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Terry Schuler
37 articles

Spitfire MK VIII 1/48 scale

June 25, 2020 · in Aviation · · 16 · 2.6K

For years modelers dreamed of a well engineered model that was accurate and well detailed. Finally, answered those calls with a very nice kit, and have continued to entertain us with various versions of this iconic warbird showing those beautiful lines and detail they offered with their kit.

I now have to ask, how many of you actually realized, "This ain't it"?

This is the 2mm short kit, from the Hasegawa special edition "against Japan" MK VIII release !

Yes, it doesn't have that nice taper all the way down the spine toward the tail, however it does appear that Hasegawa managed to cheat a little by lengthening the spinner and maybe the tail (I actually like the look of the spinner) to give it that longer look over the MK V's and earlier versions.

Most the kits I build I can and would recommend, this is not one of those. I bought two of these and they were actually quite a bit different despite coming out of the same boxings .

The first kit simply did not fit together well at all. A lot of large gaps and miss-aligned parts. The plastic itself was brittle and hard, making it difficult to sand and re-scribe. This kit was such a problem that after weeks of getting nowhere with it, I junked it.

Enter Kit #2. With this kit, I immediately noticed a difference in the plastic, more like the Hasegawa quality I was used to. Although, it did suffer from some of the same fit issues, they were manageable. I can only guess that after decades of cranking these kits out, the molds for these kits are simply wore out. I have not idea about the differences with the plastic.

The one very nice area is the cockpit, I'll simply say, "its beautiful". Overall, it can be built into what I think looks like a nice MK VIII. However the differences can be noticed if you park it next to a more accurate represented kit such as the Eduard kit.

I used model master enamels that I had bought before the purge of their enamel line, and Aeromaster decals. The art work (Fargo Express) decal was beautifully done, however I found it was slightly oversized than it should be.

The gun barrels were drilled out and I also hollowed the ends of the kit exhaust stacks. Thin solder was used in the brake lines. The darken areas (from the removal of the RAF roundals) on the upper wing surface was achieved by using a very thin coat of acrylic smoke.

Overall, I'm happy with the results despite the difficulties I experienced.

Reader reactions:
7  Awesome

7 additional images. Click to enlarge.

16 responses

  1. The Spit is a beautiful plane no matter what marking it wears. Yours look great wearing the US Stars and Bars... I also like the Middle Stone and Dark Earth camouflage colors over Azure blue the very best out of all the colors the Spit wore.

    Excellent posting my friend. I'll keep your idea of using Tamiya Smoke to replicate fresh painted areas. I have one of these Hasegawa kits that I started for the 100 Years of the RAF group build. Unfortunately I never finished it because I ran out of time. Maybe someday I'll finish it up. Your right,the cockpit looks fantastic. Hasegawa did a good job on that part. Like you I hoarded a bunch of the Model Master paints when they made a huge mistake and quit making them... You can thank the Rustoleum company for that. Now they own the brand and have cut it back to the bare bones.


    • Thanks Louis, glad you liked it. I too always liked the US Spitfires, and this paint scheme was always on the top of list.
      And yes !, Model Master / Testors has really disappointed me and let me down. I really liked their paint and they had great customer service. Now they have almost no paint, and zero customer service. Really too bad.

  2. The Hasegawa kit looks good so long as it doesn't sit next to one with more accurate dimensions. You did nice work here and the paintwork is excellent.

    If you can ever find the Aeroclub Mk. XIV fuselage conversion, the Hasegawa Mk. VIII is the perfect kit to use with it, and the result is dimensionally accurate.

    • i agree.
      Taken in a vacuum, it looks every inch a Mk VIII Spitfire. I don't know if many people would have seen the issues with the fuselage shape were it not for 1) the internet, and 2) the Spitfire is probably the most over analyzed and argued about aeroplane subject in the entire hobby (with the possible exception of the BF-109).

  3. Awesome looking Spitfire. You definitely did a very good job on this one. Well done!

  4. That is one great spit.

  5. Fantastic looking Spitfire, Terry.
    Had built the same a dozen years ago, recalling a few fit issues i was not ready for, as ...well, it was an 1/48 Hase Spit, so it was expected to be shake and bake...

    • Thanks Spiros ,
      My main problem was as you mentioned, "issues I was were not ready for", especially coming from this company. I had to come up with some pretty creative repairs to get through this build.

  6. Such a great scheme on a great plane.
    Very nice build, Terry.

  7. Beautiful build of what is one of the more controversial Spitfire kits out there. Amazing that two identical boxings displayed such bipolar characteristics...

    • Thanks Dave, you taught me some good "tricks of the trade" that I used to get through this. Too bad nothing could save that first kit. Overall I am very pleased with how it came out. Being persistent paid off.

  8. That is a BEAUTIFUL Spitfire - excellent work!

  9. A lovely looking Spitfire indeed!

  10. In the world of accuracy and perception of...models can represent the real thing. How you go about it and make the viewer see a Spitfire is always a matter of debate and taste. Kind of like counting the grains of sand you can put on the head of a pin. Mix a little fun and entertainment with that too for good measure.

    Terry I see a Spitfire, with some great painting ,subtle weathering and decal work. It all works for me.

    Two thumbs up.

  11. That 2mm short flaw caught my eye upon viewing your first pic. LOL. Looks like a good looking Spit to me Terry, job well done I say.

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