Pacific Coast Models' 1/32 scale conversion
by Ryan Hamilton
Supermarine Spitfire Mk,VIII
79 Squadron RAAF, Morotai Island
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This is the 1/32 Pacific Coast Models Spitfire Mk IX converted to the Mk VIII.
I was surprised and overjoyed when PCM announced they would be doing a 1/32 Spitfre Mk IX. If there was ever a perfect scale for a Spitfire, it is 1/32 - Big enough to have plenty of detail, while small enough to still fit on the shelf once finished.
Having seen other PCM releases over the years, I wasn’t disappointed when the PCM Spitfire Mk IX arrived.
The PCM Spitfires come with pre-painted photo-etched parts, which contribute to much of the cockpit detail. Initially I thought I wouldn’t like them as it would take the fun out of painting the detail into the cockpit. I eventually decided to use them and I am sold. The finished cockpit looks sensational.
The construction of the airframe is fairly straightforward. There are no locating pins for the main parts so dry fit everything before gluing and then check again. The only issue I ad was a large gap in the wing root. Once dry, I inserted a piece of plastic card to fill the gap.
Take care when gluing the radiators onto the lower wing. The grills are larger then they appear and need to be trimmed a little.
The conversion to a Spitfire Mk.VIII involves the addition of a new rudder, retractable tail wheel, along with some small changes in the cockpit. The long range slipper belly tank was also added.
I decided to finish the model in the colour scheme of 79 SQN RAAF when it was service on Morotai Island late in WWII.
The model was painted with Testor’s Model Master enamels of Ocean Grey, RAF Dark Green and Medium Sea Grey. There have been comments made from different sources towards the correct colour scheme of this airframe. To date my research has shown that this airframe (along with most 79 Sqn Spitfire MkVIII) were standard Ocean Grey/Dark Green over Medium Sea Grey.
Decals were a combination of the PCM stencilling, Aussie decals for the roundels, and the nose art and squadron markings were home made.
The “Avagrog” (Have-a-Grog) nose-art refers to the illegal trafficking in alcohol between Australia and the ‘alcohol-free’ Morotai Island. Aircraft transiting to and from Australia and Morotai would smuggle alcohol onto the Island for the RAAF crews stationed there.
Pacific Coast Models' 1/32 scale Spitfire Mk.IX is available online from their website.
Model and Text Copyright © 2009 by Ryan Hamilton
Images Copyright © 2009 by Brett Green
Page Created 20 April, 2009
24 April, 2009
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