HIGHPLANES MODELS


1/72 HighPlanes Seafire IIC converted to Vc


by David Edwards


Introduction

Those of you who are fans of the Spitfire family or the Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm will already be aware that the Seafire IIC was a straightforward conversion of the Spitfire VC for carrier use.  Seeing service during the “Operation Torch” invasion of North Africa, the IIC filled a gap until the entry of the purpose built Seafire III and lend-lease types such as the Hellcat and Corsair. To the best of my knowledge, this is the first time this particular mark has been kitted. 

The kit

Popping open the box shows the usual pale blue plastic mouldings and vac form canopies, some resin goodies, brief assembly instructions and pages of paint schemes in colour.  The bits that are required for a Seafire (catapult spools and the rear fuselage stiffeners) are there along with various bits that look like they’re intended for the Seafire III – spinner and four bladed prop, late style vokes filter and injection moulded tailplanes.

First impressions are good with nice fine recessed surface detail.  There are some bulges on the upper surfaces of the wings above the wheel wells that need sanding off, and everything needs a good cleanup before starting assembly.

The cockpit sidewalls are devoid of detail, so stretched sprue and a Red Roo PE set came to the rescue.  Seat harness came from the same set, and I robbed a gun sight from a Heller kit.

The rest of the kit went together with the usual dry fitting, sanding and filling.  Naturally some of that nice detail was lost in the process but in 1/72 it’s not something I weep buckets of tears over.  Just about every grounded Spitfire/Seafire seems to have drooped elevators, so I cut these away from their resin tailplanes (beware they’re fragile!).  Holes need to be drilled in the wing leading edges for the lovely cannon barrel fairings and stubs as well as the machine guns.  While the drill was out I opened up somewhere to glue the tail wheel.

I wanted to have the canopy open, so I cut out the entry door in the fuselage side and used an Extratech PE door.  Undercarriage doors came from the same set.  Cutting the vac form canopy apart was a bit challenging made harder by frames that could’ve been moulded a bit more crisply.  Ah well, Highplanes do provide 2 canopies.  No mirror provided but a few minutes’ work with card and sprue had one ready.

From here on I was a bit of a bad boy.  As popular as the RN FAA is, it’s not on my modelling agenda so I figured this kit would make a nice Spitfire VC.  This was simple enough; sand off the fuselage stiffeners, add a Vokes filter, prop and spinner from the Heller VB kit.

With a coat of primer and the inevitable corrective work done, time to choose a colour scheme.  Kristen Alexander’s book inspired me to tackle one of Clive Caldwell’s mounts and a wealth of information from Peter Malone let me finalise the details.  One problem – no Sky Blue codes in a small enough font so I had to settle for white.  I did think of over painting them but I regained my sanity fairly quickly.

I’m reasonably happy with the finished model, and it’s certainly the nicest Spitfire in my collection.  There are easier routes to a 1/72 Spitfire VC, and my use of this kit is a bit of a waste.  If you’re building a collection of the Spitfire family or FAA types, then you really need this one.  The extra effort required compared to “mainstream” kits is more than outweighed by having pretty much all you need in one box.

Many thanks indeed to Steve from Highplanes for the review kit!

 


 

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