Jump to content

Spitfire Mk XVIE Heller-Humbrol 1:72


Recommended Posts

When I saw the title for this GB, I just had to join. So many good memories of building models, but also so many models to chose from. My output these days is very low as when I get a chance to sit down the the bench I take my time. Of course as a kid, models flowed through the production line very quickly indeed. Quality was very much compromised in favour of quantity. I wondered if I could get hold of the very first model I ever put together (proper plastic kit, I'm not counting the Greendale village of Postman Pat fame crafted from cardboard boxes). I managed to find one on ebay of course. A Heller Humbrol 1:72 Spitfire Mk XVIE.

 

hu9ZkyAl.jpg?1DMaTscgl.jpg

 

I had my eyes on this kit for some time before I was allowed to buy it from the Post Office in the village where I grew up. I remember wasn't allowed to buy it until I had turned 8 as my mum pointed out that I was too young and the box was clearly labelled 8+. This was probably in an effort to discourage me as she will have foreseen the mess of glue and paint. So it must have been 1986 when I was finally able to buy it and armed myself with a tube of polystyrene cement, some tins of Humbrol enamel and a brush all from the hardware store which was conveniently located next to the Post Office.

 

I have good memories of this kit and was very proud of the final product. It was probably awful, but I don't remember it being so. I can't say the same about my second project, which was a Mitsubishi Zero also by Heller-Humbrol. I used so much glue trying to put the radial engine on, it melted into a detail-less plastic blob. I quickly graduated to Airfix kits bought from Beatties or the great Gee-Dee models in Nottingham (which is still there). Mostly Series 1 and 2 stuff. 3+ was only attainable with holiday or birthday money. I had good intentions of working my way through the entire Airfix catalogue, but was never very good at saving money for the bigger models. There was one notable exception. Being a big Nigel Mansell fan I did buy a Tamiya Williams Honda FW11 which at £7.99 (I think) was the most expensive thing I had ever bought. I was hopelessly out of my depth putting that together. I must have been 9 or 10.

 

The FW-11 still survives to this day, albeit hidden in a box. Alas, the Spitfire has long gone, so unfortunately there will be no before and after photos here. The first thing that struck me on opening the box was how small everything is. 1:72 seemed big when I was 8. I dismissed 1:48 kits as being too enormous to contemplate as well as too expensive. My usual scale now is 1:48 for aircraft, mainly because I can still see them ok at this scale.

 

pwEjh9kl.jpg?109bFNO2l.jpg?1

 

I painted my first Spitfire silver to match the one on the front of the box, so that is the version I will replicate this time around. This is JWL-F, RW396 RAF Central Gunnery School 1948. The decals actually look to be in good condition.

 

q4Ve3y3l.jpg?1bIdHvwEl.jpg?1

 

My record of finishing GBs in the allocated time is poor. Played 2, lost 2 so far. But with only 37 parts in this kit, surely this is going to be the first one I actually get to finish....

Happy modelling to all,

Mark.

  • Like 19
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Welcome and good luck with the build Mark. Thanks for the great story full of wonderful nostalga. I know Exactly what you mean about revisiting 1/72 and it feeling small, but felt big as a kid. The Mitsubishi Zero comment made me laugh. 😆

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Nice choice Mark.

I remember these Heller/Humbrol boxings well and built a fair few of them, the one I remember best was the Hurricane IIc.

I also remember turning a Matchbox or Airfix (can't remember which it was) Hs-126 into a gluey blob because I couldn't wait to get hold of proper model glue and used some of my Dad's UHU glue from the garage, it was not a pretty sight!

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Nice choice Mark,I'm eyeing up this kit for another Spitfire GB build but I'd want to do  DG-E,but heller never did the green of the codes in any

release correct or so I'm told.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

21 hours ago, monsjmse said:

much glue trying to put the radial engine on, it melted into a detail-less plastic blob

Great write up mark, i dont think your to blame for for the detail-less blob ,that heller plastic caused me headaches too back in the day,

Welcome and enjoy the flashbacks 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Another excellent choice! 

And a kit that I built in 2010.

I hadn't know a lot about Spitfires, but wanted a bubbletop.  Seahawk suggested this kit - and let me have one of his.

And it built up like a dream - and your decals look great.

 

I've built a Matchbox Spitfire 16 since - this Heller kit is far better.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

This was about the best 1/72 scale Spitfire you could get when it came out, apart from the fact that Heller insisted on moulding at least some of them in black plastic...

 

I'm sure I've seen one in blue plastic as well.

 

John

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've just picked up an earlier boxing (with a complete extra kit inside) of this one for the upcoming Classic Heller GB, so I'll be keeping an eye on this one. Fun side note, G-ED was one of two aircraft selected to receive an all silver paint job and Belgian roundels to celebrate the handover of the squadron to Belgium.  I have seen a few photos of it being paint stripped.

 

Edited by BlackAck
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

Thanks for all the comments. It's high time for an update, particularly since my first post is now second to bottom of the pile when they appear in the order they were last updated. I thought I'd get a bit more time for modelling than normal during the lockdown, but somehow it didn't work out that way.

 

First thing I noticed when I started cutting pieces from the frame (apart from the fact that everything is so damn small) was that the cockpit walls actually had some detail that I wasn't expecting from this kit. Not a lot, but enough to make me question my initial pledge that I would build this up in the most basic fashion without adding any extra detail. The instrument panel has some random dials moulded on it. There are also a couple of what look like ejector pin marks that could be masquerading as dials. The seat has a nice ejector pin mark in a place that was simply impossible to reach, so out came the Milliput and I added a cushion to hide it. There were a couple of annoying dimples in the prop blades that were fixed with a bit of putty.

 

7dN90Kxl.jpgA8piK15l.jpg

VTT1hMFl.jpgtsnhExnl.jpg

 

I just can't help myself when it comes to cockpits - despite not being able to see any of the detail when the fuselage is closed, if there is detail there I just have to paint it. I also added a seatbelt - an Eduard steel one. First time I've used the steel version of these - much easier to bend than the normal inflexible photo etch ones. And the printed pattern didn't come off either. There were 12 seatbelts in the pack though, so to get my money's worth I'm going to have to build another 11 late war 1:72 RAF fighters.

 

AGcMRYOl.jpgvcvnbpZl.jpg

JYXoK6Pl.jpg1nv0Y6bl.jpg

 

The part I always dreaded as a kid was closing the fuselage. More often than sometimes, this procedure resulted in several failed attempts where more and more glue would be applied to already half-melted, deformed surfaces. Often the fruits of my labour would still be scarred with a massive gap down the entire length of the model because I hadn't put the cockpit or instrument panel in correctly. And I used to fill these gaps when I could be bothered with Dad's polyfiller. These were the days before the remarkable discovery of liquid poly. Or should I say my realisation of how liquid poly should be used. I remember buying a bottle at one point, trying it and putting it away thinking it was useless. I mean it was so thin, how could it possibly stick anything together? It had virtually dried before I could mate the two surfaces I had applied it to. Must have been before the science lesson on capillary action :facepalm:.

 

I was still a little nervous closing the fuselage this time round, but was a little more patient about making sure everything lined up ok before applying the glue. Next up adding the fuselage to the wing. Those black things in the bottom right of the picture go into the radiator ducts to block them off and make them look dark inside. I suspect there will be some putty required to fill a few gaps when the wings are on. I'm not quite sure how to tackle sanding the fuselage joins. It's not as though you can re-scribe raised panel lines.

 

1ShMEMml.jpggFhSEvol.jpg

 

Have to say - this is a truly huge group build. Clearly plenty of people out there wanting to relive part of their modelling past. Great to see.

Cheers, Mark.

 

  • Like 7
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Good afternoon Mark

 Very good start 👍

I too built this kit when I was a kid  I don't remember if it was this box but I do remember that I had fun with it and it seems that your are enjoying this build yourself ..

I think that I still one box in my stash but I will keep it for the forthcoming Heller Gb ..

Best Regards

Patrice

 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

High time for another update. I've realised I have only 2 weeks left as it looks like summer holidays are back on.

 

Thought I'd be best of attaching the fuselage to the under wing to line everything up, then adding the upper wing sections. Everything lined up - cannon and wing edges - but it left a massive gap for filling. I was ready for this though - I didn't expect the parts to fit perfectly. The air filter is just visible at the bottom of the shot. That wasn't much fun to stick the 2 parts together.

 

29xyQeVl.jpghqHDKM7l.jpg

 

I took a razor saw to the rear elevators so I can drop them seeing as this is going to be parked. Alas, no string from the bedroom ceiling anymore. There is no pilot figure anyway so that would look a bit odd. Second slight modification was drilling holes through the structure just behind the cockpit. Wing root gaps were filled with my new favourite filler for big gaps, Magic Sculpt from Green Stuff World. It's a 2-part epoxy which I find softer and therefore easier to work with than Milliput. Dries in about 2-3 hours and sands well.

 

hSCr5LNl.jpgEDZob7yl.jpg

 

So after much filling and sanding, it was ready for some primer. Planning to use Alclad High Speed Silver, which is not one of the high shine finishes, so no gloss base needed. However, I wasn't happy with the front cowl and there were still some rough bits along the wing roots where the heavier filling had been done.

 

C692llul.jpg1GcVvJKl.jpg

 

As all the panel lines and rivets are raised, I had tried my best to preserve them first time round with the sanding. Not the second time round - I just obliterated them. Then had some fun re-scribing with a razor saw and trying to blend recessed and raised lines, which wasn't much fun. Final result after covering with primer again is alright though.

 

UIfnHT9l.jpgpFBylaDl.jpg

 

Time for some silver paint... no more brush painting Humbrol 11.

 

qsrEP7jl.jpgXqAHYcjl.jpg

 

Heller decals next up. They actually look very good, so we'll see how they behave..

  • Like 7
Link to comment
Share on other sites

11 hours ago, monsjmse said:

So after much filling and sanding, it was ready for some primer. Planning to use Alclad High Speed Silver, which is not one of the high shine finishes, so no gloss base needed. However, I wasn't happy with the front cowl and there were still some rough bits along the wing roots where the heavier filling had been done.

 

As all the panel lines and rivets are raised, I had tried my best to preserve them first time round with the sanding. Not the second time round - I just obliterated them. Then had some fun re-scribing with a razor saw and trying to blend recessed and raised lines, which wasn't much fun. Final result after covering with primer again is alright though.

 

Lovely job on the fuselage seam and wing joints, Mark. It's been worth all that extra 'adult' work you've put in. I still have big problems with doing fuselage seams, whether doing 'as a kid' with a run of liquid cement (which I think fills in any gaps admirably even though I always end up with a 'step') or 'as an adult' with extra thin cement wiped over a clamped joint. I think it is inevitable to do the filling and sanding if you want to make the joins less obvious. Excellent work on the paint job! All the best. Mike

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 weeks later...

The Gallery locked just as I was posting these I heard the ping :facepalm:.  I'm calling it done anyway... I'll upload the final pics here and update the build log later as there is a big chunk missing.

 

lYaLgd7l.jpg

 

bekrrXTl.jpg

 

8gVwM4bl.jpg

 

WpilBicl.jpg

 

YmiZlkcl.jpg

 

  • Like 11
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks guys. Gutted I missed the gallery entry. I had been meaning to put them up all day, but as usual left it til the last minute. I'll post some inbetween pics when I get a chance to upload them.

 

Thanks for hosting this Groupbuild Paul. Reckon there was sufficient interest to do it all over again sometime. There are plenty more old model kits from yesteryear waiting to be built!

 

Cheers, Mark.

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...