Eduard 1/144 Spitfire Mk.IX Quattro Combo Kit First Look
by Michael Benolkin
|Date of Review||December 2015||Manufacturer||Eduard|
|Kit Number||4432||Primary Media||Styrene|
|Pros||Four complete kits||Cons||Nothing noted|
|Skill Level||Basic||MSRP (USD)||$29.95|
The Supermarine Spitfire Mk.V ruled the skies over Great Britain during the early years of the Second World War. It was able to match the Luftwaffe's best fighter of the day, the Messerschmitt Bf 109E. However, with the appearance of the Focke Wulf Fw 190A in the skies, it was quickly apparent that the Spit had finally been outclassed. Recognizing that a major upgrade to the Spitfire was necessary, the RAF set out to develop the Spitfire beyond the anticipated capabilities of the Luftwaffe. Also recognizing that such a major upgrade would take time, time that the RAF could ill afford, an interim solution was needed. That interim solution would become the Spitfire Mk.IX.
By taking the existing Mk.V airframe under production, installing the new Merlin 61/63 series (which added 100-200hp and an improved supercharger) which turned a four-bladed propeller, and adding such refinements as a gyro gunsight, additional fuel tanks and (later) the E-wing, the new Spitfire was able to regain its superiority in the skies over Europe. The Mk.IX was the second-most produced version of the Spitfire, with some 5600+ examples built. The most numerous version was the Mk.V.
Eduard has ruled the hobby skies with their 1/48 and 1/144 series of Spitfire kits released over the last several years. As they are gearing up to assault the 1/72 world with their Spitfires, they also decided to release this latest Spitfire set in 1/144 scale. Molded in light gray styrene, this kit is presented on two parts trees plus a single clear windshield/canopy part. Since this is a 'Quattro Combo' kit, there are actually FOUR complete Spitfire Mk.IXs in this box, so eight gray trees plus four clear parts.
While we only show two of the parts trees, there are actually two different fuselage trees and two different wing trees provided in this kit. One fuselage tree renders the early Mark IX with the rounded rudder, later elevators, early main wheels and early exhaust stacks. The other three fuselage trees render the late Mk.IX with pointed rudder, late wheels and exhaust stacks. We show the clipped wing tree (shown above) and there are two provided in the kit. the other two wings are the standard round wingtip wings.
As you wound imagine, these kits are simple builds in this scale and indeed the instructions take two pages for assembly, and that is because it covers the early and late variants of the Mark IX. There are eight decal options provided in this kit and these include:
- Spitfire Mk.IXc, MJ291, 312 Sqn, NN-N, Mendlesham AB, 1944
- Spitfire Mk.IXc, MJ931, 312 Sqn, DU-L, 1944
- Spitfire Mk.IXc, ML171, 312 Sqn, VY, North Weald AB, 1944
- Spitfire Mk.IXc, MJ449, 312 Sqn, DU-R, Appledram AB, 1944
- Spitfire LF.IXe, SL628, HL, Ruzyne AB, Czech AF, 1945
- Spitfire LF.IXe, TE527, DU-X, Ruzyne AB, Czech AF, 1945
- Spitfire LF.IXe, TE554, KR-6, Kbely AB, Czech AF, 1945
- Spitfire LF.IXe, TE515, V-20, CO 2nd Air Division, 1946-48
I missed this kit when it was first released in 2013, so I'm glad to have an opportunity to see this kit now. This kit provides a nicely detailed Mark IX and it would be nice to see Eduard release their other marks in this scale as well.
My sincere thanks to Eduard for this review sample!