Airfix/Academy Spitfire 21 kitbash
August 1, 2015 in Aviation
The Spitfire 21 was so different from all the Spitfires that came before that it was originally thought it should be named the “Victor.” In the end, the Spitfire name was retained.
Based on the experimental Spitfire Mk.IV/XX, the Spitfire 21 featured a new semi-elliptical wing that was considerably strengthened from the standard Spitfire wing, to take an armament of 4 20mm cannon. The landing gear was repositioned and fully enclosed. The aircraft had a normal loaded weight of 9.900 pounds with a maximum overload of 11,200 pounds – a far cry from the fully-loaded weight of 6,200 pounds for the Spitfire I! Though 3,000 Spitfire 21s were originally ordered, in the end only 120 were delivered due to the war ending. The first was delivered on September 6, 1944, with the last of the 120 delivered January 2, 1946.
The Spitfire 21 achieved operational status with 91 Squadron in April 1945, with a few patrols carried out over Holland. The only Spitfire 21 victory was a Heinkel He-162 from JG 1 on April 28, 1945, the only Volksjaeger lost in air combat. The Spitfire 21 served in the Auxiliary Air Force after the war, leaving service in 1949.
I did this model some 18 years ago. It’s a kitbash of the Airfix Spitfire 22/24, and the Academy Spitfire XIV. the tail was cut off the Airfix kit abd the upper halfof the fuselage aft of the cockpit was removed. The Academy kit was sectioned with the upper rear fusealge and vertical fin and rudder, which was then mated to the Airfix fuselage. An indication of just how “off” the Academy kit is, is the fact I took off 1/16 inch from the bottom of the Academy rear fuselage to mate it to the correct-depth Airfix fuselage. Decals came from the Decal Dungeon and the Airfix kit to do a Spitfire 21 of 91 Squadron, circa April 1945.
Shortly after I did this, Aeroclub released a limited-run Spitfire XIV fuselage which could be mated to the Airfix kit to do a Spitfire 21 (I did mine as a Seafire 45). With the demise of Aeroclub, that is no longer available. Today, one could do this by mating the Airfix Spitfire PR XIX with the 22/24 wing. Someday, Airfix will finally realize just how much money they could make by turning the PR XIX kit into a Spitfire XIV.
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