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Sean_M

All The spitfire questions you want to ask here

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I tend to have a number of posts and was about to start another. Edgar is great with his answers so maybe we can all use one place for our Q and A, I just received Hayes owners manual and I noticed that the cutaway depicts both TR9 (Top) and side antenna. Interestingly none of the restored spits have any wires showing. I am doing and early MKIX so was wondering what the low down was on when to use both, none, only one type?

Next (stupid questions - I am doing one of the desert polish MK IX's Eduards paint ref show no walk lines. I looked at a poor quality photo, to no avail. I know that the early Vb's were rushed out and repainted on arrival. I would have thought that by the time the MK IX's were dispatched they would have come in desert cammo with all the bells and whistle i.e. "no step" etc.

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Don't forget Sean,the leads from fuselage to tailplanes were for the IFF rig.

They were superceded by the smaller underwing antenna for the Mk.III IFF

rig in early'43

The TR.9 radio was superceded in May/June 1940 by the TR.1133 VHF set up

which didn't need a wire from the mast to the rudder.

So by the time the DAF got their IX's,there's a damn good chance they'd have been modified

with the newer Mk.III IFF and possibly even the TR.1133's replacement,the TR.1143.

http://spitfiresite.com/2010/04/spitfire-masts-and-aerials.html

Modern Spits don't tend to have transponders fitted(modern equivalent of IFF)because

under CAA rules,IIRC,they're not allowed above 10,000,therefore don't use higher

altitude airways and usually operate under VFR minimums.

Spits(and other warbirds)nowadays tend to be regarded merely as high performance

General Aviation types.

Edited by Miggers

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http://spitfiresite.com/2010/04/spitfire-masts-and-aerials.html Theres EVERYTHING you need to know about the aerials on a Spit. Later mark Spitfire lost the wire from mast to tail as the aerial was the mast, even later models lost the mast and had a whip aerial. Restored Spitfires have modern comms. On the panel they have the gun reticle removed being replaced by a radio and transponder.

The IX was a stop gap (and desperately needed) so it wouldn't surprise me if they lacked stencils a few XIV's in Europe didn't have stencils for whatever reason...

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The early (until mid-1940) radio was the TR9(B or D,) which was increasingly replaced by the TR1133 during 1940.
The TR9, being HF, needed a lengthy aerial, which ran from the radio compartment to a "peg" on the rudder.
The "remote contactor" aka "Pip-squeak," sent a signal over the same aerial, for about 15 seconds in every minute, so could blank out radio communications during that time.
The TR1133 (later TR1143) was VHF, so only needd a short aerial, which could be accommodated inside the (new style) aerial mast; whether "Pip-squeak" also interfered with it, I don't yet know. Note that the TR9 controller was a simple square box, with a circular knurled knob, while the TR1133 had a bigger oblong box, plus push-buttons.
The "other" aerials concern the IFF, and I'm still not absolutely certain that I have the full story, but here goes:-
the (apparently clockwork-operated) IFF Mk.I (aka Type 3000/3001) radio equipment was fitted to aircraft, like the Gladiator and Hurricane, which were stationed abroad, or would occasionally fly out beyond our coastline. These needed long aerials, as well, but could (mostly) be accommodated inside the (mainly) wooden fuselages, only appearing just in front of the tailplanes' leading edges; as far as I can tell the Spitfire, possibly because it remained here, was never fitted with the Mk.I. Incidentally, type 3000 was 12v, 3001 24v, the latter being used on bombers with a higher voltage.
In (very) late 1940, IFF Mk.II (aka Type 3002/3003) arrived, and was fitted to the Spitfire (or, at least, the wiring was) from the end of December; it's my guess that this was due to the impending "leaning into Europe," so beloved of Leigh-Mallory and Sholto-Douglas, which meant that there was a risk of Spitfires being mis-identified as enemy, as they retirned.
Probably due to the metal fuselage shielding the signal, the aerials had to exit the fuselage as soon as possible, hence the holes in the fuselage roundels.
Note that, if the IFF Mk.I wasn't fitted to the Spitfire, no 1940 airframe should have the destructor box fitted to the starboard fuselage wall (it certainly isn't visible in the Mk.I Pilot's notes.)
Regarding the desert IXs, there's a lot of scope for confusion, there. In February 1943, fighters for desert areas were to be Desert Scheme with Azure Blue undersides; other overseas fighters were to be Day fighter Scheme, but those earmarked for Malta were to have Light Mediterranean Blue undersides. Unless we know the original destination for your airframe, and if it went direct, there's always the possibility that some were hijacked from a Malta delivery, and sent to the desert, where they would need a repaint. I'm not saying that it happened, but it's always worth considering alternatives, however unlikely they might seem; the first Spitfires sent to Australia were hijacked at Cape Town, and redirected up to the desert, so it could happen.
Edgar

P.S. The only stupid questions are those that you don't ask; in the second factory in which I worked, over every door was a sign, "If in doubt, ask, don't guess." Stood me in good stead, over the years, has that.

Edited by Edgar

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Edgar

"Edgar

P.S. The only stupid questions are those that you don't ask; in the second factory in which I worked, over every door was a sign, "If in doubt, ask, don't guess." Stood me in good stead, over the years, has that."

You are always a gem. It was a slight bit of humour with the (stupid) and I do ask and always learn to the point now where I can give a few answers. I hop others use this post as we have a lot of good info all over the place. I have wonder if we cant compile a database. I am up for it and I am happy to do some coding and register a domain and give some free server space

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It was a slight bit of humour with the (stupid)

I did realise that, but I always worry that others might see that, and feel that it represents a general view of having to answer the "same old questions" over and over again.

(Trying hard not to sound pompous) I feel that it's no good digging out (or listening to) information, if you don't pass it on. Several years ago, at a Telford show, a young lad was seen approaching an exhibitor (who was already sitting with his back to the general public,) to ask how he achieved a particular natural metal finish. "That, son, is for me to know, and you to find out" was the off-putting response, which left us itching to punch his lights out.

I'm trying (not very successfully) to compile my Spitfire findings into a book, for modellers, but find that fresh research always seems to throw up as many new questions as answers.

It's going to play havoc with my image, but I've even taken the odd Firefly cockpit (Mk.I - green, V - black) photograph, too.

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Ok, if this is the place for Spitfire questions :-), here goes. I picked up very cheap at a model expo the Special Hobby Spitfire Vc, the Malta Defenders boxing.

Being a brush painter I was reassured to see in my reading around that the markings for BR112 suggested by Special Hobby are open to interpretation. I was going to go with something along the lines of EDSG for the upper surfaces and Azure for the undersides, which I gather is not entirely unreasonable. My question is this, assuming it was painted while at sea what would have happened to the various stencilled markings and walk lines - would they have bothered to re-do them? Also the Special Hobby markings show two sets of black walkways on either side of the cockpit - that doesn't seem likely to me.

Cheers

Simon

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I did realise that, but I always worry that others might see that, and feel that it represents a general view of having to answer the "same old questions" over and over again.

(Trying hard not to sound pompous) I feel that it's no good digging out (or listening to) information, if you don't pass it on. Several years ago, at a Telford show, a young lad was seen approaching an exhibitor (who was already sitting with his back to the general public,) to ask how he achieved a particular natural metal finish. "That, son, is for me to know, and you to find out" was the off-putting response, which left us itching to punch his lights out.

I'm trying (not very successfully) to compile my Spitfire findings into a book, for modellers, but find that fresh research always seems to throw up as many new questions as answers.

It's going to play havoc with my image, but I've even taken the odd Firefly cockpit (Mk.I - green, V - black) photograph, too.

As a teacher of University students I couldn't agree with you more. Often it is the simplest appearing question that leads to interesting discussions!

Cheers

Simon

PS and I agree - what a snotty comment to make to someone who was obviously interested enough to pluck up courage to ask a question.

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Ok, if this is the place for Spitfire questions :-), here goes. I picked up very cheap at a model expo the Special Hobby Spitfire Vc, the Malta Defenders boxing.

Being a brush painter I was reassured to see in my reading around that the markings for BR112 suggested by Special Hobby are open to interpretation. I was going to go with something along the lines of EDSG for the upper surfaces and Azure for the undersides, which I gather is not entirely unreasonable. My question is this, assuming it was painted while at sea what would have happened to the various stencilled markings and walk lines - would they have bothered to re-do them? Also the Special Hobby markings show two sets of black walkways on either side of the cockpit - that doesn't seem likely to me.

Cheers

Simon

Simon,

No. even with a lot of the DAF (Desert Air Force) the desert scheme was applied and none of the markings were stencilled. I am having the same problem with my MK IX which does not seem to have walk lines and I cant find any good photos. Everybody will tell you to refer to the particular aircraft you are modelling. I think that with repaints and other general questions, there is someone (especially Edgar) who will point you in the correct direction. However, service aircraft were always in a state of flux - fix, refit and repair. As a recall an average life of a Spitfire (if it mad it was 100 hours). my motto is "Take a view or position and stick to it". You won't go far wrong, unless there is something absolutely specific to that aircraft that is out of the ordinary. No kit is perfect and there are some thing you just have to live with. I have Hobby Boss 1/32 Tropical and I know that the front windscreen is wring for the type. However I don't intend trying to kit bash or correct it. My new motto for 2014 is to complete some models and not aim for the perfect model. I have 5 on the go and plan to finish my current spit. Happy were the days as a lad when you could only afford 1 model at a time. So you finished it. With a stash.its too easy to reach for the next model when you get stuck or fustrated.

There was a very good build on LSP

http://www.largescaleplanes.com/articles/article.php?aid=550

http://www.largescaleplanes.com/articles/article.php?aid=1130

I thought this one very impressive

http://imodeler.com/2012/12/malta-spitfire-hasegawa-148th-mk-vbtrop-conversion/

books: http://scaleplasticandrail.com/kaboom/index.php/all-things-aviation/everything-else/book-reviews/1895-malta-spitfire-vs-1942-their-colours-and-markings-from-mmp-books

Other: http://spitfiresite.com/2010/04/1942-defence-of-malta.html

Hope that helps

Sean

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Being a brush painter I was reassured to see in my reading around that the markings for BR112 suggested by Special Hobby are open to interpretation. I was going to go with something along the lines of EDSG for the upper surfaces and Azure for the undersides, which I gather is not entirely unreasonable. My question is this, assuming it was painted while at sea what would have happened to the various stencilled markings and walk lines - would they have bothered to re-do them? Also the Special Hobby markings show two sets of black walkways on either side of the cockpit - that doesn't seem likely to me.

Malta + Spitfire = can (bucketload, really) of worms.

Leaving the actual colour aside (which closes said can) it's extremely doubtful that the stencils would have been redone after such a hurried repaint.

As I don't have the kit, I'm not sure what you mean by the walkways, but, if it's the narrow black lines, the above comment applies, but, if they've given you broad black "walkways," as on modern jets, then no, they shouldn't be there.

"Elfin Safety" rules on modern rebuilds, so you'll see them on warbirds, and some post-war aircraft, but they were not present on wartime airframes ("erks" were not supposed to walk on the starboard wing of the Mk.V, anyway, due to the fragile nature of the metal over the radiator - any "dishing," in that area, necessitated a wing replacement.)

From 28-12-40, a "non-slip pad" was introduced on the port (only) wingroot, but this only extended as far as the door, and was painted over with the normal camouflage paint.

Edgar

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Thanks Edgar, yes the painting instructions show broad black walkways as per modern jets - I thought it looked "off". Interestingly enough the box art (which features the aircraft I was considering making) doesn't show any of the stencilling or spurious walkways.

Anyway, will save on the decalling :D

Although I guess to be consistent, if I am painting the underside Azure (I am assuming an overpainted dark earth/midstone topside), I should keep the stencils there as it would only be the upper surfaces that would have been painted grey/blue. (Sorry, don't want to let any worms free)

Cheers

Simon

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Modern Spits don't tend to have transponders fitted(modern equivalent of IFF)because

under CAA rules,IIRC,they're not allowed above 10,000,therefore don't use higher

altitude airways and usually operate under VFR minimums.
Spits(and other warbirds)nowadays tend to be regarded merely as high performance

General Aviation types.

I would have thought that most warbirds have a transponder onboard. It's a legal requirement for transiting controlled airspace and in practical terms virtually a necessity these days. The Grace Spitfire has one. I can't see ATC being very happy about relatively high speed aircraft transiting controlled airspace effectively invisible to them. Even microlights carry them as you can buy very small units and in a warbird could be hidden quite effectively.

Edited by noelh

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I would have thought that most warbirds have a transponder onboard. It's a legal requirement for transiting controlled airspace and in practical terms virtually a necessity these days. The Grace Spitfire has one. I can't see ATC being very happy about relatively high speed aircraft transiting controlled airspace effectively invisible to them. Even microlights carry them as you can buy very small units and in a warbird could be hidden quite effectively.

You could well be right there Noel.

I'd really have thought that ATC would be a bit sniffy.

I know that GA transponders operate on the same system as mil.,that's why they aren't visible

on such as FlightRadar.

Anyway Sean,well done on opening a damn good thread.

I too come from the same working era as Edgar where the "If you don't know then ask" mentality

prevailed,so if you or anyone else don't know and want to,then you all know what to do.

Airfix's new IX has a Desert option in it,(must admit,DAF isn't really my bag)does that give any

answers or pointers?

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Sean, thank you for asking so many 'stupid' questions. I have, and I hope others do too. As others posters have said, they help elicit all sorts of interesting points, and as a "Spitoholic" I love the info that comes out about Spitfires.

And Edgar (and others), thank you again for sharing your time and research with us amateurs... :)

Edgar, can I pick up on a point you posted above please, about non-slip pads being applied to the port wing of Spitfires from late 1940.

First, do we know what the pads were made from?

Second, I am puzzled, as a lot of port wing roots on Spitfires show scuffing and paint wear with what appears to be metal beneath, suggesting the pads were either worn off, worn through, or perhaps not always applied?

Any thoughts on this feature?

Thanks again

PR

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First, do we know what the pads were made from?

No, sorry, I've yet to find a drawing (if one still exists.)

Second, I am puzzled, as a lot of port wing roots on Spitfires show scuffing and paint wear with what appears to be metal beneath, suggesting the pads were either worn off, worn through, or perhaps not always applied?

Or possibly made of metal? As far as I know, they were quite short, possibly only for use as a single foot(boot) hold. Erks were supposed to wear rubber-soled shoes, not army-style boots, so grip would/should have been less of a problem for them, and the pilot always had the open cockpit door as an extra aid.

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Ok here is my 'stupid' Spitfire question.

What's the red patch seen on the starboard side of some Spitfires such as this?

http://www.fotolibra.com/gallery/697395/spitfire-fuselage/

When I first saw it, I thought it was a red dope patch for a bullet hole, until I realised that lots of Spits appeared to be shot up and patched in an identical manner!

I'm preparing for a Doh! moment.........

Trevor

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Ok here is my 'stupid' Spitfire question.

What's the red patch seen on the starboard side of some Spitfires such as this?

Covers the port for the flares for colours of the day IIRC.

Edited by MilneBay

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^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^

What he said; it covered the "upward-firing recognition device." It rather resembled a six-gun, minus barrel and hand-grip, and was fired, via a Bowden cable, by a pull-handle by left side of the pilot's seat. As it was a pyrotechnic device, a red patch was probably used as a warning, as well as a cover.

Edgar

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Thanks Milne Bay and Edgar. I'd never have thought of that!

Trevor

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The irony is that when it was first introduced, in June 1940, it was fitted so that it fired down (bet that was popular with landowners and farmers with standing crops.)

In April 1941, it was moved to its better-known position, eventually being largely replaced by the downward-signalling "traffic lights" on some later Marks, or the re-introduction of the Very pistol.

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I am throwing this in hear as I need some urgent help so that I can get back to the modelling bench.

I have tried Vallejo Xtracrylix and my own mix

midstone.jpg

1. My Mix 2. Xtracrylics 3 Vallejo

There seems to be little difference between Xtracrylics and Vallejo. My mix seem close to the FS standard FS 30266. Nothing looks correct. If anyone has any suggestions. As its new years day my options of rushing to the store are limited.

HELP! - SOB SOB. I was up until 2 this morning trying to find a solution

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My personal advice is go with what looks good coz you'll never get exactly the right colour as it doesn't exist. Colour photos graphs don't tell the truth, the colour all depends on age of the colour emulsions, development conditions, subject lighting eg time of day, overcast/sunny, time of year (sun's angle in the sky), how old the paint is, how many aircreww have walked over it/polished it/touched it up with some paint that was around the airfield which may or may not be the right colour...

Basically, don't obsess about finding the EXACT colour :)

Edited by Kallisti

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