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Accessories for
Hasegawa Spitfire IX

Ultracast

 

Large Blister and Propeller/Spinner Assembly - Dry-fitted
Pictures of all other releases in text below

 

 

 

S u m m a r y

Catalogue Number, Description and Price: 48082 - Supermarine Spitfire Mk IX 4-Blade Propeller & Spinner
(for Hasegawa or ICM) USD$7.95
48083 - Supermarine Spitfire Mk IX Flared Exhausts
(for Hasegawa)   USD$4.95
48084 - Supermarine Spitfire Mk IX Tubular Exhausts
(for Hasegawa)  USD$4.95
48085 - Supermarine Spitfire Mk IX Early Style Control Surfaces
(for Hasegawa)  USD$9.95
48086 - Supermarine Spitfire Mk IX Late Style Control Surfaces
(for Hasegawa)  USD$9.95
48087 - Supermarine Spitfire Mk IX 1 piece lower cowl with early style (small) intake (for Hasegawa)   USD$4.95
48088 - Supermarine Spitfire Mk IX 1 piece lower cowl with late style (large) intake (for Hasegawa)   USD$4.95
48089 - Supermarine Spitfire Pilot Access Doors (two doors)
for Hasegawa Mk. V and Mk. IX Spitfires   USD$4.95
48090 - Supermarine Spitfire Large (early IXc) Style Cannon Bay Covers
(for Hasegawa)  USD$4.95
48091 - Supermarine Spitfire Mk IX C Wing Cannon Bay Covers
(for Hasegawa)  USD$4.95
48092 - Supermarine Spitfire Mk IX E Wing Cannon Bay Covers
(for Hasegawa)  USD$4.95
Scale: 1/48
Contents and Media: All Resin. See text for more details
Review Type: In-box
Advantages: Beautiful quality casting; helpful corrections plus parts for conversion to early Mk. IX; accurate; flexible.
Disadvantages:  
Recommendation: Highly Recommended for anyone building Hasegawa's Spitfire IX

 

Reviewed by Brett Green

 

F i r s t   L o o k

 

In February 2001 I reviewed a series of accessories from Ultracast designed to address some of the key weaknesses of the ICM 1/48 scale Spitfire VIII/IX kits. At the time I discussed the impending release of the Hasegawa Spitfire IX, and whether that forthcoming event would see the ICM kit consigned to the scrap heap and the swap tables.

As fate would have it, Hasegawa has sportingly provided modellers with a choice. Their 1/48 scale Spitfire IX is beautifully moulded, with state-of-the-art surface detail, a very well equipped cockpit, clever engineering and perhaps the best treatment for fabric texture on elevators and the rudder that I have ever seen in styrene. However, there are serious questions about the length of the fuselage.

The modeller can therefore choose to either

  1. mistrust the published dimensions and/or believe in the dynamic forces at work in a wartime manufacturing environment; give Hasegawa the benefit of the doubt and build their Spitfire; or
  2. believe the published drawings and dimensions and build the ICM kit instead; or
  3. believe the published drawings and dimensions buy build the Hasegawa kit anyway!

Ultracast has wisely decided to leave this weighty decision to the modeler. In addition to the parts for the ICM Spitfires, they have now added eleven new accessories to improve and/or convert Hasegawa's Spitfire IX kit.


 

48082- Spinner and Propeller Blades

 

In addition to questions about the fuselage length, some concern has been expressed about the dimensions of the spinner in the Hasegawa 1/48 scale Spitfire IX kit. Some have suggested that the spinner has been intentionally made longer to compensate for the short fuselage. Somehow this argument does not ring true to me, but I do agree that the spinner looks a little too long.

Ultracast's replacement spinner is of accurate dimension and better detailed than the kit part. The spinner and backing plate are cast as a single unit. There is no locating hole for the propeller shaft. The simplest solution is probably to cut the shaft off and glue the backing plate direct to the nose (with or without a thin spacing ring, according to taste). The propeller blades are supplied as separate parts and are not keyed, so take care to set the pitch identically for all four blades.

I have dry-fitted the propeller blades to the spinner. The fit is very good, and alignment should not present any problems.

Although this commentary is focused on the new Hasegawa kit, the spinner/propeller combination is also applicable to the 1/48 scale ICM kits.

This propeller/spinner combination is impressively detailed and perfectly cast. It will be a serious improvement to the proportions of the Hasegawa kit, and will be of a much higher standard than the parts supplied with the ICM kit.

Highly Recommended


 

48083/4 Replacement Exhausts

 

Ultracast's exhaust parts are well up to their usual standard. The exhausts are finer in shape and subtler in detail than the Hasegawa counterparts.

The parts are crisply cast with almost no cleanup required before use. The seam lines and raised lip on each exhaust stack are all there. Of course, the pipes are hollow as well.

Ultracast provide the choice of either flattened or tubular exhausts. These will be a very attractive and relevant accessory for the Hasegawa Spitfire.

Recommended.


 

48085/6 Control Surfaces

Two sets are offered to cover early and late elevator styles. The early style is a simple straight diagonal mass balance on the horizontal tail surfaces; while the late version is kinked. The elevators supplied are the long-span late style in both cases, but it would be a simple matter to shorten the span with a razor saw if that was your preference!

As is the usual practice with Ultracast's latest releases, the tail surfaces are supplied with both the elevator and the horizontal tail. The tail part is rounded out at the hinge line to simplify the positioning of the elevator.

Detail, surface texture and casting are of typically high standards.

Highly Recommended, especially for backdating to an early Spitfire IX.

(Click the thumbnails to the right to view images full-sized)

 


 

48087/8 One-Piece Lower Cowl

Ultracast has released two options for a one-piece lower cowl. Each set contains one cowl - 48087 has the short, early style intake and 48088 has the long intake.

One benefit of these replacement parts is that there will be no stubborn centre-join to fill and sand on this prominent part. The undercut for the intake is somewhat more pronounced on the long-intake resin part.

The option of an early Mk. IX is also now a possibility with the use of the short-intake version.

The nature of the shape of these parts means that there will be slightly more cleanup than usual for an Ultracast release, but nothing that will take more than five minutes with a sharp knife and a sanding stick.


 

48089 - Pilots' Doors

This simple set contains two replacement doors for the fuselage of any the Hasegawa 1/48 scale Spitfire V or IX kits. The detail of these parts is gorgeous. The crowbar and release are both cast proud of the surface detail. Very impressive!

These parts will be very helpful if you want to show off your Spitfire cockpit as Hasegawa do not offer the option in their kit and it will be difficult to save the kit door when cutting it our of the fuselage.

Recommended


 

48090-92 - Alternate Style Cannon Blisters

With the option for a short carburetor intake and the early, unkinked elevators, (reviewed above), it is now possible to accurately build an early Spitfire IXc using Ultracast's new large "C" style cannon blisters.

Options are replacement for the kit's narrow "C" bulges, the broad early "C" bulges, or the narrow "E" bulges. One left-side cover and one right-side cover is supplied in each set. The resin covers are a drop-fit replacement for the panels supplied in the Hasegawa kit. The panels are almost ready to install by simply snapping them off their narrow casting blocks.

I test-fitted one of the large bulges to the Hasegawa wing. The fit was close to perfect (see title photo).

Highly Recommended for early or later conversions.

(Click the thumbnails below to view images full-sized)

                  

 

 

Conclusion

 

This is another sensible and welcome batch of accessories from Ultracast. These latest releases will be further complimented by Ultracast's recent Spitfire seat with "Q" harness, and the selection of replacement Spitfire wheels.

If you decide that conformance to published dimensions is the main prerequisite for an acceptable model, you may prefer to build the 1/48 scale ICM Spitfire IX. If you do, you can take comfort in the knowledge that Ultracast will supply accessories for this kit that address a number of its quality problems.

However, the Hasegawa 1/48 scale Spitfire IX kit has a lot going for it. If you do decide to build Hasegawa's kit, these Ultracast accessories offer some interesting options for backdating to an early Mk. IX; or simply improving the detail of your model. The spinner and propeller assembly in particular will assist in returning the correct proportions to the forward half of the airframe.

Highly Recommended.

Thanks to Kevin at Ultracast for the review samples.


The full catalogue of Ultracast accessories, conversions and figures may be viewed and purchased at Ultracast's Web Site.


Review Copyright 2000 by Brett Green
Images Courtesy Ultracast Website, except Title Image by Brett Green
Page Created 10 August, 2001
Last updated 22 July, 2003

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