Airfix 1/24 Spitfire IX

By Guy Wilson

A little while ago Airfix released a large-scale Mk.IX Spitfire in 1/24th scale. I was lucky enough to be at the launch event and was blown away by the look of the models on display.

I resolved there and then to treat myself to one. I got the kit in December 2023 and began it shortly after unwrapping it on Christmas day.

The kit is substantial and relatively easy to build although it gets a tad unwieldy due to its size so care must be taken in the latter stages of the build.

For a kit this size the detail is good. However, there are many aftermarket parts available that improve the look even more.

I opted to enhance the cockpit by scratch building a few elements and treating myself to the beautiful Airscale cockpit upgrade. To my mind this is a must for this model. It takes patience to assemble but improves the face of the cockpit no end.

The other bits of aftermarket that I'd recommend would be a set of wheels, an entry door and exhausts.

There are a few wheel sets available. The ones I went for were by Eduard. The detail is great, and the wheels look the part, but for some reason the subtle molded in flat spot doesn't sit flat on the ground when they are fitted so some judicious sanding is required. If you choose to use these be aware of this before glueing them in place.

The door is by Buchon Models and is a definite improvement over the somewhat chunky kit part.

Lastly, one area where Airfix really dropped the ball is the exhaust stubs. What were they thinking? For a start these are molded in two parts but not where a seam line falls. If two parts are necessary why not make the join along an actual seam? Also, there is a huge hole in the underside of each stub that has to be filled. I can't help wondering if the designer was off the day these were created and the janitor had a go... Fortunately, Eduard come to the rescue with a beautiful 3D printed set. Another must for this build in my humble opinion.

Speaking of masks, I must mention the ArtScaleMask set I used on the canopy.

Airfix include a plethora of markings but for this build I turned to a combination of 1ManArmy masks and some custom masks kindly created for me by Mozart here on LSP. Many thanks Max! I was hoping that painting the markings would give better results in this scale. All of the masks worked beautifully, and the fidelity of the stencils needs to be seen to be believed. Add one more to the "must have" list for this build. The 1ManArmy set replicates the markings offered in the kit but my aircraft depicts an aircraft of 412 RCAF Sqdn. This squadron was formed in 1941 at RAF Digby in Lincolnshire which is only a stone's throw from where I live.

Setting a couple of hiccups aside (I lost one of the Eduard exhaust stubs) I'm pretty happy with how it turned out.

If I were to build another, I'd definitely thin the aft lip of the ailerons. I'd also buy a set of Master’s turned brass cannons. Getting the two part plastic components round and filled was too much fuss.

For a kit assembler like me this Airfix product is nigh on perfect. Plaudits to them for giving us a very good representation of one of the most popular marques of Spitfire.

Thanks for your time. I hope you enjoyed this. If you'd like a more in depth article please have a look at my build thread in the Work in Progress forum.

© Guy Wilson 2024

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This article was published on Saturday, April 13 2024; Last modified on Sunday, April 14 2024