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Spitfire FR.14 India (or Malaya?) 1946


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Hello friends,

 

Time to bring some 144th action to this GB. This was definitely an impulse entry, I was grabbing kits to take to a bring and build event and one happened to be this recon model, so I thought it would make an ideal build and GB entrant.

 

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The model is one of the SEAC Spitfire low back XIV models, in recon configuration. It comes with decals for SM888 based in India and later Malaya with 28th Squadron or NH926 which appeared post war, but has clipped wings on all profiles I have found, so I'm going to stick with SM888 to avoid model surgery.

 

Like all my models it will be vignetted (not a real word) so I need to find some suitable reference photos for India or Malaya to determine which setting to use (if anyone has any reference shots from this time with particularly crew or vehicles in, these would be most welcome!).

 

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The kit itself is something a little different, it is what is known as a Gashapon model, made by F-Toys in Japan. Primarily aimed at the domestic Japanese market, these models sit somewhere between a standard kit and a pre-finished diecast collectable. They come with similar level of detail to a good kit, they are pre-coloured (detailed exteriors and basic interior colours) but require assembly, they can be push fitted but work best with cement and decals are provided for most of the markings, often with a couple of variations possible. To make them more fun, they are most often purchased in 'blind boxes' apparently from candy vending machines (the boxings actually include chewing gum, I've not yet tried any, never sure of the vintage), which tell you the selection they come from, but not specifically which kit is in the box and most ranges include a bonus scheme or two which are not shown on the packaging. 

 

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This model is from a few years back, 'Versus 6'  collection which includes the Spitfire and an Me-163. The F-Toys range is very extensive and includes a great many WW2 types as well as jets and helicopters. Most of these aircraft have never been made available in kit form in 144th, so for scale collectors these Gashapons are of great interest. They are not available from any commercial sellers outside Japan, so you have the option to buy an entire retail box of these (for about £40 before postage, in which you get ten kits - the nine officially listed and one of two bonus models, although contents may occasionally vary) for the very short availability window following release, or to buy individually at great markup from eBay sellers.

 

This incidentally was part of a collection that my wife picked up from a vendor a couple of years ago that I have slowly started pilfering or trading for other kits!

 

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Built up quite quickly, this model has a rather lower quality finish than most of the more recent releases. The camo doesn't flow between wings and fuselage and the white stripes are too translucent.

 

The camera ports are represented by rather naff silver circles. I might try drilling these out(?).

 

Fortunately I am planning a complete repaint for this one, so it doesn't matter what is underneath.

 

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Some putty was required on the quite obvious seam and wing joins

 

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So that is her current state following the bring and build session, alongside another F-toys model.

 

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When I got back to the home bench, Paul must have gotten wind of the covert reconnaissance theme of this GB and wanted to audition take part too...

Edited by Tim R-T-C
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It's nice to see these alternative sources of small scale kits.  Some apparent 'toys' can be very good shape-wise and, as you say, usefully fill a gap in the market.

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That does look to be a nice rendering of the subject but a pity the quality of paintwork wasn't better - although not a problem given you're repainting it of course. I've seen a small number of F-toys kits on eBay but as you say they're often listed at prices greater than or equivalent to some 1/48th scale examples of the same subject!

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  • 1 month later...

So this project is on the back burner at present, but I decided at the weekend to have a shot at drilling out the camera port...

 

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Hopefully a blob of PVA will effect a nice look at the end of the build.

 

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I base coated with a few layers of AK 3rd Gen Dark Earth and brushed camo with Revell Aqua 68 - much more accurate than the overly green hued AK version of Dark Green. The pattern is from the Xtradecal sheet instructions.

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While this one may not be getting your full attention Tim you're still making good progress with it.

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  • 1 month later...
  • 3 weeks later...

Unfortunately a couple of weekends full of family commitments meant this build missed the GB deadline, I have kept chipping away.

 

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After some reasonably heavy weathering to suit the muddy Indian field conditions, I finished up construction and added some vignette details.

 

Final touches then photobox photos to follow 😁

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  • 2 weeks later...

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