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Enzo Matrix

There's more than one way to skin a cat

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I know there are a lot of cat lovers on BM, so let me make it clear - no cats will be harmed during the making of this thread.

However, a number of plastic kits will be brutally, viciously and callously butchered! :wicked:

The release of the new Airfix 1/48 Spitfire PR.XIX has introduced a couple of options. I'm going to build a Mk.XIV from that kit. However, there are always a number of ways of doing things, so I'm going to investigate a couple of other options.

Basically, I will be building the following:

Mk.XIVe

  • Airfix XIX fuselage,
  • Hasegawa IX wings

FR.XIVe

  • Airfix 22/24 fuselage,
  • Hasegawa IX wings and tail

Mk.XIVc

  • Hasegawa IX wings and fuselage
  • Airfix 22/24 nose

I'll also be building an Airfix XIX as a sort of control group!

Apart from buying the two XIXs, this should be a fairly inexpensive exercise. About eight years ago I bought half a dozen Airfix 22/24 kits. They were being sold off cheap by Hannants because they had no boxes, instructions or decals. They were three quid each! I bought them with the intention of using the Griffon parts as conversion sets for the Hasegawa IX.

As for the Hasegawa IXs, I have eight in The Stash. They've been there for some time. Most of them are the Revell boxing which I bought when I saw the way the prices of Hasegawa kits were going. However, now that Eduard is releasing a supposably state of the art accurate IX, the Hasegawa kits are redundant unless I convert 'em all to Griffon Spitfires.

So here goes. Wish me luck!

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I know there are a lot of cat lovers on BM, so let me make it clear - no cats will be harmed during the making of this thread.

Bugger!!!!!

Good luck with the conversions anyway. :tease:

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FR.XIVe

Cor! Flippin' 'eck! That Enzo don't arf work fast!

Well, anyone who has followed one of my group builds knows that's a complete and utter lie! :lol: The truth is that I've been working on this one for a few weeks.

These are the parts.

FR14-001.jpg

Hasegawa Mk.IX kit. Quickboost seat. Freightdog decals. My choice will be the SEAC FR.XIV right at the bottom.

There are also assorted Airfix bits from the 22/24 kit. The fuselage should be familiar to anyone who saw my Sabre Spitfire kitbash in the recent What If II GB. I nicked the tail from it for the Sabre Spit.

A close-up of the resin bits which I intended to use. The seat is from Quickboost. The e-wing gunbay covers are from Ultracast but in the event I didn't use them. I noticed that I had some suitable covers left over from a Special Hobby kit, so I fitted them with a bit of shimming from plastic card. The Ultracast covers will be used on the XIVe later on.

FR14-002.jpg

The camera ports on the FR.XIV are further forward than thoseon the Seafire FR47, which is what the cutouts in the Airfix kit are intended for. So I cut out my own areas for the ports. There is only one in each Airfix kit, but it's not a problem as I have plenty.

FR14-003.jpg

The cockpit used mostly standard Airfix parts, with a few detail pieces added - notably the rudder pedals - from various Eduard PR sheets and the Hasegawa kit. The instrument panel is painted and drybrushed with the instruments added from Airscale decals.

FR14-004.jpg

FR14-005.jpg

The fuselage sealed up.

FR14-006.jpg

FR14-007.jpg

Edited by Enzo Matrix

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FR.XIVe

The tail was then lopped off the Hasegawa fuselage. The leading edge was carved off and a plastic card profile inserted. This profile was traced directly from the Airfix XIX tail. It was then married up to the fuselage and crudely glued in place using superglue with a reinforcing core of Milliput.

FR14-008.jpg

FR14-009.jpg

FR14-010.jpg

The forward profile was then filled with Milliput...

FR14-011.jpg

... and carefully sanded to shape. In the meantime the broad chord rudder from the Hasegawa kit was modified using plastic card and Milliput.

FR14-012.jpg

The whole tail area needs to be cleaned up and rescribed.

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FR.XIVe

This is the Airfix fuselage married up to the Hasegawa wing. The fuselage fairing fits nicely inside the wing with a modicum of filling required. However, the front part of the fuselage fairing needs to be shimmed slightly to make it about the right depth, reducing the need for filling.

FR14-013.jpg

FR14-014.jpg

FR14-015.jpg

Quite a lot of filling is required in the gull wing area. In fact, I ended up gluing in a lot of plastic card shims to plug the gap. But it all worked out in the end! :D

FR14-016.jpg

Hopefully tomorrow I can post a similar amount of photos showing the XIX. I started the XIVe last weeked and I'll start the XIVc next weekend so photos of those will appear in due course.

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That wing to fuselage joint has worked out very well Enzo.

I'm looking forward to your updates.

Chris.

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That wing to fuselage joint has worked out very well Enzo.

The joint between the Airfix XIX fuselage and Hasegawa wing is showing all the signs of being a similar fit.

Oh, by the way... the management reserves the right to chuck in a Mk.21 at some point... :D

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FR.XIVe

The tail was then lopped off the Hasegawa fuselage. The leading edge was carved off and a plastic card profile inserted. This profile was traced directly from the Airfix XIX tail. It was then married up to the fuselage and crudely glued in place using superglue with a reinforcing core of Milliput.

The forward profile was then filled with Milliput...

... and carefully sanded to shape. In the meantime the broad chord rudder from the Hasegawa kit was modified using plastic card and Milliput.

FR14-012.jpg

The whole tail area needs to be cleaned up and rescribed.

HI Enzo

fascinating stuff, good work.

Two questions.

First, is that not a cut down Airfix 22/24 rudder, as opposed to the Hasegawa late type, which would not be broad enough? Or did you add to the leading edge?

Second, would it not just be easier to cut back and down the mk22/24 fin?

On my brief comparison with the Cooke plans it looked quite possible, and would be a lot easier, or am I being dim and missing something, with the later 22/24 tail being taken from the Spiteful?

That was my plan anyway.

cheers

T

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First, is that not a cut down Airfix 22/24 rudder, as opposed to the Hasegawa late type, which would not be broad enough? Or did you add to the leading edge?

Second, would it not just be easier to cut back and down the mk22/24 fin?

On my brief comparison with the Cooke plans it looked quite possible, and would be a lot easier, or am I being dim and missing something, with the later 22/24 tail being taken from the Spiteful?

It's definitely the broad chord Hasegawa rudder. I have just extended the upper balance area. The Hasegawa rudder matches the profile of the Airfix XIX rudder almost perfectly. The XVIII had a rudder which had an even broader chord. Airwaves make a resin version of this rudder while Aeroclub have one in one of their conversion kits.

The early Mk22s had the same fin and rudder as the FR.XIV but it was soon changed for the Spiteful tail unit. However, you are right about the 22/24 rudder. The height is spot on, as is the upper profile. The lower profile would have to be reshaped, but that's an easy job. So that's another option! :thumbsup:

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I like cats....they taste like chicken! Just kidding, maybe. Aside from my unique diet any suggestions on what to do with my three Academy kits and the accompanying DACO and KMC conversion kits? Are the wings that poorly shaped that no degree of modification can save the kit? My prediction is that by the time I get around to building one of these beasts Eduard or Airfix will have come out with their much superior versions. Actually I can try what Enzo is doing and throw in the DACO and/or KMC parts. and then again maybe monkys will fly out of my ears. On second thought I'm too lazy to do all that work, I will wait until the above mentioned companies release theirs, then I will put them in my closet, die, and my wife will sell them at an estate sale. That's the ticket!

Cheers

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It's definitely the broad chord Hasegawa rudder. I have just extended the upper balance area. The Hasegawa rudder matches the profile of the Airfix XIX rudder almost perfectly. The XVIII had a rudder which had an even broader chord. Airwaves make a resin version of this rudder while Aeroclub have one in one of their conversion kits.

That's weird, the XIV type rudder should be broader than the XI type tall rudder, or is this a Hasegawe botch that's of use;) Or is this a case where my lack of access to the kits and plans is showing! [i can access the new XIX and Aeroclub XVIII right now only]

I know about the broader XVIII rudder, i just picked up the XIV/XVIII Aeroclub conversion, which has both.

The early Mk22s had the same fin and rudder as the FR.XIV but it was soon changed for the Spiteful tail unit. However, you are right about the 22/24 rudder. The height is spot on, as is the upper profile. The lower profile would have to be reshaped, but that's an easy job. So that's another option! :thumbsup:

Thanks Enzo

I must make my post clearer. What I meant, was would it not be easier to just reshape the 22/24 fin, which looked quite possible on a brief check, as opposed to grafting on and building up the hasegawa unit?

Or, is there some aspect of the Spiteful tail unit that I have not noticed meaning this is not an option? Even a bit of surgery would be easier then the full graft job?

Most of my kits are boxed up out the way right now :( or I'd check myself. I will when i get chance.

I know the early 22's has the FR XIV/XVIII type fin, but did any see use, I don't remember seeing a photo of this variation though.

cheers

T

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I like cats....they taste like chicken! Just kidding, maybe. Aside from my unique diet any suggestions on what to do with my three Academy kits and the accompanying DACO and KMC conversion kits? Are the wings that poorly shaped that no degree of modification can save the kit? My prediction is that by the time I get around to building one of these beasts Eduard or Airfix will have come out with their much superior versions. Actually I can try what Enzo is doing and throw in the DACO and/or KMC parts. and then again maybe monkys will fly out of my ears. On second thought I'm too lazy to do all that work, I will wait until the above mentioned companies release theirs, then I will put them in my closet, die, and my wife will sell them at an estate sale. That's the ticket!

Cheers

One word Randy. Ebay.

Start them low and see if a fool and his money cannot be parted ;)

I don't have an Academy kit, I'd possibly buy one if I found it really really really cheap to check it out, but from what I read it never seemed worth the bother.

But, regarding the wing, In the Aeroclub FR XIV/XVIII conversion kit it says.

To use the Academy kit wing it must first be reduced in depth by removing plastic from inside both the upper and lower wings leading edges out to the cannon ports. The wing also benefits from a little re-profiling.

So the wing is salvageable it seems.

Jennigs Helig says it's 50% to thick, which should help gauge in the amount to remove, or compare to another wing rated as being reasonable as a guide.

HTH

T

Edited by Troy Smith

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1) That's weird, the XIV type rudder should be broader than the XI type tall rudder, or is this a Hasegawe botch that's of use;) Or is this a case where my lack of access to the kits and plans is showing!

2) Or, is there some aspect of the Spiteful tail unit that I have not noticed meaning this is not an option? Even a bit of surgery would be easier then the full graft job?

3) I know the early 22's has the FR XIV/XVIII type fin, but did any see use, I don't remember seeing a photo of this variation though.

Hi Troy,

1) Nope, aside from the changes at the top, they are the same parts, so should be same outline. (That is, same part numbers in the two rudders.)

2) I think the main problem is that he'd already stolen it to do something else. BUT, that's what you can do with the Academy kits- keep the tails!

3) By the time they were cleared for operational use (something like mid '47?) the big tail was mandatory. There may be an exception, but I'd expect all in service to sport the big tail. Most commonly you'll see the first production Mk.22 with the "Griffon style" fin/rudder, but there are others photographed when new with it. I suspect all or most 22s were built with Griffon tails, and didn't have the big tails put on until later. (They basically got flight tested and went into storage.)

bob

p.s. This'll be a fun thread to follow, Enzo!

p.p.s. I suspect Jennings is guilty of a certain percentage of hyperbole in his alleged claim about the wing, but I haven't checked it with the micrometer. One of these days...

Edited by gingerbob

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Hi Troy,

1) Nope, aside from the changes at the top, they are the same parts, so should be same outline. (That is, same part numbers in the two rudders.)

.

OK, very interesting, I'd always thought they were broader in chord.. must be a visual illusion with the broader fin and I'd never checked.

2) I think the main problem is that he'd already stolen it to do something else. BUT, that's what you can do with the Academy kits- keep the tails!

..

The fuselage should be familiar to anyone who saw my Sabre Spitfire kitbash in the recent What If II GB. I nicked the tail from it for the Sabre Spit.

DOH!!!! :banghead: :banghead: :banghead: :banghead: :banghead:

Not paying attention. Thanks Bob. But at least that means a cut down fin is the way to go. Phew!

3) By the time they were cleared for operational use (something like mid '47?) the big tail was mandatory. There may be an exception, but I'd expect all in service to sport the big tail. Most commonly you'll see the first production Mk.22 with the "Griffon style" fin/rudder, but there are others photographed when new with it. I suspect all or most 22s were built with Griffon tails, and didn't have the big tails put on until later. (They basically got flight tested and went into storage.)

bob

re 3, Ah, yes, that would explain it.

[i was only half paying attention as I was doing one of my 'step-daughters' homework for them, as that was easier than helping with it, as opposed to paying attention to things that matter ]

p.p.s. I suspect Jennings is guilty of a certain percentage of hyperbole in his alleged claim about the wing, but I haven't checked it with the micrometer. One of these days...

Would be interesting, might not be that far off from the amount of thinning John Adams suggests.

Cheers

T

PS Am I the only one who feels smug when they see people bidding on Academy Spitfires on ebay?

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I must make my post clearer. What I meant, was would it not be easier to just reshape the 22/24 fin, which looked quite possible on a brief check, as opposed to grafting on and building up the hasegawa unit?

Or, is there some aspect of the Spiteful tail unit that I have not noticed meaning this is not an option? Even a bit of surgery would be easier then the full graft job?

To be honest, that had never occurred to me. I had never thought of cutting down the Spiteful tail because I assumed that the tailplanes were bigger and so a graft from the Hasegawa kit would be easier.

After your suggestion, I checked. It turns out that the Spitful tailplanes are larger in span and area but not in chord. The Hasegawa tailplanes should fit with a bit of minor surgery. So there's a perfectly feasible option for a future build. It would even be possible to cut down the Spiteful-type tailplanes to the correct profile. As the thread title says, there's more than one way to skin a cat...

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OK, very interesting, I'd always thought they were broader in chord.. must be a visual illusion with the broader fin and I'd never checked.

Right, I was surprised too, when I saw the XIV rudder drawing. But... (continued below)

The Hasegawa tailplanes should fit with a bit of minor surgery. So there's a perfectly feasible option for a future build. It would even be possible to cut down the Spiteful-type tailplanes to the correct profile. As the thread title says, there's more than one way to skin a cat...

... that's the nifty thing about Spitfires- Joe Smith & Co didn't change anything they didn't have to, so it is relatively easy to move from one stage to another, or mix and match!

bob

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PR.XIX

This is an AOOB build of the Airfix kit. The non-OOB bits are a Quickboost seat, as seen above, Airscale instruments and Xtradecal sheet X48118. I shall be building PS934 WY-R of 541 Sqn in 1950.

19-001.jpg

The cockpit.

19-002.jpg

19-003.jpg

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Mk.XIVc

The XIVc is a conversion of the Hasegawa Mk IX, using the nose from an Airfix Seafire 47.

14c-001.jpg

The fuselage halves from the Seafire were evidence of an utter failure of mine from a few years ago. At the time the Seafire kits were very scarce. I tracked one down on evilbay and decided to chuck a lot of resin at it. This included an Eduard (I think... it's the resin which is in the Eduard 22/24 kit but could have been a CMK set) resin cockpit. The problem was that the resin simply did not fit! And no amount of sanding and scraping would make it fit. :angry: Eventually I ended up sanding so much from the interior of the fuselage that it became too fragile to use.

On a scarce kit, this could have been a major disaster but luckily I had the bagged 22/24 kits which I have mentioned earlier in this thread. So I replaced the now-flimsy Seafire fuselage halves with two new ones from a Spitfire kit and used components from the resin set to detail the cockpit. The wreckage of the Seafire parts went back into the spares box to be used later on in the fashion I intended the Spitfire kits to be used. That was six or seven years ago. In the meantime, the upper decking from the fuselage was used to convert a Hasegawa IX into a SAAF bubbletop IX for the Spitfire STGB.

http://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/65596-south-african-spitfire/

So, laydeeez an' gennelmen! Please welcome back to Britmodeller... the Seafire wreckage! :clap: And the crowd goes wild! :lol:

14c-002.jpg

14c-003.jpg

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Mk.XIVe

This one should be pretty straightforwrd. It's simply the Airfix XIX fuselage on the Hasegawa IX wings.

As you can see from this photo, the wings are complated as per the kit. I have used Ultracast gunbay covers, with the outer gun ports and their cartridge ports filled and sanded. I have also left the undercarriage bay bulges alone. This will be a post-war aircraft so the bulges could be suitable.

Edit: I forgot to say that the two blobs of Milliput on the wing are simply to raise the Airfix fuselage slightly to reduce the amount of filling and sanding required on the wing fillet.

14e-001.jpg

The fuselage needs some minor modification. The most noticeable is the intake on the nose. I have also crudely blocked off the camera port and filled it. The camera bay doors on the starboard side are also filled. The XIX, having a pressuraused cockpit, had different canopy rails to the XIV, so these were also sanded down. Finally, the cockpit access door was cut out.

14e-002.jpg

The inside of the fuselage halves. The XIX has a pressurised rear bulkhead to the cockpit. This is not required for the XIV, so the ribs were built up with plastic strip instead.

14e-003.jpg

Edited by Enzo Matrix

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Mk.XIVc

The XIVc will be the Hasegawa IX with the nose from the Airfix Seafire 47 grafted on.

14c-004.jpg

As you can see, this Hasegawa wing is used with the standard c-wing gunbay covers. This will be an early XIV so I have sanded off the undercarriage bay covers.

The use of the Hasegawa fuselage causes a minor problem. The fuselage of the Hasegawa IX is notoriously short. So much so that the kit is utterly unbuildable! :winkgrin::rofl:

The fuselage is about 5mm too short. The error is in two places: the rear fuselage is short as is the area between the cockpit and the engine firewall. However, grafting the Airfix nose on gets rid of the nose error completely. Below is the Airfix/Hasegawa hybrid compared to the Airfix XIX fuselage.

14c-005.jpg

The rear fuselage is still short - about 2mm. I could cut the tail off at the break line, entend the fuselage and glue the tail back on. But I can't be bothered! :shrug: I can live with 2mm. At least I think I can. We'll see how the finished article looks compared to the XIVe.

Edited by Enzo Matrix

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PK312 is definitely one mk 22 that flew with both tails - there's a before and after set of photos in the Morgan/Shacklady bible.

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Hi all!

I produced a Spitfire FR.XIVe using the Airfix 22/24 fuselage with the Academy tail. Fit rather well! I then used the ICM Mk.IX wings. As a matter of fact, everything I used came out of the parts box, not one item was purchased!

For a Hi-Back XIV, I have been toying with cutting the spine off one of the kit fuselages I have in the parts box, and adding it to the Airfix 22/24 fuselage. But as the PR.19 is due here any day now, I have decided to wait...

Bruce

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FR.XIVe

Not much movement on this project this week I'm afraid. I've been concentrating on groupbuilds. However I have managed to spray this one in Alclad black primer.

FR14-017.jpg

I've also done a bit of work on the instrument panels for both XIVs. Hasegawa panel on the left, Airfix on the right. These are simply painted with Airscale instrument decals applied.

IPs.jpg

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Wow! It's been quite a while since I updated this thread... I'll post some photos soon.

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