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  1. Well- it's finished! Thanks to all for the help in researching it! This was quite an enjoyable build. Apart from the maddening fuselage insert, this kit is a real gem.
  2. Chris, your logic was FLAWLESS- and here's the proof! The fellow I'm building this model for found a remembrance posted after the war by his fitter, rigger, and armourer. And it specifies Z for Zebra! How cool is that?
  3. That's AWESOME Chris- thank you! I can't argue with your logic, as it makes perfect sense. Of course, the minute I finish the model a photo will show up and show that it's something like a question mark- LOL! Thanks again my friend!
  4. Chris, thank you SO MUCH for this information! I am so very grateful for such thorough research! I look forward to anything else you find, and I am humbled by your generosity.
  5. Thank you so much! Thank you all for your replies- I do appreciate it!
  6. That is of great help! Thank you! Would it have been probable/possible that a car door type would have been converted to a bubble top?
  7. Sorry- that should have been Ib. Thanks for pointing that out!
  8. I am researching the Typhoon Mk. Ib of Squadron Leader Patric Glynn Thornton-Brown of 609 Squdron. On 21st December 1943 he was flying Hawker Typhoon R8845 and was shot down by USAAF P-47s and perished. Reports state that he was shot at and killed by German ground troops. I know the serial of his aircraft (R8845), but I've had no luck in ascertaining his aircraft code, or if the aircraft was the car door or bubble top type. I'd appreciate any help in this research- and a photo would be especially helpful. I've searched Google now for quite a while, but other than the facts above, I've found nothing else regarding his aircraft markings.
  9. Several reasons, really. Growing up, my dad (a private pilot) always talked about airplanes. As a boy (he was born in '37), the air battles of WWII really made an impression on him. He was constantly talking about the various aircraft, battles, personalities, etc. But he really held the Spitfire in the Battle of Britain in high esteem. (Though often he got many of his facts wrong. ) So as a boy, with little concept of timelines, etc., at such an early age, I was under the impression that Spitfires won the Battle in Europe, and the Flying Tigers in Asia, and everyone went home happily ever after. As I grew older, and learned the actual order of things.. LOL... I still held the Spitfire in high esteem. Of all the WWII aircraft, its history to me is just so compelling. It's intertwined with the life of R. J. Mitchell, of course, a fascinating person in his own right. The history of the Spitfire is so embedded in the history of the UK in WWII. Yes, the Hurricanes and Typhoons and Mossies and Lancs and so forth made huge contributions... but the "romantic" notion in my mind's eye will always be of a Spitfire, slicing through the sky, sweeping all before it. And of course the look of the Spitfire. To me, there simply hasn't ever been a fighter that was as graceful. I love WWII aircraft, and all played some role- some big some small. But the aesthetics of the Spitfire... in my own eye, nothing else comes close. Ultimately, it, above all other airplanes, emotionally moves me. The history, the look, the sound of that Merlin. I watch videos of period and restored aircraft all the time. Yet only the Spitfire gives me a lump in my throat... a quickening of the pulse. It truly moves me to watch it. Anyway... I suppose I am a bit Spitfire zany. I've built 77 of them thus far, with two more in the works now!
  10. Hi all! If I've placed this in the wrong section please let me know the preferred area. I've made an update to the Edgar Brooks Spitfire Notes, adding some brief but (hopefully) helpful information regarding the K5054 prototype, as well as an index to the document that should make it easier to navigate. (Thanks to Pip Moss for the suggestion for that, as well as the nudge to post here.) If you're not familiar with this project, or how to contribute, how it's maintained, all the details are here. Thanks! http://www.jonbius.com/edgar-brooks-spitfire-notes/
  11. Thanks for the kind words everyone! Yeah- a couple of those got away from me, didn't they? Sorry, all questions must be submitted in writing. Had to say that.... watching "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory" at the moment. (And you did actually submit it in writing... so.... ) And since you asked.... LOL 1. Paint the model with the basic exterior colors. 2. Next I used artist oils to add some general streaks and stains. The process is similar to the dot filter process described by some armor modelers. For the wings and tailplanes, I make streaks fore and aft. For the fuselage sides, I go up and down. I do a section at a time. For a wing, I'd first give the wing a light coat of turpenoid, which is an odorless mineral spirit-type mixture. Just a light brushing on, enough to get the surface wet. Then, using a toothpick, I randomly apply very small dots of white and raw umber oil paints. Then, using another brush slightly dampened and dried turpenoid, I being streaking the dots fore and aft along the wing surface. The goal is to get light streaks that mix and blend. It's better to go lighter at first until you get the hang of it. 3. Once that is dry (I usually wait half an hour at least), I do paint chipping with a Prismacolor silver pencil on darker areas, and an HB pecil on lighter areas. 4. Next, I either hand brush or airbrush on a gloss coat. (I use Future.) 5. Apply decals 6. Apply another coat of gloss coat, at least over the decals. 7. Next, I use burnt umber artists oil & turpenoid to apply an oil wash to the panel lines. 8. The next step is what I call "post fading". It is an attempt to get the model surface to look like paint has faded. Most times you see this done to full panels. However, if you look at an aircraft's surface, it's rarely uniform by panel. More likely, the surface will look splotchy, with some areas more faded than others, even within the same panel. To attempt to replicate this look, I heavily thin a few drops of Tamiya XF-55 Deck Tan with a color cup full of 91% rubbing alcohol. I then begin to just randomly "scribble" the paint on with my airbrush, varying movement and distance to the model surface rapidly. (You WILL want to put a cover on your color cup.) I don't confine myself to panel interiors, but rather do this process over the entire model fully, until it looks slightly like it has the measles or some other terrible skin disease. Also, I use this color to make an area of light exhaust stains. 9. Next I do "post shading". For this, I use approximately 1 drop Tamiya XF-9 Hull Red to 3 drops XF-69 NATO Black, and again heavily thin it with 91% rubbing alcohol. I then go over the panel lines until I get the desired look. I prefer to have heavier panel shading, but that's just a personal preference. I also use this color to fill in the middle of the lighter exhaust stains from the step above You can also use this color to add in ejector chute staining, oil & engine staining, additional base for mud and dirt streaks, etc. 10. Next, follow up all of this with some additional oil streaks with artists oils, mud streaks with weathering powders, etc., and additional paint chips, etc., as needed. For oil stains, I do a combination of tiny blobs of burnt umber, streaked back with a stiff brush. For oil streaks, I but drops of thinned burnet umber on the area to be streaked, and blow on it to get streaks. Be careful doing this- it's easy to overdo, and also easy to get lightheaded. 11. I give the model a final flat coat of Vallejo Matte Varnish. This will "blend" in much of the post fading done in step 8. It will greatly reduce and diminish the work you did in step 8, so you'll need to experiment to see what your preference is. I can say if you saw my model before the flat coat, you'd think it looked awful, with streaks and blobs of the Deck Tan color all over. The flat coat really reduces the effect. Depending on the model, my mood, and whatever else that may be influencing me that day, I may skip steps, re-arrange steps, emphasize one over the other, etc. Basically, they are all just "tools" for weathering, and I use each of these methods to achieve a desired effect. For example, here is some heavy oil staining on another Spit I did a while back: Here's an example where I "flicked" highly thinned oil paints over the undersides of this bird to really make it look splattered: And here's another example, using these same basic techniques: So it's basically combining airbrushed paints, artists oils, and pencils. My modeling is really one giant experiment. I build 20-30 models per year, so it's a constant pursuit to find methods I like. One day I hope to figure it out.... LOL Hope that helps!
  12. This is ICM's 1/48 scale Spitfire Mk. VIII. The kit itself is a bit fiddly in places. I built it without the engine, which simplified things a bit. It did require a bit of test fitting and sanding/cutting to get a good wing to fuselage join. But overall it's not a bad build, and it definitely looks the part. It's not an expensive kit either. (At least here in the US.) I used a True Details resin seat, as the kit seat is just awful looking. I also used Eduard belts. The paints are Gunze and Tamiya on the uppers, and a custom mix of Tamiya on the lowers. Yes, it is very heavily weathered. Probably a bit too much. But from time to time I like to really lather it on to just sort of see how various techniques work. I don't so much build for realism as much as I do "suspended disbelief". (If you're wondering what that is and have nothing better to do you can read what I blogged about it. ) Overall I'm pretty happy with this. Not my best outing on a Spitfire, but certainly not my worst. And it was fun- that's what it is all about anyway, right? Right?
  13. Thanks! I actually finished it up! http://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/234969694-airfix-124th-spitfire-mk-ia-completed/
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