U.K. SPITFIRE MK. IX England, 1942 Item: 85550 Scale: 1/72
The Spitfire Mark IX was developed as a initially developed as a stopgap measure, to counter the Focke-Wulf 190A which had appeared over France in August of 1941. It proved equal to the FWís that had dealt a blow to the Mark V Spitfires before the appearance of the Mark IXís. I will not go into too much of a history about the Mark IX because so much is readily available to read on the iconic Spitfire airplane; however, it should be noted that the Spitfire Mark IX was built in relatively large numbers, over 5,600 airframes being produced out of some 20,000 or so Spitfires in total built. The Mark IX was also the first allied aircraft to down a jet powered Messerschmitt 262 in October of 1944! Let us now look at the kit which I built and is to be reviewed here.
The kit is from a new line of models called Forces of Valor. It is in 1/72 scale which I predominately work in and was a surprising 10 dollars American. The kit is packaged in four bags which hold the injection molded parts and one other clear bag for the clear parts, i.e. the canopy, for a total of five bags.
The kit upon inspection has no flash and no injection marks. It has recessed panel lines as well, equal to that in any Hasegawa or Tamiya kit I have built. The kit has directions which are clear and printed in English. The directions are a bit on the small side, the writing at least, so for my aging eyes I needed a small magnifying glass in order to read them properly.
This Spitfire Mark IX comes with an engine. It is a nice engine, consisting of four or five major parts. The one problem I had was getting the cowling, which is divided into a top and two side parts, to fit correctly with the engine installed in the airframe. Be careful when installing this component because you may need to do a little bit of sanding or cutting, in order to get everything to fit properly.
Assembly of the model is straight forward enough. You assemble the wings and build a rudimentary cockpit, not much detail admittedly, but at this scale you canít see a lot anyway. Join the fuselage halves together and then start your filling.
I tend to built the subassemblies then paint them. I generally donít do any filling of the wing root areas, and in this case, there wasnít much need to do so anyway since the fit was good between the wings and the fuselage. I will mention that here is one problem the kit does have though: You must sand the wings down a bit at the root in order for the model to fit together properly. If you donít, you will have a pronounced anhedral to the wings due to the poor fit and stress on the wing root joint area. Once this is accomplished however, the wings give a pretty good fit against the fuselage.
One other problem I noted with the kit was that there is a slight bulge in the center of each wing, whether this was a molding problem or not I am not sure. I do think though that it doesnít detract too much from the overall quality of the kit.
I airbrushed with an Aztek 4709 a temperate paint scheme used in Europe: medium sea grey underneath; ocean grey and dark British green camouflage on the top. It was easy enough to do and at this scale I found that masking a hard mask, for me at least, wasnít necessary, and I just drew the camouflage on. Some might prefer to use a hard mask for a little bit more accuracy though and that is fine by me.
The decals were in register and a good, true color as well. The reds were properly red and the blues were properly blue on the roundels. The aircraft came with white code markings which were sufficiently dark as to appear realistic on the model. The decals settled down quite nicely with just a little bit of application of Micro Sol setting solution. No SolvaSet needed here!
Before decaling of course a standard application of gloss coat, my Model Master Acryl, was applied and allowed to dry for a number of hours before decaling began. Afterward the decals were sealed with an application of Model Master Acryl flat coat.
Overall I was impressed with this kit. I am told that there are two more in the line, a P-51D and a FW-190D as well. For the price you canít beat the kit at all. Equal, except for the fit problems, to many of the Hasegawa and Tamiya kits presently out, I would recommend this kit for either the beginner or advanced modeler. Just take note of the problems with the wings not fitting right without sanding of the wing root areas on the wings and one will end up with a nice model. I hope this review has been of some help to all.
Highs: Equal, except for the fit problems, to many of the Hasegawa and Tamiya kits presently out.Lows: Just take note of the problems with the wings not fitting right without sanding of the wing root areas.Verdict: Overall I was impressed with this kit. For the price you canít beat the kit at all.
About Russell Anderson (Siderius) FROM: TENNESSEE, UNITED STATES
A little bit about myself. I'm 47, going to school, am a senior and am a Geography major.
My background has been a strong interest in aviation history since as long as I can remember. I also have a great interest in astronomy and have worked at a local park and planetarium, in the planetarium...