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Tom Cleaver
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1/32 PCM Spitfire XIV

December 4, 2012 · in Aviation · · 21 · 3.2K

The . The only accurate Spitfire XIV model currently available.

Squadron leader's airplane, 610 squadron, May 1944. Kit decals.

The kit has been re-released by Kitlinx, which now (2020) owns the PCM line.

Reader reactions:
2  Awesome

13 additional images. Click to enlarge.

21 responses

  1. The "...only accurate Spitfire model available..." ? Mr. Tamiya would no doubt beg to differ with that statement, I'm sure (as would a few others).

    And you consider the Academy kit(s) to be "d***k" [read: rubbish, dirt, garbage, trash, junk, et al] - I'm sure there are any number of modelers that would vehemently disagree with your assessment.

    However, you are entitled to an opinion, however biased or misguided it may be.

  2. I've built the Academy XIV. Its not a "bad" kit - it's just not very close to a SpitfireXIV however. You need to replace the entire nose (INCL SPINNER & PROPS) and rudder at the very least, and the cockpit is fairly basic.
    Its still miles ahead of the Hobbycraft abortions! At least the Academy kit is well fitting and easy to make, needing only minimal filler.
    D***k is somewhat of an overstatement, "rather inaccurate" is closer to the mark. (Oh, and the decals ARE d***k, though!)

  3. Dangit! Forgot to say that Mr Cleaver has done a veery nice job on the PCM kit! (I have one in my stash but am awaiting info on why the options are quote"unreliable" - as in some options have inaccurate markings/options.
    (eg: Ginger Lacey's XIV from Burma is a XIVe not and XIVc as in the options) and apparently one of the others has either incorrect dodes or serials, or both,(not sure which- I'm at work right now and haven't got my kit notes to hand.)

  4. After 40 or so years in modeling, I am of a firm conviction that model accuracy is in the eye of the beholder!

    I have been pursuing shape accuracy in my models for many years and was often puzzled by the fact that while some people could see the difference in, say, some curvature, others would definitely not. Scale models are "inaccurate" per definition, things change proportions on their way to become a scale kit. There may be unfortunate choices made done by those who design it, there may be errors in our perception as viewers when our brain is assessing the likeness of the finished model with the real object. It's no big deal. Any model can be said to be "accurate" or "inaccurate" depending on what you'd like to pick.

    I have since considerably lightened my approach to accuracy, even in my own doings. Modeling is fun regardless.

    • For me it not so much about wether or not a subtle curve or bulge is a few microns off,, it about if the shape is clearly visibly incorrect when you compare it to the same part of the subject,

      Eg: 1st: the ACADEMY 1/48 Spitfire XIV rudder is visibly different to a real XIV ridder in shape and size.
      2nd: The fuselage of the Hasegawa 1/48 Spitfire mk IX family is both short and slender but it does look like a spitfire...UNTIL you hold it up to a kit with a more accurate profile like either the Airfix or ICVM Mk IX kits, Then it screams "wrong!" at you! (The Airfix and ICM kits also have issues but they are minor in comparision.

      That's the kind of inaccuracy I want to correct when I build a kit.
      But I'm not overly ...obsessed... by it either. I've built the Hasegawa Spitfire without correcting the fuselage, and I'm fairly happy with the result, but it lives "away" from the 2 ICM Spitfires in my cabinet!

  5. I probably don't even belong in this conversation, because I've never been one of those "accuracy" freaks, who get out the schematics, slide rules and blueprints...I just build the kit. I wouldn't have a clue if the fuselage is a millimeter too short or if the cowl flaps are the wrong size or it's painted a shade off or whatever else is deemed incorrect. If it "...looks like a duck, walks like a duck and sounds like a duck..." - it's close enough for me. It's a hobby.

    • I'm with you, Craig.

    • ...However, if like in the case of the 1/32 Trumpy Corsair, you pay for what you hope is at least "right", and instead get ridiculous cowl flaps on an undersized cowl, ficticious gear doors on the main gear struts, and corresponding incorrect gear bay openings, I think I would be allowed to be a little ticked. It "looks like" a corsair out of the box, but any dummy like me with access to pictures of one can see they screwed the pooch!

      I got the Academy XIV- I liked building it, it does look pretty close to the pictures of the real thing- but if you truly love the spit, and a manufacturer got it wrong when they can measure the real thing, and have pictures/drawings they can refer to- its annoying and sometimes an expletive is what comes out- for some people!

  6. Gentlemen, this also gives us an ample opportunity to demonstrate our new improper language filter... which has been responsible for putting ** instead of some words above. Have a nice day everyone 🙂

  7. language aside, I would have loved to see more of the kit, and maybe a take on how the PCM was to build- what they include for parts, is the kit still available, etc.
    Looks great Tom, from what I can see! I love the PCM 1/32 Spitfire IX, and have two- one to make a standard IX, and another with some resin paragon parts to make a RCN Seafire XV!

  8. Very nice work...I have the same kit and was thinking about doing Ginger Lacey's bird...Green and Brown right?

    • No! Lacey's airplane (as were all other high-back Spitfire XIVs in SEAC) was standard European Day Fighter Scheme. The standard roundels are overpainted with Dark Green. The myth of Lacey's Spit being in the Tropical Land Scheme is just that, a myth.

  9. Very very nice.

    PCM is pretty hard to come by at a reasonable price here in Denmark (import tax grrrrr), so I've got the RB conversion that I plan to mount on a Hasegawa Vb with suitable changes to the wing.

    I learned the import tax thing with my Macchi 202 and 205, but I really enjoyed those builds.

  10. It is the only accurate Spitfire XIV with regard to shape. The Academy kit is noticeably too deep in side profile, those in 1/72 also have shape problems with the fuselage.

    From what I have heard of the new Airfix PR XIX, it is totally right shape-wise. When Airfix gives us a Spitfire XIV (next year I hear), the whole problem will be solved for most modelers.

  11. That's a nice looking Spitfire! Great paintwork. I can't wait to see this from Airfix in 1/48 too!

  12. said on May 17, 2014

    I worked with Jim Lacey for a few years and often talked to him about the colours of his Spitfire XIV on 17 Sqn. Jim was absolutely adamant that it has Dark Earth and Green camo and no white bands, as Jim said, there was no point in making the aircraft more conspicuous to the enemy!

  13. I'm certain he believed that Mike, but photos don't lie. Look up the shots of his airplane in the Osprey "Late Marque Spitfire Aces" book. That is an Ocean Grey/Dark Green/Sea Grey Medium airplane, with the European insignias overpainted with Dark Green. And it has white stripes per the theater requirements.

    He might be referring to the airplane he flew in Japan, which is marked considerably differently, and might have been repainted also.

    But when he first got it, it was a "quick and dirty" markings change, like all the others rushed into service there in SEAC the summer of 1945.

    Pilots do not pay that close attention to the markings and colors of their aircraft. I've never found one who could explain a photo of his plane and why it differed from his memory.

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