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1/48th Spitfire Vc 4 sqn SAAF "The not-so-blue-one"

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Hi gang - so here's the start of this one. For the background see here:


I'm using Airfix's new-tool Vb kit combined with Alleycat's C wing resin conversion, and have some decals from MAVDecal in South Africa on the way - though I think these will be used for codes and the 'Boks only.

This is my second build using this kit and third including the new tool Mk 1 from last year ( which shares many build similarities) - so with luck I hope to be able to show you a couple of solutions for the kits 2 main "talking points" namely the cockpit coaming/fuselage fit, and the UC legs attachment method.

I've already started the build so the first pics will show the wings in progress.

I mean, come on, it's got a trop filter, a C wing, weird camo and orange centred roundels, AND it's a Spitfire. What, ask I, to like is not? as master Yoda say might LOL



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Afternoon - right - so here's where I am.

The Airfix lower wing is cut away following the Alleycat instructions, and the new resin wings are test fitted.


Fit along the cuts is good - though some filler will be needed. My set of resin wings had clipped tips- and I need normal wingtips - so the resin tips were removed and Airfix's wing tips added using brass pins.


The kit ailerons are a pretty good fit into the resin wings - the resin just needs cleaning up and a little sanding on the plastic parts to "encourage" the fit. These are just taped in place at present- because....


As you can see the port wing is a bit warped ( A note to those unfamiliar with resin parts: Resin will often warp when its removed from the mould but it can easily be straightened by dipping in VERY hot water to make it malleable and gently reshaping) - which is what I need to do on the port wing!

The fit is pretty good but I've added some supports to the fuselage wing mating edge


Plus you'll notice in other pics that I've also CA'ed some styrene to the resin wing edge to bridge a bit of a gap. Doing this means I get a styrene to styrene join that can be melted into place with the usual liquid cement :)

Now for the first "interesting" aspect of the new tool Airfix Spit V and Mk1 - the undercarriage:

Airfix for reasons best known to themselves chose to split the UC legs at their roots, with a half-lap join between the leg and the pintles. The mating area is small and TBH on my previous two kits its been a bit of a pain to join once painting and decalling is finished ( assuming you don't want to join the parts first - because then you have easily damaged legs sticking out all the way through the build).

So the trick is to drill and pin the joint, but here's the trick I think:

Assemble the wheel wells with pintle parts in glued firmly in place and leave to dry. THEN drill them - this way you are not trying to hold very small awkwardly shaped pintles while you drill. To drill start with your bit angled in at 45 degrees to the half lap corner - create the start of the hole with a few twists and then slowly angle the drill up straight as you continue to drill down and through. With care you get a nice hole right down the centre and all the way through - like this:


The legs themselves can be drilled whenever the muse is upon you :) Bearing in mind the C wing has the UC gear raked slightly forward when compared to the earlier "A" and "B" versions - this wire pinning will enable this to be done easily.

The other "interesting" area which has caused modellers problems on these kits is the upper fuselage and windscreen insert. Though it doesn't seem to be universal - lots of modellers ( me included) have had problems with the fit being fouled by the cockpit parts.

I think the problem is 2 fold - firstly the tolerances in this area are pretty tight, so even a coat of paint can foul some of the joins; secondly the forward bulkhead is too deep - if you stick the cockpit assemble in place with the bulkhead pushed all the way up its too high and the top stops the coaming part sitting down fully. So based on my previous 2 models here's what Im doing to hopefully prevent this 3rd time round:

First give the outer mating surface of the cockpit sidewalls a good sand just to remove any possible moulding blemishes. Check the inside of the fuselage halves for similar - there's an ejector pin mark on the starboard half thats a bit proud - so sand the bejazus out of that too!!. Check all your parts are clean of sprue gate stub residue too.

Tolerance is good thing in all walks of life, and the Spitfire pit should not forgotten....so using a flat needle file and scalpel go over all the areas where fit can be impeded


The cockpit sidewalls locate against this: Clean it out so it's got a bit of breathing space.


All these slots for bulkheads are tight fits. Clean them out and test fit the bulkheads so they fit easily without forcing them.



Take care to make sure this recess on the instrument panel bulkhead is nicely clean and an easy fit ( see the pic above too) if this piece doesn't locate into the cockpit sidewalls fully - the fuselage will bulge out a tad - causing problems


This is the forward bulkhead that I think is too high, so sand the top down somewhat, and when you think you've sanded it enough: Sand it some more! :)


This chamfered rebate locates into the underside of the windscreen coaming - so clean it out with a swiss file and give it some wiggle room

The general idea is for the bulkheads which fit into these slots to NOT be a tight fit, and for the cockpit assembly to not force the fuselage out because parts haven't fully located.

Now when you insert the cockpit assembly you should find that the top coaming insert drops in nicely with no width mismatch or gaps


Like this.

Please note in the above pics I have tape holding all the parts together - so gaps that appear in the cockpit sub assemble where it meets the fuselage side walls are due to the thickness of the Tamiya tape you cant see.

Having done all this ( which only takes about 20 mins in reality) I'm now pretty sure the fit will be OK. So I can start a bit of painting.

More to come, as it happens.


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Did the same adaptation to my second MkI myself. I also opened the slot the bulkhead fits into and had no problems.

On my first one I had assembled the cockpit tub fine but I had to sand down the outsides to make it fit in the fuselage.. I did over clamp the fuselage though and managed to break the frame at the rear of the cockpit (doesn't show though)..

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