1/72 Hasegawa Spitfire MkVIII converted to a MkXII with Paragon resin set
Entering servce in 1943, the Spitfire MkXII, the first Griffon engined Spitfire to enter series production, was a bit of a limited run aircraft. Only serving with two squadrons, 41 and 92, something less than 100 were made in total. Easily identified by it's short nose and 4 blade prop, coupled with the small bulge over the nose, they were based initially on Spitfire MkV's, and later on MkVIII's, an easy identifier being the tailwheel. . MkV based had a fixed tailwheel and later, MkVIII based had a retractable tailwheel. It was unusual for a Griffon Spit in having the early radiator/oil coller arrangement under the wings, and all aircraft had the early style full span ailerons and the earlier mass balance style of tailplane. All aircraft had clipped wings.
Tho' numerically something of a side-event in the annals of Spitfire production, the type is nevertheless deserving of a place in any Spitfire line up, for it gave sterling servoce for the few months it was actually at the front line, chasing the "tip&run" FW-190 raiders. It was soon superceeded by the much superior MkXIV, the first purpose designed Griffon Spit, and a true thoroughbred in every sense of the word.
This 1/72nd scale model was made utilising a Hasegawa Spitfire MkVIII and the Paragon resin conversion set, and is a conversion that can be heartily reccomended for the newcomer to resin and/or conversions. Neil Burkhill's new nose and prop assembly, along with the oil cooler for the underwing, are superb examples of the caster's art, and match the host kit remarkably well.
. . a quick and easy conversion! My example did have a large air bubble in the Stbd side of the nose, but this was away from any detail and easily cured with superglue and accelerator. The conversion does provide props, but I was clumsy enough to lose one, and so my props are the overly thick and not quite right examples from an Academy Spit XIV! Tailplanes on my example are from an Italeri MkIX, tho' converting the kit ones to suit wouldn't be a major task. . I just had them to hand and so decided to use them.
The model is finished with Humbrol enamels, the camoflage being freehand airbrushed. Decals are a mixture, with the roundels being from Aeromaster, codes from Modeldecal and stencils from Italeri. The serial number was produced on an ALPS printer by a friend of mine. Final finish is washed and weathered with oils and sealed with Polly Scale flat acrylic (the best matt varnish around IMHO!)
Pictures taken with a Sony DSC-F505V digital camera.
Photos and text © by Drewe Manton