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1/48 Airfix Spitfire Mk. Vb 'Malta', March 1942 . **Finished**


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Im joining the group build with Aifix's new tool 1/48th Spitfire Mk. Vb. 

Its a kit I've had my eye on for a while, primarily because the fuselage codes match my initials (!) , but i love the scheme along with second world war aviation. This variant served with 249 Sqn, Ta Kali, Malta in March 1942.

 

Im intending to build completely out of the box, and aiming to practice my weathering and airbrushing with a well worn look. Here's the box art ....

 

17D87894-A06A-4FB2-8A1D-21E26EF15257_zps

 

The kit looks great on the inside, with plenty of detail on the parts. I haven't added pilots in any of my previous builds ( mainly tamiya ) with stock pilots looking fairly unanimated. However this airfix offering looks great so I'm thinking, canopy open and a thumbs up pose from PO Robert Wendell "Buck" McNair DFC. 

 

8F8B8597-A5A6-4EAB-862B-AF617AEB021B_zps

 

As always i welcome any comments, tips and tricks along the way.

Edited by Hosbabon
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..... quick update, I'm out of the blocks ! Started on separating cockpit parts for priming and some delicate 'knife work' has seen the decapitation of my pilot to repose his head. Hopefully get a neck sculpted out of green stuff and sorted tonight.

 

7DD6AE32-02CB-4084-A35B-5BF8C58BB715_zps

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4 hours ago, Hosbabon said:

I

As always i welcome any comments, tips and tricks along the way.

 

main thing with these new  Airfix  kits is that  the tolerances are very tight, so much so  that a coat of  paint or missed sprue nib in early construction can throw fit of major components later, in particular, the  cockpit side walls/floor  and wing spar,  so dry  fit  these, and double check  before gluing, 

 

useful build here

http://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/234968337-two-148-mkvb-spitfires-tamiya-and-airfix-new-spitfire-collection-expansion-project-finished-photos-now-in-the-rfi-section-080615/

which may be of  use.

 

HTH

T

PS 

http://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/234968337-two-148-mkvb-spitfires-tamiya-and-airfix-new-spitfire-collection-expansion-project-finished-photos-now-in-the-rfi-section-080615/&page=7

details an example of tolerance problems.

 

Also of note is dealing with the weak undercarriage leg join, which ideally needs tackling early on. 

http://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/234968337-two-148-mkvb-spitfires-tamiya-and-airfix-new-spitfire-collection-expansion-project-finished-photos-now-in-the-rfi-section-080615/&page=12

 

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Moving on slowly with the cockpit. Ive dry built and test fit everything, and whilst you certainly can't fault airfix for the detail, its all a bit technical and 'busy'. This is probably due to the cockpit tub sitting within the fuselage halves.

 

DB6711FA-83F8-4B97-B723-8CBEBB0D10F2_zps

 

5490AB8E-7C28-4DB7-BCAC-58375D3D444A_zps

 

Ive test fit the tub within the fuselage and, as Troy stated above, the tolerances are very tight !

 

Ive the stripped down, primed in black and sprayed Tamiyas cockpit green ( XF71 ) on the individual assemblies all ready for some detail painting 

 

2EA3DEC9-03F0-461F-94D3-83C836A33C95_zps

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neat work.  

 

Possibly buried in Plastix thread but note this, apart from the main cockpit, the rest of the interior is aluminium paint, as seen below

07l628_009-640x480.jpg

 

from

http://spitfiresite.com/2010/07/anatomy-of-spitfire-cockpit.html

Quote

The aircraft serving as our subject is Supermarine Spitfire Mk. Vb BL628 YO-D, recently completed by Avspecs Ltd in Auckland, New Zealand. Due to the fantastic quality of the restoration work which took full 30 years, the cockpit of this Spitfire conforms almost entirely to wartime production standards. For this reason, the following photographs can serve as reliable reference to the cockpit layout of the production Spitfire Mk. V.

 

aluminum paint is also used engine bays, gun bays, interior of flaps, and the inner parts of the wheel well, though the well proper is usually the underside colour.

see 

http://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/234974004-question-for-wwii-aircraft-manufacturing-experts/

scroll down

also of note is Etienne Du Plessis period colour archive, this is the Spitfires

https://www.flickr.com/search/?w=8270787@N07&q=spitfire

 

he's a member here and sharp modeller too boot.

 

one final point, one glitch in the Airfix Vb kit is the DeHavilland propeller unit spinner is wrong, being too long, 

it should look like this

8520995808_cc13ddece0_o.jpgWell-worn Spitfire V,        1945. by Etienne du Plessis, on Flickr

 

it's not horibly wrong, but this is one of the options in the Spitfire Mk I kit though, along with two other types, which could be the source of a replacement.

 

cheers

T

 

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Thanks again Troy, Ill be following your guide with the aluminium. 

 

Added in some details to the cockpit. Some poetic license with the application of black, red white and yellow to pick out some features. The main IP although well detailed, has a decal for the instruments, so Im awaiting a gloss coat drying before applying.

Should get the aluminium applied tomorrow and probably a dark wash to emphasise some of the cockpit panel lines.

My pilot still remains without head or limbs, but once the cockpits together ill be able to pose him appropriately. Im just wondering how to attach his shoulder harness to the aircraft ... I'm thinking some thin plasticard shaped to fit, which should give some integrity when i come to paint him up. Open to suggestions if anyone has done this beforehand

 

Picture so far ...

 

147FBC76-61FB-4950-AD6A-AB332667A50A_zps

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plenty of colour pics in the restoration link.

http://spitfiresite.com/2010/07/anatomy-of-spitfire-cockpit.html

note copper tubing etc.

 

one point, red crowbars are post war, wartime  they were grey green, bronze green, natural metal or black ...

10873499976_8f09a4616c_o.jpgSpitfire Pilot. by Etienne du Plessis, on Flickr

see also

cheers

T

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Cockpit finished, bar pilot. Have been really happy with the painting process, added a black / umber wash along panel lines in the cockpit to finish it off.

As can be seen from the picture, the instrument panel looks a bit worse for wear. Having dry fit the cockpit tub and sat it within the fuselage all was seemingly ok, however prior to gluing i tried a dry fit of the top engine cowl and found it to be a horrible fit; blocked by the top of the IP. Some severe sanding later and all is good except the Ip looks a little worse for wear ! Ill most likely tidy this up before i glue.

Theres plenty of detail, however the whole cockpit tub assembly is very fiddly, and as stated by Troy above, despite warnings I've had a narrow escape from major surgery further down the build.

 

92A0BDC7-080F-4825-8F3F-E9CFFAA81AA1_zps

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  • 2 weeks later...

Update on my progress so far .....

Fairly slow going with work, and a trip to Scale Model World.

 

I've deviated from the plans, and attached the cockpit tubs to the fuselage, as opposed to building it as a tub as instructed. Really fiddly build, and although i wouldn't class myself as an expert or experienced modeller, i thought it was fairly challenging. ( This went the same for main undercarriage wing assembly ! )

 

913A504B-BEE7-4840-9814-A57479FECE17_zps

 

8499FA9B-EADB-4D47-9CF7-18668A599A4C_zps

 

As can be seen i ended up with a gap on the underneath of the cockpit tub; but great join along the cockpit walls.

 

The wing assembly was fine and a pretty good fit when attached to the fuselage. I also completed the front of the air intake which i'd made up to check dry fitting. As can be seen, only a minor amount of filling was needed to hide any joins.

 

68FDDDFD-85C3-43F3-A2B8-91ACCD3DD55D_zps

 

5CF9D93F-F242-423D-9274-C750FCF07566_zps

 

All coming along nicely, all be it slowly, and ill post progress as it happens

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Thanks Kahuna. With this build, since the start I've had a sense of foreboding of potential problems to come with fit issues.

 

Ive now completed the main build, and am almost ready for priming. I had forgot to dip my canopy parts in clear so that got done this morning. I'm letting that thoroughly cure before masking off the front and rear sections.

Pictures of the build so far ...

 

CDEBD80D-013A-49CA-ABD3-9FA5F567C455_zps

 

24E0776A-FBD4-4CEE-B230-C6865D4098AB_zps

 

There have been minor filler issues around tail and rudder sections, cannons and parts of the underside, but nothing to major at all.

The kit actually looks fairly clean and hopefully the primer won't show up too many problems.

 

Ive had a go at the pilot, re-posing him within the cockpit. I have AK's scale model FAQ and the process looked fairly straightforward.... cue hours of work !

 

4CAF9EE2-D597-4714-8EDF-0141A206596D_zps

 

BA2617E1-98A5-4632-BFC0-7AFD18CF32B1_zps

 

I used a modelling knife to remove his hand and lower arm, then reattached with super glue. His neck was filled with 'green stuff' along with the arm joints and his parachute, to make him sit properly. I tried to use a heated pin to resculpt his hand but ended up burning off his thumb. I therefore had to resculpt another. Theres plenty of filing to be done on the harness straps and inner left arm but I'm going to give the filler overnight to fully cure before i attempt that.

 

Here is the pilot seated ...

 

E8B0E620-F3C2-4AEF-A144-BEA0BACD34E0_zps

 

68D26051-8FC5-404A-9520-BD88195934B3_zps

 

 

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Made some progress painting my pilot tonight ...

 

73F3122B-F647-4212-BE59-94241006C366_zps

 

Primed and then given a black wash to highlight raised areas ....

 

DC2B0A9D-4C2C-467E-B218-0A42E1D9E073_zps

 

Skin tones on...

 

77A5DEDF-1D4B-483A-ACF7-4C05232B47A0_zps

 

Life jacket ....

 

6D534EDB-B196-4F48-8052-B2E2E88F1466_zps

 

A743C0AB-F8E7-4E74-9C1F-C8EB4EFD6B01_zps

 

... and finally harnesses.

 

Boots, helmet and metal work tomorrow and possibly some fine details. Colours not great but i only have a limited range to mix with.

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Pilot finished. Been quite a while since i painted a figure, and all in all I'm pretty happy with my efforts. I wasn't sure of insignia, so to add some interest i went with a set of wings on his sleeve, along with some rank insignia. Having just checked, Buck McNair DFC was only a pilot officer !

 

DDC05AC3-BA77-471C-9832-2F2A5896F981_zps

 

20770FF5-879E-4272-ACBF-39FA171912A8_zps

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Got everything primed today to begin with. Initially it highlighted some gaps along seem lines so i had to fill, sand and re-prime.

 

FE0A175A-4D88-427B-9737-4E3ABC081386_zps

 

I then went on to pre-shade the entire model. I was initially thinking of just doing the underside and experimenting with an attempt at post shading the upper surfaces; but with the airbrush out and loaded i somewhat ran away with it. I preshaded with a very thinned Tamiya XF 82 rubber black.

 

This was then followed by XF21, Sky, to the undersides. I used very thinned light coats to try and build up the colour. The picture doesn't quite do it justice but I'm pleased with the finished effect.

 

FDC3FDD9-5DBA-4B6A-BA29-322573035745_zps

 

Not sure weather to seal the undersides now, prior to masking off, or just leave them. I have used pledge previously but bought an Alclad 2 varnish set at scale model world which ultimately ill try prior to decals and overall finish.

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Quick update ...

 

5A56A9DA-04D9-4A09-88A7-69BE671D4A9E_zps

 

Pre-shading shown on the upper surfaces. I then went with an all over very thin coat of XF52 flat earth, building up as i went. My plan is now to mask using tac worms and spray the grey blue. Ive decided ill then post shade the grey blue before going back to post shade the brown, once i know where the camo lies.

 

C2C7EFFC-5A1B-488A-853A-056C9550E926_zps

 

 

 

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Got everything all masked up using blue tack worms and masking tape, and then went with XF18 medium blue. The instructions call for a dark grey colour, which was locally sourced, to overpaint the original mid stone colour. Im also sure that i read somewhere that malta spitfires may have been painted using royal naval colours whilst transported, however I've nothing at all to substantiate that.

 

I thinned the paint and then darkened it with a few drops of black to do some post shading, a first for me.

 

96527AAB-AFC8-481F-B432-F208CA30E891_zps

 

The overall results I'm fairly happy with. My camouflage seems to have suffered with the worms creating some unnatural shapes, particularly visible on the wings. ( more practice needed !! ). On the plus side there hasn't been any bleeding of paint in any area's, including the underside fuselage masking.

 

DA60269A-674F-41BD-8F62-ED148AE30544_zps

 

63C2716B-44C1-43EA-97D9-D49E6E7563B4_zps

 

09BD736D-5954-4966-8F32-206C2AD6AD07_zps

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Make sure you overspray the grey a little bit onto the underside. If you look at the 1:1 aeroplane it was repainted in a hurry and the line between the camo and the underside is a little wobbly. But a lovely job.

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Little bit more progress to report. I coated the model in Alclad aqua gloss prior to decaling, a first for me using alclads having previously used pledge floor wax. 

It seemed to produce a good finish, although not as glossy as i expected.

Results seem good though and I've no real silvering of the decals so far. I also have used micro sol and set.

Here's photos of top and underside views ...

 

02B637C6-F550-4E45-B978-C55041D20065_zps

 

263FF49F-A17C-4547-9D1C-952B19E8E1BC_zps

 

Tomorrow i can hopefully finish the decals, re apply aqua gloss ready for some weathering and sort the prop out.

 

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Decals all finished and another coat of aqua gloss sprayed in preparation for some panel lining and weathering .....

 

64506C50-C8DE-4DFB-99CE-46200DC97D62_zps

 

I may well give everything a fine misty coat of a light sand to blend the stark contrast of the white decals. Im wanting to try and add some fine chipping too, although I'm conscious this may well spoil the overall effect, however, nothing ventured and all that.

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hectic with work and christmas but my build has moved on ..... slowly !

 

Panel line washes apples all over

 

C8553328-ACCE-4AF8-B34E-A2ADF6F43858_zps

 

60C9BC0C-F309-4257-8186-07CDEFA0FD17_zps

 

1844B261-2CF8-4312-B84C-9F77EE646637_zps

 

D2B99A45-941F-43E6-BB7D-CF1D0DCF1E43_zps

 

 

 

Ive only the prop, undercarriage and exhausts to finish; plush adding some weathering powder and I'm done !!! Unfortunately I'm working tonight, but a with a week off into the new year i should be completed all be it beyond the deadline :( 

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Added some pastel powders, mainly browns and blacks to create some residue from the exhausts and guns.

I'd read somewhere about using tamiya thinner as a base to help it bond and used this method on the exhaust staining. I think it made the powder streaky in places but glad I've tried it. On the wings i just used i light dusting of powder which seems to have gone better.

Ive also attempted chipping, and used a silver artists pencil. Again its a first and although i was going to give it a miss, decided to id go with the motto "nothing ventured, nothing gained" and expand my experiences.

Again I'm undecided wether i like it or not.

Exhausts and wheels done; prop has been painted and waiting to decal prior to weathering.

Hopefully all done tomorrow.

Pictures of the above work .....

 

9A5FD37A-D52C-4211-AC41-82FC9F37034B_zps

 

9397F542-FFF1-41D4-8D15-9203570245D3_zps

 

48AA9692-CB12-43EB-A022-61855FDA995C_zps

 

B4F05003-8D60-491F-AFA1-32E3CF697639_zps

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