the application of an initial layer of Middle-Stone, we can see how the pre-shading layer shows through. Hannants Xtracrylix paint has an attractive semitranslucent quality that can be built up in subtle layers, and is therefore ideal for this procedure.



The completed cockpit module can then be sandwiched between the fuselage halves, secured with small drops of Revell Contacta cement, a most useful glue for assembly procedures. The halves fit beautifully. The sub-assembly was left overnight to allow the cement to set fully. The control surfaces and wings come next. As with the Zero kits, Tamiya has employed an elegant system of photo-etched and metal rod parts to form slim hinges that allow the ailerons, rudder and elevators to move. While this may not appeal to all modellers, it really is very effective – not gimmicky.

In many ways, the semi-elliptical wing defines the Spitfire. It is a very distinctive and complex set of curves; a challenge to get right, for sure. Without consulting scale plans (I don’t have any) I would say that Tamiya have nailed it. To me this looks like a perfect rendition of that unique, beautiful wing shape that is so easy to identify when a Spitfire flies overhead. Some extremely thoughtful planning has gone into the wing design and the main undercarriage bays in particular, making this sometimes tricky sub-assembly an absolute joy. When

The Middle-Stone is on and we can still see the pre-shading showing through. This effect is not to everyone’s taste of course and is not an essential step in the model’s paint process, but it does lend an appealingly faded look.

deciding whether to depict the landingflaps in a deployed state, I posted a message on to gather opinion on whether they might be seen in this position when the aircraft was at rest. The conclusion was that while they were opened for landing, they were rapidly closed again once the aircraft had slowed in order to prevent damage during taxiing, however they could have been seen open during maintenance, so open it was to be! Thanks to all those who offered feedback on this matter. Unlike the Zero kits, Tamiya has chosen to offer the undercarriage as fixed up-

Over the Middle-Stone, the Dark-Earth has started to be applied. It was applied freehand with ‘soft’ edges as was the original scheme. Note that the engine cowling panels have been tacked in place with Blu-Tack so the camouflage patterns align.

46 Chapter 6 - Spitfire Mk.IXc (Early). Polish Fighting Team, 145 Sqn., Tunisia 1943.

M, 145 SQN. TUNISIA 1943. or-down options rather than a movable system, an eminently sensible idea to me, as even the highest grade of kit plastic can fatigue quickly leading to potential collapse. The reason for the ‘up’ position is to allow the included display stand to be used, depicting the model in-flight, although you could of course have the undercarriage down and on the stand as if coming into land - then the flaps could be down for a genuine reason! I went for the ‘parked’ option as my test shot of the kit arrived without the stand, so the decision was made for me. The undercarriage includes flexible vinyl brake lines - but don’t worry, these are not the over-scale kind with impossibleto-remove mould part-lines, they are extremely refined, in-scale and fit like a dream. The tyres are also supplied in soft vinyl and are excellent, although I did skim them on the mini-drill to remove a slight seam around their periphery. There is a choice of wheel hubs according to the version you have chosen, plus photoetched cover plates that I can safely say are the most perfect-fitting (see, there I go again) model kit parts I have ever experienced. They drop into the hubs leaving an ultra-fine rim of aluminium colour that looks just magnificent. It’s a small thing, but it made me happy. The legs are a glueless fit into their bays, secured by sturdy blocks that are retained with self-tapping screws, hidden behind more magnetised panels.

ENGINE The engine is a masterpiece of complexity and detail; without doubt the most comprehensive example I have seen in a kit. It is made up from over forty-five parts, not including those on the firewall, and apart from wiring, it needs nothing adding at all. It is also a very easy paintjob; semi gloss black for almost every component! This is where we begin to see the introduction of Tamiya’s secret weapon in this model; micro-magnets. These powerful little devils are secreted within key sub-assemblies of the engine and are there to hold on the cowlings, which themselves have both magnets and metal plates fitted. Ingenious; but does it work? More on that later... The engine bearers are worth a mention here. These crucial structures are sometimes an afterthought in a kit that includes engine detail, but here they are given the royal treatment and, like the firewall to which they fix, are really quite magnificent. The way the whole engine module fixes to the airframe is extremely

Unlike the border between the Middle-Stone and DarkEarth, the demarcation between the upper and lower colours has a ‘hard’ edge, so a line of masking tape was applied here.

To suggest the presence of dust from its last landing, well thinned Tamiya XF57 Buff was airbrushed in selected areas on the undersurfaces.

In this view, all the camouflage colours are on and a protective layer of Johnsons’ Klear (Future) has been applied. To accentuate the subtle panel lines of Tamiya’s kit, localised ‘washes’ of dilute, dark coloured oil paints were run into them using a medium-sized paint brush. Excess wash can be wiped off with a soft cloth.

Tamiya provide hinged control surfaces in this kit - not as a gimmick, but to allow the ailerons, rudder and elevators to be subtly positioned off-centre by the modeller.

How to Build... Tamiya’s 1:32 Spitfire Mk.IXc 47


The engine ‘pod’ has been mounted to the airframe. Tamiya provide such an elegant and easy system to do this, one wonders why it has never been done before!

The panel carrying the air intake is a push-fit using a pair of pins/polycaps. It acts as the ‘lock’ that secures the engine module.

The port aileron is put through its paces! Tiny photo-etched nickel-steel hinges and metal rods facilitate this movement – remember, one up, one down!

The radiators feature individually moulded facias and it’s a simple job to fit them after the model has been painted, by just tacking on their covers with double-sided tape.

If there was a weak spot in the kit, it has to be the cockpit door. It’s a one-piece moulding and that famous red crowbar is formed integrally with the part, which is not as realistic as it could be. Hopefully, the aftermarket manufacturers will come up with a photo-etched replacement (with resin crowbar?), although it wouldn’t be too hard to fabricate a new door one’s self, using styrene sheet and a little modelling ingenuity.

48 Chapter 6 - Spitfire Mk.IXc (Early). Polish Fighting Team, 145 Sqn., Tunisia 1943.

M, 145 SQN. TUNISIA 1943.

The undercarriage is well designed in this kit, featuring flexible tyres and brake lines on the main legs. The photo-etched protective panels are yet to be fitted in this view.

well thought-out too. When the fuselage halves were brought together, a bulkhead carrying a pair of trapped polythene caps was installed just forward of the cockpit. This is the key to the engine’s mounting; the firewall’s rear face sports a pair of corresponding pegs that slide effortlessly into the polycaps, holding the whole assembly in place. Quite simply brilliant. This allows the engine to be left off until final assembly, massively easing the airframe’s painting and decalling stages.

The model includes a stand so it can be displayed ‘in flight’ and an option to fit the undercarriage in a retraced position is provided. Wheel wells are nicely appointed.

PAINTING AND MARKINGS I chose the Polish Fighting Team option for a desert camouflaged Spitfire. Hannants’ Xtracrylix paints were used and they performed flawlessly. They are not as heavily pigmented as Tamiya acrylics, but this did allow me to make extensive use of pre-shading. The Hannants paints are also slightly satin in finish, meaning less gloss coating was needed in preparation for the decals. All airbrushing of the model’s exterior was carried out with Badger’s ‘Rage’ double

action airbrush from the ‘Renegade’ series and it performed brilliantly. I was most impressed. You can see from the photos the range of tasks demanded of it. I ended up using decals from Pacific Coast Models’ kit of ‘EN315’ because in a moment of stupefying sausage-finger clumsiness, I damaged the kit’s markings and had no option than to pilfer this sheet, so whilst it’s still the same aircraft, the kit markings will look slightly different to what you see here.

The landing flaps of Spitfires were pneumatically actuated and were either firmly ‘up’ or ‘down’. They were fitted in the ‘down’ position on this model to show off their interior detail. A few extra strips of styrene were added here to supplement the photo-etched edging strips. How to Build... Tamiya’s 1:32 Spitfire Mk.IXc 49

CHAPTER 6 SPITFIRE Mk.IXc (EARLY).. POLISH FIGHTING TEAM, 14 MODELSPEC Materials; Injection moulded grey and clear polystyrene, ABS, photo-etched nickel steel, synthetic rubber, polycaps, waterslide decals, micromagnets, screws, metal rod. Paints used; Tamiya acrylics XF-71 Cockpit Green (IJN), X-18 Semi-Gloss Black. Hannants Xtracrylix XA1002 RAF Dark Earth, XA1009 RAF Middle Stone, XA1026 RAF Azure Blue

CONCLUSION This is the best model kit I have ever built, bar none – not a declaration I make lightly. Tamiya has reached a whole new level with this Spitfire and there is not one part of it I could aim any serious criticism at, apart from perhaps the engine cowling panels, which are tricky to align, but I think that was

my fault. I had never intended to fit them anyway – why cover that beautiful Merlin? Even so, on my next build of this kit, I will probably glue them on for a perfect fit. If you had any doubts about this model and it’s not inconsiderable price tag, have no fear, it is worth every single penny.

Tamiya’s new Spitfire Mk.IXc kit perfects the art of model kit production to the point where it is hard to see how it could be taken further...

Decals; ‘Borrowed’ from Pacific Coast Models Spitfire Mk.IXc PCM32005

It just looks right! Tamiya have captured the elusive ‘sit’ of Mitchell’s design perfectly.

50 Chapter 6 - Spitfire Mk.IXc (Early). Polish Fighting Team, 145 Sqn., Tunisia 1943.

M, 145 SQN. TUNISIA 1943.

That elliptical wing is simply beautiful - form follows function? Well, nature is stunning...

How to Build... Tamiya’s 1:32 Spitfire Mk.IXc 51




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

52 Chapter 7 - Spitfire HF Mk.VII. 131 Sqn RAF

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

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.

How to Build... Tamiya’s 1:32 Spitfire Mk.IXc 53


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.

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.

54 Chapter 7 - Spitfire HF Mk.VII. 131 Sqn RAF

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.

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.

How to Build... Tamiya’s 1:32 Spitfire Mk.IXc 55


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.

56 Chapter 7 - Spitfire HF Mk.VII. 131 Sqn RAF

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

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.

How to Build... Tamiya’s 1:32 Spitfire Mk.IXc 57


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.

58 Chapter 7 - Spitfire HF Mk.VII. 131 Sqn RAF

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.

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.

How to Build... Tamiya’s 1:32 Spitfire Mk.IXc 59


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.

60 Chapter 7 - Spitfire HF Mk.VII. 131 Sqn RAF

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.

How to Build... Tamiya’s 1:32 Spitfire Mk.IXc 61


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.

62 Chapter 7 - Spitfire HF Mk.VII. 131 Sqn RAF

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.

How to Build... Tamiya’s 1:32 Spitfire Mk.IXc 63


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.

64 Chapter 7 - Spitfire HF Mk.VII. 131 Sqn RAF

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.

How to Build... Tamiya’s 1:32 Spitfire Mk.IXc 65


REFERENCES The Spitfire Mk.IX in Print ■ ‘Spitfire: The Canadians’ Bracken

■ ‘Czechoslovak Spitfires in Detail’

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

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

■ ‘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)

■ ‘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) ■ ‘Spitfire Mk. IX & XVI Engineered’


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

■ ‘Spitfire in Action’ Scutts

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

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

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

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


(Monforton Press [Canada], 2007; 423 pages)

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

■ ‘Spitfire: The History’ Morgan and Shacklady

■ ‘Spitfire -- Star of Israel’


(Key Publishing [UK], 1987; 634 pages) ■ ‘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)

AVAILABLE DECALS Although accessories and conversions were rare at the time of printing, there is already a healthy number of after-market decals available for Tamiya’s 1:32 scale Spitfire Mk.IXc. These include the following: ■ Barracudacals BC32004, Spitfire Mk.IX series Pt.1. Three options - 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. ■ EagleCals EC32114, Spitfire Mk.IX. Three options - 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, Spitfire Mk.IX. Three options - Three options - 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, Spitfire Mk.IX Spitfire Mk.IX. Three options - 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. ■ Victory Productions VPD32003, Spitfire – Aces of Empire. 14 options - Mk.IX Spitfire Aces of the Empire (14) EN368 JE-J Kenley Wing Wg/Co Johnnie Johnson; MK883 KH-B 412 Sqn RCAF Fl/Lt Buzz Beurling; BS410 VZ-B 3159Polish) Sqn Capt 66 Appendix - References & Decals

Gabby Gabreski; EN520 FL-A 81 Sqn Tunisia 1943; MA408 CG 322nd Wing Sicily Wg/Co Colin Gray; MK392 JE-J 144 Wing 1944 or 127 Wing Holland 1945; MK329 JE-J JR 144 Wing Normandy 1944 both Wg/Co Johnnie Johnson; RR201 DB-G 411 Sqn Flt/Lt Dick Audet Holland 1944; Mk VII MD188 PB Culmhead Wing Wg/Co Peter Brothers 2 versions; Mk.VIII A58-484 CR-C 452 Sqn RAAF Gp/Capt Clive Caldwell 1945; A58-602 RG-V 457 Sqn RAAF Wg /Co Bobby Gibbes `Grey Nurse’ with shark mouth. ■ Xtradecal X32020, Supermarine Spitfire Mk.IX. Four options - MK805 SH-B 64 Sqn Flt.Lt Tony Cooper `Peter John 3’ RAF Harrowbeer July 1944; MH737 FF-Y 132 Sqn Flt.Lt V.J.Sumpter RAF Detling 1943; MH552/R 73 Sqn RAF Brindisi 1945; IXe PV144/4D-A 74 Sqn Sqn.Ldr J.C.F.Hayter Belgium 1944. ■ Xtradecal X32020, Supermarine Spitfire Mk.IXe / XVIe. Three options - 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 Decals ZTZ32033, Supermarine Spitfire Mk.IXs and Spitfire Mk.XIV. Eight options - 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 AF 1946; Georgios Smyrniotopoulos Greek AF 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 Sqn.Ldr J.H.Lacey Singapore 1945.

Other titles available in the ‘How to Build...’ series:

Tamiya’s Bristol Beaufighter

Tamiya’s Fairey Swordfish

Tamiya’s Steel Wheeled Tiger I

■ Building the basic model

■ Detailed photographs

■ Building the basic model

■ Details of production variations

■ Airbrushing secrets

■ Techniques to achieve realistic zimmerit

by Steve A. Evans

■ Six detailed versions of the Beaufighter ■ Weathering

by Geoff Coughlin

■ Building the model

by Angus Creighton

■ Weathering explained

■ Specialist techniques explained

■ Concise details of the production variations

■ Five detailed versions of the classic Steel Wheeled Tiger I

SQUADRON SIGNAL PUBLICATIONS Modelling Reference Books Squadron Signal Publications is one of the best known and most extensive ranges of modelling reference books ever published, featuring high quality photographs of aircraft, tanks, ships and more in action, as well as an everexpanding range of ‘walk-around’ volumes which show the subject inside and out in crystal-clear photographs - perfect for superdetailing projects. The books have been helping modellers to add essential details, find markings and apply paint schemes to aircraft, armour and ship models for many years, and the great news is that Squadron Signal books now are easier to find than ever before, because ADH Publishing, the company that brings you the ‘How to Build...’ series, is importing them from the USA. Magazines for modellers from ADH Publishing Ltd.

All you need to know! Adh Publishing Ltd.

Doolittle Mill • Doolittle Lane • Totternhoe • Bedfordshire • LU6 1QX [email protected] • •

Model Airplane International

Tamiya Model Magazine International

Model Military International

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 Although initially conceived as a stopgap 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 a brand-new Spitfire IXc in 1:32 scale. This is truly a superb kit in terms of detail, engineering innovation, fit and presentation. In the warm afterglow of its release, many modellers have declared Tamiya’s 1:32 scale Spitfire Mk.IXc to be the best scale model aircraft kit of all time. This book suggests how Tamiya’s kit may be improved, delivers a step-by-step illustrated guide to building the model, and also offers inspiration with three complete modelling projects, including one conversion.

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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