Jump to content

ICM Spitfire IX in 1/48th Scale.Finished.

Recommended Posts

G'day Chums,it's been a good few years since I built an ICM Spitfire and,being as I've a handful in the stash,I thought why not.I was inspired by @Corsairfoxfouruncle Dennis' effort with his Dicer IX so that's what I'd like to do.This kit came to me pre-owned for not a lot of pennies from @trickydicky210 so if you're looking in Rich I hope you'll enjoy this one.I cracked into this a couple of weeks ago.First off the kit as it came to me. 




With all the bits I'm not going to need weeded out.It's a little less formidable looking.




The previous owner evidently had grand plans for this one.




Let's start with something easy thought I.The cannon bulges are acknowledged as being on the undernourished side of anorexic.




I had a dig into the spares box for likely candidates.I used my Hasegawa IX as a rough guide to the size,laid a few out and selected a pair nearest in height and length.




These were then cut away from their panels,no easy feat because the panels are curved and my saw blade wanted to go straight for a change,and sanded for height.




The same was done to the kit panels,good thing I had a couple of spares of those,which I managed to make a mess of twice.These panels were slightly larger than their destination apertures making fettling to make a spot on fit a lot easier.




I did a bit of image searching and came up with the usual suspects for pink Spitfires including this one.




White V aircraft letter,5 spoke wheels,torpedo external fuel tank.This one'll do for me.

The kit wheels are not the best.To be fair this particular pair are worse than usual,the other ICMs in the stash aren't as bad as these.The replacements are from Airfix,the backs are the wheels up tapered option from the new tool Vb and the 5 spoke fronts are probably from the XII but I'm not certain.




The propellor blades are...erm...representative.




The first thing to do was address the sink holes.The ends of a few bits of runner were heated and pushed into the holes and allowed to cool.Liquid glue was then applied and allowed to set.




In comparison to the Eduard blades I happen to have the leading edges were in need of a little extending.Some more runner was stretched




and glued into place.These were then put aside to set.




The cockpit components as supplied.




The seat is in need of some modification.It has little resemblance to the Airfix PR XIX seat which I used as a pattern




The various bits after fettling.




The seat had the sides chopped off,a reshape,new sides and front edge from thin plastic card and a backpad from thicker card.




The control column had a new spade grip from guitar string,a gun button from shaped copper wire,a brake lever from thin wire and a slice of its insulation and the hoses down the front from thin copper wire.




Replacement armour plate




A start on the instrument panel




and the pipe that joins the two air bottles.




Of course all of this will be practically invisible to the naked eye once fitted.More soon chums,stay safe.

Edited by Alex Gordon
  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Another Dicer... Excellent ! https://images.app.goo.gl/AsNmYg7jsqbsnBKd9


i have an ICM Mk.IX that ive been using for parts for twenty years or so. They're decent kits but Ouch that prop was hurting and I like the work you’ve done on the blades. 

Edited by Corsairfoxfouruncle
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hello again Chums,a little more to show.


Dennis,thanks for chipping in.The propellor isn't really that bad,I'm just going to town on it for the sake of it.The kit itself is very buildable with a bit of care but it does have a few things that,if corrected,will gild the lily.I'm going to attempt a few of those on this build just to see if I can because I like the kit.Here's the two that I've built so far,this piccie was taken seven years or so ago.




Anyway,to business.Fairly pertinent to this effort is the window that the camera looks through.A spot of compare and contrast with the photo in the last post and my available drill bits let me settle on 4.5mm as being nicely proportioned for the hole.




My ever trusty leather punch provided a disc of clear sheet just slightly larger than the hole but it needs to sit just inside the outer skin to look anything like.A light pondering was followed by countersinking the hole from the inside with a 6mm drill bit between the fingertips meaning less danger of overdoing it.




This left the next question of how to secure the glassware.I didn't fancy using superglue due to the possibility of fogging  and the likelihood of the disc dropping into a closed up fuselage somewhere near completion.What to do.I looked again at my leather punch.If I was to make a collar from plastic card using the size smaller than the disc and stretch it over the round end of the 4.5mm drill that would give me something nice and solid as a fixing.This seemed crazy enough to work.  







Hopefully a drop of Klear will hide the scratches that I've only seen when looking at the photo.


The exhausts look a touch on the weedy side.The only spares I have to hand are the tubular ones from the Hasegawa kit so I thought I'd have a go at modifying those.I started by drilling them all out as deeply as I could. 




They are supposed to look like this




I put a diddy brushful of EMA Plasticweld down each hole,waited a moment and then tried to manipulate the stubs with tweezers.The desired effect wasn't happening.I'll make a tool to do the job thought I.The big box of odd bits of wire yielded some decent thickness copper wire.A short length was cut off and the end of it flattened with pliers.The now flat end was then shaped with a file and the corners rounded off.This was chucked in to the pin vice and manipulation was attempted.A little light fettling and a coat of paint will do the job for me.




The propellor blades have had all the attention that they are going to receive.Seen here with the Eduard item that was used as a reference the blades were longer and wider than they should be.A mil or so was cut off the tips and both edges were filed back to nearly match.They're not quite identical but they look a lot happier than when they started out.




There's not a lot of grey plastic left on them now.




The spinner is going to be the next victim.It is shorter and narrower than the Eduard item by sufficiently much that just using it as a former for plunge moulding isn't going to do it.




Moe soon chums,thanks for looking in.


Edited by Alex Gordon
Spelling.Replacing unreliable Onedrive photo link.
  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hello again Chums,a little more progress.The fuselage halves are now glued together.




The instrument panel looks convincing enough for me.




One of the noted snags with this kit is the too narrow spine.I took one of the spare canopies from the Airfix Vb and offered it up to the kit item.




End on,only just visible here due to my dodgy camera skills,the differences in shape and width are quite marked.




My plan to use the Airfix item was made simpler by the difference in length of the non sliding portion,I can cut it off next to the sliding portion and that leaves me with two spare parts out of one.




I decided to plunge mould over the kit spinner,this looked half decent and added some to the length and diameter so I plunge formed a second skin over the top of the first which made the spinner up to the sizes I was looking for,as near as I'm going to be happy with anyway.




I offered up the backplate which,unsurprisingly,was now undersize.




A thin strip of plastic card was cut




and used to add to the edge.This was glued and put aside to set.




A plastic card tab was cut and glued in to support the join for the missing cowling side.




There are sink marks all over this one,some plastic card was glued into the ones on the wing upper halves. 




While I had the card out I cut the piece needed to support the replacement wing fillet.This was done by tracing round the edge of the wing with the tip of a scalpel blade.




I made a little spacing tool using the plastic card I'm going to use to position the support piece where it will be needed.




More out of focus photos I'm afraid,the rear portion of the canopy was masked off inside and out,shimmed for height and then glued along its horizontal edges only.This will allow me alter the fuselage shape to match the glassware.




I addressed the fuselage sink marks by gluing in some twiddly bits of plastic card.




The spinner bits were put together and fettled.I'm happy with these,they're now ready for paint.




That's all for now folks.Thanks for looking in,more soon.


  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

G'day again Chums,yet more progress to report.Once the glue had set on the glassware I pushed a shim into the spine joint so that the back edge of the canopy matched up with the fuselage.This was glued and left to set.




I gave this 24 hours to set while I finished off my Hobbyboss Me 262 and then did a bit of manipulating to make the top of the spine marry up.This was glued and left to set.




That sorted out the fuselage shape just leaving a tapered gap back to the tail which was filled with stretched runner.




While that was setting I turned to the next job.It's a recce aircraft,it needs a camera and mounting.




I roughly copied the relevant bits from the Airfix FR XIV.




Silver paint for the mounting and grey for the camera.




The end of the lens was polished with 12000 Micromesh.It'll be barely visible in position but,dear reader,we know what it looks like.




A piece of plastic card was cut and glued to the upper wing half where the bit of fuselage isn't.




This method shows promise.




This is when I found out that the upper cowling is too narrow.This could be a good thing because of the mods needed to match the larger spinner.




Anyway this afternoon I had a session making the Sutton Harness.




This was followed by pushing the cockpit together.










I'm beginning to think that I should have made an insert similar to the Airfix or Hasegawa variety,maybe on the next one.




It's all staying in there now it's in,wing fitting is next.




Thanks for looking in Chums,stay safe.More soon.

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, Alex Gordon said:

This is when I found out that the upper cowling is too narrow.This could be a good thing because of the mods needed to match the larger spinner.

A spare Eduard one can be made to fit, and solves the problem.


29 minutes ago, Bill Livingston said:

I'm impressed by the Sutton harness... where did that come from?


2 hours ago, Alex Gordon said:

Anyway this afternoon I had a session making the Sutton Harness.


when Alex said he made it, as in out of tape and wire,..


2 hours ago, Alex Gordon said:

A piece of plastic card was cut and glued to the upper wing half where the bit of fuselage isn't.


these are also alternate bits in Eduard kits ;) 


Very impressive work,  which just confirm to me that unless you really like this sort of thing the Eduard kit is the way to go.



  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites


Excellent work. I just love this get into a kit and correct it. Lots of nice techniques going on with readily available materials.  I assume the Sutton harness is scratch built. Well done. What it does prove is how far we have come in Spitfire accuracy and kit quality in recent years. 


  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites



just popped by to take a look 


great work, I like the way you joined the upper wings to the fuselage first so you avoid the wing root gap


look forward to seeing the finished kit


cheers Rich

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Alex,

Some great work here, I especially liked the repairs to the propellers, what a great way to solve the problem! Best wishes for the rest.


  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hello again Chums,work has got in the way a bit over the last few days but there's a bit more progress.

Dennis,thanks for chipping in.Glad you're enjoying this one.


Bill, @Bill Livingston thanks for popping by.The harness is,as Troy said,scratched up from tape and wire.If you hang on a bit I'll show you what I did.


Troy,many thanks old fruit.The unfortunate thing is that I've just the one Eduard kit which I don't want to rob yet just in case I pinch the wrong bits.


Ray, @Ray_W Thanks for dropping in.The first one of these I built didn't receive anything like this attention.One of the things I like to do on any build is use whatever I have to hand.We have a few avid researchers to thank for our current level of understanding not just on the Spitfire.


Rich,thanks for poling up.This is really a pioneer build to work up the solutions for the other one of these that one of my little herberts will be building if we ever return to school.Glad you like the wing fitting idea,when I first thought of it it was a light bulb moment,then I joined BM and discovered that most folks had been doing it for years and what was all the fuss about.I'll make sure that you know when it's done.


Charlie,thanks for the kind words.Not all fixes have to be difficult.


That Sutton Harness.I've knocked one together to show how it was done,this one is the wrong colour straps and based on the Airfix PR XIX seat which needs reworking but you'll get the idea.

I started with a strip of masking tape laid out straight so that I can make the maximum number of strips from it.I'm a noted tightwad you see.




This was duly sliced up using one of the narrower long bits on the leftover frame from a set of Airwaves saw blades which I was delighted to find in Hobbycraft one day.They are in the Modelcraft range,I've just had a look at their website and can't find one to link to.




These were put somewhere to paint them,aren't Ferrero Rocher boxes useful.




Next we need some thin wire.The thick bit of copper wire is a double ended tool for doing this job.




One end was flattened into a rectangle,the end squared off and a slot cut into it.




This is for making the buckles,a fiddly job if ever there was one. First off a strand of wire is straightened and then tinned with solder.The end of the wire is put into the slot and then the tool is rotated,keeping tension on the wire,to make the buckle.




This is then removed and the first solder joint is made.




The excess wire is cut off,the buckle straightened up and the second solder joint made.That fixes the loose ends in position.




The other end of the tool is triangular.Wire is wrapped around it.




The ends are then spread to make the retaining clip.




More soldering including the lanyard that attaches the clip to the harness from thinner wire.This is very fiddly.




Three lengths of painted tape are cut to make the back portion of the harness.The vertical bit should go through the hole in the back of the seat which,here,isn't there.




The shoulder straps were cut and positioned over one of the riveting guides on my age old and faithful SAM saw.




This was turned over and the securing holes made by pushing a sewing pin through the hole into a soft piece of wood,in this case my sanding block.




This is where it gets a bit rough and ready,the pin work raises the edge of the hole.Painted silver,not slopped everywhere like here,this represents the rivets rather well.




The straps that go through the headrest armour are cut and one end folded round the wire that disappears into the aft fuselage.Another drop of strategically applied silver paint represents the coupling between the two.




The shoulder straps are then stuck to the underside of these and threaded into the buckles.This job is really fiddly.The plain ends of the shoulder straps are stuck on to the seat straps,sticky sides together.That doesn't make them go together any better it just saves painting.




The retaining clip lanyard is bent and folded and pressed into place and attached to the right hand shoulder strap.The harness is then arranged to look vaguely realistic while hiding all the bodges and dodgy bits of painting.Apply superglue to taste so that it doesn't come apart when dropped and that's about it.One thing to note is that,on the real thing, the riveted ends had a strip of stainless steel sewn into them so they should always look rigid,flat and straight.The mounting buckles for the lap straps are many and varied but can be made using the tool.




Did I mention fiddly?




Anyway,the lower wing joint went better than expected.




The wingtips are another matter.Yet more out of focus photography might reveal to the perceptive that the wing is thicker than the tip that is supposed to join it and is held apart by the locating tab that is intended to hold them together.I did offer up the wingtips from my Vb but they were thinner than the wing by quite a margin.




I thinned the wing and the locating tabs,left hand untouched right hand bodged.




The upper cowling was cut in two.




There's a fair danger of this working.




A disc was cut to act as the former for the front end and mounting plate for the propellor.




This too shows a likelihood of working.




  Thanks for looking in Chums,more soon.

Edited by Alex Gordon
  • Like 3
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks Alex, for going through your harness making. Very useful. I love these gory details. Rsy

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

That harness making tutorial is more than I could have wished for... I thought the straps were made of silk to be honest and cut and superglued so they didn’t fray.... the fact they are Tamiya tape is well received. I have made harnesses in the past with Tamiya tape but used PE buckles... to go through the process of soldering your own makes them look much more three dimensional and ‘right’... and impressive soldering skills too... especially on the triangular locking pin.


The eyes on the strap holes are made with a technique I have used in ship modelling, except we use normal printer paper, cut and shaped and folded  to whatever you are trying to make and we then soak it in ultra-thin superglue afterwards... it hardens to a very plastic type material... And holes punched through, they naturally leave a ragged edge in the paper so when they are soaked in superglue, the edges are really hard once set and can be filed to be a bit neater and then dry brushed. 

I’m pretty good with materials not often used in plastic modelling, but I couldn’t match your soldering skills... and the tool you made to form the buckles is brilliant.


Also important is the explanation of the harness itself. I didn’t know for instance the the end of the harness was reinforced with stainless steel, making it rigid. I had noticed the rigidity before but it never really registered. Also I am pleased you concur with regard to the lap straps. I have often seen the starboard strap fed through the hand hold on that side of the seat (it’s for height adjustment, you pull it if you are raising the seat), the harness itself is actually attached to the seat at about waist height, on the seat side panels with some covering plates around the fitting itself. 


thank you... another page bookmarked.


Damn, this is a useful Build Group!

Edited by Bill Livingston
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

G'day again Chums,

Ray,Bill,my pleasure old fruits.Glad you thought it was worthwhile.

Charlie,many thanks old chum.


The circular former was drilled out and a short length of tube was cut with a squared off end and glued to it to make the mounting for the propellor.This assembly was then glued to the ends of the two side panels.




Once set the lower cowling was taped into position and glued in.While I was at it I pulled the air intake together and glued it too,taking care of the gap at the joint.




While that was sorting itself out I turned my attention to the windscreen.To the left is the kit offering with the heavy framing and the slightly narrow armoured portion.To the right is the spare one from the Airfix Vb.I decided to use the kit one. 




Blurry photo of the kit gunsight.I didn't fool the camera's autofocus again.




The cowling seems to have gone together quite well.The air intake is a bit ropey though.




I backed all of the gaps with stretched runner and bunged in some filler.This is the stuff I use for decorating,it is water based and dries slightly rubbery and flexible so it might just do the thing here.




The air intake lips are commendably thin but didn't form properly when moulded.




In the big box of Spitfire Spares I found this.I don't recall it's origin but I've only built Airfix,ICM,Italeri and Hasegawa so far which might narrow it down a bit.




I cut the mouth off both it and the kit one,hollowed out the resultant hole and inserted the replacement from inside,easily done due to ICM's forgiving wall thicknesses.This was then made up with some plastic strip and fettled appropriately.




The slots for the exhausts were lengthened very slightly to take the replacement items and then some boxing was made up to glue them to when the time comes.The upper cowling was then fitted up and glued in.




The gunsight glass was cut off,the lump polished and then new brackets made and fitted.The replacement glass was cut from thin acetate and fixed in place with a drop of Klear.Not once did I drop it.Result.




The fillery,once set,was given a slathering of paint to check it's efficacy.The few self inflicted niggles were given another wipe over.




The canopy glassware was given a hairy stickful of interior colour,I couldn't be bothered to mask and spray.The wobbles were cleaned up using the tip of a cocktail stick.




Windscreen on,mirror fitted,upper cowling filled with stretched runner and the cockpit door held in place with masking tape.




Gun barrels on and cockpit stuffed with bog roll.We're nearly ready for paint.




This is where we need to know a little more about our subject.My go to serial number source says this;

MK915  LFIX CBAF M66 33MU 19-4-44 302S 3-5-44 83GSU 15-6-44 mods 16S 22-6-44 2TAFCS 30-11-44 enemy action 1-1-45 AST 14-3-45 sold Turkey 7-7-47

She was initially issued to 302 Squadron in May '44.According to Wikipedia "On 11 June 1944, 302 became the first Polish Squadron to land in France, five days after D-Day."

That means she had a full set of Overlord markings.On the 15th of June she found herself at 83 GSU for modifications.This unit was based at Bognor,this link will reveal a little more.That means that the work to fit the camera and the paint job were done in workshops in the UK.

On the 22nd of June she was issued to 16 Squadron in her new colour and markings.I don't know what the marking is on the cockpit door.The fuselage roundel looks like the standard size but just red and blue.The fin flash on PR aircraft is a standard 12" wide,but here it looks taller than it is wide.The Overlord stripes have been overpainted on the upper fuselage but not parallel with any datum line.I think the underwing striping has been eliminated.I would expect to see a dark colour on the visible side of the radiator housing which was where the inboard black stripe ran. 




As per




and from Asisbiz https://www.asisbiz.com/il2/Spitfire/RAF-541Sqn.html




I also think that the wing roundels were smaller than usual.I'm going to plump for the same size as the fuselage ones.This photo is captioned MK 716 for which the gen is;

MK716 LFIX CBAF M66 39MU 2-3-44 302S 3-5-44 83GSU 15-6-44 mods 312S FACB 24-6-44 ros 34Wng SU Prep Flt 27-7-44 414S CB ops 2-3-45 Armee de l'Air GC2/1.

She went to France with 302 Squadron and then the same workshops as our subject on the same day.




Edit 15/11/2022: There is more gen available in Winded Penguins' build thread https://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/235117499-pru-pink-spitfire-ix-fr-16-squadron-raf/


The airframe was primed with gloss white.Once dry I cut some masks.The outer diameter is 32",the red centre is 12" as measured off some standard fuselage roundel decals I dug out of the stash.




I settled on 15" height for the fin flash as looking appropriately proportioned.The letter V is a 4" stroke and the stripes are 18".




The future's bright,the future's pink.Thanks for looking in Chums,more soon.


Edited by Alex Gordon
  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Looking quite good, I agree about the under wing stripes. I honestly dont know if they were full sets as i found no visual evidence of them on top of wings or fuselage. This is the only photo I have seen that shows partial evidence of stripes on the lower wings ? nBperXg.jpg
There is a wide shadow stripe from the cannon back but no other stripes. This plane does show evidence of having fired its guns though. There are gun smoke streaks from ejector chutes.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Arriving on the squadron on 22 June she should have had full stripes, but by then they were being removed from the upper surfaces.  Later (end of July? needs confirming) they were removed from the undersurface of the wings.  So it rather depends on the date these photographs were taken - all three options may well be correct but the full set is probably doubtful.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hello again Chums,here we go again.

Dennis,thanks again for chipping in.That photo is very useful.That stripe under the wing looks like it was part of the stripes.It also shows the aircraft letter just below the propellor.It is one photo in that set that I have not previously seen.


Graham,thanks for looking in old fruit.According to Wikipedia,not the most reliable source I realise but I don't think they'll get this one wrong,the upper surface marking removal instruction was a month after D Day.I seem to think the lower surfaces were addressed in August but I don't recall where I read that and I'm probably wrong.

Edited to add; Post 5 here.


Masked off for painting black.You can be forgiven for thinking that I am not keen on overspray.



The propellor blade tips were painted yellow.




Once dry out came the airbrush and a spot of Matt Black.






After that the roundels were painted using my own mixes of paint for the red and blue.The radiator components and the exhausts were given the pencil lead treatment.




I made a canopy catch lever from bent and flattened copper wire and a tiny square of plastic.




The propellor was put together and decalled.




The canopy handle fitted.




There was a flurry of de-masking and touching in and a spot of dubiously applied exhaust and oil staining followed by a coat of Vallejo Matt Varnish.I'm calling this one done.I haven't forgotten the serial number on the fin,I just haven't worked out how to do it yet.I did also say that I'd let @trickydicky210 know about this bit.




















With my Hasegawa IX.




I did try to turn this piccie into monochrome but Paint wouldn't play ball.








Edited to add:I've just discovered that the camera will work in monochrome.


My thanks to @TEMPESTMK5 and @Enzo Matrix for doing their bit and to everyone who chipped in.This one was a bit of a marathon but the end result is very pleasing.Take care all,have fun and stay safe.


Edited by Alex Gordon
Adding photo.Adding link
  • Like 8
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 9 months later...

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...