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Spitfire Mk. VII -- I wasn't a fan, but it grew on me!


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Spitfire Mk. VII | Hasegawa | 1/72

Squadron Leader James J. "Orange" O'Meara, Pilot,  No 131 (County of Kent) Squadron, Royal Air Force, March 1944

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Finished this on September 8, 2020.  In my quest to make all the Spitfire marks, I reluctantly started this one.  I wasn't a fan of the pointed wingtips... I thought the ruined the graceful look of the Spitifre.  But... as the title says... they grew on me.

 

I used the Quickboost resin conversion kit and the Hasegawa Mk. VIII kit, plus decals from the Kopro boxing of this aircraft.  A very troublesome build, the Quickboost parts were supposed to be for the Hasegawa kit, but the wing tips did not fit well at all and required extensive modification and lots of putty to get them to work and look right.  See my WIP for details.  I'd never used decals from Kopro before and an unpleasant surprise was that, when used with hot water, they gripped almost immediately and couldn't be moved or removed for anything.  This resulted in the port-side "O" of the squadron code to be crooked.  With cold water, the decals were extremely brittle, so I had to use lukewarm water and try to get the decal in the right spot on the first try.

 

The panel lining behind the exhaust was seen in several pictures of No. 131 Mark VIIs.  Picture I found of this aircraft were washed out, so it was hard to tell if it was cleaner than the others or not.  

 

Since the aircraft had a sliding Lobelle hood, I had to fill in the existing canopy rails and fabricate new ones that matched the close up photos I had (see WIP).

 

A bit about James J. O'Meara: He was credited with 11 kills, two shared victories, one unconfirmed destroyed, four probables, 11 damaged and one shared damaged (wikipedia) and earned the Distinguished Service Order and Distinguished Flying Cross with bar.  He retired from the RAF as a squadron leader in 1959 after which he worked as an architect, ran a restaurant, bought a hotel and finally passed away in 1974.

 

Paints: Hataka Sea Gray (top) / 1 part Testors Blue to 5 Parts Model Master Intermediate Gray (bottom)

Decals: Kopro decals from their Mk. VII boxing

Aftermarket: Eduard steel seat belts / Quickboost Mk. VII conversion kit

 

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Thanks for looking -- questions, comments or constructive criticism always welcome!

Edited by opus999
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Superb build, well worth the effort and perseverance with the wingtips.

A high-altitude Spit always reminds me of the chapter in Pierre Clostermann's The Big Show entitled Tussle in the Stratosphere.

Excellent!

Cheers,

Mark

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I'm not a fan of the pointed wingtips either but I definitely like your finished model!

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Thanks everyone!  I really like the grey and blue paint scheme as well, it was one of the reasons I wanted to tackle it this time around.

 

Despite the trouble with the wingtips (and decals), it was a fun build.

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Nice. I quite like the VII as at 424 mph it was the quickest of all the Merlin variants. I've got one quite high on my build/finish list and your nice job may help me to get it over the line...

 

Justin

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You've done a great job on this, I really like this paint job on the spitfire too.

 

Rich

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Lovely build and a great rendition of the HF models of the Spitfire.

 

One minor snag (and I hope it's recoverable) but there is no rake on the main undercarriage legs.  There should be.  

I hate to be 'that guy' but when everything else is spot on...

 

http://www.spitfireperformance.com/Spitfire_VII.html

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2 hours ago, Bedders said:

I've got one quite high on my build/finish list and your nice job may help me to get it over the line...

 

I hope it does!  It would be neat to see another Gray Mk. VII!

 

11 minutes ago, At Sea said:

One minor snag (and I hope it's recoverable) but there is no rake on the main undercarriage legs.  There should be.  

I hate to be 'that guy' but when everything else is spot on...

I always miss something! ;)  I'm glad you pointed it out -- I hate missing important details.  That one is on me because I used some spare Eduard gears b/c the detail was better than the Hasegawa gears.  I was so worried about getting them to look right from the front that I completely missed the angle when looking from the side. I'll bet I can fix it... ;) 

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Very nice build. I like the subtle weathering and the overall finish (and the HA extended wing tips). Good background story as well.

I was told the only way to get Kopro decals to move is use saliva instead of Future underneath and on top. I haven't tried it.

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