Build Report: Hasegawa 1/48 Spitfire Mk. VII

 

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Hasegawa’s Spitfire Mk. VII is very much like their Mk. VI I recently built– take an existing kit, add a few parts, and you have a “new” kit. In this case, the base kit is Hasegawa’s Mk. IX kit.

While much has been written about the shape of fuselage for the Hasegawa’s Mk. IX being incorrect, it doesn’t take away from the fact that it’s a very fun build, and to all but the most boffiny of Spitfire boffins, it looks the part. You decide for yourself of course, but I have built several, and really enjoy them.

The Mk. VII was a high-altitude version of the Spitfire, featuring a pressurized cockpit. While the Mk. VI was based on the earlier Spitfire frames, the Mk. VII had a slightly longer fuselage, and also the two underwing radiators seen on later Spitfire Marks. It did have a sliding canopy, though no cockpit door. Another distinguishing feature was the air intake just below the exhausts on the starboard cowl.

Most Mk. VIIs had the extended wingtips. However, as changing the wingtips was something that could be done at unit maintenance level, not all Mk. VIIs had these. In fact, a common misconception is that the HF and LF designator- for low-altitude and high-altitude, had to do with the wingtips. Rather, these designators referred to the way the engine was designed, for better performance at certain altitudes.

The kit itself is a very pleasent build. It simply goes together- just follow the instructions, add some glue and paint is all that really needs to be done. I did replace the kit seat with an Ultracast resin seat, as I think these are the nicest looking aftermarket seats available.

The paint is Tamiya, XF-81, 82 and 83. NATO Black and Flat white, also from Tamiya, were used on the wingtips. The decals are from BarracudaCals, Spitfire Mk. IX Series Part 1“. They are actually identical to one of the kit decal marking sets, but of much higher quality.

Despite the Eduard Spitfire Mk. IX being available, I still enjoy building the Hasegawa kits. While they aren’t as nicely shaped in some respects as the Eduard kit, they go together well, and look nice when completed. If you have them in your stash, build them with confidence. And if you find one at a bargain- grab it! You’ll enjoy the build.