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caterhamnut

Airfix 1/24 Spitfire Mk Vb

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Right - after a year 'off' modelling and a move back to the UK, I'm getting back into the modelling game again- for my 2nd military plane, I'm building this large scale kit for a friend. Pretty sure this was bought as part of a group buy via good 'ol Blatchat (7 Club)
I've not finished the Mossie yet, but need something new to get me back into it all....

From what I have read, these old big Airfix kits can be a bit hit and miss in terms of fit etc - certainly not quite the same as the new Tamiya stuff, that is for sure! But a lovely subject.

The kit had been very slightly started, with a few parts of the cockpit assembled and painted. I've undone this work, so I can paint again with new paint and so keep colour consistency.

It also means I can add a bit more detail - despite my plan to build totally OOB, I can't help myself.
I've ordered the Eduard seatbelts, Master 20mm cannons and some masks for spraying the cockpit :)
I'm going to scratch build some cockpit internals - but not go mad - hopefully.

Researching forums on this subject, there are a huge number of opinions, variations etc etc - I'm going for a nice kit - if the radio headset is not correct for a particular month in the 40's, I'm ok with that :)
That said, I do want to get the big stuff accurate....

 

So the first job was to dismantle the very small amount of assembly, just to make it easier to tweak. I didn't take many pictures at this point, but it was only really a little bit of cockpit area stuff. I primed over the green paint, just to make it easier to see what was going on...

 

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At this point I was going to work on the engine, so I had stripped this to work on as well - I was just going to show one side panel open - the panel fit is so bad, I was going to glue the other side shut! Now the plane is 'in flight' I can miss this step out...

 

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I took the very small amount of 'detail' in the kit and improved it a little - as now much of it would be properly hidden I did not do too much of this - at this point! 

 

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....I cut the end off and replaced with wire - if this had been visible (it wont be) I would have rebuilt in its entirety - but I want to actually finish this model! 

 

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I had bought a few detail parts...cannons (nice) seatbelts (now not needed, or at least not all of the parts) and cockpit canopy masks...

 

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I started to assemble the 'big' bits, knowing that the real work was going to be the filling, sanding and finishing - this is not a complicated kit  to assemble in terms of part numbers of complexity...

 

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Nothing glued here obviously...

 

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The wings have lots of panels to fit - used to show the guns inside the wing if required...they went in ok - with some fettling obviously...

 

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In order to get the panels to fit over the engine, I had to cut away the back to thin them...

 

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Could be fairly crude as unseen...

I glued a crossmember in the wing root to fix the oft-mentioned drooping wing, after joining the wing parts....

 

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I had fixed the undercarrige in place - I'll fit the cover panels later....

 

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That really was it for the big stuff - could now turn my attention to the cockpit area...

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Ah the madness of a 1/24 Airfix spitfire. I built one in the summer for the airfix group build, was definitely a challenge but with some tlc and bags if patience it does turn into a nice kit. 

 

Looks like you've done great work so far I'm looking forward to seeing your progress. 

 

Edit. If you're interested my build is here 

 

Edited by Antb

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Great progress so far. I shall follow along with interest as I've got two of these (plus the Hurricane) in my stash patiently waiting.

:yes:

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Great work so far.  I have one in the stash too. I really enjoyed the Mk1 and the Hurricane when I built them a few years ago.

Keep up the good work. 

All the best 

Chris 

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I built one of these a couple of years ago as a clipped wing Vb (think it was an option of the tropical version kit...?)

I remember very little fitted and there was a lot of flash.

Still, I wrangled it all together and it still sits on top of my display cabinet as it's too big to fit in.

Good luck!

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lol - could build a kit from the amount of flash, and the 'extra' sprue look like plasticine!! 

Thanks for the links above - very useful!! Just looking at your Spit build as well BBBodge - very cool.

 

So after my first fleeting trip to Telford, I'm back and cracking on...I'd done the next bit on Thursday, but had not posted....

I was going to add some detail to the cockpit - only really what might be visible through the canopy - but the pilot hides almost everything anyway - still wanted to add details to the fuselage skins - I scratch built some bits to add to the - 5 - parts in the kit :)

Again - not going to perfect accuracy - just an idea of stuff going on....

Level of kit detail:

 

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Started to add bits and bobs...

 

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What you might actually be able to see!!

 

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Also added detail to the bulkheads:

 

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Lidl purchase!! £3 ish

 

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Also have to work on this chap - very much a beginner on figure painting, so this will be interesting - also working on the 1/32nd Mossie crew at the same time...

 

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Info on another build suggests this seat is too large...

 

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Certainly old Ginger is a bit small when in the seat - may require a re-build...

Right - time to get some colour on tonight (cockpit, that is)
 

 

 

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So Antb - this additional seat you had suggests the kit version is waaaaay too big - that the case?

 

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I'll have to do a bit of re-modelling of that is the case!! :)

 

 

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45 minutes ago, caterhamnut said:

So Antb - this additional seat you had suggests the kit version is waaaaay too big - that the case?

I'll have to do a bit of re-modelling of that is the case!! :)

 

 

Yup. Waaaay waaayyy waaaayyyyy too big. 🤣

 

I didn't use the pilot but I seem to think if you place him in it it looks like a comedy seat. Might need a touch of a trim. 

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Right - shrank the chair!

 

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Pretty crude - but as I said, won't be seen AT ALL - and i want to finish this model!

 

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I've added a bit of 'padding' - (and obviously painted too early!)

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The filler inside is where the pilot part goes - 

 

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I painted my 'fake' cockpit details....

 

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...and painted the instrument panel - I managed to get some white onto the clear parts, which have the dials cast in - when assembled with a black background, these actually look ok! (no decals)

 

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A test fit shows how little of any of this you will actually be able to see!!

 

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Especially with Ginger in position!


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Going to have to cheat Gingers physical appearance a bit to make him hold everything properly...

 

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I've also started removing his molded-in harness so I can use the Eduard detail parts I bought - at least the top straps that thread through the bulkhead to attach behind the seat...

 

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Heaps of styrene shavings... every type of clamp known to man... brassy bits... and she’s one of the prettiest girls to take to the sky....

I’d say we have a stunner in the works!

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Now that's really nice work. You've done a great job with that seat! 

 

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20 hours ago, Sandlapper said:

Heaps of styrene shavings... every type of clamp known to man... brassy bits... and she’s one of the prettiest girls to take to the sky....

I’d say we have a stunner in the works!

what you are saying is 'messy' - lol!!

Thanks mate - I hope it comes out well.

Cheers guys - appreciated as always...

 

Here are my attempts at the figure painting!!
This is obviously a new skill to learn - I'll show some of the Mossie crew here as well for comparison, as I have done them at the same time - not finished yet.

 

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Amazing the difference in size from 1/32nd to 1/24!

 

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1/32nd

 

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Test fit:

 

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I also applied some basic washes to the interior of the cockpit...

 

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I use fantastic, and incredible a lot when showing my appreciation for my fellow modeller's builds, and that's because they deserve it. Same here. Incredible. Fantastic!

Your detail on the walls, factual or not are outstanding. Great stuff.

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That is very kind Thom!

 

I'd bought the Eduard harness set before I knew I was going to have Ginger in place, but still wanted to use at least some of it! Added the linkage I had seen in various source pics...    

 

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I had already filed off the moulded in harness, glued these on top...I'll certainly add some wash etc to these, as they are far to clean and flat!

With that - I glued the two halves together...

 

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I can still reach what I need to reach at final touch-up stage.

 

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Fitting the fuselage to the wings required some....thinning! Lots of lumpy, thick tooling here from this old kit...

 

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Lots of rigging to help parts line up and set where I wanted them to!

 

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Gluing in spacers to hold the wing skins together...

 

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But starting to look like a plane now...

 

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Let the filling, sanding and cursing begin.

 

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Although I had fitted the undercarriage, the plane will be 'flying' - so don't need this...

 

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I decided to cut the undercarriage out, so I could fix the wheel covers neatly, and glue the wheels in evenly, without being tied to the lazily moulded undercarriage struts etc. I also added the walls to the wheel bays...

 

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Not going to add huge detail, but did add some mesh to these visible rads...

 

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Now it is the new-skill-to-learn of re-scribing panel lines!

 

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...and lots of sanding.

 

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Added a missing strut, then covered Ginger.

 

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...so I could get some filler-primer on.

 

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and then start filling, sanding and re-scribing all over again!

 

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Wow 😍 this is looking fantastic, just goes to show that with a little care and a LOT of patience these can still be turned into beautiful shelf queens, I guess like many on here, I have one waiting on top of a wardrobe, and (like many on here) I haven't quite plucked up the courage to build it yet, but this build is encouraging me to at least lift the lid and take a peak! Can't wait for the next update :)

 

Andy.

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Loving your work - and great progress so far. It looks like you've got the dihedral of the wings spot on. Can you tell us a bit more about how you managed it?

:yes:

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I'm by no means a Spitfire enthusiast but I'm loving the care and attention, not to mention the inventive scratch building evident in this project. Great stuff and keep it up. :like:

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If you can get across Cross, Roy and Gerald Scarborough, Spitfire: Their history and how to model them (Classic Aircraft, 1; Patrick Stephens: Cambridge, N.D.), it is not a bad assistant. Old, OK, but have a serious of sections of how to embellish the Airfix Spitfires.

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This does look absolutely splendid.  Great work.  Can't wait to see this in paint. 

Keep up the good work. 

All the best 

Chris 

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Thanks guys - it is getting there - kit is certainly not worthy of ignoring if you have one, it comes together 'ok'!

 

 

More filler - had to plug one of the pairs of gun holes, and the wing roots are a real pain on this model - each side is a different profile, and there are prominent ridges - that get sanded away as you try and fill gaps etc! Spent longer on this area than any other...

 

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I ended up adding some very thin strips of plastic to re-define this wing root area...

 

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The engine panels had prominent fittings in the molding, some of which got sanded off during fitting. I decided to replace these - they are more flush on most models, but are a nice bit of detail on this one - I used PE 'washers' glued on to represent these - lower profile than the ones that had been moulded on - lots of them though!
I also used a generic PE 'pulley' to replace the crude detail of what I presume is an oil filler cap or similar, situated on top of the forward fuselage.

 

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I added the very nice extra detail set of cannon...

 

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Now onto the painting.
On the only other plane I have made, I used oils on the top surface to simulate panel profiles, panel gaps etc and shading - on this model I decided to try the method of airbrushing black shadows BEFORE the top coat. Took a while to get the airbrush set correctly (low) and to get the steady hand required to freehand the lines, but super-accuracy is not required here...

 

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This had the desired effect...

 

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HOWEVER - I was not happy with the colour. I had read that sometimes the proposed colour for this top surface of the Spitfire can be a little dark, so had tried a slightly lighter colour - but was still not happy - easy to respray another slightly darker colour on top - but I had to re-spray those pesky shadow lines again!

 

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But happier with the colour...and with my first attempt at the shading.

 

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I then had a similar issue with the underside - the colour that was suggested seemed too close to the top grey, so I ended up doing this twice as well - the smaller XF-83 was suggested, but I ended up using XF-19 - very subtlely lighter - but I also know that when I use my oils later, it will make things slightly darker anyway...

 

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Finally it was the time for the Dark Green (RAF) - I used my Blutack method I used on the Mossie - I like the slightly soft edge it gives. Before spraying the green I had to re-apply those shade lines again, once masked.

 

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Pretty pleased with the final result...

 

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...and now some airbrushed details, such as stripe and yellow around the gun ports...

 

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I had also completed the canopy sections - I had bought some after-market masks, which seemed to work ok. There were internal and external masks - I was going to spray the internal colour the same as the light green cockpit, but pictures suggest that the canopy framework itself was actually dark grey/black. As I had already sprayed the dark green, I left the internal like this...

 

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So now onto the decals!

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Had a minor potential disaster (and got away with it) where I had been using Tamiya airbrush cleaner (from Belgium!) and had a bit on a piece of kitchen roll, which I then rested the model on - luckily it was only on a one-colour section - so a quick gentle re-spray of the area worked - few!! I obviously had not learnt my lesson - when I was making the Brabham BT52 I managed to wipe the freshly dried blue Zero paint with a similar rag, and cause much more damage - perils of working on a small, temporary space - 

arrrgh!!

 

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Ginger had survived all the manhandling...

 

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...and the canopy is going to fit!

 

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...so on to the decals. Really comes alive now - I had sprayed a semi-gloss clear to protect the paint and help the decals, so everything looks very shiny right now...

 

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So, now onto the hard bit - adding a bit of weathering and detail!

Quick question for Spitfire nerds - rear wheel - up or down? You see both in pictures....

 

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