Hasegawa 1/72 Spitfire IX 'Strike Witches'
|KIT #:||SP 415|
|NOTES:||IP and rear cockpit bulkhead donīt fit inside the fuselage.|
From the instructions: "The Spitfire Mk.IX was built around a slightly modified Mk.Vc fuselage and powered by the Merlin 61 engine. The first production model rolled off the assembly lines in June 1942, with production of all models of the Mk.IX reaching nearly 5600 aircraft by the end of production in June 1945. These models included the low altitude "LF," powered by the Merlin 66, the mid altitude "F" with Merlin 61 or 63, and the high altitude "HF" with the Merlin 70. While earlier models were fitted out with the Spitfire "C" wing armament layout, the latter half of the production run was fitted out with the "E" wing layout of two 20mm cannons and two 12,7mm Browning machineguns. Both types featured either the characteristic "normal" Spitfire eliptical wings or the truncated type seen on some earlier Spitfires. Later models of the Mk.IX featured an enlarged rudder. When production of the Merlin powerplants could not keep up with the airframe production, license-built Packard Merlin 266 engines with nearly identical performace stats were used in their place. This Spitfire type, the Mk.XVI, was for all purposes identical to the Mk.IX. Approximatelly 1000 aircraft of this type were produced.
The kit comes in a top opening box with an image of one of the character of the Strike Witches anime (Lynette Bishop). Smaller and two one side, there's a profile rendition of the finished model.
The parts are molded in a light grey colour, and they are smooth to the touch. I believe there're up to six sprues included in the box, plus a 1:20 resin figure of Lynette Bishop.
Instructions are of the foldable type that Hasegawa includes with all their kits. There's a painting page dedicated to the aircraft and to the resin figure.
I decided to start the build by painting all the cockpit parts in Interior Green, including the fuselage halves. Once they were dried, I glued the cockpit pieces and left them to dry. While this was happening, I cut the fuselage halves from their sprues and sanded all the remaining burs from the sprue. Back to the cockpit, once it was dry, I test fitted it with both fuselage halves, only to discover that the instrument panel and the rear bulkhead were to big, leaving an ugly gap in the front of the fuselage. So, I removed both pieces and was left with the cockpit floor, control columnand seat, which were then glued to the fuselage.
With the fuselage halves drying, I went off to work on the wings. I glued both upper and lower halves, and tested them with the fuselage, which showed there would be gaps. The solution, add a spreader bar just under the cockpit. I then glued the wings to the fuselage, and added the horizontal stabilizers.
|COLORS & MARKINGS|
This kit came with a single marking, Spitfire Mk.IX DWoN from the Britannian Royal Air Force, flown by Flight Sargeant Lynnete Bishop in 1944. The painting instructions shows the aircraft to be painted in Extra Dark Sea Grey, RAF Dark Green, Medium Grey, with a white fuselage band and a red and Sky propeller spinner.
I painted the aircraft with Revell 79 Blue Grey (Extra Dark Sea Grey), Revell 68 (RAF Dark Green), Revell 57 (Medium Grey), and the remaining colours were Revell 59 Sky and red. The paint was then left to dry overnight. Next day, I applied two coats of Revell's gloss varnish, applied the decals (which were on the sticky side) with hot water, used some Microsol to make the decals sink into the panel lines, and then all that was left to dry, again, overnight. Next day I brushed to coats of Revell's matt varnish.
I painted the wheels with Revell 78 Tank Grey for the tyres, silver for the spokes. The landing gear doors were painted with Revell 57 on the outside and interior green on the inside. They were then glued to the aircraft. When dry, I painted the canopy, glued it to the fuselage, and went to take the photos for this review!
Not a bad little kit. I certainly enjoy building up this collection of Strike Witches themed aircaft for the shelf. The problems with the IP and rear cockpit bulkhear were weird, since I never thought this would happen with a Hasegawa kit, but the problem was easily solved.
26 May 2020
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