Future Build Preview: Spitfire DB 605 Conversion


The Spitfire and the Messerschmitt Bf 109. In terms of machinery, these two iconic fighters have to stand near the top of any list of World War II’s greatest rivals. During the tense years of 1940-1943, these two were the Ford vs. Chevy of their time.

Or, going by their engines, the Rolls-Royce vs. Mercedes-Benz.

Even back then the Germans were insufferable when it came to their engineering prowess.

When a British Spitfire Mk.Vb was shot down and captured by the Germans in 1942, did they immediately break it down to learn how to counter it, the way Grumman engineers did with a captured Zero?

Nope. The first thing the Germans did was graft a Daimler-Benz DB 605 inline engine – the same one that powered the Bf 109 – onto the front of their captured Spit to prove how much more badass their engine was than the Rolls-Royce Merlin.

I’m not even kidding. Here it is.

“CJ+ZY” was built by mounting a DB 605 in a modified Bf 110 cowl to the captured Spitfire Vb. And it makes for a strange sight, literally combining the visual elements of the Spitfire and the 109.

The Kit: 1/48 Tamiya Spitfire Mk.Vb (#61033)

When it comes to building a 1/48 scale “CJ+ZY” there’s really only one kit to start from – Tamiya’s Spitfire Mk.Vb.

What’s there to say about this kit? It’s good old Tamiya. Relatively simple, relatively well-detailed, and extremely well-engineered.

There are a ton of aftermarket options available for this kit, but I’m really on interested in one for this particular build.

Aftermarket: Fusion Models’ DB 605 Conversion Conversion

I guess in the past people might have grafted a Bf 110 cowl onto a Spitfire to model “CJ+ZY”, but Fusion Models’ resin conversion is both more elegant and more affordable.

Once upon a time, this conversion came with the decals, but that appears to no longer be the case. Fortunately, they seem very easy to replicate. When I get around to it, this one ought to be a superb change of pace!

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