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Supermarine Spitfire F.IX
Rolls-Royce Conversion


Czech Master Resin, 1/72 scale

 

S u m m a r y

Item No. CMR No. 5175 Supermarine Spitfire F.IX - Rolls-Royce Conversion
Contents and Media: 58 cream coloured resin parts; two parts in black resin; two parts in clear resin; four vac-formed clear canopies; colour photo-etch fret; decals for six aircraft; self-adhesive canopy and wheel masks; five A4 sized double-sided instruction sheets including four build diagrams and paint/decal drawings.
Scale 1/72
Price: USD$70.65 available online from Squadron
from
22.12 available online from Hannants
AUD$54.00 from NKR Models
and specialist hobby outlets worldwide
Review Type: FirstLook
Advantages: Highly detailed inside and out, beautifully cast with fine surface detail; impressive colour photo-etched parts by Eduard; includes canopy masks; fairly manageable casting blocks; high-quality decals.
Disadvantages: Experience required; some flash to clean up; roundel red may be slightly too bright.
Recommendation: Highly Recommended to all experienced modellers.

 

Reviewed by Brett Green


CMR's 1/72 scale Spitfire F.IX is available online from Squadron.com

 

Background

 

The Focke-Wulf Fw 190 asserted its authority as soon as it appeared over the Channel Front in September 1941. It was so clearly superior to the Spitfire Mk.V that RAF Fighter Command curtailed operations twice - from November 1941 to March 1942, and again from 13 June 1942, due to unacceptably high losses against the Luftwaffe's "Butcher Bird".

The Rolls-Royce Merlin 60 series engines would offer the Spitfire the essential edge it needed to balance the scales against this new foe, but the high altitude Spitfire Mk.VII and the unpressurised Mk.VIII were still many months away from production.

An interim proposal was therefore made to provide a suitable solution in a more timely fashion. The Merlin 61 engine would be fitted to the existing Spitfire Mk.V airframe, matching the Fw 190s performance at medium and high altitudes. This aircraft was known as the Spitfire F.Mk.IX, Type No.361.

 

 

These early Spitfire IX conversions were undertaken by Rolls-Royce and could be distinguished by their hand-made extended cowls with additional lumps and bumps to accommodate the new engine. The close cowls were streamlined in later full production batches of the Spitfire Mk.IX.

 

 

FirstLook

 

As far as I am aware, this is the first time that the early Rolls-Royce conversion has been offered as a full kit in any scale.

Czech Master Resin's 1/72 scale Spitfire F.IX Rolls-Royce Conversion comprises 62 resin parts, a pre-painted photo-etch fret, four vacformed canopies, canopy masks and markings for six aircraft.

The resin parts are superbly cast with crisp, finely recessed surface detail.

 

 

The wings are particularly noteworthy, both being single-piece castings with ejector ports and deep wheel wells all cast in place. Two complete wings are supplied - one "C" type with regular elliptical wingtips, and a high altitude "C" type wing with pointed wing tips. Trailing edges are admirably thin, and the large castings are free of warpage. Cannon barrels, machine gun stubs and blank stubs plus two styles of "C" wing gun blisters are all supplied as separate parts.

 

Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:

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The fuselage halves are already separated from their casting blocks, but some cleanup and thinning of the bottom fuselage will be required. This should be a fairly straightforward task. The wings should be equally fast to remove from the their resin strips. A few more minutes cleaning the flash from the leading edge, and these major components will be ready for assembly.

Smaller parts are packed securely in separate compartments of a plastic  bag. These are as impressively cast and as well detailed as the wings and fuselage. Two options are supplied for the four-bladed propeller. One is cast with the spinner and prop blades in place, while the other provides separate parts for a more refined effect.

 

 

Control surfaces are cast in neutral positions except the rudder, which is supplied separately. A slipper tank is also included as an option.

A nice bonus in recent CMR kit releases is the inclusion of an Eduard colour photo-etched fret. These are not generic, but have been produced for the specific models. In this case, we are supplied with a fabulously detailed instrument panel and harness in full colour, with other important details such as the sidewalls, pilot's armour, undercarriage covers, radiator faces, wheel hubs, oleo scissors also being finely rendered.

 

 

Two styles of canopy are included. Two of each are supplied in case of a slip-up with your hobby knife. These clear parts are nice and clear with well defined canopy frames.

Markings are supplied for six early Spitfire Mk.IXs. Five are in Dark Green and Ocean Grey over Medium Sea Grey, but one is a high altitude interceptor painted Medium Sea Grey on all upper surfaces and PRU Blue below. This option uses the pointed wing tips. The decals, printed by Tally Ho! are perfectly in register with excellent opacity, even for the white, and appear to be very thin.

 

 

Resin tends to be a less forgiving medium to work with than polystyrene, but the relatively simple parts breakdown and superb quality will make this kit ideal for the modeller who wants to try their first all-resin kit.

This is a gorgeous kit of an attractive and interesting subject.

Highly Recommended.

Thanks to CMR for the review sample


CMR Models are available online from Hannants in the UK,
NKR Models in Australia and quality specialist model retailers worldwide.


Review Copyright 2007 by Brett Green
This Page Created on 11 July, 2007
Last updated 24 December, 2007

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