Skip to content

Build Report: Academy 1/48 Spitfire Mk. XIVc

News flash: I built another Spitfire. 🙂

If you know me, that won’t come as any surprise. I love Spitfires. Since getting back into modeling 5 years ago, I’ve built 80 plus models. And one-third of those have been Spitfires.

I picked up this Spitfire last summer at a model show, and it caught my eye a few weeks back as I looked over the stash for my next project. My favorite Spitfire is the Mk. IX, but I’ve not built many of the Griffon engined versions, so I thought I’d get started on this one.

The cockpit is pretty good by OOB standards. It does a good job of representing the major bits of a Spitfire office- the throttle quadrant, the gear lever, the major boxes and so forth. The “bottomless” floor is modeled nicely for the scale, and seat looks pretty good. If you’re an aftermarket part aficionado (how’s that for a $64 word?:)) you’l probably jazz it up with some additional parts. For an OOB builder like myself, it’s just right.

The fit of the fuselage presented no problems. It was not Tamiya fit, but then again, what is, other than Tamiya? Tamiya Extra Thin cement closed things up nicely, and simply sanding things down provided good results. I did use a little Mr. Surfacer on the cowl, as that is so visible a place for seams on a Spitfire. (But then again, I did the same thing on Tamiya’s Mk. I, now that I think of it.) Fit of the wings was pretty much perfect, any small gaps being closed up by stretching a piece of masking tap from wingtip to wingtip to set the dihedral.

The tailplanes fit into place with no fuss, and the landing gear seated nicely. The radiators looked the part. I know many folks analyze the Griffon engined marks to death when it comes to the underwing radiators. I looked at them and thought “yep, they look bigger and chunkier” and I was satisfied with it. (I’ve found modeling to be much more enjoyable when I quit worrying about accuracy….:) Not to say these aren’t accurate, as they look pretty good to me. Just saying….)

I didn’t use the decals that came with the kit, as I’ve never been impressed with Academy decals. Plus, the decals had invasion striping as part of the national markings, and I prefer to paint invasion stripes. I find doing so much simpler than wrestling with decals. Seeing as I have about a gazillion sets of Spitfire decals, it was not a problem. I used Eagle Strike’s “The Last of the Legend: late Spitfires, Pt. II” (set number 48161), and did a fairly standard ocean gray/dark green over sea gray scheme.

Normally I mask the camo off, but I decided to try out my Badger Renegade Velocity that Ken Schlotfeldt at Badger Airbrush sent to me. I’ll be doing a full review of the airbrush later, but suffice to say it is fabulous for fine line work. Though the Badger Patriot is my standard choice for most things, freehanding a 1/48 camo scheme is made much simpler with an airbrush that handles very fine lines with a minimum of overspray. And the Renegade Velocity does a line so fine I needed my reading glasses to really see it. (And I’m not exaggerating…)

I decided to skip any weathering, and simply finished the kit off with a panel line wash of artists oils and then smothered it all in a flat coat.

This was a very satisfying build, and I highly recommend this kit. No fuss, lots of fun, and you end up with a big nosed, big tailed, beefy looking late Spitfire. What’s not to love?