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Spitfire Mk.IXc (Late) Kit

Eduard 1/48 Spitfire Mk.IXc (Late) Build Review

By Kelly Jamison

Date of Review January 2017 Manufacturer Eduard
Subject Spitfire Mk.IXc (Late) Scale 1/48
Kit Number 8281 Primary Media Styrene/Resin/Photo-Etch
Pros Cockpit is amazing, great surface detail, best ever injected exhaust Cons Two-piece upper engine cowl, complex wheel wells, fiddly radiator assemblies
Skill Level Experienced MSRP (USD) $49.95

Build Review

Those who have read my reviews in the past know that I will admit to mistakes, shortcomings of the builder, lack of enthusiasm of some kits, problems and how to overcome them or live with them and/or how I dealt with problems. I also do not write histories on iconic subjects like the P-51, P-47 or F-16. If you are on this website, the chances that you know what a Spitfire is, I think, are going to be high. I might write on a particular history like I did with the Legion Condor article or a particular pilot that is the subject of the build.

I haven't built a Spitfire in a while and I have not built any of the Eduard Spitfire kits since they came out in early 2013. Right up front, I enjoyed this kit so much that I was actually irritated at having to stop and take pictures of the progress, go to work, eat or sleep! It was a lot of fun and I think a great value for the money. You can go wild and get all the Eduard Brassin engine, and photo-etch and other accessories or you can build it right out of the box and still have an outstanding example of the marvelous Spitfire. I like to build to the level slightly higher than out of box. I added wiring, drilled out anything that needed it and used aftermarket decals. The rest is right out of the kit.

If you want to read the inbox review of this kit, click on this link. The high-quality booklet style instructions that Eduard supplies is very nice. Since I have never built this kit before, I decided to follow the instruction sheet to the letter….well we will talk about that later.

I drilled out all the holes in the flight station rings. It is an easy little thing to do that adds a little more detail. If you are going to pose your plane with the cockpit door closed, I probably wouldn't bother with it but that door being so open really makes it easy to see everything. I used Aqueous Hobby Color H 312 for my British Interior Green. I found that I had to use my razor saw to cut a lot of the more delicate parts from the tree. Using clippers will crack the parts if you are not very careful. There are these small angled parts, #F26 and F27, that suffered from being undershot. They are glued at the bottom of the cockpit side panels. I had to fill and sand them. They are so small that it was easier to glue them onto the cockpit side panels first and then fill and sand them there. The second flight station Part #F56 and the upper rollover bar part # F40 were fiddly and didn't really have a positive feel but with a little work I could line them up. The seat is nicely done but Part #47 should be left off Mk. IXc Late aircraft. I painted the seat a mixture of different colors to get the Bakelite seat color to my satisfaction. The back cushion was painted a semi-gloss black. Some wire detailing and an umber wash finished it off. No real hiccups here.

Spitfire Mk.IXc (Late) Kit

The skill level is right around a novice level until the photoetch parts are added. I really liked the compass. I used a dot of canopy glue from remote control airplanes to replicate the glass dome that the compass sits in. It looked great. I also held off adding the gunsight but think that was a mistake since it was difficult to get set right at the end of the build. Also, I wasn't paying attention and did not put in part #F66 instrument panel backing but glued the photoetch instrument panel directly to part #F4. This caused the instrument panel to sit too far back. It wasn't until after I glued the fuselage halves together that I figured it out. That is more than a few strikes against me not following the instructions like I pledged at the beginning of the build.

Spitfire Mk.IXc (Late) Kit

I have heard of folks building the cockpit tub and then inserting it and I have heard of them gluing the side panels into the fuselage then putting the rest of the cockpit structure in. (I did the latter.) Either way the fit of the Eduard kit is so good that it doesn't really matter. A forward fire wall and the spinner backing all go in now and don't forget the tail wheel "socket" because you can't go back if you forget to glue it in after the fuselage halves are together. Finally, the forward wing roots, parts # G57, G58 go in for this version of Spitfires, have to go in place with a one millimeter hole drilled into part #G58 as depicted in the instruction sheet. I was real skeptical about these parts until I fitted them and then a touch of liquid glue got them into place nicely. Very well done.

On to the wings. Slow down your build in this area! The main spar glues into place with no problem but when you get to the wheel wells, the brain scratching begins. Make sure and use only the parts you need. There are extra parts for other versions on the same tree. Take your time, look at how it works then it will all come together and you will understand what Eduard was trying to do. Go ahead and get each of the landing gear trunnions and structure in place. It will help you get all the wheel well pieces aligned. That area should be painted the same underside color of the wings.

Spitfire Mk.IXc (Late) KitSpitfire Mk.IXc (Late) Kit

Now for a few of the more controversial parts of the kit. The two-piece cowling and the exhaust stacks. To complicate it a bit more, depending on the markings you want to do will also depend on what cowl you want to use. In this case, if you use the kit decals for Otto Smik's ride then you will need to use part #E2 and #E3. So, the bottom line is to verify with a source photo or document what upper cowl is needed for the particular plane you are using. When you move to the exhaust stacks there are four different parts. The stacks themselves are very good. But I could never get part #G43 or G44 to fit right with the sandwiched parts on the exhaust stacks. Once I left those confusing parts off, I was able to get the exhaust stacks to line up. I know I was doing something wrong but just got frustrated with the whole subassembly and ended modifying it myself. The tail planes get glued on at this time too.

Spitfire Mk.IXc (Late) Kit

Now for something to change your mind about what you just went through. The wing-to-fuselage joints were just fantastic. I used very little to no putty on the whole area. It all aligned without much fuss. Then I moved onto the rudder and elevators. The elevators were glued into place then these small parts #F52 and F53 locked the elevators in. That one-piece elevator with those little tabs was just amazing engineering. I put the elevators at an 18 degree down angle to replicate the natural sitting position I saw in many photos. I believe it was because the pilot would push the control stick forward to exit the plane. If the gust lock is installed on the flight controls, then everything should be streamlined. The kit I wanted to do called for the smaller rudder, part #F8, but the kit decals option "A" calls for the tall tail part #F13. Back to your reference for the particular aircraft you want to depict.

Wingtips and ailerons were easy to install. The two-piece lower engine cover was a bit of a pain to do but fit well and wasn't too hard to fill and sand without losing any detail. But I forgot the photoetch intake screen. The many piece underwing radiators look intimidating at first but I treated them like small models within the kit and slowly built each one. They fit great once you figure out all you got to do. It seemed like a lot of effort when I have seen other kit manufacturers knock this out in one part instead of seven parts.

Make sure and remove the small tab at the end of part #G21 and G22 landing gear covers. Those tabs are for gear up only. You do have the option of the 5 spoke wheel or a photo-etch wheel covers (PE#21). Color scheme "A" has these covers. The others do not. Your reference is your guide. I was worried that the gear might be weak or not aligned properly. They fit perfect and were absolutely no trouble at all. The tail wheel was a bit of a pain. I had to use liquid glue on the front and back of the long bar that goes into the lower tail of the fuselage. If you put it on the sides of the long bar, the hole that the bar goes in is so tight that is will scrape your glue right onto the fuselage. I ended up using part #F55 (the one-piece tail wheel) but you can easily use the three-part tail wheel assembly. I am not sure why Eduard gave you the option but it is nice to have. This is a good time to put the rudder push-pull rod, part #F21, on while you are in the area.

Spitfire Mk.IXc (Late) Kit

The prop just needed a little cleaning up and a coat of semi-gloss black airbrushed on with standard yellow tips to finish it off. The spinner got a coat of Sky Type "S" and set off to the side until final assembly. I used the very nice Eduard canopy masks that came with the kit. They sure do take the worry out of that part of the build. I glued the forward windscreen and the aft canopy section on and then put the main canopy away to be done later. I also put the cockpit flip down door with the prop and spinner and antenna part #F54 away for final assembly. But part #F51, antenna base, got glued in before painting. On a side note, you can pose the canopy closed. Eduard supplies the closed canopy molded with the aft canopy and a different door that doesn't have the canopy rails for you to glue into place. You will need to modify the fuselage on the opposite side to remove the canopy rails too.

The rest of the camouflage pattern is standard Spitfire. I used Tamiya XF-54 and ModelMaster Acryl 4849 RAF Green with ModelMaster Acryl Neutral Grey FS36270 for the lower color. Model Master Acryl Black and White were used for the stripes. A coat of clear flat was sprayed on and then some weathering. I used some white chalk powder to soften the stripes a bit and a few different washes to change worn areas of paint while keeping the chipped paint to a minimum. I put the cockpit door on and had to adjust it out a bit after referring to my pictures again. It should be out a little and not laying right up against the fuselage. A small photoetch locking rod goes on and was glued into place with Future Floor Polish.

Spitfire Mk.IXc (Late) KitSpitfire Mk.IXc (Late) Kit

Here is where the build gets very interesting for me. I wanted to do Spitfire Mk. IXc, ML214 of John Plagis. So, I painted the white and black "Invasion Stripes" according to the Super Scale decal sheet #48-722. As I started to get ready to put the decals on, I noticed that newer research has come up to show that the invasion stripes are a bit unusual in that they were very small compared to the larger stripes we have become use to. After conferring with friends and others more educated on this subject, I concluded that I had to change my plan. Some low adhesive tape got the decals off and I started over and hunted for schemes that matched what I have already painted. Two came up that I had the decals on hand. The first one was Wing Commander Jack Charles PT396 and the second one was Wing Commander Jonnie Johnson's Mk392. So I went for the more famous JEoJ markings.

Spitfire Mk.IXc (Late) Kit

The last pieces went on and the plane was looking very good. It came together so easy for most of the build and I caused a few of my own problems but I enjoyed the build so much that I started another Spitfire Mk. IX right after this one went on the shelf. It was a pleasure to build and looks fantastic. I must recommend this kit to all in that you can build it to your skill level. Weekend edition or full on Brassin aftermarket loaded, it will be a great kit for you to enjoy. The Eduard kit is a clear winner in the Spitfire line of kits.

Spitfire Mk.IXc (Late) KitSpitfire Mk.IXc (Late) KitSpitfire Mk.IXc (Late) KitSpitfire Mk.IXc (Late) KitSpitfire Mk.IXc (Late) KitSpitfire Mk.IXc (Late) Kit

Here is where the build gets very interesting for me. I wanted to do Spitfire Mk. IXc, ML214 of John Plagis. So, I painted the white and black "Invasion Stripes" according to the Super Scale decal sheet #48-722. As I started to get ready to put the decals on, I noticed that newer research has come up to show that the invasion stripes are a bit unusual in that they were very small compared to the larger stripes we have become use to. After conferring with friends and others more educated on this subject, I concluded that I had to change my plan. Some low adhesive tape got the decals off and I started over and hunted for schemes that matched what I have already painted. Two came up that I had the decals on hand. The first one was Wing Commander Jack Charles PT396 and the second one was Wing Commander Jonnie Johnson's Mk392. So I went for the more famous JEoJ markings.

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