1/48 Academy Spitfire Mk. XIV MV293  

by Dirk Adel



Built at the end of 1944 at Keevil, this Spitfire Mk XIV was stored by the RAF until early 1945. It was sent, from 33MU at RAF Lyneham, to India where details of whatever service she saw have been lost in the mists of time -and the Royal Indian Air Force records system. She was recovered to Blackbushe, in England, by Doug Arnold in the early seventies and formed part of his Warbirds of Great Britain collection. The Fighter Collection engineers took over the restoration when the aircraft changed hands and were able to complete the work in August of 1992. MV293 was the first example of ist mark to be flying in Europe at that time and was painted in the all silver colours of the post war RAF. In 2000, the aircraft was repainted in the colours of Johnnie Johnson, as a surprise for his attendance at Flying Legends and as a tribute to his last war service Spitfire.            (found at http://www.avnet.co.uk/tfc/spit_xiv/)

This was the second time I decided to built a Spitfire Mk. XIV E because the late bubbletopped Spits are the most elegant piston-engined warbirds and even with the fastest if you consider the Spiteful/Seafang. Another reason for the project was that I got this excellent kit a second time by winning a low-price-ebay-auction!

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In fact this had to be a fast job, so I decided to do a silver-coloured Spitfire this time to prevent all that taping. Additionally I have to explain I do not own an airbrush so all paintjobs are done by using Tamiya TS- and AS-Cans. This fighter was sprayed with TS-16 Aluminium Gloss using Gunze´s Clear Gloss before applying the decals. After drying they where sealed by spraying Gunze Clear Flat. 

The only extra detailing was done by using extratech´s seatbelts. If you build the cockpit out of the box it´s enough to do the usual detail-painting and dry-brushing to get a satisfying result. However my next Seafire FR.47-project will see the Eduard-detailset. The only criticism I have on the Academy-kit is the thick decal sheet.

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With the experiences of my first Academy-Mk.XIV I managed to work with the stencils and the few cocardes I needed for my MV293. I used Mr.Mark Softer of Gunze Sangyo to make them tractable. For all the identification codes I used Verlinden´s 1:48 dry decals Sheet. They are applied using a soft pencil and must be pressed into the seams and rivets with a wooden or plastic toothpick.

This was the first time I used the Bare-metal-foil taping the canopy. It´s a good alternative to the masking liquids but after removing there remains some glue on the canopy, which has to be polished away.

After using some pulverized coal brushing the exhaust stripes and doing all the usual aging I had after only 5 weeks another finished warbird model. Of course I had only a few minutes every day for my progresses... 


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Photos and text © by Dirk Adel