Revell 1/32 Spitfire IXc
|NOTES:||Advantages: Good details, detailed cockpit, extremely cheap price. Disadvantages: No engine, prop somewhat wrong, very anemic wheels.|
Hey, Tom Cleaver, help me out here! Yeah, I’ll just refer you to one of his many reviews on all sort of Spit here. Such as this: http://www.modelingmadness.com/review/allies/cleaver/gb/tmct9c.htm
Basically, Spitfire Mk IX is the most produced Spitfire subtype. It’s basically an emergency ad hoc solution to counter the FW-190 that suddenly appeared in 1942 and absolutely PWNED the Mk. V in every which way except low speed maneuverability…..It’s ironic since Mk V is basically a MK I with a new engine, so in essence the Brits took the Mk V airframe, lengthened it to squeeze the engine for the Mk VIII in to produce the Mk IX. The Mk IX continued on throughout the war, even after substitutes such as the XVI was produced.
In 2010, Tamiya produced what many would term the “Definitive” version of an Mk IX Spitfire. However, despite the details, the accuracy and the fit, it’s expensive at over $100, and filled with gimmicks such as the magnets that barely worked. This meant that for many, getting one is enough, unless you are serious, and I do mean SSEEERRRRIIIOOOUUSSSSS modeler or boffin fan, getting two is out of the question due to the price of admission. For many, a second much cheaper Spitfire with the correct outline would be more than welcome but the choice is still lacking. Revel, or Monogram in ancient times, did made a somewhat good Mk V that may still be available. The less said about Hobbyboss’s attempt the better. Finally Revel several years back, attempted at a new Mk I/II and V again that was not well received due to a host of detail errors. Eventually, Revel took that kit and updated it to the Mk IXc that cost only $35. Does it fit the bill, well, yes and no…
First the yes part, yes, this is finally at least passable accurate Spitfire IXc that’s at least half-way decent that’s at least 70% off of what Tamiya is asking for! I bought this on Amazon for only $40, including shipping fees so the regular price should be $35, compared to $135 for Tamiya’s offering! As might be expected though, this is a “no frills” Spitfire, a lot of stuff were cut out. The engine is gone, landing bay is anemic and cockpit does not match that of the Tamiya offering. However, what is offered is finally a decent Spit that’s accurate in outline, the metal stabilizers in this version does not matter cause IX do have them and there is quite the option as the early and late version exhaust pipes, wingtips, and rudders are offered so you have your choices along with belly and wing bombs.
Now, the no part. This is still the MK V version with all the warts and faults. The cockpit is still anemic without the back armor plating (Tamiya has this), the less said about the wheels the better and construction is still clunky throughout. But then again, remember this kit cost only $35, ten times LESS than a Tamiya offering. As someone said in a thread, you can get TWO of these kits, aftermarket to fix the wheels and cockpit and probably still come down LESS than the Tamiya kit! This means you can get say, a Tamiya Spitfire Mk XVI, two of these with aftermarket and still come in less than two of the Tamiya kit. A bargain in my opinion!
Construction begin with the cockpit. Again, not as detailed as the Tamiya version but again, also means the kit is much cheaper. Still, for what you get, it’s good enough. If you are gonna keep the cockpit closed, then you can even forgo the aftermarket since you can barely see down the canopy after it is closed up. Just add some seat belts and the back armor. Me? I just used the kits part and san the rest. As Tom said, from the proverbial 3 feet away, laymen can tell a thing!
Next comes the fuselage assembly. Take your time. As always with just about every WW II aircraft I built with the same style of entire wing goes up under the fuselage assembly, seams are always present, even on Tamiya kit so make sure those areas are clean and the fuselage well assembled.
Wing assembly is next. Make sure the wheel wells are cemented on correctly. The instructions have them reversed. Again, make sure the wings to fuselage assembly is tight since as I’ve mentioned, these type of WW II fighter assemblies always seem to leave seams behind. Next are the horizontal stabs and the rudder. Notice you have to chip the tips off of the horizontal stabs (from the Mk V) in order to assemble them. The rudder is your first choice as both the early and late types are included.
Various wings details such as the air scoops, cannon barrels etc are attached. Again, decide which wing tips to use since there is option here. The landing gears are then made. These again, especially the wheels are very anemic. Get aftermarket if that’s your thing. I’m gonna save these tll final assembly. Decide once again on the exhaust ports as again, both the early and late type are included.
Finally, if you wanted to do it, bombs are now made and can be attached to the airframe. Me? I’ll probably do a “clean” fighter type instead. The kit is rounded out with the canopy assembly. Two markings are included, a standard early type, and a silver lacquered late type
Now, I will still be getting the Tamiya “ultimate” Spitfire kit, maybe the Mk XVI….But this definitely fit the bill if you just want an accurate, at least passable Spitfire to fill up the shelf. It’s not expensive at all! Search around, it should be no more than $40. Even if you are not satisfied with the details, getting aftermarket still means you will come down way below what Tamiya is asking for. Build the Tamiya as the penultimate Spitfire showcase, but if you can hold off “AMS”, you can buy at least 4 more of these guys to do more than one marking and no one will tell the difference! Recommended!
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