Profile Photo
Bob Torres
59 articles

Matchbox 1/72 Spitfire Mk.IX (Royal Egyptian Air Force)

November 1, 2022 · in Aviation · · 26 · 0.9K

This was built for a Group Build that is still currently going on to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Matchbox to when they first started releasing their injected mold kits in 1972. In regards to this group build, I still have two more Matchbox kits in works.

I felt Matchbox released some pretty neat kits back then, some were kits that other model company would not even think of releasing. I remember building the Supermarine Stranraer and that was a big deal when I brought it into the club's meeting to show. Some of their kits may not be that great but we can say the same on the other brands too. For myself, I build a lot of Matchbox kits and had a blast with them. I have posted a few on this site.

I have built this kit many times years ago, in fact my first build was in 1973. Pretty plain by today's standards but back then this was the best Mk.IX to build. It took a good decade for a better Mk.IX to come out in scale and that was by KP. And by the mid 90's Hasegawa released their Mk.IX.

This was a simple build, lacking some details but I did do some minor tweaks. I used some extra parts from a Spitfire build from over 2 years ago, the carburetor inlet and the exhaust stacks comes from the Heller Spitfire Mk. XVI. From a spare box I used a four spoke wheel set that was more correct for this build.

I also straightened the propeller blades, and the spinner needed a little work to give it a more pointier look. I felt it was a little too round.

I used Techmod's decals, Egyptian markings from 1948-1949.

The last three shots are side by side shots of my converted Heller Bf-109K into an Avia S-199 with Israeli markings and the Matchbox Egyptian Spitfire. These two must have tangled with during the 1948 Arab–Israeli War.

This was my first Matchbox build since 1987. It was a fun build and I enjoyed it very much.

Reader reactions:
10  Awesome

11 additional images. Click to enlarge.

26 responses

  1. It's amazing to see how essentially-accurate that old kit is. As I recall (could be very wrong) it doesn't have the "gull effect" on the lower wing/rear fuselage area, yes? IIRC, the Airfix 1/72 Spitfire Vb of that year was the first Spitfire model to get that accurately.

    Anyway, very nice work on that old chestnut.

    • Thank you Tom.

      In regards to the gull winged section, this kit does not have it. I was going to file it into shape but decided the leave it as is.

      Yes, when Airfix released their 1/72 Spitfire Mk.Vb in 1975, we finally had a Spitfire with the correct lower wing to body section in 1/72 scale. I felt that was a really nice kit. Airfix did it again in 1978 with their Mk.Ia and their 1/48 Mk.V. And Heller released their 1/72 Spitfire Mk.XVI around that same time with the correct "Gull Wing."

  2. Cool build of an old kit. Matchbox diecast toys go back much further than 1972, of course, I remember collecting them back in the 1950s when they were packed in small boxes that looked a bit like matchboxes.

    • Thanks George, yes I remember collecting their diecast cars and trucks too back then before Matchbox started releasing their plastic model kits. That was a lot of fun.

  3. What better than building a Matchbox kit and come up with such excellent result?
    Congratulations Bob!

  4. Seeing those Matchbox builds really brings up memories, Bob @v1pro
    You really created a beautiful Spitfire out of this one.
    Not so often seen scheme, it suites the Spitfire very well.

  5. Nice work [email protected] the Egyptian Scheme
    I remember when the first Matchbox kits came out in 73/74 - I thought they were a real step up from the older kits. My first was the FW-190
    Loved the 2 -tone plastic as well!

    • Thank you David, my first Matchbox kits was near the end of 73', FW-190, Spitfire and Hurricane. They were so much cleaner in the way they were packaged, all in boxed in sprue. I think they were the first to do this. That was a pretty neat time.

      I have seen a few kits built not painted but given gloss coats, decals applied and final gloss coats applied. I was surprised on how nice they looked in their 2 or 3 tone look.

  6. Nice Bob.
    Looks great . I love the Matchbox kits too and am glad they are buildable, even if they are considered “old school “
    No school like the old school.

  7. Nice looking Egyptian Spitfire, Bob. Nicely done.

    I don't know HOW many Matchbox kits I built as a kid. They were fun to build, not too demanding.

    You just made me refocus on a Matchbox Mosquito that I started a while back - and you had you look over a few of my Matchbox kits - funny how they are old molds but a few of them have been reissued by Revell.

    The best Matchbox memory - I opened up my 1/72 Matchbox Starfighter and installed an Estes solid rocket module to make it fly as a rocket and it flew up to about 20 ft before the wings sheared off and went into a death spin. Now that was fun!

    2 attached images. Click to enlarge.

    • Thanks George, your Mosquito is going to look great when completed. I have seen this kit built and it does build up quite nicely.

      In your Matchbox stash, you have some really nice kits. I have seen many of them win big in the bigger contest.

      Your Estes story is funny, poor F-104.

  8. This turned out very well, Bob @v1pro, the paint looks excellent. I enjoy the older, simpler kits too, more so then todays complex, high parts count models.

  9. Nice! A horse of a different color. I done a few Matchbox kits myself, they are a lot of fun.

  10. Looks great in that livery! I've built several Matchbox kits, my favorite being the Privateer I posted a few years ago. They definitely bring back memories!

    • Thank you Greg, I've seen your Privateer and great job on that build. I know Matchbox may not have that Hasegawa look from that time or the newer releases on details but I feel a lot of Matchbox's muli-engine kits when done correctly are winners. Same on their 1/32 kits.

  11. Very nice result with this old kit 🙂

  12. Both nicely done Bob.

  13. Thanks Bob, for making us to remember those good old days.
    One thing you could couple Matchbox with Tamiya was the excellent fit and well explained instructions!

  14. You are welcomed caudelguille @caudelguille. The fit on most of these old Matchbox kits are pretty nice. I have also used parts from the Matchbox kits on some of my kit bash (conversion) builds.

Leave a Reply