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Vol 2 All the Spitfire questions here


Sean_M

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23 minutes ago, Graham Boak said:

Without checking: isn't there a spare wing in the Airfix Spitfire Mk.Vc?  Having said that, I can't imagine why...   I shall go upstairs in an hour or so and maybe come back down screaming to remove this posting?

No idea, though checked to answer my own question and the KP Vc has a spare full set of wings so thats an option as is trying to make the Brigade Seafire XV fit my IX fuselage and wings, meant for the italeri  edit the Seafire wouldn’t help, I’d still have a spare fuselage as it’s a full fuselage replacement 

Edited by PhantomBigStu
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4 hours ago, Graham Boak said:

Phew!  Just checked and there is a spare set of Mk.Vc upper wings in my box.  Still don't know why...

 

To make assembly easier, one set for clipped wings, one for normal span. This came from the kit designers. The alternative would have been to have separate wing tips for the normal and clipped wings. (also two parts less to tool!)

 

 

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5 minutes ago, Dave Fleming said:

 

To make assembly easier, one set for clipped wings, one for normal span. This came from the kit designers. The alternative would have been to have separate wing tips for the normal and clipped wings. (also two parts less to tool!)

 

 

Excellent, haven’t yet picked the vc up yet so that’s a perfect excuse….

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  • 3 weeks later...

Me again, just acquired a set of spitfire-lf-mkixe-israeli-af-172-decal.j wondering if the topside camo is the same RAL8008/RAL5008 as the Israeli Meteors over RAF Medium Sea Grey or is the underside also the RAL7044 used on the meteors? 

Edited by PhantomBigStu
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On 07/10/2022 at 13:49, PhantomBigStu said:

if the topside camo is the same RAL8008/RAL5008 as the Israeli Meteors over RAF Medium Sea Grey or is the underside also the RAL7044 used on the meteors? 

Only a few Spitfires got the Blue/Brown scheme,  and as they were getting a full repaint,(they were getting old by this time)  the undersides would have been repainted.  

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Forgive me if this is a stupid question...

 

I've just started building an Eduard Mk I "early", very early in fact, one of the "first batch" Spits assigned to 19 Squadron in 1938. I seem to remember reading somewhere that these early examples didn't have armour plating for the pilot... I'm presuming this is part R12, and that I should leave it out of the cockpit?

 

Cheers

 

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Edited by TonyOD
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17 minutes ago, TonyOD said:

Forgive me if this is a stupid question...

No such thing Tony!

 

AFAIK the early Spits didn't have armour plate. There was a famous quote (Dowding I think) who said 'If the Chicargo gangsters can have armour plate (in their cars), so can my pilots'. I'm probably wildly misquoting the man, who, if he was right, is tut-tutting as I write!

 

I've also got doubts about the flare rack on the front of the seat for those early Spits. But other more knowledgeable folks will be along shortly!

 

Cheers!

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Thanks for that @Johnson, and the heads up on the flare rack. I've done a bit of further googling and there's a suggestion the early Mk I's had a metal, as opposed to padded, seat. Eduard supply both options but don't give any advice on which to use.

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These from Edgar,

 

Posted 18 February 2012 - 11:21 PM

The cartridge racks are an odd item, since they were, largely, set onto Seafire seats, and had a double rack. Post-war the racks went to a single "strip," and, of course, the seat comes from a BBMF airframe. There's also the possibility that, with cameras in the rear, the XIX didn't carry the Plessey upward-firing device, seen on fighter spines, so the pilot needed a separate Very pistol as insurance. Note, too, that, though the seat has the rack, it doesn't carry the Very pistol "holster," by the pilot's right elbow.
Edgar

 

Posted 07 October 2013 - 11:23 AM

The Verey cartridge rack is more usually associated with Seafires, since Spitfires had their own system (the hole about halfway along the spine.) This was rather like a sixgun body with shotgun-sized cartridges, operated by a pull-handle beside the left side of the seat, so there was no need for a second system. As the seats were completely interchangeable, though, it was entirely possible to "borrow" any seat that happened to be lying around. All this means that you can leave it off (which probably happened in the majority of cases,) or fit it, and nobody can say that you're wrong.

With regard to the exit hole, in the spine, it was quite often seen with a red fabric cover, just like those on the wings' leading edges. Eduard actually supply the five squares, as decals, but seem to have omitted telling you where they all go.

Edgar

 

And a question

Hi All,

As an aside one thing worth noting about the August 1940 photographed Spitfire II cockpit, is the presence of seat mounted flare rack.

So if modelling a 1940 Spitfire it would certainly be appropriate, to include the flare rack within the cockpit of your replica.

Cheers,

Daniel.

 

Edgar replied

 

Also, note that the seat with the Very cartridge rack is metal, therefore probably made by Supermarine themselves to a drawing which includes the rack. The plastic seat didn't have the rack as standard, though they did appear, especially on Westland-built airframes, probably designed for the Seafire.

 

Cheers

 

Dennis

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Amazing what 10 minutes of Googling turns up. I was looking for more info on the flare rack and it turns out I've used the wrong seat, used the plastic one which wasn't introduced until 1940 instead of the metal one. Thing is I've already glued on the two side panels to make up the "trough". I think my best  bet is to fill and smooth out the grooves in the seat back to at least make it look flat. I could have done my research before the event, of course...

Edited by TonyOD
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3 hours ago, Johnson said:

There was a famous quote (Dowding I think) who said 'If the Chicargo gangsters can have armour plate (in their cars), so can my pilots'

it was about bullet proof glass.  

3 hours ago, Johnson said:

AFAIK the early Spits didn't have armour plate.

And it was thought they didn't need it as nothing could catch them....

 

2 hours ago, TonyOD said:

I could have done my research before the event, of course...

Ah, those famous last words...   If you are an early Spitfire thing,  and want to delve deeper,  buy the Wingleader Photo Archive book. 

 

https://www.wingleader.co.uk/shop/spitfire-mk1-wpa1

has a sampler .pdf in the link

 

"This series is unique in that it will be able to provide large format ORIGINAL photos up to full A4 landscape format width, which is at least 50% larger than any standard book can deliver.  Combined with the specialist knowledge of a team of historians and contributors, each book should provide unbeatable and accurate references for any modelling or painting project.

"We chose the Spitfire MkI for the first book as, surprisingly, hardly any book has been solely devoted to the MkI.  During the research for the project, we studied dozens of published Spitfire MkI modelling articles and found that nearly all of them were wrong, with the same mistakes repeated over and over again.  As with our Battle of Britain Combat Archive series, we have gone back to source material for these books and studied original documents and period photos, and not relied on restored aircraft or modern books."

This book contains approx 130 original wartime/pre-war photos and 6 in-depth profiles with side-views plus and top and underside views."

 

It goes through the introduction of the Spitfire and the changes introduced.    All the books I have in the series are excellent.   I was just looking through the Spitfire Mk.I book and it's very informative.   You likely could find  most of the details on here,  but it would take some searching,  and from personal experience,  I can usually find things I know have been discussed,  but can take some digging and cross referencing otherwise.  

 

3 hours ago, TonyOD said:

I think my best  bet is to fill and smooth out the grooves in the seat back to at least make it look flat.

the grooves are to represent the padded leather seat cover

L-R, metal set with cover (which varies in colour,  can be near black), plain metal,  resin impregnated paper (NOT bakelite) 

Seats-1.jpg

 

note dark leather, Normally a piece of "basil" leather used to prevent chafing of the ripcord; the early seat also had no recess in the base, since there was no dinghy, therefore no inflation bottle to cause discomfort for the pilot., this being an earlier paper seat than the one above...

 

4226412340_30d0decf70_b.jpg

 

 

 

see and note the links for much more.

 

3 hours ago, TonyOD said:

Eduard supply both options but don't give any advice on which to use.

Doesn't surprise me, Eduard had a hissy when it was pointed out their Mk.I specific kit inly had the early cockpit sidewall,  there is a long discussion on here about this, and when it might have changed over....    if you wish your rabbit hole to become a warren I can search it up for you :whistle:

Has links to the 1940 Spitfire daily maintenance film if you really want  get in depth....

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Thanks Troy, I knew you would come to our rescue.

 

11 hours ago, Troy Smith said:

 If you are an early Spitfire thing,  and want to delve deeper,  buy the Wingleader Photo Archive book.

 

Absolutely! A super book. Nice people too, they let me use one of their photos on here.

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16 hours ago, Troy Smith said:

If you are an early Spitfire thing,  and want to delve deeper,  buy the Wingleader Photo Archive book. 

 

Thanks for all the information, @Troy Smith, and the heads up on the book. For purely financial reasons I tend to do what research I can on the cheap, i.e. on the interweb, but the sample pages of this book make it very tempting.

 

It occurred to me that somewhere down the line I plan to do a classic Battle of Britain Mk I, so the sensible thing to do would have been to get another Eduard kit (the Weekend version would have done it) and swap the seats, but I think that ship has sailed now as I've started on the "wrong" seat with the filler and sandpaper. Not by many means the end of the world!

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Question if I may about the underside of early Mk I's (probably won't be the last!): I've seen the underside described as "aluminium", and I had it in mind to go with a polished Metalcote aluminium, but I think I'm right in saying that the aircraft wasn't made of alu and this was an aluminium dope or paint of some sort. In which case what kind of lustre would it have had? Fairly dull perhaps? I don't airbrush so it'll be either brush painted or rattlecanned Humbrol (the Eduard obstructions state just "silver" which I think might be a bit light'n'bright?) 

 

Cheers

 

Tony

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IIRC Tony (I’m away from my references) the front underside and rear of the fuselage was painted silver, not terribly shiny. The wings to the fuselage centre were black and white (port/stbd) and later sky. I’m sure @Troy Smith will come to our rescue (again!)

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Very early underside (prewar) was entirely Aluminium paint, (dope on fabric). Also the serials were painted on the underside in black with starboard facing forward and port facing aft. I’m sure it’s covered somewhere in this thread.

 

Cheers

 

Jeff

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2 hours ago, TonyOD said:

I've seen the underside described as "aluminium", and I had it in mind to go with a polished Metalcote aluminium, but I think I'm right in saying that the aircraft wasn't made of alu and this was an aluminium dope or paint of some sort. In which case what kind of lustre would it have had? Fairly dull perhaps?

genuine pre war colour,   clearly showing the aluminium paint. 

2527522818_8d96956cd5_b.jpgSpitfire  Mk. I by Etienne du Plessis, on Flickr

5420569821_51e3e332bd_c.jpgEarly Spitfire at Hornchurch  1939. by Etienne du Plessis, on Flickr

 

2 hours ago, Johnson said:

Tony (I’m away from my references) the front underside and rear of the fuselage was painted silver, not terribly shiny. The wings to the fuselage centre were black and white (port/stbd) and later sky

as always, see here for the full run down of what changed when and why...

Supermarine%20Spitfire%20Camo%20&%20Mark

https://boxartden.com/reference/gallery/index.php/Camouflage-Markings/Supermarine-Spitfire

 

HTH

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@TonyOD the RAF used silver dope/paint rather than polished bare metal in lots of applications, from early biplanes to jets - similar silver dope/paint being referred to has High Speed Silver applied to post war jets. So most of the time a reference to 'silver' usually means 'painted'.

My personal choice is to use a silver colour that is less reflective, or less silver and more grey - kinda grey that's a bit silvery (😄 highly technical, eh!). Adding a dash of white to a silver paint can get that sort of effect.

(Sorry, if I'm teaching egg sucking). 

Edited by CplPunishment
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The term "dope" was commonly applied to the cellulose-based paints that were common in the 1930s, because of the smell.  Cellulose dope was used to tighten the fabric, and the primer then the paints were applied on top of this.  The later paints which replaced the cellulose ones on metal surfaces from the late 1930s had no tightening effect on fabric, which retained the cellulose-based paints.  

 

I've tried mixing white or grey pigments to silvers but never found a convincing effect.  Perhaps I need to try some more.

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If I may add a bit to the dope vs paint thing. When I painted 1/1 scale, I had the experience of mixing silver nitrate dope, when I was getting a PBY refinished before a trip from here to Madrid. Several gallons applied with a roller, on top of the wing and tail in a hangar in the middle of summer, negates the need for any alcohol or recreational pharmaceuticals! There are two types of dope, Nitrate and Butyrate, both are cellulose based, like lacquer. The Nitrate has more shrinking power and the Butyrate is more flexible, and fills better. The nitrate always goes on first, followed by the Butyrate, you can’t put nitrate over butyrate. Either Dope won’t adhere very well to metal surfaces and peels off rather quickly. I have found the word ‘dope’ used in many references to aircraft finish, even in “official” publications. Basically dope is for fabric or some times wood, paint is for metal.


To make aluminium dope, aluminium paste is added to the clear dope, I still have a pint in my stash. The reason aluminium powder is added, is for UV protection for the fabric. The paste is extremely fine and doesn’t take much to turn things silver. Nitrate dope mixed with aluminium powder is basically rocket fuel, and we all know how quickly the Hindenburg burned up. Modern replacements for dope are far superior in finish and longevity, and flex agents can be added to just about any paint going on fabric covered surfaces. Modern fabrics are synthetic and can be shrunk tight using heat, older fabric was cotton or linen, and needed the shrinking properties of nitrate dope.
 

The reason it’s hard to make models look the same, has to do with the scale. The aluminium powder is so fine, that to make scale representation in small scale, white or grey are added to reduce the “sparkle” or “lustre” Auto modellers have more problems with making paint look scale, unless they are doing a hot rod that has metal flake in 1/1 scale. There are several metal finish paints available to replicate bare metal and polished metal and some are available with white mixed in. Troy’s photos above are excellent examples of the look of older aluminium paint. There is some reflection, but it’s certainly not a high gloss. Basically it’s up to the modeller’s satisfaction to come up with the necessary ratios. Nobody is going to say it doesn’t look right.

 

Also notice the oil covered gear door on a relatively new Spitfire, I have seen freshly painted aircraft after a run up with a new engine, and after 10-15 minutes, the same effect as above is not unusual, especially on radials. Newer engines tend to puke a lot of oil until they are broken in. The underside of wartime Spitfires in photos is not usually very clean. However, the aluminium paint would have been easier to clean than the flat camouflage paint that tends to soak up oil like a sponge. Careful study of wartime photos can reveal a lot of nuances that are fun to replicate, keeping it to scale is the key. A bit longer ramble than I anticipated, but if it helps someone in their modelling, it helps me with my loneliness.

 

Cheers

 

Jeff

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6 hours ago, MrB17 said:

Also notice the oil covered gear door on a relatively new Spitfire, I have seen freshly painted aircraft after a run up with a new engine, and after 10-15 minutes, the same effect as above is not unusual, especially on radials. Newer engines tend to puke a lot of oil until they are broken in. The underside of wartime Spitfires in photos is not usually very clean.

 

The underside of any Spitfire...

 

y4mBL-GLQhoQT_7Rd1FR3OfqdB1bozcD-o3Am89C

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To be fair, the Merlin was a notoriously leaky engine.  There's a guide to this on the Hurricane.   Photos of it on the ground show a triangule dark patch at the rear of the wheel door.  This aligns with the oil stain on the lower nose.

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