3 Spitfires to make 1: Spitfire Mk.XIVe High-Back Conversion from Eduard and Airfix 1/48 kits
As something of a Coronavirus lockdown special effort, I finally did something I’ve been thinking about attempting for months and which others including Tom Cleaver have done previously: A Mk.XIV high-back conversion kit bash. I built this Mk.XIVe high-backed Spitfire in 1/48 scale using Eduard’s Mk.VIII kit as the base fuselage, Airfix’s new FR Mk.XIV bubble-top kit for the Griffon engine, tail and radiators, and Eduard’s Mk.XVI bubble top kit for an ‘e’ wing to complete Spitfire MN-F (tail number RB169) as flown by 350 Squadron, RAF from October 1944. Decals were from Xtradecal and the Mk.VIII and Mk.XIV kits.
This was a really in depth effort and I’m really not confident with filler, putty and rescribing but was surprised and delighted by how nice she looks in the end result! I’ve wanted to do a Griffon Spitfire for ages but wanted a proper wartime bird that saw large scale service and don’t really like the bubble-canopy and cut down fuselage look of Airfix’s fighter-reconaissance Mk.XIV. There are some older Mk.XIV kits out there (e.g Academy) but they are extremely inaccurate shape-wise so I didn’t want to go for any of them. The Eduard Spitfires are the best out there in terms of shape and surface detail (at least in my opinion) in 1/48 scale – hence the approach chosen here to use as much Eduard plastic as possible and take what parts I needed from the Airfix FR Mk.XIV bubble canopy kit. For those wondering about the wastefulness implied – the Mk.XVI kit comes with two different ‘e’ wing sprues representing early and late modifications so I was able to take one for this project and will still be able to build the Mk.XVI in full later on.
Video build is available here for those interested showing all the steps:
10 additional images. Click to enlarge.