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Vol 2 All the Spitfire questions here


Sean_M

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Guys, can you help?... Spitfire Mk XVIII questions... (yeah, I'm going to build a couple of the Airfix MkXVIIIs)...  

Wing outer panels:

The wing was strengthened and only fitted with 1x20mm and 1x0.50cal per wing. The outer .303 bays being empty. But... were the outer panels and access doors for the .303 bays re-worked or left 'as is'? I thought some place I read that they were and that the space was used for survival equipment? Does anyone have specifics on this - hopefully and accurate view of upper and lower wing panels outboard of the 20mm cannons. 

Camera holes:

On the FR Mk XIII, i.e. with a fuselage ready to accept cameras, were there always apertures in the fuselage for all positions, and not just left or right oblique but also for the 2 vertical positions (like a Mk XIX). So if fitted for right-oblique there would still be unused holes in the fuselage undersurface should the camera configuration need changing. Or were FR XVIIIs built with either vertical mounting, or oblique and never both?

Wing tips - standard, but not quite:

There is a note in Morgan & Shacklady, in the MkXVIII section (page 448), about the wing where it says "Wing span decreased by 3.5ins when Air Ministry decided that tips should be detachable. New tips were less pointed". This seems to suggest that when 'standard' tips were fitted (not clipped or high altitude), that were interchangeable rather than fixed, that they were a couple of inches shorter and consequently a bit more rounded that the fixed 'standard' tips. This is the first I've come across this, Are there any other references to back this up as fact? Or is this incorrect?

 

Anyone got any details on the above questions?

Sorry if this has all been asked/discussed before - chuck some links my way if that's the case.

Cheers,

Paul.

Edited by CplPunishment
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1 hour ago, CplPunishment said:

Wing outer panels:

The wing was strengthened and only fitted with 1x20mm and 1x0.50cal per wing. The outer .303 bays being empty. But... were the outer panels and access doors for the .303 bays re-worked or left 'as is'?]

reworked.

1 hour ago, CplPunishment said:

I thought some place I read that they were and that the space was used for survival equipment? Does anyone have specifics on this - hopefully and accurate view of upper and lower wing panels outboard of the 20mm cannons. 

 

 

1 hour ago, CplPunishment said:

 

 

See here for wing photos.  basically the ammo bay door in the lower wing moved to the upper wing, and the rest is removed.

 

1 hour ago, CplPunishment said:

Wing tips - standard, but not quite:

There is a note in Morgan & Shacklady, in the MkXVIII section (page 448), about the wing where it says "Wing span decreased by 3.5ins when Air Ministry decided that tips should be detachable. New tips were less pointed". This seems to suggest that when 'standard' tips were fitted (not clipped or high altitude), that were interchangeable rather than fixed, that they were a couple of inches shorter and consequently a bit more rounded that the fixed 'standard' tips. This is the first I've come across this, Are there any other references to back this up as fact? Or is this incorrect?

THis is new too me.  Never heard it mentioned. 

I'll @gingerbob

 

this may help regarding camera fit

 

HTH

 

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@Troy Smith A-ha!!! I knew I'd seen that stuff on the MkXVIII 'scrapped' wings someplace - spent ages looking for it - spot on!! Many thanks Troy!! Let building (and re-scribing) commence! 

Cheers,

Paul. 

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16 hours ago, CplPunishment said:

There is a note in Morgan & Shacklady, in the MkXVIII section (page 448), about the wing where it says...

 

I can't present supporting evidence offhand, but that sounds like "fake news" to me.  Probably one of those facts that found its way into the wrong context in the book.  The wingtips had been detachable since production began, so that may refer to the feedback on the prototype!

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17 hours ago, CplPunishment said:

There is a note in Morgan & Shacklady, in the MkXVIII section (page 448), about the wing where it says "Wing span decreased by 3.5ins when Air Ministry decided that tips should be detachable. New tips were less pointed".

 

1 hour ago, gingerbob said:

sounds like "fake news" to me

 

Most odd. You're probably right Bob, a bit of info that got incorporated in the book.

 

Cheers,

Edited by Johnson
Not reading carefully!
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2 minutes ago, gingerbob said:

It is pretty obvious from the rest of my comment that I believe it to be in the book, just that it isn't correct.

Yes, sorry Bob. I edited my post, ships in the night...

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@gingerbob @Johnson Thanks guys. It does sound a bit odd - given that wing tips have been interchangeable since Mk V days and very much so with the MkVIII airframe, on which the Mk XIV and XVIII is based etc. But the quoting of an exact measurement of "3.5in" seemed to give it some gravity. Anyway, since it equates to a potential removal of about 1mm from each tip at 1/48, I think I'll move on. Interesting though. 

Cheers guys,

Paul. 

Edited by CplPunishment
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34 minutes ago, CplPunishment said:

the MkVIII airframe, on which the Mk XIV and XVIII is based

The XIV is based on the VIII,  much like the IX is based on the V,  the VIII was supposed to be the definitive Merlin 60 series variant,   and it's the same deal with XIV/the XVIII was supposed to be the 'the one' but came too late, hence the redesigned wing.

But I can't see any reason for making of a new wing tip.

You will still read cobblers about the Seafire XV exported to Burma having Mk.XVIII wings fitted...

 

I don't know if he has looked in for a while but @Mark12 would be a good chap to ask.

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8 hours ago, Troy Smith said:

the XVIII was supposed to be 'the one'

 

Sorry, Troy, but it was another segment down the XIV branch (the next station on the line?)  Somehow the idea that the XVIII was intended to be the ultimate "normal" Spitfire (as opposed to the 20-series) has crept in to the story, at least sometimes.  Actually the further utilization of the XIV line for tactical recon and/or extended range necessitated a bit more strengthening and such (with what we know as the FR.XIV as an interim measure), and the fully developed stage earned a new mark number.  Otherwise the XIV would have been the end of that development and production line, being replaced, in theory, by the Spiteful.

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1 hour ago, k5054nz said:

and would appreciate Tamiya XF paint suggestions for the relevant colours if possible.

Dunno about the rest.... someone will say

 

Tamiya XF-81, 82, 83, with XF-21 plus white for the Sky....

 

If not joyless colour nazi,  these will probably do.  

 

I'd disagree, but I've been turning into (turned into?) a JCN,  so  if you want something accurate to references using Tamiya, you need to mix....   if you want to down that rabbit hole ask away.....

 

May I also suggest, that a question like this in this monster thread easily gets lost, and maybe worth a thread of it's own.   Good to see you have managed a good scour of the site archives on this as well. 

 

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Thanks Troy, that's an excellent idea! I'll edit my original post with a link to the new thread (please feel free to chime in there!). And I'm happy to use OOB Tamiya as it's what I know - the Sky is the big question mark for me.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Quick question.

 

I bagged an ICM XVI for £11. Lots of dry fitting to see what the problems will be. However, the cowl top sideways on has a smooth downwards slope to the spinner. I thought it should have the bulged top at the front because of the Packard Merlin?

 

Trevor

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On 4/29/2022 at 9:35 AM, gingerbob said:

that sounds like "fake news" to me

I'm not near my copy of Harleyford at the moment, but I think that the fake news on this point may have started there... Also I tend to support the view that the XVIII was supposed to have been "the" super-Spitfire, at least as far as the original wing-shaped ones were concerned. But the stop-gap XIV stole the limelight as it was produced earlier and ultimately in greater numbers than the XVIII, much as the IX supplanted the VIII as it was "good enough" to meet the needs of the time.

 

Justin

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11 hours ago, Max Headroom said:

Quick question.

 

I bagged an ICM XVI for £11. Lots of dry fitting to see what the problems will be. However, the cowl top sideways on has a smooth downwards slope to the spinner. I thought it should have the bulged top at the front because of the Packard Merlin?

 

Trevor

The bulged cowl got used on non Packard Merlin airframes too IIRC.

Not surprised the ICM kit misses it, I don't think it was widely understood when tooled.   If this kind of thing worries you, just look for an Eduard XVI,  as for a few quid more you eliminate all the ICM kit problems and glitches, as once you start dealing with those the bargain price soon becomes a false economy.

You can fit leftover Eduard bits,  a bulged Eduard upper call also fixes the too slim ICM upper cowl but then you are down the rabbit hole again.

Something like a bit of 30 Thou card glued to upper cowl and then blended in would likely work, the Aeroclub Merlin 60 nose included the bulged upper cowl and suggested sanding it flat if not needed, so just thinking of this in reverse.

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2 hours ago, Bedders said:

Also I tend to support the view that the XVIII was supposed to have been "the" super-Spitfire, at least as far as the original wing-shaped ones were concerned. But the stop-gap XIV stole the limelight...

 

The latter is somewhat true, since the FR.XIV (low back) was available just in time for wartime service, whereas the 18 was rather delayed and therefore only appeared in the "epilogue".  But the 18 (or if you prefer, 'XVIII') was not even envisioned until the decision was made (mid-44) to make use of the XIV airframe and production line in order to provide a supplement/replacement for the Mustang, and possibly (I don't remember the exact timing of this thinking) to alternatively cram as much fuel in as possible for a long(er) range fighter.  The implication is often made that the 18 is what Joe Smith & Co WANTED to develop as the 'Super Spitfire', and they were forced to mess around with this halfway-there XIV, and that just isn't true.  The unique airframe developments (stronger wing) of the 18 were only done out of necessity to deal with the increasing weight with cameras and/or more fuel.

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3 hours ago, Troy Smith said:

The bulged cowl got used on non Packard Merlin airframes too IIRC.

Not surprised the ICM kit misses it, I don't think it was widely understood when tooled.   If this kind of thing worries you, just look for an Eduard XVI,  as for a few quid more you eliminate all the ICM kit problems and glitches, as once you start dealing with those the bargain price soon becomes a false economy.

You can fit leftover Eduard bits,  a bulged Eduard upper call also fixes the too slim ICM upper cowl but then you are down the rabbit hole again.

Something like a bit of 30 Thou card glued to upper cowl and then blended in would likely work, the Aeroclub Merlin 60 nose included the bulged upper cowl and suggested sanding it flat if not needed, so just thinking of this in reverse.

Many thanks for that. I picked the kit because I’ve never done an ICM kit before and for that price - well why not?!

 

I’m aware of the ‘interesting’ fit issues with this kit and did a dry run. I don’t intend to mount the engine, so will have to insert blanks inside to attach the exhausts. May well still insert the bulkhead for rigidity and have sussed that it won’t bulge the nose.

 

Thanks for the 30 thou card tip. I will now stare long and hard at sideways views of the cowling. 🤔

 

Trevor

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Something that has likely been done to death on the forum (likely in this very thread): I would like a 1/48 Spitfire XII to build as EN224 when she flies again. I'm very tempted by the rerelease of the Airfix kit but remember some discussion as to its merits vs the Special Hobby kit. Which is better, and for what reasons? 

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9 hours ago, k5054nz said:

I'm very tempted by the rerelease of the Airfix kit but remember some discussion as to its merits vs the Special Hobby kit. Which is better, and for what reasons?

has been discussed at points... 

Define 'best' ? 

I think the Airfix kit maybe an easier build than the SH kit.  

 

If  by 'best' you mean accuracy AFAIK the SH kit is way ahead of the Airfix, which is still from an era before Airfix rediscovered that not all plans are accurate....  

 

see here, and links contained.   

 

HTH

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Aha, I knew there'd be a link. Thank you Troy - I suspect I'll end up going for Airfix based on price, but that's without having read the material!

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10 hours ago, k5054nz said:

Aha, I knew there'd be a link. Thank you Troy - I suspect I'll end up going for Airfix based on price, but that's without having read the material!

 

Don't know in NZ but in the UK and Europe the SH kit is actually generally cheaper than the Airfix one or sells at around the same price in the box including a V-1.

Of course by the time the kits reach your shores thing may differ quite a lot..

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On 5/16/2022 at 2:45 PM, Troy Smith said:

has been discussed at points... 

Define 'best' ? 

I think the Airfix kit maybe an easier build than the SH kit.  

 

If  by 'best' you mean accuracy AFAIK the SH kit is way ahead of the Airfix, which is still from an era before Airfix rediscovered that not all plans are accurate....  

 

see here, and links contained.   

 

HTH

 

Is there a comparison somewhere between the Airfix XII (or the inaccurate drawings Airfix used) and accurate drawings? Has someone measured the kit and compared against known accurate measurements?

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3 hours ago, Vlad said:

Has someone measured the kit and compared against known accurate measurements?

There have been thread on this,  It's OK dimensionally, but is mis shaped.  I spent a load of time comparing various kits and various  decent plans, as well as using checking some know dimensions. (the fuselage is the same length from firewall to rudder post on all Spitfires)

It shares the same problems the Academy XIV kit has, except for an oversized nose ring,  the fuselage is too deep, making the exhaust and rocker cover bulges too low, and the fin and rudder too high,  and the wing is too broad, and slightly too far back.  Not so bad on it;'s own, places next to accurate model it's noticeable.   

Fixable "with some modelling skill"  though the prop blades are the wrong shape and fixing those is hard work,  so a replacement is easier, except there isn't one.  I think you can use blades for a later 5 blade prop.  It's also has pretty deep panel lines.   

If this kind of thing bugs you, fixing the SH XII is easier as it has less problems...

HTH

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In my opinion, Seafire is also a Spitfire, so I'll try it here. Wojtek Matusiak, considered (probably not only in Poland) to be an expert on Spitfires, in his book on Spitfire (Monografie #40 by AJ Press) included a profile of a Seafire Mk.3 PR240 from No. 880 Sq.FAA, operating from HMS Implacable deck in the area of Truk Island in June 1945. The description states that in order to avoid confusion with the (green topsides) Japanese fighters, all Implacable aircraft had a greenish Dark Slate Grey colour replaced by a blueish Dark Sea Grey, which coloured the British machines closer to the US ones. Naturally, in addition to Seafires, this would also apply to Fireflies, Barracudas and Avengers.

Can anyone confirm this or explicitly deny this version? Were there still supplies of Dark Sea Grey paint on board the BPF aircraft carriers in 1945?

Cheers

Michael

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