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Eduard Spitfire Mk.IXc (late)

RELATED TOPICS: AIRCRAFT
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Beginning life as the Royal Air Force’s stopgap fighter to engage the Fw 190, the Spitfire “Nine” with its Merlin 61 engine became Britain’s most-used fighter in Europe.
 
Now it’s the subject of another super release from Eduard.

Comprising beautifully-engraved plastic parts, a fret of pre-colored photo-etch (PE) details, and a 17-piece mask set, this is one gorgeous kit.

Options include: open or closed canopy, posable ailerons, narrow- and broad-chord rudders, large and small belly tanks, a choice of stores, and six marking options. The instructions include four-view color painting and marking illustrations plus a separate page for stencil placement.

With PE parts, the cockpit looks great when built up.

The fit is terrific. I used just a little filler on the lower cowling. Once all of the cowl parts are glued together, sand the nose flat to give the propeller back plate a flush mating surface.There’s no internal retaining grommet on the prop shaft, which will make it easy to get the prop to sit close to the body.

Thinking a natural-metal finish would show off the model’s beautiful surface detail, I built the Spitfire from No. 601 Squadron. Optional red or black code letters are included for this bird, and extra decals for some of the smaller stencils are supplied as well.

The decals were perfect, period, and settled perfectly into all of the surface engraving, including the rivets.

I omitted the optional belly tank. Late-model Mk.IXs had increased internal fuel capacity, and I preferred the sleek lines of a clean aircraft.

You’ll have a bunch of leftover parts for the spares box after building this kit, including wingtips, stabilizers, gear, and stores, because parts are included for at least two more forthcoming Spitfire variants from Eduard.

I spent 22 hours building the Spitfire, on par for a single-engine fighter with PE. I would’ve liked a drawing showing the correct angles for the main gear struts, but that’s a personal preference and I won’t fault the kit for it. In fact, this is the first FSM review in which I can honestly say I had no complaints. (By my count, that’s one out of 52!) I’d highly recommend this kit to modelers of all skill levels able to handle small plastic and PE parts. It’s hard to put my finger on exactly why this model pleases my sense of proportion so much, but Eduard successfully captured the curves, contours, and sit of the Mark IXc.

Note: A version of this review appeared in the February 2017 issue.

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