Airfix 1:72 Spitfire PR.XIX 541Sqn RAF Benson 1944

1:72 Airfix Supermarine Spitfire PR.XIX, 541Sqn RAF Benson Autumn 1944, RM643/Z

The aircraft.

The Supermarine Spitfire is without doubt one of the most iconic Allied aircraft of the second world war and the PR.XIX (19) represents the final reconnaissance version built of the marque.

Fitted with the new Griffon series 65spitfire XIX engine of the Mk.14 and after the first 25, the pressurisation system from the Mk.10 the aircraft was capable of operating at altitudes up to 42,6000ft with a top speed of 445mph, this performance made it virtually impossible for it to be intercepted.

The invasion stripes seen on this example were applied after the D-days landings (as it wasn’t actually in service at that time) so have been applied neatly rather than the current fashion of slapping them on as a field modification. The last XIX left recon operational service in 1954 but 3 stayed on with the ETmperature and Humidity until 10 June 1957; but one did come back to service in 1963 to perform combat simulations with the English Electric Lightning when it seemed likely that the Lightning might have to face P-51 Mustangs in Indonesia. RM643 however remained in service with the RAF only until 1951.

The Battle of Britain Memorial Flight (BBMF) have 2 examples still flying.

The kit.

This is of course the Airfix Spitfire PR.XIX kit, first produced in 2009. The fit is generally very good (not quite as good as their Mk.I/II/Va, but still very nice), this has just been reissued again in 2017 and the moulds remain crisp.

The decals in the normal Airfix offerings all depict post-war versions, but there has been a wartime livery offered in a special BBMF boxing.

The decals used here are from an Xtradecal sheet (X72-105) and depict RM643 as it appeared at RAF Benson in autumn 1944 whilst serving with 541Sqn.

I decided to try Hataka’s new Orange Line liqueur paints for this one and was again impressed. The finish here is straight from the airbrush (even the masked stripes).