The Supermarine Spitfire was manufactured for the entire period of WW2 in many versions. In 1942 a Merlin 61 engine was mounted onto the Spitfire Mk.V and the MkIV came into being. Amongst over variants,the PR Mk.X reconnaissance plane was developed from the Mk.IV. Apart from the standard Photo Recon modifications,such as the removal of armaments,the mounting of a camera onto the fusalage and a fuel tank onto the wing,and increasing the volume of the main tank,a pressurised Lobelle cabin was installed on these Spitfires. Sixteen examples were produced of this version.They flew painted in PRU pink.This colour scheme was designed to help the aircraft blend into sunrise and sunsets. The MkX was used by 541 and 542 Squadrons RAF until the end of WW2 and was gradually replaced by the Spitfire Mk.XIX.
These come as an 8 page booklet.One page being a history of the aircraft,and another showing a diagram of the sprues with part locations and numbers.3 pages are the assembly instructions,while the last 3 are stencil locations and painting/decal details for both 541 and 542 Squadron RAF.
The kit comprises of 39 plastic parts,9 resin parts and is supplied with 2 vacuform canopies. The plastic parts being on 2 sprues and the resin parts in a small plastic bag.The canopies are found in another sealed plastic bag with the decal sheet. The detail is quite good and the panel lines are recessed but would benefit from some rescribing,most noticeably on the underside around the flaps. The moulding is not particularly crisp and most of the parts will require removal of flash. Especially,on my example anyway,part #15,the back plate of the propellor. There are no pins/slots to help with alignment so plenty of dry fitting is recommended beforestarting to glue.The cockpit fits together well but a fair amount of scraping and sanding was neededbefore it would sit correctly between the two fusalage halves,but once it was seated the fusalage fits together nicely and no filling was required. Part #16,the tail wheel mounting plate is a lot bigger than it needs to be and proved impossible to mount successfully so I left it out and filled the area with putty, sanded it smooth and drilled out the hole for mounting the tailwheel. The wings are in 2 top sections and 1 bottom section which on my kit was slightly warped and took an immersion in warm water and an overnight dry fit held together with many elastic bands to conform. After this it went together well although filler was required around the wing roots. The propellor consists of 6 parts which fit together well but care needs to be taken here as one propellor blade is 1mm shorter than the others and needs to be slightly ofset to balance it up with the other 3. The undercarriage also goes together nicely but the struts are slightly short and some scraping was required to get this to sit correctly when fitted.Again,dry fitting is highly recommended. The vacuform canopies are well moulded and very clear but a lot of sanding was required before I managed to get mine to sit nicely in place. The major gripe for me is the fact that no ariel mast is included in the parts list but instructions are given to scratchbuild your own.I modified a part left over from my Airfix 1/72 Mosquito for this. The instructions show to remove the 2 underside camera positions and replace with clear plastic but I left mine as they are.Someone with more experience than myself probably wouldnt find this too difficult. The Spit was preshaded in red and sprayed with Xtracolour PRU Pink.
Decals are provided for both 541 and 542 Sqn RAF with the same aircraft serial number for both. A full set of factory stencils are provided.Unforunately the stencil layout doesnt show positions for stencils "f" and "g". For me,the decals were probably the best part of the model.The register is very good and all of them settled down very snuggly using Microset and Microsol,with no trace of silvering.
This was my first attempt at a limited run kit and was certainly a learning curve.By no stretch of the imagination could this be described as a "shake and bake".There was a large amount of work needed before the majority of the parts were ready for assembly and great care has to be taken to make sure everything lines up and sits in the correct orientation. As long as you are prepared for these short comings though,it builds up into a very nice kit and the end result is certainly worth the effort you have to put into it. Armed with the knowledge learnt during this project I would definately build more of Special Hobbys kits in the future,and a pink Spitfire is certainly an unusual and colourfull addition to anyones collection.
SpecialHobby are a subsidiary of Czech company MPM and produce limited run kits in1/72 and 1/48th.The instructions are dated 11/2002 and to the best of my knowledge this is the only MkX Spitfire available in 1/72 scale.
About Nigel Julian (lampie) FROM: ENGLAND - EAST MIDLANDS, UNITED KINGDOM
Restarted modelling in late 2005 after a break of over 20 years.Built a lot of armour as a teenager but now concentrating on WW2 aircraft.
Some skills are coming straight back to me and Im learning new ones everytime I log on to this site it seems.