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1/48 - Supermarine Spitfire F.R. Mk.XIVe by Airfix - released

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Previous thread about the 1/48th low back Supermarine Spifire F.R. Mk.XIVe - ref. A05135 being closed 

See also - https://www.airfix.com/uk-en/supermarine-spitfire-fr-mk-xiv.html

 

a05135-supermarine-spitfire-fr-mkxiv-pac

Here's a new one with fresh news.

Source: https://www.airfix.com/uk-en/news/workbench/telford-airfix-trophy-winner-and-a-griffons-growl

 

Quote

A Spitfire with attitude

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The Griffon powered Spitfire Mk.XIV is an extremely purposeful looking fighter and represents a significant development of the original Spitfire airframe

 

There is a popular saying amongst modellers that you simply can’t have too many Spitfires, as the enduring fascination with this magnificent aircraft has resulted in quite literally millions of scale representations of this aircraft emanating from workbenches and dining room tables the world over, since the end of the Second World War. From an Airfix perspective, this has seen the Spitfire occupying our top selling model position for many years now, with the appetite for new and updated Spitfire kits showing absolutely no sign of abating – our first aircraft kit back in 1955 was a Spitfire and it seems rather fitting that one of our latest new tooling projects is also an example of R.J Mitchell’s flying classic. For these reasons, it will come as no surprize whatsoever that the exclusive Workbench announcement of our new 1/48th scale Griffon powered Spitfire Mk.XIV in the 83rd edition of our blog has met with an overwhelmingly positive reaction and resulted in record levels of early pre-ordering activity coming from both individual modellers via the Airfix website and from our extensive trade network. That being the case, we pleased to be in a position to bring you an update on this project, including a series of exclusive built sample images and confirmation of one of the scheme options which will be included with the early 2019 release of this fantastic kit.

 

If you have ever been fortunate enough to attend an Airshow which boasts several variants of the Spitfire on its display programme and seen an early mark aircraft from the Battle of Britain era parked next to a Rolls Royce Griffon powered Mk.XIV, you will quickly see that these are very different beasts altogether. Although clearly from the same stable, the cultured, clean lines of the early machines gave way to the powerful profile and massive five bladed propeller of its successor, an aeroplane which really does look like it has to be tamed before it can be flown. Resulting in a significant increase in the Spitfire’s performance, the Griffon powered variants can trace their origins back to the days before the Battle of Britain and a Royal Navy requirement for a new engine capable of powering a significant new fighter aircraft, which must possess excellent performance at lower altitudes. It seems incredible that even at this early stage, the Rolls Royce Merlin which would go on to power many of the most famous and effective British aircraft of the Second World War, was thought to have only limited development potential by Rolls Royce engineers, who had already started working on a new powerplant. In a fascinating juxtaposition, the Supermarine team responsible for Spitfire development were adamant that their aircraft was suitable for significant development and could be adapted and improved to accept whatever new technology became available. Working under the guidance of R.J. Mitchell, Joseph Smith was heavily involved in all aspects of Spitfire design and development and was to take a lead role following the unfortunate death of Mitchell in the summer of 1937. Under his stewardship, he would not entertain calls to develop a new aircraft to replace the Spitfire, supremely confident that the existing airframe possessed exceptional potential for future improvement and was a long way from reaching its maximum capacity.

 

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Pictured on the Airfix stand at the recent Telford show, this built sample from the new 1/48th scale Spitfire Mk.XIV tooling came in for a lot of attention

 

The first Rolls Royce Griffon powered Spitfires to enter Royal Air Force service were the Mk.XIIs of Nos 41 and 91 Squadrons from January 1943, which whilst representing a significant stage in the wartime development of the Spitfire, were not initially regarded as an overwhelming success. The extra power provided by the Griffon engine posed some early problems for pilots converting from Merlin powered machines, not least of which was the significant torque produced by this powerful engine and its massive propeller, allied to the fact that the propeller turned in the opposite direction to the Merlin. As earlier Spitfires had a tendency to swing to the right on take-off, this was reversed on the clockwise turning Griffon, which could have serious implications for a converting pilot calling on his previous Spitfire experiences. No.41 Squadron would take the honour of claiming two significant firsts for Griffon powered Spitfires – on 3rd April 1943, they mounted the first operational sortie by the aircraft (a Mk.XII) and just two weeks later, they also had the type’s first combat success. On 17th April 1943, Spitfire Mk.XII (EN235) was flying a patrol off the French coast, near Dunkirk, when its pilot spotted a black Luftwaffe Junkers Ju88 flying below him. He immediately gave chase and opened fire, causing the enemy aircraft to set ablaze and crash into the sea – the Griffon powered Spitfire had opened its combat account and announced its arrival in the European air war.

 

Spitfire Mk.XIV – stop-gap turned classic

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A beast of a Spitfire. This exclusive built sample image clearly illustrates why the announcement of this new Spitfire model has got everyone just a little but excited

 

For an aircraft which possessed such rich development potential and would eventually go on to see service long after the end of the Second World War, several of the most successful Spitfire variants were only ever initially intended as interim introductions. This was the case with the Griffon powered Mk.XIV, which was introduced as something of a stop-gap measure until the next major variant, the Mk.XVIII, could be fully developed. As it turned out, the Mk.XIV would go on to be the definitive fighting Rolls Royce Griffon engined variant of the Spitfire, ensuring that this classic aeroplane remained at the forefront of world fighter design in the final months of the Second World War. This constant wartime development was not only to ensure the maximum possible performance could be entrusted to the Spitfire airframe, but also to equip the RAF with an effective fighter aircraft, capable of challenging and eclipsing the performance of the latest Luftwaffe fighters. Just as Britain constantly developed their most famous fighting aeroplane, the Luftwaffe were also producing faster, more powerful and better armed variants of their Messerschmitt Bf 109 and Focke Wulf Fw 190 fighters, aircraft which would compete in the deadly ebb and flow of aerial combat supremacy in the skies above the battlefields. The Fw 190 proved to be a particularly capable adversary and was itself regarded as an exceptionally versatile aeroplane. It would be developed throughout the remaining months of WWII and following its dramatic impact on the European air war in 1941, successive upgrades and mission configuration options maintained its position as one of the most capable combat aeroplanes in the world.

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A selection of built sample images from the new 1/48th scale Spitfire Mk.XIV tooling, finished in the ‘B scheme’ to be included with the kit

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Trading the huge power output from its large BMW radial engine for the more aerodynamic appearance of its Messerschmitt stablemate, the Focke Wulf proved particularly effective at altitudes below 20,000ft, where its combination of speed, firepower and manoeuvrability made it a fearsome adversary. The aircraft matured into an extremely effective fighter bomber and once more became the scourge of the RAF, as specialist units mounted ‘Jabo’ strike raids against targets in southern England, often at low level and always at high speed. These raids proved particularly difficult to counter and resulted in wasteful and often uneventful standing patrols having to be mounted by aircraft which would be better employed elsewhere. The introduction of the Griffon powered Spitfires finally resulted in more of these cross Channel raiders being shot down and a challenge to the aerial supremacy of this latest variant of the Focke Wulf, even though these first fighters would only be produced in relatively small numbers and would be superseded by arguably the definitive variant of Griffon Spitfire, the Mk.XIV.

 

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Two more views of the sample Spitfire build, showing why this is already proving to be a popular addition to the Airfix range

 

The first RAF squadron to receive the new Spitfire Mk.XIV was No.610 (County of Chester) Squadron based at Exeter in January 1944, quickly followed by Nos 91 and 322 Squadrons. Pilots converting to the new aircraft immediately knew that they were being introduced to a superb fighting aeroplane, however, you don’t achieve aviation greatness without having to overcome some initial challenges and they would have to learn how to tame this powerful beast. The Spitfire was already notorious for requiring careful handling whilst on the ground and particularly during take-off and landing, so equipping the aircraft with a longer nose, a massive 10ft 5in diameter, five bladed propeller and a much more powerful engine must have induced some sleepless nights on pilots waiting to make their first flights. Significantly, the Griffon engine turned the airscrew in the opposite direction to the Rolls Royce Merlin and the aircraft’s tendency to swing on take-off was exacerbated greatly by the significantly increased torque from the new engine/propeller combination and in the opposite direction to that of Merlin powered Spitfires. Many pilots making their first flights in the new aircraft described them as hairy beasts to fly and during take-off, even when using full aileron, elevator and rudder, this brute of a fighter would climb into the air slightly sideways. As RAF pilots became more proficient in operating their new aircraft and combined with their existing combat experience, the exceptional performance of the Spitfire Mk.XIV soon made its mark on the European air war and it would not only be V-1 Doodlebugs which would fall to their guns in large numbers. As the Luftwaffe were now coming under increasing pressure from Allied air forces and many of their most experienced fighter pilots had been lost, the appearance of this capable new Spitfire proved something of a nightmare. Famous RAF fighter ace Pete Brothers described the Mk.XIV as a truly impressive machine and one possessed enough power to climb almost vertically. He famously wrote how the aircraft ‘gave many Luftwaffe pilots the shock of their lives when, having thought they had bounced you from a superior height, they were astonished to find the Mk.XIV climbing up to engage them head on, throttle wide open’. The Griffon powered Spitfires of the RAF would become feared by what remained of the Luftwaffe, no matter which of their latest aircraft they may have been flying.

 

An important addition to the Airfix range

 

Representing a significant stage in the development of the Spitfire, the 2019 release of this newly tooled kit will shore up something of a Spitfire sized hole in the Airfix range and allow modellers to build this most impressive looking version of the iconic Spitfire in this slightly larger scale. The extra size associated with 1/48th scale model kits really does lend itself to the production of powerful WWII fighter aircraft and much more effectively portrays the impressive size and majesty of these awesome aircraft. Even though our recent Telford attendance was dominated by the announcement of our 1/24th scale F6F-5 Hellcat, a built and finished sample of the new Griffon powered Spitfire was also on display on the Airfix stand and received plenty of attention over the show weekend. Indeed, images of this sample build have been used to illustrate this update feature, as it clearly shows us all what we have to look forward to next year.

 

As luring the Luftwaffe into open combat became increasingly difficult during the final months of the Second World War, the RAF would often mount armed reconnaissance sorties, releasing their pilots to engage any target of opportunity which may present itself. The Spitfire Mk.XIVs of the 2nd Tactical Air Force would take a heavy toll of enemy aircraft during this period, often fighting at lower altitudes and even attacking aircraft whilst they were still on the ground, although still having to face the murderous anti-aircraft fire of enemy ground units. As some of the most capable fighter aircraft to have ever seen RAF service, these new Spitfires would become the mount of many of the RAF’s late war air aces, serving extensively in the European Theatre and remaining in service for several years after the end of hostilities.

 

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The full ‘B scheme’ details, which were used to finish the sample build model – a silver Spitfire stunner!

 

Currently scheduled for a March 2019 release date, A05135 will include the scheme option featured above, which is a striking all-over silver Spitfire FR Mk.XIV, operating in the fighter/reconnaissance role for the Second Tactical Air Force, during their occupation of Germany in the years following the end of WWII. The aircraft features the low back, camera installation and bubble canopy associated with this later variant of the Spitfire XIV and despite the longer nose, increased tail area and huge five-bladed propeller, these speed demons also sported clipped wings, to further increase their rate of roll during combat at lower altitudes. Remaining in service until the early 1950’s, the Rolls Royce Griffon engine not only allowed the Spitfire to continue being regarded as one of the most potent piston engined fighter aircraft of the war, but also allowed it to remain in service right up until the widespread adoption of jet power. This handsome aircraft is a significant addition to the Airfix range and will build into a striking display model, especially if placed next to an example of an early Merlin powered Spitfire, effectively helping to tell the story of a famous fighting aeroplane which became a British aviation icon and one which managed to keep pace with technological developments during the latter stages of WWII. A gentleman’s aeroplane which became something of a cad with muscles.

 

V.P.

 

MattMemory2.jpg&key=454549e46694cda5ab5f

Edited by Homebee

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Why is the colour scheme diagram wrong?? The underside view shows the serial TS112 and the fuselage correct as TZ112!!!!???? Hope thye fix that before release!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Quite a glaring error and it stands out.

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15 hours ago, Paul J said:

Why is the colour scheme diagram wrong?? The underside view shows the serial TS112 and the fuselage correct as TZ112!!!!???? Hope thye fix that before release!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Quite a glaring error and it stands out.

Looking at the top photo it seems correct on the decal which is what matters most. Most important it's a Mk.XIV :D

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I love the presence of the big rudder as shown in scheme B (but not on the finished example).It is possible (with some modifications) to build a FR.18 too.

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15 hours ago, Kampartiger said:

I love the presence of the big rudder as shown in scheme B (but not on the finished example).It is possible (with some modifications) to build a FR.18 too.

I assume that's a Mk 18 rudder on the painting guide? Airfix do seem to be losing their grip!! Or maybe the guy who has done the artwork has had one or two too many pops before hitting the 'print' button!! Who knows, these could become collectible, like stamps!! But yes, it looks like a very nice Mk XIV!! But it needs a high back of course!!

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9 hours ago, Simon Cornes said:

I assume that's a Mk 18 rudder on the painting guide? Airfix do seem to be losing their grip!! Or maybe the guy who has done the artwork has had one or two too many pops before hitting the 'print' button!! Who knows, these could become collectible, like stamps!! But yes, it looks like a very nice Mk XIV!! But it needs a high back of course!!

 

It’s the correct rudder for TZ112. In common with most low back (and a few high back) mk 14s in service post 1946 it had the larger rudder/shorter fin. The kit supplies both.

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On 12/14/2018 at 8:55 PM, Paul J said:

Why is the colour scheme diagram wrong?? The underside view shows the serial TS112 and the fuselage correct as TZ112!!!!???? Hope thye fix that before release!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Quite a glaring error and it stands out.

Typo, the decals are correct

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Just checked my copy of British Military Serials: TS112 was allocated to a Typhoon  from an order which was cancelled.

 

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48 minutes ago, MikeC said:

Just checked my copy of British Military Serials: TS112 was allocated to a Typhoon  from an order which was cancelled.

 

 

As above, from the decal artist, TS112 was a typo, the decals say TZ112.

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1 hour ago, Dave Fleming said:

 

As above, from the decal artist, TS112 was a typo, the decals say TZ112.

Yes, I realise that, thanks.  I thought some might (like me) be interested to see what TS112 actually was.

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Interesting choice of Prendergast for the one of the marking options. I wonder if this is influenced by the presence of this specific aircraft in the computer game War Thunder. I know this made me to want to build it some time ago, but I struggled to find markings. Then Sword included them in their 1/72 kit, now Airfix in 1/48. Coincidence?

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Excellent. I'm looking forward to the release, and, at the same time, wondering how difficult it would be to convert to a high backed Mk XIVe - my personal XIV of choice!

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8 minutes ago, Tail-Dragon said:

Excellent. I'm looking forward to the release, and, at the same time, wondering how difficult it would be to convert to a high backed Mk XIVe - my personal XIV of choice!

Also my choice. Maybe you can mix it with the PR19 fuselage (rescribe the cockpit door)?

 

But will also get this one and build it as a Cleveland racer with decals from another kit. Actually I hoped Airfix would include these for a civil maschine option, but maybe they will release a racer boxing later with G-FIRE also included.

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Airfix have via their Facebook page, shown the box art for this new release.  This also confirms the second c&m scheme to be included with this initial release.

 

31815690307_d78c30aa69_k.jpgAirfix SPitfire FR.XIVe Box Art by Colin Ford, on Flickr

 

Spitfire FR.XIVe NH902 'Lazy Lady V', S/L Prendergast No.414 RCAF Squadron, mid 1945.

 

The box artwork is fictitious, S/L Prendergast scored his two destroyed FW-190s on 2 May 1945 over Wismar Harbour whilst flying NH896. NH648 which was 'Lazy Lady IV' was damaged by flak on 29 April 1945, so was out of action at that time. NH902 which became the replacement for NH648 for S/L Prendergast did not receive the 'Lazy Lady V' nose art until after VE-Day.  The Squadron codes also did not return to No.414 RCAF Squadron's Spitfires until after VE-Day. There are photos and profile artwork of NH648 'Lazy Lady IV' and NH902 'Lazy Lady V' in Volume 4 of 2TAF by Shores & Thomas, details of the aircraft and air combat claims in Volume 3.  They also take a different view on the prop spinner colour.

 

I have a number of this kit on pre-order and am looking forward to completing them in a range of late WW2 and immediate post-War 2TAF/BAFO Tac/R Squadron schemes.  A Spitfire FR.18 of No.208 Squadron, in Egypt in 1949 is also under consideration as a later project.

 

I think from the comments already floating around we will probably see an enhancement set or two coming from Barracuda - similar to what they did for the Spitfire PR.XIX - and likely a few sheets of aftermarket decal options from the usual suspects.

 

 

 

 

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On 1/8/2019 at 6:16 PM, Caerbannog said:

Also my choice. Maybe you can mix it with the PR19 fuselage (rescribe the cockpit door)?

 

But will also get this one and build it as a Cleveland racer with decals from another kit. Actually I hoped Airfix would include these for a civil maschine option, but maybe they will release a racer boxing later with G-FIRE also included.

Probably any highback Spitfire can be used. Keep everything apart from the back in front of the tail. Perhaps if you have some of EDuard's extras ...

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Release date drawing closer, due for release this month and Airfix have used the kit boxart as their March 2019 Calendar Wallpaper.

 

https://www.airfix.com/uk-en/downloads/view/index/cat/39/

 

Now just the wait for the emails to advise that the kits have been received and pre-orders are being sent out.

 

 

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Posted (edited)

Airfix have used the kit boxart as their March 2019 Calendar Wallpaper.

 

That's really great boxart. But... the radiators... maybe a little bit deep? F Mk.22/24?

Edited by Johnson
typo

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2 hours ago, Johnson said:

Airfix have used the kit boxart as their March 2019 Calendar Wallpaper.

 

That's really great boxart. But... the radiators... maybe a little bit deep? F Mk.22/24?

 

They do seem to have the shape of the later radiators ( starting with the Mk.21? ). At least it appears to only be the artwork they messed up, the CAD and early build appear to show the correct shape radiators.

 

 

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So is this one due out in the coming week or has there been any word of a delay?

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On 3/24/2019 at 10:51 AM, Col. said:

So is this one due out in the coming week or has there been any word of a delay?

It is like discussing the thing we are not discussing here! Or to quote master Shakespeare: To be or not to be!

 

Another good sign: Eduard has announced a series of etch for the Mk.XIV, so they must have seen the finished kit.

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On 1/15/2019 at 11:04 PM, ColFord said:

I have a number of this kit on pre-order and am looking forward to completing them in a range of late WW2 and immediate post-War 2TAF/BAFO Tac/R Squadron schemes.  A Spitfire FR.18 of No.208 Squadron, in Egypt in 1949 is also under consideration as a later project.

Thinking in terms of an earth/slate grey Mk XVIII myself indeed.

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Posted (edited)

Anyone being careful about accuracy and considering making a Mk XVIII, should be advised that the wing looked different. Shape, dimensions are the same as a Universal wing with E armament, but the panelling is different. Quite a few panel lines should be removed outside of the Hispanio gun and some new rescribed. Has recently been discussed on the WW II page. see  https://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/235050691-sptfire-xviii-wing-again/

A review build in the March issue of Airfix Model World.

Regards,

Edited by Tomas Enerdal

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Posted (edited)

I assume that this won't be arriving in time to be my Mother's Day present to my wife? 

 

Which may be no bad thing, on reflection...

 

Do we have any idea of a release date, though? Have I missed rumours/tales of it being delayed, or is this a rare instance of such news not breaking out all over t'interweb?

Edited by XV107

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If Airfix push things back again I’m seriously considering that from now on when they make an announcement they add two months to the expected date just to stop looking like pillocks when they’re late....again... and I am an Airfix lover- but it ticks me off! 😳

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