Earning your Stripes: 1/48th Italeri Spitfire Mk. IX
Italeri's 1/48th Spitfire IX kit release in 2006 is actually a re-release of Ocidental Réplicas (1999) Spitfire plastic. Like any Spitfire kit it was subject to much scrutiny and the critics had their say on this one (although overall it is not too bad). Most of the shape oddities seem to be on the nose.
Notable Kit Features:
Basic cockpit detail
Finely scribed panel lines with good surface details
E-Wing (standard) with C-wing optional wing bulges provided
Optional canopies provided
Fairly simple construction
Relative low cost
I have a few Canadian Aces aircraft in my collection, however Wally McLeod (DSO, DFC and Bar) was missing from it and his RCAF 443 Squadron aircraft was a great looking one to add. I chose to depict his aircraft as it appeared around the time of the Normandy landings complete with full D-Day stripes, as few of my Spitfires have this paint feature. Born 17 December 1915 in Regina,Saskatchewan, Wally McLeod was commissioned 1 April 1941. He served in the UK, Malta and Canada before given command of 443 Squadron in February 1944. One of the top scoring aces in the RCAF, McLeod was unfortunately killed in action on 27 September 1944.
Sprue gates are a bit heavy so be careful removing parts
Cockpit detail is basic and the rear bulkhead to floor join is weak
The nose has a few not quite right shapes to it (but not horrible)
Engine area has a see through area below the exhausts
One of my exhaust pipes suffered from a short-shot and had to be replaced
Poor fit on the tail planes (required sanding and filling)
Very poor fit on wingtips - tips are thicker in chord requiring much sanding /filling and loss of detail
Tires have large raised "Dunlop" on sides which I removed as it was way out o scale
Spinner shape is suspect
Kit Additions / Modifications:
Added seatbelts (Decal seatbelts provided in kit)
I inserted a piece of plastic in the exhaust area to prevent see through below exhausts
Used 3rd party decals from EagleCal (EC115)
The model was given a primer in an aluminum base in order to check for surface areas for acceptable join areas and to later show paint wear down to the metal. Admittedly it is pretty subtle on this example. I then finished my 1/48th Italeri Spitfire Mk. IX in the standard later war Dark Green / Ocean Gray over Medium Sea Gray camouflage. This aircraft also had its "Sky" tail band and spinner. Most noticeably this aircraft sports full D-Day stripes as it was to represent an aircraft flown on June 6th 1944. My standard Pledge (floor finish) gloss coat was applied over the paint to prepare for decal application, followed by a dark wash to highlight the panel lines and control surfaces. To top it off I used a Model Master dull coat to seal everything in and matt it down.
The After-Build Report:
I wouldn't recommend this 1/48th Italeri Spitfire Mk. IX kit, unless you are looking for a budget build and the price is right. Now that the 1/48th Eduard Spitfires have arrived, they are clearly the better choice for a Spitfire IX build, if you can afford the extra spend.
Completed build #261 - June 2023 using the 1/48th scale Italeri #2651 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