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1940 BoB and earlier Spitfire Seats


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With the new Eduard 1/48 Spitfire being released shortly, I was looking at the Spitfire seat ‘issue’ again.

 

This has been covered before in some detail in Britmodeller on several occasions as examples:

 

 

 

 

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A metal trough seat from Basilisk's post.

 

935px-Wreckage_of_Supermarine_Spitfire_I

 

and a Spitfire that crashed near Bamburgh in later September 40 which had a metal seat. (from Wikimedia Commons)

 

So as far as I can see, most early Spitfires to around mid 1940 had the metal style seat which could have been green or possibly black (or silver?) as stated in the Britmodeller previous discussions and would have had a ‘trough’ bottom; not the later lozenge rhomboid bottom.  The original seat from P9374 has the trough bottom and is metal.

 

QI3PxebilJBbtwSGPFhYVY6d-zhvqqQpJY89Fql_

 

 

When the plastic (red-brown) seats came into production in the latter half (?) of 1940 (on CBAF produced airframes ?), I was wondering if they had the lozenge style bottom or kept the older trough style?

 

The late and lamented Edgar Brookes stated that the lozenge style seats were mid to late war and I think that I have also read somewhere an entry date of 1941 for that style of seat.

 

The latest Tamiya 1/48 Spitfire 1 and the latest Airfix 1/48 Spitfire 1 both have lozenge seat bottoms, which I think are wrong for the decal options in both kits apart possibly from the OTU decal version for the first iteration of the Airfix kit.

From the new Eduard dual combo kit parts and frames pictures, I think it has one trough seat and one lozenge.

The only current after market trough seat is a very nice one from Ultracast, but they are very expensive to get shipped outside of North America.

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Interesting picture of the crashed aircraft with a metal seat. Even though the plastic seat was introduced in mid February 1940, there were still metal seats in use until late 1940 I guess.

1 hour ago, Olmec Head said:

The only current after market trough seat is a very nice one from Ultracast, but they are very expensive to get shipped outside of North America.

 

I wouldn't call the Ultracast seat very nice as it is over scale and has 9 instead of 8 holes in the flair cartridge rack.

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Here the Ultracast seat on the right compared to the new tool Tamiya seat which I converted to a metal seat.

 

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Cheers, Peter

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Until I saw the photos that @Basilisk put up, & I saw the last one, I didn't have a clue what the lozenge being refered to was, I should pay more attention.

I know the trough seats were to accommodate the parachute as a seat cushion, albeit a hard uncomfortable one according to many accounts, but what was the lozenge for, seeing as it appears to have been an extra recess in the seat base? Was it to accommodate a modified parachute, ie, with dinghy or some other reason?:(

Steve.

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41 minutes ago, stevehnz said:

Until I saw the photos that @Basilisk put up, & I saw the last one, I didn't have a clue what the lozenge being refered to was, I should pay more attention.

I know the trough seats were to accommodate the parachute as a seat cushion, albeit a hard uncomfortable one according to many accounts, but what was the lozenge for, seeing as it appears to have been an extra recess in the seat base? Was it to accommodate a modified parachute, ie, with dinghy or some other reason?:(

Steve.

From Edgar's answer in the thread

That later plastic seat, of yours, is a late/middle-war variant, since it has the lozenge-shaped indentation for the dinghy's airbottle (most uncomfortable to sit on.) Early pilots just had to make do with a Mae West.

Note that the metal seat (which I photographed only this year) has been modified to take the post-war QS harness; I could go on, ad nauseam, about the mythical "Q" harness, on Spitfires, but this is not the time, or place. Suffice to say, stick with Sutton harnesses, and don't shove the straps through the backrest, unless you're working on a (very) late/late war Mark.

Edgar

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5 hours ago, Basilisk said:

Interesting picture of the crashed aircraft with a metal seat. Even though the plastic seat was introduced in mid February 1940, there were still metal seats in use until late 1940 I guess.

 

I wouldn't call the Ultracast seat very nice as it is over scale and has 9 instead of 8 holes in the flair cartridge rack.

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Here the Ultracast seat on the right compared to the new tool Tamiya seat which I converted to a metal seat.

 

spacer.png

 

Cheers, Peter

Peter when you converted the Tamiya seat, was it by sanding out the lozenge shape or was it more difficult than that please?

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BBMF Spitfire pilot's seat

 

Although this picture shows the later lozenge seat, it has the leather cover that Edgar mentioned was to protect the parachute ripcord, sorry I can't find his original post.

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13 hours ago, Olmec Head said:

BBMF Spitfire pilot's seat

 

Although this picture shows the later lozenge seat, it has the leather cover that Edgar mentioned was to protect the parachute ripcord, sorry I can't find his original post.

Posted 06 February 2015 - 11:21 PM

Normally a piece of "basil" leather used to prevent chafing of the ripcord; the early seat also had no recess in the base, since there was no dinghy, therefore no inflation bottle to cause discomfort for the pilot.

 

Cheers

 

Dennis

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18 hours ago, Olmec Head said:

Peter when you converted the Tamiya seat, was it by sanding out the lozenge shape or was it more difficult than that please?

There is enough plastic in there to just sand it out. It isn't 100% scale but with the harness on the seat most won't be seen anyway. But even after thinning the sides down, they still kook a bit "heavy". One of my project is to 3D print a metal seat on my Elegoo Mars.

 

Cheers, Peter

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10 hours ago, spitfire said:

Posted 06 February 2015 - 11:21 PM

Normally a piece of "basil" leather used to prevent chafing of the ripcord; the early seat also had no recess in the base, since there was no dinghy, therefore no inflation bottle to cause discomfort for the pilot.

 

Cheers

 

Dennis

Thanks Dennis for finding the post.

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5 hours ago, Basilisk said:

There is enough plastic in there to just sand it out. It isn't 100% scale but with the harness on the seat most won't be seen anyway. But even after thinning the sides down, they still kook a bit "heavy". One of my project is to 3D print a metal seat on my Elegoo Mars.

 

Cheers, Peter

Thanks Peter I'll have a go as and when I do the Tamiya Spitfire.  As an aside you were looking at the Airfix and Tamiya 1/48 Spitfire Ia s,  did you come to an opinion about the Tamiya nose top line please.  

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Hi Guys,

 

Kevin here from Ultracast.  Basilisk, I noticed that you had some complaints regarding Ultracast Spitfire seats.  I was wondering which drawings you were using when you stated that the Ultracast seats are "over scale".  I assume that the Tamiya seats "scale out" perfectly to the drawings you used?

 

I checked the drawings which I have available to me now which are General Arrangement - Pilots Seat Drawing #35035, Sheet #4, and the 1/10 scale Paul H. Monforton drawings from his book.  Dimensions are as follows:

 

Width of seat pan - 427 mm = 8.9 mm in 1/48

Ultracast seat pan width - 9.4 mm for a difference of .5 mm

 

Seat Back Height - 665 mm = 13.9 mm in 1/48

Ultracast Seat Back Height - 14.34 mm for a difference of .44 mm

 

If I had a copy of the new Tamiya kit, I would include the dimensions of its seat, but I would bet, judging from your photos, that it is substantially different, let me know, I am interested.

 

When I made the masters for our seats, I did not have access to either set of these drawings, but as you can see the size of our seat is very close, much closer than what the Tamiya appears to be.  The 9 holes instead of 8 holes for the flare rack on the early seat is an error on my part and I suppose crucifixion is in order! :) 

 

Thanks guys for posting photos of the early style seat, its always nice to have more reference photos!

 

Kevin McLaughlin

Ultracast

info@ultracast.ca

www.ultracast.ca 

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Just happen to have a scan of the new tool Tamiya Spitfire seat as I'm working out dimensions for the pilot armour (anyone else notice that the frame piece immediately behind the pilot appears to have the four mounting points for the head armour?).

 

Even without the sides of the seat bottom attached, was able provide overall width by measuring at the tabs (blue measurement).

 

tp4orNb.jpg

 

,...but yeah, results indicate the Tamiya seat is a a bit under-scale by about 1mm in height, and 0.6mm in width.

 

 

regards,

Jack

Edited by JackG
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Thanks Jack for the photo and measurement of the new Tamiya seat.  I think you meant to say that the Tamiya seat is just over 2mm narrow.  

 

Amended measurement comparison with dimensions for the new Tamiya seat as supplied by Jack:

 

Width of seat pan - 427 mm = 8.9 mm in 1/48

Ultracast seat pan width - 9.4 mm for a difference of .5 mm

Tamiya seat pan width - 6.841 mm for a difference of 2.059 mm

 

Seat Back Height - 665 mm = 13.9 mm in 1/48

Ultracast Seat Back Height - 14.34 mm for a difference of .44 mm

Tamiya seat back height - 12.978 mm for a difference of .922 mm

 

View all our Spitfire seats at https://www.ultracast.ca/1-48-Spitfire-s/170.htm

 

Kevin McLaughlin

Ultracast

info@ultracast.ca

www.ultracast.ca 

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Hi Kevin, no problem.

Just to be sure, the scan I took does not included parts A33, /A34 which key into those side tabs in order to create the walls of the seat pan.

 

IUiKg7O.jpg

 

regards,

Jack

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Thanks for the clarification Jack.

 

Re-amended measurement comparison with dimensions for the new Tamiya seat as supplied by Jack:

 

Width of seat pan - 427 mm = 8.9 mm in 1/48

Ultracast seat pan width - 9.4 mm for a difference of .5 mm wide

Tamiya seat pan width - 8.293 mm for a difference of .6 mm narrow

 

Seat Back Height - 665 mm = 13.9 mm in 1/48

Ultracast Seat Back Height - 14.34 mm for a difference of .44 mm tall

Tamiya seat back height - 12.978 mm for a difference of .922 mm short

 

Either way people, these are seats in a cockpit and the difference is so small that we're really splitting hairs.

 

View all our Spitfire seats at https://www.ultracast.ca/1-48-Spitfire-s/170.htm

 

Kevin McLaughlin

Ultracast

info@ultracast.ca

www.ultracast.ca

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Just to clarify please, is this post suggesting that there are TWO patterns of plastic seat? An 'early' and a 'late' pattern?

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19 hours ago, Ultracast said:

Thanks for the clarification Jack.

 

Re-amended measurement comparison with dimensions for the new Tamiya seat as supplied by Jack:

 

Width of seat pan - 427 mm = 8.9 mm in 1/48

Ultracast seat pan width - 9.4 mm for a difference of .5 mm wide

Tamiya seat pan width - 8.293 mm for a difference of .6 mm narrow

 

Seat Back Height - 665 mm = 13.9 mm in 1/48

Ultracast Seat Back Height - 14.34 mm for a difference of .44 mm tall

Tamiya seat back height - 12.978 mm for a difference of .922 mm short

 

Either way people, these are seats in a cockpit and the difference is so small that we're really splitting hairs.

 

View all our Spitfire seats at https://www.ultracast.ca/1-48-Spitfire-s/170.htm

 

Kevin McLaughlin

Ultracast

info@ultracast.ca

www.ultracast.ca

Thanks for the detailed measurements, its just a pity that Ultracast isn't stocked in the UK and the postage charges are very expensive to ship from Canada let alone the flat customs fee back in the UK.

 

I think Basilisk did a similar measurement exercise in another previous Britmodeller post which was useful to compare which Spitfire seat from various kit and aftermarket manufacturers. 

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9 hours ago, Peter Roberts said:

Just to clarify please, is this post suggesting that there are TWO patterns of plastic seat? An 'early' and a 'late' pattern?

I think that from the various above posts, there were a variation on metal seats as highlighted by Edgar in the posts I quoted in my first post on this topic.  The first seats had no cut outs in the side and the back.  Later metal seats had the back cut out and presumably the side cut out.   

 

For the 'plastic' seat, I was originally wondering if the early versions would have had the trough style seat as for the metal seats.  Logic would say that if the diamond lozenge seat style was not introduced until 1941 and plastic seats were manufactured and introduced in Feb 40, then there should be a early trough style 'plastic' seat and a later lozenge style 'plastic' seat.  I however, have not seen a trough style plastic seat anywhere on the internet, presumably because they were replaced in service and none now exist.  

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On 7/19/2020 at 5:19 AM, Olmec Head said:

Thanks Peter I'll have a go as and when I do the Tamiya Spitfire.  As an aside you were looking at the Airfix and Tamiya 1/48 Spitfire Ia s,  did you come to an opinion about the Tamiya nose top line please.  

Unfortunately most of my builds are on hold currently, but I still think the Tamiya nose top line has some issues. Will be interesting to see how it will compare with the new Eduard kit when it is out.

 

Back to the seat.

19 hours ago, Ultracast said:

Thanks for the clarification Jack.

 

Re-amended measurement comparison with dimensions for the new Tamiya seat as supplied by Jack:

 

Width of seat pan - 427 mm = 8.9 mm in 1/48

Ultracast seat pan width - 9.4 mm for a difference of .5 mm wide

Tamiya seat pan width - 8.293 mm for a difference of .6 mm narrow

 

Seat Back Height - 665 mm = 13.9 mm in 1/48

Ultracast Seat Back Height - 14.34 mm for a difference of .44 mm tall

Tamiya seat back height - 12.978 mm for a difference of .922 mm short

 

Either way people, these are seats in a cockpit and the difference is so small that we're really splitting hairs.

 

View all our Spitfire seats at https://www.ultracast.ca/1-48-Spitfire-s/170.htm

 

Kevin McLaughlin

Ultracast

info@ultracast.ca

www.ultracast.ca

I Appreciate you participating in this post Kevin. I too compared four seats with the Monforton drawings last year and my findings are a bit different to yours:

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1 = Tamiya, 2 = Eduard Brassin, 3 = Airfix, 4 = Ultracast.

 

The worst is definitely the Airfix rendition and the best for a plastic seat is the Eduard Brassin seat.

 

The comparison below is based on the 1/10 scale drawing of the plastic seat in the tremendous Monforton Spitfire book. Measuring the drawing carefully, I obtained following full size dimension (in brackets 1/48 dimension):

 

Width = 426 mm    (8.88mm)

Height = 730 mm  (15.21mm)

Depth = 180 mm   (3.75mm)

 

The four seats measure as follow (Width / Height / Depth):

Tamiya = 8.4 / 15 / 3.6

Eduard = 9.1 / 15.2 / 3.8

Airfix = 9.0 / 16.3 / 3.8

Ultracast = 9.7 / 16.2 / 4.2

 

This brings the Eduard seat closest to the measurement with just being slightly too wide. So there is hope that eduard will get the seat right!

 

Since I compared the seats a year ago, I came across this drawing!

spacer.png

 

Kevin, it would be great if you would redo your metal seat to the correct scale and cartridge holder to be used in the Airfix and Tamiya kit.

 

Cheers, Peter

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