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Aldo Missio
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A Heller of a Spitfire

December 30, 2020 · in Aviation · · 12 · 2K

When I started going to model shows with my modeling guru Archaeo Bob, prior to restarting the hobby, I picked up a lot of $5 specials from the vendor tables. Came to realize you definitely get what you pay for when it came to actually building these things. However, they have been useful as mules to work on technique, as I work my way toward tackling "serious" kits like Tamiya, etc. So here is a XVI complete with hugely raised panel lines. Fit on the wing root was terrible, putty was a mess, hence the "heavy wear". Decals were ancient, yellowed, probably brittle so I stole decals from a Kovozávody Prostějov Spitfire kit to represent the aircraft at the Canadian Warplane Heritage museum in Hamilton, Ontario, wearing the markings of squadron 416.

Reader reactions:
4  Awesome

7 additional images. Click to enlarge.

12 responses

  1. It is always a pleasure for me to build those cute old, baddish fitting Hellers, with their "off" decals, Aldo
    They lack, compared to the "modern" super kits, but I find them so sweet.
    I try new techniques, everytime I build one of them, too!
    I like your Spitfire a lot!

  2. Those Heller kits remind me of my early days of modelling.
    As Spiros mentioned, they are not comparable to current available kits.
    Still you can create beautiful models out of those, like you showed with this Spitfire.
    Well done.

  3. I don't know how many Heller kits I built in the past but they always did the job in providing a great looking model, as you've demonstrated.
    And I thought those ID letters looked familiar.

    1 attached image. Click to enlarge.

  4. I built one of those 40+ years ago when it came out. Hard to believe, looking at it, that we thought it was "good" at the time.

    You have, however, turned a "not so good" kit into a nice model. Your idea of using kits like this to "get back on the bicycle" with is a good one.


  5. The important thing is to enjoy your hobby, which you obviously have done with this Spitfire.

  6. Very nice! Don't be too harsh on these old birds - as you mentioned, they are great for sharpening skills and trying your hand at new techniques (what have you got to loose? They only cost a few bucks!). Some of my favorite builds are ancient kits - Frog, Novo, Airfix, Heller, etc. I'm working on an old Airfix Dogfight Doubles set of a Beaufighter and Bf-109 (and it's even hard to figure out what version of each is actually in the kit!). Lots of fun!

    • Actually I'd like to get some of the Frog kits I had as a kid and build them for nostalgia - Tomahawk, Macchi 202, Spit XIV. Loved those kits at the time.
      Happy New Year Greg.

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