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In-Box Review
172
Spitfire IX decals
Supermarine Spitfire Mk.IX decal set
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by: Mecenas [ MECENAS ]


Originally published on:
AeroScale

Spitfire Mk.IX

It is almost impossible to find a man in the civilised world, especially amongst modellers, who has never heard about the Spitfire. This airplane is one of the symbols of the air war, standing in a line with the P-51 Mustang or the Messerschmitt Bf-109. Many of us, the enthusiasts, strongly believes that the Spitfire was the best fighter in the Second World War, other thinks is was the most beautiful. I am almost sure that many kids, especially in the UK, have even fought with fists arguing which fighter is better: Spitfire or Mustang lol. Well, I fought at least once...as everybody knows that Spitfire is better. OK, let's get a bit more serious. Spitfire served the pilots well through the war, right from the first to the last day on probably every battlefront, being produced in many versions and used by the pilots from many countries fighting in the RAF. Having all this in mind the Spitfire became also one of the most popular topics for the scale model kit producers. Although there are few painting schemes to choose from in each kit, there are still plenty of great marking or machines of top scoring aces to be made. Here the decal producers arrive with a helping hand.

The decals

This time Techmod from Poland has provided us a good looking sheet of the Mk.IX schemes. The set 72057A gives us a chance to fully decal one of the three machines. These machines are:
LF.IX – NH342, SZ-G, an individual machine of the W/Cdr Aleksander Gabszewicz in summer-autumn of 1944.
F.IX – EN526, SZ-G, an individual machine of the W/Cdr Aleksander Gabszewicz in summer 1943
LF.IX – MJ250, UF-Q, described as 601 Squadron RAF “County of London”, Italy, summer 1944

In the set we can find all the individual markings for each plane (code letters, serials, squadron badges, Polish chequerboards etc), a set of roundels, fin flashes and stencils to fully decal one model. There is also a “sky” coloured band for the fuselage and red patches for the .303 machine guns. Techmod has kindly given us the painting masks for the canopy and leading edges of the wings (originally painted in yellow). In my opinion Techmod has made a great improvement in production quality in comparison to the sets from two or three years ago which I got (or used).
Carrier film is very thin and delicate, sometimes it is even hard to feel on the paper under a finger. Colours are nicely saturated, none of them is misaligned or overlapping. Even the smallest stencils are fully readable, although with some effort to the eyes.

Instructions

The set contains also a very nicely printed in full colour instruction sheet. Planes of Aleksander Gabszewicz are shown in four sides view. The British UF-Q is shown as well, except the lower surfaces. There are also schemes which shows the placement of the stencils and other markings common for each version, including propeller blades and the internal side of the cockpit door.
Required colours for painting are given only as a Federal Standard (FS) numbers, there is no reference to the popular paint brands dedicated for modellers. All descriptions in the instruction are bilingual: Polish and English.
Now a bit of bitterness. I have found some imprecision's in the drawings of the Spitfire EN526. My private investigations of this machine history led me to the conclusion that it was equipped with the early style elevator and short carburetor intake. The painting scheme shows the late style elevator and late (long) intake. The original plane was painted with the exceptionally light shade of the “Ocean Gray”, much lighter than usual. Existing pictures of the plane shows that clearly, especially for the fuselage. It is also mentioned in the publications of Wojtek Matusiak, a well known Spitfire authority. Please keep this in mind while building your model. I haven't found any other mistakes in the schemes or especially on the decals. The known pictures of the NH342 shows this plane as a rather dirty and battle weary with the roughly painted D-day stripes on the lower and side fuselage surfaces. It is shown in the instruction that the stripes were not very straight nor painted with the masks. It may be a good opportunity to practice the weathering and post-shading techniques.
As an interesting piece of news few words about UF-Q. This scheme can be used while building one of two different versions of the Spitfire. How come? One of them, shown in the instruction, was used during the war in 601 squadron. The machine was flown by the Flt Lt Desmond Ibbotson DFC and was based in the Southern Italy. The second one still exists till the present day and is still airworthy in the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight (BBMF). It was originally MK356 but since 2008 it is presented as MJ250 (according to the Imperial War Museum website). To build this plane in the current state we have to change the C wings for the E type in the model.

Special thanks to Techmod for providing the review sample.
Please remember, when contacting retailers or manufacturers, to mention that you saw their products highlighted here - on Aeroscale.
SUMMARY
Highs: Complete set of all the necessary markings and stencils. Includes the useful painting masks. Good quality.
Lows: Imprecision's in the drawings which may be misleading for some modelers.
Verdict: Good set of decals in a very reasonable price. Interesting choice of the original planes which are reproduced in the set.
Percentage Rating
90%
  Scale: 1:72
  Mfg. ID: 72057A
  Suggested Retail: 21PLN
  Related Link: 
  PUBLISHED: May 27, 2011
  NATIONALITY: United Kingdom
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 89.66%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 88.50%

Our Thanks to TechMod!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

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About Mecenas
FROM: KATOWICE, POLAND

Copyright ©2018 text by Mecenas [ MECENAS ]. All rights reserved.



Comments

A small addition to the review. I'm sorry but I have missed a detail while writing the review. If you would like to build a model of the BBMF "UF-Q" Spitfire you will also need the late style rudder in addition to the E-type wing.
JUN 02, 2011 - 12:42 AM
Techmod have undoubtedly used Wojtek Matusiak’s Spitfire IX and XVI of Polish Airmen as the source for these three Spitfires. MJ250 finds itself included as it was flown by two Polish pilots in Italy during the summer of 1944. EN256 and NH342 are two of the seven or eight Spitfires that Gabszewicz flew successively as both Wing Commander (EN256) and Group Captain (NH342) all coded SZ*G, the codes he used as CO of 316 Squadron. Unfortunately Techmod mixed them up in the diagrams. EN256 should carry the markings of NH342 and vice versa. Also EN256 was fitted with narrow, single drum, cannon blisters on the top of the wings. BoBMF Spitfire MK356 was painted as EN256 last year but BoBMF aircraft always retain their own serial number and so a model of it should have the serial number MK356 not EN250. Techmod decals tear easily. I was given some advice a few years ago by a Polish modeller that I have found works very well. Instead of soaking the decal in water wet the back of the paper with a paint brush. Wait until the decal comes loose by itself. Sometimes a small area of the decal will still be sticking to the paper. Do not push it as this will surely cause it to tear. Wait until it comes loose by itself. Add more water if necessary. When it will slide about with the slightest touch of a paint brush it can be transferred to the model. Make sure there is plenty of water under it when you move it about. Otherwise the decal will stick firmly to the surface and tear when you push. If it will not slide about with the slightest push add more water.
JUN 02, 2011 - 08:42 AM
Many thanks Antoni for you comment and usefull information but I can't agree in everything with you according to the EN526. I made some research of this machine, especially in the Wojtek Matusiak publications: "Spitfire IX-XVI of the Polish Airman" and the latest "Polish Wings 13". Together with fellow modelers from Poland we concluded it was produced in the first series of Mk.IX so it shoud have many "old" characteristics. General look of the plane and its markings is ok. Techmod has made two mistakes but only in the instruction sheet: late style stabilisers and late carburator intake. EN526 had an early style "wide" gun blisters (per analogy to the other machines with the close serial numbers, eg.EN459). The cammo scheme of EN526 also looks ok. I'm not so sure about the NH342 as I didn't investigate this plane very much. If you give me 2-3 days I'll check my refferences.
JUN 02, 2011 - 11:32 PM
I don't think you have understood what I wrote. EN526 was a Rolls Royce conversion of a MK V with short air filter and early type elevators There is no dispute about this, they can be seen in photographs. NH342 was a CBAF built LF.IX with long Aero-Vee filter. So The drawing of EN526 is really NH342 and the drawing of NH342 is really EN526. The mistake Techmod have made is to put the wrong markings on the drawings. This includes the camouflage patterns which are correct for the serial number but not the drawing. Transfer the camouflage pattern and the markings to the other drawing in each case and everything will be correctct. As to the cannon blisters I refer you to Polish Wings 13 page 46 no 97.
JUN 03, 2011 - 08:26 AM
It is not easy in the mess of the serial numbers from your post: EN256, EN250, EN526... it makes the difference. Yap, that's a good point. It is absolutely new to me. I thought that if EN459 had a wide blisters so EN526 had the same (same contract, same producer). Picture and information about EN527 from the Polish Wings13 proves that it was wrong conclusion.
JUN 06, 2011 - 06:56 PM
thanks for the review. I wasn't aware of this sheet ..and have now got my order placed..
JUN 10, 2011 - 01:02 AM
My pleasure Neil. I'm waiting for your feedback when you recieve these decals.
JUN 10, 2011 - 01:37 AM
   

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