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Spitfire ‘silver’ finish


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Hello all, probably a dumb question but hoping for a bit of a steer from those of you in the know.

 

I’m building the 1/48 Airfix Spitfire mk.XIV and want to finish it in the silver option.  Would this have been NMF or, as I suspect, silver/aluminium paint as in high speed silver.  
 

thanks for your help.

 

Andy

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High Speed Silver. The RAF always painted their aircraft (except the EE Lightning? Why?). 

Edited by Evil_Toast_RSA
clarification
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1 minute ago, Evil_Toast_RSA said:

The RAF always painted their aircraft

 

Generally true, but there were exceptions, though, particularly for a wartime aircraft such as a Spitfire. At the end of the war, my Dad's squadron (253 Sqn) had one particular aircraft (the C.O.'s Mk IX) in polished bare metal.

 

22 minutes ago, Darwinism said:

I’m building the 1/48 Airfix Spitfire mk.XIV and want to finish it in the silver option.

 Is this the Canadian civil racer in the kit options? If so, it might well have been bare metal.

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Actually it depends on which Mk XIV you are going to model. Race 80 was highly polished nmf with only the rudder & elevators painted silver. Standard practice for squadron use was 'medium' speed silver all over however some auxiliary squadrons polished their Mk 21 cowlings to a high shine.

Note: Tiger Moths - low speed silver, Spitfires etc - medium speed silver and jets - high speed silver.😂

TRF

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Be careful how you use the term,"high speed silver". The term was generally used to describe the aluminium finish developed to DTD 772, circa 1949. The previous aluminium finishes to DTD 63, (cellulose), and DTD 260, (synthetic), could not hack it for the faster aircraft and eroded badly. "High speed silver" was never an official description of the colour: its official description was "High Gloss Finishing Scheme".

 

It was more than just a name for  paint colour. DTD 772 was introduced to provide a durable finish for the high speed jet aircraft then entering service. It consisted of a pigmented synthetic resin, or an etching, primer applied directly to the metal. If necessary than a filler was applied and, finally, the finish which was a glossy pigmented synthetic nitrocellulose resin. Finally, this was to be cut back with an abrasive cutting compound and then finished with a wax free liquid polish. DTD 772 finishes were intended for use over aluminium and could not be applied over fabric or wood, (hence the different coloured finish on the wooden skin  over the antenna mounted in the fin of Canberras).

 

I seriously doubt that a Spitfire XIV, such as TZ112 in one of the kits, would have been finished in "high speed silver", as they were going out of service when DTD 772 was introduced. It would probably have been finished in one of the earlier specified finishes which were not as glossy as the DTD 772 finish. If you are doing Race No. 80, as @fastterry points out, she was polished natural metal, having been stripped back from her production camouflage finish.

 

" Tiger Moths - low speed silver," 

Post war, DTD 751, 752, and 753 specified the finishes for dopes for fabric.

 

Peter M

 

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Thanks for your help Evil_Toast_RSA, KevinK, fastterry and Magpie22.  I should have mentioned that I’m doing the II (AC) Sqn aircraft so HSS, or rather DTD 63/260 it’ll be then. 

Thanks again for the advice.

 

Andy

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Would hate to have gotten those silvers on the wrong aircraft. Can you imagine the shock on the student and instructors faces if their Tiger Moth accidentally got a coat of 'high speed silver'. 😆

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3 hours ago, Evil_Toast_RSA said:

High Speed Silver. The RAF always painted their aircraft (except the EE Lightning? Why?). 

 

 

Hint: it was the RAF's only supersonic aircraft, so they had to worry about paint durability with aerodynamic heating.  The squadrons painted their fins, but this is well aft within the shock cone.  This paint was later removed to allow regular checks for fatigue cracks.  One test aircraft had the fin fail at high speed over the Irish Sea.

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On 1/20/2021 at 9:10 AM, Red Dog said:

Would hate to have gotten those silvers on the wrong aircraft. Can you imagine the shock on the student and instructors faces if their Tiger Moth accidentally got a coat of 'high speed silver'. 😆

 

Just be thankful HSS had been superceded by light aircraft grey by the time the Short Belfast came into service. Having to rename the colour Slow Speed Silver would have been very humiliating. They didn't call the aircraft the Belslow for nothing.

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15 hours ago, Truro Model Builder said:

Just be thankful HSS had been superceded by light aircraft grey by the time the Short Belfast came into service

TBH the terms "Short Belfast" and "light aircraft" are also very strange bedfellows

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