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Eduard 1/144 Spitfire Mk.IXe Dual Combo

Kit:4428 // Scale:1/144 // Price:$19.95
Eduard, 420-47-611-8259
Scale fidelity; great fit; distinctive wings captured; canopy masks
No interior; no indication you can only make one each of long- and short-wing version
Injection-molded, 38 parts, decals

Everyone looks forward to a new Spitfire kit. Finally, those modelers who carry tiny tweezers have a brand-new, jewel-like release to drool over. With the release of a dual-kit Spitfire Mk. IXe, Eduard has made a tiny addition to its 1/144 scale series that will go over big with modelers worldwide.

As is its normal trend now, Eduard has boxed sprues for two complete Spitfires, along with a decal sheet catering to the six available options and a small — very small — sheet of canopy and wheel masks.

Be aware that even though you can build two full Spitfires with this kit, you are restricted to one long-wing and one short-wing version; there are no duplicate wing moldings. Another version limitation is that the kit only has the “pointy” rudder; no provision for the earlier, rounded rudder. Not to worry — you have three decal options for each wing type.

Construction is almost embarrassingly quick — each Spitfire only has 20 parts. Those who worry about painting tiny cockpit parts in this scale needn’t fret — there are none. Eduard has chosen to mold a recess inside the fuselage halves to accommodate a prepainted photoetched-metal set (sold separately). Nevertheless, once the interior is painted black and the model assembled, it isn’t very obvious that the interior is missing.

The instructions have reversed the part numbers for the horizontal stabilizers, but the parts are keyed and impossible to install on the wrong side. Both wings are molded with the trademark Spitfire “gull” effect under the wing root and fit great — no putty needed here; just a bit of sanding. Be very careful as you handle these kits — the cannon, antenna mast, and tail wheel are exceptionally vulnerable. I should know: One of my two Spits incurred Class A damage — twice!

The prop and landing gear fit well, but you’ll want to make sure the gear legs fit all the way into their slots in the wing. Eduard has molded the correct rake and angle to the mounting tab, aiding alignment. Having sent one set of exhausts on a tweezer-induced vacation, I substituted a spare set from another kit — these parts are tiny! (You’d think I would’ve learned.) I installed the canopy last. The fit is perfect, the parts crystal clear. You can keep them that way by using the included canopy masks, which are strangely absent from the instructions.

Most of the time I spent on these kits was in painting. Masking camouflage in this scale is challenging, but worth it. I used Testors RAF colors and many tiny pieces of tape for all the painting. The decals bed down nicely with a quick dip of setting solution over a clear coat.

I spent 11 hours total on my Spitfires, mostly for painting. Their scale measurements are dead-on; the propellers look a little chunky but, overall, scale appearance is excellent. The photoetched-metal interior would be a nice improvement, but the models look pretty good anyway. If this is how Eduard wants to treat modelers in 1/144 scale, I’m all for it!

Note: A version of this review appeared in the April 2013 FineScale Modeler.


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