Fujimi 1:72 Scale Spitfire FR.14e

Fujimi produced a small series of Griffon-engined Spitfires that were on the market for a very short time, almost completely disappeared from shelves, and then slowly trickled back into circulation. The kits feature modular construction, with a separate spine to account for the bubble canopy and razorback variants, good surface detail, and a very sparse cockpit interior. I used the "Fighter Recon" boxing, which includes markings for several aircraft in SEA roundels.

Generally the kit goes together OK. I replaced several parts of the kit cockpit with spares from a Italeri Mk.V, and added some sidewall detail. Little can be seen on the finished model as the one-piece canopy is relatively thick. I drilled out the side camera ports, and later covered the panels with bare metal foil. The reference photo I used shows the outline of the camera port, though no glass is evident. The kit comes moulded with outlines of the vertical camera ports on the wing underside. These are only appropriate for the dedicate PR variants, and should be filled for this version.

Assembly is complicated by the parts breakdown. To capture the complex shape of the Griffon cowl, the upper halves of the cowl are separate pieces. Combined with the separate spine, this makes for a lot of seams in a fairly small fuselage. The remaining details are well done, with very nice landing gear legs and separate torque links, and a well-shaped five-bladed prop.

Prior to applying the camouflage, I sprayed the white ID bands on the wings, and fixed portions of the tail surfaces, along with the spinner. These were then masked off.

I sprayed the camouflage using Model Master enamels. To obtain a soft yet tight edge on the camouflage, I cut paper masks to shape, then ran thread just inside the edges to lift the masks off the model. I think this worked well, although it was labour intensive.

I used the kit SEA roundels and tail flash although they were slightly out-of-register. The serials came from a Modeldecal sheet, while the unusual style of code letters were cut from spare white decal.

The single reference photo I used is found in Rene Francillon's Vietnam the War in the Air, as well as Aircam's Griffon Spitfire and Seafire book. The Aircam book also includes a colour profile.

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Last updated 13 July 2007