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Here's my build of the classic Airfix Plane, the early re-release of the Spitfire IX.

Pros; good overall shape, good parts fit. Proper long air intake, proper shock links on the u/c.

Cons; interior a throwback to the 70's, four spoke wheels! Possibly a few bumps missing off the cowling... There may be others, i.e. I'm not sure the late type tailplanes are right for this particular plane, and there is controversy over those wheel bumps in the upper wings...

Let's get cracking, then, Grommit.

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Grinding out the 4x2's moulded inside the fuselage. Interior is from a scrap Revell Mark V.

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Grinding down the sides of the bulkheads to fit in the thicker Airfix Fuselage, adding a seat cushion and reinforcing the (by now fragile) instrument panel bulkhead.

Although as everyone knows, Spitfires didn't have floors, the Revell one is useful...

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Handy thing about Spitfires, you can stick the fuselage together and put the interior in from underneath! All test fitted, painted, floor shortened. I added some rudimentary (i.e. crude) bits in the cockpit sides to represent, if that's the word, throttle and flap lever quadrants.

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In it goes.

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Make sure the canopy will fit over all this stuff... it does, in doing so noticing that very little can be seen through it...

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Airframe together and it looks like a Spitfire, here's how to avoid Droopy Tailplane Misery...

More once I get my bench back!!

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Okay, got my bench back, back to work! This photograph demonstrates the use of Mark I Flexi-File rubbing down wing roots...

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Hint, squeeze the frame to de-tension and "wrap" the strip round the shape.

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Deluxe Materials Perfect Putty Mark I in action... nice to have a putty you can smooth down with a damp cloth!

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Canopy masked (not Tamiya tape because I ran out, this is the inferior type you can buy in certain model railway emporia...) and a spray of very thin matt light grey enamel. I will use Xtracrylic, and I don't like spraying this onto bare plastic. Canopy stuck on with Deluxe Materials low-solvent cyano. (there were some slight gaps which I filled with... Deluxe Materials... glue'n'glaze - swear this isn't an advert...)

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Invasion Stripe areas sprayed matt white enamel. Doesn't really show in this photo but it's there.

To be continued!

Edited by Nomore Shelfspace
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OK a little update; the worst part of any build, masking.

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This is after most of the tape was off. Colour is Xtracrylic - very nice stuff, dry and maskable after a few minutes! Bodged the camo a bit, used paper when I should have used something stickier.

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Medium Sea Grey lightened with white. I really do think this looks better.

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Nice! Only some overspray got inside the canopy... too many holes in the fuselage. There is some overspray outside there, soon wiped this off. The acrylic is rather thick and forms a raised line on hard masking - this can be smoothed out with a cotton bud with a small amount of alcohol.

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Still needs a lot of work. I notice the earlier issues of this kit had the stripes as decals, whereas this one doesn't!

Edited by Nomore Shelfspace
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Because I could not face any more masking and airbrushing, I decided to paint the black bands on the "Go and Spoil Hitler's Day" stripes with a hairy stick. I calculated I needed 6mm wide bands, not being completely sure how wide the striped area overall was on this plane.

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This masking tape is ok as long as you burnish the edges down, and don't expect the actual edge of the tape to be dead straight... Tamiya-san, come back!

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I used my favourite, Humbrol satin black acrylic. Don't look bad, but even here you can see a masked edge will form a raised line.

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Trick is to make the edges with thin strips of tape, then you can make it follow a curve. I made all the bands 6.5 mil wide here, including the sky band. Maybe not accurate but I was stuck with the overall width of the white area and it had to even out...

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OK so far. The bands atop the fuselage look out of kilter because of the wide angle of the lens! Again even in this low res photo you can see the raised edge round the sky band - this can be smoothed out with alcohol on a swab, preferably in one pass otherwise the paint will smear. I had yet to do the underside bands in this photo, once I do that I'll start tidying it up.

Over and out!

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Looking good, er, Nomore (??)

You could try alcohol or use Micromesh to sand the paint... I'm not an expert on this but I have bought the micro mesh pads and they're really good for wet sanding paint joins like this. Gentle rubs and the paint comes off little by very little without the worry of a solvent effecting the rest of the finish.

Hopefully someone more experienced will jump in.

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Looking good, er, Nomore (??)

You could try alcohol or use Micromesh to sand the paint... I'm not an expert on this but I have bought the micro mesh pads and they're really good for wet sanding paint joins like this. Gentle rubs and the paint comes off little by very little without the worry of a solvent effecting the rest of the finish.

Hopefully someone more experienced will jump in.

Yup, Nomore Shelfspace is my true name... I have some old abrasive cloth stuff, forgot what it was called - it has a cloth/rubber backing. Got it from Hannants. I tried it (wet) but the dust stained the white paint - I could see the job was getting out of hand so stopped at this point!

Edited by Nomore Shelfspace
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Okay, this is now FINISHED. Can't say I loved the experience...

Here it is decalled and having small but necessary bits painted. Decals were ok but as usual hated matt paint!

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I couldn't see a way to use the provided yellow ID bands so hand painted them...

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The tape did nearly rip the roundel off... not very nice stuff.

And here it is waiting for the rear view mirror (slice of rod) to be painted, some weathering and then, proper photos (coming soon). Red gun port patches are actually the kit decals.

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Verdict; this isn't a bad kit - it looks right, the parts fit although the guns and undercarriage legs need scraping a bit to fit properly, it's not over-engineered like some later Airfix kits, but the decals are a bit of a trial, although it's unfortunate Airfix decided to re-release it sans stripes! I didn't like painting those one bit! And as for that complete lack of an interior... I have the new Mk I/IIa in the Box of Kits but haven't decided how to tackle it.

Incidentally the plane here was (according to Airfix) based at Ford airfield in 1944, the perimeter of which (it's now closed obviously) I can see from the window of the room where I built this.

N.S.

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