Ginger Spitfire: 1/48th Hobbycraft Spitfire XIV
This kit was released in the early 90s when there weren't a lot of late Griffon engine Spitfire offerings out there. Like many of the Hobbycraft models, this kit is not great on detail, nor perfectly shaped, however it is inexpensive and a decent kit for a quick build. I came across this 1/48th Spitfire kit at my local retailer and picked it up to give it a whirl thinking I would do an RCAF example.
Notable Kit Features:
Few parts (good for beginner or quick build)
Decent shape outline
Engraved panel lines
As I said, I had originally intended this as an RCAF aircraft build however after reading a book on RAF ace James 'Ginger' Lacey, that build would have to wait. Incredibly Lacey was one of "The Few", (establishing himself as an Ace while serving during the Battle of Britain) and was a rare example of someone who served in the RAF on both the first and final day of the war. He survived nine crash landings and came into fame September 1940 after shooting down a Luftwaffe He111 of Kampfgeschwader 55 that had just bombed Buckingham Palace.
Simplified cockpit (actually simplified kit overall)
Thick one-piece cockpit glass (and not particularly well fitting)
Engraved panel lines are a bit heavy
Shape is reportedly not the best however it may be decent enough if you are not a "Rivet Counter" (not that there is anything wrong with that)
Kit Additions / Modifications:
Aftermarket vacu-form canopy was used to replace thick and not very clear kit example
Seatbelts made from painted masking tape strips were added
Third-party decals were used
The paint scheme on this aircraft is the standard late war RAF Dark Green / Ocean Gray over Medium Sea Gray. SEAC (South East Asia Command) stripes were painted white, while the fuselage band was painted in the original "Sky"(Only in Britain can this colour be referred to as sky.) The original large upper wing roundels were shown as over-painted in dark green so I painted these on as well in a slightly different tone of Dark Green.
The After-Build Report:
The Hobbycraft kit is not a bad kit, however I would now option for the newer 1/48th Academy kit... at least until we have an updated Mk. XIV Spitfire version by Eduard or Airfix.
Completed build #62 - September 2003 using the 1/48th scale Hobbycraft #1537 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 suppose to be an enjoyable hobby after all - Cheers