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Hobbycraft  MkXIV  Supermarine Spitfire

Model By: Anthony Manzoli

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This is Hobby Craft's Supermarine Spitfire MkXIV.  It was built out of the box with the exception of the Aeromaster decals.  The construction was average.  There was a good size gap at the wing roots, which I was able to minimize by cutting pieces of sprue and wedging them into the fuselage.  The kit itself is fairly decent, there are only a few discrepancies that can be fixed.  One is the supercharger air intake, which is inaccurate, I am not sure if it's a flaw with the mold, but the scoop is not complete, I left it as it was.  The next shortcoming is the canopy, which is very thick as well as non transparent.  The last is the cockpit which is very bland, but since the canopy is one piece, it doesn't really matter.  I chose to model the Spitfire from 130 (Punjab) Squadron RAF (RAF Squadrons that flew Spitfires). I started the painting of the kit by preshading all the panel lines with black, when dry I  painted the bottom of the plane a mix of Gunze light aircraft grey and white and the upper  Gunze RLM 74 and a mixture of olive drab and dark green. The spinner and theater band were painted Tamiya sky. When the paint was dry I carefully ran pencil lead along all the panel lines including the under wings.  I find this gives a clean and subtle result.  You can also use a soft bristled brush to carefully brush the lead in the direction of the airflow, to give it a soft weathered appearance.  I weathered the model by using Model Masters steel to represent worn paint chips and a light brushing of pastels. The exhaust trails and machine gun carbon deposits were airbrushed with a mix of Gunze rust and soot. Before and after decaling the plane, I sprayed  it with Tamiya clear acrylic, once dry I sprayed a couple of coats of Gunze clear matte.  If you are looking for a nice base for a MkXIV for a low price, I recommend this kit, especially if you are into adding resin and photo-etched sets.  I picked the kit up for $ 10 AUS.

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