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Tom Cleaver
878 articles

Airfix/Academy Spitfire 21 “Frankenspit”

November 18, 2020 · in Aviation · · 15 · 2.1K

Waste not, want not. Done last year.

After the brilliant XIV came out, I had no further use for the screwed-up kit. Annd I had enough parts left over from some Airfix Spitfire 22/24 projects that I had a fuselage and wing. So I decided to make a Spitfire 21.

Basically, this is the Spitfire 22/24 fuselage from the cockpit forward and the lower fuselage half, mated to the Academy rear fuselage/vertical fin. I discovered that the Academy fuselage is 3/32 inch too deep, compared with the correct Airfix kit. I fixed that under the horizontal stabs by taking out a section, to keep the lower fuselage line. I then used a left-over narrow-chord Airfix Spitfire XIV rudder, since the Academy was too tall with the correction. The Academy radiators and prop were used, despite not being "right" due to being "available."

I used the Airfix kit decals for the upper wing insignia, then leftover decals from an Airfix Spitfire XII, with the rest of the national insignia from the Airfix XIV kit, and serial pieced together from other sheets.

Planet Models did a Spitfire 21, which was basically a resin casting of an Academy Spitfire XIV too-deep fuselage mated to an Airfix wing.

91 Squadron got the Spitfire 21 in March 1945, and took it on operations in mid-late April. Its only wartime "kill" was a German Biber minisub caught on the surface and strafed.

The Spitfire 21 was so different from the previous Spitfires that at first it was planned to name it the Victor.

Reader reactions:
9  Awesome

13 additional images. Click to enlarge.

15 responses

  1. Nice work as always, Tom. I always look forward to your choice of subjects and their back stories.

  2. Nice conversion, Tom.
    No signs of the surgery at all.

  3. Nice left over kit bashing, Tom!
    And an excellent result!

  4. Nice work, Tom.

  5. Great looking Spitfire Tom, and some great surgical work.
    Wasn’t Frankensteins first name ‘Victor’?

  6. Great conversion Tom!

  7. Man, you are a glutton for punishment, but it really paid off. Another beautiful Spit!

  8. Great way to get to every Spit mark known to humankind.

  9. Hey Tom, Love the build, I like the way you mixed parts to get this fantastic result. Hats off to you.

  10. As above, great work!

  11. Good use of leftover parts, the best kind of recycling.

  12. You’re a heck of a good plastic surgeon!

  13. This sort of thing used to be "de rigeur" 50 years ago if you wanted to get an "accurate" model. Kit bashing this "accurate part" of one kit to the "accurate part" of this other kit to get a model that (compared to today's kits) was "kinda sorta there, almost."

  14. Another nice job! I have that Planet Models kit. I was planning on starting it when I finish my current "conversion" of an Eduard Mk. I to a Mk. II (thanks to you, Tom, on the Overtrees sale at Kitlinx).

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