1/32nd scale Spitfire PRXIX PS853 of the Meteorological Flight, RAF Woodvale, 1953.
Here’s the latest project to cross the finish line – the 1970’s original issue 1/32nd scale Spitfire MkI which has been used as the base kit to produce a Spitfire PRXIX using Grey Matter’s conversion set.
I chose the original Revell kit rather than the latest release due to the far superior surface detailing (and the fact that it was picked up cheaply at an airshow!) and although it has an issue with the lack of the gull wing effect on the underside I found that far easier to live with than the ridiculously over-scale trenches and rivets seen on the latest Revell offering.
The conversion provides a completely new nose section for the big Griffon engine, a new tail fin and rudder, replacement elevators, new propeller, two new radiators, exhausts and a vacformed canopy for the pressurised cockpit.
Work began by modifying the MkI wing – the radiator and oil cooler were removed, along with carburetor intake. The kit didn’t have any wheel well detail so this was scratch-built, and the cartridge ejector ports were also blanked off. The gun barrels on the leading edges of the wing were also filled.
The fuselage had the Merlin engine cut off at the firewall, I modified and installed an aftermarket cockpit set to replace the basic detail in the kit, and I also scratch-built the camera bays in the rear fuselage. Camera access doors were opened up and the camera ports were added to the bottom of the fuselage.
The original nose was then replaced with the resin Griffon one, the MkI tail was sliced off and the resin replacement installed, and the gun bay covers on the upper and lower wing surfaces were all filled as of course the PRXIX was unarmed.
The Grey Matter conversion kit didn’t supply any decals, so I used ModelDecal serials, Xtradecal roundels and the new HGW Spitfire stencil set. Xtracolour enamels were used throughout the build.
All in all this was a reasonably straightforward conversion to do, the resin parts fitted well and it finally gives me my favourite version of the Spitfire in 1/32nd scale. In hindsight I could easily have based this conversion on the PCM MkIV kit, but I like a bit of a challenge and there’s nothing better than dragging ancient kits kicking and screaming into the 21st Century!
Until next time,
11 additional images. Click to enlarge.