I guess it has finally fully sunk in that I build models as a part time job now, and that any notion of it purely as a hobby has gone by the wayside. Not that I’m complaining. The extra income is sorely needed, and it keeps the “hobby” side of it from being a drain on the family budget.
This conclusion fully dawned on me when I received inquiries from several previous customers about my change in building habits.
For the last few years, I’ve built mostly WWII single engined fighters, which I then sold on Ebay. In the last year, however, I’ve really started enjoying building jets, and except for commission build requests, I’ve not built WWII aircraft.
So I was surprised to find out how many folks (OK, five to be precise…. but that represents about 10% of my previous customers) wanted to see more WWII stuff. And all of them mentioned the type I’ve built the most of- Spitfires.
Which put me in an odd position- I reluctantly started a Spitfire kit. “Reluctant” may be too severe a word. It’s not like my arm was being twisted and I was under duress. But my plan had been to work on a jet instead.
And so I found myself building a kit not based on what I so much wanted to do, but rather to respond to the market. I had to sit back for a moment and come to grips with the fact that this “hobby” is really a business now.
But that’s OK. At least it is work I enjoy.
As to the kit…
This is AK Interactive’s 1/48 Spitfire Mk. IXc. It’s the Eduard kit reboxed, with a sub-set of their Profipack colored photoetch- belts and a few other bits, and a nice set of decals covering three options in French, American, and Egyptian markings. It’s priced about the same as the Eduard Profipacks. Frankly, unless you just really want the decal options, it’s a bit less of a value than Eduard’s standard Profipack, as that has a full set of colored Photoetch, canopy masks, and more markings options.
Still, nothing wrong with the kit or the boxing. If you see it on sale at Weekend Edition prices, it’s certainly worth grabbing at that point.
I used the kit markings to do the American option. All paints are either Tamiya mixes, or Tamiya out of the bottle. I did quite a few layers of fading, shading, and oil effects to really try and get a varied and weathered finish. I’m actually pretty happy with how this one turned out. I’m continuing to experiment with blending more “Spanish School” techniques into my work, and this is probably the most heavily influenced representation of that style that I’ve done. Lots to learn, yet, of course, but I feel I’m headed in the right direction.
I did look on the finished model with a bit of melancholy, I must admit. It wasn’t long ago I was quite enthusiastic about any Spitfire build. The realization that this build began with the thought “What would be the most profitable WWII fighter to build” did give me pause.
But heck- it’s still a Spitfire, I suppose, and I did smile when it was finished.