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Jay Mitchell
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1/32 609 Squadron Spitfire MkIA

May 25, 2021 · in Aviation · · 22 · 2.1K

This is a / Early . The box was dated 2000.
I found it on the consignment table at the local hobby shop.

I was inspired to build this by an EAA video of a man named Bob DeFord who built a full sized Spitfire from scratch.

Its an inspiring story.

I wanted a big Spitfire of my own !

This kit is an older Hasegawa kit, it wasn't overly complicated and went together without any problems. The most difficult part of this build, for me, was getting the Earth color "just right". I used Tamiya paints, and they don't seem offer the proper earth tone. I had this painted and then decided the Earth tone was too light and the green too dark, so I stripped off the paint and started a search for the proper colors. I found imodeler member David Mills @davem to be a great resource on Spitfires, BoB, The , and Tamiya paints. ( I wouldn't be surprised to learn he worked for the Imperial War Museum.) He gave me several formulas to mix my own home brew dark earth paint. I used 2 parts Tamiya XF-49, 2 parts XF-52, and 1 part XF-3. For the green I used XF-81 and for the lower surface XF21 was used. For masking the camo pattern I used AML paint masks. They work great and are worth the money.

Although the decals looked good, I found that they were past their prime. They broke apart when they came in contact with water. There were no aftermarket decals that I saw that interested me enough to pay the extra $$ for them. I sprayed the decal sheet with a rattle can of clear gloss. That kept them from breaking apart, but seemed to make them resistant to water. Fortunately, the major decals were useable. I

Over all I think it turned out OK and will represent the RAF and 609 Squadron well in my small aircraft collection.

Reader reactions:
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9 additional images. Click to enlarge.

22 responses

  1. Nice build on this Spitfire. I really like the way the whole build came out. In my eyes the colors looks spot on! Also great video on the Allison engine Spitfire. That pilot has the right attitude: build them and fly them is the way to go.

    • Thank you Bob,@v1pro ! This was the first time I mixed one of the mayor colors for a build. It turned out pretty close to what I imagined. I’ve read of people mixing their own O.D. paint too. The Spitfire video is one I watch periodically, it’s impressive what a couple guys can do with initiative. Don’t need to be a big corporation to do some big project .

      • Great Jay
        Do you think this mix works better than Gunze Dark Earth?
        Sorry if I ask, photos often are imprecise..depending on the light.

        I always found all the "dark earth" too dark and green...compared to the Raf Museum Spitfires.

        What do you think?


        • @iovidan….. I pretty much have just used Tamiya and Model Master paints in recent years and have never used any Gunze paints, although I see them frequently mentioned here on imodeler, Im glad I was able to mix a shade of Dark Earth I was happy with.

          I read online others saying there isn’t a correct Dark Earth available straight from the bottle. I’ve learned that sometimes colors are subjective and what looks right to one person doesn’t always seem right to another. Also there were variations in real life , often due to fading over time or even slight variations at the factory.

          I’ve never seen an actual Spitfire that’s painted like this in person.
          Only photographs in books and online and also in movies and videos. I’ve been told that colors seen on computer screens and printed on paper are not always true either, due to the inks used to print books/ magazines, the computer or television screen not representing colors accurately.

          • Jay! Well done. Your mix is absolutely the best mix for a spitfire.
            My Spitfire is now exactly like the real one I've seen in the Raf Museum

  2. this is an excellent Spit, Jay, the camo looking spectacular!
    Thanks for sharing this video regarding Bob's own built machine!

    • Thank you Spiros @fiveten, I appreciate your kind comments.
      The Spitfire in the video sure turned out nice. It made me want a big Spitfire too, being more limited financially, I chose a 1/32 scale replica .

  3. Great results on this early Spit, Jay.
    Looks very realistic.

    • Thank you , @johnb... I learned a new skill ( paint mixing) and also the value of fresh decals. I think it turned out pretty well, not an award winner, but it looks nice on a shelf.

  4. 🙂 ... Greetings ... 🙂 :
    Very nice commendable work on this Spitfire model Jay.
    The camouflage work as well as the painting is very well done
    and a good source of entertainment to watch.
    Thank you for sharing these pictures.

    • Thank you @de4ever! I liked it because it was such a simple kit from a simpler time . Those paint masks sure were nice to use, I’d recommend those. I enjoy that video, it’s an impressive accomplishment.

  5. Very nice Spitfire, Jay. I have this exact same kit in my stash and always liked its overall shape and buildability. You put a lot of work into getting the colors right and it looks exactly right to me. You would never know that you had any trouble with the decals. The overall finish looks flawless to me.

    • Hello @coling, it is a nice kit, I think it is originally from the 1970s, I remember building a Hasegawa MkV version of it when I was in high school.

      The decals had a lot of nice stencils I was hoping to be able to use, but between their age and the clear coat I put on them, it was a lost cause. I was relieved the major decals were able to be applied. I would have bought new decals for it, but I didn’t see any I liked enough to shell out a bunch of money on.

  6. Spot on job! I built this very same kit a few years back (build log and finished product right here at and in my opinion, it is the best Spitfire Mk.I/II kit in 1/32, even better than the new tooled Revell Mk.I/II that was released a few years ago. I agree with your opinion of RAF Dark Earth. Most paint manufacturers and RAF modelers get it wrong, always too light and sort of a cream color. The only manufacturers that ever got the shade correct was Floquil and Aeromaster (which is what I used on my "Spit"). Unfortunately, both these manufacturers are now defunct.

    • Hello Seamus @ seamus1, I was glad @davem was able to educate me on mixing paints.

      It is a nice kit, I’m not an expert on Spitfires, but I didn’t see anything to complain about with it. A nice basic kit, easy to build without a lot of fuss or drama. (Other then paints and old decals).

      That Hurricane you have posted is sure incredible ! Those figures are so well painted. Very cool in all regards.

  7. Great work Jay@ssgt! Some nice photos in the sunlight - always good to see builds in natural light- and I am very pleased with how you got the Dark Earth looking just right
    Great build, my friend, and super work with those paints!

  8. Wow! That's a great result Jay! Glad to see you finished it! I know you had struggles through the process.

    Sorry for seeing it late. Wedding and whatnot.

  9. I need to say that.
    In my opinion, the best colour mix for Spitfires.
    I tried dozens of different mixes, built lots of Spitfires, and this is simply the best, way better than Gunze, way better.

    • Thank you, Giacomo !
      I am very happy with the way this paint turned out . David Mills was a big help to me getting this paint just right. I’m surprised that a better Earth brown isn’t available straight from the bottle... as popular as Spitfires are in the model airplane world .

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