This is the Airfix Supermarine Spitfire Mk XII kit cross-kitted with the spare wings from their Seafire Mk XVII kit, plus some addition items. The build took me about 9 years to complete as it sat on my ‘shelf of doom’ for much of that time.
The final finished build shown in the photographs represents a Supermarine Seafire Mk XV, serial PR479, “L”, of 803 Squadron on board HMCS Warrior during November 1947.
In the photographs – and it’s not meant to be a diorama, just a bit of scene dressing – the truck is the Airfix 1/76 AEC tanker, there’s a 1/48 scale Airfix trolley acc. chocks, and in the distance is 1/300 scale Bedford trucks and Dodge weapons carrier. There’;s also an scratch-built RNAS Mainhill hangar made from card in the same 1/300th scale. The back scene is a photo I took on the way home from work last year, in 2019 – just south of the Thames at Lechlade – and printed on 3 sheets of A4/letter paper (I photoshop’d out the seam lines). And the whole lot is plonked on a war hammer play mat and bit card to represent the hardstanding/pan.
Additional items used in this build:
- Cloned parts (cast by me) from the Airfix Seafire Mk XVII kit:
- Large rudder
- Large oil cooler/radiator tub
- Carburettor intake
- Use of the spare tail hook from the MK XVII kit.
- Modifications needed:
- Clipped wheel covers.
- Fuselage strengthening strips – longerons – added to the fuselage sides
- Lifting/hoist points also added
- Catapult hooks added under the wing either side of the carb intake
- Re-shaped elevator horn balances to later double-cranked style
- Scratch-built tail wheel guard from some micro brass tubing
- Resin exhausts
- Resin block tread wheels
- Decals for the aeroplane are from Model Alliance.
(click on images to enlarge)
Black & White Images
The main mistake made is that I managed to get the Extra Dark Sea Grey and the Dark Slate Grey – the two main camo colours – around the wrong way. I didn’t notice until well after several more layers of vanish and decals. Doh! But, hey, so what? The root issue was that damn Airfix moulded-open hood; where the rear and middle sections are moulded together causing a mental mind puzzle for painting inner and outer surfaces. Anyway, before attaching the hood it was pre-painted to show the external colour on the airframe visible under the centre sliding section. Here’s the rub; I got this right in terms of colour! But covered it up with masking before final painting the rest of the airframe. There was so much time in between steps that I forgot which way around I had the colours – and I failed to read the paint scheme instructions correctly. So now there’s a miss match of camo colour under the hood. More obvious to the naked eye than in the photos.
Overall, that damn hood caused all the problems in the first place – through my own fault I damaged the original and needed to get a replacement, which I then damaged as well! Hence the shelf of doom.
There are other issues, such as, in my view, too much chipping. I did want it to look tired, as if ready for the scrap yard. I even planned to have a flat tyre (but those beautiful Eduard resin wheels were too good to mess with).
I’m now just glad it’s finished.
Here’s build photo showing the dry-fitting of the Seafire XVII wing stubs to the Spitfire Mk XII fuselage. You can also see the added strengthening strips and hoist attachment points that I added.