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KIT REVIEW


Eduard Spitfire LF Mk. IXc Weekend Edition
1:48 Scale



The Supermarine Spitfire is one of the most legendary aircraft of all time and it helped turn the tide of the Second World War.  Similarly, Eduard’s 1:48 scale family of Spitfire kits are almost as celebrated (among scale modelers, at least!) as the best of its kind in 1:48 scale.  Recently, a sample of the no-frills Weekend Edition of Eduard’s 1:48 scale Spitfire LF Mk.IXc arrived on our review bench. Let’s check it out.

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Until 1941, early Spitfires found themselves relatively evenly matched against the Bf 109.  When the Fw 190A came on the scene, it significantly outclassed the Spitfire Mk. V and the Germans started to establish air superiority.  The response featured a few new and improved Spitfire variants such as the Mk. VII and Mk. VIII, and Mk XI.  The first of these new versions ready for combat was the Mk. IX.  The need for a stopgap Spitfire was urgent.  By late February 1942, a Merlin 63 had been adapted to the standard Mk. V airframe and the first prototype Mk. IX took to the air.  The type was rushed into full-rate production by June.  Soon after, they began to directly replace the Mk. V as the pendulum of air superiority swung back in favor to the Allies – this time, for good.   

The LF variant of the Mk. IX was fitted with the Merlin 66 powerplant.  This engine produced marginally more power but its superchargers functioned best at somewhat lower altitudes.  Virtually all LFs had the C-type wing, also known as the "universal wing," seen on most Spits after mid-1942.  This standardized wing design could carry four 20mm cannons or two 20mm cannons and four .303 cal. machine guns.  The C-wing was also simplified for rapid manufacture. 

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Eduard’s 1:48 scale Spitfire LF Mk. IXc kit contains four blue-gray injection molded polystyrene sprues containing 206 parts.  Approximately 65 of these parts go unused on the LF Mk. IXc.  Panel lines, rivets, and fasteners are all delicately represented by engraved, recessed details.  Seventeen clear parts are present on a single radial sprue, but only nine of them are used in this kit.  The full-color instruction booklet organizes the build over some nine pages.  Decals cover two Spitfires:

Strengths:  Eduard’s Spitfires continue to reign as the best in 1:48 scale since their Spitfire family was launched in 2013.  They are beautiful and virtually flawless, with delicately engraved surface details, great fit, and airtight engineering.  This kit really does justice to the legendary Spitfire.  Here, scale modelers will find a wonderful LF Mk. IXc, but as a Weekend Edition kit, it is a no-frills version of the Eduard Spitfire with only a pair of markings options and no detail parts or masks.

The cockpit itself is okay, enhanced by an optional decal instrument panel and decal shoulder harnesses and lap belts.  The cockpit entry door can be displayed open or closed, just as with the canopy.  Ailerons, elevators, rudders, and radiator flaps are all separate parts and are positionable.  Exhaust stacks are slightly hollowed out at their ends. 

The instructions are impeccably rendered, as usual, and easy to follow.  The decals appear to have been printed in-house by Eduard, and overall look quite good (but see below).  The markings options are pretty interesting, representing the mount of a member of the Russian aristocracy and an airplane flown by the famous Canadian Jerry Billings who had several harrowing experiences during the war and became a deHaviland test pilot by the 1960s.  They are great choices.

Weaknesses:  The only shortcoming I can identify is that the red circle at the center of the one of the roundels might be just ever-so-slightly out of register.  It’s subtle, and only a close look will reveal this observation.   

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This is another great addition to Eduard’s Spitfire family in 1:48 scale, and you can’t go wrong – especially if you are looking for a simplified and “weekend-style” build.  Still, if you are looking for more detail yet, Eduard produces an entire range of Brassin sets for their 1:48 Mk. IXs, including a cockpit, an engine set, replacement wheels, exhaust stacks, and photoetched detail sets for the exterior and landing flaps.
Sincere thanks are owed to Eduard for the review sample.  You visit them on the web at http://www.eduard.com and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/EduardCompany.

Haagen Klaus
Scale Modeling News & Reviews Editor
Detail & Scale

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** Click on the thumbnails below to view a larger image.**


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Just Released!

JET FIGHTERS
OF THE U. S. NAVY AND MARINE CORPS
PART 1: THE FIRST TEN YEARS
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Detail & Scale Special Edition Books

U. S. Navy and Marine Carrier-Based Aircraft of World War II
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Attack on Pearl Harbor, Japan Awakens a Sleeping Giant

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Colors & Markings Series



Colors & Markings of U. S. Navy
F-14 Tomcats,
Part 1: Atlantic
Coast Squadrons
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Colors & Markings of the F-102
Delta Dagger

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Colors & Markings of U. S. Navy
F-14 Tomcats,
Part 2: Pacific
Coast Squadrons

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