Spitfire Mk. IXe, 107th Tayeset, Ramat David Air Bases, 1954
September 1948, the War of Independence was in full swing and a burning issue was on the agenda - the young IAF was at a significant disadvantage in relation to its enemies. The IAF consisted mainly of Avia S-199 Messerschmitt aircraft which were purchased from Czechoslovakia, but they were small in numbers and quite damaged, so the IAF had to procure additional, higher quality aircraft. At the time, the most suitable and available aircraft was the Spitfire. In the midst of an American arms embargo and difficulty cooperating with other countries, during the war's second temporary cease fire, a deal was signed with Czechoslovakia, which outlined the purchase of 50 Spitfires which were left by the USAF in Czechoslovakia for 2,3000 dollars for each aircraft.
Besides Czechoslovakia; Israel secured some Spitfires from Italy as well. Among these was a Spitfire that was serialled 2079. The original number is unknown. In the Israeli Air Force, it served with No. 107 Squadron and eventually sold to Burma where it flew with the number UB448. The blue striped rudder anf spinner were markings specific to the 107th Tajeset. The unit emblem was typically sprayed on the port side of the cowl and is documented in two forms, with a blue winged shield and without. Because there are no known left side photographs of 2079 available, both are being offered in this kit.
2. The Kit
The kit in the Limited edition Velveta/Spitfire for Israel in 1/48 scale is focused on Spitfire Mk.IXe flown by Israeli Air Force in the late 1940‘s and 1950‘s. Eduard combines plastic and colour photo-etched parts in their ProfiPACK, delivering a very high level of detail straight from the box. The cockpit benefits most from the photo-etch with a nice multi-layered instrument panel, coloured harness straps and scale-thickness pilot's armour.
3. Cockpit and Seat
I availed myself of some photos and drawings of the interior of the Spitfire Mk.IXe, so that I could update the kit in this area. The instrument panel is very good ,but I opted to use the photo-etched example from the Eduard set. I Also added cables made from wire of different thickness, and sidewall detail and control levers from plasticard. All of the interior was painted light green; I prefer using acrylics, and therefore used Mr. Hobby H50 . After painting the inside, I glued the reflector gunsight in position ,having first added the‘glass’ element from this acetate sheet. The Kit-supplied pilot’s seat was used, with the addition of etched seat belts from the Eduard set.
The fuselage is accurate, with recessed panel lines and the plastic is easy to work. After assembling and painting the inner parts, you have to insert the exhaust pipes and glue them in place. The fit of the two fuselage halves is good, but you will have to rescribe some panel lines that are removed during sanding etc.
5. Wing and Tailplane
The wing look good, so I just secured them to the fuselage. This operation proved straightforward, as the join was extremely good.
After assembling the model I installed the canopy. This was masked with paper, then painted. This painting included the frame of the internal armoured windscreen. When the canopy is finished it can be positioned and secured with cement.
The Eduard BRASSIN Item No. 648 112 Spitfire Mk.IX engine, It’s perfectly cast, highly detailed and well fitting resin parts; comprehensive instructions. Contains almost everything you need to create a beautiful miniature Merlin 60-series engine. The Brassin Spitfire Mk.IX engine set offers comparable levels of finesse, and will give the front end of your Eduard Spitfire a very different look to an out-of-the-box build.
Here I will detail a couple of the techniques I employed. The first task is to smooth the surface of the kit using wet abrasive paper of different grades until you get to 800. After having prepared the surface the model is primed. I painted my model using acrylic Flat black Mr. Hobby H12 thinned with alcohol.
This is the sequence of the surfaces that I painted.
A. Clean the whole with alcohol
B. Flat black Mr. Hobby H12
C. All the final surface with AK aluminum metal
D. Final semi-gloss with Johnson's Pledge Revive it - floor glass
8. Landing Gears and Wheels
The undercarriage looks good, but still needs some detailing work like adding some wire to simulate the brake cables on each oleo. The wheels are too are good too. I replaced the wheels with the Eduard brassin resin.
9. Spinner and Propeller
The shape of the propeller is beautiful. The prop blades had their tips painted yellow, which, when dry, were masked prior to spraying the blades Flat black Mr. Hobby H12. After this can paint the model and stick the propeller into the propeller-hub.
The decals of the kit are excellent, I have passed a layer of transparent acrylic paint of semi-gloss with Johnson's Pledge Revive it.
The wear of the model can certainly not be carried out randomly, especially in the case of the Spitfire Mk.IX , which must respond to a precise logic. Let's see how: first of all we need to highlight the paneling lines. There are different techniques for this purpose: Personally, I use dry brush strokes with aluminum-colored powders in various shades and acrylic and oil colors for soft effects.To complete the work it is necessary to pass a coat of semi-gloss with Johnson's Pledge Revive it - floor glass transparent on the whole model.
* Illustrated Guide to the Israeli Air Force [Bill Gunston]
* Squadron Signal – No. 39