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HOW TO

BUILD...

TAMIYAS 1:32

SPITFIRE
Mk.IXc

Brett Green

INCLUDING

THREE COMPLETE BUILDS PLUS:

Late Merlin Spitres Close-Up


Proles
Step by Step - Building the Perfect Beast

MODELS BY

From the publishers of Tamiya Model Magazine International,


Model Military International, Model Airplane International
and Military Illustrated

Brett Green, Marcus Nicholls


and Roy Sutherland

FOREWORD

n todays hyped-up world it is


common to see adjectives such as
superb, excellent and superior
when describing a new product.
The hobby of scale modelling is no
exception. We are fortunate to live in
an era that is seeing an unprecedented
number of brand new kits released across
a wide range of scales. Many of these
releases are very good indeed.
Late in 2009, however, Tamiya lifted the bar.
Tamiyas 1:32 scale Supermarine Spitfire
is truly a superb kit in terms of level of
detail, engineering innovation, fit and
presentation. In the warm afterglow of its
release, many modellers have declared
Tamiyas Spitfire Mk.IXc to be the best
scale model kit released to date.
Naturally, such a subjective assertion
is very much a matter of opinion, but the
three modellers in this book would not
argue with this view!
Even so, there are some areas of the
kit that might be improved, and there is
massive potential for conversions and
alternative colours and markings.
The purpose of this book is to suggest
how Tamiyas kit may be improved, deliver
a step-by-step illustrated guide to building
the model, and finally to offer some
inspiration with three complete builds,
including one conversion.
Any modelling book is an ensemble
effort and this title is no exception. I would
like to extend my sincere appreciation to
both Marcus Nicholls and Roy Sutherland,
whose wonderful Spitfires appear in these
pages. All of the models were built in
record time to permit early publication.
Roy went especially far out on a limb
with his extraordinary super detailing and
conversion. Thanks to both of you for your
efforts and your sense of urgency.
We are very grateful to Tamiya Japan for
providing the kits built in this book.
I would also like to thank Spitfire expert
Bob Swaddling for providing a helpful list
of improvements.
The photos of the Spitfire Mk.XVI Merlin
engine in the Close-Up section were kindly
provided by James Levingston.
Finally, thanks to Dr Charles Metz for the
list of Spitfire Mk.IX reference publications
that appear at the end of this book.
Brett Green, January 2010

2 How to Build... Tamiyas 1:32 Spitfire Mk.IXc

How to build...
Tamiyas 1:32 Spitfire Mk.IXc

Brett Green
Brett Green was born in Sydney, Australia in 1960. Brett displayed
a passion for aviation and aircraft modelling from an early age.
This developed into a particular interest in camouflage and
markings. Brett established the popular scale modelling website
HyperScale (www.hyperscale.com) in 1998. He is also Editor of
the ADH Publishing magazine Model Military International, the
armour modelling website Missing-Lynx (www.missing-lnx.com),
and author of more than 15 books. Brett concluded his 25-year
career in the Australian telecommunications industry in 2003,
when he decided to pursue his interests in online publishing and
writing as a full-time occupation. He still lives in Sydney today with
his wife and two children, Charlotte and Sebastian.

Roy Sutherland
Roy been a modeller since the age of 6, and a professional model
maker for the last 21 years. He has worked in a number of model
shops in the SF bay area, including Industrial Light and Magic
(credits include Star Wars Episode II), and M5 Studios (where
they film Mythbusters). Roy has worked for Toy Companies such
as Worlds of Wonder, Galoob, and 21st Century Toys, where
he was in charge of the development of the entire product line.
These days he runs Barracuda Studios, which produces the
BarracudaCals, BarracudaCast and BarracudaGraphs product
lines. For more info go to www.barracudacals.com. He lives in
Fremont, CA and has a son, Cooper, age 16.

Marcus Nicholls
Marcus was born in Hertfordshire, England in 1966 and still lives
in this area with his wife Emma and two sons, Joseph and William.
Marcus has been making models since about the age of eight, and
has worked on Tamiya Model Magazine since 1991. He has been
its Editor for about the last fourteen years and is Group Editor of
ADH Publishings scale modelling magazines which include Model
Airplane International and Model Military International.
He is a qualified photographer and places special emphasis on
photographic quality in Tamiya Model Magazine. Marcus is an
enthusiastic modeller of all subjects and feels equally at home
building armour, science-fiction, cars and bikes as well as aircraft.

CONTENTS

2
Page 4
Page 6
Page

Foreword
Introduction
Chapter 1
Late Merlin Spitfire Close-Up

Page

12

Chapter 2
Spitfire Mk.IXc in Profile

Page

15

Chapter 3
Tamiyas 1:32 scale Spitfire
Mk.IXc in the box

Page

18

Chapter 4
Building Tamiyas 1:32 scale
Spitfire Mk.IXc Step by Step

Page

34

RAAF Spitfire Over the


Continent Brett Green

Copyright 2010 ADH Publishing Ltd.

All rights reserved. Reproduction in part or


whole of any text or photographs without
written permission from the publisher is strictly
prohibited. While due care has been taken to
ensure the contents of this book are accurate,
the publisher cannot accept liability for errors.

Page

First Published in the United Kingdom by:

Page

ADH Publishing Ltd., Doolittle Mill, Doolittle Lane,


Totternhoe, Bedfordshire, LU6 1QX
Telephone: 44 (0) 1525 222573
Fax: 44 (0) 1525 222574
Email: enquiries@adhpublishing.com
Website: www.adhpublishing.com
Designed by Alex Hall

Chapter 5

42

Chapter 6
Tropic Spitfire
Marcus Nicholls

52

Chapter 7
High Atitude Fighter
Roy Sutherland

Page

66

Appendix
References &
After-Market Decals

How to Build... Tamiyas 1:32 Spitfire Mk.IXc 3

INTRODUCTION

BACKGROUND

he Focke-Wulf Fw 190 asserted its


authority as soon as it appeared
over the Channel Front in September
1941. It was so clearly superior to
the Spitfire Mk.V that RAF Fighter Command
curtailed operations twice - from November
1941 to March 1942, and again from 13
June 1942 - due to unacceptably high losses
against the Luftwaffes Butcher Bird.
The Rolls-Royce Merlin 60 series engines
would offer the Spitfire the essential edge it
needed to balance the scales against this new
foe, but the high altitude Spitfire Mk.VII and the
unpressurised Mk.VIII were still many months
away from production.
An interim proposal was therefore made to
provide a suitable solution in a more timely
fashion. The Merlin 61 engine would be fitted
to the existing Spitfire Mk.V airframe, matching
the Fw 190s performance at medium and
high altitudes. This aircraft was known as the
Spitfire F.Mk.IX, Type No.361.
The resulting Spitfire retained the clean
lines of the earlier Mks. I, II and V, but
featured a longer and modified fuselage to
accommodate the bigger engine, revised
intakes, radiators and oil coolers, and a fourbladed propeller to handle the greater power.
Although initially conceived as a stop-gap
measure, the Spitfire Mk.IX and the essentially
similar Mk.XVI (powered by a Packard
Merlin engine) eventually became the most
numerous of all Spitfire variants with more
than 7,000 delivered to the RAF, the VVS and
other Allied air forces.
The Spitfire Mk.IX continued in front line
service until the end of the Second World War.

4 Introduction

YOU TAKE THE HIGH ROAD


AND ILL TAKE THE LOW ROAD...

odellers have been waiting


a very long time for a 1:32
scale Spitfire Mk.IX. Until now,
our only options have been
expensive resin or vacform conversions
requiring considerable skill and effort, or
the limited-run Pacific Coast Models kit
released in 2008.
Now Tamiya has released the first
long-run injection moulded kit of a late
Merlin Spitfire in 1:32 scale. This is a
remarkable kit in terms of detail, accuracy,
engineering and presentation. It has been
well worth the wait.
Before we examine the Tamiya kit in
detail though, lets take a look at some of
the options open to us until now.

SPITFIRE MK.IX CONVERSIONS


IN 1:32 SCALE
A number of vac form or resin 1:32 scale
Spitfire Mk.IX conversions have been
released over the last few decades. These
have all been designed for the venerable
Hasegawa Spitfire Mk.Vb. The base kit is
reasonably accurate in outline but suffers
from a very poor cockpit and non-existent
wheel well detail. The raised panel lines
of this 1970s vintage kit wont be to many
modellers tastes either.
The best of these conversions were
offered by Paragon Designs and Warbird
Productions of the UK.
Paragon produced a number of
conversions designed for Hasegawas
1:32 scale Spitfire Mk.Vb, including one for
a Spitfire Mk.IX.

Paragons Spitfire Mk.IX conversion


comprises 33 parts in cream coloured
resin. The parts will need to be removed
from casting blocks, but this should not be
difficult. Even so, this is a comprehensive
conversion requiring significant surgery
to the base kit, so significant modelling
experience will be helpful.
Paragon supplies all the parts necessary
for a Spitfire IXc including an entirely new
three-piece engine cowling, supercharger
intake, exhausts, spinner and propeller
blades, pointed rudder, double-kinked
elevators (youll need to modify the kit
tail planes to fit these), second under
wing radiator and housing, five-spoke
weighted main wheels, upper and under
wing bulges for cannon and undercarriage
(broad and narrow cannon bulges are
included), plus new cannon barrels and
stubs. The high altitude extended wing
tips are supplied too, making it possible to
build a Spitfire HF Mk.IXc.
The most difficult aspect of this
conversion will be transforming
Hasegawas B wing to a C wing.
Although Paragon provides all of the
fittings, the real hurdle will be cutting,
filling, fitting the new radiator and scribing
the many new panel lines.
For those who do not feel up to the
task, Warbird Productions released a
full resin C wing. This presented its
own challenges though, as the wing was
supplied in left and right halves. Joining
these heavy one-piece resin wings to the
fuselage would require reinforcement and
careful alignment.
In addition to the C wing, Warbird
Productions also offered a wide range of
late Merlin and Griffin Spitfires.

Paragons resin conversion was the best way to build a


Spitfire Mk.IXc in 1:32 scale before 2008.

Warbird Productions offered a full Spitfire C wing in 1:32 scale.

Pacific Coast Models 1:32 scale


Spitfire Mk.IXc was released in 2008.

PACIFIC COAST MODELS 1:32 SCALE


SPITFIRE MK.IXC, MK.IXE AND MK.XVIE
Pacific Coast Models released their 1:32
scale limited-run Supermarine Spitfire
Mk.IXc in 2008. This was the first complete
injection moulded kit of a Spitfire Mk.IX in
this scale.
Pacific Coast Models Spitfire Mk.IXc
comprises 70 parts in grey plastic, 9 parts
in clear, 21 resin parts, a colour photoetched fret and markings for six aircraft.
The plastic parts are moulded by Sword
of the Czech Republic. The plastic is
shiny, and surface detail is well done with
recessed panel lines.
The 21 grey resin parts are mainly used
in the cockpit, but also include wheels,
undercarriage bays and two different
styles of exhaust - flared and tubular. The
two styles of wheels included are five
spoke and covered hub.
The resin parts are excellent.
The colour photo-etch fret offers
attractive eye-candy for the front office
including a detailed instrument panel and
a Q harness with printed stitching.
The clear parts are very nice - thinly
moulded and good looking in shape.
The overall outline looks good but there
are some shape issues with the propeller
blades. The undercarriage doors also lack
the characteristic bulge of the Mk.IX.
Due to its limited-run nature, you should
ideally have had some experience with
short run kits or resin accessories before
tackling PCMs Spitfire Mk.IXc. However,
If you spend sufficient time preparing
the parts and test-fitting (in other words,
showing this kit the respect that any limited
run offering demands), then you will be
rewarded with a nicely detailed model of
this most numerous Spitfire variant.
I built this kit shortly after its release in
2008 and was pleased with the result.
Pacific Coast Models followed up with

The cockpit is well detailed with resin and colour photoetched parts.

A good result can be obtained if care is taken with parts


preparation and alignment.

a 1:32 scale Spitfire Mk.IXe and a resin


low-back XVIe conversion.

USEFUL ACCESSORIES NOW AVAILABLE


Grey Matter Figures from the UK has
recently released a 1:32 scale Spitfire seat
with moulded backrest, and a retractable
tail wheel conversion. Although these were
designed to use with other kits, they will
be perfectly suitable for Tamiyas Spitfire
IXc too. The tail wheel will be especially
handy for anyone converting the kit to a
Mk.VII or a Mk.VIII.

Grey Matter Figures have Grey Matter also offers


a resin Spitfire seat with a retractable tail wheel
backrest cast in place.
conversion. This will represent
a good start for a Mk.VII
or Mk.VIII conversion from
Tamiyas kit.

How to Build... Tamiyas 1:32 Spitfire Mk.IXc 5

CHAPTER 1 LATE MERLIN SPITFIRES CLOSE-UP


A nice overhead view of Temoras
Spitfire Mk.VIII in flight. Note the
narrow C wing cannon bulges, and the
absence of inboard wheel well bulges.

LATE MERLIN SPITFIRES


CLOSE-UP

We take a close-up look at two late-Merlin Spitfires


at Temora Aviation Museum

he Spitfire Mk.XVI and Mk.VIII


were both very similar to the
late Spitfire Mk.IX. Many of the
engine, cockpit and airframe
details will be helpful to modellers building
Tamiyas new 1:32 scale Spitfire Mk.IXc.
The Temora Aviation Museum has not
one, but two late-Merlin Spitfires, the only
two Spitfires in flying condition in Australia.
The Museums Mk.VIII was the last
Spitfire taken on charge by the Royal
Australian Air Force. It was manufactured
in England during 1944, and shipped
to Australia where it was delivered to
the RAAF in April 1945. Its RAAF serial
number was A58-758. The aircraft was
immediately placed in storage and never
saw active service.
Post-war, this Spitfire was employed

6 Chapter 1 - Late Merlin Spitfires Close-up

by Sydney Technical College as an


instructional airframe. Mr. Sid Marshall
purchased the aircraft in 1982 and stored
it in components, Mr. Colin Pay of Scone
then acquired and restored the Spitfire.
After four decades of storage and disassembly, this marvellous aircraft took to the
skies again in 1985. It has been part of
the Temora Aviation Museums collection
since 2002, and regularly takes part in
flying displays.
The aircraft is painted in the Ocean
Grey and Dark Green camouflage worn by
RAAF Spitfires in the South West Pacific.
These markings represent the personal
aircraft of Wing Commander R.H. (Bobby)
Gibbes AM WG CMR DSO DFC.
The Spitfire Mk.XVI was manufactured at
Castle Bromwich in late 1944, and under-

took its first mission with 453 Sqn. RAAF on


24 March, 1945 wearing the codes FU-P.
After being written off by the Royal Air
Force in 1951, this aircraft started a film
career, first as a prop in MGMs 1955
adaptation of the Douglas Bader story,
Reach for the Sky, and again twelve
years later as a non-flying extra in The
Battle of Britain.
Sir Tim Wallis purchased the partially
restored airframe in 1987, completing the
project and shipping the Spitfire to New
Zealand as the centrepiece of the Alpine
Fighter Collection.
Temora Aviation Museum acquired the
aircraft in April 2006. It is currently finished
in the colours and markings of its first sorties over the skies of northern Europe with
453 Sqn. RAAF.

The Spitfire Mk.VIII was a later development, but shared many of the characteristics of the
Spitfire Mk. IXc. This beautifully restored example is displayed at the Temora Aviation Museum.

The most obvious external difference between the Mk.IXc and the Mk.VIII is the retractable
tail wheel. Note that the Mk.VIII is always fitted with the late-style pointed rudder.

A closer view of the instrument panel.

Temoras Spitfire Mk.VIII cockpit is mostly original. The configuration wil be almost
identical to a Spitfire Mk.IXc. Here we can see the instrument panel, slightly overshadowed
by a large cover over the modern avionics mounted on the instrument coaming.

Black leather cushions are fitted to the Spitfires composite seat. We can see the
characteristic brown colour of the composite material. Some modern avionics are also
visible behind the seat on the starboard sidewall.

The starboard cockpit sidewall is quite bare, as it was on the wartime aircraft.

The rear cockpit frames feature lightening holes. These are not drilled out in the Tamiya kit
a simple improvement if you wish to spend a few minutes with a pin vice.
How to Build... Tamiyas 1:32 Spitfire Mk.IXc 7

CHAPTER 1 LATE MERLIN SPITFIRES CLOSE-UP

The well of the Spitfires floorless cockpit is a jumble of wires, actuators and structural details. The large quadrant and trim wheels may be seen on the port sidewall here too.

Glimpses of the air bottles for the pneumatic systems may be seen behind the seat. These
are painted in a slightly pale version of British Interior Grey Green, but some were seen in
silver, grey or other colours.

The pinch bar clipped to this open hatch was intended to break the Perspex canopy in case
of emergency. In common with most restored Spitfires, this one is painted red, although
wartime pinch bars were more commonly seen in bare metal or Interior Grey Green.

A round mirror with a streamlined fairing was fitted to the top of the windscreen.

This Spitfire Mk.VIII is equipped with flattened and flared ejector exhaust stubs.

8 Chapter 1 - Late Merlin Spitfires Close-up

Note the slight bulge at the rear of the tail wheel doors to accommodate the tail wheel
when retracted. This retractable tail wheel was not fitted to the Spitfire Mk.IX.

All Spitfire Mk.VIIIs were configured with the universal C wing. Most, if not all, Mk.VIII
Spitfires featured the narrow inboard bulge for the 20mm cannon, plus two .303 machine
guns outboard on each wing.

The bulge on the upper engine cowl just aft of the middle is for the compressor intake.

The Spitfire Mk.VIII was fitted with the later style double kinked elevators.

A small clear navigation light is present just under the rudder trim tab.

Note how the wheel tilts out at the top. This permits the wheels to be accommodated inside
the wheel well without any additional bulges or fairings.
How to Build... Tamiyas 1:32 Spitfire Mk.IXc 9

CHAPTER 1 LATE MERLIN SPITFIRES CLOSE-UP

The large supercharger intake was common to the Mk.VIII


and late Mk.IXs. A cover is in place here.

A front view of the Temora Spitfire Mk.VIII showing the wing armament and the narrow undercarriage track.

Temora is also home to a Spitfire Mk.XVIe.

Main wheels are the later style with four lightening holes.

10 Chapter 1 - Late Merlin Spitfires Close-up

In contrast to the Mk.VIII, this Mk.XVI is fitted with tubular exhaust stubs.

The geometry of post-war Spitfires was often modified to


improve performance on sealed runways. Note how the
angle of the wheels is more vertical compared to those on
the Spitfire Mk.VIII.

A closer view of the main landing gear. The oleo scissors


are a feature of later Mk.IXs and Mk.XVIs. Early Mk.IXs were
not fitted with oleo scissors.

Radiator face detail.

Note the different size and location of the E Wing


cannon bulge. We can also see the additional wide
teardrop-shaped fairing needed to accommodate
the reconfigured angle of the main wheels.

This Mk.XVI has the same style of large supercharger intake as the Mk.VIII, but the cover
is not in place here.

This Mk.XVIe is also fitted with the late-style double-kinked elevators.

Spitfire wing tips were separate panels that could quickly


be replaced.

A side view of the Rolls-Royce Merlin 70 engine in Temoras Spitfire Mk.VIII. Note the bare
copper coolant pipes.

The curved oil tank under the engine and the long supercharger intake are obvious from
this angle.

The small bare metal reservoir behind the propeller is the Glycol tank. Ethylene Glycol was
used as the coolant in the Spitfire. Note the circular black filler cap near the top of the tank.
Tamiya missed this feature. Also missing from the Tamiya kit is the filler neck for the oil
tank. This may be seen in the photo a little more than halfway back on the oil tank, curving
upwards.

The rear of the engine bay is crowded with the carburettor, supercharger and various gear
housings, plus plenty of plumbing. Although the engine is largely authentic, the bright
orange tubes and coloured wiring are very much a modern feature.

How to Build... Tamiyas 1:32 Spitfire Mk.IXc 11

CHAPTER 2 SPITFIRE Mk.IXc IN PROFILE

SPITFIRE Mk.IXc
IN PROFILE

Richard J. Caruana explores the colours


of the Spitfire Mk.IXc in worldwide service.
EN479
Supermarine Spitfire Mk.IXc, EN479/N, No. 126 Squadron, Safi. Dark Earth/Mid-Stone
upper surfaces with Azure Blue undersides; white codes, Night serial. Spinner is believed
to be dark blue with a white backplate. Note short carburettor intake; blue/red roundels
above wings.

MJ840
Supermarine Spitfire LF Mk.IXc, MJ840/DUL, No. 312 (Czech) Squadron, 11 June 1944. Ocean Grey/Dark
Green/Medium Sea Grey scheme with Sky spinner and codes; Yellow leading edge to wings. Black/white bands
around wings and fuselage; Czech roundel under both sides of windscreen while unit badge is carried only on
port side. Note fuselage bands roughly painted leading an irregular boarder around codes and roundel; blue/
red roundels above wings.

MK392
Supermarine Spitfire Mk.IXc, MK392/JEJ, flown by Wing Commander Johnnie Johnon,
OC No. 144 Wing, summer 1944. Ocean Grey/Dark Green upper surfaces with Medium Sea
Grey undersides; Sky rear fuselage band and codes. Night serial; Night/white bands around
wings and fuselage. Red Maple Leaf within a white disc below windscreen; white spinner.

EN315
Supermarine Spitfire Mk.IXc, EN315/ZX6, No. 145 Squadron, flown by fighter ace
Squadron Leader S. Skalski (five kills). Dark Earth /Mid-Stone upper surfaces with Azure
Blue undersides. Red spinner, blue codes outlined white; note Polish flag (reversed) and
five white swastikas ahead of windscreen. Blue/red roundels above wings.

12 Chapter 2 - Spitfire Mk.IXc in Profile

EN199
Supermarine Spitfire Mk.IXc, EN199/DV, No. 1435 Squadron, Brindisi (Italy), 1944. Dark
Green/Ocean Grey upper surfaces with Medium Sea Grey undersides. Medium Sea Grey codes;
red spinner with a thin white backing. No underwing roundels; blue/red roundels above wings.
This aircraft is now preserved at the Malta Aviation Museum.

Italy 5-20
Spitfire Mk.IXc, 520, believed to be MM.4112 (ex-RR235, serial
partially overpainted by code), of the 92a Squadriglia, 8o Gruppo, 5o
Stormo Aeronautica Military Italiana, Orio al Serio (Bergamo), 1949.
Aluminium (silver) overall with black anti-dazzle panel and white spinner
front. Roundels in normal six positions.

Dutch H-60
Supermarine Spitfire Mk.IXc, NH238/H60 (ex-MK606), No. 322 Squadron, Netherlands
Air Force. Experimental scheme of Light Grey and Jungle Green upper surfaces with
Light Blue undersides; orange spinner, white codes. National markings in six positions;
Olive Drab anti-dazzle panel. Three mice marking on nose.

MJ642 3W-11
Supermarine Spitfire Mk.IXc (clipped wing), MJ642/3W-11, No. 322 Squadron, Royal
Netherlands East Indies Air Force. Aluminium overall with black spinner and anti-dazzle panel.
Red rudder tip with white 11. National markings in standard six positions.

PT529
Supermarine Spitfire Mk.IXc, PT529/AHG, No. 332 Squadron, Norwegian Air Force, Vaernes,
1946. Ocean Grey/Dark Green upper surfaces with Medium Sea Grey undersides; Sky rear
fuselage band and spinner, the latter having red/white/blue bands around it. White codes,
black serials; national markings in six positions.

How to Build... Tamiyas 1:32 Spitfire Mk.IXc 13

CHAPTER 2 SPITFIRE Mk.IXc IN PROFILE


Left: Full black and white D-Day invasion stripes
were only worn for a relatively short period
before partial removal from the upper surfaces
and eventually from the lower surfaces too.
Below: Desert colours were Middle Stone and
Dark Earth on the upper surfaces.

Above: Supermarine Spitfire Mk.IXc, PT529/AHG was finished


in Ocean Grey/Dark Green upper surfaces with Medium Sea
Grey undersides. National markings in six positions.
Right: On the lower surfaces, invasion stripes extended across
landing gear covers.

14 Chapter 2 - Spitfire Mk.IXc in Profile

CHAPTER 3 IN THE BOX

TAMIYAS 1:32 SCALE


SPITFIRE Mk.IXc IN THE BOX

We take a close look at the contents of Tamiyas


1:32 scale Supermarine Spitfire Mk.IXc

amiyas 1:32 scale Spitfire Mk.IXc


comprises more than 360 parts
in grey plastic, 17 parts in clear,
two nickel-plated photo-etched
frets, six parts in flexible black vinyl, eight
steel pins, seven miniature magnets,
various small screws and metal parts,
a self-adhesive masking sheet for the
canopy parts, two metallic self-adhesive
name plates and two decal sheets with
markings for three aircraft.
The top of the box forecasts the
contents even before the lid is lifted.
Luxurious gold lettering is printed below
attractive artwork. The impression of
quality is unmistakable.
Inside the box, sprues are carefully

packed in separate plastic bags, while


metal parts and the delicate plastic cowls
are contained in boxes.
The quality of the plastic parts is all that
we have come to expect from Tamiya.
The surface of the plastic is smooth, while
the parts are thoughtfully placed on the
sprues to make removal and cleanup as
fast and as easy as possible. Indeed,
most of the cockpit and wheel well parts
can be pre-painted while still on the
sprues, as the attachment points will not
leave scars on the visible surfaces.
Surface detail is exquisite, featuring
very fine crisp panel lines and some of the
subtlest renditions of recessed rivets that I
have ever seen.

The fuselage is broken down into main


halves, but the lower empennage (the
area of the fuselage under the horizontal
tailplanes) is supplied as a separate insert.
This breakdown suggests that we will
probably see future releases such as the
Spitfire Mk.VIII and VII with the retractable
tail wheel.
Many optional parts are included in the
kit. Most are mentioned in the instructions
but some are not. These include alternate
style exhaust stacks (flared or tubular);
two styles of lower cowl supercharger
intakes (long Aero-Vee and short); two
styles of upper cowl (early flat style and
the later bulged version, usually seen
covering Packard Merlins on the Mk.XVI,

How to Build... Tamiyas 1:32 Spitfire Mk.IXc 15

CHAPTER 3 IN THE BOX


Decals are well printed. The kit includes self-adhesive
canopy masks and metallic name plates for the stand.

Marking options are supplied for three aircraft, including one French Spitfire in Indochina and a Polish machine in North Africa.

plus various blisters and intakes for subtypes), two varieties of separate wing tips
(standard and clipped LF); two versions
of wing gun covers (standard two-gun C
and four gun C); early and late gunsights;
slipper style drop tanks; wing-mounted
bombs; and three wheel patterns five
spoke and four spoke, both with smooth
treaded tyres, and covered hub via photoetched parts. Both styles of elevators are
also supplied the early style with the
angled mass balance and the late double
kinked version. Early (rounded) and late
(pointy) rudders are also included.
All of these options mean that the
modeller can build virtually any production
variant of the high back Spitfire Mk.IXc
or Mk.XVIc except for the high altitude
versions with the pointed wing tips.
The list of kit features is equally
impressive. All control surfaces are
separate. The ailerons, elevators and
rudder are fitted with metal hinges, while
the flaps may be posed open or closed.
The little flap indicator hatches on the top
of the wings are supplied as separate
parts that may be posed open or closed.
Alternate parts are given to display the
undercarriage retracted or extended.

The undercarriage legs


are held in place not
by glue, but screws.
Configuration of the
landing gear may be
changed even after the
model has been built
thanks to removable fairings
on the lower wings. A display
stand is supplied for in-flight
display. This attaches to the
centreline slipper tank. Tamiya also
includes two metallic nameplates for
the base of the stand.
A beautifully detailed Rolls-Royce
Merlin engine is also included. One of
the problems with previous models with
detailed engines was that the thickness of
the engine cowing plastic meant that the
powerplant was undersized. In this case,
Tamiyas cowl panels are a fraction of a
millimetre in thickness. Another innovation is
the use of tiny magnets to permit the cowl
panels to be fitted and removed with ease.
The cockpit is fully equipped with a
multi-media sandwich for the instrument
panel, photo-etched harness and an
optional seated pilot. A standing RAF
figure is also included. Two styles of

Surface detail is beautifully crisp and restrained.


The instrument panel may be seen here too.

The lower empennage is a separate insert, pointing to later


releases with the retractable tailwheel such as the Mk.VII
and Mk.VIII.

The pilots entry door is a separate part.

The wings feature separate panels for the gun covers and
leading edge ports.

There are even more panel inserts on the bottom of the wing.
These are for the cannon and machine gun ejector ports.

The early rounded and late-style pointed rudders are


offered...Engine cowl covers are ultra-thin and held in
place with tiny magnets, permitting the engine to be
displayed.

16 Chapter 3 - In the Box

instrument panel are offered early and


late. The master compass is beautifully
represented in plastic and photo-etch with
a decal to top it off. The control column is
even fitted with a separate photo-etched
brake handle. Pilots armour is supplied
scale-thickness in photo-etch. The
cockpit door is poseable, and two are
supplied one for the open option and
one for closed. It is a little surprising that
the crowbar on the inside of the door is
moulded in place. The inside of the door
also has some of the only ejector pin
circles in a visible location, although they
are very feint.
Clear parts are very thin and free from

Clear parts are thin and free of distortion. The clipped wing
tips are supplied as clear parts too, making it easy to mask
the navigation lights before painting.
A standing RAF figure
is included.
The seated pilot
figure is nicely
detailed.

distortion. The sliding section of the


canopy is appropriately bulged. The two
gunsights are amongst the best I have
seen in any scale.
Two sets of black vinyl tyres are
supplied for the main wheels. One is halfthickness for the retracted gear. Although
I am not generally a big fan of vinyl tyres,
these ones do look quite convincing. The
seemingly inevitable raised centreline
seam is very slight too.
Self-adhesive canopy masks are
included, but you will need to cut the
shapes out from the printed on, small
yellow kabuki masking sheet.
In addition to the two busy photo-etched
frets, multimedia parts include metal
hinges, screws, nuts and magnets. A small
Phillips Head screwdriver is also supplied.
Three nicely varied marking options are
provided:
A. Je-J of Wing Commander J.E. Johnnie
Johnson, Kenley Wing, July 1943,
finished in standard mid-war colours
of Ocean Grey and Dark Green over
Medium Sea Grey.

B. ZX-6, Polish Fighting Team, 145 Sqn.,


Tunisia 1943. This aircraft is finished
in tropical colours Middle Stone and
Dark Earth over Azure Blue.
C. P of GC 1 / 4, Dauphine, French
Air Force, Nha-Trang, Indochina, 1948.
This is finished in Ocean Grey and Dark
Green over Medium Sea Grey.

...as are early (single kinked) and late (double kinked) style
elevators.

Single and two-cannon blisters are supplied. The wide


two-cannon blister is a slightly unusual pattern with a
squared-off front.

The small centreline slipper tank and five-hole wheel hubs


may be seen here. Four hole and covered hubs are also
provided.

Cockpit detail is superlative, but you might like to drill out


the lightening holes in the cockpit frames. Much of this
detail may be painted while still on the sprue.

Engine detail is equally good.

The engine bay is built up in layers, just like the real thing.
Here is the outer frame for mounting the starboard engine
cowling.

Decals are provided on two sheets. The


red and blue of the RAF insignia look a
little too bright to my eye, but register is
good and the printing is very crisp.
Construction is called out over 71 steps
in a 36 page stapled instruction guide. A
16 page reference booklet rounds out the
package. This contains historical notes,
a pictorial explanation of wing tips and
armament, variants and 41 small detail
photos.
Tamiyas 1:32 scale Spitfire Mk.IXc is
an extraordinary kit. The level of detail is
second to none, and the sheer number
of optional parts should please even the
fussiest Spitfire-o-phile. As good as it
looks in the box though, lets take a look

at how it actually goes together.

Multimedia parts include two busy photo-etched frets.

Nuts and bolts.

Vinyl parts include two sets of main tyres (different sets for
retracted and extended) plus hydraulic lines for the gear legs.

How to Build... Tamiyas 1:32 Spitfire Mk.IXc 17

CHAPTER 4 STEP BY STEP

BUILDING TAMIYAS 1:32 SCALE


SPITFIRE Mk.IXc STEP BY STEP
We take a detailed look at how to build and improve
Tamiyas superb new Spitfire Mk.IXc

amiyas 1:32 scale Supermarine


Spitfire Mk.IXc is a magnificent
kit with extraordinary detail. In
fact, the contents can look a bit
imposing upon first inspection.
The good news is that the kit fits together
precisely and presents few serious
challenges. However, you do need to follow
the instructions carefully and keep focused.

CORRECTIONS AND DEVIATIONS


The kit is generally very accurate, but there
are a number of areas where you might
consider deviating from the instructions.
Lets discuss these before we begin:
1. The instructions suggest that the
fuselage interior (except for the cockpit
area) should be painted Bare Metal Silver.

18 Chapter 4 - Step by Step

This is correct for aircraft manufactured


after September 1943. For aircraft built
before this date, the entire interior would
have been painted RAF Interior Grey
Green.
2. In Step 6, the artificial horizon
decal for the blind flying instrument
panel is blue. This should actually be
black. Replacements may be found on
aftermarket decal sheets from Mike Grant
Decals or MDC.
3. The flare cartridge rack (part F48)
in Step 7 was not usually fitted to the
Spitfire Mk.IX. Do not glue this to the front
of the seat.
4. Spitfire seats were often fitted with a
leather backrest. A simple backrest could
be made from Tamiya masking tape with

the vertical pleats fashioned from very thin


strips of the tape. This backrest should be
painted semi-gloss black.
5. In Steps 8 and 9, you might consider
drilling out the lightening holes in the rear
cockpit frames, parts F11 and F19.
6. In Step 13, the instructions call for the
compressed air bottles to be painted Sky
Grey. Wartime compressed air bottles
were unpainted steel colour. Some
restored Spitfires today have these bottles
painted various colours such as Sky Grey
or Interior Green.
7. The oxygen bottle (part F5) should
be painted gloss black. The kit supplies
the oxygen hose for the seated pilot that
is connected to his mask, but there is no
hose attached to the oxygen bottle. The

The very first step was


preparing the photo-etched
metal parts with Tamiyas
Metal Primer. This is a
clear finish.

The photo-etched frets


were also treated to a coat
of Tamiya Grey Surface
Primer. This helps improve
the tooth of the shiny
metal for subsequent coats
of acrylic paint.

absence of the oxygen hose is obvious,


so the missing length may be fashioned
from a guitar string bent to shape. This
should be glued to the starboard cockpit
wall disappearing behind the seat toward
the oxygen bottle (it really should go
to the oxygen regulator as should the
fitting from the oxygen bottle but it would
be impossible to see and this gives the
impression that we are after).
8. Tamiya suggests that you fit the tail
wheel in Step 20, but I left mine until the
final stages of construction.
9. Tamiya would have you install the
main landing gear in Step 42, but I
strongly suggest that this is delayed until
the very end of the build.
10. At the front of the engine bay, the filler

The interior of the fuselage


halves were sprayed with
Tamiyas AS-12 Bare Metal
Silver straight from the can.

The areas surrounding the


cockpit were masked off
in preparation for Tamiya
XF-71 Cockpit Green. The
base colour was streaked
and mottled with a paler
shade for variety.

How to Build... Tamiyas 1:32 Spitfire Mk.IXc 19

CHAPTER 4 STEP BY STEP

All the interior surfaces


received a selective wash
in a heavily thinned mixture
of Lamp Black and Raw
Umber oil paint.

Cockpit parts were painted


on the sprue. Here we can
see the cockpit sidewalls
and forward bulkhead in
the base Cockpit Green
colour with irregular
streaking and subtle
shading, all applied with
the airbrush.

The cockpit components


have received a gloss coat
using Tamiyas acrylic X-22
Clear before application of
an oil wash.

The gloss coat on the


cockpit sidewalls will
improve the adhesion of
placard decals.

20 Chapter 4 - Step by Step

for the glycol tank is missing. Check the


Close Up chapter for a view of this filler
high on the port side of the glycol tank.
11. Below the engine, Tamiya has also
missed the curved filler neck for the oil
tank. Once again, this feature may clearly
be seen in the Close Up chapter.
12. In Steps 49 and 50, the instructions
call for the coolant and oil pipes (parts
X1, X2, X3, X7 and X8) to be painted
Interior Grey Green. These were more
likely a dirty bare copper finish. Check the
Close-Up chapter for detail photos.
13. The 20mm cannon barrels (parts CC3
in Step 64) are really only appropriate for
the early Spitfire Mk.IXc.
14. Early Spitfire Mk.IXs were fitted a
mechanical undercarriage down-lock
indicator on the upper surface of each
wing. These were small red blade-shaped
indicators that popped up when the
undercarriage was down and locked.
Although these parts are not supplied,
their locations are marked if you look
carefully. The indicators themselves may
be easily made out of thin plastic.
15. If you are installing the centreline
slipper tank (part J4 in Step 65), you will
also need to fit the small hooks, parts
J1 and J2. These hooks are included
on the sprues but not mentioned in the
instructions. The holes for the hooks are
located inside the wing just forward of
the innermost flap need to be drilled out.
There are three holes. For the smaller
hooks only the forward holes need to be
opened. Remember that these hooks
dont support the slipper tank so dont
try to make them meet the tank. These
hooks were there for when the slipper
tank was jettisoned, so that it would slide
back into these hooks. Otherwise, being
an airfoil shape, the tank would slide back
along the fuselage underside and cause
damage.
16. Tamiyas decal placement guide
would have the modeller apply the wing
walk lines over the upper wing roundels.
This is not correct. They also have you
extend the starboard wing walk line all
the way to the fuselage. Although this
was seen on early Marks II Spitfires and
II Spitfires, it does not apply to the Mk.IX.
The starboard side wing walk lines should
appear exactly as the port side.
I am grateful to Bob Swaddling for many
of these handy tips.
Of course, Murphys Law dictated that
I was not aware of many of these issues
until I had already finished building my kit,
so the list is offered in the spirit of do as I
say and not as I do!

Even the metal parts may be painted before removal from


their frets.

Harness straps were sprayed Tamiya XF-55 Deck Tan.

BUILDING TAMIYAS 1:32


SCALE SPITFIRE MK.IXC

removing the parts from the sprues.


However, it also means that there will be
some raised pips on the mating surfaces
of each fuselage half once they have been
cut free. These must be totally eliminated
or they will interfere with the fit of the
fuselage halves.
The photo-etched frets were prepared
for paint, first with a coat of Tamiyas clear
Metal Primer, followed by Grey Primer,

Work on Tamiyas Spitfire starts in


the cockpit, but there are a couple of
important tasks to perform before heading
to the front office.
Tamiya has cleverly attached the
fuselage halves to the sprues at the mating
surfaces. This reduces the chances of
scarring the exterior of the fuselage when

The instrument panel, forward bulkhead, control column and


rudder with actuator rods have been brought together as subassemblies.

Tamiyas depiction of the Spitfires


bottomless floor is very convincing.

The flying instrument panel and the base for the gun sight
were painted XF-1 Flat Black.

both applied straight from the spray can.


I painted most of the cockpit parts and
the fuselage interior before I had cut a
single piece of plastic from the sprue.
A Tamiya spray can was used for the
next job too, this time AS-12 Bare Metal
Silver to coat the entire fuselage interior.
This paint delivers a lovely smooth
grainless finish ideal for bare aluminium.

The seat and rear cockpit frames may be seen here. The perforated rack
in front of the seat is for flare cartridges. Research suggests that this
rack was not fitted to the Spitfire Mk.IX, but I found out too late!

The photo-etched
armour plate at
the rear of the seat
delivers a scale
appearance.

The photo-etched harness straps


were bent into shape before
gluing them to the plastic seat.

The central cockpit sub-assemblies.

How to Build... Tamiyas 1:32 Spitfire Mk.IXc 21

CHAPTER 4 STEP BY STEP

The instrument panel is a sandwich of plastic, photoetched and clear parts, with decals bringing up the rear.

The dials are printed on the back of the decals, so dont panic when you
see plain black disks on the front of the decal sheet!

The blue artificial horizon is undoubtedly striking,


but the wartime instrument was invariably black.

THE FRONT OFFICE


Tamiya suggests that the cockpit parts
should be painted XF-71 Cockpit Green.
Being a Japanese WWII cockpit colour,
I was originally a bit dubious about this
shade representing RAF Interior Grey
Green, but in the end I think it looks quite
good. The cockpit area was masked off and
XF-71 was sprayed on the fuselage and
relevant cockpit parts on the sprues. The
base colour was then mixed with light grey
to create a lighter shade, applied in thin
streaks and mottles over Tamiyas XF-71.
Details were then picked out with Tamiya
and Vallejo paints with a fine brush before
further weathering with a thin wash of
Lamp Black and Raw Umber oil paints.
Assembling the cockpit is a real
education. The little spheres at the top
of part F30, which attached to the upper
starboard sidewall, are spare light globes
for the early-style GM2 gunsight. The
master compass, often an afterthought
on other models, is just gorgeous with a
folded metal mount and a decal compass
face. I applied a few coats of Future floor
polish over the decal with a clean brush to

The core of the cockpit has now been assembled.

22 Chapter 4 - Step by Step

The two main instrument panel sub-assemblies ready to be installed. This is the early style panel.

suggest a glass lens.


The bottomless cockpit floor and the
control column need extra attention during
assembly. The fit is very precise and,
if correctly assembled, they will fit very
perfectly behind the forward firewall.
The seat fits together well too, but dont
forget that you will not need to attach the
flare rack (part F48) to the front of the
seat. I painted my seat in a mix of Tamiya

XF-64 Red Brown and XF-3 Flat Yellow to


represent the unpainted brownish Paxolin
composite material. The photo-etched
harness straps look good. Unfortunately,
I did not pay close enough attention and
draped the starboard strap over the side
of the seat instead of threading it through
the hole.
If you are planning to use the seated
pilot, you will not install the lap harness,

The photo-etched harness straps look good in place.

Details are picked out on lower sidewalls with a fine paint brush, and small parts are glued
in place. The placard decals on the air bottles are sourced from Reheat.

The lower starboard sidewall is less of a jumble.

The instrument panel has now been added to the cockpit core, but the gun sight will not be
installed until much later.

The cockpit is really taking shape now.

Test fitting is crucial. The cockpit core sits snugly against the inside
of the port fuselage. Note that the lower sidewall parts have finally
been freed from their sprue and glued to the cockpit core.

How to Build... Tamiyas 1:32 Spitfire Mk.IXc 23

CHAPTER 4 STEP BY STEP

Small grey polythene caps are fitted near the base of the forward bulkhead.
These will permit the press-fit of the supercharger intake assembly.

and you will use a different shoulder


harness (photo-etched part a-20).
The regular harness for the empty seat
requires a little photo-etched origami.
There are two layers of shoulder straps.
The rearmost layer needs to be folded
to slip through a hole in the back of the
seat and drape behind the main shoulder
straps. With the benefit of hindsight, this
would have been easier if I had annealed
the photo-etched parts before folding
them. Annealing involves waving the
photo-etched part over the top of a flame
until the metal becomes discoloured
(usually blue), before dunking it in cool
water. This process significantly softens
the metal, resulting in a more natural fold
and drape. Fortunately, the straps looked
pretty good even without annealing.
The only non-Tamiya additions to the
cockpit were a few placard decals from
Reheat. These were applied over a gloss
coat, followed by Polly Scale Flat to
restore the dull finish.
The compressed air bottles, Part F14,
were painted with Tamiya XF-71 Cockpit
Green, not Sky Grey as called out by
the instructions. This was in line with the
colour of the bottles I photographed in

The cockpit core was now glued to the


inside of the starboard fuselage.

Temoras Spitfire Mk.VIII. Reheat Placard


decals were applied to the front of the
bottles too.
The instructions would have you install
the gunsight at Step 14, but I would
suggest you leave this until just before the
windscreen is installed to minimise the

The tail wheel insert is reinforced with a wide locating strip on the fuselage side.

24 Chapter 4 - Step by Step

A placard has been added and final weathering applied.

risk of knocking off the protruding reflector


during subsequent handling.
In Step 15, dont forget to install the
small grey polythene caps in the back of
the forward firewall. These are the only
things that hold the supercharger intake
in place.

Fit is extraordinary. Its hard to tell that this is a separate part once the insert is glued into place.

The cockpit and engine firewall are trapped


between the fuselage halves, which are
temporarily secured with clamps and Tamiya
tape while the glue sets.
The control surfaces are secured with
photo-etched steel hinges and metal rods.

Here are the components for the rudder.

Here, one of the metal rods has been glued onto the
channel in an aileron half.

The photo-etched hinges are slid onto the rod.

The wings, fin and horizontal tailplanes are moulded with slots to
accommodate the ends of the hinges.

When the control surfaces are glued together, the metal hinges
extend from the mating surface.

This is simply pressed into the corresponding part, in this


case the horizontal tailplanes. Glue is not required. The control
surfaces may now be posed according to your preferences.

How to Build... Tamiyas 1:32 Spitfire Mk.IXc 25

CHAPTER 4 STEP BY STEP

Wheel wells are fully boxed in and well detailed. A clamp was used to ensure a gap-free fit.

I test fitted the cockpit and forward


firewall a half dozen times before
committing to glue. The fit was perfect. I
suspected that the cockpit would stay in
place without glue, but I decided not to
take the chance!

AROUND THE AIRFRAME


The Spitfire Mk.IX could be fitted with
either of two styles of elevators. The early
style was the same as the Mk.V, with a

single outboard angled kink. The


later style had a double kink one
angled and then another at 90 degrees to
the elevator hinge line. Installation of the
early version requires no modification to
the kit parts, but if you are using the later
double kinked style, you will need to
cut a small section from the outer edges
of the upper horizontal stabiliser halves
(parts B19 and B20).
I have never been a big fan of metal

The inside surface of the bottom wings were sprayed with Tamiya AS-12 Bare Metal Silver straight from the can.

26 Chapter 4 - Step by Step

hinges for control surfaces, but Tamiyas


work very well. Just be careful to use the
correct hinges with their related rod. For
the elevators, photo-etched hinges B-8
and B-9 are associated with steel rod ST1.
Once the elevators are assembled with
the steel rods and hinges sandwiched
between, the control surfaces may simply
be pushed into place.

The bottom of the cockpit area was masked and sprayed XF-71 Cockpit Green. This was
weathered in a similar fashion to the rest of the cockpit. We can see the wheel well
components plus the wing spar here.

The wheel well and wing spar have been installed.

Separate panels are supplied for the C Wing cannon and machine gun fairings.
These are the lower covers.

The back of the lower cannon covers needed a little persuasion to keep them aligned with
the wing.

Here is the inside of the lower wing with all the parts in place. Take a good look now, because you wont see this again!

How to Build... Tamiyas 1:32 Spitfire Mk.IXc 27

CHAPTER 4 STEP BY STEP

Clamps and tape keep the upper wing in place as the glue dries.

Tamiya suggests that you fit the tail


wheel in Step 20, but I left mine until the
final stages of construction.
In Step 21, take careful note of the
holes that need to be drilled out in the
bottom of the wing to accommodate
various stores. If you are fitting bombs,
drill the holes now. Also, as mentioned in
the Corrections and Deviations section
earlier in this Chapter, if you are fitting the
slipper tank you will need to drill holes and
to fit the small hooks, parts J1 and J2,

although these are not mentioned in the


instructions.
If you are building a late Mk.IX, dont
forget to cut off the small wedges at
the middle front of the wheel wells as
indicated in Step 21.
In Step 22, before assembling the
wheel wells, make sure that you cut away
the small flashed-over rectangles at the
bottom of parts G11, G12, G21 and G22
as indicated in the diagrams. In fact, you
may have to cut away a little more to clear

The wing tips are supplied as separate parts. A clipped wing tip option is also offered.
These parts are moulded in clear plastic.

28 Chapter 4 - Step by Step

Ailerons are also hinged.

the structural detail moulded to the wheel


well ceiling.
Take care aligning the two wheel well
sub-assemblies and the wing spar (part
A10) when securing them to the bottom
wing. Dont forget to install parts B1 and
B2 near the front of the bottom wing either
(I did!).
From this point onward, construction of
the basic airframe is straightforward and
fast. Just follow the instructions and you
should have no trouble.

Here are the engine block and cylinder head sub-assemblies.

The supercharger ducting is fitted with a threaded bolt. This will eventually
secure the engine to the firewall.

The crankcase and oil filter have been added.

The supercharger ducting, blower and other details await assembly.

The engine block, initially painted in basic black,


test fitted inside the main engine mounts.

How to Build... Tamiyas 1:32 Spitfire Mk.IXc 29

CHAPTER 4 STEP BY STEP

So far, so good, but the paint job is very bland at this stage.

In Steps 33 through 35, we have the


option of building the flaps up or down.
For the deployed option, Tamiya supplies
some nice photo-etched structural detail.
Bear in mind, though, that Spitfire flaps
only had two positions (fully extended or
up), and that it was very, very rare to see
Spitfire flaps down at any time other than
when the aircraft was coming in to land.
However, if you do decide to defy RAF
regulations, dont forget to attach the flap
indicators (parts B13, B14, B23 and B24)
up to indicate flaps down in Step 36.
In Steps 38 and 39, you will need to
cut off the top mounting lug for the oleo
scissors if you are building an early
Mk.IX. The later Mk.IX was fitted with oleo
scissors (parts CC12).

The engine is treated to a more varied finish, starting with two shades of grey.

Tamiya would have you install the


landing gear in Step 42, but I strongly
suggest that this is delayed until the very
end of the build. The method of securing
the main landing gear legs with part AA5
and a screw works perfectly. The fit of the
legs may seem very tight at first, but the
screw will force part AA5 down, resulting
in perfectly aligned landing gear. The
screw covers, parts A3 and A4, fit perfectly
with the magnets alone. Do not use glue
on any of these parts.

MERLIN MAGIC
Perhaps the most daunting element of
Tamiyas 1:32 scale Spitfire Mk.IXc is the
engine bay. It is beautifully detailed and
quite complete from its splined propeller

shaft back to the firewall. Dont worry


though, there are few challenges during
construction.
The engine bay is built up in layers,
starting with the core of the engine block,
the sump and cylinder heads; then the
crankcase, the supercharger, carburettor,
intercooler and firewall details. We next
move on to the engine bearer, oil pump
and lines, coolant pipes and tank, plus
smaller details.
Some of the sequences are tricky,
but everything goes together exactly as
advertised. I would only recommend
that the engine bearer parts be allowed
to dry thoroughly overnight following
attachment to the firewall in Step 49
before proceeding. Test fit the oil pump

The firewall and engine mount were


washed with a thin mix of Lamp
Black and Raw Umber oil paints.

The engine, glycol tank and


supercharger intake received the
same treatment. This is the long
intake for the later Spitfire IXc.

30 Chapter 4 - Step by Step

The engine is fixed in place with a single screw behind the firewall...

...then the firewall is attached to the front of the fuselage. The fit is so good that I did not use
glue to fit the firewall. This means that the engine can be easily removed if required. The dark
engine was buffed and shined to a semi-gloss finish more realistic for this type of equipment.
But we are not quite finished yet!

The individual exhaust stubs were tacked to a box, labeled to keep track of them,
and sprayed a rusty shade.

The outer engine frame has been fitted. Note the splined propeller shaft at the front of the engine.

Tamiya has beautifully captured the crammed


appearance of the Merlin engine bay.

How to Build... Tamiyas 1:32 Spitfire Mk.IXc 31

CHAPTER 4 STEP BY STEP


With the detail parts complete, assembly of
the main airframe is incredibly fast.

Unsurprisingly, fit is superb. Just a smear of Tamiya


Surfacer was added to the area where the trailing edge
of the wing meets the bottom of the fuselage.

Hairline gaps were dealt with around the machine gun ejector chute panels.

32 Chapter 4 - Step by Step

and radiator pipes a few times before


committing to glue. You need to feed
these pipes between various bearer
frames. This assembly looks like plastic
origami at first, but the pipes really do fit
perfectly if you take your time.
You might like to add the missing cap
for the glycol tank and filler neck for the oil
cooler at this stage.
The one area where there is some
margin for error is the attachment of the
cowling frames (parts Q1 and Q2) in Step
54. These do not snap into place some
work is required. If you dont get this step
100% correct, the magnetic cowls will not
fit perfectly.
I also found that the locating stubs on
the individual exhaust stacks were quite
shallow, resulting in a vague fit compared
to the precision of the rest of the kit. I
used super glue to set these quickly.
With the engine bay complete, the entire
sub-assembly may be fitted to the front of
the fuselage without glue.

The profile of the front of the cannon fairings is questionable, but some photos suggest
that this style did exist.

The undercarriage legs are reinforced with steel rods. Early Mk.IXs were not fitted with
oleo scissors, but the kit supplies these as an option for later versions.

FINISHING TOUCHES
I skipped Steps 61 and 62 at this stage,
which dealt with the canopy, and moved
straight to assembling the propeller in
stage 63. This is a particularly clever design
that I have not seen before, but I will bet
that we see it again in the future. Two pairs
of two blades each are mated diagonally to
deliver the four-bladed propeller assembly
with perfect pitch. It is almost a shame to

The landing gear is precisely secured with a single screw, seen here being fixed in place
with the kit-supplied screwdriver. A small plastic panel covers the screw. This clicks in
place with a magnet, so that the undercarriage legs may be removed and replaced with the
retracted version if desired.

cover up the front of the engine and that


splined shaft, but the propeller assembly is
secured with a polythene cap and so may
be removed at will.
If you are planning to mount the model
on its stand, just follow Steps 65 and 66.
You can dismount your Spitfire at any
time and replace the slipper tank with the
non-stand version. This is also the time to
assemble the alternate landing gear if you

Building Tamiyas 1:32 scale Spitfire Mk.IXc is more than


mere pleasure. It is a true odyssey and an education.

want to display the model with retracted


undercarriage. Because the gear and
covers are held in place with screws and
magnets, you will be able to swap the
raised and lowered gear whenever you
like. Nice!
After the main airframe was complete
and painted, I installed the delayed subassembles the gunsight, canopy, main
undercarriage legs and tail wheel.

CHAPTER 5 SPITFIRE Mk
Mk.IXc
M
k.IX
.IXcc (EARLY), 453 SQN RAAF

RAAF SPITFIRE
OVER THE CONTINENT

Brett Green finishes his 1:32 scale Tamiya Spitfire Mk.IXc


as an RAAF machine in the UK with the aid of
home-made markings and masks.

amiyas 1:32 scale Spitfire Mk.IXc


was built straight from the box.
Construction of the model has
been comprehensively covered in
the previous chapter, so we will focus here
on the painting and customised markings.

PAINTING
The lower surfaces of my model were
painted with Tamiyas AS-11 Medium Sea
Grey straight from the rattle can. The finish
was smooth and satin - just what I was
hoping for.

Tamiya AS-11 Medium Sea Grey was used for the lower surface colour.

34 Chapter 5 - Spitfire Mk.IXc (Early), 453 Sqn RAAF

Some colours are only available in


aerosol cans. For example, automotive
touch-up paints are matched to specific
colours from car manufacturers, so these
will be very helpful to car modellers.
Other aerosol paints may have technical

Tamiya Sprays were also used for the upper surface colours, but these were decanted into
glass jars and applied with the Testor Aztek airbrush.

It is important to thoroughly seal off the cockpit. Here, the


cockpit door has been used to aid this important task.

Tamiya masking tape was applied to the painted lower surfaces and the bottom of the horizontal tailplanes. The extra time
spent masking is more than compensated by the speed and precision of subsequent painting.

The upper surfaces are coated in


Ocean Grey. A slightly gritty finish at
the wing roots has been polished out
with Micro Mesh abrasive cloths.

The base colour was broken up with


streaks and patches of a paler shade.

advantages
over tinned or
bottled products. For
example, my favourite silver

paint is Tamiyas AS-12 Airframe Silver,


which is only available in an aerosol can.
This covers thoroughly, dries quickly,
resists fingerprints and other damage, and
features a very fine metallic grain. It is ideal
either as an overall Aluminium paint colour,
or as a dull metallic shade combined with

Tamiyas camouflage instructions were enlarged to 1:32 scale and printed out.

Alclad or other metallic lacquers.


The problem with aerosol cans is that
that the air pressure and width of the
spray are not adjustable, making fine line
and mottling work virtually impossible.
Also, aerosol cans often leave an orange
peel effect on the surface of the paint.

The printed camouflage pattern was cut out and applied to the model using a combination
of Blu-Tack and Tamiya tape.
How to Build... Tamiyas 1:32 Spitfire Mk.IXc 35

CHAPTER 5 SPITFIRE Mk
Mk.IXc
M
k.IX
.IXcc (EARLY), 453 SQN RAAF
Tamiya AS-9 RAF Dark Green
and AS-10 Ocean Grey were
used for the upper surfaces.

The camouflage pattern is previewed


with all the masks in place.

Tamiya AS-9 Dark Green was sprayed


between the masks in several thin coats.

We
can overcome these
limitations yet
still take advantage of
the aerosol paints by decanting
them from the spray can into a bottle for
later use in our airbrush.
The first step is to find a disposable
glass or plastic container. I usually cover
the top of the container with cling wrap,
and punch a small hole in one corner.
The hole should be large enough to spray
paint from the can, but small enough not

to let too much vapour escape from the


container.
Next, find a common household bendy
plastic drinking straw and attach it to the
nozzle of the paint can. The diameter
should be close to the diameter of the
nozzle, but the nozzle may need to be
trimmed with a sharp hobby knife if it is
too large.
After thoroughly shaking the aerosol can,
a quantity of paint may be sprayed through
the hole in the cling wrap into the container. Tip the container so that the paint
starts to pool in a bottom corner (if the
paint is spread too thinly along the bottom
of the container, it will quickly congeal).

The areas surrounding the rear fuselage band were masked off with various widths of
Tamiya tape...

36 Chapter 5 - Spitfire Mk.IXc (Early), 453 Sqn RAAF

You might notice that the longer you


hold down the button on the spray can,
the colder the can will get. Spraying
pressure will also decrease. If you
want to decant the entire contents, you
will probably need to do so in several
sessions to allow the can to warm and for
normal spraying pressure to return.
Immediately after decanting, the paint will
be cold and may be effervescent. The propellant gases from the spray can will need
some time to bleed out of the paint, so
leave the jar open until the liquid stabilises.
Once the liquid has stabilised, the paint
may be used normally in your airbrush.
After decanting Tamiya spray paints, I find

...and sprayed with Tamiya XF-XX Sky.

Similar to the Ocean Grey, the Dark Green


camouflage was treated to irregular mottling.

that they do not usually need to be thinned.


If they do, however, I use lacquer thinners.
The lower surfaces were masked with
Tamiya tape, and the fuselage, wings
and tailplanes received a base coat of
Tamiya AS-10 Ocean Grey decanted from
the spray can into a jar. The paint sprays
beautifully straight from the jar after it has
settled, but it may be thinned with up to
70% Tamiya Lacquer Thinners if it thickens
over time.
The upper surface camouflage plans
from Tamiyas kit instructions were

The artwork under the cockpit was drawn


freehand onto a large piece of paper.

scanned, scaled up to 1:32 in Photoshop,


increased in contrast and converted to
monochrome before being printed and
cut into masks. These were attached to
the model using small blobs of Blu-Tack
underneath, and Tamiya tape at the
edges, in preparation for the disruptive
camouflage colour of Dark Green. I did
not worry about camouflage masks for
the mid-rear fuselage, as this would be
completely covered by invasion stripes.
Tamiyas AS-9 RAF Dark Green was
used for this colour, also decanted from
the spray can into a jar before being
applied with the airbrush.
The Sky fuselage band was the
last masking and painting task for the
moment. I used Tamiya XF-21 Sky acrylic

The artwork was scanned, scaled down to 1:32 and


printed onto clear decal film. The outline was
then filled in with a fine paintbrush.

paint. While the airbrush was still loaded


with Sky paint, I sprayed the spinner and
backplate at the same time.
When all the masking tape was
removed, the overall picture was revealed.
The paint job looked very stark, but this
was toned down once weathering and
decals were in place.
I was not really satisfied with some
of the camouflage demarcations on the
fuselage, so these were revised and
improved until I was eventually satisfied
with the result. I think that there are
particular elements of RAF camouflage
that really define the scheme.
Two coats of Future were now sprayed,
providing a nice glossy coat for the decals.

The question mark code was created by cutting up and rearranging the parts of a
number 2 on a Carpena decal sheet.

How to Build... Tamiyas 1:32 Spitfire Mk.IXc 37

CHAPTER 5 SPITFIRE Mk
Mk.IXc
M
k.IX
.IXcc (EARLY), 453 SQN RAAF

Here is the model still wearing its


glossy coat of Future floor polish
following application of the decals.

The propeller tips receive a base coat of Tamiya White Primer to ensure opacity of the
yellow to come.

I used Tamiya TS-34 Camel Yellow for the propeller tips. The tips were masked prior to
painting the rest of the propeller assembly.

The propeller hub was painted using Tamiya AS-12 Bare Metal Silver, followed by a wash of
thinned Raw Umber and Lamp Black oil paint.

It is a shame to hide all that lovely detail. Fortunately, the fit of the spinner cap is so good
without glue that I can remove it to admire the hub detail whenever I like!

38 Chapter 5 - Spitfire Mk.IXc (Early), 453 Sqn RAAF

Decal setting solution stained the gloss coat.

MARKINGS
I wanted to finish my Spitfire as an early
Mk.IXc attached to 453 Sqn. RAAF.
Several of these aircraft featured interesting artwork on the nose or under the
cockpit. I have built a few of these 453
Sqn. Spitfires in the past, so I was looking
for something a little bit different.
One of these early Spitfire Mk.IXs from
1943 featured an interesting Question
Mark code and a boy painted under the
windscreen holding a sign bearing the
words, You Have Been Warned!. As there
was no commercial decal release for these
markings, I set about making them myself.
Decals were scrounged from a number
of sources.
The under-windscreen artwork was a
homemade decal. Using a wartime photo

Sometimes this stain will disappear over time. This one persisted, however.
A further thin coat of Future eliminated the pale discolouration.

as a reference, I first drew the artwork onto


a half a sheet of A4 paper using a pencil.
When I was satisfied with the design, the
pencil outline was then traced over with a
black Sharpie.
I scanned and reduced the line drawing
to 1:32 scale, then printed the artwork
onto clear decal film. The outline was
sealed with a coat of Flat Clear, then the
coloured details were picked out in Tamiya
and Vallejo paints with a fine brush. The
outline was tidied up with a 0.03 Copic
Multiliner before another coat of clear. The
decal was then cut out and applied under
the windscreen.
The Sky codes came from a Carpena
decal sheet. The question mark was a
bit of a challenge. In the end, I sliced up
a number 2 and rearranged it into the

appropriate shape.
The roundels and fin flash were robbed
from Barracudacals 1:32 scale BC32004
Spitfire Mk. IX Series - Part 1. I think
these offer the best representation of Dull
Red and Dull Dark Blue of any decals
available today.
A selection of stencil markings from
Tamiyas decal sheet completed the job.

FINISHING TOUCHES
The model was given a topcoat of Polly
Scale Flat. Two thin applications over the
glossy surface resulted in a nice flat finish.
The airframe was shaded with a thin

Additional weathering was applied by


airbrush over a topcoat of Polly Scale Flat.
Key panel lines and structural details were
highlighted with a thin mix of Tamiya XF-1
Flat Black and XF-64 Red Brown.

How to Build... Tamiyas 1:32 Spitfire Mk.IXc 39

CHAPTER 5 SPITFIRE Mk.IXc (EARLY), 453 SQN RAAF

Tamiya supplies self-adhesive painting masks for the canopy, but youll have to cut them
out yourself.

The masks were applied according to the instructions.

A base coat of XF-71 Cockpit Green was sprayed first. This will remain visible on the
canopy framing when viewed from the inside.

The painted canopy fits perfectly on the completed model.

Many scale model gunsights seem


to be oversimplified afterthoughts, but
this is probably the best WWII example
that I have seen in any scale...

40 Chapter 5 - Spitfire Mk.IXc (Early), 453 Sqn RAAF

Smaller detail parts were painted and weathered in preparation for final assembly.

The bottoms of wartime Spitfires were usually filthy with oil and exhaust stains.
These were replicated mainly with the airbrush.

The engine is simply plugged into the front


of the fuselage for an impressive result.

Tamiyas 1:32 scale Supermarine


Spitfire Mk.IXc is a magnificent model.

mix of Flat
Black and
Red Brown. This
was sprayed along
control surface hinge lines,
selected panels, in a few random
spots and streaks and along the demarcation line between the Ocean Grey and Dark
Green. This slightly reduces the harshness
of the sharply masked demarcation.
This same mix was used to apply
generous staining on the lower surfaces,
as was frequently seen.
A silver pencil was used to apply some
chipping to the wing walks.
The early version GM2 reflector
gunsight was glued into the slot at the
top of the instrument panel. This is a

beautifully detailed assembly. Many


scale model gunsights seem to be
oversimplified afterthoughts, but this
is probably the best WWII example
that I have seen in any scale. Careful
painting is well worthwhile.
The kit-supplied masks were cut out
and applied to the thin and crystal clear
canopy parts. I would normally dip clear
parts in Future floor polish for additional
clarity but these parts simply did not need
it. A base coat of XF-71 Cockpit Green
was sprayed first. This will remain visible
on the canopy framing when viewed from
the inside. Once the RAF Dark Green had
been sprayed, the masks were removed
and the canopy parts glued in place. The
fit was perfect.

How to Build... Tamiyas 1:32 Spitfire Mk.IXc 41

CHAPTER 6 SPITFIRE Mk
Mk.IXc
M
k.IX
.IXcc (EARLY)
(EARLY).. POLISH FIGHTING TEAM, 14

TROPIC SPITFIRE

Marcus Nicholls finishes Tamiyas new


1:32 Spitfire Mk.IXc in desert colours

t is hard to know where to begin when


describing this model. Tamiyas large
scale Spitfire must be one of the most
hotly anticipated model releases in
recent years, so it has a lot to live up to. It
is also one of the most studied, discussed
and scrutinised subjects imaginable, so it
really had to deliver in terms of accuracy.
Plus, it just had to have that extra something that will elevate it over other similar
models, giving it star quality.
Having just completed this model, I can
put my hand on my heart and say that it is

really very special indeed. In fact, I will be


so bold as to say it sets a new standard
for model kit design. Tamiyas new Spitfire
Mk.IXc kit perfects the art because it has
become an art of model kit production
to the point where it is hard to see how it
could be taken further, although Im sure
it will be.

FITTING OUT THE COCKPIT


The odyssey begins with the cockpit.
Before I go any further, it is worth pointing
out that you need to decide on which

42 Chapter 6 - Spitfire Mk.IXc (Early). Polish Fighting Team, 145 Sqn., Tunisia 1943.

of the three markings options you are


going to depict from the outset, because
there are subtle differences in equipment
options between the wartime variants A
and B and the post-war option C and
holes occasionally need to be drilled to
accommodate various parts etc.
Assembly follows the conventional pattern whereby the fuselage sandwiches the
cockpit unit when the halves are brought
together, but one usually reaches this
point early on. In this case it is all the way
down at stage fifteen! The reason for such

M, 145 SQN. TUNISIA 1943.

Here we can see the


assembled cockpit side
walls, pneumatic system
bottles, pilots oxygen
bottle and other small
items fixed to a piece
of card in readiness for
painting. Double sided
tape and Blu-Tack are
invaluable for this.

The side wall frames


have been painted here,
as well as drybrushed
with a pale green shade.
A wash of brownish oilpaint has been applied,
deepening the surface
detail. The detail painting
of the controls will follow;
Vallejo paints are very
useful for this.

a late mating of the halves is thanks to


the truly awesome cockpit, which takes a
full twelve assembly stages to complete.
The floorless design of the real thing has
been faithfully reproduced. In fact, it is
open all the way to the navigation light in
the aircrafts belly, the upper side of which
is represented inside. Very nice.
The cockpit module is held together by
two perfectly-fitting side frames that lock
into the central backbone portion and in
turn, fit into moulded grooves within the
cockpit walls. The two structural frames

Although the side walls are designed to be mated with the floor panel to form a cockpit module, its well worth dryfitting them in their places within the fuselage halves first to check their weathering matches that of the painted
cockpit walls within the fuselage itself.
How to Build... Tamiyas 1:32 Spitfire Mk.IXc 43

CHAPTER 6 SPITFIRE Mk.IXc (EARLY). POLISH FIGHTING TEAM, 14

Above, we see the major cockpit


components in their base colour
of XF-71 Cockpit Green.

The finished cockpit with seat fitted,


minus side frames. Seen here is an
almost completely box-stock build up
the only modification was the drilling
out of the lightening holes in the frames.

The instrument panel is formed from injection parts,


photo-etched metal and decals the latter are best
applied once all the components have been brought
together to avoid damaging them.

that sit behind the pilots seat feature


moulded circular depressions to depict
the lightening holes; I chose to drill them
out, but in reality you can only see a handful of them once the model is complete.
The kit comes with the two armour plates
that are positioned behind the seat and
for scale appearance. They are formed
from photo-etched metal. These parts are
very visible on the model, even with the
access door shut, and their effect is most
impressive. The Sutton harness is also to

be found on one of the two included PE


sheets. I decided to anneal these parts to
ease their handling and the formation of
the webbing into natural positions. Aside
from drilling out the lightening holes, the
cockpit was built entirely box-stock, as
was the rest of the kit.
The instrument panel is moulded in
opaque kit plastic and apertures where the
dial faces should be. These are provided
by two clear inserts that fit from behind,
backed up by reverse-printed decals car-

rying the dial detail. The effect is flawless,


but a word of advice; fit the clear parts
before your apply the decals to avoid
them being damaged during handling.
I followed the instructions and painted
the cockpit structures with XF-71 Cockpit
Green (IJN). This is a good match for the
interior colour of Spitfires, if a little on the
dark side. To counter that, I over-sprayed
lightened layers followed by a light drybrushing and some colour washes to
bring out the detail.

Looking down onto the cockpit with side frames in place the unit
is ready to be fitted into the fuselage halves. The Sutton harness is
formed from rather stiff PE nickel-steel and required annealing in
order to form into a natural shape.

44 Chapter 6 - Spitfire Mk.IXc (Early). Polish Fighting Team, 145 Sqn., Tunisia 1943.

M, 145 SQN. TUNISIA 1943.

The Merlin engine in this kit is quite simply a


work of art the detail is phenomenal, even
though there is no wiring supplied.
The engine bearer is equally well appointed
and hugs the powerplant very efficiently.
The design allows the engine to be fitted
easily after all parts are painted without
causing damage to the finished surfaces.

The bearer/firewall assembly was base


coated in XF-71 Cockpit Green as per the
cockpit, but the brown oil paint washes
were more heavily applied.

This view clearly shows the fantastic detail on the firewall - all
completely standard, nothing added.

The exhaust stubs are actually


fitted over the cowling frames and
are individual parts, so accurate
alignment is crucial.

The engine of this Spitfire received a heavy


layer of grime as it depicts a Tunisian desert
based machine.

The entire engine, its bearers and firewall build up into


a neat module that fits to the fuselage in an unbelievably
neat and easy manner.
How to Build... Tamiyas 1:32 Spitfire Mk.IXc 45

CHAPTER 6 SPITFIRE Mk
Mk.IXc
M
k.IX
.IXcc (EARLY)
(EARLY).. POLISH FIGHTING TEAM, 14

In this shot, we can see the insert (fitted) below the horizontal
stabilisers that will allow the Mk.IX to become a Mk.VIII with a
retractable tail wheel in future releases.

Halfway through the application of an initial


layer of Middle-Stone, we can see how the
pre-shading layer shows through. Hannants
Xtracrylix paint has an attractive semitranslucent quality that can be built up in subtle
layers, and is therefore ideal for this procedure.

FUSELAGE

WING

The completed cockpit module can then


be sandwiched between the fuselage
halves, secured with small drops of Revell
Contacta cement, a most useful glue for
assembly procedures. The halves fit beautifully. The sub-assembly was left overnight
to allow the cement to set fully. The control
surfaces and wings come next. As with
the Zero kits, Tamiya has employed an
elegant system of photo-etched and metal
rod parts to form slim hinges that allow the
ailerons, rudder and elevators to move.
While this may not appeal to all modellers,
it really is very effective not gimmicky.

In many ways, the semi-elliptical wing


defines the Spitfire. It is a very distinctive
and complex set of curves; a challenge
to get right, for sure. Without consulting
scale plans (I dont have any) I would
say that Tamiya have nailed it. To me
this looks like a perfect rendition of that
unique, beautiful wing shape that is
so easy to identify when a Spitfire flies
overhead. Some extremely thoughtful
planning has gone into the wing design
and the main undercarriage bays in
particular, making this sometimes tricky
sub-assembly an absolute joy. When

The Middle-Stone is on and we can still see the pre-shading showing through. This effect is
not to everyones taste of course and is not an essential step in the models paint process,
but it does lend an appealingly faded look.

deciding whether to depict the landingflaps in a deployed state, I posted a


message on hyperscale.com to gather
opinion on whether they might be seen
in this position when the aircraft was
at rest. The conclusion was that while
they were opened for landing, they were
rapidly closed again once the aircraft
had slowed in order to prevent damage
during taxiing, however they could have
been seen open during maintenance, so
open it was to be! Thanks to all those
who offered feedback on this matter.
Unlike the Zero kits, Tamiya has chosen
to offer the undercarriage as fixed up-

Over the Middle-Stone, the Dark-Earth has started to be applied. It was applied freehand
with soft edges as was the original scheme. Note that the engine cowling panels have
been tacked in place with Blu-Tack so the camouflage patterns align.

46 Chapter 6 - Spitfire Mk.IXc (Early). Polish Fighting Team, 145 Sqn., Tunisia 1943.

M, 145 SQN. TUNISIA 1943.


or-down options rather than a movable
system, an eminently sensible idea to
me, as even the highest grade of kit
plastic can fatigue quickly leading to
potential collapse. The reason for the up
position is to allow the included display
stand to be used, depicting the model
in-flight, although you could of course
have the undercarriage down and on
the stand as if coming into land - then
the flaps could be down for a genuine
reason! I went for the parked option as
my test shot of the kit arrived without the
stand, so the decision was made for me.
The undercarriage includes flexible vinyl
brake lines - but dont worry, these are
not the over-scale kind with impossibleto-remove mould part-lines, they are
extremely refined, in-scale and fit like a
dream. The tyres are also supplied in soft
vinyl and are excellent, although I did
skim them on the mini-drill to remove a
slight seam around their periphery. There
is a choice of wheel hubs according to
the version you have chosen, plus photoetched cover plates that I can safely say
are the most perfect-fitting (see, there
I go again) model kit parts I have ever
experienced. They drop into the hubs
leaving an ultra-fine rim of aluminium
colour that looks just magnificent. Its
a small thing, but it made me happy.
The legs are a glueless fit into their
bays, secured by sturdy blocks that are
retained with self-tapping screws, hidden
behind more magnetised panels.

ENGINE
The engine is a masterpiece of complexity
and detail; without doubt the most
comprehensive example I have seen in
a kit. It is made up from over forty-five
parts, not including those on the firewall,
and apart from wiring, it needs nothing
adding at all. It is also a very easy paintjob; semi gloss black for almost every
component! This is where we begin to
see the introduction of Tamiyas secret
weapon in this model; micro-magnets.
These powerful little devils are secreted
within key sub-assemblies of the engine
and are there to hold on the cowlings,
which themselves have both magnets and
metal plates fitted. Ingenious; but does it
work? More on that later...
The engine bearers are worth a
mention here. These crucial structures
are sometimes an afterthought in a kit
that includes engine detail, but here they
are given the royal treatment and, like the
firewall to which they fix, are really quite
magnificent. The way the whole engine
module fixes to the airframe is extremely

Unlike the border between


the Middle-Stone and DarkEarth, the demarcation
between the upper and
lower colours has a hard
edge, so a line of masking
tape was applied here.

To suggest the presence of


dust from its last landing,
well thinned Tamiya XF57 Buff was airbrushed
in selected areas on the
undersurfaces.

In this view, all the


camouflage colours
are on and a protective
layer of Johnsons Klear
(Future) has been applied.
To accentuate the subtle
panel lines of Tamiyas kit,
localised washes of dilute,
dark coloured oil paints
were run into them using a
medium-sized paint brush.
Excess wash can be wiped
off with a soft cloth.

Tamiya provide hinged


control surfaces in this kit
- not as a gimmick, but to
allow the ailerons, rudder
and elevators to be subtly
positioned off-centre by
the modeller.

How to Build... Tamiyas 1:32 Spitfire Mk.IXc 47

CHAPTER 6 SPITFIRE Mk.IXc (EARLY). POLISH FIGHTING TEAM, 14

The engine pod has been mounted to the airframe. Tamiya provide such an elegant and
easy system to do this, one wonders why it has never been done before!

The panel carrying the air intake is a push-fit using a pair of pins/polycaps. It acts as the
lock that secures the engine module.

The port aileron is put through its paces! Tiny photo-etched nickel-steel hinges and metal
rods facilitate this movement remember, one up, one down!

The radiators feature individually moulded facias and its a simple job to fit them after the
model has been painted, by just tacking on their covers with double-sided tape.

If there was a weak spot in the kit, it has to be the cockpit door. Its a one-piece moulding and that famous red crowbar is formed integrally with the part, which is not as realistic as it
could be. Hopefully, the aftermarket manufacturers will come up with a photo-etched replacement (with resin crowbar?), although it wouldnt be too hard to fabricate a new door ones self,
using styrene sheet and a little modelling ingenuity.

48 Chapter 6 - Spitfire Mk.IXc (Early). Polish Fighting Team, 145 Sqn., Tunisia 1943.

M, 145 SQN. TUNISIA 1943.

The undercarriage is well designed in this kit, featuring flexible tyres and brake lines on the
main legs. The photo-etched protective panels are yet to be fitted in this view.

well thought-out too. When the fuselage


halves were brought together, a bulkhead
carrying a pair of trapped polythene caps
was installed just forward of the cockpit.
This is the key to the engines mounting;
the firewalls rear face sports a pair of
corresponding pegs that slide effortlessly
into the polycaps, holding the whole
assembly in place. Quite simply brilliant.
This allows the engine to be left off until
final assembly, massively easing the
airframes painting and decalling stages.

The model includes a stand so it can be displayed in flight and an option to fit the
undercarriage in a retraced position is provided. Wheel wells are nicely appointed.

PAINTING AND MARKINGS


I chose the Polish Fighting Team option for
a desert camouflaged Spitfire. Hannants
Xtracrylix paints were used and they
performed flawlessly. They are not as
heavily pigmented as Tamiya acrylics, but
this did allow me to make extensive use of
pre-shading.
The Hannants paints are also slightly
satin in finish, meaning less gloss coating
was needed in preparation for the decals.
All airbrushing of the models exterior was
carried out with Badgers Rage double

action airbrush from the Renegade series


and it performed brilliantly. I was most
impressed.
You can see from the photos the range
of tasks demanded of it. I ended up using
decals from Pacific Coast Models kit of
EN315 because in a moment of stupefying sausage-finger clumsiness, I damaged
the kits markings and had no option than
to pilfer this sheet, so whilst its still the
same aircraft, the kit markings will look
slightly different to what you see here.

The landing flaps of Spitfires were pneumatically actuated and were either firmly up or down. They were fitted in the down position on this model to show off their interior detail.
A few extra strips of styrene were added here to supplement the photo-etched edging strips.
How to Build... Tamiyas 1:32 Spitfire Mk.IXc 49

CHAPTER 6 SPITFIRE Mk.IXc (EARLY).. POLISH FIGHTING TEAM, 14


MODELSPEC
Materials;
Injection moulded grey and
clear polystyrene, ABS,
photo-etched nickel steel,
synthetic rubber, polycaps,
waterslide decals, micromagnets, screws, metal rod.
Paints used;
Tamiya acrylics
XF-71 Cockpit Green (IJN),
X-18 Semi-Gloss Black.
Hannants Xtracrylix
XA1002 RAF Dark Earth,
XA1009 RAF Middle Stone,
XA1026 RAF Azure Blue

CONCLUSION
This is the best model kit I have ever built,
bar none not a declaration I make lightly.
Tamiya has reached a whole new level with
this Spitfire and there is not one part of it
I could aim any serious criticism at, apart
from perhaps the engine cowling panels,
which are tricky to align, but I think that was

my fault. I had never intended to fit them


anyway why cover that beautiful Merlin?
Even so, on my next build of this kit, I will
probably glue them on for a perfect fit. If
you had any doubts about this model and
its not inconsiderable price tag, have no
fear, it is worth every single penny.

Tamiyas new Spitfire Mk.IXc kit


perfects the art of model kit production
to the point where it is hard to see how
it could be taken further...

Decals;
Borrowed from Pacific
Coast Models Spitfire Mk.IXc
PCM32005

It just looks right! Tamiya have captured the


elusive sit of Mitchells design perfectly.

50 Chapter 6 - Spitfire Mk.IXc (Early). Polish Fighting Team, 145 Sqn., Tunisia 1943.

M, 145 SQN. TUNISIA 1943.

That elliptical wing is simply beautiful


- form follows function? Well, nature
is stunning...

How to Build... Tamiyas 1:32 Spitfire Mk.IXc 51

CHAPTER 7 SPITFIRE HF Mk.VII, 131 SQN RAF

HIGH ALTITUDE
FIGHTER

Roy Sutherland converts his 1:32 scale Tamiya Spitfire Mk.IXc


to the refined high altitude fighter variant, the HF Mk.VII.

he Mk. VII was the first two-stage


Merlin powered Spitfire to be
designed and built. Unlike the
Mk. IX, which was rushed into
production to counter the new threat
posed by the Fw 190, the VII incorporated
all the refinements to the airframe,
including a fully retractable tailwheel,
short span ailerons as well as leading
edge wing tanks that added 25 gallons
of onboard fuel. It was also designed
with the high altitude wingtips fitted to its

52 Chapter 7 - Spitfire HF Mk.VII. 131 Sqn RAF

predecessor, the HF VI, and a pressurised


cockpit with the new Lobelle sliding hood,
which was a big improvement over the old
non-sliding hood as fitted to the Mk VI.
This hood, which needed to be removed
and replaced by ground crew to allow
the pilot access, was unpopular with the
pilots, who felt trapped inside.
The HF VII was designed to counter
the high altitude bombing threat from the
Luftwaffe that was never to materialise.
Just after D-Day, most HF VII airframes

had their high altitude wingtips replaced


with standard tips, and were repainted by
late August of 1944 in the standard day
fighter camouflage.

MODELLING THE HF VII


When Brett sent me the new Tamiya
Spitfire Mk. IX and asked me to write a
chapter for this book, I decided to do
something a little different. As far back
as I can remember as a modeller, there
is one two stage Merlin Spitfire that has

The first step in the


conversion was to cut back
the fuselage for the deeper
rear fixed canopy fitted to the
Mark VII Spitfire. A new rear
canopy section will have to
be created.

I have built a lot of models in my life,


but I think it is safe to say that this is
the best aircraft model Ive ever had the
pleasure to build. It is labour intensive
and a little fiddly here and there, but in
the end, it is a stunning piece of work.

The resin plug that replaces the cockpit door is shown installed. The door was deleted on the HF VI and VII due to the
pressurisation of the cockpit. Note the repositioned crowbar.

always held a special place in my heart;


MD111, an HF VII of 131 Squadron, in the
high altitude scheme of Medium Sea Grey
over PRU Blue. I am not sure where I first
saw the photo, possibly in the old ArcoAircam on the Merlin engined Spitfires. I
have always wanted to build this particular
aircraft, so when the opportunity came up
to build this model, it seemed like the time
had come to scratch that itch.
In hindsight, it might have not been the
best decision. The scope of the conversion

The lower cockpit sidewalls were attached to the fuselage halves to allow adding the wiring and plumbing that was
prevalent on every Spitfire from the prototype to the last Seafire 47. The square tank at the bottom of the sidewall is
for windscreen deicing fluid.

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CHAPTER 7 SPITFIRE HF M
Mk.VII, 131 SQN RAF

The seat mounting bracket is a complex affair, and Tamiya have


done a nice job representing it. I added detail by drilling out the
lightening holes, but its not really necessary as it is very hard
to see once the seat is installed.

I drilled out the lightening holes in the cockpit bulkhead to add


depth. Again it is not really necessary, but its an easy upgrade and
looks good to my eye. I brushed the drilled out holes with liquid
cement to clean up the fuzzy edges.

I scratchbuilt the rear pressure bulkhead


for the Spitfire HF VII. It required a lot of
clever engineering to create seals for the
flying controls that would keep pressure
from escaping, while allowing unrestricted
movement of the control cables.
The scratchbuilt patterns for the upper sidewall for the MK VII,
as well as the oxygen hose, made from a carefully bent wound
guitar string with mounting bracket made from styrene.

Controlled chaos! I am deep into work on the interior,


and the inevitable encroachment of the workspace with
tools and paints should look familiar to most modellers.
Evident in this image is the exhaustive nature of the kit
cockpit.

54 Chapter 7 - Spitfire HF Mk.VII. 131 Sqn RAF

The seat mounting bulkhead with seat mounting bracket


installed. I also opted to drill out the holes on the bulkhead.
The moulded in detail on the bulkhead is very impressive.

The starboard cockpit sidewall with basic painting completed. A wash will soon be
applied to help pop out the detail. It is a good idea to not be too subtle with washes and
drybrushing in cockpits. They are small and dark, and detail easily gets lost under these
conditions.

in this scale turned out to be more work


than I bargained for, especially given that
this chapter had to be done to a deadline.
The work necessary to make a Spitfire IX
into a VII is, in itself, not that complex, and
could be done quickly on a simpler kit in a
smaller scale. Doing the conversion in 1:32
required more detail, and parts that could
have been robbed from other kits in a 1:48
or 1:72 build, needed to be scratch built.
This is only a problem when you have to
make a deadline!

The port sidewall painted Interior Grey Green. Tamiya have you paint the ribbed chain
guards black, but they are painted green in the sole surviving Spitfire HF VII, on display at
the Smithsonian. The cockpit on this aircraft is completely original.

The conversion work comprised the following:


Fabricate retractable tailwheel and doors
Shorten ailerons by 8 scale inches
Seal up cockpit door and move crowbar
Fabricate rear pressure bulkhead
Fabricate other variant specific cockpit
details
Fabricate pressurisation intake
Scribe wing tanks and filler caps
Create external canopy rails
Vacform deeper rear fixed canopy
section

The reworked and cast copies of the throttle and gear quadrants are
shown painted in this view. Careful painting really adds to the look.
A Winsor-Newton Series Seven 000 brush was used to paint the
white stenciling in the cockpit.

MD111 is an odd mix of features. While


it has the late style gun bay blisters,
four-slot main wheels and double cutaway
elevators of a later production aircraft,
it has the early style carburetor intake.
At the time the only known photo was
taken, sometime shortly after D-Day, the
high altitude wingtips had already been
replaced with standard elliptical tips,
which was fine with me as they look better
on the Spit.

The Compass mount was moved to the starboard wall, so a new


mount had to be scratchbuilt. Thankfully, I made resin copies of
this part, as this one flew off into the ether, never to be seen again.

The kit instrument


panel built mostly out
of the box. The engine
priming pump was
moved to the lower
right hand side of the
instrument panel on
the HF VII, next to
the red ringed gauge.
Careful painting brings
this part to life.

The retract quadrant with its hydraulic hoses attached.

My reworked control column casting with pneumatic hoses added from fine wire.

How to Build... Tamiyas 1:32 Spitfire Mk.IXc 55

CHAPTER 7 SPITFIRE HF Mk.VII, 131 SQN RAF


GETTING STARTED

The floorboards and rudder pedal


mechanism almost stock from the
kit. I did cut little wedges out of the
raised rings to create star wheel
adjusters for the rudder pedals.
A little fussy, but it looks cool!

I created a backpad from scribed thick lead foil


from a wine bottle. The beading was created with
very fine solder bent and glued into position. The
kit seatbelts are OK, but I would have preferred
separate buckles in this scale.

56 Chapter 7 - Spitfire HF Mk.VII. 131 Sqn RAF

The Sutton harness, painted and tacked in place.


The belts were made from heavy canvas and
each had a series of large grommets on it. The
harness was secured by feeding the belts over the
center pin, then locked with a large clip that was
attached to one of the belts by a cord.

Deviating from the instructions, I started


by building the engine, which is superb.
With over 50 parts going into the engine
alone, it takes some time to clean up
all those parts, and to figure out how all
those parts go together. I left the engine
in four subassemblies as shown in the
accompanying image to allow painting of
all the various nooks and crannies. Fully
assembled, it would not be possible to
do this.
Next is the firewall and all of the
accessories, to which are added some
very detailed bearer arms. Take your time
here. Removing the mould parting lines
from those bearer arms and the various
hoses and braces requires patience. This
is certainly not a quick weekend build.
Be prepared to spend some time on this
kit. Everything fits well and looks great.
One note of caution; take your time and
read and follow the instructions carefully. I
assembled the oil tank and forgot to install
the little magnets that help hold the lower
cowling on. By the time I had discovered
my mistake, the glue had fully cured. I
had to grind large holes in the top of the
tank with a motor tool in order to glue the
magnets in. These holes were then filled
and sanded out.
With this stage behind me, it was time
to get down to the business of converting
the cockpit to a pressurised Mk VII office.
A new rear pressure bulkhead, port
upper sidewall and crowbar, silica gel
canister and revised compass mount were
scratchbuilt using cockpit photos of the
Smithsonians sole surviving Spitfire Mk.
VII, EN474.
I again deviated from the instructions
and attached the lower cockpit sidewalls
to the fuselage halves, as I would be
adding a lot of the wiring and plumbing
to the sidewalls. Careful study of photos
and especially pilots notes helped to
sort out what lines went where. Be
careful using modern Warbirds
for reference. Some of the
equipment may be modern,
and other non-essential
systems may be left out.
Overall, the Tamiya cockpit
is very accurate. I am glad
they chose to ignore the wiring, as
moulded in wiring looks cheesy and
is very difficult to paint cleanly. The wiring
was added from wire of different gauges
as well as fine solder for the bigger hoses.
More detail was added from styrene rod
and strip, as well as discs punched out
using Waldron punches. The stick, throttle
quadrant and gear quadrant were detailed

The starboard sidewall with all painting completed. You can see how much visual interest
the wash adds by comparing this photo to the earlier one. The large diameter tube that
snakes up the sidewall is part of the cockpit pressurization system.

The port sidewall fully painted. The compressed air bottles are called out as steel color, but
they could also be painted cockpit green or black as well. The crowbar has yet to be installed.

One little odd point on this beautiful model. You will note the bottom left instrument seems
to be glowing. With the fuselage halves together, this effect was even more pronounced.
I resolved this by running some thinned black paint around the edge of this instruments
clear glass.

The cockpit is now coming together. with the lower sidewalls glued to the fuselage halves,
you need to take care lining everything up when you put the fuselage halves together, but it
does work. Note compass position and installed gear quadrant hoses.

This view shows the installation of the rear bulkhead to good effect. Note the correct
oxygen hose installation and the rudder and elevator cable runs added from wire.

Normally, I like to install seats and belts after the model is assembled and painted, but
it would be very difficult to install this seat with the fuselage halves together. Tamiyas
excellent cockpit is starting to look finished.

How to Build... Tamiyas 1:32 Spitfire Mk.IXc 57

CHAPTER 7 SPITFIRE HF Mk.VII, 131 SQN RAF

The tailwheel doors are cut away using a fine razor saw with a photoetched blade.
The blades are extremely thin and sharp, so use with care. They also tend to break
if you use too much pressure, but they are a very useful tool.

The tailwheel well blocked out with sheet styrene drilled for later installation of the
scratchbuilt retractable tailwheel strut. This bay would be painted Interior Grey Green
in wartime service to prevent corrosion.

The tailwheel doors with small cutout backed with Tamiya tape and the cutout filled with CA glue. Once set, the CA glue can be sanded to shape. The cured CA glue allows you to build up
missing areas, and can be sanded to a thin, sharp edge, unlike solvent based putties.

and reworked, and resin castings were


made. These will be available soon, along
with other resin upgrade parts for this kit,
from BarracudaCast.com. Plug inserted?
Check!
The seat on the Spitfire has a ribbed
leather backpad. Tamiya chose not to
replicate this feature, probably due to
moulding limitations. I made mine from
thick wine bottle foil cut to shape and

scribed to simulate the ribbed look of


the pad. I simulated the beading using
fine solder. Painted very dark brown, it
looks the part. The etched belts are a little
two-dimensional for my tastes, but I used
them anyway. I added character to them
by bending them up and flattening them
again to make them look more like cloth.
I rolled a fine rat-tail file over the belts to
give them a fabric pattern. I spent quite

The kit engine is a wonderful little model on its own. I recommend painting it in
subassemblies as shown. Otherwise there will be many inaccessible areas that will
be almost impossible to reach with paint.

58 Chapter 7 - Spitfire HF Mk.VII. 131 Sqn RAF

a while bending and posing each belt to


give it a natural sit when installed. When I
was satisfied, the belts were primed with
Tamiya grey primer, then painted a canvas
colour.
All cockpit parts were then painted
Interior Grey Green. Detail painting was
done using Polly Scale acrylic and Testors
enamel paints using various paintbrushes.
After this was complete, a wash of heavily

The 60 series Merlin was fitted with a two stage supercharger, and Tamiya have gone to
extremes to reproduce every aspect of this engine in amazing detail. All you need to add
are ignition harnesses, some wiring and plumbing to make this engine really stand out.

thinned scale black was applied to all the


parts to pop out all the detail. Stenciling
was simulated with fine dots of Testors
white paint applied with a Winsor &
Newton Series Seven 000 paintbrush. Not
a cheap brush, but worth every penny.
When painting was completed, the cockpit
was carefully assembled.
The Mk. VII had a retractable tailwheel,
so the doors were marked out using
scale drawings of the Mark VIII. The
doors were cut out, and the roof and
forward bulkhead of the tailwheel bay
was fabricated from styrene sheet.
The tailwheel strut was also scratch
built and cast in resin with a steel pin
inserted for strength. It will be available,
along with the doors and rear fuselage
inserts, shortly from BarracudaCast.
With this done, it was time to close up
the fuselage. I took my time fitting the
fuselage halves together, making sure the
lower cockpit sidewalls cleared the floor
as they should. When I was confident
that everything fit, I assembled the halves
using Tamiya liquid cement.

WINGING IT
The wings went together with no
surprises, although the parts count is
higher than any single-engined fighter Ive
ever built! I cut the outer 8 scale inches
off the ailerons and attached them to the
wings as shown. The gaps were filled and
sanded out. I also scribed the access
panels and filler caps for the 12.5 gallon
leading edge fuel tanks specific to the
Mk. VII and the Mk. VIII. Tamiya is just
about the first manufacturer to correctly
portray the wingtips as flat bottomed, with
the top surface curving down to meet
at the tip. Note that the leading edge
inserts with the machine gun openings
and the cannon barrel mounts should be
filled and sanded to remove any trace of
seams. There are no panel lines around
these parts on the real wing. Flaps were
attached in the up position, as they
were rarely ever deployed on the ground
unless the aircraft had just landed and
not yet shut down the engine. I painted
the inside of the radiator fairings, the
entrance and exit ramps, and the radiator
faces before attaching these parts to the
lower wing. It greatly simplifies painting
this area later on.
Attention then turned to assembling the
horizontal stabilisers, as well as all the
flying surfaces. The hinge mechanisms
consist of sturdy photo-etched tabs and
steel pins. They are a bit floppy for my
tastes, but they work prototypically and
allow you to pose them if that kind of thing

The Mk VIIs pressurised


cockpit had a unique sliding
hood that was locked
down with external locking
canopy rails that allowed
the hood to be slid back,
instead of being clamped
down like on the Mk VI.

MD111 was fitted with the


early carburetor intake.
Its a nice moulding, but
I chose to grind off the
internal bump for the
locator pin and socket,
which is visible when you
look up inside the intake.
Careful sanding with small
scraps of sandpaper glued
to the end of toothpicks
finished the job.

Dont forget to paint the


inside of the upper wing
black so that you dont
see bare plastic when
you look up inside the
shell ejector slots on the
underside of the wing.

The HF VII had short span


ailerons like the Mk VIII.
I cut off a scale 8 inches
from the outer end of
the aileron and glued it
to the wing. Filling was
accomplished with CA
glue and sanded out.

How to Build... Tamiyas 1:32 Spitfire Mk.IXc 59

CHAPTER 7 SPITFIRE HF Mk.VII, 131 SQN RAF

There are some prominent ejector pin marks on the inside of the radiator exit doors. If they are going to be closed, they will not be easily seen. Mine are displayed open, so I filled the
depressions and sanded them flush.

The beast takes shape. With so many parts in the cockpit,


wings and engine, it takes surprisingly long to get to this
stage. The wait is worth it, as the resulting model looks
every bit the two stage Merlin powered Spitfire.

The intake for the cockpit


pressurization pump is
fabricated from strip styrene
sanded to shape and cemented
in place on the starboard
engine cowling panel.

60 Chapter 7 - Spitfire HF Mk.VII. 131 Sqn RAF

After masking off the cockpit and canopies (the supplied masks are excellent) the
undersides were sprayed with PRU Blue. I mixed mine from Tamiya paint, but this
color is available in a number of aircraft model paint lines.

turns you on. The wings and tailplanes


were attached using liquid cement and
the fit was excellent. The fuselage is very
tail heavy, and I noticed that the glue joint
was beginning to pull open after a few
minutes. I recommend leaning a small
book on top of the forward fuselage while
the wing to fuselage joint sets, preferably
overnight. Some filling and sanding is
necessary on the rear underside fuselage
to wing joint, but this was minimal and to
be expected.
The airframe was now mostly together
and painting could start soon. The
design of the engine assembly is such
that it can be attached after painting and
decaling, if you prefer. The canopies were
masked using the preprinted tape masks.
I cut carefully along the lines and was
rewarded with great fitting masks. This is
a great masking medium. I wish they sold
this stuff in sheets! The windscreen and
rear canopy section were attached and
any gaps filled with thinned white glue.

With the undersides masked off, the upper surfaces were sprayed in Medium Sea Grey.
Dont forget to paint all the other uppersurface parts at the same time, such as the spinner,
engine cowlings, antenna mast, mirror, and the like. Ask me how many times Ive forgotten
to paint some small parts and had to go back and load the airbrush up again!

The undersides are masked off in preparation for painting the narrow invasion stripes. Dont skimp on the masking.
Overspray can travel quite a way and mess up your other color applications.

PAINTING AND DECALING


The cockpit and tailwheel bay were
masked off with tape and facial tissue in
preparation for painting. I wiped the model
down with 70% alcohol to remove finger
oils. The undersurfaces were painted PRU
Blue using custom mixed Tamiya paints.
A number of commercially available
model paint ranges feature this colour,
but I like working with Tamiya paints. I
added a few drops of white to the base
colour and went back and painted small
random areas to break up the monotone.
I repeated the process with the blue
darkened a bit with black paint.
The undersurfaces were masked off and
the Medium Sea Grey was applied using
my trusty Paasche H airbrush. Again,
a number of shades of the grey were

I always mask and spray the upperwing walkway lines on my Spitfire models. It takes a bit longer, but it looks great, and its
easier than fighting with very long and very thin decal strips.

How to Build... Tamiyas 1:32 Spitfire Mk.IXc 61

CHAPTER 7 SPITFIRE HF Mk.VII, 131 SQN RAF

Small parts painted and ready for weathering. I always paint the prop tips white first,
then yellow. Note that RAF Identity Yellow has a orange cast to it. Once cured, the tips are
masked off and the blades are sprayed scale black.

sprayed at random to give the paint a


subtle blotchy look. A look at real vehicles
and surfaces will show that few colours are
even and unaffected by the environment.
The more they are exposed to the
elements, the more organic and visually
textured they become. Even one night
of dew and dust kicked up by passing
vehicles or even the wind will dull down an
aircraft, and impart a subtle visual texture.
The invasion stripes and wing walks were
next masked off, and sprayed with Tamiya
Flat White. The white areas were masked
off, and scale black was applied to the
invasion stripes and the wing walks. With
all painting completed, all masking was
pulled off, revealing the finished basic
scheme.
At this point, there is usually
some touchup work to do to
make the scheme as clean
and complete as possible.
The entire model is then
sprayed with Future Floor

With the panel line wash finished, and the final satin coat applied, its time for final
assembly. Due to a tight deadline, the engine on my model was painted but not detailed.
I may come back to this later.

Wax (Johnsons Clear in some parts of


the world) thinned with a few drops of
water. Left to dry overnight, the model
is now ready to be decalled. One of
the reasons I decided to model MD111
was that I had included this scheme on
the BarracudaCals Spitfire Part 1 sheet
(BC32004 for 1:32 scale), and was looking
forward to using them to build one of my
all-time favorite Spitfires.
Now, I have an embarrassing admission
to make. When I started to apply these
decals to the model using photographic
references of NX-Q and other aircraft
from 131 Squadron, I discovered that
these reference photos showed that
this Squadron did not use the standard
roundel sizes called out for high altitude
RAF fighters at this point in the war.
They should be 30 diameter for the
fuselage and 40 for the wings. Neither
looked right when applied, so I removed
them before they started to stick. Some
deeper research and taking careful

measurements, I discovered that both the


fuselage and wing roundels were actually
32 in diameter. Decidedly non-standard.
As time was short, I started searching
desperately for replacements. As luck
would have it, the upper wing roundels for
a 1:48 scale Typhoon are exactly the right
size. I used 4 of these roundels from an
Aeromaster roundel sheet and they worked
perfectly. The only trouble was that the
roundel red that Aeromaster used was too
red. The real colour is very close to Model
Master Rust. The centers were masked
off and later repainted, after the decals
had dried. The balance of the decals was
now applied and everything looked great.
The next day, the model was washed to
remove excess decal adhesive and the
decals were sealed with a coat of Future.
The panel lines were highlighted with
a thin dark grey enamel wash. A few
minutes later, I wiped off the excess with a
cotton rag lightly moistened with mineral
spirits. Done properly, this leaves the wash

My Spitfire HF VII completed. I am pretty fussy about Spitfires. Tamiya have


done a terrific job of capturing the subtle shapes of the Spitfire. The shape of
the prop and spinner has eluded many manufacturers, but they have nailed it.

62 Chapter 7 - Spitfire HF Mk.VII. 131 Sqn RAF

The undersides, showing the non-standard narrow


invasion stripes and the lack of underwing roundels
typical of the high altitude scheme. Note that both
ailerons are up in this photo; A function of the
somewhat loose hinges on the posable flying surfaces.

This image shows well the subtle variations of paint colours as discussed in the text,
the medium grey wash applied to the panel lines, and the fuel stains and dirt I applied
to make the airframe looked lived in. Subtlety is the key for weathering most aircraft.

How to Build... Tamiyas 1:32 Spitfire Mk.IXc 63

CHAPTER 7 SPITFIRE HF Mk.VII, 131 SQN RAF

This shot of the tail shows the finished effect of the work done to recreate the retractable
tailwheel. Note also the rudder with its nice depiction of fabric covering. Tamiya thankfully
avoided the heavy scalloping that other manufactures apply to fabric flying surfaces.

in the panel lines but cleans the excess


off the surface. Once this process was
finished, the model was oversprayed with
a satin coat. I do not like dead flat finishes
on aircraft. It makes them look lifeless. I
use Testors Dullcoat mixed with Glosscoat
to make a light satin sheen.
Two tips for applying clear coats: First,
thin them enough so they will go on wet
and not orange peel on you. I tend to thin
with as much as 40% Testors Thinner and
Brush Cleaner. The second tip is to apply
the clear coats liberally. Some modellers
tend to jut mist them on, but this leads to
uneven coverage and a spotty finish. I lay
it on almost wet.
All that remained now was some further
weathering and final assembly. All small
parts had been previously painted and
finished and only needed to be attached.
The excellent engineering of this kit

This view of the upperwing shows the leading edge fuel tank access panel and filler cap
just inboard of the cannon barrels that I scribed into both the port and starboard wing.
Note also the fabric patches doped over the machine gun ports to keep out dirt and debris.

contributed to getting this job done with


minimum fuss. I unmasked the canopies
and cockpit. A careful study of the model
at this point will help you find any areas
that need touchup. I was sure that the
removable cowling panels would not
fit, but they do surprisingly well. Getting
the cowlings on and positioned properly
takes some care, but the final effect looks
almost like they are not removable. Earlier,
I had ground out an ice cream scoop
shaped area from each wingtip nav light
and cut off the blister for the nav light
on the trailing edge of the rudder. These
depressions were painted silver. I then
mixed some 5 minute epoxy and filled the
scooped out areas until they were nice
and round. I also built up a new
lens for the tail light. When set, I
painted the port tip light clear red
and the starboard one clear green.

CONCLUSION
That pretty much brings this build to a
close. I have been building models for
some 34 years now, and I have to say that
this kit represents the pinnacle of plastic
aircraft models. It is a truly awe-inspiring
kit that is as close to flawless as it gets. If I
have one concern regarding the accuracy,
it would be that the model seems to sit a
little low on the main gear. Its subtle, but
when viewed from some angles, it strikes
me. That said, this is far and away the
most accurate and detailed Spitfire kit ever
produced. I thoroughly enjoyed building
it, and once the memory of the late
night marathons I put in getting this
model, photo and article finished
in time to make the publishing
deadline fades, I will look forward
to building another one.

Tamiya really paid attention to the details. The subtly raised cover over
the fuel tank in front of the cockpit, the amazingly clear and distortion
free blown sliding hood, and the lack of upperwing wheel bulges show the
research and clever engineering that went into the design of this kit.

64 Chapter 7 - Spitfire HF Mk.VII. 131 Sqn RAF

The removable cowling panels are impressively thin, and fit pretty well with a little
tweaking and prodding. Still, Id love it if Tamiya would release a version with no engine
and a simple 4 part nose. Note the incorrect rear fixed canopy section. Later on, I will
replace it with a vac formed clear part.

The individual exhaust stubs are labour intensive to clean up, but look very good with some
careful painting. The camera port in the wingroot should have a glass lens, the one part
that seems to be missing from this otherwise very complete kit.

This is far and away the most accurate


and detailed Spitfire kit ever produced...

The sideview shot recreates the wartime photo of


MD111 that originally inspired me to want to build
this model. I really like the high altitude scheme,
and it makes a nice change from the disruptive
camouflage scheme worn by most Spitfires.

How to Build... Tamiyas 1:32 Spitfire Mk.IXc 65

APPENDIX

REFERENCES
The Spitfire Mk.IX in Print
Spitfire: The Canadians
Bracken

Czechoslovak Spitfires in Detail

(Stoddart / Boston Mills Press [Canada], 1995; 160 pages)

The Supermarine Spitfire Part 1: Merlin-Powered


Humphreys
(Modellers Datafile series, No. 3; SAM Publications [UK], 2000;
184 pages)

Spitfire LF.Mk.IX in Detail


Koran, Danda, Martinek and Khol

(Special Museum Line series, No. 26; Wings & Wheels


Publications [Czech Republic], 2002; in English; 153 pages)

Spitfire IX & XVI of Polish Airmen, Vol. I


Matusiak

(Wojny - Bitwy - Kampanie series, No. 3; Mirage Hobby [Poland],


2002; in Polish and English; 96 pages)
Spitfire Mk. IX & XVI Engineered

Rajlich:

(History Profile series, No. 2; Wings & Wheels Publications [Czech


Republic], 2002; in Czech and English; 48 pages)

Spitfire in Action
Scutts

(Aircraft in Action series, No. 39; Squadron/Signal [USA], 1980;


58 pages)

Spitfire in Blue
Smallwood
(Osprey [UK], 1996; 158 pages)
Dutch Spitfires: A Technical Study
van der Meer and Melchers

(Repro Holland [Netherlands], 1988; in Dutch and English;


116 pages)

Vickers-Supermarine Spitfire Mk.VI-XVI


Yamada and Ohasato

Monforton:

(Monforton Press [Canada], 2007; 423 pages)

(Aero Detail series, No. 27; Dai-Nippon Kaiga Co., Ltd. [Japan],
2000; in Japanese and English; 84 pages)

Spitfire: The History


Morgan and Shacklady

Spitfire -- Star of Israel

Yofe

(Key Publishing [UK], 1987; 634 pages)


Spitfires and Polished Metal: Restoring the Classic

Fighter: Moss and McKee

(Classic Warbirds series, No. 1; Ventura [New Zealand], 1996;


48 pages)

(MBI [USA], 1999; 144 pages)

AVAILABLE DECALS
Although accessories and conversions were rare at the time of
printing, there is already a healthy number of after-market decals
available for Tamiyas 1:32 scale Spitfire Mk.IXc.
These include the following:
Barracudacals BC32004, Spitfire Mk.IX series Pt.1. Three
options - HF Mk. VII MD111 NX-Q 131 Sqn RAF Culmhead Med
Sea Grey/PRU Blue 1944; MB820 ON-E 124 Sqn RAF Northolt
1943; FR.IX MK716/X 16 Sqn Overall PRU Pink 1944; MB883
VZ-B 412 Sqn RCAF Fl.Lt Buzz Beurling RAF Biggin Hill 1944.
EagleCals EC32114, Spitfire Mk.IX. Three options - MA585
KH-B 403 Sqn RCAF P/O Buzz Beurling; EN354 WD-W 52nd FG
Lt Leonard V. Helton N.Africa camouflage; MH454 FU-N 453 Sqn
RAAF F/O J.Boulton Full D-Day stripes.
EagleCals EC32115, Spitfire Mk.IX. Three options - Three options
- BS104 YO-R 401 Sqn RCAF F/O T.K.Ibbotson Nose art 1942;
MK636 2I-E 443 Sqn RCAF S/L Wally McLeod Full D-Day stripes;
EN459 ZX-1 145 Sqn RAF Polish Fighting Team N.Africa camo.
EagleCals EC32116, Spitfire Mk.IX Spitfire Mk.IX. Three options
- BS152 AE-W 402 Sqn RCAF S/L L.M.Cameron; MK826 GC-K
412 Sqn RCAF W/C George Keefer; EN398 AE-B 402 Sqn RCAF
Ian Keltie. All 1943.
Victory Productions VPD32003, Spitfire Aces of Empire.
14 options - Mk.IX Spitfire Aces of the Empire (14) EN368 JE-J
Kenley Wing Wg/Co Johnnie Johnson; MK883 KH-B 412 Sqn
RCAF Fl/Lt Buzz Beurling; BS410 VZ-B 3159Polish) Sqn Capt
66 Appendix - References & Decals

Gabby Gabreski; EN520 FL-A 81 Sqn Tunisia 1943; MA408 CG


322nd Wing Sicily Wg/Co Colin Gray; MK392 JE-J 144 Wing 1944
or 127 Wing Holland 1945; MK329 JE-J JR 144 Wing Normandy
1944 both Wg/Co Johnnie Johnson; RR201 DB-G 411 Sqn Flt/Lt
Dick Audet Holland 1944; Mk VII MD188 PB Culmhead Wing
Wg/Co Peter Brothers 2 versions; Mk.VIII A58-484 CR-C 452 Sqn
RAAF Gp/Capt Clive Caldwell 1945; A58-602 RG-V 457 Sqn RAAF
Wg /Co Bobby Gibbes `Grey Nurse with shark mouth.
Xtradecal X32020, Supermarine Spitfire Mk.IX. Four options
- MK805 SH-B 64 Sqn Flt.Lt Tony Cooper `Peter John 3 RAF
Harrowbeer July 1944; MH737 FF-Y 132 Sqn Flt.Lt V.J.Sumpter
RAF Detling 1943; MH552/R 73 Sqn RAF Brindisi 1945; IXe
PV144/4D-A 74 Sqn Sqn.Ldr J.C.F.Hayter Belgium 1944.
Xtradecal X32020, Supermarine Spitfire Mk.IXe / XVIe. Three
options - RK855 FT-C 43 Sqn Zeltweg Austria Sept 1945; TB890
ZF-M 308(Polish) Sqn Germany 1945, Both with clipped wing tips;
PV303 ON-B 124 Sqn RAF Hutton Cranwick 20 June 1945, all with
pointed rudders.
Zotz Decals ZTZ32033, Supermarine Spitfire Mk.IXs and Spitfire
Mk.XIV. Eight options - Mk.IXc MK210 `Hello Tolly Boscombe
Down; ML214 5J-K 126 Sqn `Muscat/Kay S/Ldr John Plagis;
ML296 DU-N Flt.Lt Otto Smik; MK227 5 Stormo Italian AF 1946;
Georgios Smyrniotopoulos Greek AF Pointed fin and clipped
tips; Mk.XIVe RB188 DL-K 91 Sqn West Malling Flt.Lt Johnny
Johnson;RN133 FF-B 132 Sqn Sqn.Ldr K.L.Charney Hong Kong
1946; RN135 YB-A 17 Sqn Sqn.Ldr J.H.Lacey Singapore 1945.

Other titles available in the How to Build... series:

Tamiyas Bristol Beaughter

Tamiyas Fairey Swordsh

Tamiyas Steel Wheeled Tiger I

Building the basic model

Detailed photographs

Building the basic model

Details of production variations

Airbrushing secrets

Techniques to achieve realistic zimmerit

by Steve A. Evans

Six detailed versions of the Beaughter


Weathering

by Geoff Coughlin

Building the model

by Angus Creighton

Weathering explained

Specialist techniques explained

Concise details of the production variations

Five detailed versions of the classic Steel Wheeled Tiger I

SQUADRON SIGNAL PUBLICATIONS


Modelling Reference Books
Squadron Signal Publications is one of the best known
and most extensive ranges of modelling reference books
ever published, featuring high quality photographs of
aircraft, tanks, ships and more in action, as well as an everexpanding range of walk-around volumes which show
the subject inside and out in crystal-clear photographs
- perfect for superdetailing projects.
The books have been helping modellers to add essential
details, find markings and apply paint schemes to
aircraft, armour and ship models for many years, and the
great news is that Squadron Signal books now are easier
to find than ever before, because ADH Publishing, the
company that brings you the How to Build... series, is
importing them from the USA.

www.adhbooks.com
Magazines for modellers
from ADH Publishing Ltd.

All you need to know!


Adh Publishing Ltd.

Doolittle Mill Doolittle Lane Totternhoe Bedfordshire LU6 1QX


enquiries@adhpublishing.com www.adhpublishing.com www.adhbooks.com

Model Airplane
International

Tamiya
Model Magazine
International

Model Military
International

Tamiyas 1:32 scale


Supermarine Spitfire is truly a
superb kit in terms of level of
detail, engineering innovation,
fit and presentation.

Spitfire Mk.IXc
Although initially conceived as a stopgap measure, the Spitfire Mk.IX (and the
essentially similar Mk.XVI) eventually became
the most numerous of all Spitfire variants
with more than 7,000 delivered to the RAF,
the VVS and other Allied air forces.
Premier Japanese model company Tamiya
has released a brand-new Spitfire IXc in
1:32 scale. This is truly a superb kit in
terms of detail, engineering innovation, fit
and presentation. In the warm afterglow of
its release, many modellers have declared
Tamiyas 1:32 scale Spitfire Mk.IXc to be the
best scale model aircraft kit of all time.
This book suggests how Tamiyas kit may be
improved, delivers a step-by-step illustrated
guide to building the model, and also offers
inspiration with three complete modelling
projects, including one conversion.

Published by:
ADH Publishing Ltd., Doolittle Mill, Doolittle Lane, Totternhoe, Bedfordshire, LU6 1QX
Telephone: 44 (0) 1525 222573 Fax: 44 (0) 1525 222574
Website: www.adhpublishing.com

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