Spitfire mk IXc Early Eduard  1/48

first look review by Darko Mladenovic

photo source Imperial War Museum http://www.iwm.org.uk/
Background

During the September 1941 new Luftwaffe fighter appeared over the skies of Europe and caused severe losses to RAF that rose so rapidly that RAF was forced to cease all daytime operations over the Western Europe. The new fighter was recognized as Focke-wulf FW-190. RAF first response was to create new fighter Spitfire mk VIII to try to match the new Luftwaffe warbird, but the design changes were to complex so the initiating production was not possible. British soon came with the idea to equip Spitfire mk Vc airframe with new powerful Merlin 61 engine and the legend about Spitfire mk IX was born… Series production started in June 1942 and the first squadron equipped with the new fighter was 64 sqn in July the same year. Many early mk IXs were converted from mk Vcs and can be identified by the C type wing with large double blisters over the inner cannon bays and the light on the fuselage spine just behind the aerial mast. Early mk IX retained smaller elevator which was changed on later samples. More about the differences between mk IX subtypes can be found on http://spitfiresite.com/2010/04/spitfire-mk-ix-xi-and-xvi-variants-much-varied.html

Spitfire mk IXc Early Eduard profipack cat no 8282

Although Spitfire mk IX was a true legend among the Spitfire’s different types, and has been second most produced Spitfire type it was not particularly popular subject among kit manufacturers in 1/48 scale. Modellers could choose between Ocidental (Italeri), ICM (recently re-boxed by Revell), Hasegawa (Revell) and Airfix. Each one of these kits had its flaws regarding accuracy, over engineering kit parts, fitting issues etc. If I had to rate those kits, personal favorites were Hasegawa and Ocidental followed by ICM and I won’t even bother to comment my greatest disappointment Airfix. I was waiting announced Eduard kit with small concerns, but once it was released last year all concerns went away and finally we have a great Spitfire mk IX kit in 1/48 scale to build and really enjoy during the process.

New Eduard profipack 8282 kit Spitfire mk IXc Early comes packed in a top opening hard box with exceptional box art designed by very talented Eduard artist Katerina Borecka of Stanislav Skalski Spitfire mk IXc from Polish sqn. Although packed in a box same size as Messerschmitt Bf-110 in 1/48 scale, Spitfire kit is nothing alike. 207 parts are spread across 5 solid sprues and one clear sprue all separately bagged to avoid possible scratching, you’ll also find a pre-painted etched fret with one of Eduard’s excellent multilayer instrument panels, a large colorful decal sheet printed by Cartograf, small decal sheet with stencils printed by Eduard, a small sheet of canopy masks and Eduard’s usual clear and concise instruction booklet.

Quality of the molding is exceptional, panel lines are crisp and clean, followed with beautiful subtle rivet details, very nice fasteners, there are no visible pin marks or flash. Engineering of the kit was preformed very clever, parts are very thoughtfully distributed over the sprues in such manner that simple replacing sprues makes possible to produce other versions of Spitfire, and I must say that I am hoping that Eduard will continue releasing Spitfire family.   The main difference between previously released Eduard mk IXc and early version is that in this box Eduard supplies two types of wings late and very early C wing.

Early C wing differs from the standard C wing as it has the large cannon blisters to allow fitment of two Hispano cannons which Eduard really reproduced right.

All other details on wings are really great, very well represented and I have absolutely no remarks on their quality.

Fuselage section has some very interesting details that again, Eduard captured very nicely.

Note the beautifully represented fasteners on cowling.

The wingtips are correctly molded with flat under surfaces and curved upper, as are the ailerons which are separate so you can pose them as if in flight. Posing the elevators into a more dynamic position should be easy on this kit as well as the rudder.

Cockpit is very well detailed, part of the cockpit structure is molded on inner sides of the fuselage halves, but most of the parts are provided as separate, and again Eduard caught the basic Spitfire mk IX cockpit extremely well.

Quality of plastic parts used for cockpit is excellent and features very well detailed instrument panel, exceptional control stick, very nice cockpit floor beautiful seat…

Plastic radiator grills are outstanding, very accurate and although I was wondering why Eduard made radiators a bit complicated (each has six parts) I stopped wondering the minute I tried to assemble them, they fit perfectly !

Landing gear wells are highly detailed as well as the rest of the undercarriage. Eduard provided two types of tires and two types of wheels, both looking very very nice.

More than pleasant surprise for me was probably the best exhaust I have ever seen in plastic, with hollow pipes and exceptional welds details on them. Bravo for Eduard !!!

Rotol type propeller and appropriate spinner are also represented very well.

Cannons are another surprise for me, they look so good that with just minor work will turn them in almost better than currently available aftermarket cannons for Spitfire C wing.

Eduard’s Spitfire mk IX kit comes packed with one small photo etched fret, concentrating mostly on improving the cockpit, with only few exterior parts like solid wheel covers and intake mash. All parts are what we are use to from Eduard, exceptional and will be usable once the assembly starts.

Standard equipment for all Eduard Profipack kits is very usable masks for precise painting canopy frames and they are included for both types of canopies provided in this kit.

Clear parts sprue containing 14 parts is exceptionally molded like the rest of the kit. Beside options for opened or closed canopy this sprue contain more details like gun sight, clipped wings tips, lights etc. Clear parts are very transparent and thin adequately for the scale. 

Eduard instruction sheets are printed on 16 A4 size pages with color references for Gunze colors. Instructions can be downloaded on  Eduard’s page from following link

Decals are provided on two sheets one for individual markings and one for stencils, they are nice and thin and printed in perfect register. Marking options  provided in this box are:
   A. EN315, Flown by S/Ldr. Stanislav Skalski, Polish Combat Team, Northern Africa, Spring 1943
   B. EN568, Flown by W/Cdr. Alan C. Deere, CO of Biggin Hill Wing, Biggin Hill Air Base, June, 1943
   C. EN133, No. 611 Squadron, Biggin Hill, Early 1943
   D. EN354, flown by 1st Lt. Leonard V. Helton, 52nd FG, 4th FS, La Sebala Airfield, Tunisia, June, 1943
   E. BS392, Flown by S/Ldr. Bernard Dupérier, CO of No. 340 Squadron, Biggin Hill Airbase, Autumn 1942

Service information (stencils) are provided on separate decal sheet printed by Eduard,very well printed, thin in good register and very usable. Stencil placing guide is clear and concise.

This kit is supported by a wide range of Eduard Brassin, photo-etched and decal accessories.
It is very difficult to be objective, once when you have in hands kit like this. Eduard Spitfire mk IX is a truly remarkable piece of work, designed and developed with such a precision and devotion to every single detail on the true Spitfire in a manner that is truly modeller friendly.  Without doubt on my mind I can truly say that this is the best Spitfire kit in 1/48 scale I have seen in my life so far. Thank you Eduard for creating this work of art.

 
My highest recommendations for this kit!!!

Full build review can be seen here on inscale  so join us.

 

Review by Darko Mladenovic
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Eduard
Special thanks to Eduard for the sample kit.
You can purchase this kit directly here

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