1/48 Hasegawa Spitfire Mk.IX

Out of the box Part1

by Paul Osborne

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Section #1  

Above is the left side fuselage half showing the cockpit detail. Everything that is visible comes in the kit and looks quite effective once painted, washed and dry brushed.  My only complaint is that the trim wheel is actually moulded to the side instead of being offered as a separate component.  Considering the fact that Hasegawa already supplies you with five pieces to attach to the left side, I find it strange that the trim wheel was neglected.  Those of you not building OTB, will want to find a replacement for this important component

 

Section #2

Once again, everything shown on the right side is moulded onto the fuselage half except for the undercarriage control quadrant and the oxygen cylinder.  The cockpit was finished with Model Master British Interior Green, then it was dry-brushed with a lighter shade of the same color. Once dry, a light mist of Testors MM Clear Flat lacquer sealed everything.  It was now time to apply a wash of black oil paint & odorless turpenoid into all the corners of the raised details.  After letting the oil wash dry for a day, a light mist of Testors MM Clear Flat lacquer was dusted on to seal the oil wash.  The final steps included some additional dry-brushing with a darker shade of the base color, some details were picked out in red and silver to give the sidewall some color and finally, I sealed everything with a light coat of Humbrol Clear Flat.

 Section #3

(click on the images below to load the full size photos)

The top portion of the instrument panel was airbrushed Testors MM Interior black and once dry, the raised instrument dials were dry-brushed with MM Flat White.  The detail on the panel is superb and it only took me one attempt to get the results I was after.  A little dry-brushing with some MM Lt.Grey, some Gunze red and brown to pick out a few switches and indicators and once everything was dry, I applied some thin CA to the instrument faces to represent the glass.  The results of the CA are fairly good but I think Gunze Clear Gloss or Future produces better results for simulating the glass.

 The seat was first hand brushed using Gunze Red Brown ( H47 ) which was then dry-brushed around the edges using Gunze Brown ( H7 ) mixed with a touch of white.  The harness and buckles are made from regular masking tape as this and paper are the only materials allowed if you intend on entering a kit in an OTB category.  The holes in the belt were made using a sewing needle and once applied to the seat, the masking tape was painted with a wash of  Acrylic White mixed with a little Lt.Brown.  Once again, a final coat of Humbrol Clear Flat  eliminated any shiny spots

 The remainder of the cockpit assembly was airbrushed Testors MM British Interior Green and drybrushed with a lighter shade of the same color. When dry, everything was sealed with a dusting of Testors Flat Clear lacquer .  The Black oil paint and Turpenoid wash was applied to all the raised areas and especially to the crevices found in the cockpit floor..  Finally, a darker shade of the base color was dry-brushed on certain areas and a final coat of Humbrol Clear Flat completed the tub assembly.

 

Section #4 

Here we can see the area to the left of the cannon blister where the two bumps above the wheel well have been removed.  According to those who know what theyíre talking about, these shouldnít be on the Mk.IXc version that is represented on the decal sheet.  If you look closely, you can see the patch of Mr.Surfacer that has been applied to the area where the bumps were removed.  This has since been sanded down and there is now no trace of the previous bumps.
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Section #5 

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The fit of the rear portion of the wing ( gull area ) is very good on the sides as these photos of the dry fitted pieces show.  However, as you can see, it does leave a gap at the rear of the join.  This is no problem and only requires a small amount of filler to smooth everything out.  I should point out that when these pictures were taken, the cockpit had not yet been glued to the fuselage halves.  I strongly recommend that when you get to this task, only glue the instrument panel and the two bulkheads to the right fuselage half.  Do not glue the floor of the tub along the horizontal line.  I didnít do this as I wanted to make sure the bottom of the tub could move freely once the fuselage halves were cemented together.  This step prevents the fuselage from Ď pinching Ď which will result in unnecessary gaps at the upper wing to fuselage joint. 

 

Section #6 

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These two images show the nice joint between the wing and fuselage that is obtained during the dry fitting stages.  You want to avoid doing anything that will change this.  Why use putty if you can avoid it.

Section #7 

This picture shows that Iíve removed the raised hinge from the bottom of the cockpit door.  These hinges were also removed from the two access panels found on the fuselage and below the wings as they are far to pronounced for this scale.

 

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Even though the cockpit appears dark in the photo, it does however give you a good indication as to just how good the Hasegawa detail looks once the fuselage is together.  Itís most unfortunate that Hasegawa decided  not to include a separate cockpit door as the kits detail begs to be viewed.  This wonít present a problem to those of you who want to add additional details to the cockpit but if your goal is to build this kit OTB ( like me ) the door must stay in the closed position.

 

Section #8 

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These two final views show just how good the basic outline shape is.  It sure does look like a SPIT.  To further enhance the outline shape of the model, I attached the pointed rudder with white glue just prior to taking the pictures.  

CONCLUSION

To say that Iím impressed with this kit is an understatement.  The level of detail is exquisite and so far, everything fits like a glove.  I look forward to completing this project and Iíll be sure to send some pictures to Steve if he so desires. This kit is so simple to build I can understand why more and more modelers are building these types.  Unlike the complicated and poorly fitting jet models that I prefer, this was the therapy I needed to recharge my dead batteries.  You WWII guys have it so easy.  Please Mr.Hasegawa, where is my new F-105D that Iíve been begging you for for almost twenty years.

Paul

Photos and text © by  Paul Osborne