This isn’t the first Italeri Spitfire Mk. IX I’ve built. In fact, it’s the fourth. The kit, which is actually the old Occidental kit, is not really the best shaped, or the best fitting, or the best detailed. So why have I built so many of them? Simple- it can be found for cheap, it’s not a fiddly or difficult build, and when it’s done, it looks like a Spitfire to all but the most “boffiny” of Spitfire boffins.
I think the biggest criticism I’ve seen leveled at the kit regards the shape of the forward cowling, and the spinner. The criticism is not unwarranted. It does look a bit pinched, even to my eye, which is generous regarding such things.
Still, the build provides no trouble, and except for a little filler in places where the wing joins the fuselage, the fit essentially falls together.
While the kit’s cockpit is reasonably detailed, for this build I used a resin replacement from True Details. (TD48487) It’s a nice replacement set, and fit well with just a little sanding to get things in. For markings, I used “Spitfire- Aces of the Empire” by Victory Productions. This is an amazing set of very high quality decals, covering 41 marking options. And it’s only $29.95! (Get this sheet…. trust me….)
For this build I chose George Beurling’s markings that he flew with 403 Squadron RCAF after he’d left Malta. I thought it was an interesting choice, as you don’t hear much of him after Malta, and I thought the long string of victory markings looked quite good on the Spitfire’s cowling.
Paints are Tamiya- XF-81,82 and 83. Perfect for any ETO Spitfire. I did some light weathering with the airbrush and artist’s oils, but on this build I decided not to get too carried away.
While certainly not the most accurate in shape, this is by far one of my favorite Spitfire kits to build. If you can find them for a bargain price, I highly recommend them. The “American Aces” boxing is especially good, as it has 5 marking options of US flown Spitfires, and the decals are from Cartograph. Worth getting for the decals alone!