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Great post as usual Stefano and thanks for taking the time to illustrate your process for achieving a satisfactory colour outcome (which you most certainly have!). I admire your dedication as well; it wouldn't have been easy to repaint the upper colours.

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Thanks Andrew! Among the lessons learned: never paint twice the  same model! I had many troubles with the newest paint layers cracking, and I had to sand down and start again. Another lesson I'm learning still now is putting in to the paint mix the right amount of gloss so that you get the most out of a single,thin layer of paint.

Next time I'll have my mix well tested before applying it to the real model!

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28 minutes ago, steh2o said:

 Among the lessons learned: never paint twice the  same model!

Traditionally the advice is that multiple thin coats is better than one thick coat.  Generally, one thin coat won't cover.  I think that is on the principle that it if does cover then it was a thick coat.

 

Perhaps not the best time to add that Ocean Grey faded fairly quickly so I don't think there'd have been any legitimate complaint about your first go.  But in the end you have to satisfy yourself, and if it was nagging at you then fair enough.

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Hello!

Thanks Graham,  in the picture RM787 paintwork seems in rather pristine condition, so I wanted to show it not discoloured and with a satin finish as a relatively new and well mantained aircraft. I do not appreciate the forcedly battered look of some models unless there are photographs of the "real thing" showing the same amount of wear.

In this sense, with my mixed paints I try to get the right shade and a satin finish; at first try I had both the top colors wrong!

Here below a poor quality shot of a comparison between "my" Dark green, second version, and Vallejo 70.893; I'm satisfied with it, although Valllejo's has a more accented red note in it

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I managed to finish my fin/rudder repair!

First of all, I sanded flat the fin then  sharpened and reshaped its leading edge, obliterating the unnecessary panel lines and rivets

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then I restored the missing panel lines with the help of a "guided" scriber, fashioned in this way:

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The scriber is a broken 0.5mm drill bit sharpened to a point; it is taped to another similar tool which has the function of guiding the scriber along the leading edge (and tip) of the fin. The scribing distance D from the guide is adjusted by winding yellow tape on the guide-bit until the distance is right.

Some rivets were restored with a pointy tool, and the result before painting is here:

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How about the new rudder?

When the fin was OK, I filed to shape the balance horn of the rudder to get the smoothest leading edge transition between the two parts.

Then I added the missing rib detail on the balance horn: first, masking of the balance horn and spray a rather thick layer of Ocean gray on it

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Then a second mask for the rib and more Ocean gray

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(incidentally this time I installed a proper trim tab actuating leverage-just visible in the above photograph- I will do the same for the elevator trim tabs too) it's time to unmask and find...

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...neat one! To get a well defined line you need a sharp mask edge (better to cut the edge of the tape with sharp scissors) and well-diluted paint in many thin layers.

Time to paint, assemble and...

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Now I like it! Just add the tail position light, add some wethering , tidy up the paint and restore the right shine, glue the rudder and add the actuating arm.

....mmmh really I have to adjust the tail wheel doors, they are not open enough and should be more angled....

 

Edited by steh2o
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  • 2 weeks later...

Good morning!

Although slowly I made some progress with the small Spitfire.

I corrected what I believe was another error (of mine obviously), and that is the position of the propeller spinner fasteners.

Mk.XIV had apparently two styles of spinner: an "early" one with 5 fasteners on the front dome, one in front of each blade...

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...and a "late" style, with 10 fasteners, two each near the baseplate and between each pair of blades, an arrangement similar to the Mk IX/VIII spinner

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When I started my build I was unaware of this, and represented the more common later type by conveniently drilling 10 micro-holes at the base of the spinner.

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Looking closely at the photograph of RM787 in its Lympne days, I noticed that I actually could not see any trace of the fasteners near the baseplate. Looking again and again at the existing photographs of wartime Mk.XIV I can see easily the later pattern if it's there. The only reasonable conclusion is that RM787 in war time had the earlier 5-fasteners style. Photographs indeed show that RM-serialled a/cs could have both styles. Please notice that the photograph of RM787 pranged during its BAF service career shows a late style spinner- for sure the 10-fasteners design was the most effective one (it is fitted to the vast majority of the Griffon engined Spitfires/Seafires) and was retro-fitted before delivery to BAF.

So I decided to correct this small mistake: I filled the micro-holes with epoxy putty, sanded smooth after drying and repainted with Sky.

I did not drill new holes, simply added the proper HGW dry transfers (from the Spitfire Mk IX stencil set) in the proper place

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In this photograph the lowest one is shown with the carrier film still applied, while the two visible ones have it removed.

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Here the propeller in its glory before modification

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and after

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Addendum about the Griffon-engined prop spinners: although the shape of the spinner seems to be the same from Mk.XII onwards (except contra-props obviously), I noticed a difference in the Mk.XII/MkXV/MkXVII four-bladed props+spinners

Mk.XII

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Seafire Mk.XV

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Seafire Mk.XVII

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The four blade propeller has a different spinner type: it seems that there are no fasteners at all, so how was the spinner assembled to the propeller baseplate?

Does anybody have a parts catalogue for one of these Marks showing this particular?

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3 hours ago, steh2o said:

Addendum about the Griffon-engined prop spinners: although the shape of the spinner seems to be the same from Mk.XII onwards (except contra-props obviously), I noticed a difference in the Mk.XII/MkXV/MkXVII four-bladed props+spinners

Mk.XII

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Seafire Mk.XV

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Seafire Mk.XVII

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The four blade propeller has a different spinner type: it seems that there are no fasteners at all, so how was the spinner assembled to the propeller baseplate?

Does anybody have a parts catalogue for one of these Marks showing this particular?

 

they all seem to have a hole in the tip so that's where i'd look for a screw

 

 

 

 

 

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i have this close up of a late xiv spinner... since we're on the subject :) looks a bit loose and very well might be in this static restoration

interesting how the baseplate and fillets are not the same color as the spinner, but again, restoration.

 

 

DSC02622

 

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Hello lunarhighway, I agree that a screw through the tip is the only possibility to firmly lock the spinner in place. Looking at the Mk XIV spinner, it seems to me that the line separating the blades-containing part and the dome is farther forward in the Mk XII than in the Mk XIV; there are also diferences in the rivets (the MkXII has one more circle, and the rivet lines bordering the blade root extend just to this circle). If the shape is the same, the general structure differs in the two types.

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Another difference: Mk.XIV, Mk.XV, Mk.XVII share the same blade design, while Mk XII has a blade which shares the same general dimensions but is filleted to the root

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13 hours ago, steh2o said:

The four blade propeller has a different spinner type: it seems that there are no fasteners at all, so how was the spinner assembled to the propeller baseplate?

One possible, these maybe like the Hurricane 'bullet' Rotol units, of which there are two types,  the ES/9, with two fasteners between the blades, the other, CM/1, which has one slot in the baseplate, 

 

"The CM/1 spinner is locked by a single slot located on the backing plate so if you can’t see any holes on the spinner you may be looking at a CM/1. If you are lucky and the prop has stopped in the correct place you may even be able to see the slot in the backing plate.   "

as below

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see https://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/234980181-hawker-hurricane-propellers-and-spinners-a-modellers-guide/

 

So, you may need to scour more images.  This is a suggestion only,  and right now I'm not about to go a photo hunt, but would explain the lack of apparent fasteners. 

 

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Hello Troy,

it is indeed possible that a similar solution was used for the four blade propeller assembly of Mk.XII. I checked the few photographs available (to me) of Mk XII, XV and XVII and I could not detect a similar slot in the baseplate.

Is it known how the  CM/1 spinner was locked in place? I have seen a pressurized vessel for submarine environment in which a cylindrical body was coupled to a round flange inserting a sort of flexible key in a circumferential keyhole using a similarly placed slot.

I sketched a fancy drawing to explain (sorry for the many typos....)

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Just a few words about the markings and decals.

I'm not aware of a decals sheet in 1/72 featuring RM787 "CG"; when I choose this particular subject, I decided to airbrush the "CG" letters (the real ones had a rather untidy look anyway), and assemble the RM787 code from suitable decals. Also I wanted to try the beautiful HGW Models wet transfers sheet #272018 (I had a pleasant experience with the stencil sheet for the P-47 before).

About general recognition markings: the Sky tail band was painted, as well as the under-fuselage invasion stripes and the yellow bands on the leading edge of wings. All of these elements were painted according to the official dimensions, the most difficult being for sure the yellow leading edge band. I actually painted all that before applying the Day Fighter Scheme to get more precise masking and avoid steps in the painted surface.

I then applied roundels and fin flashes- and here the only inconvenience: HGW roundels have a lemon-ish translucent yellow border for the fuselage roundel. So I decided to use Xtradecals roundels and fin flashes (sheet x72178) while the wings received the HGW roundels (which have that painted-on look for sure, but are a little too indigo in my opinion)

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Next time I build a British a/c I will paint the roundels... it is well feasible (see for an example the work of Jumpei Tenma) and the end result is always better than using decals, because:

-the end result is very thin

-you can choose colors

-you decide the dimensions.

Here for an example is a picture showing the RHS of my little Jeepo:

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(sorry for the dust!): the markings are painted, actually in four colours, off-white star, white bars and codes, blue disc, red surround.

Coming back to the Spitfire- I added the RM787 code using again Xtradecal #72178 and DK Decals as a source of characters. the "787" on LHS and "RM7" on RHS were modified by brush and black oil paint- the "7"s are slightly thicker on top and foot, the "8" is very irregular : the photograph shows clearly that they had a non-stenciled shape. I think that the Sky band was painted (or re-painted) in the field and the "787" part of the code hand-painted on it. Looking at the photograph now, the "787" needs more adjustment to match the real thing...

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...added a WingCo pennant (DKdecals)

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...then the CG code.

The mask is cut in Frisket film following a pattern drawed on paper. I measured the dimension of the characters and relative spacing on the photograph and I'm fairly satisfied with the result -both dimensions and style. The mask was reinforced using masking tape, then it was tested on the Mk.22 fuselage (the roundel was used to evaluate the effect of a direct flat clear finish on the Xtradecal roundels)

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Other markings come from the HGW sheet (I know, tank fuel capacity is wrong)

Edited by steh2o
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Question to the 1/72 Spitfire aficionados out there:

is there an after-market decals sheet with Spitfire Mk.XII subjects in it?

These days I'm trying to procure materials for a Mk XII project. I bought a Sword Mk XVII for the engine cowling discovering that the cowling bulges are misplaced 😱

Still have to check Sword's Mk XIV but I fear it shares the same design. I have an Airfix PR Mk.XIX which has the right outline and proportions, but the bulges are too much filled in in the forward upper cowling due to the moulding process (in the Mk 22/24 it isn't so). Now I'm evaluating (a) try and purchase another Mk22/24 which nowadays is rare as an unicorn (b) modify the Mk.XIX cowling which is a mess, beacuse the involved region is most visible and has to be perfectly done.

I'll petition Arma Hobby for a decent, new, Griffon-Spitfire....

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Fantastic work on this Mk XIV, the cross kitting, construction, painting - everything is top notch.

 

Hopefully Airfix will re-release the Mk 22 sometime soon, it is such a great kit and as you mention, it's a great donor for other Griffon engined Spitfires (I used it to make a Mk 21 mated to an Eduard Mk VIII fuselage).

Another good donor kit is the Special Hobby Griffon Spitfires - the wings and fuselage shapes preclude it from being a very good stand alone build, but it comes with many useful parts (many prop/spinner variations, cockpit bits, vertical tail/rudders, cannons etc) and tends to be available and inexpensive. The cowling fairings for the Griffon are molded separately on the SH kit and may prove useful, I don't know how accurate they are, but at least they are separate parts so may be easier to modify if necessary.

 

For the Mk XII, the Brigade conversion set comes with some decals. I used this set to convert a Sword Mk Vc kit to a Mk XII, alongside a CMR resin kit. The Brigade set is pretty crude (molded in exhausts) and the CMR Mk XII is very short in fuselage length.

Another decal option is the new Xtradecal Mk Vc set, it includes a 91 Sqn option that would be helpful for a 91 Sqn Mk XII, and it is the only 1/72 option that I know of for the stylized 'Nigeria' lettering featured on some of the squadron's Spitfires.

 

Sorry for rambling on, hope some of this is useful for you.

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Great save on the fin & rudder. As for decals for Spitfire XIIs, Print Scale 72-284 (Spitfire V-1 aces) includes MB856 EB-X of 41 Sqn. I think I'll give them a try for my XII (when I can rustle up the courage). Cookie's builds provide strength though!

 

Justin

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Justin,

thanks for the heads-up, I wasn't aware of this new sheet, it's really interesting! Moreover it contains markings for Bobby Oxspring's a/c whose book "Spitfire command" I've read just recently. Though I've never seen photographs of it, and the the markings for MB856 seem a "long shot" as it appears (farther from the camera) in the well known 41 sqn. photograph.-edit: I see in the Osprey's book on V1 aces that EB-X appears in background in the photograph of EB-Z, although quite difficult to see!- Another small critics is that PrintScale repeats the RB188+Brunhilde thing while there is no solid evidence of this combination (for the casual reader: RB188 DL-K was a Mk.XIVc, a nice photograph of its right  side exists, Brunhilde DL-K is a Mk XIVe and a photograph of the left nose shows the art, while on the spinner is readable a handwritten RM687 serial). Anyway it seems a good source of markings in case I decide for MB854 EB-Z. Sincerely I'm attracted by the idea of building  one of Ray Harries mounts, possibly EN625. We'll see if I can put my hands on a suitable Mk.22 donor (Jack the Ripper spirit in me again!).

Cookie, I've admired your work which was unknown to me before! Man you have guts and talent, really!

Talking about markings, another  possible source of the Nigeria lettering is DK Decals 72036 Spitfire MkV aces (again Bobby Oxspring's MkVc), I specifically bought this set 'cause one of my "dream" models is Paddy Finucane's Queen Salote (more ripping of Eduard's and Tamiya's needed😀).

Thanks fot the heads-up about Special Hobby Griffon Spitfires, the separate fairings could be used in conjuction with the Airfix PRXIX cowling as a last chance.... I sincerely hope to find another Mk 22 whose engine cowling is very well done.

 

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  • 3 weeks later...
Posted (edited)

Just a small update to show I'm still alive!

These days I'm pretty lazy and I spend my modelling time adding scratches and dirt to the Spitfire XIV, scanning the internet to find another Airfix Mk.22, and analyzing the Arma Hurricane Mk.I  (possibly my next build).

I work very slowly in the weathering phase of my models, be it an aircraft, tank or ship. That's because I try to adhere strictly to photographs of the prototype and try and balance the weathering very carefully. So I add a couple of scratches, then wait a couple of days and check if it's still ok or I need to change it... a bit paranoid.

RM787 "CG" was rather new, so I limited the weathering keeping most of the livery untouched

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A rather common paint damage occurring with Spitfires happened with refueling. The fuel hose scratched the leading edge of the wing(s) near the cowling; also the area around the fuel cap gets scratched by the hose nozzle

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Here's a view of the left wing top. I restrained the wear to a minimum; fuel and oil spills, and exhaust plumes will be added after the clear top overcoat

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Top right wing, wear is minimal

 

Edited by steh2o
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Exemplary work Stefano.

And the wealth of information in your build is awesome (and now bookmarked!).

Thank you for sharing it with us.

 

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