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Spitfire IXc Gun Bays
for Hasegawa


Aires, 1/48 scale

S u m m a r y
Catalogue Number and Description Aires Hobby Models 4244 - Spitfire IXc Gun Bay
Price: USD$29.46 online from Squadron
Scale: 1/48
Contents and Media: 34 parts in cream coloured resin; 20 etched metal parts on a single fret
Review Type: FirstLook
Advantages: Superb detail and casting; photo-etched parts supplied; clearly illustrated instructions
Disadvantages: Some packaging missing in this sample (resulting in excessive movement of parts in transit)
Recommendation: Recommended


Reviewed by Rodger Kelly

Aires 1/48 scale Spitfire IXc Gun Bay is available online from Squadron.com



A new release in the Aires Hobby Models Masters Series is 4244, a 1/48 scale resin gun bay for the Hasegawa kit of the Mk IXc Supermarine Spitfire. 

The kit comprises 34 resin parts and 20 photo-etched metal ones. The resin parts comprise:

  • Both port and starboard gun bays.

  • 2 x 20mm cannons cast as one-piece all the way from the muzzle to the butt.

  • 4 x .303 machine guns these have been cast in two parts with barrel separate from the body of the gun.  The breeches of the guns have been cast open, and separate breech covers are provided.

  • Electric drive motors for the cannons.

  • Mounting chassis.

  • The gun bays access panels eight in all four each for either side.

Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:

The parts are cast in the usual light cream coloured resin that we a used to seeing from Aires.  The casting of the resin parts is well up to the very high standards that we are used to seeing from Aires and you can only really appreciate the details under magnification.  The muzzles for the .303 machine guns have been cast hollow and of equal thickness.  The access hatches have been cast wafer thin, and are translucent.  Their undersides exhibit details of reinforcing construction whilst their topsides show rivet detail. 

The photo-etch parts comprise:

  • A representation of the metal structure of the wing.

  • Gun securing catches.

  • The reinforcing bars for the underside of the cannon breech teardrop blister.

The metal used to produce the fret is soft, which makes the pieces easy to work with and to remove from the fret.  This is important as you can cut the parts straight from the fret with a sharp pair of scissors and not leave a burr that is almost impossible to remove without damaging the part itself. 

A small instruction sheet is included.  It is simple, and shows clear black and white exploded-view illustrations to assist you in assembly of the parts.  The sheet also has a 'parts map' to assist you in identifying each part.  What it lacks though are painting instructions - none are included at all. 

Quality control must be slipping at Aires as, whilst the kit comes packed in the standard small kit packaging used by Aires, it was missing the inner vac formed tray that the resin parts sit in.  This has allowed the parts to move around a lot more than they would normally be permitted to and the movement has resulted in damage to the parts themselves.  Have a look at the picture of the parts and you will see what I mean.  I have to stress here that this is the only time that I have struck something like this from Aires.  I guess that my example has probably come from a "Friday afternoon" production run! 

Aires has done an excellent job in producing this set and having seen a set installed into a Hasegawa kit, I can say that the results are excellent.  However, it is not one for the feint hearted as there is a fair bit of cutting, filing and sanding involved in installing it. 


Thanks to Aires for the review sample

Text and Images Copyright 2005 by Rodger Kelly
Page Created 15 August, 2005
Last updated 15 August, 2005

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