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224 Peter

Spitfire 22 "Vintage" Build

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Long ago, probably 1978, I purchased the new Matchbox 1/32 Spitfire mark 22/24

I made a start, but quickly shelved the kit. put off by the way everything seemed to fit where they touch, sort of, the trench like panel lines and the feeling that the cowl/spinner were not right. 

 

this is what the kit looks like, taped together.

 

The-Kit-bits.jpg

 

In 2010 I came across a review of the Revell re-boxing of this kit.

https://modelingmadness.com/review/korean/cleaver/gb/tmcspit24.htm

 

It confirmed what I'd feared and added to it. The radiators and wheels are wrong, as is the complete nose, canopy and cannons....

 

I made a start. The interior is largely a fantasy, with indeterminate "things that don't really fit anywhere. 

Trying to line up the bits that are needed and work out what goes where is a nightmare: the instrument panel is a clear part that is also the fireproof bulkhead. 

 

Cockpit.jpg

 

The propellor has no obvious positive location for the blades....

Worse, the blades seem to be shaped for a RR Merlin rotation: the Griffin rotates the other way! 

There is flash on all edges and the plastic is hard and difficult to sand. 

 

The-Prop.jpg

 

So, What to do? Greymatter Figures offer a correction set..designed to improve some areas of the 1/32 Matchbox and Revell kits.
The kit includes: IFF aerial, radiators, props, spinner and backplate, 3 spoke wheels, tail wheel and door, carb intake, nose, cannon barrels and vacformed sliding hood.

It costs £37.80. 

That seems quite a lot, but the rest of the kit is quire good

Also there are no other 1/32 scale F22 Spitfire kits. 

 

So, I've ordered the correction kit and will carry on the story when the parts arrive....!! 

 

Edited by 224 Peter
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2 hours ago, 224 Peter said:

It costs £37.80. 

Probably a bit more than the cost of the kit in 1978.

There have been other builds of this kit on here. Worth reading if you can track them down.

Good luck.

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I'll keep an eye on this as I have a Revell kit in the stash. I got beaten by this kit when I was about 13/14, it was the wing roots that wouldn't go right and it ended up in the bin.

I built another a few years ago with loads of added detail but no real corrections. I honestly think it makes a good looking model oob, I suppose it depends on how much emphasis you put on accuracy?

I also converted one to Seafire 47 with the Freightdog set. I thoroughly enjoyed the last two builds at least.

 

Good luck with it Peter, looking forward to the progress.

 

Atb, Steve.

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This should be good, I have fond memories of this kit I used to see it in a newspaper shop window on my way home from night shift when buying a paper, and I really wanted to buy it but with a wife, two kids and a mortgage it was out of the question. Years later I restarted building models and the kit was one of the first that I built, I cannot remember any big problems building it and was very pleased with the results. Mind you I most certainly did not compare it to drawings or photos or read reviews I just built and painted it the best that I could. In fact I think it is still in the loft.

 

Cheers

 

Dennis

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The Greymatter Figures Kit arrived this morning. 

 

Some VERY interesting comparisons. 

First I taped together the kit fuselage to allow a comparison with the new cast resin nose. 

Side view:

 

 Nose-Side.jpg

The kit nose is very obviously too shallow and the blisters over the cylinder heads are the wrong shape and size. 

 

From above it also seems to be too narrow at the front. 

 

Nose-Plan.jpg

 

Looking at the spinner and radiators the kit parts are undersized, the canopy is too wide and the prop blades the wrong shape at the base...

 

Comparison-1.jpg

 

A side view shows the spinner is too short and not pointed enough....and the radiators are far too shallow. 

 

Comparison-2.jpg

 

The after market kit includes wheels and tyres, cannon barrels, tail wheel and a delightful pair of drilled out exhausts. 

 

Fitting all this is straightforward, other than the nose. It will require significant surgery to the nose, underside and wing fillets and sone reinforcement of the nose to fuselage join. I see a lot of filler and sand paper in my future!! 

The rest will be relatively easy, but I do wonder about the U/C legs, the nose is heavy: I'm thinking about drilling out some of the nose resin.

Cast metal U/C legs would be good... I'll have to search. 

 

 

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And to the first cuts.

I had to trim the front spar on the wing structure and remove the air intake, plus remove the casting blocks from the underside of the nose. 

The next job was to work out where to cut the kit fuselage. 

It is done now...

 

First-Cuts.jpg

 

Time will tell if I got it right! 

The next job is to glue the 2 fuselage sides together and then think about how best to fit the new nose to the kit. 

The instructions that came with the nose suggest fitting bracing plates to the inside of the kit and using Epoxy. 

The nose is heavy and I think I'll drill out 3 or 4 holes in the nose so I can put some reinforcing rods across the joint. 

 

The instructions also warn that the kit fuselage is a bit too wide, so sanding down the sides between cockpit and cast nose is needed. 

 

And finally... all these parts are scrap! 

 

Scrap.jpg

 

Not much of it is worth even keeping. It is a bit crude, to say the least! 

 

The next photos should show the nose fitted to the fuselage....

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Yes watch out for the undercarriage, this is what happened to my Hasegawa/Warbirds Spitfire XIV, mind you it was mostly resin, I used white metal undercarriage which were not up to it, I replaced them with  G Factor items, the sad story is here

https://forum.largescaleplanes.com/index.php?/topic/44837-this-is-sad-collapsed-spitfire-xiv/&page=3.

ssIvap.jpg

This was probably why, there was not much left of the "donor" kit.

3FhHLZ.jpg

 

Cheers

 

Dennis

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So, white metal isn't up to the job! 

I'll use the kit legs, but reinforce the fixing point with epoxy. 

A perfect answer would be turned brass....

I think I'll drill out the engine casting to make it lighter. 

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51 minutes ago, 224 Peter said:

So, white metal isn't up to the job! 

I'll use the kit legs, but reinforce the fixing point with epoxy. 

A perfect answer would be turned brass....

I think I'll drill out the engine casting to make it lighter. 

The kit undercarriage on my other resin Spitfire conversions (Paragon/ Hasegawa) have lasted well probably better than the white metal variety would have.

 

Cheers

 

Dennis

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Hi 

Great work so far.  This looks interesting.  I have the Revellkit and the AA Productions Seafire 47 conversion and they use Brass rods with resin moulded around the brass which looks good.  

Keep up the good work. 

All the best 

Chris 

Edited by bigbadbadge
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Moving slowly on the kit body is ready to be joined to the resin nose. 

I stuck a sheet of 60thou Plasticard as a new front bulkhead to give the resin nose a good area to stick to. 

The hole in the nose was made to lighten the lump and protect the U/C legs! 

 

Noses.jpg 

 

As can be seen the kit and resin nose son't match up well, the lower part of the kit has been pulled inwards and the rest will need filling and sanding to make it all look as one. 

I have stuck the resin nose on with epoxy, so a day to wait before I can do more! 

 

 

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With the nose fitted the significant discrepancies are revealed. 

Assuming the resin nose is accurate, then the Revell kit fuselage is, from behind the cockpit forward, 3 to 4 mm too wide. 

This is the view looking down from above..

 

Hmmm.jpg

 

There are also differences in profile which mean the kit needs building up as much as it needs cutting back in places. 

 

Putting the fuselage to the wing, it gets worse....

 

Wing-Gaps.jpg

 

Lining up the leading edge of the wing there is a 4mm gap between the wing and fuselage. I had to remove 5mm from the bulkhead in front of the seat to get it to fit and even so the wing upper surface has a gap of 3mm each side.

Sanding the fuselage back along the sides has started, a lot more to do and then, the filler will go on.  

Plasticard will fill the structural gaps and once all that is done the big wing fillets will need much adjustment to fit as they should. 

 

I knew this would be a lot of work, but hasn't really understood how much!!

 

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With the nose in place it was time fix the wings in place. 

This revealed more "issues".  As the last photo in the previous post shows, the kit wing looks far too thin at the root. A bit of measurement of my old Haswgawa Spitfire Vc showed the Matchbox wing to be about 60 thou too thin. The resin nose wing root is correct. 

 

Further fitting showed that a 60thou spacer between the rear fuselage and wing was needed.

 

The next photo shows the wing fixed in place, with a shim of plasticard in place as a foundation for the wing thickening. With the benefit of hind sight the shim should have gone in when joining the wing halves....

 

Side.jpg

 

Looking from the front the lack of depth is easy to see...

 

Front.jpg

 

Next, the underside....

A lot of plasticard on show. The radiator recesses have been filled, the kit air intake removed and the resultant gap plated over and work has started on putting a liner round the wheel well, this will be followed by the conspicuous bracing ribs so obvious on the Spitfire. 

 

Underside.jpg

 

The build is getting to the point where a LOT of filler will have to be applied. After inspecting a real Spitfire at the BBMF hangar I'm going to fill ALL the panel lines. The kit representations scale up to about 2" wide. The real aircraft has lines about 1'' wide, other than the removable panels which are about 3mm.... So in my view they should be all but invisible. My plan is to fill, paint the aircraft in matt black and then mark the lines using a pointed scribe, revealing the white filler underneath.  With luck this should show through the overall silver that I plan to use.  But any other suggestions or idea would be most welcome...I've never done this before...!!

Edited by 224 Peter
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On 04/11/2018 at 18:00, Pete in Lincs said:

Probably a bit more than the cost of the kit in 1978.

There have been other builds of this kit on here. Worth reading if you can track them down.

Good luck.

I paid a massive £1.50, which took a lot of saving on 10p pocket money a week.

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Crikey this is takinga lot to beat this kit into submission.  You are doing well though.  Keep up the good work. 

All the best 

Chris 

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Wow, that's a lot of work. I'd be tempted to slide a knife blade between the wings and separate them to insert the spacer. A lot less work, even with the almost inevitable repairs, than re shaping and scribing the whole of the upper surfaces.

 

Ian

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3 hours ago, limeypilot said:

Wow, that's a lot of work. I'd be tempted to slide a knife blade between the wings and separate them to insert the spacer. A lot less work, even with the almost inevitable repairs, than re shaping and scribing the whole of the upper surfaces.

 

Ian

Ian, thanks so much for stating what should have been obvious, but I couldn't see the "wood for the trees"!

The plasticard has been taken off the upper surface of the wing and the L/E opened and spacers put in. Ideally the area above the main spar needs the same treatment, but that is impossible now. The Matchbox plastic is very brittle and if I tried to separate the upper wing from the lower it would crack in the wrong places. 

My advice to anyone contemplating this build is to attach the new nose, then the lower wing and finally the upper wings, packing out to bring the upper surface of the wing to where it should be. 

 

The next job is to clean up the wing leading edge and then fit the root fillets. They will need a lot of adjustment! Once that is done I think I'll have done the lions share of the conversion, the rest will be [relatively] normal kit assembly. 

 

More photos to follow! 

 

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This next stage has been tough. 

Getting the wing root fillets to fit required much trimming. Why on earth the toolmakers chose to separate this part I do not understand. 

 

A lot of filler on, multiple sanding and add more filler, especially to the roof fillet, and this is where we are. 

 

Side.jpg

 

From above it is starting to look OK, still more to do on the leading edge and the engine/fuselage joint. I have removed about 50% of the very hard Matchbox plastic from the forward fuselage below the cockpit and it is still "fat". My reference is the Hasegawa 1/32 Spitfire Vc.  

 

Above.jpg

 

Underside is getting there, again why use 3 pieces of plastic when 1 would have been better. I'm not sure the quite obvious Spitfire "gull wing" centre section is pronounced enough, but I'll live with it.  But the three navigation lights that are so prominent on the F22 are conspicuous by their absence and will have to be added. 

 

Below.jpg

 

Yes, I know the air intake is crooked, it is just sitting there, waiting for the superglue. 

 

I'm looking forward to the end of filling so I can clear up all the dust and trimmings, wash the kit and get a first primer coat on 😁

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So far so good. I admire you. It is one of those kits that when finished consist of 30% plastic and 60 % putty, & 10 % extras.

 

Of course a little rude to mention this extra: Mastercasters MST32045 22/24 cockpit set. It is white metal. I have one for my old Matchbox copy. 

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It is starting to come together, so I flashed over a coat of Humbrol primer, mostly to hide the multiple colours and finishes and see where further sanding/polishing is needed. 

 

Primed.jpg

 

There is still quite a lot to do at the wing roots, but it is starting to look like a Spitfire F22 at last. 

 

More photographs when I've finished priming and have the overall silver paint on. 

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Your patience and optimism are very impressive! I tought I was in a nightmare trying to fit the Aires cockpit set in my Airfix Seafire 46... It’s just now a piece of cake compared with your big surgery operation! 😮 

 

Very nice progress so far!👍

 

Frank

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With U/C and 5 blade prop it is beginning to look like a real F22.

 

Up-on-the-Wheels.jpg

 

Photographs are much more revealing than the naked eye: clearly more filling to do on the wing root. 

I'm still undecided about filling all the panel lines: comparing the nose with the fuselage and then looking at photos where the aircraft seems to be at a distance that makes it look the same size as the model, virtually no panel lines are visible. Only the canopy rail slots show up. 

What is you view? Advice most welcome!! 

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Panel lines are overrated. 

Panels that open, yes, especially panels opened regularly. 

Most of the rest can be ignored. Except...

Sometimes they can be seen due to dirt or the angle of the light.

So it's your kit, your choice really. Though the general view is that Matchbox did go a bit OTT.

Keep checking the pictures.

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I'll second Pete. Overdone panel lines ruin so many models in my opinion. On the real thing only the removable ones are visible, but it does add a little depth to the model to show most of them faintly.

 

Ian

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The "trenches" have been filled and a light dusting of primer applied....

 

Trenches-Filled.jpg

 

I think this is better, the panels are there, but very subtle. 

A final rub down with very fine wet and dry and the silver goes on. 

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