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1/48 Airfix new tool Spitfire Mk.I X4382 from No.602 Squadron - Completed on 31-10 at 11.50 pm

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Hi Peter

very neat work as usual.

a couple of points. Eduard made a boob on their Spitfire, in that the front of the wing, the 'D' section leading edge is made of thicker gauge metal, and the rivets are filled and rubbed down, they are pretty much invisible on the real thing. Check your own photos, but here's one, note smoothness of leading edge, same on top.


from http://www.primeportal.net/hangar/mark_hayward/supermarine_spitfire_mk1a_p9444/index.php?Page=1



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Thank you Rob and Dan for your kind words.

John, I had a look at some pictures I took and you are correct - you certainly know a lot about Spitfires!




It also shows that Airfix overdone the hinge a bit. By the way, it is interesting that the bulges for the undercarriage have different shapes on the left and right wing.

I used a scribing tool to scribe around the shape and then sanded it level with the wing. This worked better than I thought.



Also noticed that I need also a row of rivets on the left side.

Hi Peter

very neat work as usual.

a couple of points. Eduard made a boob on their Spitfire, in that the front of the wing, the 'D' section leading edge is made of thicker gauge metal, and the rivets are filled and rubbed down, they are pretty much invisible on the real thing. Check your own photos, but here's one, note smoothness of leading edge, same on top.



Thanks Troy for making me aware of this. You are right, I actually seen some pictures of rebuilt Spitfire wings with filler over the rivets. Also the above picture from the IWM example show (or don't show) these rivets. Strangely they are more visible on the right wing than the left wing.

So I used Surfacer 500 to do my version of filling the rivets - at least the process is authentic!


I didn't fill the vertical lines as they are more visible on the real aircraft. I won't sand it back, but will use thinner to wash it off. This may leave the rivets still slightly visible, as on the real aircraft. That the theory anyway.

Hope to have some further progress on the weekend.

Cheers, Peter

Edited by Basilisk
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Hi Peter

the rivet point was made by Peter Cooke in the notes accompanying his Spitfire XIV/XIX drawings in Scale Models in 1978, ho noted the leading edge, and that the rest of the wings was flush riveted, but with the thinner skinning on the rest of the wingthis showed up more as dishing around them. This thinner skinning is shown in the photos above.

When Peter Cooke did his scratchbuilt Spitfires, he ended up cutting individual panels for the fuselage to represent the lap jointing which is on the rear fuselage.

the lap joints are well shown here


great build, very informative.



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Glad to be of service, or perhaps I should just keep my big mouth shut! I had not noticed the difference in the bulges over the wheels before although I've seen lots of pictures of that particular airframe. I know that the shape of the bulges changed over time so presumable one of the wings has been replaced at some stage, I'm sure someone watching will be able to tell us.

You're making good progress on the wing leading edges, I suppose I'll have to do mine now.



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Thank you Troy and John. I am always amazed about the wealth of knowledge and the resulting information people provide - just great.

Removing the Surfacer 500 with solvent worked well. The only problem was that the filler actually didn't flow into most of the holes. :banghead: Plan B is to cover the leading edge with a heavier coverage when priming the model.

John, I wouldn't be too concerned about the difference in the bulges on the wings as they surely had been replaced over the years. Also most of the kit manufacturer have there own unique representation of these bulges as they all look different...

Cheers, Peter

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It is this time of the week - and it is happening too fast. I managed to do some painting, but didn't get to priming the model yet as I "wasted" my time detailing the oil and engine radiators.

Here are some pictures from the Science Museum showing the real deal on the Spitfire Mk.I.



Airfix provides the correct shape of the radiator enclosures, but there is plenty of scope to add some missing details.

As I thinned the wing trailing edge, I had to do it on these enclosures too as the Airfix plastic is way too thick. But this resulted in some missing plastic on the wing cut-outs which needed filling to avoid some ugly gaps.


Also the side walls of the engine radiator flaps could do with some thinning.


Now all was ready to give the internal stuff a coat of paint as it will be very difficult to get there after these items are in place. I masked off the plastic where glue will be applied for the fitting to the wings.


The next step was painting the radiators and adding some of the missing detail. I added the side flap stiffeners to the radiator flap plus the ducting pipes.


After these additions had been painted, the housing was ready to be glued to the wing.


I think it make a noticeable difference.


I thinned the wall thickness of the engine and oil radiator housing fronts substantially and added the pipe to the front of the engine radiator (no idea what it is for). I also added some PE mesh to the inner surfaces of the oil radiator.


Now I really hope to have the primer on by next weekend!

Thanks for watching.

Cheers, Peter

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Thank you Rob, Stix, Craig and Val for your compliments. Much appreciated.

It is this time of the week for another update. Fortunately things progressed well and I spend all the time to get the model ready for the primer. But I did still find a some things to correct. There was a rather large gap between the vertical stabilizer and the rudder, so I decided to reduce this gap by adding a 0.4mm shim.


Another thing I noticed was that Airfix was too generous with the maintenance panels on the underside between the wings as they had equal amounts on both side. But there should be only one of them on the left side. Nothing what a bit of filler can't correct.



Airfix also placed some ridges in front of the trim taps on the elevators. No idea why as I don't sink they are there on the original. So off they came.



Here are the corrected elevators attached to the horizontal stabilizers which also received the rivet treatment.


I prepared the canopies by dipping them in Windex to reduce the surface tension, followed by a dip in Alclad Aqua Gloss clear.


I purchased the Eduard canopy masks for this kit. Not realizing that there are two types of canopy front armor masks for this kit. I used the wrong one which was way too small! Wondering how Eduard could make a mistake, I had a look at the instructions - and then the penny dropped!

But when applying the correct mask, it was too large and when taking it of to cut smaller, the Aqua Gloss came off with the mask :nono: so I couldn't use this mask any more.

I guess it is now plan B and I will paint the canopy by hand using the toothpick method.

I had the rear part of the canopy in place before this happened and I struggled to try to mask the opening with tape - There has to be an easier way... Fortunately Airfix provided several types of canopies, so I used some spare stuff for the masking which I attached with white glue. I hope they come off alright after painting.


Finally ready for airbrushing the primer!


I used Surfacer 1000 thinned with leveling thinner (40% Surfacer and 60% thinner) which airbrushed very nicely.


It is applied very thinly so not to fill all the detail.



There are some spots which need a bit more work, followed by a second cote of Surfacer 1000. After that it is time to apply the HGW positive rivets to the fuselage. So the painting still has to wait a bit longer.

Thanks for watching.

Cheers, Peter

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I am always so impressed when I check on your progress on both kits. You have a real eye for detail and you achieve such high standards. :goodjob::goodjob:

Thank you Stix. The eye to detail can be a bit of a hindrance as it is difficult to draw the line where to stop.

Cheers, Peter

Edited by Basilisk
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I agree with Stix on you attention to detail. I don't think I would have noticed the mistake with the underwing inspection panels, thanks for the tip.



Thank you John. Sometimes it is more productive to ignore these little discrepancies and just getting on with the job!

Cheers, Peter

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Not too much progress this week as I spend most of the time with my Hurricane build.

One spot which needed attention was a slight dent in the cowling. Here it is smoothed over with Surfacer 500 and sanded pack.


And finally with the final primer coat on.



The next step was the application of the HGW rivets. There is a good video on YouTube showing the process:


Unfortunately there isn't a pre-defined set for the hurricane, so I have to apply each rivet line individually. I cut some of the single row rivets from the sheet 481000 into stripes and cut them to length ready for application.


I learned the following by trail and error. If you cut the sheets too close to the rivets, the clear carrier film comes loose and the rivets won't stick well to the carrier fill. A wider carrier film also helps in getting the rows straight. This is a real challenge around the fuselage. It also means that the application of the rivets has to be done in stages as the wide carrier film will be in the way for adjacent rows.


Here they are on the models with a coat of Mark Softer brushed over it.

Then they have to try 4-8 hours so the rivets bond to the primer properly.


When I removed the clear carrier film, things went pear shaped :weep:


A small part of the primer stuck to the carrier film! No idea how this happened. I cleaned the model with alcohol and then washed it in soapy water before priming. Otherwise the rivets do look great and are nicely to scale.

Not the end of the world. This section needs to be sanded down and re-primed. I hope to have all the rivets done and the sky painted by next weekend.

Thanks for watching.

Cheers, Peter

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Thanks John. I hope your adventure into "positive riveting" is going well. If you thought the HGW harnesses are challenging, you will be up for a surprise!

Another week passed and I made good progress. I had to repair the spot the primer lifted and I first sanded the area to feather the edges, trying not to damage the rivets.


And the masking is in place to apply another coat of primer.



When looking at this picture, I realized that I missed some very noticeably rivets.


So out came Rosie again to mend this issue.


Next was to place all the remaining positive rivets on the rear fuselage.


I also added the little bulge next to the flaps rod cover with some white glue.


And finally it was painting time !!! First I airbrushed a thin coat of Mr. Paint sky.


Followed with some pre-shading.


And another coat of sky.


I then used some sky lightened with white to highlight some of the panels.


Unfortunately the pre-shading and highlighting doesn't show well on the pictures. I was actually concerned that the effect was too strong - go figure.

Here a close-up showing the positive rivets painted over. They look certainly to scale and are a nice enhancement.


Oh yes, As the Mr.Paint sky was a bit too cold in hue, I added 10% of yellow, which resulted in a very nice match to the paint chip in "British Aviation Colours of WWII".


The Mr. Paint paints are a delight to airbrush. The pigment size has to be the smallest I ever seen (more like an ink) and not once did the airbrush getting glogged.

Hopefully I have the upper camouflage done by next weekend.

Thanks for watching.

Cheers, Peter

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That's amazing, and in 1/48. I havn't reached that stage yet because this last week has been one of my usual ' one step forward, two steps back ' ones. I'm still trying to sort out the cowling fasteners, I think my beading tools must be particularly blunt, they don't seem to be leaving any impression.

I take my hat off to you sir, well I would if I was wearing one.



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Thank you John and Val. The beading tool is a bit tricky to use and you need to move it around its axis in a rocky motion to get the impression into the plastic. The soft Airfix plastic is a positive here.

Well, I progressed nicely this week. I painted the wing roots silver and coated it with mascol, with the idea to simulate the wear. As I use lacquer paint on the spitfire, chipping fluids don't work.


Then it was time to mask the sky in preparation for airbrushing the camouflage. I may gone a bit overboard...


The Mr. Paint Dark Earth went on very nicely.


I photo copied a 1/48 painting scheme and cut out the section which are staying brown.


Done. This has to be the least favorable task in making a model for me.


Then it was time to paint the Dark Green.


As I do most of the painting at night, I was shocked when I saw the green in daylight as it looked too blue! Yes I added a drop of blue to the green with the goal to eliminate the olive hue in the Mr. Paint Dark Green - Bad idea!

And yes, I had all the masking removed the previous night. Fortunately I didn't throw it out. So on it went again and I repainted the green without the blue. But I added a bit of black which resulted in a very nice Dark Green - even at daylight!


Turned out fine at the end. But the wear patch I am not so sure about. Needs a bit more work when weathering the model.


Both flat and dome head rivets are still nicely visible after all the painting.


Next in line are adding the markings and weathering all. I hope I can manage that all in two weeks as I also still have to do the all the small bits to go on the model

It doesn't help that I decided to paint the roundels and squadron code as I wasn't happy with the decals. I also feel that it is a shame to cover all these lovely rivets with decals! I scanned the Airfix and Xtradecal sheets. The top code on the picture below shows the Xtradecal and the Airfix code below that.X4382-111.jpg

The red Letters are what I think the code should look like. The Airfix letters aren't too bad, maybe a whisker to skinny. The Xtradecals code have the correct width of the font, but are too large with a letter G even larger...


I went shopping and I should be able to cobble together the appropriate paint for the roundels.

Until next week.

Cheers, Peter

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