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Seafires are interesting aren't they.  A couple of years ago I had great fun converting the new-ish 1/72 Airfix Spitfire 22 into this Seafire 47:

 

1b4c5b1b-f4eb-4607-a950-d3744f93e577.JPG

 

...and insodoing caught the Seafire bug. A Sword XV is half-completed, but I am separated form it currently. So you know how it is in this hobby - having just finished a Mustang I turned to the stash for inspiration, and my eyes fell upon this:

 

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It's the most recent boxing, which contains most of the parts for a Spitfire Vc as well, but doesn't have the resin gun barrels. No matter, this is my next little project. Luckily I've got a few references:

 

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but I know I have a few questions that the books and Internet don't seem to be able to help me with, so if anyone is able to help with those I'll be grateful. 

 

I've got a week off work and so hopefully progress will be relatively swift. I made a bit of a start yesterday:

 

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The first thing to say is that the propeller was pre-assebled for a Sword Spitfire IX which I fear will not be built now due to the arrival of the Eduard kit. I also seized the tailplanes from that kit (at the bottom of the pic) as they have the later extended horn balance on the elevators which I think is correct for the Seafire III. I'll need to remove the representation of fabric from them as I believe all Seafires had metal elevators.

 

Other tasks done include drilling out holes for me to do the forward catapult spools under the wings, and the aft ones in the fuselage. The sword kits are very nice. I have nitpicked about the slightly short wingspan but I'm going to live with it. That will help me finish my XV too in due course.

 

The cockpit is slighly fiddly with the need to construct the seat mountings, but it looks nice. The instrument panel comes up beautifully with a bit of coloured pencil highlighting:

 

e8052e96-11b8-4888-b245-3bef591b1bec.JPG

 

Makes me start thinking about doing it with the cockpit open. Decisions decisions...

 

Justin

Edited by Bedders

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So I might as well ask away my first couple of questions. I'm thinking of modelling the aircraft flown by Sub Lt Victor Lowden on 15 August 1945 (LR866). There's a profile of his aircraft at http://www.aviationartprints.com/supermarine_seafire.htm, but I have a couple of queries:

a) I would have thought that all Seafires by the date in question had the Vokes tropical filter in the slightly longer curburettor intake. Should I model that, or go with the untropicalised version depicted?

B) Did LR-series Mark IIIs retain the outer cannon stubs as depicted in the profile, or would they have been omitted by that point in the production run?

 

Any pointers v welcome!

 

Justin

 

Edited by Bedders

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I’ve been fancying one of these for a while - could you tell me what decal options are in the kit? I’m after one from HMS Indefatigable in late 1945.

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Hi Brian,

 

Below are the options in my boxing. Indefatigable late 45 is not one of them. If I remember correctly, earlier boxings had Reynolds' machine in Indefatigable from May 45, and Murphy's aircraft from 15 August, but I think they are hard to come by now. I think there are some aftermarket decals available but can't remember which firm. 

 

Justin

 

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3 hours ago, brianthemodeller said:

I'm going to gang around and watch if that’s OK?

Please do Brian.

1 hour ago, Cookenbacher said:

Looking forward to this one Justin.

Hey Cookie. I'd better make a good job of it then!💪

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8 hours ago, Bedders said:

I think there are some aftermarket decals available but can't remember which firm. 

Model Alliance sheet MA-72118 has Reynolds' S146 (PR256) on it.

 

John,

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I'm in too Justin, great start :)

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Mind if I just cruise around here.  

 

Just declared my SH Seafires II & III finished (Ops Torch & Iceberg) and you can never get too much in the way of Seafires...  

 

Good luck with the build..

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You need to have a chat with @iang about which Seafires were involved in the "last fight" as a lot of the serials purported to be there  might have been Iceberg Serials and the airframes replaced by August.  I know this because I had a specific question for Ian because I am trying to track down S135 an Indefatigable 885 NAS Seafire flown by his Grandad, SLt Malcolm Brown.  

 

One item of note is that by this stage Implacable's 801 & 880 Seafires were on P40 drop tanks (famously traded for cases of whiskey) but Indefatigable's 885 & 894 seem to have been on 45 or 90 gallon slipper tanks.

 

Now, after writing all this, I can feel a repopulation of my Seafire stash coming on.  At least one SH BPF 1/48 Seafire III to be purchased this side of Christmas...

 

Hope this helps...

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55 minutes ago, Grey Beema said:

might have been Iceberg Serials

Now you've got me. What are Iceberg Serials?

 

J

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Operation Iceberg was the RNs operation to cover the left flank of the invasion of Okinawa April & May 1945.

 

During Operation Iceberg, the BPF had spent 62 days at sea, with a break of 8 days anchored in Leyte Gulf. Aircraft from five of its fleet carriers flew 5,335 sorties and expended 1,000 tons of bombs and 500,000 rounds of ammunition. The fleet destroyed 42 enemy aircraft in the air and more than 100 on the ground and prevented the Japanese from staging aircraft to Okinawa. In exchange, TF 57 lost 44 officers and men killed on board ships and 41 aircrew. All four operational carriers needed dockyard repairs on their return to Sydney to make good defects and damage inflicted by the enemy.

 

 

Unfortunately most of the Royal Navy's actions in the Pacific  go largely unknown.  It was the most powerful Fleet the Royal Navy had ever assembled, fighting a war at ranges never conceived of by the Admiralty.  The British Pacific Fleet is known as the Forgotten Fleet.

 

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Thanks - really interesting and I'll do some more reading about that.

 

In the meantime I've enjoyed a morning's modelling and can report as follows:

 

On this kit there doesn't seem to be anything to mount the exhaust pipes on inside the fuselage, so I've made a pair of blanking/mounting plates that will themselves be stuck to a couple of bits of plastic card to keep the plates well inside the fuselage:

 

resized_85124181-c34c-44b9-8263-644ba38a

 

And here they are fitted, together with the pretty-much completed cockpit.

 

resized_0259a65c-fe4e-4129-a391-336396e7

 

I think I'll display this one with the door closed but the canopy semi-open using a vacform central section. So I've detailed the cockpit just about enough for that. Seatbelts are just Tamiya tape with a bit of detail painted on.

 

I've also added a small strip of plastic card along the sills of the rear section of the canopy: the Sword kits seem to give you a rear canopy section that looks more like the pressurised one of the VII/X/XIX, so I'm trying to remedy that. Looks like I've now raised the sill line a touch too much, but I can whittle that away gradually to make it look right.

 

Almost ready to close it all up!

 

Justin

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On 15/10/2017 at 10:23 AM, Bedders said:

So I might as well ask away my first couple of questions. I'm thinking of modelling the aircraft flown by Sub Lt Victor Lowden on 15 August 1945 (LR866). There's a profile of his aircraft at http://www.aviationartprints.com/supermarine_seafire.htm, but I have a couple of queries:

a) I would have thought that all Seafires by the date in question had the Vokes tropical filter in the slightly longer curburettor intake. Should I model that, or go with the untropicalised version depicted?

B) Did LR-series Mark IIIs retain the outer cannon stubs as depicted in the profile, or would they have been omitted by that point in the production run?

I have a more extreme but less pithy version of Troy's "Never trust a profile without a photo": "There are lies, damned lies and profiles (always excepting those by St Mike Keep, of course)".  All the same..... look at plate 68 in Brown's The Seafire: the aircraft is LR851 (as near as I can get to your serial) in August 1944 and, while the shadows are not helpful, that looks to me a bit like a cannon stub and I can't see any sign of a late filter.  Photo quality makes it less than conclusive and we need to make allowance for its being a UK-based aircraft serving in a 2nd line function in 1944 but maybe a pointer, at least.    Yes, I was surprised too.

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Good spot Seahawk - I've had a look. Perusing the serials in Spitfire the History it does look as though the LRs were the first production batch, with c wings so it says (perhaps this could be interpreted to mean not the later wings with the second cannon tube removed).

 

Which is great, cos I've already gone and filled & sanded the holes! :banghead:

Edit: Actually reading STH again, it's the first 30, of which LR866 was not one, that had c wings (non-folding). So there's still room for doubt, and I've read that on operarions the changing of wings was carried out - particularly given the number of accidents. So I spose there's some scope for an old stager like LR866 to be flying on VJ Day with some later wings. 

 

Justin

Edited by Bedders

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My own notes (Alfred Price in Wings of Fame 16) say LR795 and the succeeding 25 Seafire IIIs had non-folding wings and also that most of that early non-folding batch were subsequently modified to full Seafire III spec.  If they were, I imagine others of the LR batch would also have been tweaked to the latest mod state before serving in the BPF.  So I'm right with you on your judgements.

 

 

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Nice progress. I particularly like the use of coloured pencils on the instrument panel and the spacers on the backing plate for the exhausts, I usually rely on wedging the exhausts in place because I glue the backing plate directly to the fuselage and it detaches when I try to insert the exhausts.

 

I'll be following too, if I may.

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Like Simon, I will now follow your example of adding spacers to the exhaust backing plates - that will definitely save some heartache later on. I also like the tabs you built for combining the fuselages and adding the cockpit frames. Luckily, I still have plenty of Sword Spitfire/Seafire kits to apply these tricks to, thanks Justin.

 

The 'deep' rear canopy section of the Sword kit really threw my Mk 21 attempt for a loop, but I really like the shape of the Sword's wing. Greenshirt made an interesting comparison here if you haven't already seen it - it applies to Mk IX kits, but I think the other Sword Spitfire variants have similarly sized wings.

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2 hours ago, Grey Beema said:

i have a couple of Seafires on here if you're interested..

 

 

That'a lovely collection. Can I ask whose paints you used? They look spot on. I have a tendency to end up going too dark on a lot of my models, and only realise when it's too late. With this one I'm keen to get it right, so any tips welcome.

 

Justin

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Thanks for that link Cookie - a useful reminder. Talking Sword Spitfires & Seafires has got me all nostalgic for my unfinished XV. Just dug these out of Shpotobucket and I'm looking forward to getting the Mark III up to this point soon...

 

49169418-ae2c-45eb-a583-1970dfb62b29.jpg

 

ff7ab313-0754-4069-9967-2f7e9ac39424.jpg

 

Justin

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I use Xtracrylics and spray them.  They can be brushed but I only brush small areas, never tried a whole aeroplane.  Exra Dark Sea grey, Dark Slate Grey and Sky.  The Xtracrylics dries nice a smooth and shiney and makes it easy to varnish and decal.

 

I spray the aircraft Halfords Aluminium (which is acrylic) rattle can whilst still on the sprue then scrape off for seams to let the glue do its stuff but you could spray after building.  The Halfords paint is harder than the Xtracrylics so there is not salt or hairspray technics when you want to show the metal through you can scrape the top layer off with a cocktail stick and localise the wear..

 

The two Seafires are the colours straight from the jar.  The Fulmar has had its colours lighted to represent the fading whilst based in the Mediterranean.  Lightening was one drop of Ocean grey to four drops of camouflage colour (both lightened to the same extent).

 

Hope this helps..

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On the gun/wing question, I've found the attached image of LR817 looking precarious on HMS Ravager - it has the outer cannon stubs removed:

 

http://www.asisbiz.com//usn/HMS-Ravager/images/HMS-Ravager-D70-Seafire-FAA-887Sqn-P5-H-CR-Thomas-LR817-landing-accident-Apr-4th-1945-01.jpg

 

Justin

Edited by Bedders

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Some progress today. I've put the cockpit in - having made a couple of Sword kits I've learnt that the best way to assemble the cockpit is to button up the fuselage first and then insert the components from below. So once the fuselage join was dry I first stuck the seat/bulkhead to the floor section, and then looped the instrument panel piece (unglued) around the floor, then put the whole lot in. First I got the seat/rear section into place correctly, and stuck that. Then once that was drying I located the instrument panel correctly, and then stuck that. Seems to have worked OK:

 

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When I started this kit I took the rudder off as it looked a little short to me. So I've added a thin shim of plastic card to the top of the fin to give a bit of extra height, and now replaced the rudder, amd I'll shape the bottom of the fin/rudder in due course. 

 

resized_fc464617-eb0f-4eb6-81da-211b33d5

 

Apparently all Seafies had metal covered elevators, so I've sanded off the fabric effect from the port elevator, with the starboard one still to do.

 

164f29b7-6873-4ecb-923b-cae98ed86ea7.JPG

 

And finally today I've made a start at sticking the wings to the fuselage. To make life easier I've glued the rear join only so far, and when it's dry I'll glue the front. That way I hope to avoid that common problem when building spitfires of not getting the rear join to settle down properly. Might need a little bit of filler there...

 

resized_0b83aafd-9fc6-4897-bdae-284736dc

 

It's coming along!

 

Justin

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