A pair of Tamiya’s 1/48 Spitfire Mk.Is

A pair of Tamiya’s 1/48 Spitfire Mk.Is

These were built for the group build over at Topnotch Masks, both to represent specific aircraft as seen in reference photos.

The kit is Tamiya being Tamiya.  It is a superb kit to build, with only two points for particular attention.  The first is one of the earliest bits of the build: inserting the cockpit sides into the fuselage.  These just fall into place and look great, but it is worth taking the time to go bit by bit and really carefully line up the curves: this way they fit like a single piece of plastic, but otherwise it’s possible to end up with a hair’s width seam which will be a nuisance.  The second is the join on the top of the cowling, which again will fit just fine, but it does need a bit more care to align.


DW-K P9495 is a Mk.I, flown from April to August 1940 with 610 Sqn. It was part of an aerial photo on July 24, which is my main reference. This time period is interesting because it’s when the underside colours were changing, and this particular squadron is known (“it is known” but in this case the reference is from Fundekals who I’m told do good work) to have used RAF Sky Blue No.1 for “Sky” which is a darker and bluer shade than Sky Type S.

DW-K detail photos


RN-N P7895 is a Mk.II, flown from February 1941 to March 1945, albeit with a training unit. I have represented this aircraft as it appeared in service with 72 Sqn, again in an aerial photo which though I don’t have a specific date for but which appears to have been during April 1941. That puts this photo before the date when Mk.IIs started receiving the later oil cooler, so I retained the early model. This aircraft also has the Rotol propeller which was an aftermarket piece. Three noteworthy details stood out on this aircraft: the first was the heavy fading, second the dark paint on the leading edge and cowling, third, the spots below the exhaust stain which look almost like it has been throwing out oil at some point. I tried to render each of these.

RN-N detail photos

Some cockpit photos

Both aircraft were painted in MRP and Mr Color paints, with camo and insignia masks from Topnotch.

DW-K was repainted following some really useful feedback on it from the ever-estimable Rob Knight which convinced me to strip it back and take another go. I’m glad I did, because it definitely looks better this time around.


Great stuff here! What Tamiya kit was this? The new one or the old one? And I’d love to have a Mk II like this. What conversion kit did you use?

These were both the new Mk.I. I was very lucky with the Mk.II I was modelling being an early Mk.II which means you don’t need to change the wing, oil coolers etc. The only changes were the cowling bump for the Coffman starter and the Rotol propeller to match the reference photo.

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