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Supermarine Spitfire IX





S u m m a r y

Catalogue Number and Price: IC48061 US$19.98
Scale: 1/48
Contents and Media: See Text
Review Type: FirstLook
Advantages: Well detailed; appears accurate; many options
Disadvantages: Flash present on some parts; poor main wheels
Recommendation: Recommended (More details to follow) 


Reviewed by Robert Swaddling


F i r s t L o o k


I have examined the contents of ICM's new Spitfire IX in 1/48 scale. 

Sprue images may be seen by clicking the thumbnail images below:





My preliminary impressions are summarised near the bottom of the page, but first here is a detailed description of the kit:

  • 7 light gray sprues & 1 clear 

  • Nicely engraved panel lines 

  • A moderate amount of flash present on some parts although my sample is from a very early production run and regular production runs may show some improvement.

  • Decal sheet looks very good

  • All in register 

  • Six well researched aircraft possible as follows --- 

    1. LF MK IXc, JE-J , Ser No. MK392 – Wg Cdr. J Johnson, OC 144 Wg Ford 1944 (Invasion Stripes). Box art aircraft.

    2. F MK IXc,(Early version) FY-F , Ser No BS435 –Sq Ldr H Armstrong, OC 611 Sq Feb 1942 

    3. LF MK IXc, ZX-6, Ser No EN315 – Sq Ldr S. Skalski, OC of the Polish Fighting Team, Tunisia, Spring, 1943 (desert camouflage scheme)

    4. LF MK IXc , 5J-K, Ser No ML214 – Sq Ldr J Plagis, OC 126 Sq, Culmhead, July, 1944 (D-Day markings) 

    5. F MK IXc, DU-N, Ser No ML296 – Flt Lt O Smik, 312 Sq, Lympne, Sept. 1944 

    6. LF MK IXc, RAB , Ser No ML294 - Wg Cdr R Berg, OC 132 Wg, 2TAF Grimbergen, Dec 1944

  • 12 page instruction booklet including 4 pages of scale drawings - some not applicable to the kit 

  • RR Merlin engine includes 29 separate parts plus two more for the oil tank and one for the glycol tank 

  • Engine bearers – 3 parts plus a separate firewall 

  • 3 cowl mounting strips as in real aircraft 

  • Fuselage molded with side cowls in place

  • Dzus fasteners poorly molded on bottom of side cowls and some flash present on port side 

  • extra set of side cowls molded separately with Dzus fasteners done properly 

  • both sets of side cowls include the blister on the starboard side seen on early IX’s ( easily removed for the later versions ) 

  • Intake for starboard cowl as per pressurized version ( MK VII ) included 

  • Exhaust stacks well molded – “pinched” ejector style 

  • Upper cowl molded with proper balloon shape. 

  • Two lower chin cowls included – one piece early version and two piece later version with chin scoop molded in place as per real aircraft – both are correct shape and extend back under fuselage as per real aircraft using proper panel lines. 

  • Separate front panel between spinner and engine as on real aircraft 

  • Early carb air intake correct for MK IX ( and MK VII ) molded in two pieces 

  • Fuselage molded with cockpit door in place with provision for easily cutting out 

  • Separate cockpit door also included – well done with crowbar in clips and molded-on latch assy. 

  • Fuselage molded to be easily converted to a retractable tailwheel version ( MK VII – VIII ) 

  • Some sink marks around tailwheel area where the retractable fittings are inside 

  • Separate set of tailwheel doors molded in the closed position to be cut apart to use with retractable versions 

  • Tailwheel on MK IX version mounts properly up through a slot ( for movement of the oleo ) 

  • Both regular " rounded " and deep chord " pointed " rudder included – fabric well done 

  • Both versions of horizontal stabilizers/elevators ( early and late ) included – fabric well done – no metal elevator option – 

  • Elevators molded with horizontal stabilizers in neutral position 

  • Fuselage a smidge too shallow near tail when compared to 1:48 scale dwgs in SAM Spitfire book – this being a good point as the drawing is a bit too deep at this point. 

  • Separate gas filler cap – accurate 

  • Cockpit interior ( ribs etc. ) molded on fuselage sides 

  • Separate undercart selector, air tanks, fuse box, and throttle quadrant 

  • Instrument panel molded one piece and a basic decal included 

  • No floor as per real aircraft – rudder push rods and control stick mount only 

  • Rudder pedals missing tops – poorly molded 

  • Seat includes simulated leather back pad 

  • Separate armor behind seat 

  • Seat adjustment lever included 

  • Separate head armor – includes leather head rest not used in MK IX's – with separate voltage regulator for mounting on rear side 

  • Spade grip molded in a square shape – should be round – 

  • Clear gun sight molded as the later gyroscopic version 

  • Canopy molded for optional open or closed position – four parts – a bit of distortion in the clear parts – shape of windscreen and canopy accurate 

  • Optional rear view mirrors – rectangular or hemispherical 

  • Correct radio mast as per TR1133 VHF radio – no insulated pulley on rear – two small tabs only 

  • Correctly shaped wing – elliptical shape starting at center line 

  • full underside and two upper wing halves 

  • Separately molded ailerons of the correct "Frise" shape 

  • Underside has correct shape at fuselage / wing joint ( the elusive gull shape ) 

  • All shell ejector chutes flashed over to be opened as per armament load required ( "c" or "e" ) 

  • Flashed over holes for bomb racks included 

  • Well done separate bomb racks with separate sway braces 

  • Optional rocket rails with sway braces 

  • 90 gal slipper tank included 

  • Cannon bays boxed in for optional open position 

  • Four part cannon assembly for installation in cannon bay 

  • Extra .50 cal M/G included for later "e" wing version 

  • Two long and two short cannon barrels included – short barrels for use on outboard cannon on later "e" wing 

  • Separate hemispherical cover for unused cannon tube – leave open for .50 cal M/G in case of "e" wing 

  • No holes in leading edge of wing for .303 M/G's ( a good point ) 

  • Upper wing halves molded with cannon bays open 

  • Optional cannon bay covers – early double cannon ( large ) blister and later "c" wing cover – no "e" wing cannon cover provided 

  • Optional wing tips – standard and clipped 

  • Undercart legs accurately done with up-locks and gear leg door mounting points 

  • Optional scissor links included 

  • Accurate gear doors 

  • Wheels and tyres molded in one piece as the four spoke version – on my sample both were poorly formed with bad sink holes and cracks and unusable – 

  • Propeller blades molded separately – flash around tips 

  • Spinner and back plate molded separately – correct shape with small circular piece on tip as per real aircraft 

  • Prop assembly molded so that it can be installed after all painting is complete 

  • Radiators are correct shape and include a back and front radiator insert with correct separation between engine rad and oil cooler in port fairing and engine rad and intercooler rad in starboard.fairing 

  • Radiators set up into wing as real aircraft 

  • No option on radiator doors – molded in closed position



Preliminary Impression


Overall, despite the flash and very poor mainwheels, (as noted above, my sample is a very early release and this might explain some of the molding problems ) this is by far and away the best Spitfire MK IX on the market today and I say the most accurately detailed Spitfire that I have ever seen in this scale or any other for that matter. 

Many of the parts that I have mentioned are not intended for use with this version but are a real bonus for anyone wanting to do a different version such as the "e" wing , MK VII or MK VIII. However I don't know why one would not just build what the kit is intended to represent and simply wait for ICM to release the impending different versions.



The optional open cowlings are an excellent starting point for a super detailer and it would be very easy to display the aircraft with no cowls at all or for that matter with no engine at all as in an engine change diorama. Michael Lipovich told me that they were two years with many trips to England researching the Spitfire and it shows very well. I told him that it was money well spent. They plan on maximizing on the molds and releasing versions in the following markings:

  • Czechoslovakia 

  • Russia 

  • France 

  • Egypt 

  • Belgium 

  • Holland 

  • United States

ICM intend releasing this model as a MK IXe, MK VII c, MK VIII c, and a low back MK XVI e. I also suspect a MK XI would be very possible. They seem very serious and proud ( as they should be ) of the detail they have achieved with their new Spit and are very receptive to comments and suggestions. 

Next is the assembly and that will be the real test. Fit of parts and dihedral and overall shape cannot be properly addressed until the model is built.





I want to thank Michael and Alexey for the review kit. Michael told me a year ago that he wanted me to be one of the first to have a Spitfire MK IX kit and he didn’t forget. A very personable president of a company indeed.

Bob Swaddling Kingsville Ontario Canada

Review Copyright © 2000 by Robert Swaddling
Images by Copyright © 2000 Robert Swaddling and Gino Fratarcan
Page Created 24 October, 2000
Last updated 22 July, 2003

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