The decals in question are from Xtradecal, set X72187. I have never seen such a comprehensive set of decals with an equally comprehensive instruction sheet.
This particular set contains decals for a Spitfire Mark 5s only, there are a total of 12 options, from both the European and African theatres. As well as roundels and identification numbers there's a huge number of stencils and demarcation lines. I think, if you choose carefully, you can probably get five or six complete aircraft from this set.
Application was fairly straight forward although some of the long and very thin decals for the "don't walk" lines pushed my decal skills to the limit. It took me the best part of a week (in the evenings) to apply them, mostly, due to the number of them.
Now in previous builds this would be me about done, but with this build I'd decided it was time to raise my game. I wanted the panel lines to show and some weathering, especially as this was an aircraft in use and in flight.
After spraying the whole model with a gloss coat it was time to apply a wash. The wash I'd chosen was from Flory Models. After watching the tutorial video on their website, several times, I got stuck into the whole wash process. The actual moment of applying the wash is well captured in my Instgram post taken at the point where I was really wondering what I'd done.
However, it all turned out well and so the build was complete. For me it was most satisfying, the kit was excellent and I'd managed to move my modelling on to the next level. It's no competition winner but for me it marks a significant step forward. Take a look at the pictures below and see what you think.
With the final picture I'm reminded of something I'd forgot to previously mention. This kit doesn't allow for a "wheels up" option. The wheels you see actually come from an Airfix kit (the one I sacrificed as a paint tester) and they fitted perfectly.
And so onto the final matter of my score for this kit
Overall Build Score: 4.5 out of 5, another excellent Tamiya kit as to be expected. A good choice of variants exemplified by the 3 types of air filters and 2 canopies included in the box. If I had to pick a fault it's the lack of choice when it comes to portraying the aircraft in flight.