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Spitfire Mk.Vb Trop Tamiya 1/48

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With this being my first post in this forum ever, I think I'll start by introducing myself. My name is Alex, age 37 and I live in the Netherlands. I've been building models for almost 26 years now, predominantly in 1/72nd scale, themed 'anything goes aviation'. As of 10 years ago I've switched to a bigger scale as I found myself wanting to add details and, more importantly, for others to be actually able to see those details. Nowadays I build WWII era aircraft in 1/48th scale, trying to achieve as accurate represention of the actual subject aircraft as possible without overdoing it in those places which are not really that visible to begin with. So, don't expect intricate hydraulic layouts in the gear bays for example. To complete this introduction, the first photo of the post shows the result of my latest, finished build - Dornier Do335A-10. Tamiya messed up and mislabeled the kit. :)


So, what am I currently working on then? I hope you folks never get tired of Spitfires. In this case a Spitfire Mk.Vb Trop which is a Tamiya 1/48th scale kit with some Eduard PE on the side. I'm not a Spitfire expert, all work which is currently completed is based what I've read in the books, saw in various photo's and available 3-view drawings.


Subject aircraft - The subject aircraft is T*M EP340 - Mk.Vb with a Vokes filter, not reinforced standard B-wing and, best guess, a de Havilland prop & matching spinner? If anyone has photo's of the EP340, please do share.

I haven't found any 1/48th scale decals for the EP340, yet. Potentially I'm looking at creating custom masks for the s/n and the registration number.


The cockpit - I need to install one PE part and the painted gun sight. Other than that pretty much done.


The fuselage - I've read the topics discussing the fuselage length, wing location relative to the fuselage, cockpit being a few mm off the actual spot, etc. There's not much I can do to change that. What I can do, and have done, is filling and sanding a few panel lines which are not supposed to be there. The major one is on the right side, just below the windscreen.


Now onto something which has been bothering me ever since I had removed the fuselage halves from the sprue and dry fitted them. I'm talking about the top cover/cowling. Does Tamiya's version of the shape bother anyone else? It being to square and flat - as if there's a concrete wall just behind the prop... Well, I did start up the effort to make a few corrections to that area. No entirely happy yet, but it's a start. It needs further sanding and polishing as well as getting the surface details re-scribed. As I've got the two other Spitfire kits from Tamiya, I though it'll be cool to get the dry fitted fuselages into one comparison photo.


Some corrections made with Milliput - great stuff for sculpting btw. All it needs is a bit of water on your finger and you can start sculting.


Tamiya grey putty has been applied to even out the bumps which remained after sanding Milliput. This will have to be carefully sanded.


That's it for now. Comments and critiques are very welcome!

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Nah, we never get tired of Spits here I think.. Most of us anywys! Lovely Do and a great start on the Spit. Great job on the office and nice correction on the nose.


I am sure looking forward to the rest.



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Thank you for the warm welcome! Yes, the early Spitfires are one of my favorite WWII era fighters. The other long time favorite is its adversary, the F and G series 109.




... and then there was four of them. To explain this I'll have to rewind to the beginning of my Saturday. So there I was, in front of my PC, checking out my options at buying a set of de Havilland props and a matching spinner. Found a few sets on sites outside of the Netherlands. Thought "you know what, let's check out my LHS". Funny enough, that abbreviation in the Netherlands has a different meaning though - translated from Dutch: Aviation Hobby Shop.


Anyway, drove there in like 15 minutes. Conveniently enough, a guy from my scale model club is actually working there. Having spent some time looking up the sets, it turned out they don't sell any of the brands. Ended up looking through every single Mk.V 1/48 scale kit they're selling. Finally settled on the Mk.Vc from Special Hobby. Though, spending 32 Euros just to get the prop and spinner out of the box was kind of an expensive move. Light bulb idea kicking in: Revell, they had re-boxed the Special Hobby kit at some point just like Italeri did. I believe the original moulds were created Classic Airframes some time ago. Though I'm not entirely sure of that. Anyway, my LHS had the Revell Mk.Vc for merely 15 Euros. That's good enough for me.

Overall it's a pretty good kit. Has the same issues around the nose area as the Tamiya kit does. This is no longer an issue now that I know how to fix this without doing the major surgery I did for this Trop Spitfire.


Now for a bit of progress. I've used quite a bit of Tamiya Grey putty and Mr.Surfacer 1000 to get where I am now. Careful sanding here and there to smooth things out using sanding paper grit 340 through 2000 and a polishing stick for that final shine.




The final bit for today has been somewhat rewarding. I've cleaned the surface area with IPA and slapped on a quick layer of the 'scale modellers best friend' aka black primer & microfiller. Stuck the primed nose under some LED lights to check for any imperfections. So far so good I'd say.




Some of the surface details is missing as you probably have seen in the last shots. The plan to restore these details is quite simple:
1) pre-drill the holes for the fasteners;
2) punch some discs of smaller diameter than the holes and glue these in place;
3) drill a hole in the disc with a very small drill bit.
4) razor saw to the rescue to restore the lost panel lines.

The next challenge will be correcting the panel lines on the wings. I've found a few which don't belong there, though I'm not sure which ones are missing. Much appreciated if anyone can point me to a good set of 3-view drawings.

That's it for now. Thanks for watching!

Edited by SpeedAS

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Cannot help you with the plans for the missing panel lines,, sorry! But i can appreciate the work you have put in! It looks good to me. And nice to hear you found more Spits - that is never a bad thing! ;)

I have built one of theose Special Hobby ones, the Vc Malta one and I built it just after I made a Vb Tamiya one. Liked them both so hopefully you will too!

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