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As part of my effort to clear my backlog of started kits I have dug out my Matchbox Spitfire. I started this literaly decades ago, but didn’t get far. I have looked at it occasionally, but no action. Then I bought some Xtradecal decals for it,  SAC MkIX undercarriage legs, MasterCasters interior, Master gun barrels. Finally I found out about the Grey Matter correction set for the nose, which of course  I immediately ordered on a wim. Having now spent about ten times what the original kit cost, guilt has led me to this, my first WIP. It will not be a tutorial, I am not that good, it will not be a guide to the ultimate accurate Matchbox Spitfire, but posting about it will serve to prod me to get it built. With a little luck, at about the halfway point, somebody will announce a new accurate Mk 22/24 for you guys waiting for one.

 

We will start with the nose, the Grey Matter nose is one seriously large accurate lump of resin. I may scratchbuild the u/c legs out of brass because even the SAC legs might fold under the weight! It also might be the first Spitfire build to need weight in the tail to prevent it becoming a nose sitter. You can see the difference with the kit item. The panel lines look much more to scale than the Matchbox lines-lol.  

9EDB3E27-13AF-47BF-8689-7C4A86C55FC6

 

Edited by Robin-42
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The MasterCasters interior is a mix of amazing detail and rough molding. Still a vast improvement over the kit. Here is the seat compared to the kit item I had asembled a very long time ago. The kit seat seems to have been scaled for giants. The replacement is a perfect match for the Tamiya seat from my MkIX kit. A saner builder would be building that one instead!

90962B74-A0FD-427E-B4B0-C809545B9BB0

 

Edited by Robin-42
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Rudder pedal and it’s associated structure got a little banana shaped, probably by me. Also seperated in two. It is a good representation and matches the Tamiya part with added flash. Popped the bits into boiling water and they went back to the proper shape. Used some blue tack to hold them together so I could glue them back with superglue and accelerator. A little more cleanup and I will throw some paint at it. Pushrods might need replacing.

B9967D89-96C4-44B9-A28F-30E25681038C

 

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As usual, the questions come up early. Googling has not so far been too helpful, so if any of you guys have some links at your fingertips, it would be greatly appreciated. Looking for the following;

 

”Best” F22 drawings. I have a set in the SAM modellers guide, which appear to be good to my utterly untrained eye. 

 

Any in-service photo’s of PK613. Xtradecal must have based it on something?

 

There will be more as I putter along.

 

 

 

 

Edited by Robin-42
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After massacring the molded on detail in the cockpit and thinning the sidewalls as much as I dared, I elected to glue the port sidewall in first using the door as a guide. The instructions would have you install the tub as a completed unit, but that would make dealing with the seam around the door difficult. This way I also have a fixed datumn to work from for the rest of the bits.

2F4F54FD-27A9-44B5-A5B5-88C69DE4655A

 

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On 8/28/2019 at 1:54 AM, Robin-42 said:

As usual, the questions come up early. Googling has not so far been too helpful, so if any of you guys have some links at your fingertips, it would be greatly appreciated. Looking for the following;

 

”Best” F22 drawings. I have a set in the SAM modellers guide, which appear to be good to my utterly untrained eye. 

 

Any in-service photo’s of PK613. Xtradecal must have based it on something?

 

There will be more as I putter along.

 

 

 

 

Sir,might one suggest that these drawing may indeed be superior:

 

http://soyuyo.main.jp/spit47/spit47-1.html

 

One may have to translate into English and then scroll down the page,but one will find excellent side,top and underside views

of the Spitfire 22.

The link for these came from a thread on the conversion of the 1/72nd Airfix Spit 22 into a Seafire FR.47.

They are superb.

 

Dave.

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The replacement frame at the headrest is undersized. Well, if you simply removed the molded on detail from the kit, they would probably fit ok. The issue is the entrance door. The fuselage needs to be thinned down considerably, or it looks like tank armour thickness. As it is, I still have it too wide. I have added some strip along each side of the bulkhead, but there will still be a lot of filling to get it to look right. The real aircraft has the skin rivited to that frame, so no gaps allowed. The headrest is getting modified as well, more on that next time. It is going to get worse before it gets better........

8D13DA16-1D6C-4F82-9501-2BF41861EE9C

 

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Very nice work so far. I have one that I will convert to a Seafire Mk47 using the AA productions conversion kit.  That conversion comes with resin U/C legs with brass rod moulded inside so should be strong enough to take the weight fingers crossed.

Keep up the good

All the best

Chris

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  • 2 weeks later...

So, with the new nose, and the new interior, I am left with exactly one locating point for the fuselage at the end of the fairing. I could graft the engine on, but any error there would make everthing off. So am going to tape everything together without the engine and glue the fairings in place at their tops, thus joining them to the fuselage. This will give me someting to work with, then I can start hacking away to fit the engine. The sidewalls are in as well as the aft bulkhead in the cockpit.794810D1-6E24-4647-9C2C-7C89732757FC

so

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Good work so far robin , just a couple of pointers if I may , I am pretty sure cockpit interiors on late mark Spitfires where finished in Black not

interior green , you may wish to replace the canopy as the kit one is totally the wrong shape at the rear ( too rounded ) I believe Fright Dog did a replacement 

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Thanks Kieth, the references I have found, mostly right here on BM seem to indicate Interior Green for the F22, a bit lighter than other RAF aircraft apparently. Black seems to be a Navy thing. Having said that, museum and restored ones are green, black and a grey, although I never trust restored aircraft. At the moment the green is just a primer anyway, there is still time. I have the Valiant book on it’s way, maybe it will help. What I really want is a photo of PK613. The correction kit has a new canopy, or will, mine was missing, but a replacement is on the way.

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Immediately prior to the nose job. 

9622BD47-EDF4-4DEA-BADA-1CCAEC777593

This is a problem. The wing fairings and lower cowl line line up perfectly, but this leaves a huge gap at the top and the whole upper part is too low. Raise it up and the entire lower section sits too high. Either the nose is undersized or the Matchbox fuselage is to large. The Grey Matter instructions do state to thicken the fuselage at the join and taper the kit to match, but you can only do this so much because on the real aircraft, the fuselage is pretty much straight from the cockpit foward. Current thought is remove the stub wing sections, align the top of the new nose and resculpt the lower cowl. 

 

Any advice gratefully accepted. 

B34C03C0-AEEA-4954-AF24-FB97C2392CC2

 

Edited by Robin-42
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  • 2 weeks later...

These fine books of course means I have no excuse not to get it reasonably right! As for the nose, studying plans shows that lining up the panel line on the resin nose below the fuel tank with it’s counterpart on the kit will put the resin nose in the right spot. The kit half of the fuel tank is going to have come down about 1mm, the sides as well. The wing stubs on the resin nose will have to come off as they sit way to high. This will have to be done after the fuselage is cemented together-again. So cockpit and tailwheel bay are up next. 

 

7E9003F7-D241-4AD2-BCDF-78D98CAAB537

 

Edited by Robin-42
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Always ready to watch another Spitfire build.

It’s unusual, in my experience, for Grey Matter parts to fit badly. I presume that the resin nose is supposed to sit on the lower nose part of the kit, so if that’s the case it would seem that the resin nose is not deep enough. It might be worth contacting Grey Matter  for some advice.

 

John

 

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I don’t have any 1/32 plans, but I believe the resin is correct and the kit is off. The instructions do warn you of this, advising you to a add 1mm to the inside of the fuselage and to trim down the kit fuselage. I did find another build where he removed the fuel tank portion from the resin. Too late for that approach. In any case there will be putty, lots of putty.

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Tailwheel, Matchbox doors re oversized and the shape is wrong. I am gluing them in place and will cut out a better shape to match the resin. I can’t find a pic of the interiorof the tailweel bay shown in the aircraft manual drawings-anybody have one? Grey Matter have a simplified flat roof. Matchbox have a better representation of the mechanism, but it is incorrect in detail and is missing the “mudguard” which hides the hydraulics anyway. I have managed to open up the resin forks, but the tire looks a little small. I will see how it looks after painting. 

 

ADBE8F5E-C123-46F6-8411-1CFF2906DB40

 

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See that lovely gap at the top of the instrument panel. Should not be there. As the side panels are permently attatched, the panel frame will have to be trimmed to allow it to move upwards. If you are following my mistakes, save the grief, assemble the cockpit as a unit, then Dremel happily away at the kits fuselage until it fits.

 

On the plus side, I am quite happy with my slight mod to the part of the fuselage frame sicking up proud of the fuselage. I made a pattern of the  MasterCasters top, made two pieces out of sheet, trimmed down the MasterCasters part and thinned it. Then glued the sheet pieces and gently sanded them to blend into the frame.

B86D59C2-5C33-45E8-A850-B854EAEC2238

 

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Back to the tailwheel. The improved sized doors have been roughly cut out of the fuselage and the resin test fit. Thanks to “silberpferd” aka Laurent, I have a photo of the tailwheel bay. The straight raised bits representing the hinges should follow the fuselage taper, narrowing to the rear, in fact they taper out. I will need to make a new “mudgaurd” section to correct this. There is also a fair bit of structure in that area. Not sure if I can duplicate it. I have already filed the excess resin out of the fairings on the doors. Finally, note the clamps on the museums tailwheel strut, no doubt installed by the museum to keep the strut extended when the strut lost pressure.

195217AB-F310-41A8-98A1-BF65CD648F7E

 

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