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  1. Good evening everyone The Spitfire needs no introduction. Although ‘iconic’ is a very overused word these days this aircraft - as a symbol of piston-engined fighter development - surely qualifies; it is a classic blend of aggression with elegance! I have never built a 1/48 scale Spitfire before so decided I would start with Airfix’s new tool FR XIVe (kit A05135). This is a kit that has had a very mixed reception since it first appeared in 2019. I bought a set of Exito ‘Sweet Fourteens’ decals but then had a thought: if the kit is ‘a lemon’ then why waste a good set of decals? So I decided to build the other aircraft in the box: TZ112 of II (AC) Squadron, 2 TAF, RAF Bückeburg, Germany, 1950-51. At this stage I must say that I have benefitted from the advice and observations of modellers (of this kit) before me. It is worth watching Paul Budzik’s (Scale Model Workshop) review of the kit, and look at Brett Green’s build in ‘military illustrated modeller’ (October 20, issue 109) if you can. It was an enjoyable build (though not everyone says this)! The fit of my kit varied between okay and good. For additions/changes I: added seat belts from Tamiya tape; thinned the wing trailing edges; positioned the control surfaces; added the underwing lights, IFF spike antenna, and VHF whip aerial; drilled out the exhaust ports. One of the best tips was - after a little sanding of the fuselage joint (Budzik) - to glue the upper wing surfaces to the fuselage before gluing the lower part (Green). No gap at all. For painting, though I am a Tamiya fan, I could not find a suitable mix of flat aluminium and chrome silver to give the required silver finish. I ended up using Humbrol 11 silver as per the kit’s instructions. On the decalling side I believe there is an error in the instructions. I found a photograph of a line up of II (AC) Squadron Spitfire XIVs which clearly shows the starboard ‘G’ and ’01’ are reversed. I intend to hang the model from the ceiling so I like to try and simulate a spinning propeller. Not easy and I’ve tried several techniques over the years - still not 100% happy with it. Anyway enough from me. Just like to say thanks to my wife for her photographic contributions. Would I build another Airfix XIV? Yes! Now - where are those ‘Sweet Fourteens’ decals…? Thanks for stopping by! Mike
  2. Here is my build of AZ Model's Spitfire Mk.22 in the livery of the Royal Egyptian Air Force during the Suez Crisis. It was a good build and represents one of AZ Model's earlier moulds. They have better detail now. There was some thin flash around most of the parts but it was easily removed. The decals are nice and thin and although I was a little put off by the size of the wing roundels, further research proved they really were that small. There was no guide or instruction to use the stencils, so I left them off. This is also my interpretation of High Speed Silver, well-used and heavily flown. Apparently the Egyptians had this plane since 1950. The weathering is all oil pin wash and I think it really helped a lot. All the paints are Vallejo Air. A neat kit that builds nicely and a good addition to my ever-growing Spitfire A-Go-Go lineup. And here it is next to another AZ kit Egyptian Mk.IX from 1948... I have three days before the NATO/WarPac GB begins so cleaned off the bench. I think I have time for a Gustav before jumping into the Cold War fray! --John
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