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airscale

1/18 Spitfire Mk. XIVe - Race #80

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airscale    3,861

So, this is the picture that changed everything…

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This is a Spitfire Mk. XiVe (ex TZ138) being raced in Tinnerman Air Races at Cleveland, Ohio piloted by James McArthur placing 3rd on September 4th 1949. The next day McArthur left the airfield at 6:00 am with the winnings and the aircraft leaving no trace of his destination.

As soon as I saw it, I couldn’t stop thinking about it – bare metal, civilian not military, beautiful lines and right up my street. I had been struggling with fatigue on my F7F and after a bit of soul searching decided why not do both?

I found a few more pics, and in fact she is still flying as C-GSPT in Canada..

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I looked at the Airfix 1/24 Spitfire Mk. 1a kit and what might be involved in converting it to a Griffon, low back Mk. XiVe, certainly a possibility, but through a culmination of events I went for this…

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..it’s a 1/18 Seafire FR47 available by order from HpH at 450 Euros without shipping and is being sent on Monday J. I went for it as it’s bigger and needs less outline work to correct this to a Mk. XIV than taking a Mk. 1 all way up to the later marks..

I have the Monforton book which while it doesn’t cover the Griffon versions it has remarkable detail & drawings on everything Spitfire, so I am already part way through drawing up some bespoke PE for it which is scaled up from what I have pending for the 1/24 kit..

..I also couldn’t wait while it was being prepared so thought I would get started on something, and thanks to Tony Taylor’s exceptional pics of the seat (I found them on a forum so I do hope he doesn’t mind me re-posting..) I decided to start here..

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..so first up I prepared the rear braces by scaling the drawings and using them as templates to form & bend up the parts..

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..made up a kit of parts either turning on a dremel, forming from litho or using RB Motion car parts..

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..assembled the parts and made up pistons etc from tube & rod..

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..added the start of the seat mounting & adjustment frame – working from such accurate scaled drawings is an amazing bonus as it fits like watch parts and lines up properly provided care is taken..

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..onto the seat itself – I decided to make this from litho even though it is a resin/paper moulding, just because I like to work with it..

..I annealed a part of it so I could shape the sort of ‘pocket’ thing on the side – as I was working I also referred to David Glens book on his incredible 1/5 scale version…

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..there is a uniquely shaped depression in the seat bottom for the parachute pack, so I made a plastic card ‘plug’, fixed it to a thick base and worked annealed litho around it with a coffee stirrer stick..

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..again, making up a kit of parts, including folding a lip at the back of the seat so it will meet and support the seat back..

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..a dry fit of the parts so far..

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..making the seat back – I drilled it so I could use micro rivets to fix it together..

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..used the Monforton drawings to scale templates for all the parts, here I am starting on the fittings related to the seat height adjustment lever..

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..and the finished adjustment lever bits & bobs..

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.. I was quite impressed to find with careful assembly it actually works!

..lowest position..

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..highest position..

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After a week, that bit is finished and I like how it has turned out..

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- this is assembly number one of what will be a long term project.. I hope you will join me on the journey..

..also, as it’s a Spitfire I am looking forward to getting a lot of advice as I go, as I learn about the airframe and the long list of subtle differences between Marks, versions and variants – I only wish Edgar Brooks was around to keep me straight – in a way I hope this becomes my tribute to him

See you soon folks..

TTFN
Peter

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F4u    964

Oh no he's at it again :banghead: !!!

What a great choice of aircraft will look good in bare metal , that seat is a work of art great start Peter will be with you all the way :popcorn::popcorn: .

How's the Cat doing ?

Guy

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PlaStix    12,001

Amazing stuff! I'm in! :popcorn::popcorn:

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Jon Kunac-Tabinor    3,932

C'mon Peter- just admit it will you : You are building a real 1/1 scale one aren't you? All this phooey about "scale" models. LOL

As ever - it's brilliant. More say I!!

If it will help at all I have the 1/48th scale decals for this crate from the Academy re -release. Any use as a guide for scanning in and scaling up?

Jonners

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cngaero    1,122

Ok, so now I know. When the good Lord handed out modelling skills, I now know where my share went.

Seriously though, there is some wonderful modelling on display here. That seat is exquisite.

I can't wait to watch this through to completion.

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Col.    5,017

A week to make the seat and support frame. Only a week. Plus the height adjustment mechanism works. None of this should surprise me in the slightest after seeing your previous work but it certainly delights me.

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woody37    5,965

My local store is running out of popcorn fast with these magnificent builds!!!

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markjames68    291

The Spit in the photos has the original but clipped wings , the HPH kit has the late not so eliptical wing with a different plan view etc, i dont envy you backdating the wing.....

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Nigel Heath    13,615

Stunning stuff, count me in this should be a blast.

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Jon Kunac-Tabinor    3,932

The Spit in the photos has the original but clipped wings , the HPH kit has the late not so eliptical wing with a different plan view etc, i dont envy you backdating the wing.....

Hi Mark - from what I understand the plan view of the later Mk21 & onwards wing is actually almost identical to the classic Spit wing, If you take the "classic" wing and add on the extended HF wingtip of the MK VII/ VII then clip it further outboard and round this tip a tad - you have the shape. I'd always been led to believe that that was how the shape was arrived at in fact.

very willing to be proved wrong though

cheers

Jonners

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Phil Lewis    1,208

Micro whothewhatnow? You realise I plan to steal all of your ideas and then make a complete hash of them :)

Who's got the popcorn? :popcorn:

Edited by Phil Lewis

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melvyn hiscock    178

Jonners, that is what I heard. The ailerons are in a different position (I think) but nothing that cannot be done with a modicum of talent like what Peter has..... did I say modicum?

I have lots of detail pics somewhere as I was going to follow up my Hurricane book with one on the Spitfire. When I have finished the current rewrite of my guitar book I should scan the slides (yes the project was that long ago)

Melvyn

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shaka.hi    11

Oh my...are you the guy I order my instrument panel decals from?

You're suppose to encourage us, not make us feel inadequate...

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markjames68    291

Different aerofoil, but shouldnt matter too much, obviously blisters are completely different as are all but one panel line and the undercarriage wells are completely different shape, as are the rads and ailerons.

Basically its almost the same but totally different ;)

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rob85    6,044

Here we go! A least I got this at the start.... Catching up on the F7F was a big task, a very enjoyable one but one that took a number of days.

That seat is just mad, the fact it work is just brilliant, was that your original intention or are you just unintentionally gifted?

Rob

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airscale    3,861

Thank you folks for your kind comments - it is a very rewarding part of my hobby to recieve them and I am grateful for every one - thank you

Outstanding work. How many hours did it take to complete the seat.


Thank you - I would say about 10 hours all in - that includes a few re-made parts as I 'learned' what worked - using plans meant that it went together quickly as the parts just needed to be made like a kit would be..

The Spit in the photos has the original but clipped wings , the HPH kit has the late not so eliptical wing with a different plan view etc, i dont envy you backdating the wing.....

Different aerofoil, but shouldnt matter too much, obviously blisters are completely different as are all but one panel line and the undercarriage wells are completely different shape, as are the rads and ailerons.

Basically its almost the same but totally different ;)

I have lots of detail pics somewhere as I was going to follow up my Hurricane book with one on the Spitfire. When I have finished the current rewrite of my guitar book I should scan the slides (yes the project was that long ago)

Melvyn


You are of course quite right - the wing is the late version as fitted to an FR47 and from what I can tell the aircraft does not have the blisters etc and certainly the cannon fairings are removed. I think I can work with it as I have at a simple level a reassuring drawing from Jun Temma that shows actually the planform is just a derative of the original elliptical wing - where the ailerons & flaps go will be easy to move, the panels will all be as per the 'E' wing in the Monforton book, so I think the only thing I can't change is the aerofoil section and I will just have to live with that :)

I look forward to being helped through this bit by those in the know, so please drop any drawings / thoughts into this thread..

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Oh my...are you the guy I order my instrument panel decals from?

You're suppose to encourage us, not make us feel inadequate...


..the very same, yes - I would encourage you to try anything - I don't think I was born with any special skill, I just tried and tried again (and again, and again), what you see here is just because I keep trying and treat every single part as if it were a Gold Medal entry - I think it is more approach than ability TBH :)

Oh no he's at it again :banghead: !!!

How's the Cat doing ?

Guy


Thanks Guy - the Cat is doing fine - she is not going anywhere and is still very much a part of my plans - I cannot put nearly two years into something & forget it, I just needed a break and actually paradoxical thinking would have me say 'why make a choice, why not do both' :) time will tell of course, but I know this is what I needed to do..

If it will help at all I have the 1/48th scale decals for this crate from the Academy re -release. Any use as a guide for scanning in and scaling up?

Jonners


Thanks for the offer Jonners - actually someone over on HS put me on to Red Pegasus Decals who cover the airframe in all traditional scales - I have written to them to see if they can custom scale them up (which looks like a service they offer..)

..thanks again all :)

TTFN
Peter

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hacker    771

Let me see, you are working on stuff for your company, got a 1/32 Ju 188 on the go, the 1/24 Tigercat, and now this! A bit OCD are we? l should talk! I got 10 aircraft of various scales on the go and you think l can get any of them done? Nooooooooooo! l am dully impressed sir hats off

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Pastor Rich    319

So this is where you're hiding out eh? I had a feeling you were either busy with work or taking a breather from the Firecat. No worries, as I won't complain about being treated to a helping of your fine work and inspiration!

Loving the Spit as much as the Grumman!

My best to you all this Easter!

PR

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