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Everything posted by WLJayne

  1. I thought it would be good to post an update in this thread. We've received some test shots for the 109, but the tool has some alignment issues that are being seen to. But overall we're very happy with the result and we're looking forward to doing some test builds. Full image album here https://imgur.com/a/ScpIbiF
  2. Hi all! We just got some test shots through the post and I couldn't wait to get them photographed and show them to you! We're so pleased with these, however the development has not been without drama! The mould tool that made these has actually been scrapped, because as some of you eagle-eyed folks will see there is a very slight misalignment between the halves which has caused some flashing. The toolmaker wasn't happy with it and couldn't fix it, and they cut the tool again for free !! So our production plastic sprues will be ever better quality with sharper part lines than what you see here! However the surface details and features show up very well, and we hope that you're as excited to see them as we are! Now we will move on to cutting the Spitfire and canopy tools. We're hoping to be able to ship all pre-orders in spring, though we can't confirm an exact date yet. Thank you for sticking with us on this journey! Full album here: https://imgur.com/a/ScpIbiF
  3. Excellent tips there thank you so much Colin! I'm only just beginning to get to grips with Emil schemes so there's a lot of catching up for me to do to get it right. Many of you are far more knowledgeable than I on this
  4. Hi all! Starting to think about box art and profiles for our 109s and I thought I'd start with the Trops. I've been trying to find colourful Trop schemes for the Emil, and came across this one, I think it fits the bill. I'll keep looking but I'll try to find out more about this one. Let me know what you think !
  5. Do you mean these ones? Here's a photo for comparison to their profile (the smaller fin flash of the Spitfire cropped out belongs to DW-O.) The aircraft I'm representing (in the bonus 610 Sqn decal set at least) is P9502 DW-Q, flown by F/O Warner. Their profile is R6891 - a later DW-Q. Their P9495 DW-K looks pretty good, interestingly showing No.1 Sky Blue as well. I would very much like to know which "documentation" they uncovered that gave evidence of this colour being applied to aircraft based at RAF Gravesend at this time, but I have no reason to doubt that it wasn't the case - it's at least very plausible. Also, I fiddled with the contrast on that photo and as you can see, at least on DW-J and DW-H, the squadron codes were overpainted by the new underside colour. It appears to be the same on aircraft in the background but the resolution isn't high enough to be absolutely sure. However, given that the Air Ministry order of the 27th April decreed that squadron codes were to be applied as seen, and the new undersides were introduced later in June, it seems reasonable that all the squadron codes that were applied earlier were partially overpainted in June resulting in what we see here:
  6. I think this is why it's a good idea to have something like a QR code on the instructions that takes people who a webpage that goes over some of this and explains why we made the creative choices that we made, but gives people a choice in how they want to represent it. But for those doing a weekend build who don't really mind, they can use whichever paint they think is closest. Ultimately what I'm really enjoying about actually producing these models is how much history is tied into it and it's making me see why the BoB is almost a hobby within the hobby, and our products can reflect that. EDIT: Oh I see that a compendium of Paul's articles will be on sale at Telford!! Wonderful! I'll most definitely pick up a copy. I've been in touch with Gary and if possible I'll get the chance to have a chat with Paul too. I think we'll be in good hands!
  7. I did mean 1940, sorry! The Blenheim sky may have been similar, I saw something about it in the book earlier. I'll paraphrase into some key points: - Prior to the war, Sidney Cotton flew covert photo recon flight over Germany, these aircraft were painted "a very pale green colour" - Bomber command heard about these low-profile PDU Blenheims at Heston and sent a Blenheim from 139 Sqn to be modified similarly, which was dark green and dark earth with "light sea green" undersurfaces, all paints were reportedly very glossy. - Bomber command was most impressed with this Blenheim and began applying "blue-grey" shades to many of its Blenheims flying over France in 1939. These appear to be a motley collection of colours possibly including factory applied Sky or Eau De Nil shades. - The Air Ministry also heard about this and inspected the Blenheim at Heston, the underside colour being described in the RAE report as "Duck Egg Green termed 'Camotint.'" It was claimed that this Duck Egg Green rendered the aircraft almost invisible above 10,000 ft. - The glossiness was a concern, and the it was requested that the RAE supply suitable paint that was colour matched but smoother and less glossy. - Bomber command ordered a large quantity of this paint, which manufacturers couldn't meet due to demand. Therefore an interim solution to the shortage of "Type S" paint was to supply pre-war spec DTD 63A which had the glossy finish. - The air ministry wrote to Bristol in April 1940 stating "It is agreed that you should call on the schedule for Mod 864 on the Blenheim IV for Laquer to DTD 63 with reduced gloss.....As regards colour, the pale blue green which has been called Camotint is now defined as Standard Sky and this description should be given in your schedule." - Colour matching between factories was spotty, Bristol built Blenheims had the correct paint match however Rootes built Blenheims were finished in a different colour described as "rich duck egg green" which may have been BSS 381 (1930) No. 16 Eau De Nil. So that appears to be the genesis of Sky at least. How that relates to the colour of the 610 Spitfires is unclear - but I'm left with the distinct impression that after the 6th June Air Ministry order and until late 1940 when stores were more available, "Sky" was a pale greenish blue just do what you can. I just wish we had more direct evidence for 610 Sqn, but I'm happy enough to go wish the Lucas research when taken in context of the earlier history of Sky. What do you think?
  8. I can't confirmed it with cast iron confidence, however I have one book (the On Target BoB Special) that states this, though the Wingleader book simply mentions Sky without going into details. I've been looking around on this forum too and one of the reasons I gave weight to the OT book's claim is that the photo was taken on June 26th, and the order to move to Sky undersides was sent out on the 6th. This aircraft was delivered earlier in the year with factory painted night and white, so it would have been overpainted by whatever passed for "sky" at this point in time, and it seems reasonable that there may not have been a ready availability of the standard later Sky shade which seems to have become standard in the autumn of 1940 as the factory finished sky Spits made their way to the front lines. Furthermore I found a reference here quoting the FlyPast Battle of Britain special: "Research, conducted in the late 1990s by Paul Lucas and others, on surviving artefacts, shows that in addition to the official Sky colour 'Eau-de-Nil' (No.16), and Sky Blue (No.1) were found on many artefacts. There was also significant evidence of a Sky Grey, sometimes overpainted with one of the Sky colours." Additionally: "Michael JF Bowyer said many years ago 'During May home-based fighters began to wear new under surface colours. Silver was certainly applied to some aircraft, evident on Spitfires in June. Predominant were pale shades of Blue, but some Hurricanes I saw at Debden and Duxford had deep blue undersurfaces. These variations were presumably due to the fact that dope was mixed at the stations. Usually the Sky tint , which was meant to be blue, was more accurately a pale shade of green caused by about a 4% addition of yellow to the mix. At the time it was commonly referred to as duck egg green, but it later revceived the official and less accurate designation of Duck Egg Blue. later the shade was re-named Sky.'" However there are a boat load of thread on this issue here and on FSM and elsewhere all quoting different sources - no one really seems to know for sure and I was indeed warned about "the sky problem" when we started haha! So as long as it's plausible, and it's interesting and a little bit different, I'm fairly comfortable in suggesting it as an option. but of course, modellers can use whatever shade of sky they prefer !
  9. Another work in progress profile: R6595 DW-O as flown by F/Lt Ellis on the 26th June, 1940. This was the lead aircraft in the section from the famous 610 Squadron photographs - possibly the most iconic photos from the Battle of Britain. Key points from my research that I've tried to represent: - The underside change to "Sky" was recent, many sources believe that the 610 Sqn aircraft were painted with "No.1 Sky Blue" which is more of a duck egg colour. - The squadron codes are not straight, likely because the standards had not yet been set for spitfires with different squadrons trying to fit codes onto the slim tail of the Spit. - One photo from the starboard side seems very faintly to indicate that the bottom of the starboard squadron code letters were overpainted by the underside - which makes sense of the underside repaint was more recent than the code letters. - Serials appear to have been overpainted. - 49" A.1 roundel where a yellow band has been added to the previous 35" type A roundel. - The fin flash of R6595 was smaller than the others, and the colours were in the reverse order - I'm working on this at the moment. This really helps to distinguish between DW-O and DW-Q in some photos! - No stencils on the underside due to the recent repaint, and none visible on the fuselage either. There was a lot of interpretation and guesswork with this one, if anyone has better references that show how I could improve it, I'd be very keen to hear your thoughts! I've included some of the reference photos I used in this album: https://imgur.com/a/7dIH238
  10. Our cover art for the Spitfire Mk.I Vs Bf109E is finished! Painted by Andrew Harris, it depicts P/O Gerald "Stapme" Stapleton flying Spitfire Mk.Ia (N3196 XT-L) engaging OLt Von Werra of Jagdgeschwader 3 in his Messerschmitt Bf109E (W.Nr. 1480) on the 5th Sept 1940. Profiles in development
  11. Yes I think that given how much emphasis we're putting on what is essentially storytelling/history and collecting, it's important to give a good amount of context for the airframes we're making. We'll definitely put the instruction manuals online in the shop for anyone too look at, and we'll probably offer some bonus downloads like to-scale paint diagrams with no markings so that people can see the paint patterns very clearly. It's not that much extra work, but it really helps to cement these as a well supported product for both the serious modeller and the more relaxed builder. In an ideal world we would have been able to release a plastic tool with the very small differences between the Mk.I and the Mk.Ia however it's just too cost prohibitive for now and we think most will be happy enough - but we can always make "correct" aftermarket parts later either with a partner or through our own store. Much to do before that becomes possible though. @Mark Postlethwaite has been really helpful in keeping my nose to the research grindstone, he wasn't wrong when he said that serious artists spend weeks immersing themselves in history and research before starting a piece and I can see what he means now. It's very necessary. In the next few days I'm going to working on: K9795 N3196 XT-L P9546 QV-H R6595 DW-O We chose P9546 QV-H as it's the Spit that appears on Mark's painting which is going on our box. I'm having a devil of a time finding references for it though so if anyone can help with that it would be very much appreciated!
  12. I had thought about doing something like that seeing as I now have so much material that I could distil down to something manageable for modellers who don't have much in the way of libraries. Though I was thinking that rather than fill up the instructions with text (and not all customers will speak English) I could put a QR code on them which would take people to a webpage with some info that the browser could translate as necessary. It does seem a shame not to point out some of the finer details - for example I can see already that loads of people get the engine cowling wrong by using the panel line as the paint border when on the photos all the early spits had the border below that. Just simple things that will help people get it right if they want to.
  13. Well I think I'm pretty happy with this, I've incorporated a number of changes suggested in this thread and thank you so much for the invaluable input! It's not a perfect profile; I've used a B scheme template that I made (based on the patterns book) and some of the paint borders are ever so slightly off compared to WZ-C's photographed paint job but it's bob on for other B scheme tail numbers, and there are still physical details that are going to have to compromises out of the box, but I think I'm happy to put it in a carton as a painted and markings guide and let modellers enjoy it. There's still plenty of time for final tweaks if need be, but on to the next! EDIT: just noticed the absence of fuselage roundels on the top and bottom views, better add those in! Glad I'm not in a rush with these!!
  14. I've seen a couple of builds showing this, I'll see what I can turn up in terms of evidence but it is a nice feature I think.
  15. That was my suspicion, I imagine that factory stencils were scuffed out, patched or painted over very quickly in the field even pre-war. I think this one is going to be a big piece of guesswork - even in the wingleader book there are notes such as "the black and white undersides are assumed based upon the fuselage underside looking white rather than aluminium." If that isn't a well phrased "" I don't know what is ! I'm going to go with no underside stencils in these early profiles, and only minimal upper ones like walkway lines on the wings as those are pretty clear in photos.
  16. Ok, another can of worms....stencilling. Can anyone recommend a good source for info on this? What I may end up doing it providing a full suite of stencils that people can use or not use as they prefer. I've read that N3200 has very accurate BoB period stencils as it was taken from the standard factory marking plans, is this true? Would these early MkI spits have had the same markings? It seems like K9795 had minimal stencilling as the photos seem pretty clear, but what about WZ-C, would these slightly later spits have had them? It's impossible to make out from the Wingleader archive photos. Looking at various builds of these Mk.Is it appears to be all over the place, so this is yet another headache!
  17. Hi all, Got some lovely photos from the toolmaker today! Here's the finished moving half of the tool: And here's the fixed half, having been machined with a 0.8mm cutter so far - they'll cut with progressively finer cutters now to bring the detail out. Speaking of detail, we're so pleased that they've been able to achieve incredibly crisp rendering of Bryan's CAD design in the steel. Those small features look neat and sharp and should result in some beautiful recessed panel lines and rivets on the plastic. When all the cutting is done, the two halves of the tool will be spark eroded to polish out the tooling marks around the cavities so that the tool closes perfectly with no flash and minimal mould lines; They tell us that we are less than a month away from test shots now, and then we can start work on the Spitfire tool! Will.
  18. That's what we've observed too - there are tiny variations but only insofar as these were hand painted. I'm going to set about making some more corrections this evening and then I'm hoping I'll be able to move on to our three Mk.Ia profiles (the twin set and dogfight set.) Will.
  19. Good spot RE the radiator, that's an easy re-colour and will be the same on all Night and White schemes. I agree about the roundel and will play around with the letters too. Most of the work has gone into making a nice B scheme template that I can use for other profiles as well as this one. I very much doubt that I'll get to a solution that everyone sees as entirely correct, there's so much guesswork and interpretation here - but if I can nudge it as close as I can then I will. But ultimately, we have 30 schemes to do so there will have to be a point where it's "good enough" and send it to print without spending too much time noodling. Also the W's all look different in those Duxford photos haha! The slightest variation in the masking seems to change the finished shape, but again I'll try to move it around until it looks right. I didn't use a font, they're vectored from scratch as there is no correct font. It probably looks completely different on the port side, but unfortunately the only port side photo of this aircraft has the hatch down obscuring the W. As long as there are no major errors due to research laziness, I hope they'll be treated fairly favourably. Like you said, most won't care and retailers will take hundreds of boxes from us whether we bother with careful research or not. But I take pride in my work, and even though I'm wearing a nearly unmanageable number of hats in this endeavour, I definitely want to try to do it right .
  20. So I've been building some templates to generate different schemes with, while also using it to build individual schemes. Here what I have so far on K9799 WZ-C, key points are: - B scheme with underside line below engine cowl panel line. - No red gun port colours. - Night and white undersides, no stencils. - Serial number shown (painted over on photos from 1939 press day at Duxford.) These are vectors taken from out actual 1/144 model, and there are some minor compromises on exact detail - for example the fastidious modeller will have to scratch build the anti-spin device on the tail, and add the panel lines to the fuel tank to be true to the early Mk.I Spitfires. This kit was designed to represent later marks but with option parts for the early Mk.I, so we know it's not a "perfect" early Mk.I but we couldn't have made a standalone early Mk.I with these tiny detail changes. I hope that modellers will forgive us when they are reaching for the panel line saw ! Colours taken from Colourcoats chips. Thoughts are appreciated as always, and at least on these images it is quite simple to make corrections, which is not the case for poor Antonis and his photorealistic renders. We think we will use these as the painting and marking instructions, and put the rendered images on the back of the boxes. Will.
  21. Also just realized that it's the wrong camouflage scheme! Should be B scheme but for is A scheme [facepalm.] I'll see what I can do about the other areas. I'm never touching early Spitfires again, honestly.
  22. Morning all! Some good news today, our toolmaker sent us some images of the progress so far. They're are now up to passes with a 0.5mm cutter on the tool, which means details are beginning to emerge. They will use progressively smaller cutters to bring out that crisp sharp detail we are so hoping to achieve. It's still hard to give a realistic release date due to the delays we've had because of material shortages in the UK, I am hoping that January will become realistic but I'll have to confirm with the toolmaker and warehouse before I can commit to anything. More info as we get it!
  23. This is a possibility, the proportions are a bit chunky for 1/72 (they're slightly stylised for the small scale) but we could look into it later down the line. Thanks mate! Andrew Harris is making great progress on our Stapme Vs Von Werra piece and I can't wait to show it off soon! Will.
  24. Those are brilliant, Troy! I just got the first test from Antonis where we used the Air Ministry chip MSG (or as close as we could get.) I must say, it does look pretty close to the photos you posted, what do you think? I'm probably going to move this over to the profiles thread now as I think we've got some good leads on the grey. Will.
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