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Calum

Spitfire IXc Early vs Late - What are the Differences?

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Now that Eduard has released their Spitfire and it's on it's way to me I'd like some schooling on the subtleties of the difference between the various sub versions

What are the differences between the IXc Late and Early?

Can IXc Late and early be defined by serial numbers?

I really want to build mine as one operated by a Kiwi but I need to know the above beofre I kick off.

Thanks in advance

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I'd be wary about relying on the build state of an aircraft by serial number, it would be right for the time it entered service but if it stayed in service for any length of time it could easily be modified away from that standard.

Edgar's your man for the definitive but it may be more helpful to give a serial number, unit and time frame for the particular airframe you wish to model.

Wez

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Oh, I'll take a stab at it, though I don't really know what Eduard has in mind.

Probably the most significant difference is the style of "bulge" over the cannon bays- the early has the wide one covering both bays, whereas the "late" has the slim bulge covering only the inner station (while an 'e' would have the slim bulge covering only the outer station). I believe that Eduard molds this in place rather than giving a separate panel, so that would certainly force the issue.

Other "early" vs. "late" possibilities:

straight diagonal elevator horn vs "double-cut"

"standard" vs "Mk.XII" (pointy) rudder

"cheese-cutter" IFF aerial vs rod under starboard wing

(Very early) rectangular mirror vs faired, round mirror above windscreen

(late:) wing bomb carriers on some (but not all) from about May '44

probably associated with that, 4-spoke wheels vs previous 5-spoke (or covered)

spline vs link style oleo legs and corresponding fairing/cutout (note that there is also an aft-link leg that may have appeared on some IXs, but we don't know yet!)

prop blade shape, which Eduard may possibly not address

possibly shape of upper cowl, though this one has still to be utterly pinned down!

reflector gunsight vs "predictor" (GGS) gunsight on some late IXs, both 'c' and 'e'

Edit: I forgot: fuel cooler in port wing root on Fs, but not LFs, no gun camera initially, later (spring '43?) installed in starboard wing root.

Note also that there's a breather-drain hole (I think it is) on the starboard cowl that is in a different location on LFs vs Fs- check Wojtek Matusiak's Polish Wings Mk.IX books for details.

According to Brett's review on Hyperscale, both styles of gear leg, wheel, and tail feathers are provided. Some very early IXs had the 'domed' rather than more common 'balloon' hood, but that's probably more an anomaly than a "difference".

bob

Edited by gingerbob

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Also, early versions had the small carburettor intake as used on th MkV. Eduard provide the long aero vee type, which could house a tropical filter. I know some MkVIIs used a shorter form of this housing and I wonder if this was also used on some Mk IXs.

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Doh, I knew I'd forget something obvious! Thanks Dave,

bob

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And very very early Mk IXs had engine cowling panels which had bits scabbed onto the back to lengthen them for the longer 2 stage Merlin. I've always assumed these were Mk Vc airframes that were hastily converted?

cheers

Jonners

Has anyone ever come up with the proper shape for the larger cannon cover blister? I'd alway assumed it was a teardrop but Tamiya's 1/32 kit had the front somewhat flattened? So were their 2 styles?

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Hi Jon,

The 'scabbed' cowlings are indicative of early Rolls-Royce Hucknall "completions"- in order to accelerate Mk.IX deliveries, some airframe kits were supplied by Supermarine for RR to finish the job, and the initial batch did include Mk.V cowling panels, which RR adapted. But this is not the same as saying that they were converted Mk.V airframes, despite the general interpretation. Supermarine counted these in their production tallies as Mk.IXs, not Mk.Vs.

bob

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Now that Eduard has released their Spitfire and it's on it's way to me I'd like some schooling on the subtleties of the difference between the various sub versions

What are the differences between the IXc Late and Early?

Can IXc Late and early be defined by serial numbers?

I really want to build mine as one operated by a Kiwi but I need to know the above beofre I kick off.

Thanks in advance

Calum

plenty of sage advice above, but this spitfire-mk-ix-xi-and-xvi-variants-much-varied

http://spitfiresite.com/2010/04/spitfire-mk-ix-xi-and-xvi-variants-much-varied.html

On the Spitfire site is 3 pages illustrating much mentioned by Bob above, which is rather useful IHMO

HTH

T

Edited by Troy Smith

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As to the kit, it looks like the real difference between the boxings will be the wings (ie the cannon bulge and shell chutes). The other basic differences are already present (both rudders, both intakes, IIRC both elevators). I doubt they will tool the different cowling panels for the early Vc-derived cowling. This is consistent with how they handled the Bf109E, with wings specific to the boxed variant and the necessary other bits already present.

Edited by Adam Maas

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Also, early versions had the small carburettor intake as used on th MkV. Eduard provide the long aero vee type, which could house a tropical filter. I know some MkVIIs used a shorter form of this housing and I wonder if this was also used on some Mk IXs.

I believe the early Mk. IX carb intake housing was not the same as that found on the Mk. V. It was stubbier, similar to the one found on the Mk. XII.

spitfire-ix-306-sqn-small-765717_zpsa7e7

Pip

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Reading between the lines, I think that the "early" box will have wide-blister gun covers and a short carburettor intake housing. The "late" box has the narrow-blister gun covers and a long carburettor housing.

The "late" wings have the rear part of the long carburettor housing moulded in, so you won't be able to put a short housing on them.

Which will present a problem if anyone wants to model a short housing aircraft with narrow-blister gun covers. If there was such a thing of course...

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I feel pretty confident in saying that Eduard (as many others) is massively simplifying (you might say oversimplifying) a very complex subject with tags such as "early" and "late". As noted here, the subtle differences between a Mk.IXc produced in late 1942 and one produced in late 1944 are legion, with almost innumerable permutations and combinations in between (they thought Bf109s were complicated!!?!?!). They've included flat and bulged upper cowlings, but you can't neatly put them into the "early" vs. "late" categories.

The "early" small carb intake was not the same as that on the Mk.V.

I'm sure someone will correct me, but I'm not aware of any significant variation in the big Vokes Aero-Vee filter on early vs. late or on Mk.VIIIs vs. Mk.IXs. That filter was intended to replace the hodge-podge of various tropical sand filters fitted to earlier Spits to standardize things. I believe it originated with the Mk.VIII, and was then fitted to the Mk.IX as a production standardization/expediency thing (and it worked well, to boot).

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Also early production Mk.IXs had 'undercarraige indicator' rods which projected above the wing when the wheels were down (positioned 36" out from the wing root - same as the Mk.V variant).

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The countless variations occurred during the Mk.IX production would require the use of the terms early, late, very early, very late, even later, somwhere in the middle.... and they would not be enough !

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....and that would cover Spits as they left the production line.

Then of course they would have been issued to squadrons, pranged, modded, updated, modified.

You get the picture!

Trevor the instant Spitfire expert

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I think we can be too fussy about labels such as "early" and "late". They aren't meant to be tied to any specific set of modifications, and once you decided to do one particular aircraft at one particular time then yes you do need to know which of the many modifications actually applied in this particular case. In particular, be aware of the difference between an F Mk.9 and an LF Mk.9. But there are still build standards that are representatively "early" and those that are representatively "late".

If you want an "early" Spitfire, then stay away from Aerovee filters, pointed rudders, bulged cowlings (were there any on other than e wings?), double-kinked horn balances, and probably single cannon blisters. Otherwise don't.

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The countless variations occurred during the Mk.IX production would require the use of the terms early, late, very early, very late, even later, somwhere in the middle.... and they would not be enough !

Yes, I somehow can't see Eduard running that as means to market kits - and that's all it is, its a label meant to market a kit in a relatively comprehensible way rather than being a running commentary on the timeline of Spitfire IX variants.

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....and that would cover Spits as they left the production line.

Then of course they would have been issued to squadrons, pranged, modded, updated, modified.

You get the picture!

Trevor the instant Spitfire expert

Exactly...

I think we can be too fussy about labels such as "early" and "late". They aren't meant to be tied to any specific set of modifications, and once you decided to do one particular aircraft at one particular time then yes you do need to know which of the many modifications actually applied in this particular case. In particular, be aware of the difference between an F Mk.9 and an LF Mk.9. But there are still build standards that are representatively "early" and those that are representatively "late".

If you want an "early" Spitfire, then stay away from Aerovee filters, pointed rudders, bulged cowlings (were there any on other than e wings?), double-kinked horn balances, and probably single cannon blisters. Otherwise don't.

...which is what I was alluding to when I said...

I'd be wary about relying on the build state of an aircraft by serial number, it would be right for the time it entered service but if it stayed in service for any length of time it could easily be modified away from that standard.

Wez

Edited by Wez

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Going by the markings supplied in the kit, "late" is simply supposed to mean "late-war," since they are all 1944 airframes. It's impossible to be pedantic over something as simple as removal of the indicator rods, too, since Vickers give the date as August 1944, and the RAF say that it was applied to the IX from 29-3-43; as the mod had a leaflet issued, making it possible for units to do the work, that question will take some answering.

On another site, someone has found evidence (including photos) that "EN" serialled IXs (built by Supermarine) had the narrow bulged cannon bay covers in early 1943, leaving the head-scratching question, did Supermarine use that particular cover, while Castle Bromwich continued with the broad bulge?

Edgar

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The "early" small carb intake was not the same as that on the Mk.V.

My reason for suggesting this isnthat in their 1/48 kits both ICM and Airfix provide something which, to my eye, seems identical to a Mk V intake. This has always borhered me because phoros I have seen show somehthing much dumpier. However, as.it is an area of the aircraft which is often difficult to see I gave the manufacturers the benefit of the doubt. It seems I should not have.

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And very very early Mk IXs had engine cowling panels which had bits scabbed onto the back to lengthen them for the longer 2 stage Merlin. I've always assumed these were Mk Vc airframes that were hastily converted?

cheers

Jonners

Has anyone ever come up with the proper shape for the larger cannon cover blister? I'd alway assumed it was a teardrop but Tamiya's 1/32 kit had the front somewhat flattened? So were their 2 styles?

In 1/32 Barracuda made replacements for the large blister, if you want the shape correctly. As to the very early MkIX 1:48, Airwave made new nose including two Messerschmidt-like blisters on the cowling. Watermark made transfers for such a one (and included a foto in their instructions).

It has been discussed before but wasn't it so that the bulge on the cowling was introduced because of the Packard engine, however, also Applied to normal Merlins (so to keep production as simple as possible). Edgar had some comments on this feature.

I am also speculating about what Eduard calls an early Mk IXc and a late one. In my optics a late would normally be a Mk IXe. On the other hand, if they mean with the extended fin and rudder, and with the longer intake, it makes sense.

The note about field conversions is a very correct one. The golden rule is therefore, always Work on the basis of photographical evidence.

NP

NP

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Why do not wait to June ? Eduard relased this month Mk. IX early and Mk. IXe as Overtrees.,,, And in Royal Class you have all three variants (early, late, "E" wing,,,)

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After a fair bit of reading on Mk IX Sptifires I'm convinced it's a bit of nightmare to determine the specific details of each aircraft, unless you have a photo

I don't have a desert spit in my collection so I'd like to build one of Colin Grey's Mk IX's (EN520 or MA408) from this this kit. From my reading (classic Warbirds no 6) I see that EN520 was a converted Vc so that may rule it out.

MA408 may be a starter, can anyone tell me I'd be way off line doing this one from the Eduard Kit (please do if I am). The Kit seems to have the right rudder, elevators and short carby intake

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MA408 had a short carburettor intake. Unfortunately this kit won't be suitable for that configuration.

In fact, it seems that the vast majority of the desert Spitfire IXs were of the early configuration.

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