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Otakar

Can we talk ICM 1/48 Spitfire?

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I know that the Eduard kit has surpassed this kit in many ways. But one of the main ways it has done so is in the price also, which is expected. long before Eduard came out with their nice kit I started collecting the ICM kits. I became fond of them and actually started to like them a lot. Over time the mistakes became obvious but none-the-less very few and easy to fix. The three known mistakes as we all know are, the narrow spine, the upward swoop of the tail section and the landing gear. I have found all three very easy to fix. The spine obviously with a wedged shim and a new vac canopy, the tail swoop by cutting off the tail in the angled joint line in front of the surfaces, sanding to the right angle and re-gluing to the fuse, and the gear simply re-positioning and re angling. At this point you have a model worthy of any shape accuracy critic. At one time I expected to build a lot of spits (and still do) and so I have collected about 15 over the years, most of for between $8-$10 each. Some for even less. This has kept my Eduard collection to a mere 6 kits total including the Aussie Dual combo (which i bought for $57 from a European on-line hobby-shop. Most of my ICM kits came from ModelsUA.com and eBay. I just recently started shopping at hobby.dn.ua also. Hannants is a No-brainier for me. I buy almost nothing here in the US. ALL of our model retailers are way overpriced. I can still get thing for about 20% less from the mentioned on line sellers and that included the postage. My other aircraft loves are, F4U-4 and later Corsairs, AD/A-1 Skyraiders, F4F, Hurricane, Seafury, Dh. Hornett, Most Avia aircraft, La-9, Pe-2, Yak-11 to mention the most important ones. Obviously any other Mk. spitfire including the Tp-300. Please notice that there are no German aircraft in that list. Even though there are a couple that i think of as attractive. VERY Few. Most are bombers. Also notice that there no USAAF aircraft on the list. There are three Japanese aircraft that I find interesting. They are the "Rufe", Ki-100 early, and Ki-45. But combining all of these together, I still own more Spitfire models. Most are Airfix and ICM and than the few Eduard. I have about 20 combined Airfix spit kits and about the same ammount of the ICM kits combined. About five of the Eduard kits. The only Jet aircraft I love are the MiG-19S, F-8 Crusader, SAAB J-35, Aero L-29 and F-4J/S Phantom. Even with these kits in tow, I have more Spitfire kits.

But anyways lets now discuss the ICM Spitfires and what have we done with them to make them contest winning quality (I do not compete other than with myself and my satisfaction). I just love the airplane just like, I am sure, a plethora of other modelers and people in general. The spitfire is the Marilyn Monroe and Ava Gardner of the aircraft world. It is and always will be a timeless beauty.

Edited by Otakar

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I couldn't agree more with you Otakar. I have several as well and like ICM generally. Plenty of options, separate parts to avoid cutting and filling and if you are careful pretty easy to build. They aren't shake and bake but then neither are the Eduard ones. I also rate the surface detail as being rather more realistic although I admit it does need a little attention in places.

We are fortunate in that we have Tiger Hobbies in the UK who bring ICM in at very nice prices, damn fine chaps too! They are in the retailers section here on BM.

It is certainly IMHO the best looking propeller fighter but the US has the Douglas F4D Skyray which is IMHO the best looking jet so in my book honours are even.

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The Ford is a pretty airplane but still a runner up. It is what we would call "cutesy", not elegantly beautiful. It might rate with come of the modern actresses of which I can't even think of any names outright. And NO I am not of Marilyn Monroe's or Ava Gardner'S generation. Not even close. But as I said, Beauty and elegance is timeless. Of which Ava Gardner had both just like the Spitfire.

Just for FYI, I build anything I can place Czech or US Marines, markings on and than a lot of British choices mostly because of the elegance of most British aircraft. I forgot to list the Bristol Beaufighter and the Brigand in my list of favorites.

Edited by Otakar

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I don't know about the upturned tail,

the ICM kit has a variety of other issues, a too narrow upper cowling, hence the too narrow spine, the prop blades are too big, the spinner is too short, the wheelhubs are blinkin awful, the cannon bay bulges are anaemic. All fixable, with AM or some modelling skill, It is otherwise well shaped, but once you get into correcting these problems and if you want an accurate Spitfire, go straight to Eduard, the only problems with that are the oval wheel wells, the riveted wing leading edges and a degree of over engineering.

While the Eduard kit maybe expensive in the US, it can be got for bargain price in the UK, I've seen the profipack boxings for £16.50, and the weekend for under £12,

Though, the leftover alternate Eduard parts can be put to good use, as it has spare wheel hubs/wheels, spare upper cowling and canopies, which can be used to jazz up the ICM, if you have a load stashed.

the ICM is perhaps better for cross kitting with Airfix kits for non-kitted variants, given it's lack of riveting.

PS the ICM also lack the correct lower cockpit sides (only in the Eduard and new tool Airfix Vb and I BTW) and lack the retractable tail wheel for the VII and VIII.

The ICM XVI was reboxed by Revell of Germany, and the comments on shape apply to this as well.

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I am not an interior detailer so the cockpit interests me very little. As long as the cockpit looks right at a glance, is good enough for me. Nothing that a little of paint and photo etch will not spruce up, As I mentioned all the other problems are easy to fix. The narrowness of the upper cowling is so minute it is not even noticeable because it is on a wide horizontal plane. The spine is noticeable because it is in a very narrow area to begin with and is obviously pointy and not rounded like it should be. To be able and tell the nose problem, a caliper has to be used. On the spine, the problem is outright visual. same with the tail. The tail is very obvious to me but like you, most other modelers have not caught it. This shows how different the human eye is in gravitating to different areas of interest. Think of it as looking at an attractive woman. There are six distinct regions of interest for the human male. Depending on the individual, we place a different amount of importance in each of these regions. We really notice some while we might totally ignore others.

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HI

Re the tail, I just compared an ICM IX by lining it with an Airfix Vb and Eduard IX, tails are as near as dammit the same in position. If you have been cutting them you've been making an error, not correcting one.

the Upper cowl is about 1mm too slim, and is noticable.

Another use for the ICM if cheap is using the wing to make a Vc out of the Airfix Vb.

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I did it by hand also a bunch of times and it looked like it lined up with the Eduard and airfix kits also, but it still looked wrong to me for some reason. so I took it to work and put it on the 3D lases scanner along with the other two kits. at that point it caught it. The ICM tail is about 1mm too high (not to be mistaken as too tall) in relationship to the fuse and also swept forward at the top. This gives it that strange look and also stance. once the tail is cut off and dropped by the 1mm it lines up perfectly and stands right. The digital overlay do not lie. You can catch it if you tape the fuselages together right behind the canopy and wing and also right behind the fire wall. If you get the mid fuse and nose lined up right, you will see the tail is too high. The way I caught it is because on the Airfix and Eduard kits the lower aft fuselage is a straight line. on the ICM kit it is a curve.. This also makes the aft fuse look too skinny in the profile. Also the rudder line, you will notice is not in the same geometry with the centerline of the fuselage as it is on the Airfix and Eduard kits. Once you notice it it will bother you also and you will see it every time you look at the model from that point on. Just like I don't see the narrow nose and it don't bother me. same difference. For me, if a woman's nose is too big, it don't bother me but if she doesn't have nice legs, I wont even give her a second look. I just did a matchup just like the one you just mentioned and I see it because i line up the nose to the mid fuse. The tail sweeps up noticeably. If you cut the fuse right in the angled joint line in front of the tail, remove just enough of a wedge off the fuse to drop the tail about 1mm it takes the curve out of the lower fuse and angles everything perfectly. You will only be removing a few thousands of an inch off the lower fuse to achieve this. It will also improve that upper curve of the fuse which is so prominent in the Spit but rather lacking in the ICM kit. About the easiest way I have been able to see this is to take each fuse the ICM and one of the other correct ones and hold them at arm's length against the backdrop of a white computer screen looking at them one above the other. at that point it will jump out at you and bother you from that point on.

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Edited by Otakar

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I do want to mention, that I enjoy a kit that is a bit challenging to build and not the modern "shake-n-bake" kit. As long as the outline is generally accurate is fine with me. Unfortunately, most of the new/modern Chinese kits are the EXACT OPPOSITE of this. They are beautifully engineered but far from accurate. To this day, I do not mind building a Vacuuformed kit. This is why I am such a fan of the Russian and Ukrainian kits and the older short run Czech kits from HiPM. Their MiG-19 is one of my favorites and I have about ten of those. ICM, Zvezda, Maquette(MSD)SKIFF and so-forth are some of my favorite brands. I do not care much for Special Hobby, because they have some real issues with their Spitfire accuracy's. They coppied the Tamiya kit for their base kit. I don't mind, flash, sinkholes, or crudeness. What is important is delicate surface detail and good outline.

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I do not care much for Special Hobby, because they have some real issues with their Spitfire accuracy's. They coppied the Tamiya kit for their base kit. I don't mind, flash, sinkholes, or crudeness. What is important is delicate surface detail and good outline.

NO THEY DIDN'T. This is a myth, oft repeated,

OK, the Tamiya kit I/V is short, fat, slab sided nose, and has the over wide wing.

But the kit has neat fine panelling, I started fixing it, easy enough to do, scroll down

http://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/234968337-two-148-mkvb-spitfires-tamiya-and-airfix-new-spitfire-collection-expansion-project-finished-photos-now-in-the-rfi-section-080615/page-2

i've since done a wing, easy enough fix. the wing problem is also a feature of the Occidental, Academy XIV and Airfix Spit XII and Seafire XVII kits as well.

OK, Yes, the SH Spitfire and Seafires are short, by about 2.5-3mm, and the wings are a touch too far back.

Fixing the short fuselage is pretty easy too, and you move the wing forward the same as the front splice, and reshape the rear wing fillet.
dark grey SH, light grey Airfix Vb
AF_vs_SH_align_on_mat_IMG_0451.jpg

wing fillet adjusting.

Otherwise, they have a lot to offer, including a good stab at lap jointed rear fuselage.

the only SH Spit kit I don't have is their Mk XII.

There has been a lot of wailing and gnashing of teeth over these, but I don't understand, as even if you fix the faults, they have a lot to offer in fine detail, etch and well printed decals.

more here

http://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/234984144-seafire-mk-iii-question/

I looked again at the ICM VS Airfix Vb, I don't see anything that requires cutting off the tail unit, perhaps some reshaping of the actual fin.

the SH fin is a bit upturned though, which is part of the fix shown above BTW.

we have discussed some of this on ARC, you have to me some funny ideas of what you are prepared to fix or not, eg you talk about the ICM IX in a positive way, including some major surgery, but dismiss the SH kit, while it's easier to accurise the SH kit, and you don't need to replace a load of bit and decals too boot.

as with all these discussions, faults and corrections are best demonstrated visually. Prove your points, as I have tried to do.

cheers

T

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I have had the Special Hobby kits also and sold them on eBay to get rid of them. The cut of the tail is the same but no extension required, just a position shift. I do not se any need to do any other surgery on the ICM short of inserting the spine wedge. The wing shape and position is fine. Canopy would be replaced anyway with a vac form as I would do on any other kit also. The wing position on the Special hobby bothers me a lot and I son't want to deal with it. You find the fixes easy on the Special Hobby easy and I find them easy on the ICM. Once again. It is not a problem to do small repairs on a $9 kit but is an issue for me to do it on a $25+ kit. Special hobby is not an inexpensive kit, Why should I have to put so much effort in to it to make it right. From what I have read on the net, the SH Mk.XII is worse than the Airfix one. I have a very nice Mk,XII conversion kit which I plan on using on the Airfix Mk.V kit. I will keep on doing my ICM fixes and you can do your SE fixes. So, now back to ICM. The laser scanner showed me the problems so I fixed them. If I wanted to, I could make a casting of the Eduard nose upper deck and place it on the ICM kit but I do not find the upper deck width a issue to bother with. Squadron makes a updated canopy for the repaired aft deck. It is also not hard to use a Rob Taurus canopy for the Eduard Mk.IX. You just have to use the lower portion from the original front canopy to graft to. No issues there. Just glue it on and then cut most of it off close to the fuse and than the Eduard canopy fits fine. There are other ways to do it also but I find this quite simple. All it takes is a bit more time.

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my favorite part of the ICM kit is what you are not mentioning...

the fact that it is a storehouse of kit parts for correction or conversion of other Spitfire kits.

early and late tailplanes

early and late rudders

3 kinds of armament covers for the top wing

short and long cannon barrels

machine guns and cannons

bombs and rockets.

3 kinds of air intake for the lower cowling.

(sadly no tropical intake)

in most cases you have to get the boxed sets to get all these sprues in the uncut version.

ICM's nasty habit of removing unneeded parts for the version on the box art. :(

but , if you can get them it is a fully loaded spare parts bin.

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Yes you are right. Most of the kits I have are the all-in-one kits. I also just measured the nose width difference in the ICM in comparison to the Eduard kit. The upper deck is .63mm narrower than the Eduard kit. That makes it a scale 30mm narrower. that is just over one inch definitely not worth mentioning. If it bothers someone, just replace the upper deck with the Ultracast one piece upper deck for the Eduard kit. Since all of my Mk.IXs will be from Czech squadrons, they will be the "Flat" decks. Now, having said this, the rocker cover blisters are very straight on the ICM kit and there should be a small front to back curve in them. This in turn would be fixable on the kit part just by making a small front to back slit about 3mm from the edge on each side and curving the cocker bulge out some and just filling it in. This would also be another simple fix. The hardest part would be, the replacement of the little scoop on the starboard blister. The other way it can be fixed is just by splitting the upper cover down the center from about the forward pannel line back and than placing a 1/2mm wedge in the split the cover is a bit too narrow for the fuse anyway and it would fit right in than anywy or the fuse can be adjusted for it. But he imperfection is so small that I am not going to bother but may try one to see what it would take. Looking at all the pictures I could find, the fuselagr side "undercut" behind the exhausts is not enough on the Eduard kit and is actually better on the ICM kit.

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It is not a problem to do small repairs on a $9 kit but is an issue for me to do it on a $25+ kit. Special hobby is not an inexpensive kit, Why should I have to put so much effort in to it to make it right.

3 points

You do the fixes because you want a Vc or Seafire III with less work than converting or cross kitting.

From what I have read on the net, the SH Mk.XII is worse than the Airfix one

Where did you read this on the net? A link is useful.

I've read some utter tosh about Spitfire kits, and their faults, you just seem to have a bias against SH.

But I find it hard to believe the SH Spit XII is worse than the Airfix XII, I assume it to be much like their Seafire XV, which is decent, apart from needing the wing move/fuselage plug, which is less work the correcting the Airfix kit.

the Airfix XII and Seafire XVII actually share most of the same faults the Academy XIV kit is damned for, except they do not have an oversize nose ring, so the spinners are useable, but the prop blades are much to slim.

I've not run across a SH XII at a price I like as yet, but will get one when I do.

. I have a very nice Mk,XII conversion kit which I plan on using on the Airfix Mk.V kit.

that does not make much sense, as the Airfix V is b winged, you be better off using a ICM IX as a base kit.

What Mk XII conversion d you have?

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my favorite part of the ICM kit is what you are not mentioning...

the fact that it is a storehouse of kit parts for correction or conversion of other Spitfire kits.

early and late tailplanes

early and late rudders

3 kinds of armament covers for the top wing

short and long cannon barrels

machine guns and cannons

bombs and rockets.

3 kinds of air intake for the lower cowling.

(sadly no tropical intake)

in most cases you have to get the boxed sets to get all these sprues in the uncut version.

ICM's nasty habit of removing unneeded parts for the version on the box art. :(

but , if you can get them it is a fully loaded spare parts bin.

The Eduard kit also has lots of useful spares.

The cannon covers are undersized.

The kit has two carb intakes, the early type and the universal type, which had a tropical filter included IIRC, so did not need the Vokes filter I think you mean?

I'm away from the books so can't refresh my memory, bob will know though.

The other parts are certainly useful. I've used ICM early rudder and tail planes to replace the slabs of the old tool Airfix MkI,

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I did wonder at one time about making a VIII using the ICM wings on the Airfix fuselage, which would have dealt with the most serious shortcomings in each of these kits. It's redundant now, of course, given the 2 Eduard VIII kits lurking in the stash. One the other hand, I've still got all the parts...

John

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If it ain't an Aeroclub one it's not as nice as he thinks..............

I have two of the Aeroclub and two of the Bringuier kits. Also I still have two of the Airfix Mk.XII kits which I can use for a kit-bash with other kits.

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I did wonder at one time about making a VIII using the ICM wings on the Airfix fuselage, which would have dealt with the most serious shortcomings in each of these kits. It's redundant now, of course, given the 2 Eduard VIII kits lurking in the stash. One the other hand, I've still got all the parts...

John

The ICM can be built as a VII or VIII. All the parts and options are there. I also have three of the Aussie spits in the stash from Eduard. One of the dual and one of the single weekend kits. I got the dual for such a good price I couldn't resist it, $57. I still have a lot of the Ventura, Aeromaster and other Aussie decals that I will put them to good use on the ICM kits. At least 6-7 kits will be built in some form of Czech markings. Either wartime or postwar. One or two in US, 4-5 in Aussie and the rest in British.

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I like the Airfix fuselage better than the ICM one.

As I say, I thought about it a while ago but I haven't even gone as far as offering the parts up to see if it's viable. Likely the fuselage halves and the cowling would be about the only parts of the Airfix kit that would be used.

J

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Are you speaking of the Mk.XII Airfix fuselage or the Mk.V which is the one I would use for this project. The nose is the only thing I would use from the Airfix Mk.XII if I used it for the conversion.

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Ive got a mark v111 Icm spitfire in my cupboard.Got new decals for it and i will surely build it.Good enough for my mediocre standards.

Richard

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One thing which bothers me about the ICM kit, and which never seems to be mentioned, is the high position of the exhaust stubs. These need to be dropped by about 2-3mm.

Afraid I have no photographs of the one I built and modded, but it's very visible in photographs of any ICM build.

I fixed mine using the spare upper cowling from an Airfix MkIX as a starting point, with lots of reshaping and sculpting to get it all together. Looked OK, then the Eduard kit appeared...

Cheers,

Bill.

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In it's day before the Edard kit it was the best kit on the market for the Mk.IX/VIII. It requires a little fitting and cleanup but builds into a beautiful and quite accurate Spitfire right out of the box. If you just do some minor surgery which will take you only a few extra minutes, you can make it even better. The main thing to observe is the Landing gear position and placement. It is a little narrow and a little long. Just shorten it a bit and move it out a little. Move each leg one(1MM) Millimeter farther out and shorten by the same amount. Than watch the proper angle of installation. Also replacing the Canopy with the Squadron 9625 canopy (Has one for the Hasegawa and one for the ICM with or without spine correction option.) I would fix the spine with the insert as instructed in the Squadron canopy set. If you don't plan on cutting off the tail and re-gluing it on at the right angle (which is really simple) at least change the vertical on the rudder hinge line, otherwise it will look a bit weird. These are very easy and quick fixes that will take you at best an extra hour of building time, and that is only if you'r really slow and meticulous about it.

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One thing which bothers me about the ICM kit, and which never seems to be mentioned, is the high position of the exhaust stubs. These need to be dropped by about 2-3mm.

Afraid I have no photographs of the one I built and modded, but it's very visible in photographs of any ICM build.

I fixed mine using the spare upper cowling from an Airfix MkIX as a starting point, with lots of reshaping and sculpting to get it all together. Looked OK, then the Eduard kit appeared...

Cheers,

Bill.

If you place the ICM nose to nose with the Eduard kit, the ICM exhaust stubs are at best only .25mm higher than the Eduard. However, they are shorter and narrower. The upper part of the stubs is as I mentioned. So just a simple replacement of the proper size exhaust stubs should do the trick. Since I did not plan on installing the engine I bought aftermarket exhausts with backplates. The ones I bought were Quickboost which I think is sold in Europe under a different name.

Edited by Otakar

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Are you speaking of the Mk.XII Airfix fuselage or the Mk.V which is the one I would use for this project. The nose is the only thing I would use from the Airfix Mk.XII if I used it for the conversion.

The MkIX.

J

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