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Supermarine Spitfire F.21


Supermarine Spitfire F.21

by Francesco Pernice


Airfix's 1/48 scale Spitfire Mk. 22/24 is available online at Squadron




In my opinion, the Spitfire Mk. 21 is absolutely the most beautiful version of this well-know airplane.

Except for a 1/72 box of MPM, the model is not available as a "straight from the box" proposition. As far as 1/48 scale is concerned, there is nothing on the market except a conversion from Aeroclub.

The alternative is to mix the contents from two different boxes - the Airfix 1/48 scale Spitfire M.k 22/24 and the Academy Mk. XIVc. Another possibility is to use the Airfix Seafire Mk. 46/47 where, in addition to the folding wing, you will find Mk. 46 fixed wing combined with long guns. If you choose this option, you will be left with some very useful parts after finishing your folded-wing Mk. 47, among which is the wing.





The main point of difference between the Mk. XIV and its later cousin is the wing, which in the Mk. 21 lost its pure elliptical shape to turn into a much more streamlined laminar flow design. The Mk 21 is the only Spitfire provided with the new kind of wing which keeps both Mk XIV fuselage and Griffon engine.

I will refrain from discussing the difficult  history of this version, but I would recommend Alfred Price's "Spitfire, the History" as an excellent reference.

In any case you will need the Mk XIVc Academy, where you will source the fuselage and many other components. If by any chance you have a friend able to duplicate the resin parts, you should copy the Airfix the bulges of the engine cowling that are completely wrong in the Academy kit, the wing radiators, the undercarriage doors, the propeller blades and the spinner.

You will have to thin the fuselage until it corresponds to the Airfix spinner, also the wings root which will have to correspond with the much thinner Airfix wing.



The size of the cockpit in the Academy model is wrong. It is too big. The mistake is clearely visible if you compare the canopy of a Hasegawa  or Tamiya Spitfire - the canopy is completely out of proportion. In my model I used the hood left over from an Hasegawa box, just by modifying the size of the side surfaces with two small plasticard pieces. On the other hand the small window leading into the cockpit comes from a Tamiya box.

Going back to the wing, filling is necessary mainly in the lower area where the wing connects to the fuselage. Owing to the larger dimension of the propeller disk, like on the real Mk21 it was necessary to extend the length of the undercarriage legs by about 3 mm.

The Airfix propeller shape is wrong. It was modified according to photos by using a file. The wheels come from the Academy box.



Painting and Markings


The colour is in the standard continental scheme used in the RAF at the end of the war, that is dark green and ocean grey for the upper surfaces and medium sea grey for the lower surfaces. Sky is used for codes and the fuselage band.



Codes were painted with my airbrush after masking, while the decals come from both Academy and Airfix boxes.

This Spitfire belongs to the 91 Sqn, the only unit that saw wartime service with the Mk 21.



Additional Images


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Text, Images and Model Copyright 2001 by Francesco Pernice
Page Created 09 October, 2001
Last Updated 04 June, 2007

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