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Giorgio N

Spitfire PR XI details

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I'm contemplating a conversion of the lovely Eduard Mk.IX/VIII kit into a PR.XI and for this reason I started looking at pictures to check a few details, and there are some that have puzzled me for a long time !

First detail, and the clearest one, is the presence of a "plate" around the ventral camera openings that is visible on some aircraft, for example in the well known picture of a PR.XI carrying full invasion stripes (should be PL775)

 

3e909e00-efdf-4d54-8169-edaf8b7bb46d.jpg

 

Now this feature doesn't seem to be present on all aicraft, however it's very hard to tell which ones have them and which ones don't, as the "plate" is practically invisible in pictures taken on the ground. When was this introduced ? Is there an easy way to tell from the serial number ? And is the plate there or am I seeing things ????

 

Now to something that could or not be an issue, and this is: how many types of windscreens were used on the PR.XI ???

The common description of the canopy arrangement on the PR.XI is that this variant carried a curved PR windscreen with a standard hood and standard non-pressurized rear clear piece. I'm sure most are aware that a number of PR.XI pictures show hoods with side bulges, similar to the ones used on the previous PR.IV and other early PR variants, but this is not puzzles me. The detail I'm wondering about is the type of windscreen...

Early PR variants were based on the Mk.I/V in its original form with what became the externally armoured windscreen. PR variants used a single piece unarmoured windscreen that featured the same lower profile of the original fighter variants. This can be described as a continuous curve.

The PR.XI however was based on the Mk.IX airframe, that in its original fighter variant featured an internally armoured windscreen characterised by a different shape of the lower side edges. This shape can be described as a double curve, almost like a shallow S rotated by 90 degrees.

The PR:XI windscreen in most pictures seems to retain the continuous curve of the earlier variants, however in other pictures there seems to be a shape more similar to the fighter variant.. is this just a trick of the light ? Or did the PR.XI actually use two type of windscreen ? And if so, when was this introduced ?
I should add that the later PR.XIX featured a windscreen with a clear S shape, but this was in conjunction with the pressurized cockpit, while unpressurized XIXs seem to have retained a windscreen with more of a single curve, similar (most likely identical) to the PR.XI.

 

One more detail; the fuel pumps under the wings, in particular the presence or not of a continuation of their fairings on the gear leg cover. Most pictures seem to show that the fairings stopped flat at the wheel well, with a flat cover. Some drawings mention the presence of a continuation of these fairings on the covers as a late feature. I generally trust pictures more than drawings but the XIX seems to feature fairings over the leg covers so I wonder if these were also present on the XI or at least some of them. And again it would be interesting to understand how to tell if an aircraft had them when the covers are not well visible...

 

Last detail is the presence or not of other fairings on the wing... again there are drawings that seem to show the presence of small fairings, like the ones that on the XIX cover the pumps for the tuel tanks located where the gun bays were in the fighter variants. The MPM kit also feature these. I would expect that these were not present as the same bay was used on the XI to carry oblique cameras when needed, but again I may have missed something. These would be pretty hard to see in wartime pictures as they are not particularly prominent.

 

A lot of questions and some of these may be related to things I'm dreaming of (like the windscreen). Most of these details would probably be of little importance to many modellers but I'm trying to nail all details before cutting the plastic. Not sure when I'll start the project but I promise that I will start a thread in the WIP section of the forum.

At the moment I'm trying to understand if it's better to start from a Mk.IX (correct aileron length) or a Mk.VIII (retractable tailwheel) as both will need some work. Details like the fuel pump fairing could come from the MPM kit or be copied from the same (but really they can be made from a small bomb). I'm thinking of the Pavla canopy for the unpressurized PR XIX as the PR.XI specific Falcon part from their Spitfire set seems much wider than the Eduard fuselage (and this would be an interesting subject for another thread). The deeper chin will be the most difficult area to sort, I could again take this from the MPM kit or just build with plasticard and epoxy filler. And then it will just a simple matter of sanding and filling and rescribing and removing and adding...

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Given that Spitfires, or rather their Merlin engines, are notorious for oils streaks down the belly, I would expect some kind of protection for the camera lens, and a raised plate would seem to do the trick.  The surprise perhaps is not to see more of the same in other photos of PR variants.  Which doesn't help from the modelling point of view, I'm afraid, other than looking for something similar on the PR Mk.IV.  I also have one of the Ventura PR Mk.IXs, so this is a very interesting series of questions.

 

Similarly the Bf109G-8 (and others) had a raised piece of metalwork to divert any oil around the lens/lens cover.

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14 minutes ago, Giorgio N said:

And is the plate there or am I seeing things ????

You're not seeing things, but I'm 99% sure it's not a plate.

What you're seeing forward of the ventral camera ports is a gutter strip to prevent the notorious oil leaks from the merlin engine streaking back along the fuselage and over the camera window. This is fabricated from Z channel strip rivetted to the fuselage underside in a curved V shape with the apex forward and open at the rear. In the photo above, you're looking into the channel of the port side of this gutter, which is why it looks dark, the starboard side you're looking at the back of the gutter, hence no shadow and it's light. The gutter is quite shallow, hence difficult to pick up on photo's, here's one fitted to the FAA Museum Hellcat.

The windscreen I'd say is the same as the earlier PR marks, but I'd suggest for this and the other details checking photo's of the airframe you're building.

I'm curious as to why you're considering using bits of the MPM kit to convert an Eduard IX or VIII? This sounds like a lot of work from which you'' end up with just one model. The MPM kit could do with a bit more detail in the cockpit (for which there's loads of aftermarket avialable), and the wheel wells could do with boxing in (not a biggie considering the conversion work you're considering). Apart from that it looks a reasonable kit which should make a nice model without too much work, and you've still got your Eduard kit to build as something else.

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Ventura Publications Classic Warbirds No.11 'Merlin PR Spitfires in detail' by Malcolm Laird & Wojtek Matusiak is your book of choice.

I'II try to I  help you out a bit as I have it here.

 

From the book - 'The PR.XI was eventually developed from the F.IX, rather than the the F.VIII and an order was placed - although never fulfilled - for 70 PR.VIIIs based on the F.VIII.'

On the windscreen

spacer.png

WNN9H2r.jpg

OLLLJn6.jpg

From the book 'PR.X canopy - Being pressurised, the PR.X had a 'Lobelle' canopy with its heavy external rail. Note the PR.X had a full depth rear window and rubberised sealing strip along the rear edge of the sliding part of the canopy.

     This cockpit canopy and windscreen set were standard on the pressurised F.VII and PR.X. (yes read X not XI in the above quote. it doesn't say anything after this concerning the PR.XI canopy)

 

Struggling to find the exact details your after from the book. Nothing about different canopies on the PR.XI.

 

It's getting late here so I'll sign off but will have a closer read ASAP for to find if what your after is in the book.

Cheers

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Aires/Quickboost has resin conversion kit parts (at least for 1/48) including the larger oil tank cover & cameras.

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2 hours ago, Dave Swindell said:

You're not seeing things, but I'm 99% sure it's not a plate.

What you're seeing forward of the ventral camera ports is a gutter strip to prevent the notorious oil leaks from the merlin engine streaking back along the fuselage and over the camera window. This is fabricated from Z channel strip rivetted to the fuselage underside in a curved V shape with the apex forward and open at the rear. In the photo above, you're looking into the channel of the port side of this gutter, which is why it looks dark, the starboard side you're looking at the back of the gutter, hence no shadow and it's light. The gutter is quite shallow, hence difficult to pick up on photo's, here's one fitted to the FAA Museum Hellcat.

The windscreen I'd say is the same as the earlier PR marks, but I'd suggest for this and the other details checking photo's of the airframe you're building.

I'm curious as to why you're considering using bits of the MPM kit to convert an Eduard IX or VIII? This sounds like a lot of work from which you'' end up with just one model. The MPM kit could do with a bit more detail in the cockpit (for which there's loads of aftermarket avialable), and the wheel wells could do with boxing in (not a biggie considering the conversion work you're considering). Apart from that it looks a reasonable kit which should make a nice model without too much work, and you've still got your Eduard kit to build as something else.

 

Thanks Dave, so no plate but a simple gutter, even easier to add onto a model.

 

Regarding the choice of kit, I have both the MPM/SH PR.XI and X kits and I may build these too.. the reason why I'd like to use the Eduard kit is because the level of detail in the latter is much superior.

There's also the matter that both the kits I have suffer from a lot of flash and many of their panel lines are affected by excess plastic, so much that I'd have to sand the plastic and rescribe. Other works are, as you said, box the wheel wells, improve the cockpit, reproduce deeper radiator wells ( the kit ones are flush with the wings), open the camera ports (moulded as simple circles in the kit).  I checked the MPM fuselage against the Eduard one and they are very close in length, so using the MPM cowling or a resin copy of the same may work on the Eduard kit.

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2 hours ago, Red Dog said:

Ventura Publications Classic Warbirds No.11 'Merlin PR Spitfires in detail' by Malcolm Laird & Wojtek Matusiak is your book of choice.

I'II try to I  help you out a bit as I have it here.

 

From the book - 'The PR.XI was eventually developed from the F.IX, rather than the the F.VIII and an order was placed - although never fulfilled - for 70 PR.VIIIs based on the F.VIII.'

On the windscreen

 

 

 

From the book 'PR.X canopy - Being pressurised, the PR.X had a 'Lobelle' canopy with its heavy external rail. Note the PR.X had a full depth rear window and rubberised sealing strip along the rear edge of the sliding part of the canopy.

     This cockpit canopy and windscreen set were standard on the pressurised F.VII and PR.X. (yes read X not XI in the above quote. it doesn't say anything after this concerning the PR.XI canopy)

 

Struggling to find the exact details your after from the book. Nothing about different canopies on the PR.XI.

 

It's getting late here so I'll sign off but will have a closer read ASAP for to find if what your after is in the book.

Cheers

 

 

Thanks for looking ! Unfortunately I only have the first of the two Ventura volumes on the PR Spitfires, guess I have to find the second to get all the technical details. Those pictures are anyway very useful, Analysing the close-up you posted and others I have in other books I'm more inclined to think that there was only one windscreen but that depending on the angle of the picture this can give the impression of having a compound curve shape where it meets the fuselage.

No doubt about the PR.X on the other hand, this should be the standard Mk.VII canopy and windscreen arrangement,

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34 minutes ago, alt-92 said:

Aires/Quickboost has resin conversion kit parts (at least for 1/48) including the larger oil tank cover & cameras.

 

They do, but I forgot to mention that I'll be working in 1/72 scale. IIRC the 1/48 Aires parts were for the Hasegawa kit, this means that they may fit or not the Eduard offering. Wonder if anybody tried.

The same Quickboost actually made a set for the PR.XI in 1/72 but this only included the wing camera parts....

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1 minute ago, Giorgio N said:

Wonder if anybody tried.

I'm planning to put that to the test....

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Just now, alt-92 said:

I'm planning to put that to the test....

 

Sounds interesting ! I'm looking forward to see if your plan will succeed ! I build very few 1/48 kits but for a PR.XI I may well move up to this scale. I'd personally like to build at least a couple

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3 minutes ago, Giorgio N said:

both the kits I have suffer from a lot of flash

I must have an early kit then, as there's hardly any flash and the surface finish is very good - maybe not quite as good as Eduard, but good enough for me to think it will look better with this kit detailed than an Eduard kit hacked about and converted. From what you've said about yours you obviously feel you'd be better going the other way. I've got an Aires cockpit set to fit in mine, but some of the Eduard kit leftovers might get used at some point.

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I'm also planning a PR XI, but were under the belief that you would need to fill in a lot of panel lines in the wings if based on the Eduard IX/VIII

 

So I'm starting with a Airfix PR19 and adding the Freightdog conversion .

 

/Finn

Edited by FinnAndersen

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If you build the SH PR.X it should of course be (high altitude) PRU Blue and NOT (low level) PRU Pink!

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17 hours ago, Brizeman said:

Hi

     Freightdog also do a PRXI conversion for the Airfix PR19. Maybe another way to go.

 

 John

 

17 hours ago, FinnAndersen said:

I'm also planning a PR XI, but were under the belief that you would need to fill in a lot of panel lines in the wings if based on the Eduard IX/VIII

 

So I'm starting with a Airfix PR19 and adding the Freightdog conversion .

 

/Finn

 

I did consider the Freightdog conversion, but this seems to be unavailable today.
Personally I'm not a big fan of the Airfix XIX, although yes, the Eduard kit would require a lot of panel lines filling. In general the Eduard kit is in a totally different league compared to the Airfix one. There is of course the risk of losing quite a lot of surface detail with such a conversion but I feel that even so I'd have something more accurate than a converted Airfix XIX. But I confess that I'm a bit of a Spitfire fanatic...

14 hours ago, JWM said:

Mk X is produced by SH in 1/72 https://www.mojehobby.pl/products/Spitfire-Pr-Mk-X.html

1313_rd.jpg

MPM is (was) doing MK XI

images?q=tbn:ANd9GcT1oqEhxZLYqLyLXlQSzmH

 

 

And if somone like to work harder there is also resin kit of Mk Xi by Attack Squadron ;)

images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSVULKlzvBIhub0F-kdCOF

 

Cheers

J-W

 

 

I have both MOM/Special Hobby kits. Not bad, need some work to improve the details and require attention when building. I believe they are now OOP but I'm sure there are enough around on the second hand market.

Unfortunately I made the mistake of not buying the Attack Squadron kit when this was issued... it's now OOP and I don't know how easy would be to get one.

Speaking of other PR.XI kits, Ventura also made a short run kit, later reboxed by Jays. Not sure if it's in production at the moment but again can be found second hand. These kits were highly valued in their days because they were reportedly accurate. Today this has been disputed, in any case they are old school short run kits, that require a lot of preparation.

 

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53 minutes ago, Giorgio N said:

 

I did consider the Freightdog conversion, but this seems to be unavailable today.
Personally I'm not a big fan of the Airfix XIX, although yes, the Eduard kit would require a lot of panel lines filling. In general the Eduard kit is in a totally different league compared to the Airfix one. There is of course the risk of losing quite a lot of surface detail with such a conversion but I feel that even so I'd have something more accurate than a converted Airfix XIX. But I confess that I'm a bit of a Spitfire fanatic...

 

I believe that we think along the same lines.

 

I've used the Eduard IX along with a Tamiya nose and oil cooler to make a Vc (as BR114 of Abourkir fame), and it's very good, so basing your Spit on the Eduard is indeed a viable approach.

Like you, I was not thrilled with the prospect of using the Airfix XIX, but with carefull assembly and a coat of paint, it should be OK from 3 feet away.

 

Good luck with your project

/Finn

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Biggest issue is recreating the bowser wing, and for that the PR.XIX wings could form a basis..

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5 hours ago, Giorgio N said:

Unfortunately I made the mistake of not buying the Attack Squadron kit when this was issued... it's now OOP and I don't know how easy would be to get one.

Attack Squadron was bought by Brengun.  They have already issued the Mosquito 2 stage Merlins under their name, so there's hope.  In any case, there would be little point in buying Attack Squadron (or anyone else for that matter) then not re-issuing their range under your brand name.  A good kit, but a fair bit of work as it's quite detailed.  For quick build easy (and cheaper) build, Freightdog would be better.  Issued, then re-issued, so maybe a third time....

 

Hopefully not too much off thread, I'm (still) building the Freightdog conversion, but to PRX.  Not too difficult: air intake ex PRXlX (redundant cowling sanded till it was all that was left), heavier canopy rails (plastic strip), screen and canopy ex spares and whip aerial.  To be finished in Medium Sea Grey upper, PRU blue lower, and finished as SR396 in 'Classic Warbirds No 11'

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Hi Georgio,

 

On 11/18/2019 at 10:47 AM, Giorgio N said:

I'm thinking of the Pavla canopy for the unpressurized PR XIX

Might I suggest you take a look at the Rob Taurus canopy for the Spit XIX? I used it for a recent Spit XIX build and was very impressed with the quality of moulding and clarity. Made for the pressurised version, but I cut the rear down for an unpressurised XIX.

 

Cheers,

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On 11/19/2019 at 11:07 AM, FinnAndersen said:

I believe that we think along the same lines.

 

I've used the Eduard IX along with a Tamiya nose and oil cooler to make a Vc (as BR114 of Abourkir fame), and it's very good, so basing your Spit on the Eduard is indeed a viable approach.

Like you, I was not thrilled with the prospect of using the Airfix XIX, but with carefull assembly and a coat of paint, it should be OK from 3 feet away.

 

Good luck with your project

/Finn

 

Your Mk.Vc conversion sounds interesting ! I've considered something similar myself but as long I have not built built all my Sword kits I'll wait to attemot such a conversion.

 

On 11/19/2019 at 11:24 AM, alt-92 said:

Biggest issue is recreating the bowser wing, and for that the PR.XIX wings could form a basis..

 

Sure can, but I don't like the Airfix wing much. Maybe the Fujimi wing could be better but I don't have any of their XIX kits.

 

On 11/19/2019 at 3:41 PM, Denford said:

Attack Squadron was bought by Brengun.  They have already issued the Mosquito 2 stage Merlins under their name, so there's hope.  In any case, there would be little point in buying Attack Squadron (or anyone else for that matter) then not re-issuing their range under your brand name.  A good kit, but a fair bit of work as it's quite detailed.  For quick build easy (and cheaper) build, Freightdog would be better.  Issued, then re-issued, so maybe a third time....

 

Hopefully not too much off thread, I'm (still) building the Freightdog conversion, but to PRX.  Not too difficult: air intake ex PRXlX (redundant cowling sanded till it was all that was left), heavier canopy rails (plastic strip), screen and canopy ex spares and whip aerial.  To be finished in Medium Sea Grey upper, PRU blue lower, and finished as SR396 in 'Classic Warbirds No 11'

 

I hope that Brengun will at some point reissue the Mk.XI ! Mind, if Brengun decide to offer an injection moulded Mk.XI then it would be even better...

33 minutes ago, Johnson said:

Hi Georgio,

 

Might I suggest you take a look at the Rob Taurus canopy for the Spit XIX? I used it for a recent Spit XIX build and was very impressed with the quality of moulding and clarity. Made for the pressurised version, but I cut the rear down for an unpressurised XIX.

 

Cheers,

 

I remember well your Spitfire, it was good to see this one completed. Mine has been in the shelf of doom for ages...

I quite like Rob Taurus canopies and I have several. My concern is that the windscreen of the pressurized and non-pressurized variants may be different.. and this is one aspect that i kind of struggle to nail exactly. Pavla has a set with two canopies for the Airfix XIX, one for each type. I've already checked the width and looks like the Pavla canopies should fit fine on the Eduard IX/VIII fuselage. I may however also get me a Rob Taurus one, at worst it will be used on another XIX...

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2 hours ago, Giorgio N said:

 Maybe the Fujimi wing could be better but I don't have any of their XIX kits.

The wing in the Fujimi 1/72 Spitfire XIX was a bit of a con.  It was the standard Mk.XIV wing: you were told to leave off the cannon, cannon stubs and cannon blisters and to add the fuel pump blisters (provided).  Oh, and also given a handy do-it-yourself diagram of which engraved panel lines needed to be filled for the PR wing!  Despite the virtual absence of an interior, it's still my favourite Spitfire XIX kit though.

Edited by Seahawk

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1 hour ago, Seahawk said:

Oh, and also given a handy do-it-yourself diagram of which engraved panel lines needed to be filled for the PR wing!  

Hey, at least that's something useful 😉

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On 18/11/2019 at 23:13, Welkin said:

If you build the SH PR.X it should of course be (high altitude) PRU Blue and NOT (low level) PRU Pink!

It should be in the High Altitude scheme, (like some Mk.VII's)  PRU undersides, with Medium Sea Grey uppers

 

On 26/03/2009 at 22:20, Colin S-K said:

Touvdal,

Just seen this thread.... and the photos you have posted.

It is the Spitfire PR X, only 16 of them built. Not many photos, and many sources quote Grey or PRU Blue..... All quote gloss. Pink is rubbish, only 16 Sqn used Pink aircraft, for low level, dusk/dawn Recce, when sky was pink...

Wrong.....

It has the same camera fit as the PR XI, but it was pressurised....

Short lived experiment, as it was superseded by the PR XIX. Why build a Merlin PR High Altitude Spitfire, when very soon a Griffon engined Spitfire, went further with better performance.....

Colours, look closely at photos, you can see colour difference on engine cowling. Medium Sea Grey above and PRU Blue beneath. Which matches with High Altitude scheme of that time...!

Reasons for me saying so....

I know a pilot that flew these aircraft......

Look at photo's....

 

Colin

Not that this makes a difference..

I 'Run' the Photo Recce SIG.......

Colin

t_spit10_169.jpg&key=7dcbb2dd35d3d46355c

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