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Supermarine Spitfire IXc

by Maciek Zywczyk
 

Supermarine Spitfire Mk.IXc

 


ICM's 1/48 scale Spitfire IXc is available online from Squadron

 

Introduction

 

The Polish Fighting Team (PFT), attached to No. 145 Squadron, made its first operational flight on 16 March 1943.

The unit was manned by 15 volunteer pilots from several Polish squadrons that were operating in RAF. The PFT was operating in North Africa until 10th of May 1943. They scored 25 aircraft destroyed, 3 probably and 9 damaged.

The PFT was equipped with the Spitfire VB and VC. The first 6 Spitfires IXs arrived on 23rd of March and then whole unit was rearmed with this more powerful version of famous fighter.


 

The ICM 1/48 Scale Spitfire IXC

 

I like the Supermarine Spitfire very much. Until recently, this plane was represented in 1/48 scale by some old, not very accurate or detailed kits. Then, in a short period of time, 3 new kits arrived. After examining kits and reading several reviews and comparisons (the biggest one here on HyperScale) I decided to start on the ICM kit.

 



Aftermarket sets were desperately needed, so I bought some items from Ultracastís range. The excellent Aires cockpit set was also released just in time.

 

 

Construction

 

The ICM kit is almost perfect in shape.

Latest plans (made from plane measurements made by Spitfire specialists) showed that the whole tail is about 2 mm to low. All details from the inside of the fuselage halves were deleted and sanded smooth.

I made a cut behind canopy in the left half, then a resin part (Aires item) was glued to the front part. The Aires inner wall reaches far behind canopy, so it was used as a reinforcement for the join.

The tail was repositioned according to the drawing, and the front and rear of the fuselage were rejoined. Some pieces of plastic were also used to reinforce this assembly.

This procedure was repeated on the other side.

Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:



After modifications, reinforcements from plastic cards and cutting line were visible. I laid the modified fuselage over plans (not exactly in places) and it matches perfectly!




The floor was secured to the bulkhead using wire as reinforcement. After all the cockpit components were prepared for painting, I sprayed Humbrol Interior green and then gloss clear. After 2 days wash and matt clear followed. Details were painted with black, red brown (seat) and other appropriate colours. At last everything was drybrushed.

Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:

 

The Aires cockpit set is excellent. It fits after some trimming.




I drilled out the Ultracast spinner and glued plastic rod inside as a shaft. Using some parts from the sparse box, I made a base with a vinyl cap. This works like a Tamiya kit Ė I can take propeller off and put on whenever I like.

The fuselage halves were secured with superglue, which was used almost exclusively during construction. Itís very hard to make it keeping fuselage straight Ė much care should be taken. I decided to glue all engine covers shot and leave engine off, so I had to made base for exhaust. Excellent Moskit product was used. Each exhaust pipe was separated from base and glued to the plastic plate. It was difficult to align them properly, but the result is great. Unfortunately after gluing and sanding, I had to paint them trying to simulate their natural burned and rusted look.

The exhaust after modification were prepared for painting.

Next were the wings. To ensure proper dihedral, I made spar and glued it to the lower part. Flaps were cut off and Eduard items installed.

Certain areas of fuselage can be seen when flaps are open, so this area was detailed with plastic card and wire.

 


The interior of the fuselage is visible after flaps are lowered.




Lot of puttying and sanding was necessary to fill all those sink marks. I used super glue with pieces of plastic as a filler. All panel lines and surface details had to be rescribed.

Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:

 

 

Wings, flaps, ailerons and photo etched radiators before painting. The spent cartridge ejector ports are wrong, but luckily moulded as a relief inside, so I thinned plastic part and opened them with new blade, correcting shape.


 

The fuselage and wings were joined. Ultracast details fitted well, but again all joints required lot of sanding and had to be rescribed. Upper engine cowl is correct after some sanding. Locks for cowlings had to be filled and replicated in correct places, using modified surgical needle but I discovered that wheels were to small in diameter. The problem was, that tires were to low. I superglued plastic card, glued temporarily a rod to the wheel and shaped them correctly using motor tool. Another modification was to shorten gear legs. I was lucky, both plastic parts were sink marks free.




 

Filling with super glue is sometimes invisible, but many modifications can be seen on this images. Air intake was deepened with motor tool. Itís totally different than Mk. V intake, not only ICM made this mistake.




I discovered that wheels were to small in diameter. The problem was, that tires were to low. I superglued plastic card, glued temporarily a rod to the wheel and shaped them correctly using motor tool. Another modification was to shorten gear legs. I was lucky, both plastic parts were sink marks free.

 


 

Painting and Markings

 

The airframe was painted with Humbrol and Testor's enamels.

After a coat of gloss clear, the decals were applied. I left off all stencils, as Spitfires came to Africa in European camouflage and were repainted in field conditions. After decals dried I gave another clear coat. Then the edges of carrier film were sanded, another clearcoat applied and sanded. This process was repeated until all edges disappeared. Panel lines were darkened with mix of brown and black.

 

 

After matt coat, some weathering was made with artists oils. Exhaust stains were airbrushed with black and then drybrushed with tan and grey. Finally coat of mix gloss and matt was applied.

All small bits were attached and my Spitfire was ready.




 

Conclusion

 

Project Summary

Kit: Spitfire Mk IX 1/48 ICM 48061
Exhaust: Moskit 48-43
Photoetched parts: Part S48-081
Cockpit: Aires 4129
Flaps: Eduard 48366
Seatbelts: Eduard 49006
Decals: Techmod 48024
Propeller & spinner: Ultracast 48082
Cannon bay covers: Ultracast 48097
Lower Cowl with early style intake: Ultracast 48093
Wheels: Ultracast 48067

This kit was very hard to build. It took me over 120 hours. I cannot say itís inexpensive Ė all the resin and photoetched bits lift the cost to a very high level and are truly needed to complete ICM Spitfire.

Even so, it is the best Spitfire IX replica on the market.

I love this plane, so I still wait for good and accurate kit. I hope, that Tamiya will release Spitfire IX, as they did P-47 after Hasegawa and Academy offerings were on the market.

 

 

Additional Images

 

Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:


Model and Text Copyright © 2004 by Maciek Zywczyk
Images Copyright © 2004 by Rossagraph
Page Created 23 January, 2004
Last Updated 17 March, 2004

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