Hasegawa kit of the Spitfire MkV in this scale is considered to be the best
model available and the starting point for many conversions.
I have built both the Hasegawa and the Revell Seafire Mk1.
The former kit was highly detailed whilst the latter was converted into a
In order to bring the Revell kit up to the required standard, the
fuselage was heavily modified in some areas where even the basic element of
contour is completely wrong.
Having both kits at hand, I decided to take up the challenge and complete
both models such that the difference between them when complete would not be
kits were built together.
Scratch built parts common to both were simultaneously produced.
both cases, the construction procedure listed below was followed:
Detailed Rolls Royce Merlin 45.
Internal detail such as cockpit, radio and battery compartment and detail
on fuselage sides.
Gluing fuselage sides together.
Installation of tail planes.
Construction of wings including all details.
Removal and construction of flaps.
Installation of wings onto the fuselage.
had already decided that one of the spitfires would be modelled with an exposed
top and sides of the engine would be exposed.
The bottom part including the air intake and the propellor spinner would
be retained so as not to spoil the beautiful shape of the Spitfire's streamlined
engine of sorts supplied with the Revell kit was used as a basic starting point
for the Merlin.
Many parts were removed from it and the basic block retained.
Excess plastic had to shaved off from particular areas to conform to the
proper engine dimensions since the kit part was grossly misshapen and oversized.
The resultant shape was then gradually detailed.
This process can be closely followed from the photos.
Up to this time, only large items of equipment and pipes were attached to
on most of the images directly below will take you to larger images)
studying photos of the Merlin, I decided that I would paint it before going on
to attach wires and pipes since detailing and painting these would be impossible
at a later stage.
The engine was painted using Testors metallizer paints and buffed.
The fact that no wires and similar details were attached to the engine
made this possible.
Successive layers of wiring and piping were then added on, painting them
as I went along.
The engine bearers were made from copper tubing and attached to the
on the images directly below will take you to larger images)
firewall behind the engine was made from plastic card and all details
scratchbuilt onto it.
Numerous dry fitting runs assured a proper fit.
This is a very crucial part of the model since it has to consolidate the
front of the model once all the panels are removed to fit the engine.
The engine and bulkhead were then dry fitted to see what the whole front
of the aircraft would look like.
on the images directly below will take you to larger images)
photoetched sets were used when detailing the cockpits.
The Revell model has a very sparse and inaccurate interior which was
The Hasegawa cockpit floor was modified and then copied to use in the
Revell model. The
photoetched instrument panels were not used because the Hasegawa panel is far
more accurate and three dimensional.
This was copied for the Revell model using plastic card and individual
Eduard seats are grossly oversized and the Hasegawa seat preferred and used.
Another was scratchbuilt for the Revell kit.
The control column was completely scratchbuilt.
The fuselage sides were scraped clean and fresh details included which
are a mixture of scratchbuilt and photoetched parts.
Some Eduard parts are too flat to look realistic and were therefore
fuel jettison handle which is included in the Eduard set was used on the VC
which was in fact equipped with an external fuel tank when ferried to Malta.
One of the instrument panels was also detailed from the backside showing
the backs of instruments and their wiring.
Since the VB would have its front open to reveal the fuel tank, this
detail would show through.
frames supplied with the Hasegawa kit were duplicated for the Revell model.
Seat belts were made from masking tape and photoetched buckles and other
Radio and battery were scratchbuilt.
The radio details were taken off an original manual loaned from the
The Battery shape and measurements were taken off an original also found
in the same Museum.
What really pleased me was that both items fitted perfectly in their
intended location proving the accuracy of the Hasegawa kit.
on some of the images directly below will take you to larger images)
pretty obvious, the fuselage of the Hasegawa model was checked for accuracy
against scale plans.
Unlike this, the Revell fuselage is very narrow behind the cockpit to the
tail and a plastic fillet was inserted to correct this.
The Hasegawa fuselage was scribed and sanded down.
The Revell fuselage was sanded down since the panel lines were already
recessed. (amazing for an old Revell model
- about the only good point)
The curved area under the fuselage where the wings join is non existent
in the Revell kit and this is probably the worst defect since it is a
characteristic of the aircraft which also adds to its grace.
I was not duly worried since I replaced the kit wings with a pair of
Warbirds resin wings.
This resulted in the removal of most of the centre section on the
underside and so with the major surgery, I included some thick chunks of plastic
which were later filed and sanded to shape, thus obtaining the right contour
which was continuous with the wings.
Revell canopy was obviously discarded.
The Hasegawa rear cockpit section was unmodified.
To the sliding hood was added a raised oval edge which was a knockout
part on the Spitfire hood to be used in case of emergency. The front section was
modified to include curved side mouldings which are terribly obvious in
these parts were used as the male mould.
These were filled with Milliput so as not to cave in when put in contact
with the hot acetate.
Each part (a total of three) was then mounted on a brass rod which set
into the Milliput.
This would allow these to be held tightly in a vice until the hot clear
acetate is stretched over them.
Finally, the canopy framing was slightly lowered using 1200 gauge wet or
dry sandpaper and the entire canopy polished using a rubbing compound. All clear
canopy parts were then moulded.
Spitfire has different gun bays.
The VB is equipped with the drum fed 20mm cannon and browning machine
guns. All these weapons were scratchbuilt and exposed.
In the case for the browning guns, the wing structure shows along the
sides of the gun bays.
In the case of the VC, it was decided to expose the 20mm Hispano cannon
and belt feed.
The whole gun bay was exposed but only one gun fitted.
I used a bit of imagination as to what would be in the bay when the
second cannon was removed since I could not find any reference photos.
Again, the cannon and shell feed mechanism were scratchbuilt and the
shells were turned from copper wire and just painted in the appropriate colours
and given a wash.
Malta, the VC’s were delivered with two cannon per wing but a pair were soon
is no fixed rule as to which were removed but most photos show the outer pair
missing and so I went along with this.
The main reasons for removing these guns were:
2 Wings, Undercarriage and painting
3 The history of Spitfire Vc