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Seahawk

Spitfire seat colours

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Is there a handy rule of thumb that would enable one to predict the colour of a given Spitfire's or Seafire's seat (interior green, plastic colour, natural metal??) reasonably reliably?

I have a number of specific queries re models currently on the go (Spitfire HF.VI, Spitfire PR.XI and Spitfire F.22) but I am wondering if there's a general rule the hard of thinking can apply which will give the right answer most or even all of the time. Is it, for example, defined by Mark or by production date? If so, where do the dividing lines fall?

You'd think I'd have picked up the answer to this over 4 years on Britmodeller, but I haven't, only piecemeal answers!

Thanks in anticipation.

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Before May, 1940, all seats were metal, which could have been green, but, equally, from available evidence, could have been black. The (red) plastic seat was introduced as an alternative, not a replacement, so it's impossible to be pedantic about it, but it certainly seems to have predominated. Due to G forces, possibly, some later Seafire seats were made of duralumin, which are likely to be black, but plastic seems to have remained, in the Spitfire, up to, and including, the 24.

Edgar

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Many thanks, Edgar, for that prompt and helpful answer. Attempting to codify that, I get:

Up to May 1940: (metal) green or black .

After May 1940: (plastic) red or (metal) green or black, with red predominating, except for:

Late Mark Seafires (Mark 4x series?): (duralumin) black.

Is that a fair summary? At least I know what colour to paint my last pack of Cooper Models Spitfire seats now!

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Sounds fair enough, with the proviso that I've never seen a seat, which i can be sure came from a 40-series Seafire, and Yeovilton's 17's seat is red.

Edgar

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PICT0023-1.jpg

scan0017.jpg

01__15_020-452x640.jpg

SpitfireMkISeat01.jpg

There is no hard-and-fast rule, or exact colour, just a dark red.

Edgar

Edited by Edgar

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I use Vallejo Cavalry Brown as a base, and then I add splotches of ochre, sienna and brown oil paint to get the patchy appearance.

Jens

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Great pictures, Edgar. I now realise I've attached the harnesses to the wrong part of the seat in every Spitfire model I've built! Oh well - next time!

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Great pictures, Edgar. I now realise I've attached the harnesses to the wrong part of the seat in every Spitfire model I've built! Oh well - next time!

Maybe, maybe not, so hold your horses; the position of the thigh straps changed during the war, moving back, later on, to become hip straps, and being attached to the bottom rear corners of the seat, itself. This led to the seat having to be strengthened, in that area, but only applied to the Mark VII onwards.

Early harnesses were attached to the support frame, under the seat; the oval hole, in the right side, was designed for the right thigh strap to pass through, and we believe that this was to make sure that the strap passed under the seat raising/lowering lever, so that it couldn't, therefore, cause it to jam by passing over it.

Edgar

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I use Vallejo Cavalry Brown as a base, and then I add splotches of ochre, sienna and brown oil paint to get the patchy appearance.

Jens

I can vouch for Jens' seat colour selection - his always look great.

And hi Jens, how are you mate?

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Here is a piece of broken Spitfire Seat that I still have in my workshop.

I have washed and dried it off today and photographed it in sun light.

Note the slightly richer brown on one side.

Material is SRBP. Synthetic Resin Bonded Paper.

PeterArnoldIMG_2183a.jpg

PeterArnoldIMG_2184a.jpg

PeterArnoldIMG_2187a.jpg

Edited by Mark12

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The red's quite like the classic red oxide used on old boxcars in North America, so plenty of paint options available. I use Polly Scale Red Oxide myself.

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