Posted by: Andrew | March 25, 2010

Airfix Spitfire

Having been reading about Spitfires all week, I couldn’t resist the urge to go out and buy a model kit, so I could make one!  I used to do a lot of plastic modelling when I was (much) younger, and I am doing some again now, and number one son is also interested too.  I got him some simple kits for his birthday recently, and he is making a couple of models.  But now for the shameless self-indulgence (all $12 of it, courtesy of Hobby World in Saskatoon).

Here is a picture of the kit I got, it is a Spitfire Mark IXc by the British company Airfix.  Airfix is another national icon in the UK, a plastic model kit is often called “an airfix kit” regardless of the manufacturer.

This model requires the basic skill level one (very suitable for me!) and can be made up in tow different paint schemes.  The one on the box is the western desert version, with the aircraft flown by one of the Polish squadrons in the RAF.  It looks rather fetching with a desert tan/brown top and a deep blue underside, rather different from the usual colour schemes seen particularly in the Western theatre of operations.  I haven’t started making it yet.  As usual, there are lots of internet resources available, with a good online review here:

The reviewer certainly knows his stuff.  If you browse the internet you can find a lot of very earnest discussions going on about the relative merits of the various Spitfire models on offer. Personally, I will be quite happy if I can make a reasonable representation of the aircraft.  It won’t have to pass very close inspection, because number 2 son might get to it if it is easily accessible….  Also being a physicist by trade, I tend to look for something which is a good approximation for the real thing rather than an exact facsimile.  There are people measuring the length of the fuselages of their models and checking to see if the scale is correct.  As most of the measurements are probably only accurate to 1 mm anyway, this strikes me as being a little bit excessive.  I was also staggered to find out that you can now buy “add on” parts for these kits to superdetail the model.   The snag is that you can end up tripling the cost (or even more) by getting these add ons! My model will be strictly OOB  (out of the box, as the modelling jargon goes).  I will also be quite cavalier about the paint colours, it has to look reasonable, not be an exact match.  I will probably be excommunicated by the serious modellers  for stating such heresies, but it’s meant to be FUN!

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