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Beurling's 9: 1/48th ICM Spitfire Mk. IX

The 1/48th scale ICM Spitfire releases starting in 2001 brought model makers one of the most accurately shaped Spitfire models, with finely scribed panel lines and good detail. Sure, they were a bit of a challenge to construct and regularly had some injection issues but the level of detail, complete with a full engine, gave model makers the components to build a real gem.


1/48th ICM Spitfire Mk. IX

Notable Kit Features:

  • Full engine provided and all engine panels can be left off

  • Very good cockpit detail

  • Pilot door is able to be cut out (separate open door provided)

  • Finely scribed panel lines with good surface details

  • Separate ailerons and rudder with tall tail option provided

  • Open gun bays with wing guns provided

  • Slipper tank and bombs included

  • RAF Crew (8) as well as maintenance accessories provided in my kit version - a very nice bonus if you like diorama subject matter

  • Optional canopies provided (Although I will recommend a replacement)

  • One of the best shaped Spitfires on the market (for both the Mk. VIII and Mk. IX series)

  • Parts fit is typically good (post clean-up) with a few memorable exceptions

  • Low cost

1/48th ICM Spitfire Mk. IX

Build Inspiration:


George "Buzz" Beurling was a top Canadian "Ace" in WWII having much of his success during his Malta tour. He was renown for his flying skills, marksmanship and his disdain for authority figures. Beurling was also one of the few Commonwealth Aces who painted their victories on their aircraft. His RCAF 403 Squadron Spitfire Mk. IX displayed his victories in Balkenkreuz symbols. Former aircraft had his victories marked below the cockpit in swastika symbols. As he was one of the better known aces in Canada I had planned to have his aircraft in my collection for some time, it just took a lot longer to get around to it than I thought it would! (I purchased the kit and decals around 10 years ago - go figure.)

Canadian WWII Ace George "Buzz" Beurling

Heads-Up Report:

  • These ICM Spitfire kits require a bit of parts clean-up and a lot of test fitting during construction. Patience and experience building one will be of benefit

  • The pilot seat appears to be too wide and the control stick is a bit off

  • The optional engine inclusion is a difficult fit and requires a bit more detailing if the panels are left off (If you intend to close the panels then leaving the engine out of the build is best)

  • Although all engine panels are optional the engine mount structure is too fine to actually build it completely open (at least some installed panels are a more reasonable option)

  • I have had kits with short-shot parts and sink-marks (Quality control was a bit of an issue for ICM back in those early days)

  • Underwing shell ejector chutes are molded backwards (the cross-cut should be towards the leading edge as shown in the instructions)

  • The horizontal tail surfaces require sanding and filler to get a smooth fit of the join

  • Propeller blades are all separate from spinner


1/48th ICM Spitfire Mk. IX

Kit Additions / Modifications:

  • Added seatbelts

  • Substituted a Falcon Vacuform canopy for the kit canopy as it was rather thick

  • Used 3rd party decals from WaterMark 48002 - Canadian Spitfires, 1943


1/48th ICM Spitfire Mk. IX

Finishing:


My 1/48th ICM Spitfire Mk. IX was finished in the standard later war Dark Green, Ocean Gray over Medium Sea Gray. The tailband and spinner were in British "Sky". Exhausts were done with a mix of metallic, brown and black. Standard "Pledge" (Future) gloss coat was applied to prepare the aircraft for decals. A dark wash was used to highlight the panel lines and control surfaces. The final coat was a shot of Model Master dull coat to seal everything in and matte it down. The final fragile parts were added to complete the subject and ready it for the display hangar.


1/48th ICM Spitfire Mk. IX

The After-Build Report:


Now that model makers have the 1/48th scale Eduard Spitfires Mk. IX I wouldn't recommend this ICM kit, unless you are on a budget. (I have picked up these kits for as little as $10, but do beware that these are not easy construction kits and require a good amount of patience fitting parts.) The 1/48th ICM Spitfire Mk. IX kits had their day in the spotlight and their critics all along, however they do still build into a nice Spitfire replica so I am still building the ones in my stash :)


1/48th ICM Spitfire Mk. IX

Completed build #261 - June 2023 using the 1/48th scale ICM #48061 kit.


Feel free to comment or ask any questions - Keep on building, gain experience, challenge yourself if you like, but try not to stress yourself out over the build - it is supposed to be an enjoyable hobby after all - Cheers


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