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Madmaks

Question about Merlin powered Spitfire canopies

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Greetings! I am working on a 1/72 AZ Model Spitfire Mk VIII and want to build it with an open canopy. Instead of destroying the kit supplied canopy in an effort to cut it, I was wondering if using the open canopy from the 1/72 Italeri Spitfire Mk Vb kit will work? I have that in my spares box and if the canopies did not change much between the V and the VIII, it will save me a few hair from turning grey :) However if the canopies were quite different then I can explore other options. Thanks in advance for any feedback!

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In theory it is the same canopy given that the Italeri Vb comes with the later type of windscreen, also used on the IX and VIII. But the differences between different kit designers' opinions of shapes are often significant, even when modelling the full size component in the same scale .

Also, in 1/72 the necessary thickness of an injection-moulded Spitfire canopy is usually too great much to have it slid back convincingly over the fixed rear section and spine. 

Given that you have both kits to hand can't you simply test fit the Italeri canopy and see how it fits?  But I suspect a better answer will be to get a vac-form canopy. I often use the sliding canopy sections of these for opened-up Spitfires and they are so much thinner that you can fit everything where it need to be, even in small scales. 

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55 minutes ago, Work In Progress said:

In theory it is the same canopy given that the Italeri Vb comes with the later type of windscreen, also used on the IX and VIII. But the differences between different kit designers' opinions of shapes are often significant, even when modelling the full size component in the same scale .

Also, in 1/72 the necessary thickness of an injection-moulded Spitfire canopy is usually too great much to have it slid back convincingly over the fixed rear section and spine. 

Given that you have both kits to hand can't you simply test fit the Italeri canopy and see how it fits?  But I suspect a better answer will be to get a vac-form canopy. I often use the sliding canopy sections of these for opened-up Spitfires and they are so much thinner that you can fit everything where it need to be, even in small scales. 

This is true even in 1/48, as witnessed by the provision of "canopy open" and "canopy closed" fuselage spine sections in the recent Tamiya Mk I.

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I don't think the canopy was powered on Spitfires.  Purely manual.  And in any event, a Merlin would have provided way more power than a canopy needed :)

Edited by Jordi

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59 minutes ago, Work In Progress said:

 Given that you have both kits to hand can't you simply test fit the Italeri canopy and see how it fits?  

@Work In Progress I did a quick dry fit before leaving for work this AM but will look at it in more detail when I get home. I need to get a better knife to cut through vacuform or ease up on the coffee as I end up with jagged uneven edges 😐

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4 minutes ago, Jordi said:

I don't think the canopy was powered on Spitfires.  Purely manual.  And in any event, a Merlin would have provided way more power than a canopy needed :)

🤣😂 Touche! We are prisoners of our own words - well played!

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Just now, Madmaks said:

@Work In Progress I did a quick dry fit before leaving for work this AM but will look at it in more detail when I get home. I need to get a better knife to cut through vacuform or ease up on the coffee as I end up with jagged uneven edges 😐

You could try filling the canopy with modeling clay or putty before cutting, to add support.

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10 minutes ago, Rolls-Royce said:

You could try filling the canopy with modeling clay or putty before cutting, to add support.

Good tip I owe you a beverage of your choice 🍻

Edited by Madmaks

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1 hour ago, Work In Progress said:

In theory it is the same canopy given that the Italeri Vb comes with the later type of windscreen, also used on the IX and VIII

Thx for this validation! Hopefully the Italeri works fine! I owe you!

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If you end up using a vac canopy that requires cutting I would also suggest (in addition to what Rolls-Royce suggested) you use a new blade for cutting and use several repeated passes rather than trying to do it one go. Alternatively a sharp pair of small scissors will also work. What ever cutting tool you choose, you can also use tape on other side of the proposed cut to help guide the cut and protect the clear parts.

 

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59 minutes ago, Chuck1945 said:

If you end up using a vac canopy that requires cutting I would also suggest (in addition to what Rolls-Royce suggested) you use a new blade for cutting and use several repeated passes rather than trying to do it one go. Alternatively a sharp pair of small scissors will also work. What ever cutting tool you choose, you can also use tape on other side of the proposed cut to help guide the cut and protect the clear parts.

 

Excellent tips! Thx!

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2 hours ago, Madmaks said:

@Work In Progress I did a quick dry fit before leaving for work this AM but will look at it in more detail when I get home. I need to get a better knife to cut through vacuform or ease up on the coffee as I end up with jagged uneven edges 😐

I never use a scalpel for vac-form canopies. I use extremely sharp nail scissors. Much easier, no risk of the blade tip skidding and all I ever have to do subsequently is the very lightest smoothing of edges with 1200 grit wet and dry. wetted down to a hard flat surface

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15 hours ago, Madmaks said:

@Work In Progress I did a quick dry fit before leaving for work this AM but will look at it in more detail when I get home. I need to get a better knife to cut through vacuform or ease up on the coffee as I end up with jagged uneven edges 😐

I have found lots of success with vac canopies by making sure they are warmed up a bit, at least to body heat, get yourself a very fine pair of nail scissors and use those to trim the excess plastic. The canopy will survive quite well if you do this, being warmed will allow it to be a bit pliable and stop it cracking. A sharp knife can then be used to true up the edges or it can be sanded carefully using a wet abrasive stick or piece of wet&dry.

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19 hours ago, Chuck1945 said:

If you end up using a vac canopy that requires cutting I would also suggest (in addition to what Rolls-Royce suggested) you use a new blade for cutting and use several repeated passes rather than trying to do it one go. Alternatively a sharp pair of small scissors will also work. What ever cutting tool you choose, you can also use tape on other side of the proposed cut to help guide the cut and protect the clear parts.

 

Excellent tips! Thx!

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Here is the Italeri fit on the AZ Model VIII. I have ordered Squadron vac canopies as well and will post a pic with that on as well before deciding what the finished model will have. The feedback here makes me want to try the vac canopy for sure.spacer.png 

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That windscreen is not the right type for the mk.viii as it's the one with external armour. You should try the other windscreen included in the Italeri kit,  with internal armour. Mind, I don't think it will fit any better unfortunately 

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2 hours ago, Giorgio N said:

That windscreen is not the right type for the mk.viii as it's the one with external armour. You should try the other windscreen included in the Italeri kit,  with internal armour. Mind, I don't think it will fit any better unfortunately 

Thx @Giorgio N the Squadron vac form canopies are on their way as well. Fingerscrossed one of these concoctions will work :)

Edited by Madmaks

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8 hours ago, Madmaks said:

Thx @Giorgio N the Squadron vac form canopies are on their way as well. Fingerscrossed one of these concoctions will work :)

You will find that Vac form canopies will look much more realistic, the photo above speaks for itself.

 

Good luck.

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On 11/5/2019 at 9:21 PM, Rolls-Royce said:

You could try filling the canopy with modeling clay or putty before cutting, to add support.

Blu-Tac

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From personal experience, vacuform canopies are much easier than most seem to think.  I never fill with anything for support, I just trim as close as I can with scissors, or sprue cutters, and do the final cuts slowly with a fresh #11 blade. Sometimes to separate sections, I'll place them on a paint brush handle, or a piece of dowl or what ever is handy, and rock the blade along the split line rather than slice. just keep rolling the brush handle along with the blade. I always sand the edges straight and smooth (they sand fine, no problems). Dip in future, and then you can add any structure you want with Zap-a-gap with no fogging. If you add strips of stretch sprue at the bottom of a Spit canopy, you can pick up on the fuselage tracks, and actually let the tracks hold it in position. (or slide, if you want)

 

Image23

 

 

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Here's another example ...

Vac canopy 2

 

Because the Vac canopies have been Futured, I attach with Zap-a-gap superglue, and fill joints with either superglue mixed with Talcum powder, or Tamiya putty thinned with lacquer thinner and applied with a fine pointed brush.  Mask the clear area's and sand away with no worries.

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