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1:32 Supermarine Spitfire Mk.IX MH434 in Civil Service


James H
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1:32 Supermarine Spitfire Mk.IX MH434 in Civil Service

RAM Decals
Catalogue # RAM32-002
Available from RAM Models for £9.99

 

 

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If you’ve ever tired of seeing endless lines of Spitfire Mk.IX models that have been finished in standard camo schemes, and long for something very different for your project, then you could do far worse than model MH434. This particular Spit has been in many films etc. wearing various paint schemes, including a brown and green BoB scheme. However, if you want a total break from the norm, then this is a sheet which I’m sure will hold appeal. How about a Spit in a civilian scheme? Yes, MH434 in one of its more beautiful paint jobs.

RAM Models/Decals are possibly a name you haven’t yet heard of. Being a regular online model shop for a period, they now aim to produce their own extensive range of decal sheets, and it looks like they aim to cover those schemes which are a little more leftfield than those which are released by their contemporaries. This specific release is a perfect example of how to grab a modeller’s attention in a single release!

 

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Packed into an A5 zip-lock bag, this set focuses on MH434 when it carried the civilian code G-ASJV. A folded A4 sheet shows this scheme, on the front, in both port and starboard profile. Open it up and the profiles are supplied again, but along with both upper and lower plans. What makes this scheme so beautiful are the colours used, and their breakdown. All wings, tail-plane and lower fuselage are shown as silver. From this, I presume this would be what is known as ‘High Speed Silver. The upper fuselage is painted white. Breaking up the border between the silver and white, are tapering blue flashes, flanked by a narrow black trim line on either side. Wingtips are also blue, with a narrow white and black band on the inboard face.

 

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A single decal sheet is supplied with this set, and the biggest hitters on here are the tapering blue strips for the fuselage. These run full length from the forward cowl, to the rudder post. A separate length extends over the rudder. Now, I am a little concerned here, as the compound curves of the cowl must be negotiated. It all depends on how well the decals mould to the shapes. I think it would have been useful to have had a little extra material for this area, in case things don’t close up. Looking at the plans and the wing tips, I am assuming that the clear strip running between the blue and the black, will need to show the white paintwork. If this is the case, and I’m sure it is, you will need to carefully mark the lower silver fuselage within 1mm of accuracy, along the full length of the fuse. Not impossible of course, but will perhaps mean that you should carefully replicate the curve along some card and use this as your masking and painting guide.

 

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Of course, there are the civilian codes to apply to both the stripe and to the wings, and also a rather neat flag onto the fin. This comes with a separate red section to make up the Union Flag. Be careful with the wingtip decal application, as you want to ensure that you get this to touch all the way around the tip diameter. The instructions do give paint references codes for numerous manufacturers, but I can’t vouch for the blue exactly matching the decal. After all, manufacturers have their own interpretations of specific colours too.

 

What isn’t mentioned in the instructions are any modifications to the airframe, from its military format. Of course, the gun ports would be faired over….but was this with individual plates, or a new leading edge? Check your references. This applies to the shell ejection chutes too. Presumably, there were a number of cockpit differences too. Again, try to get a little extra information.

 

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The decal sheet is printed by Fantasy Printshop, and really is excellent. Colour definition is great, and everything is solid. Carrier film is minimal, and registration is perfect.

 

Conclusion
As I have said, you will need to reference some areas of this aircraft before you can proceed. This goes for both airframe and scheme, but, should you do that successfully, and apply that stripe, then you will have one amazingly beautiful Spitfire for your display. RAM are to be applauded for tacking this subject. If of course, the stripe frightens you a little, then dare I say it, you could use it as a basis to mask that part of the model, and of course use the remainder of the decals as standard. The options are there, and hopefully I provided a few ideas for you to pursue, should you purchase this very nice decal release.

 

Highly recommended

 

My sincere thanks to RAM Models for this review sample. To purchase directly, click THIS link.

 

James H

 

 

 

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