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ICM 1/48 Spitfire Mk.IX w/RAF Pilots & Ground Personnel Kit First Look

By Ray Mehlberger

Date of Review April 2005 Manufacturer ICM
Subject Spitfire Mk.IX w/RAF Pilots & Ground Personnel Scale 1/48
Kit Number 48077 Primary Media Styrene
Pros Easily the nicest Spitfire Mk.IX in this scale Cons Molds are aging - flash starting to appear on parts
Skill Level Basic MSRP (USD) $26.95

First Look

Spitfire Mk.IX
Spitfire Mk.IX
Spitfire Mk.IX
Spitfire Mk.IX
Spitfire Mk.IX
Spitfire Mk.IX
Spitfire Mk.IX
Spitfire Mk.IX

One of the most distinguished aces on Spitfire fighters was Polish pilot Eugeniusz Horbaczewski. During the period from November 1941 till August 1944 Squadron Leader E. Horbaczewski had 16 confirmed enemy aircraft he destroyed and also 1 shared kill. He also downed 4 V-1 buzz bombs.

Eugeniusz Horbaczewski was born on September 29, 1917 in Kiev ( Ukraine). Soon after his birth his family moved to Brest, which until September of 1939 was part of Poland.

From 1937 to 1939 he was trained in Deblin Flying School. After the fall of Poland in 1939, he appeared in England, where he was entered into No. 303 Polish Squadron. Later, he served with No. 145, No. 601, No. 43 and No. 315 Squadrons.

His first victory was gained on November 6 th, 1941, when he shot down a Me-109 over France. He later fought over La Manche, in Africa, in Italy and on the Western Front.

For one month, from March 28 th until April 22 nd 1943, above Tunis, he shot down 5 German planes. All of his victories were gained in the Spitfire MK. IX. From August until November of 1943 he commanded No. 43 Squadron and from February 16 th, 1944 he commanded No. 315 (Deblin) Squadron.

On August 18 th, 1944…in the region of Bouvet, France, in an unequal fight, after having destroyed 3 enemy aircraft, he was shot down and killed.

Eugeniusz Horbaczewski was awarded with a DFC & bar, a DSO and the Polish Gold Cross.

The kit comes in an end-opening type box. The box art shows Horbaczewski’s aircraft having just shot down an Italian Macchi MC-202 Folgore. On the ground there appears to be a burning armor column. Up in the corner of the box art is a portrait of Horbaczewski.

The rear of the box has the marking and painting full color illustration of his aircraft, as a 3-view,

The kit contains 4 medium gray parts trees, 1 white part tree and 1 tree of clear parts. The decal sheet and instructions complete the kits contents. The parts trees are in 2 cello bags.

The instructions consist of a stapled booklet of 8 pages.

Page 1 begins with a black and white repeat of the box art, followed by the combat biography of E. Horbaczewski in 4 languages, including English.

Page 2 begins with parts tree drawings. Some parts are shaded out in blue here as being excess and not needed to complete the kit. This is followed by international assembly symbol interpretations and the first 5 assembly steps.

Pages 3 through 5 give us the balance of a total of 14 assembly steps for the aircraft alone.

Page 6 begins with the parts tree drawing of the tree of pilot figures and ground equipment. This is followed by 5 assembly steps to put the ground equipment together.

Page 7 is the assembly and painting instructions for the 7 figures and a dog.

Page 8 begins with CAUTIONS in 4 languages. This is followed by a listing of no less than 26 Humbrol colors suggested to complete the kit. The bottom of this page then gives the correct method for applying the decals (again in 4 languages). ICM’s address in the Ukraine and California are both provided, along with their e-mail addresses.

Tree letter A holds the fuselage right side, prop blades and spinner, engine parts, engine support bars, exhaust stacks, pitot tube, antenna etc. (46 parts)

Tree letter B holds the fuselage left side, the joy stick, cockpit levers, main wheels, wheel covers, wing cannon, tail wheel, pilot seat, landing gear legs, foot pedals, dashboard and other cockpit sections etc. (45 parts) The recessed panel lines on the fuselage halves and the detail, overall, on other parts is super.

Tree letter C holds the lower wing full span part (this is good as it will set the correct dihedral), the upper wing parts and the separate wing flaps. There are open areas for the gun bays provided. (5 parts) Again, the detail on these parts is super.

Tree letter D is molded in white. It holds the rudder, horizontal tail pieces, belly air intake, lower cowl section, cannon bay lids, bombs and rockets with their racks. However, there are 2 different sets of rudders and horizontal tail pieces. One set is not used and is excess. There are also 3 different configurations of the cannon bay lids. Two types are excess and not used. Also, there are 2 different lower cowl sections…one of these is excess. Strangely, and not shown on the parts tree drawings, is an extension on this tree that holds the bombs, rockets and their racks. These are excess also, and never shown in the assembly steps. (33 parts) 21 parts are excess.

Tree letter E holds the under-wing air intakes, upper cowling piece, side cowling pieces, wing-tip parts etc. There are 3 different types of wing tips. Two types are excess and not drawn on the parts tree drawings as even being on the tree. Like the D parts tree, this tree too has an extension to it that holds more bombs and their mountings. These are never shown or mentioned in the instructions, so are obviously excess too. (34 parts) 9 parts are excess. If you want to display the beautiful engine, you will have to cut away panels already molded into the two fuselage halves and use the separate panels on this tree.

Tree letter F is the clear canopy parts. Parts are provided for either an open or closed canopy. It would be a shame to use the closed ones, given all that neat detail in the cockpit. (7 parts) If found that one part had rubbed off the tree from friction against other trees in the cello bag. This tree should have been cello bagged by itself to prevent scratching and breaking parts off the tree for sure.

The final tree of parts in the kit is for the RAF ground personnel and their equipment.

You get 7 figures and a dog. 3 figures are pilots, 3 are ground personnel and one is a woman. The ground equipment consists of a small overhead hoist rack, a step-ladder, a work bench with a vice and some tools on it, a jerry can and a gas cylinder cart with 2 gas cylinders. ICM broke a part on this tree at the factory and they chopped a unbroken part off another one of these trees and packaged it in the cello bag. Nice of them that they did this. (87 parts).

The final item is the decal sheet. It has only the markings for Horbaczewski’s Spitfire which was fuselage letter code ZX-1. This sheet is in perfect register and includes stencil markings.

I am very impressed by this kits quality of molding. I intend to open up the cowling and show off the detailed engine. The canopy will be posed open also.