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Spitfire S.31, 3 Div. Flottilj 11,Flygvapnet, Nyköping, Sweden, 1949


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While the satin coat dries on my Israeli 'FrankenSpit' I will push ahead with yet another, switch brands and go north to Sweden in the early days of the Cold War.

Here are the initial offerings from the box...

 

The bird is blue...sorry for the terrible photo.

 

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Sprues...not the level of detail I have become used to with the AZ moulds, but decent and should be a fun aircraft to build.

 

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The decals look awfully nice with excellent register and plenty of stencil data. Since this is a photo-recon aircraft and unarmed, and kept by the Swedes, It will be a clean job, all stencils in place.  Very little wear and tear for this one.  A bit of exhaust should suit it fine.

 

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I'll prime it this evening and perhaps start in on some the of the smaller bits.

 

--John

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Sorry about the focus.  It's an old camera and sometimes has mind of its own...anyway...

Sprues primed last night.  This evening I sprayed the interior pieces, including the wheel wells, etc...Pale Green.

 

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When dry, I assembled the cockpit interior and hit the very rudimentary moulded sidewalls with some black here, silver there...I am not impressed by this after working with the AZ kits.  You won't see it anyway.

 

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It took me an hour of cursing before I was able to assemble the cockpit pieces and then once they were done, I realized I had followed the very vague plans incorrectly, pulled apart glued pieces, re-glued, and re-assembled.  Lots of blue language.  Seat belts are masking tape.  I made  bit of cushion on the back of the seat using 5 layers of masking tape, painted very dark brown.  In the end, it looks pretty convincing.

 

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Decent dashboard decal is a plus.  Typical Airfix decal...takes forever to loosen from the backing paper!  But nice, nonetheless.

 

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And took care of the spinner.  Sprayed it white first, then after it was dry, very thin light layers of yellow to build up the color.

 

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Test fit of the fuselage with its innards looks tight and clean.  Cross your fingers!  I'll close it up tonight.

Can't forget the camera windows!

 

--John

 

 

 

 

 

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You know what the Swedes did with these planes back then? Flew through Finnish Lapland at maximum altitude (we politely looked away and saw nothing) all the way to Soviet naval bases around Murmansk, and let those cameras do their job. That information was priceless to several western intelligence services. So, you're actually building a U-2 etc. predecessor!

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I figured that was the case vp, after I looked at a map.  Probably the Baltic States too.  I think the record was 14,000m or so.  That is amazing for a piston-driven aircraft.  One website said that normal altitude for vertical photography was 9000m.  Still very impressive.  Kind of terrifying actually.

 

And very kind of you Finns for looking away! 😁  Thanks!

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Last night I closed up the fuselage and assembled the wing components.  I also added a bulkhead/cockpit brace.  I saw that on a Swedish modelling site (no...not that kind of modelling...!).  The prop is tipped with yellow and ready for masking and some black.  A test fit of the larger components proved a good fit with very little wing root gap.  I am happy about this!

 

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Now...wheels and tires...tell me, should I use the 3-spoke or 4-spoke?  I notice that the 3-spoke tires are significantly larger that the 4-spoke.  Why?

 

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--John

 

 

 

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Canopy and prop masked--primed and painted black, respectively.

 

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Wings and fuselage together. There are some small spaces that will need some putty along the fuselage and where the wings glue onto the body.  There are some very narrow gaps at the wing roots too.

 

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Once again, regarding the wheels...I have looked online and there seems to be no real consensus about 4-versus-3 spokes.  The 3-spoke measure 9mm in diameter, the 4-spoke are 8.5mm.  It is a significant difference in scale.  The kit does not recommend either.  Maybe 4-spoke because they weighed less?

I am unsure.

 

--John

 

 

 

 

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Some progress...

 

Props and spinner await their decals...

 

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I chose the 3-spoke wheels because all of the images I have seen on-line use those, whether restored aircraft or models.

 

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In my enthusiasm, I removed the canopy masks to see how the priming went, then realized I had to mask it again to paint it...hmmm...still, it is on and I have filled the cracks that I could see.  I have also masked the camera windows.  Oops!  The camera revealed a gap in the stabilizer!

 

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A bit of primer revealed some gaps I couldn't live with... (I'll get to the stabilizer later)

 

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That's it for the moment.  I might do some more tonight.  Tomorrow I head to Athens for some 'off-island' time and will return Wednesday morning.  Right now it is calm seas, blues skies and a gentle 2 Beaufort from the north, 30C.  By Wednesday evening will be a northern 8/9 Beaufort and 22C.  Who says we don't have season here?

 

καλό φθινόπωρο! (happy autumn!)

--John

 

 

 

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22 hours ago, John D.C. Masters said:

Tomorrow I head to Athens for some 'off-island' time

Decided to stay.  Big storms coming on Wednesday and the boats will be stuck in port.  Which means I would be stuck in Athens.

I'd rather be on an island in thunderstorms and 9 Beaufort winds!  Wonderful drama and excellent modelling weather.

 

2 hours ago, Giorgio N said:

I'd go with 3.spoke for a postwar Spitfire XIX

My final choice too.  Thanks!

Edited by John D.C. Masters
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Putting the DVII aside for a bit, I decided to get back into the Spitfire.  First, I tidied up that gap in the stabilizer.

 

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Well then, how about a little colour?  The Faded PRU Blue seemed a good choice.  The colour on the plans in the image have been distorted by the camera.  It is not lavender/grey!

 

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The Vallejo Air PRU Blue looks good.  I have painted the front half.  With no way to hold the model, I'll wait until this dries before painting the tail.  I have also taken care of the undercarriage.  I'll leave it for an hour or so, give the airbrush a good cleaning, and get back to it.

 

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I am hoping to finish this today/tonight so I can jump back to the 60s NATO/WarPac GB for a build then come back for my final Spitfire in this GB.  Do I have the time?  October 7th looms closer and closer...

 

--John

 

 

Edited by John D.C. Masters
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I apologize if I seem to be building so fast.  This non-smoking thing is a bi*&ch.  I find if I have 20 minutes here or there, I want a cigarette--ennui.  I have found that if I can distract myself with modelling...well, one thing leads to another, and suddenly I am all but finished and ready for the next one.  I am not competing with anyone...just what I do when I'm not working at my real job (which begins in earnest tomorrow, btw...)

 

All the paint is on.  Looks good!  The white balance on my little auto camera is not very good, so the PRU Blue might come out a little grey.

 

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Masks off, ready for some decals!  There are a lot of stencils which is always fun. 🤪

 

(3 hours later...)

 

With the decals all on I have noticed something about the wing walkways.  They are too small.  They should go right to the wing root and the trailing edge, right?  So I will paint the rest on.  Once I give it a satin coat, you won't notice the difference.  The decals went on very well and sucked right down with some MicroSol.

 

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Very close now. 15 decals on the prop and spinner.  Loads of stencils that look superb (I've read that they are actually written in Swedish!) and those snazzy tre kroner really stand out.  I'll let the decals dry, give it a satin coat, some light weathering---exhaust stains really--and call it finished...er, ah...I mean Swedished!

 

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--John

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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And that's it for that one...Here it is lined up with the others.  I have just realized I am only building post-war Spitfires.  Hmmm...close-ups in the gallery...

 

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--John

 

 

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John, there's nothing wrong in being so fast ! The only problem is that I can't catch up fast enough to asnwer your questions 😁

Wingwalk lines don't go to the root, so no need to paint there, They however reach the trailing edge

In any case, this is another great looking model ! Well done, your lineup of foreign Spitfires has been a great contribution to this GB and shows exactly what I was hoping to achieve, a celebration of British design in very exotic colours

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Thanks Giorgio...It's a fun GB for sure.

1 hour ago, Giorgio N said:

a celebration of British design in very exotic colours

if only the GB went on forever...I, however, will continue after the fact!

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14 hours ago, John D.C. Masters said:

I have just realized I am only building post-war Spitfires

Well that works for me! We see plenty of WWII Spitfire builds, these add a bit of variety. Very nice collection you've got there.

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Thanks Zebra.  It is an eclectic bunch!  I have some questions regarding the wings on the SAAF Mk.XVIe that I will have to ask on the Spitfire thread.  That will be my final Spit for the GB...😭

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On 9/26/2018 at 1:22 PM, John D.C. Masters said:

Thanks Giorgio...It's a fun GB for sure.

if only the GB went on forever...I, however, will continue after the fact!

 

Please do ! And of course don't forget to show them in the standard WIP and ready for inspection sections of the forum.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Nice Spitfire John, just love the PRU blue scheme.

 

Well done!

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