Monday, April 8

Eduard's 1/48 scale Spitfire Mk.IXc (late) Kit Review.

Eduard have sent us one of their very early kits of the new Mk.IXc (late) Spitfires in 48th scale. To review such munch loved type and important release we went to a very knowledgeable Spitfire builder to review this – veteran of many a spitfire build campaign (at his count around twenty-two) – we thought who better to give the spit to build than “soon to be Mr 23” Mr Tony Prince. Today he reviews the kit for us before he builds it.

Eduard's 1/48 scale Spitfire Mk.IXc (late)
Manufacturer: Eduard
Kit No: 8281
Model length: 202mm
Wingspan: 235mm
Plastic parts: 207
PE parts + Eduard mask
Available from: Eduard Directly

Cutting straight to the chase, as a veteran Spitfire modeller of many years standing, this kit from Eduard is simply the best 1/48 scale Spitfire I have yet seen. By my count, there have been eight different manufacturers so far to try to get the graceful shape of a Mk.IX correctly translated into plastic with varying levels of success. While it is entirely possible to make an excellent model from many of these, it is a blessing to have one arrive on my desk which is as near perfect as it is possible to get.

What’s in the box? Four grey & one clear sprue containing 191 grey & 14 clear parts all very logically laid out, plus a sheet of colour etched detail parts & a sheet of masks. The instructions highlight several parts not needed for this particular model, so it looks like there will be more variations coming. Beautiful!

Going through the sprues will give you a better idea of just how good this kit is:

The wingspan is correct, the wingtips fit beautifully & the detail is restrained, with subtle rivet detail.

The fuselage seems to be of correct length too. Having checked this against three earlier kits & plans, there were no obvious discrepancies. I have done a dry run of all major parts which shows they fit together perfectly. Parts seem to be located in sensible groupings on their sprues, which will save wasting time searching for elusive bits.

Smaller parts are on sprues F & G. There are a number not required for this model, so your spares box will say “thank you”. Again, detail is excellent with delicate representation of fabric & tape on control surfaces & of course the ability to pose these as required.

Here’s a closer look at “F”: Note the stitching & tape on the control surfaces.

And the separate cockpit walls:

And at sprue “G” 
Note that the propeller is spot on for shape & diameter.
The underwing radiators are each in several parts with fine detail for the internal parts.
Four or five spoke wheel hubs are provided separate from the tyres to make ease of painting possible & there is a spare set of flat wheel covers as well.

Here’s a closer look at the exhaust pipes; they show welding seams ………
And hollow ends!
The instructions are well set out & clearly illustrated with Gunze colour call outs.
Note that the only glitch I noticed was a reference to Dark Sea Grey 331 for the topside camouflage. All my references point to Ocean Grey as being the correct colour & this is not in the Gunze range as far as I know, unless you can get hold of their RAF Mr. Color set which has all three required colours. Otherwise Tamiya has XF 82 & Lifecolor; UA 093, either of which will fit the bill.
Colour Schemes:
There are six paint schemes in all; five in the usual camouflage & one in a rarely seen natural metal finish as seen with 601 Squadron operating in Italy in July 1944, seen below.
Spitfire LFMk.IXc, MH712, flown by W/O Henryk Dygala, No. 302 Squadron, Summer / Autumn, 1944
    Spitfire HFMk.IXc, MJ296, flown by F/Lt Otto Smik, No. 312 Squadron, North Weald AB, Late August, 1944
    Spitfire LFMk.IXc, MJ586, flown by Pierre Clostermann, No. 602 Squadron, Longues sur Mer airfield, July 7, 1944
    Spitfire LFMk.IXc, MJ250, No. 601 Squadron, Italy, Summer, 1944
    Spitfire LFMk.IXc, ML135, flown by Jerry Billing, No. 401 Squadron, Tangmere AB, June 7, 1944
    Spitfire LFMk.IXc, ML135, flown by Jerry Billing, No. 401 Squadron, France, July 1, 1944
The red in the roundels may appear a little bright here, but the actual sheet is a little duller.

Very well printed by Eduard in Czech Republic they come with a host of stencils all of which appear to have a very thin carrier film.

The Additional extras available from Eduard:

So far we’ve reviewed simply what’s in the box, which will produce a fantastic model, just as it comes. For those with the skills to add even more detail, Eduard has produced a number of after market sets under their Brassin label.

- Firstly, there’s the "BRASSIN" Cockpit set # 648100 which includes etched brass cockpit detail, resin side-walls, control boxes, seat, Cockpit frames & joystick.

- Next, there’s set # 648098 which comprises a set of resin wheels with block treads with matching 5 spoke hubs, all in resin.

- Set # 648099 provides resin fishtail exhausts (with spares) these are separate exhausts for younger modellers with good eyesight!

- Under the Eduard (etched brass) label we also have set #49639 which is a Mk. IXc instrument panel (different from either the kit one or the Brassin ‘pit set).

- Set # 48766 provides just about every removable hatch & inspection hole on a Spitfire for the super, super detailer. Of particular interest are the cockpit access hatch & radio hatch with internal structure & a number of templates for scribing.

- Lastly, there’s set # 48765 which offers the most delicate flaps I’ve ever seen. Yes, I know you weren’t supposed to have flaps down except when actually landing but these are simply beautiful & come with a template for cutting out the plastic flaps.

- What else is there to say? Eduard has amply proven that they produce first class kits. This may well be the best of them & one which should satisfy the most discriminating modellers, expert or novice. How far you take it is up to you, but whatever you do, don’t miss out!

Tony Prince

PS. It’s a bit sad really. I have 22 Spitfires & Seafires on my display shelves in 1/48 & 1/32 scales & I’m still happy to build more. I wonder what R.J.Mitchell would think?

Thank you Eduard, for the opportunity to review this kit. Enough talk, now I’m going to build it.