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Spitfire Mk.Vb Trop Tamiya 1/48

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With this being my first post in this forum ever, I think I'll start by introducing myself. My name is Alex, age 37 and I live in the Netherlands. I've been building models for almost 26 years now, predominantly in 1/72nd scale, themed 'anything goes aviation'. As of 10 years ago I've switched to a bigger scale as I found myself wanting to add details and, more importantly, for others to be actually able to see those details. Nowadays I build WWII era aircraft in 1/48th scale, trying to achieve as accurate represention of the actual subject aircraft as possible without overdoing it in those places which are not really that visible to begin with. So, don't expect intricate hydraulic layouts in the gear bays for example. To complete this introduction, the first photo of the post shows the result of my latest, finished build - Dornier Do335A-10. Tamiya messed up and mislabeled the kit. :)


So, what am I currently working on then? I hope you folks never get tired of Spitfires. In this case a Spitfire Mk.Vb Trop which is a Tamiya 1/48th scale kit with some Eduard PE on the side. I'm not a Spitfire expert, all work which is currently completed is based what I've read in the books, saw in various photo's and available 3-view drawings.


Subject aircraft - The subject aircraft is T*M EP340 - Mk.Vb with a Vokes filter, not reinforced standard B-wing and, best guess, a de Havilland prop & matching spinner? If anyone has photo's of the EP340, please do share.

I haven't found any 1/48th scale decals for the EP340, yet. Potentially I'm looking at creating custom masks for the s/n and the registration number.


The cockpit - I need to install one PE part and the painted gun sight. Other than that pretty much done.


The fuselage - I've read the topics discussing the fuselage length, wing location relative to the fuselage, cockpit being a few mm off the actual spot, etc. There's not much I can do to change that. What I can do, and have done, is filling and sanding a few panel lines which are not supposed to be there. The major one is on the right side, just below the windscreen.


Now onto something which has been bothering me ever since I had removed the fuselage halves from the sprue and dry fitted them. I'm talking about the top cover/cowling. Does Tamiya's version of the shape bother anyone else? It being to square and flat - as if there's a concrete wall just behind the prop... Well, I did start up the effort to make a few corrections to that area. No entirely happy yet, but it's a start. It needs further sanding and polishing as well as getting the surface details re-scribed. As I've got the two other Spitfire kits from Tamiya, I though it'll be cool to get the dry fitted fuselages into one comparison photo.


Some corrections made with Milliput - great stuff for sculpting btw. All it needs is a bit of water on your finger and you can start sculting.


Tamiya grey putty has been applied to even out the bumps which remained after sanding Milliput. This will have to be carefully sanded.


That's it for now. Comments and critiques are very welcome!

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Nah, we never get tired of Spits here I think.. Most of us anywys! Lovely Do and a great start on the Spit. Great job on the office and nice correction on the nose.


I am sure looking forward to the rest.



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Thank you for the warm welcome! Yes, the early Spitfires are one of my favorite WWII era fighters. The other long time favorite is its adversary, the F and G series 109.




... and then there was four of them. To explain this I'll have to rewind to the beginning of my Saturday. So there I was, in front of my PC, checking out my options at buying a set of de Havilland props and a matching spinner. Found a few sets on sites outside of the Netherlands. Thought "you know what, let's check out my LHS". Funny enough, that abbreviation in the Netherlands has a different meaning though - translated from Dutch: Aviation Hobby Shop.


Anyway, drove there in like 15 minutes. Conveniently enough, a guy from my scale model club is actually working there. Having spent some time looking up the sets, it turned out they don't sell any of the brands. Ended up looking through every single Mk.V 1/48 scale kit they're selling. Finally settled on the Mk.Vc from Special Hobby. Though, spending 32 Euros just to get the prop and spinner out of the box was kind of an expensive move. Light bulb idea kicking in: Revell, they had re-boxed the Special Hobby kit at some point just like Italeri did. I believe the original moulds were created Classic Airframes some time ago. Though I'm not entirely sure of that. Anyway, my LHS had the Revell Mk.Vc for merely 15 Euros. That's good enough for me.

Overall it's a pretty good kit. Has the same issues around the nose area as the Tamiya kit does. This is no longer an issue now that I know how to fix this without doing the major surgery I did for this Trop Spitfire.


Now for a bit of progress. I've used quite a bit of Tamiya Grey putty and Mr.Surfacer 1000 to get where I am now. Careful sanding here and there to smooth things out using sanding paper grit 340 through 2000 and a polishing stick for that final shine.




The final bit for today has been somewhat rewarding. I've cleaned the surface area with IPA and slapped on a quick layer of the 'scale modellers best friend' aka black primer & microfiller. Stuck the primed nose under some LED lights to check for any imperfections. So far so good I'd say.




Some of the surface details is missing as you probably have seen in the last shots. The plan to restore these details is quite simple:
1) pre-drill the holes for the fasteners;
2) punch some discs of smaller diameter than the holes and glue these in place;
3) drill a hole in the disc with a very small drill bit.
4) razor saw to the rescue to restore the lost panel lines.

The next challenge will be correcting the panel lines on the wings. I've found a few which don't belong there, though I'm not sure which ones are missing. Much appreciated if anyone can point me to a good set of 3-view drawings.

That's it for now. Thanks for watching!

Edited by SpeedAS

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Cannot help you with the plans for the missing panel lines,, sorry! But i can appreciate the work you have put in! It looks good to me. And nice to hear you found more Spits - that is never a bad thing! ;)

I have built one of theose Special Hobby ones, the Vc Malta one and I built it just after I made a Vb Tamiya one. Liked them both so hopefully you will too!

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Oki, O2 bottles should be black. I was kind of wondering what the actual color is. I've seen photographs with the bottles in black, in bare metal as well as blue. Not much I can do about that now, though noted the color down for the next Spitfire build. Thank you!

Managed to get the corrected Tamiya fuselage next to an Airfix Spitfire model on photo during SMC2017.


So, some of the details were lost whilst the nose correction was being completed. There are two ways these details could get restored:
1) scribing, or;
2) pre-drill the holes with 0.9mm drill; punch 0.6mm discs out of 0.25mm thick polystyrene sheet; glue the discs into the pre-drilled holes and sand flush with the covers; restore the inner details using 1/32 rivet tool.

I've chosen the second option. Kind of painstaking, though the result is well worth it. Not 100% happy with it, but it's close enough as we're talking 0.6mm discs here. Anything more precise and I'll need a microscope.


I've managed to find some information on the B-wing panels. I've marked the intended correction based on the scale drwaings found. Red = panel line(s) to be removed, green = panel line(s) to be scribed. As you can, on this scale is not that much of an effort to correct. As a matter of, it's already done. :)

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On 10/27/2017 at 07:27, SpeedAS said:

Oki, O2 bottles should be black. I was kind of wondering what the actual color is. I've seen photographs with the bottles in black, in bare metal as well as blue. Not much I can do about that now, though noted the color down for the next Spitfire build. Thank you!

Managed to get the corrected Tamiya fuselage next to an Airfix Spitfire model on photo during SMC2017.



The two upright bottles in the rear left of the cockpit are for compressed air, used in the Spitfire's pneumatic system. I've seen them in aluminum and in interior grey-green. The oxygen bottle is smaller, fits horizontally behind the seat armour, on the right side, and is not included in the Tamiya kit. The Eduard Spits have it and I used one bottle as reference and built one from a piece of sprue, rounded off the ends, for my Tamiya Spit. My reference shows the oxygen bottle in black. I think the other colours you've seen are from different eras.


Coming along nicely. I'll be watching as I've got this exact kit sitting in my "shelf of waiting".




Edited by Wlad
fixed colour name

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Hi Wlad, thank you for the clarification. Yikes, can't believe I've missed that O2 bottle then. Big yellow post-it notes just went into the boxes containing the other Spitfires alerting met not to forget the O2 bottle next time.


Oki, so I've been all over the place with this build in the past two weeks:
- finished the final assembly;
- filled some gaps, primarily around the wing tips, the Vokes filter and where the wing joins the fuselage at the bottom;
- added final PE bits and pieces;
- added the spar between the elevators;
- replaced the 20mm cannons with turned brass ones - fairly easy to do and well worth the effort and 5 Euros price tag;
- in- and outside masking.


I've been fortunate enough to get my hands on the Airfix De Havilland prop and spinner to replace the Rotol one supplied with the Tamiya kit. Now I don't have the need to cannibalise the Revell/ex-Classic Airframes kit. Yaaay! :)

I've added a PS tube to the spinner plate part in order to be able to insert and remove the prop assembly as needed. The same goes for the Airfix wheels. Though I'm not sure which wheel set I'll be using - Airfix with smaller discs and larger tyre or the Tamiya one with slightly larger discs and a bit smaller in diameter overall. In any case, I've prepared both sets for painting. Whilst at it, I've removed the Dunlop brand from the Tamiya wheels.


On to the photo's. :)












Ready for primer and painting circus! Great fun ahead. I need to figure out how to best create the custom masks for T*M, EP340 which I'll need for this build.


Side note to paint: the Akan set seems to have the wrong shade for Azure blue. I guess I'll stick to Lifecolor for now. :)

Edited by SpeedAS

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Time for some primer and a bit of color.


First off I've sprayed the model with Alclad II Black primer. Thorough check has revealed no imperfections.


Next is the pre-shading. Step 1: spray the lightest color as base color.


Step 2: spray pre-shade in each individual panel using two different colors. Lightest color will simulate the worst worn paint, a bit darker color is used to diffuse and bring in some variation.
Step 3: spray pre-shade over the panel lines using green/black color. This will go nicely with a desert/sand wash later on.

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Thank you Thom!


Final progress shots for today. Sprayed the middle stone color roughly according to the A-scheme. I've left a bit more room for the dark earth color as I want to avoid overlapping of these two colors as much as possible.

Blu Tack has been quite useful for marking the dark earth spray area. No further masking was required as I spray paint at a fairly close distance with low pressure using 0.2mm nozzle.



Here's the result after spraying dark earth.


Removing Blu Tack reveals what I've been anticipating - fairly hard edge for dark earth and the need to do some touch ups for middle stone. Quite happy with the result so far.


Same as with the Do-335, the detail and variation in the paintwork should really pop once a clear gloss coat is sprayed on. I guess that's the nature of Lifecolor matt paint. You don't really know what the final result is until a gloss coat is sprayed. Fingers crossed.

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That paintjob sure pops a whole lot right now!

Great work so far, especially  those Dzus fasteners.

Edited by Christer A

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Hello alex,

Welcome aboard !! Spitfires ??? Did anyone know what'is this ??

Good job, you did great on your !  I really like your painting !

Must say, a little bit jealous !



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Thank you for the kind words!


Small update and a question. I've finalised the camouflage this evening. The black edges between the two camouflage colors have been corrected. I know it looks good in the picture, though this is something I needed to correct because in real life it looks really unfinished.

This is the final version of the camouflage. I hope you like it.


Base layer of Azure blue has been sprayed on. Next step is getting that pre-shading done again.


Now for the question. I haven't seen any decals being sold for T*M, EP340. To be perfectly honest, I don't think that decals will look good in combination with this type of paint job. I'll have to spray paint the registration and the roundels as well whilst I'm at it. Can anyone point out the correct FS numbers for the roundels? Thank you!

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The only time I used paint masks to paint the roundels i used this mix:

Blue 95% XF-8 Blue and 5% black (might be a bit more)
Dull red is 85% XF-7 Red and 15% XF-68 Nato Brown

And I think that came out all right on my Typhoon


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Thank you Christer! I'll give the decals a quick go, see if it looks ok - I can always remove these if I'm not happy with the result and spray paint the roundels. Though the odd thing with the Tamiya decals in this kit is that they supply white background decals while the roundel decals actually look solid to me. Now that my curiosity is sparked, I'm off to try these decals. Will get back with the results asap.

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Short update whilst I'm racing to the finish line with only 6 days to go until the ESM show in the Netherlands.


Subject of the update for today are custom paint masks done in vinyl. A big thank you goes out to a fellow model builder, Peter! Top tip: a good coat of gloss varnish is required before the vinyl masks can be used. Otherwise you risk pulling the paint off when removing the masks if the gloss varnish layer is omitted.


PS: I hope i didn't overdo the chipping effects. I kind of went "Bob Ross" when doing the chipping effects - "Maybe some little, cute elephant stepped right here, happily chipping away the colorful paint..."



Edited by SpeedAS

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