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Bob Torres
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Otaki 1/48 Spitfire Mk. IX (converted from a Mk. VIII)

July 16, 2021 · in Aviation · · 20 · 2.5K

Another of my old builds from 1989. Made to represent an ace who once lived about 15 miles from where I live. Frank Hill became a flight commander [308FS] and in May-42 went to England where the 31st Fighter Group was flying Spitfires. Hill participated in invasions over Dieppe, France, North Africa, Sicily and Italy. He became first ace of the 31st fighter group in 1943 and then the group's commander. He flew 166 combat missions.

At the time it was the best Mk. VIII/IX to build. It has nice fine recessed panel lines, most of the parts lined up nicely. Trimmed down the rudder and glued on the rear gear into place eliminating the rear undercarriage doors. The exhaust stacks were trimmed down, they were a bit oversized. This was an easy build and I enjoyed it very much. Back then I used Polly-S paints and a mix of different Microscale decals.

Reader reactions:
9  Awesome

6 additional images. Click to enlarge.

20 responses

  1. Very nice build Bob.
    These Otaki kits are quite nice.
    You preserved here very well during all these years.

    • Thank you John, Otaki made some pretty nice kits back then. The first three I saw made were the P-47D, Me-109G and F4U. That was back in 1980 and the builder also have done a fine job making them, I was blown away by the fine recess lines and overall looks.

  2. Great build, Bob!
    Love the camo!

  3. Nice Spitfire, Bob! I did the same thing with one of those a long time ago.

  4. Nice work Bob. I knew a hobbyshop owner who flew spits in similar camo. I forget the unit but they were the yellow tails when flying P-51s.

  5. Nice work, Bob. All good. Indeed, the Otaki kits were among the best around in "those days."

    The b/w photo shows how "scuffed-up" these a/c were...not easy to duplicate for us glue-heads.

    • Thanks Bob, true on true looks of his plane. Here is a shot of when he was flying a Spitfire Mk. Vb.

      2 attached images. Click to enlarge.

  6. Great job on this vintage kit.

  7. Nicely done, great looking scheme.

  8. The Otaki kits for there time were pretty darn good kits. Otaki was way ahead of the rivet revolution, where/are reasonably priced and as you have written Bob enjoying a kit doesn't mean it has to be the latest and greatest new release. Or the Bestestious my word for the ultimate uber kit. If your having fun and enjoying a build and are happy with the result then your enjoying the hobby. A no brainer.

    Liked the history lesson about Hill. Not all Americans where Eagle Pilots and a lot more of them flew Spitfires than what the general public believes.

    Two thumbs up.

    • Thank you Stephen. Originally this group was supposed to be assigned the P-39 but somehow they were given Spitfires Mk. Vb when they got to England. Then later the Mk. IX and then Mk. VIII. Imaging how they felt about that.

  9. Great looking Spitfire,Bob. Always liked those Otaki/Arii kits.
    I just recently found a 1/48 Otaki Ki-100 and grabbed it.

  10. Great looking Spit! Love the desert schemes, and a Spit always looks nice in US markings.

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