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Spitfire MK IX Decals


nmayhew
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Spitfire MK IX


Decal Sets in 1/32, 1/48 and 1/72
EagleCals

 

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Today I will look at three decal sets by EagleCals for the Spitfire MK IX. These are available in the three main scale, but were originally inspired by and designed for the Pacific Coast Models version of the iconic British fighter. As we all know the PCM offering was eclipsed by Tamiya's über-kit in 1/32, and there is no reason why these decals should not perfectly well with the latter, especially given there are no wrap around decals in any of these sets. For the smaller scales, I am not that familiar with what is out there, but Hasegawa, ICM, and Occidental are among the base kits recommended.

 

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All three sets have a strong Canadian theme - none of them are regular RAF birds, despite the camo - and there is also the almost ubiquitous Polish Fighting Team representative. All but two of the aircraft depicted are MK IXc - there are two IXe.

As we have come to expect from EagleCals, the decals themselves are of high quality. But for me where they really stand out is the quality of their research. I have confidence in their profile artwork and technical information in a way that I just don't have with most other manufacturers. The profile depictions in these sets comprises coloured line drawings rather than digital airbrush effect 'paintings', but given there are no complicated Luftwaffe mottle schemes here, I am not sure it matters much. The first two samples were provided in 1/48 scale, where national insignia are provided for two aircraft, whereas in 1/32 full insignia are provide for only one. In each of the sets, there are full stencils for one subject.

 

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EagleCals #114

  • MA585 KH-B 403 Sqn RCAF P/O Buzz Beurling But for the kill markings, an ordinary enough looking aircraft but an extraordinary pilot - Beurling was Canada's leading ace of WWII with 31 victories; probably more famous for flying the MK Vb over Malta earlier in the war.
  • EN354 WD-W "Doris June II" 52nd FG Lt Leonard V. Helton Originally a MK V and rebuilt into a IX, this aircraft flew out of La Sebala, Tunisia. Field applied Dark Earth and Middlestone upper surfaces, whilst retaining original Medium Sea Grey undersides; also brown used to overpaint original British insignia and markings. Distinctive '8 ball' motif.
  • MH454 FU-N 453 Sqn RAAF F/O J.Boulton Full D-Day stripes This aircraft is listed as "provisional "E" wing". Full Invasion or 'D-Day Stripes', crudely applied and not touching codes. The IXe can be modelled in 1/32 by either using parts from Tamiya's XVIe kit or using Alley Cat conversion.

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EagleCals #115

 

  • BS104 YO-R 401 Sqn RCAF F/O T.K.Ibbotson 1942 That rarest of commodities on British fighter aircraft - nose art! The instructions acknowledge that the torso is provisional, and was probably obscured in the photo on which the decals are based.
  • MK636 2I-E 443 Sqn RCAF S/L Wally McLeod June 1944 Another "E" wing, and again with full Invasion Stripes. Narrow cannon blisters and an extended carb air intake are noted.
  • EN459 ZX-1 145 Sqn RAF Polish Fighting Team Spring 1943 North Africa Considering there were only a handful of them, the Polish Fighting Team or 'Skalski's Circus' as they are often known, remain extremely popular with modellers. Field applied Dark Earth and Middlestone upper surfaces, but with Azure Blue undersides.

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EagleCals #116

 

  • BS152 AE-W 402 Sqn RCAF S/L L.M.Cameron March 1943 Standard RAF camo, but with distinctive skeleton / hand logo on red background.
  • MK826 GC-K 412 Sqn RCAF W/C George Keefer Highly decorated and high scoring, being a Wing Commander Keefer got to have his initials as the aircraft codes. Interesting for non-standard Invasion Stripes, which do not reach wing leading edge and do not cover landing gear doors.
  • EN398 AE-B 402 Sqn RCAF Ian Keltie. Possibly the most interesting of all the nine subjects? Distinctive Popeye cartoon figure on cowling; no outer .303 guns fitted. EN398 went on to become the mount of Johnnie Johnson, and is likely the single highest scoring Spitfire airframe ever produced.

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Conclusion

If you like Spitfires, Canadian subjects in WWII, or maybe both then these decal sets will be a must. I really like that technical info is called out (where known), and also that they cite the references used. As mentioned earlier, EagleCals pretty much set the bar where accuracy are concerned.

 

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Personally, I often chose modelling subjects by the airfield they flew from, even if the subject itself is rather dull and obscure so, if I was being picky, I would like the date and location of each subject formally listed. But that's pretty much all I can find fault with. One final thing, the bags these sets come in are slightly larger than both the decal sheet and the instructions - thank you EagleCals; why manufacturers persist in using bags which require Houdini-like extraction skills is beyond me!

 

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Recommended without reservation - excellent

 

With thanks to Jerry and Judy Crandall at EagleCals for the review samples. To purchase directly, click THIS link.

 

Nicholas Mayhew

 

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