ICM 1/48 Spitfire IX






Many aircraft


Scott Van Aken




The Spitfire Mk. IX is what should be called a stopgap fighter. That means that they took an existing airframe and stuck a new engine into it. In this case, the new two stage Merlin was placed into a Mk.V airframe. This was done because it was a quick and easy thing to do. The engine was really designed for the Mk.VIII, whose airframe incorporated a number of improvements such as a retractable tail wheel, but since the engine bolted right up to the earlier airframe, it was felt, why not?

The result was a world class interceptor that was able to match the new Focke-Wulf 190A that had appeared over the skies of Northern Europe. Had it not been for the 190, the Spit IX would probably not been produced. The IX kept all of the features of the earlier Mk.V, including its superb handling and short range. There was an under fuselage tank developed, but it was bulky and leached away any performance increase the new engine provided. Why the Spit was not supplied with a teardrop shaped drop tank to extend its range is beyond me. Perhaps they felt that the US would provide all the long range fighters needed so no real effort was put into it. Anyway, the Mk.IX eventually took on all of the traits of the Mk.VIII except the lengthened ailerons, so late IXs are nearly indistinguishable from the Mk. VIII.


If you have read the previous preview of the Spit VIII, then I can really add very little to that review. It is basically the same kit. There are a few differences regarding parts that are on the sprue that were not on the Mk.VIII sprue. Interestingly enough, the Mark IX sprue seems to have all of the Mk. VIII parts on it except the different wing tips. If you look at the accompanying images, you can see those parts that are different on the Mk.IX trees. The Mk.VIII ones are duplicated above from the previous preview.

Amongst those different parts are the rounded top/narrower chord rudder, a second set of tailplanes, new cannon wing bulges, clipped wingtip caps, different 'standard' wingtips, and a new undernose carb intake.

The instructions are a bit different as well to accommodate all the different bits and pieces. What is really nice is that there are no less than six different decal options available. Most are in the European colors with one in desert colors. Just to give you a rundown by unit there is on from 611 Sq, the Polish Fighting Wing, 144 Wing, 126 Sq, 312 Sq, and 132 Wing. Some carry invasion stripes which will have to be painted on. What is not told are things like which tailplanes are used with which aircraft, the same goes with the wing cannon bulges and the wing tips. One can assume that an LF.IX will have clipped wings, but that isn't always an indicator. Guess what I'm trying to say is that you'll have to do your research on this one!

Because of the amount of cleanup (this kit has more flash on it than the other) and the filler that will be required, I'd only recommend this kit to those who are capable of handling all the work that is required. However, I have seen several of these kits built up in the last few weeks, so it can be made into a superb model.

 Review kit courtesy of me and my wallet!

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