I mentioned one exception to good fit. This involved the very nice PE radiator and intercooler matrix faces. They were slightly too tall to fit without modification in the underwing radiator housings. The simple fix was to trim with sharp scissors a small strip off the top of each face where it would not be seen. What I did like about these PE matrix faces was I could mask their steel colour with tape, install them and paint the airframe in Alclad II White Aluminium. All I needed to do was then reach in with a sharp bald and tweezers to lift and remove the masking tape. A quick oil wash on the PE and the matrix pattern was nicely revealed.
I chose to use the spinner and separate prop blades as I feel they look a bit better than spinner and blades all moulded as one. However, I always struggle with mounting separate blades, and feel I could maybe have done better if I had more patience. Given that this was my sixth finished model in about the first 10 weeks of 2007 I don’t always have the time to get too fussy.
I decided to mount bombs on my machine as photos I have seen of Israeli Spitfires show them with bomb racks, and a friend of mine who is an Israeli AF fan advised they were used as fighter-bombers. I mounted the bombs with PE sway braces (prematurely) and them knocked them off, then with resin braces and knocked these off. Finally I delayed fitting the bombs and made my own sway braces from stretched sprue.
During the build I managed to drop and loose both of the kit’s resin .50 cal tubes and barrel front. As a result a scratch-built mine by hollowing out some rod and inserting a small piece of hypodermic needle to represent the gun barrel.
Masking the anti-glare panel was simple as, having used Alclad II, I had no paint-lifting worries. The other thing I like about this paint is it totally resistant to oil washes which allowed me to dull & dirty the finish a little, and break the uniformity that was apparent when first painted.
I used the Eduard canopy masks, my first time with this product, and found them to be very good. Unfortunately I was over-enthusiastic to see how well they had worked, and I removed them a little too soon whilst the Alclad had softened the underlying framing’s enamel colour. In the end I resorted to using painted decal strip on the canopies as I had damaged the masks. This was my fault, and I feel I can highly recommend this masking product.
The Tally Ho decals were excellent, although for some reason the tail stripes seemed more fragile. This was probably because I moved them around more.
Given that at first glance this appeared to be quite a complex kit, I was pleasantly surprised at how straight forward it was to build. Although far from perfect due to my skill level, I am still pleased with the result, and have what I feel is an accurate and pleasing to the eye Spitfire in my display cabinet.
Click to enlarge images