A few weeks ago I visited my friend and fellow IPMS club member Bob Fisher. I’d been telling him of my search for an AMT P-40E, and he’d made the generous offer to let me have my pick of either AMT’s re-boxing of the Otaki P-40E, or AMT’s own release of it. Having several AMT kits in the stash, I decided on the Otaki based AMT-boxing.
And as modelers are so apt to do, Bob’s generosity did not stop there. He’s a Spitfire nut like myself, and he kindly offered a dandy little kit to go along with the P-40E… Fujimi’s 1/72 Spitfire Mk. XIVe “Spitfires after D-Day”.
Of course I gladly accepted!
I’d not built a Fujimi kit before, so I was excited to experience what that manufacturer offered. And though I’ve never been a fan of the Griffon-engined Spitfires, I’ve found that over time I’ve started to appreciate their long-nosed grace. So I looked forward to getting started on the build.
The cockpit is very simple- seat, floor, stick and instrument panel. Given that the canopy for the kit is a closed-only option, it’s not really a big deal. Once it’s built, all one can really see is the seat. the decking behind the seat is cast as a solid piece, so if you’re more particular about that detail you could certainly open it up. I was simply building this kit for the joy of a build, so I simply painted the closed portion the interior color and left it alone.
The fuselage appears to be cast for both the standard and bubble top version, with my kit having a fuselage insert for the former. The insert is a bit narrow. I sat and stared at it for a few minutes, contemplating potential fixes. I finally decided the simplest was to align the edge of the insert with one side, and take most of the pictures from that side. 🙂 I suppose I could have sawed in in half, added an insert of sheet plastic. But if you’ve read my build reports before, you know I’m pretty much a charge ahead, OOB builder.
So when you see most of the pics are from the left side, you’ll know why. I did toss in some right side ones just for fun.
Other than the spine insert, the fuselage fit was good. The wings mated to the fuselage very well, with just a small amount of gap correction needed at the aft portion of one root, and along the aft undersides. Simple plastic sheet inserts, with lots of Tamiya Extra Thin Cement slopped on sealed these up.
The surface detail on the kit was excellent, with finely recessed but clearly cast detail. Though I’m not one to nit-pick shape, or compare to scale drawings, this kit certainly looked right.
Once the major parts were together, I used Pollyscale paints for the exterior. The undersides were the sea gray variety, and the uppers were ocean gray and dark green. A quick masking of tape and some Tamiya yellow produced the leading edge coloring, and Testors acrylic finished off the black spinner.
The decals were nice, going down well with a bit of Pollyscale decal softener. I chose to finish the kit clean- a seal of fure, some oil wash on the panel lines, and then a flat coat completed the kit.
I must say I thoroughly enjoyed this kit. Though I typically build in 1/48 scale, I enjoy 1/72 scale Spitfires, and this one rates right up there with the Hasegawa Mk. IX I’d built (as a Mk. VIII), which is one of the finest kits I’ve built.
I’d never seen Fujimi’s Mk. XIVe prior to this, and in searching Google for the kit number to refer to in this story (the box and instructions are long gone…), I couldn’t find mention of this boxing. So if you want to build one, you’ll be on your own. Good luck finding one- it’s worth it!
Many thanks to my good friend Bob for his generosity!