Sunday, February 26, 2017

That was easy!

Spitfire LF Mk IXc, MH712/WX*D, No. 302 Squadron, 1944


Too much has been written about this kit already. I figure it's my turn to gush.

The Subject


No. 302 Squadron was one of the first Spitfire squadrons to land at Normandy shortly after the invasion.  MH712 is credited as the mount of Warrant Officer Henryk Dygala, a Polish pilot flying with the RAF.


The timeframe is likely late Summer or early Autumn, as the upper surface recognition stripes of Night/White stripes have been removed per an order issued in late July.  This aircraft also has the later pointed rudder that was likely a recent upgrade as the aircraft was used for bombing as part of 2nd TAF.  Wing bomb racks are installed to carry a 250 lb bomb under each wing.

The Model


This is the Profi-Pack which contains the sprues for a late Mk IXc (but with all the bits for an early F Mk IXc), masks, and PE. Decals for 6 subjects. Enough spares to tart up at least two more Spitfire kits...

The most difficult aspect of these kits is one must follow the instructions to ensure one uses the correct wheel wells, landing gear and fuselage details for the specific variant being built. Order is somewhat important...you certainly can construct the wings before the cockpit bit don't attempt to insert the cockpit bits after closing up the fuselage. And you have to decide early whether the canopy will be open or closed; cockpit door open or closed.

The PE was not really fiddly. This isn't my first attempt at PE but in the past it was all very simple stuff, usually just one or two bits and paint it all after construction. This one is pre-painted and there are quite a bit of items to work with. It was time consuming but looked beautiful once done. Is it worth it? Not for me, as once done the model goes on a shelf and other than me knowing the details are there it's all not too visible. When I showed the model to my wife she didn't "see" any of it until I pointed it out!


Construction was quite straightforward. The plastic is crisp and hard, takes Tamiya extra thin cement well and it was no time at all I was ready for seam cleanup. Very little seam cleanup really. Mostly from my own mistakes. With more care on future builds of Eduard Spitfires they'll be cleaner.

Painting was typical for me and involved Tamiya paints, all airbrushed. First the White, then masked and followed by the Sky band, then the Ocean Grey, mask with maskol and then Dark Green. Pulled it all off, masked again and then the Medium Sea Grey. Pulled that mask off and then masked the Night stripes. Finally the Yellow leading edges. Cleanup where needed and after a long weekend the painting was finished.

Decals took,longer but were equally a breeze. They settled down with Daco Soft on a clear coating of Future. Wrapped it all up with a coating of clear satin and a model was in the done column.

Summary


A few modelers online have complained this kit is over-engineered and hence a difficult build.  I did not find that to be the case, but then again readers here will note that I like to tackle limited run kits occasionally and they certainly require me to focus a bit more on fit.

I do believe this is yet another kit that requires the modeler to follow the instructions.  Certainly until a few are under one's belt.  Just knowing which bits are needed for the sub variant requires some focus.  


I've got quite a few more of these kits. Royal Class, Mk XVI Profipack, Aussie Eight and at least 6 sets of overtrees. It's an enjoyable build, just enough to do to keep it interesting, but not enough challenges to want to shift it to the shelf of doom.

Thanks for looking...

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