we all know my heart is with 1/72nd fast jets, but here's proof that I CAN turn
my hand to other subjects on occasion! This is ICM's recently released
Spitfire HF VII, one of my favourite Spitfires with it's extended wingtips and
two colour camo. . a nice change from all the disruptive schemed Spitfires we
The reason I built
this model was two fold;- one was that, as I said, the subject matter has always
appealed to me, which made it an easy choice. The other was that this model has
had a pretty mixed press since it was released, most generally positive, but one
well known modeller has dismissed it as little more than junk, and I was
determined to form my own opinion of it, with the only real way to do this being
to build one of them!
There were all
the sink holes that people referred to to deal with, and I appeared to have
benefitted from the whole lot of them. . . in front of the Ailerons, rear
fuselage and below the windscreen. Whilst hardly desirable, I found a little
Acryl Blue filler and some patience cured all very quickly , and really consider
it practically a no-brainer to deal with. The other well reported problem is
unusabe main wheels, but I'm happy to report the examples in my kit at least
were pretty much perfect, with no sinkage/mould misalignment to deal with.
People have also reported some problems getting all the engine parts under the
cowling if you want to have it closed up, and I've discovered that with a little
lateral thinking you can avoid using *any* of the engine parts bar the exhausts.
I backed the exhaust slots with a little plastic card packed out to the correct
depth for the exhausts, which eliminated the main engine block. The cowling
underside was added to the main wing before adding the wing to the fuselage.
With the main fuselage joined the wing can be added and the lower side cowling
parts pushed and tweaked to meet the lower cowling before tacking them with
superglue. Once set, plenty of superglue and accelerator was introduced into the
join the fix and re-inforce it before adding the upper cowling piece, which was
tacked into place with Tenax. Some filling and re-scribing was necessary at the
rear of the upper cowling, but nothing major. The lower cowling received little
more than a swipe with scotchbrite to be perfect, and there you have it, a
minimum trouble great looking Spitfire nose with no nasty engine underneath to
get in the way! Once all dry, the cowling nose
piece was bevelled until it fitted nicely into the hole at the nose and dropped
and superglued into place, a little work with a sanding stick and I also had a
place for the prop to locate!
needed a little work, with the wingtips requiring quite a bit of filler and the
wing roots needing work- next time I'll glue the upper wings to the fuselage
before adding the lower wing and transfer any fit problems to the leading and
trailing edges, but as it was a little elbow grease and some re-scribing saw the
The model is painted
with Xtracolor Medium Sea Grey and PRU Blue, which being gloss needs no
preperation for the decals. Beware the decals! They didn't really respond
to any of my setting/softening solutions, and after the wing walkways silvered I
applied the rest sandwiched between Future coats, which pulled them down
beautifully and ensured *NO* silvering whatsoever. Those walkways still needed
dealing with tho', and in the end I
had to resort to applications of liquid cement (yes, really!) to melt them into
the paintwork. Liquid cement is my decal softener of last resort, and can cure
problems that otherwise would ruin a model, but it almost goes without saying
that it needs extreme care and not a little bravery to use! Final varnish coat
is Testor Dullcote, from my jealously guarded stash brought back to the UK with
me after my trip to California in February. I removed some of the flatting agent
to impart a slightly shiny finish typical of these high altitude Spits.
Weathering was done with an airbrush and heavily thinned matt black paint.
All in all I have to say I really like this model and would
have no hesitation in building it again, and ICM are doing some great variants!
The new Hasegawa kit may well turn out to be better, but I have my doubts if
it'll be *THAT* much better, and I also doubt very much that Hasegawa will do a
bubble top XVI, which ICM have in the pipeline!
Try one. . .it's cheap and the shape looks great, not to
mention good overall levels of detail the equal of the Japanese Spitfires of the
last few years.