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1/24 Spitfire IX / Seafire III Conversion


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Hi,

 

I'm toying the idea of a 1/24 Spitfire I to Seafire III conversion and I'd like to know what may be available and what would be needed.

 

What I do know I need is;

 

4 blade prop,

6 stack exhaust,

Later elevators,

Larger carb intake,

Modified wing,

Cannon & bulges,

Arrested gear,

Strengthening plates,

Later type windscreen.

 

I know heritage aviation did a 1/24 IX conversion which would sort out many things like the elevators and props - but that's long out or production.

 

All things considered, I can 3D design and print most of the above things, apart from the later windscreen.

 

Has anyone got any bright ideas?

 

Cheers

Ben

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G'day Ben,I started  converting the Airfix 1/24 Vb into a Seafire III many years ago but became hung up with a severe lack of reference material and put it to one side for the time being.If you ever knock up the exhausts and a set of wing fold inserts give me a shout because I'm in the market for those.

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Ben, it's definitely do-able, I did this with Trumpeters MKVI kit many years ago, its a Seafire L.III and I did an article for IPMS Magazine that was a bit of a how to, here are a couple of pictures -

 

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As you can see I chickened out on the windscreen and didn't fold the wings but I did rebuild the undercarriage and correct all the kits foobars. The Heritage set was a bit iffy if I remember rightly and definitely not a complete conversion set but a good basis to start with.

 

D-Day scheme is 808 Squadron FAA doing gunfire spotting duties for the battleships.

 

I've got other pictures during the build and happy to answer any questions by PM.

 

Dave

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Interesting and good luck.

 

I would suggest that the undercarriage legs need raking forward too in the same manner as the Spitfire Vc.
 

Trevor

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1 hour ago, wellsprop said:

Has anyone got any bright ideas?

this book,

 

9780850590821-uk.jpg

Spitfire, Classic Aircraft No.1 Their history and how to model them

Cross, Roy and Scarborough, Gerald

Published by Patrick Stephens (1971)

ISBN 10: 0850590825ISBN 13: 9780850590821

 

If you hunt about you should be able to get a cheap copy, it's an interesting bit of modelling history,  one of the first (maybe the first) serious book about history and then upgrading a plastic kit.   Dated, and is by todays standards, a bit basic, but still some good info in there.  In it's day it was revelatory! 

 

Anyway, has a conversion of the Airfix Mk.I to a Seafire II, with 1/24th plans.   

( I got one in 1981, and started to convert the 1/48th Airfix Vb into a Seafire II back then... never did finish it, but still got it...what, me, a packrat... :whistle:  )

 

The Airfix reissue of their Mk.I kit as a Vb,  has additional parts to the Mk.I to do a Vb, 

You could make your life easier by doing a Seafire II,  as the Airfix Vb has the right prop and oil cooler. 

Also, you might better off asking in our wanted section for the Vb bits,  as someone will have bought the Vb to do as Mk.I I'll bet, and looking on ebay for an older issue of the kit, as newer ones vary in quality.

 

For a Seafire III, as @Coors54 suggests, the Trumpeter kit might be a better starting point, if just for the 4 blade prop.

 

HTH

 

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Hrm, it just get's more confusing....

 

I totally forgot about the undercarriage rake. This is turning out to be more of a headache than I thought. The Spitfire VI from Trumpeter seems like the better option - that would need only a new longer carb intake, all the arrestor gear, rescribed wing and new cannon - all that is doable with CAD and a 3D printer. I'm still unsure what to do about the forward canopy, trumpeters is wrong anyway as it is too steep.

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Considering the many modifications required, I would rate the undercarriage rake as the least of your problems, more so as it's not particularly noticeable...

The most difficult part would be the new windscreen and canopy. If you can 3D print parts it may be worth considering making a master with this technique and use this to vacuform a replacement. Ideally you could add into the master the part of the fuselage on which the windscreen seats as this differs between the two windscreen types. IMHO having part of the fuselage together with the clear part makes things easier during the build and I'd like to see all companies offering this, but that's a different story... 😁

The propeller is another difficult part, but starting from Trumpeter's kit will already give you the 4-blade prop. IIRC Seafire IIIs often had the tips clipped, a search in the forum should result in some more information but such a modification would be easy enough. Alternatively you may try to find the Mk.VI specific parts only... or of course you could 3D print one blade and then replicate a full set in resin.

Tailplanes are easy, as the older ones can be modified into the newer style with a cutter and some filler.

The arrestor hook is also not particularly difficult to make in plasticard, if I did it in 1/72 everyone can do it. To this you should add the catapult spools, again not hard to make with rod.

Another easy addition are the reinforcing plates, that can be easily cut from plasticard. What may be less easy is to find the correct size and shape of these...

For the Aerovee intake I guess that the only solution is 3D printing. Finding a good pattern to copy is not difficult, just buy an Eduard Spit IX.

The wing requires a lot of changes.... all new panel lines can of course be sorted with sanding and rescribing. The different position of the MGs in the B and C wing will require cutting new spent case ejection slots on the undersurfaces and of course you'll need new gun bulges on the upper surfaces (3D printed I guess). Don't forget that there are small bulges behind the various ejection slots on the undersurfaces too. You'll need new gun barrel fairings, may be 3D printed or just made by shaping rods of the right size.

The Seafire folding wing will require some more work... it's not only a matter of scribing the fold lines (easy if you find a good drawing), the shape of the wheel well is also different where the well touches the folding line.

Then there are the smaller details... you already mentioned the 6-stack exhausts and I may add that it's worth checking which wheels were used, they may not be included in the kit. There may also be some small differences in the cockpit, I'd have to check what they are.

 

So overall a very interesting and potentially challenging project but sure not impossible. A lot depends on what you can make by 3D printing, as this would make a lot of things easier.

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4 hours ago, Giorgio N said:

Another easy addition are the reinforcing plates, that can be easily cut from plasticard. What may be less easy is to find the correct size and shape of these...

There are 1/24th plans in the book I mentioned.  

 

I believe there are ways to use multiple photographs to create shapes in CAD,  @Loft-full  was talking about this when photographing bits and pieces at Gatwick air museum.

He maybe able to add in some suggestions.

 

HTH

 

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I would endorse all that @Giorgio N has written, mine is very much an approximation of a Seafire III but I did have a go at some wing differences

 

15bd88a8-071a-44a3-9bd2-d67c32956f3c.jpg

 

Lots of filler and sanding......

 

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I think I used the Seafire drawings in the Classic Aircraft book to do the catapult spools and reinforcing plates etc.

 

The wing along with the canopy are the difficult parts and 3D printing should make things a bit easier and I reckon if you nail the canopy it could be a nice little earner as it opens up so many conversion possibilities to later marks of Merlin Spit in 1/24.

 

Dave

 

 

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Blimey this is getting interesting...

 

I'm fairly happy that if I get the Trumpeter Spitfire VI, I can 3D print everything needed (aside from the props which are included in the kit and the tailplane, modified from the kit).

 

I think this will be a winter job :D

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Thank you @Seahawk, they were also very cheap! Everything came out of the scrap box, a couple of old rivets (the purple thing) some brass tube, micro strip, sprue, speed tape and wire. 

In some respects 1/24 is easier because of the size, I couldn't go back to 1/72 now, my eyes and finger dexterity are too shot!

 

Dave

 

 

 

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