If you’re not familiar with me and Spitfires, let me do a brief catch-up for you- I’m a Spitfire nut. 🙂 I love to build them, read about them and research them. But I’m no rivet counter when it comes to Spitfires. I’ve never met a Spitfire kit I didn’t like. Inverted gull, extroverted gull, 3 scale millimeters short or tall, I just have fun building them all. (And I rhymed that too! Woo-hoo!)
Agape forum member and brother in Christ Ken Judt (icekj) had sent me some photo recon decals from Rising Decals, and the set included markings for one of the “pink” Spitfires. I checked the stash and found Hasagawa’s Mk. IXc version of my favorite aircraft, and decided to add some pastel coloring to my shelf of 1/72 Spitfires.
The kit itself is excellent. The quality of the parts casting is very nice. The detail is sharp, with very fine recessed panel lines. Fit of the kit was very good, the only filler being at the aft wing/fuselage join. (It seems nearly every Spitfire kit I’ve built needs some care in this area, but generally a simple sheet styrene shim does the trick.)
The kit offers many possibilities. Even though the box was marked “IXc”, the parts are included for the Mk. VIII also, of you know which ones to uses. So it’s a great bargain. I’d actually built one of these before, finishing it as a Mk. VIII. (See A Tale of Two Spitfires.)
Spitfire purists would probably nitpick the cockpit, as it’s a “simplified” version that’s not quite accurate. However, it goes together easy, and under the canopy, well…. you see a seat and a stick…. so much for rivet counting. 😀 There’s nothing wrong with accuracy, of course. I just never saw a reason to let lack of accuracy get in the way of my fun!
The build is itself is pleasant and straightforward. Good fit, logical parts placement. Little in the way of gaps to fill. A good bead of Tamiya Extra Thin Cement, smush the parts together (that’s a technical term), and use a knife edge to remove the smushiness. (Another technical term.)
The only modification I made was to drill in a hole for the camera in the port side. I used a 1/4″ drill bit, filling the hole with a piece of clear plastic punched out with my handy punch set.
The “pink Spitfire” had actually already been in use for a while. The pink color scheme was intended to hide the aircraft as it flew on recon missions at the base of the cloud cover at dusk. The theory being that the color would blend in very well, allowing the pilot to get in, take a few photos, and get back out.
Around the time of D-Day, several Mk. IXs were painted in this pink color. I’ve only seen one color photo of these aircraft in the pink scheme, and it was after I’d finished this build. But I must say my guess was not too bad. My research (which actually amounted to reading a paragraph in a Spitfire reference…. so I don’t know if that qualifies as “research”) said that it was basically white, with just a touch of red.
I had some Tamiya white, but no Tamiya red. And I had some Pollyscale red, but no Pollyscale white. So I searched about through the mass of paint bottles I have, and came up with red and white from the same maker- the Testors acrylic paint in the little square bottle. I poured about a tablespoon of white into a little mixing cup, and added a single drop of red. After a thorough mixing, i thought it needed a bit more, so I added one more drop of red. With a little more mixing, I decided it was “close enough for government work”. I thinned it down with Future, and sprayed away. Once the pink had dried sufficiently, I painted on the invasion stripes.
The decals went on generally well, though I ham-fisted the red “X” that I had intended to use, and had to go with white “V”. And there’s not much in the way of markings…. upper wing roundels, fuselage roundels, a fin flash and the serial. I don’t know if the actual aircraft had all the stenciling…. I never bother with those anyway. Life is too short for stencils! 🙂
I think I may have overdone the weathering…. I didn’t start out to have it this weathered, but it ended up that way. I guess it may help it out though, as it sits on the shelf with all the other Spitfires…. it’s gotta be tough being a pink Spitfire. I guess you have to at least look like you’ve been out in the mud a bit. 🙂