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1/72 Hasegawa Spitfire Mk.VIII HF

by Pierrig Salaün

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I didn't have my “most popular fighter” yet in my model collection... So this is it : my Spitfire!  I chose the HF VIII version, which is a Mk VII without pressurized cockpit. This “Spit” was mainly used as a fighter-bomber from June 1943 on Mediterranean & far Eastern theatres of operation.

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I chose to depict an early Mk VIII (round tail) from 145 squadron in Italy, December 1943 numbered JF565 (ZX-A), decals from the box.

The other version you can build is the « famous » JF502 (QJ-F or QJ-4 depending on service time) from 92 Sq. piloted by ace pilot Flt Lt James « Eddie » Edwards.

The kit was enhanced using the Eduard photo-etched set. This set is very complete to detail the cockpit, the radiators and landing gear. Anyway, beware of proposed PE torque links which can be mounted but in fact are missing on the real aircraft as well as the extrados' bump careenage above the wheel wells which must be sanded as it's only existing on later versions of the Spitfire. Also you can represent lowered landing flaps, but you must know that these are lowered only during landing, so representing it lowered when parking is inaccurate.

I also used the Squadron vacuform canopy which needs a fix to fit the Hasegawa kit. The kit's propeller was replaced by a resin Airwaves four blades prop which is more accurate.

Other added details are the wing's leading edges fuel tanks rescribed because the panel lines are absent from the kit's engraving.  I also scratched the bars keeping the control stick straight, not to have the control surfaces cut (how courageous I am !).

For the camo I used Humbrol 84 (middle stone), Tamiya XF-52 (dark earth) and Aircraft Colors 6116 (azure).

This kit was a pleasure to build and I'd like to thanks Jean ROBERT at www.master194.com who is a living Spitfire encyclopaedia. He was very helpful to correct the little mistakes I could have done here.

Pierrig

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Photos and text © by Pierrig Salaün

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