Hasegawa + Aeroclub 1/48 scale
Supermarine Spitfire Mk.VIII
by Brett Green
Supermarine Spitfire Mk.VIII
Flt Lt. John Jenkins, 457 Sqn RAAF, Labaun Island, mid-1945
Hasegawa's 1/48 scale Spitfire Mk.VIII is available online from Squadron
Here is my 1/48 scale Hasegawa Spitfire Mk.IXc converted to a Mk.VIII and upgraded with the Aeroclub replacement fuselage, propeller and spinner.
The Aeroclub parts completely address the well-known undersized fuselage and incorrect spinner of the Hasegawa kit. After cleanup, the short-run plastic Aeroclub parts fitted quite well. Only minimal filler was required when construction was complete.
Other additions included an Ultracast seat, exhausts and cannon barrels; Quickboost 90 gallon slipper tank and control column; and parts from one of Eduard's earliest colour photo-etched sets, primarily the instrument panel.
I also used the new Eduard BRASSIN Spitfire block tread wheels, but I swapped the resin five spoke hubs with the plastic four spoke hubs in the Eduard Spitfire IX kit. They were interchangeable.
The Hasegawa kit already includes most of what is required to build a Mk.VIII including the pointed rudder and revised tail wheel with separate doors.
To complete the transformation, I filled and scribed a few panel lines on the outer wings to depict the Mk.VIII's short-span ailerons and scribed panel lines and filler hatches for the wing leading edge fuel tanks. I cut the wheel bulges off the top of the wings too. In fact, you'll have to do all this scribing and minor surgery for an accurate Mk.VIII even if you buy Hasegawa's dedicated Spitfire Mk.VIII kit. Apart from the decals, the contents are identical to the Mk.IXc.
The patchy and heavily weathered paint job was based on two wartime photographs - one port-side profile view of the actual aircraft; and a nice high view of a sister Spitfire, ZP-Z, in flight. Although the weathering and in particular the dark streaking on the wings and repainting may look extreme, it is closely based on the actual pattern seen in both photographs.
In the side view photo, the spinner is a slightly but clearly darker colour that the other white markings. I painted the spinner RAAF Sky Blue (using Tamiya's AS-5 Light Blue Luftwaffe) based on the assumption that stocks would have been readily available, but it is also possible that the colour was RAF Sky.
The roundels were painted using masks and weathered to match the photos.
Decals are from Aeromaster 48-780, Aussie Spitfires Part 4. I sourced a second "Grey Nurse" decal for the starboard side from an old Aussie Decals sheet.
Construction and finishing of this model will be described in Issue 27 of ADH Publishing's newest model magazine, "Military Illustrated Modeller".
Military Illustrated Modeller is available at WH Smiths and other newsstands.
It may also be ordered online directly from the Military Illustrated Modeller website.
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Model, Images and Text
2013 by Brett Green
Page Created 25 April, 2013
25 April, 2013
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