Arii Spitfire Mk VIII 1/48

February 19, 2019 · in Aviation · · 23 · 3.4K

Hello, fellas!

This kit was bought a few years ago from a vendor's table at a local modeling meeting for what seemed a bargain: it came with Squadron vac canopies, Waldron cockpit placards and details and an Airwaves PE set. Upon closer examination, I noticed I needed decals since the ones with the kit are quite old and badly printed. Since I was going for decals...well, the wheels sure could be replaced as well. And the detail sets that accompanied the kit, though nice, just wouldn' do. The exhausts were also very crude, as the gun barrels. They too would have to go. Checking my spares box, I found some of the parts needed for the cockpit from an old build of the Academy “pregnant cat” (seat frame and air bottles) as well as exhausts from the Accurate P-51 Mk I. Now I could order the rest from Barracuda: decals, wheels and the great cockpit set, and also Master's metal cannon barrels. I ended up using some leftover PE and the Airwaves instrument panel too. If you wish to build this kit with an open cockpit, it really needs dressing up. Landing gear scissors also came from the Airwaves set. The canopy is a mixed bag: the windscreen is from Academy's Mk XIV, the rear window from the kit and the canopy bubble was cut from the Squadron vac part.

Although the kit needs some replacement parts and upgrades, it has a good shape and very nice surface details. The horizontal stabilizers are very thin and scale looking, and even though the “gull wing” section of the underside is missing, the airframe looks great once assembled. Nowadays there are less bumpier roads with all the “uberkits” from Eduard, but I had great fun with this Frankenstein of sorts.

In some detail shots the improvement added by the Barracuda parts is obvious. Other than the parts mentioned earlier, brake lines from thin metal wire were added, as well as a scribed fuel filler cap and a bit of riveting.

This RAAF scheme from the Barracuda sheet caught my eye, and to replicate it I first painted the camo scheme, added the fin flash and yellow leading edge stripes, and then sealed it all with Future. The white parts were then airbrushed and scraped a bit with a sanding pad. From then on the usual route: more Future, decals and weathering.

I like more “labor intensive” projects as this one and all the improvisation that goes with it - but for the next, I'm thinking of clearing my palate with a simple build, perhaps a Tamiya mustang straight oob!

Thanks for looking and, as usual, all feedback is welcome.


Reader reactions:
13  Awesome

16 additional images. Click to enlarge.

23 responses

  1. Very nice looking aircraft

  2. Outstanding work, my friend...turned out very well indeed. Nice job!

  3. Thiago, I always liked the RAAF scheme, especially when its done well, like this is !

  4. Nicely done Thiago, really looks good after all that work. I say it was worth the effort.

  5. Looks great - and a good scheme selection - love those SEA roundels with the white tail and wing edges.

  6. If only Frankenstein's monster looked this good...

    Its old school, taking a fixer upper and making it into a show stopper with "Something old,something new, something borrowed and something blue. There is something about a Spitfire that separates it from other planes ... Thiago you have done that in this kit. Two thumbs up on this build.

  7. Great work, really like the Aussie schemes! If you want more labor intensive models, try some limited run kits. I've done quite a few of them. They're definitely more work but very rewarding!

  8. Fantastic effort in such an ancient model. Very well done.
    Coincidentally, I'm building the same kit but without all the gizmos you've used.

    Muito bom. Parabéns!

  9. With all due respect to the plethora of Spits out there, this is one of the prettiest to me. The camo scheme with white and the RAAF I'm in love.

  10. The model came together great!

  11. Nice job on the old Otaki/Arii MKVIII! These old kits are like Monogram kits, nice shape, low parts count and room for improvement. You checked all the boxes and have an outstanding build to show for it.

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