|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
|NOTES:||Two kits per box|
The Spitfire IX was supposed to be a stop gap fighter while the Spitfire VIII was fully developed. The IX initially was the new Merlin in an older airframe. As so often happens, the stop gap version became that which was the most widely built. The number of variations in terms of wings, rudder and elevator designs, for instance, is almost as bewildering as Bf-109G variants. Yet these planes were widely used in the last years of the war, even as newer planes came into RAF service. Such was their popularity, that the type, mostly late builts, was adopted by a number of air forces just after the end of WWII and into the early 1950s. Several are still flying the warbird circuit and many others are in museums around the world.
Eduard sure knows how to get the most out of its design work and has made a foray into 1/144 by offering a pair of Spit IXe kits for enthusiasts. This is not their first 1/144 kit, but judging by their release of the MiG-15 in this scale as well, it may become a staple of Eduard production to give the enthusiast a small version of their larger kits. I hope so.
Each of the two kits consists of just under 20 parts. There is no cockpit, as that is a bit of a rarity when it comes to small fighters in this scale. Each of the wing options is a single casting as are the tail planes. Interestingly, the prop is in three sections; backing plate, prop, and spinner. The same goes for the landing gear which has separate wheels and gear doors. The tail gear is molded in place as is the radio mast. There is a single clear part to cover the top and there are twin under wing radiators and exhaust stacks.
Included in my kit, but not shown in the instructions or parts layout, is a set of Lilliputian masks for the canopy and wheel hubs. As you can see, the wings are a set of clipped wings and a set of standard wings. This allows you a choice of three of the six markings options for each wing type. I guess you could do two clipped wing planes with a bit of surgery. Instruction are basically a single sheet providing Gunze paint references.
Eduard provides a nice variety of markings options on this one with five of the six options in the standard European WWII camouflage scheme. I have to say that the colors on the painting diagram are so close to each other for the upper surface as to make them nearly indistinguishable. Not a zing at Eduard as others do this as well, but it would really be more useful to make each camo color distinct, even if the shades shown are not correct. Heck, I'd be happy with greyscale if it would help. There are two British, one Czech, one French, one Norwegian, and a lone high speed silver painted Israeli plane in the mix. Some of these planes have yellow wing leading edges and sky fuselage bands which the modeler will have to paint. The decal sheet is very nicely printed and offers all your insignia and such. Many of the insignia are in sections to help with dealing with registration issues. The instruction booklet itself is in full color since 85% of it deals with painting and markings!
The kit is just the thing for the very small scale modeler
and those who are lacking shelf space for display. The thinness of the landing
gear may be an issue, but Scale Aircraft Conversions does do this gear in metal
which should be more sturdy. Due to the low parts count, they should build
fairly quickly. I would not recommend the kit for youngsters due to the small
February 2016 Thanks to your editor
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Thanks to your editor for the preview kit.
If you would like your product reviewed fairly and fairly quickly, please contact the editor or see other details in the Note to Contributors.
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