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Everything posted by TonyOD

  1. Thanks for the kind words! “New” Airfix is indeed very good, and I am having a lot of fun with this build. I still feel though that a 1/48 kit with an RRP approaching 30 quid should have the detail of the seatbelts covered, even a decal would be better than nothing! I have both volumes of SAM’s Spitfire modellers’ guide and it’s interesting that when it came out (10-15 years ago?) there was relatively little out there in 1/48, nowadays we are truly spoiled by comparison. The following brands are the ones I’ve picked up, and the reasons behind the purchase: Airfix: Vb (new tool), XIV (new tool), PR XIX (newish tool), 22/24 (newish tool), Seafire XVII and 46/47 (both newish tools) - dependable kits, ease of building. The last four of the above have been around for a while, haven’t been reissued in a good while and seem to be pretty rare, so when reasonably priced opportunities to get them in the stash came up I grabbed them. Eduard: Ia early, Ia late, Vc, VIII, IX, XVI. Wow. I’m a massive fan of the brand, and they pretty much own the Merlin-powered Spitfire in 1/48 for me. The Profipacks are superb. Not the cheapest, but great attention to quality and accuracy, the prepainted etch is fab, and a wonderful range of colour schemes in both Weekend and Profipack editions. Special Hobby: Vc, Seafire IIc, Seafire XV. Plenty SH have kits have found their way into and out of my stash over the years but I don’t recall ever actually finishing one! I think the pricing is decent considering what’s in the box, but the pleasure of knocking one together awaits. Tamiya: Ia (new tool). I’ve heard nothing but good things about this kit, and a peek in the box bears it out. Fingers crossed we will see a new Mk V and maybe IX somewhere down the line. ICM: they seem to be a bit “marmite”, some people love them, others hate them, or if not hate them exactly are rather sniffy about them. I’ve seen some great results from ICM kits and they are cheap as chips and very versatile, I’ve bought a couple simply to build in leftover schemes from Eduard kits. I haven’t been near Revell or Italeri as I gather they are nothing to shout about. Academy’s XIV I have avoided as while I’m not a slave to accuracy I gather they are a bit weird-looking (pity, as nobody else does a high-back XIV). Apart from that I can only think of Hasegawa, I don’t know much about their 1/48 Spits but I gather they go back a while. Best out there? For my money Eduard for the sheer depth of their coverage of the type. I’d love to see some Seafires or early PRs from them. I think Tamiya have raised the bar with their Mk I and I feel they will be big in the “mainstream” Merlin-powered versions but I feel they are an entirely different kettle of fish to Eduard, business model-wise.
  2. The cockpit tub for Zumbach’s Mk Vb is done and ready for the fuselage close-up. It looks… ok. A little bit crowded maybe (but then the real thing was pretty poky), the tolerances were super tight and it took a bit of fettling of the various slots and holes in the sidewalls for stuff to fit. But I’m happy enough with it for it to be an open cockpit, there’s a little bit of scratch detail, a flare rack left over from my Eduard Mk I and rather than my usual rudimentary foil seatbelts I’ve swiped some spare harness straps from a Tamiya Mk I etch set and repurposed them into something that looks a bit more like seatbelts. I have to say I don’t really get why certain kit manufacturers (yes, you, Airfix) put out beautifully moulded kits with provision to present the subject with the canopy open to show off a wonderfully detailed cockpit, but nothing in the way of seatbelts. I get that much of the interior isn’t really visible once the fuselage is zipped up, but the absence of seatbelts on the pilot’s seat is pretty obvious, and while they can be scratched from foil or Tamiya tape or whatever they won’t look as convincing as the rest of the interior. Anyway, moan over. Onward!
  3. I’ve recently discovered the Spitfire Production List, I’ve spent a bit of time looking at the cause of death of pilots, I’m not out of the Mk Is yet and the proportion of casualties due to crashes and collisions is astonishing.
  4. Sure did - they can be seen on K9797 and friends in this pic: Thanks for the kind words re. the paintwork. Some folks on this forum have brush painting down to a fine art, I’m taking baby steps to improve!
  5. Seriously, Eduard are going to see me bankrupt. I have the new Tamiya Mk Ia kit inbound which includes the landing gear gizmo I need so I can nick that, just need to sort a Coffman bump out now.
  6. Showtime! Let's have a look at the striking and evocative box art: The sprues are familiar ground from the Early Mk I Profipack, in fact they appear to be exactly the same except for just the one pair of fuselage halves. There's an embarrassment of riches for the spares box, with all kinds of bits and pieces to cover just about every conceivable configuration of the Mk I - different pilot's seats, rudders, antennae, pitot tubes, gunsights, you name it. There are two bladed and three bladed props, in fact three of the latter, one de Havilland and what I assume is two Rotols with the blades set at different pitches. The transparencies include the early flat canopy and armoured/unarmoured windscreens. Unfortunately I'm lacking a couple of bits to turn it into a Mk II, but I'll find a way around that. Of course the quality of the moulding is just exquisite. And that's it. No etch, no decals, not even instructions. But as a cost effective platform for a great Eduard build Overtrees can't be beat. I have aftermarket decals already, a stencil sheet inbound, and even if I didn't have the instructions from my early Mk I build I could download them from Scalemates or Eduard's own site. I think if these things were readily available in the UK, I'd have a heap of them! Thanks for looking in.
  7. This is going to be smart with those splashes of colour.
  8. With a nod in the direction of the great Steve Miller… So with the Mk I on the shelf and the Mk V well on its way, I’m about to get busy with another early-marque Spitfire, a Mk IIa flown in 1941 by P/O William R. “Poppy” Dunn of No. 71 “Eagle” Squadron, RAF. Minneapolis-born Dunn was the first American “ace” of World War II, racking up five confirmed kills between May and August 1941. I’ll be building this from the Eduard Spitfire Ia “late” Overtrees boxing, with a few modifications (the one I’m aware of are the bulge on starboard side nose for the Coffman starter, and the motorised landing gear control on the starboard sidewall of the cockpit, though I’m sure I’ll turn up others.) Decals will be from the 3D-kits “Rotol Spitfires” sheet. The decal sheet gives two options for this airframe, the early green/brown/sky day fighter scheme as at the beginning of August 1941 (supposedly, but see below), and the late green/grey/grey day fighter scheme as on the 27th of that month when Dunn force-landed due to “enemy action”, getting badly injured (three months in hospital, three months recuperative leave) in the process. The later scheme would throw up some interesting questions regarding the condition of the aircraft. The “new” day fighter scheme was specified with an order issued on 15th August 1941. Naturally the RAF didn’t repaint all its existing fighters on that same day, it took some time for them all to get done, but if P7308 was repainted it would have been at some point between 15th and 27th August, a period of only 12 days, according to the callouts. I’ve always assumed that the repaints involved simply painting over the dark earth with ocean grey, the sky with light grey, and leaving the dark green as is. This aircraft had been in front line service since 10th September 1940, serving in the later stages of the Battle of Britain with No. 54 Squadron, before spending a few weeks with No. 308 Squadron prior to its being transferred to No. 71 Squadron on 20th August, which means that if indeed it was repainted with No. 71 Squadron codes and then the new day fighter scheme both would have taken place in the course of a week. Actually it would kind of make more sense if both were done at the same time on arrival with its new unit, given this was already almost a week after the order for the new scheme had been issued? And in terms of weathering, after the repaint would the green bits of the aircraft show a year’s worth of wear and the tear (except for the bits around the squadron codes?), and the freshly painted grey bits and underside look shiny and new? Did it get a complete repaint? Did P7308 ever actually carry No. 71 Squadron codes on the early scheme? So many questions. Anyway, it’s academic, because the early scheme is the one I’ve decided to go with, so if I have a go at weathering it will be uniformly applied. If I really want to go to town on it I could include the battle damage illustrated in the photograph (it’s possible that this photo was taken after Dunn’s force-landing, immediately afterwards the airframe was patched up, given a Merlin 45 engine to convert it to a Va and sent off to No. 133 Squadron, another one of the “Eagle” squadrons, where it spent all of a fortnight before finding its way to an OTU in July 1943 via no less than three other units. In which case it would’ve been green/grey ) I’m doing this build as part of a very loose #1941groupbuild on Instagram, it’s not a proper BM-style GB of course, let's say it's a warm up for the Salty Sea Dog GB kicking off in January.
  9. Some very kind words which are much appreciated, thank you!
  10. As I go I’m finding various ways Airfix’s OOB representation of the Vb differs from EN951, variously: no wing strengthening strakes (which I’ve removed before rescribing the panel lines), little antenna missing from top of rudder (removed), no headrest (removed):
  11. What a paint job, that looks great. I never knew the Italians flew in Russia.
  12. The cockpit is nearly done but is on hold pending the arrival of the above-mentioned Tamiya kit and its spare seatbelts, so I've been tinkering with some other bits. I couldn't put off looking at the sticky(?) issue of the landing gear any longer. Sure enough with a gluing surface of approximately 1 square millimetre it's a weak point if it's going to support the weight of a 1/48 scale Spitfire. I've read about drilling and pinning the legs but my hand-drill seems to have gone astray during a house move, I have a little Archimedes drill but I'm confident I'd make a hash of it. So I've glued the two sections of each leg together with CA and then flooded with Tamiya green top which I will allow to cure completely so they effectively fuse into one piece (well, two pieces) of styrene, then I'll paint and install before putting the wings together and mask them in cotton wool before painting the underwing. I reckon they'll hold, just. I'm more annoyed on behalf of the casual, non-hobbyist buyer who just fancies a go at a Spitfire, shells out their however many quid for a kit and just follows the instructions. If they think they're going to be able to stick the oleos on last off with a smear of your standard cement and having them hold they haven't a prayer. A bit poor from Airfix, if you ask me.
  13. Couldn't even begin to say, I worked on export sales for getting on 30 years and for a lot of that time was barely off a plane!
  14. I finally got around to an RFI (I prefer to use natural light for my snaps and I don't seem to have been at home in daylight hours for ages!), link here for them what's interested: Cheers Tony
  15. Supermarine Spitfire Mk I K9797, No 19 Squadron, RAF Duxford, Autumn 1938 K9797 was the 11th production Spitfire, It was delivered to 19 Squadron (the first RAF unit to be assigned Spitfires) on 7th October 1938. On 9th March of the following year, it was being flown as a target for cine gun practice by Sergeant Pilot George Irwin (later known throughout his service by the nickname "Grumpy") when the engine failed. Unwin deliberately crash landed the plane to avoid a children's playground. The airframe was damaged beyond repair, so was turned over to RAF Stradishall for ground instructional practice on 11th May. Less than a month later, on 8th June, it was struck off charge, having logged a little less than 89 hours in the air. And that was that! This has been my first 1/48 Spitfire, in fact it's been my first 1/48 anything after making the jump from 1/72 (eyesight isn't what it was!). Built from the excellent Eduard "Spitfire Mk I early" Profipack boxing, OOB apart from the Uschi thread for the antenna wire (and the little antenna on top of the tailfin that I scratch built, having snapped the original off). Brush painted with Humbrol and Revell enamels, and the odd bit of Vallejo acrylic here and there, underside aluminium Humbrol rattlecanned on. I've only applied very light weathering in the form of an enamel wash to pick out the panel lines and some light exhaust staining using weathering powder, partly because this was new aircraft when it served with 19 Sqn. and partly because I'm still learning weathering. I may add some oil stains to the underside at a later date. After a pretty grim year largely devoid of modelling it's been an absolute joy to build this one, a proper mojo finder, and while I still have a lot to learn I'm very pleased with how it looks on the shelf. Thanks for looking in, feedback welcome! Tony
  16. How did I miss this one? “PR unarmed Spit XIX claims one FW 190 Destroyed.” Wow. People seem to be asking, and often getting, silly money for these OOP 1/48 Spitfires from Airfix - I’m thinking this PR XIX and the Seafire XVII and 46/47. When I got back into the Spits I saw this and thought these kits wouldn’t be finding their way into my stash anytime soon, but a bit of canny shopping around got me the two Seafires for £20 off of Faceache Marketplace and the PR XIX I got by putting a post on the “Wanted” thread on this very forum - £25 posted. @mark.au nails it though. They’re kind of rare and if somebody has that kind of money… (I loved it when Eduard put out a whistles and bells boxing of Hasegawa’s 1/72 B-25 and instantly shafted all those eBayers asking £50 or more! Airfix could do worse than reissue some of these….)
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