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1/72 Spitfire Mk.XII -the early Griffon Spit

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Posted (edited)

August is ending and temperature here in northern Italy is again beareable- perhaps we really should forget about modelling and spend our free time planting new trees to devoure excess CO2...

What I did in the  last three weeks?

Well I hiked in my favourite mountain place in the Alps


Yeah that's me! At 51 I need two more paws to reach that places but that's a widely minor nuisance than the now-mandatory magnifier lenses for building model kits!

OK the topic is about Spitfire building, so....



I started building up the main gear wells by thinning the well border (were needed) for a better scale-appearance and gluing the spar part  to restore the correct wing dihedral (it was lost inserting the "plug" for the new oil cooler).

At the end of the Mk.XIV build I was not happy with  the look of the well ribs - after some reserch I discovered that I used the wrong kit part too


so this time I choose the (presumably) right one and modified it to better represent the  real thing etching a channel with a saw.





At this day (23-VIII), I finished building the chassis well and I will start detailing it, the general idea being to get it fully detailed before even gluing the topside of the wing-really I spent too many hours in detailing the  Mk.XIV well with the wings still assembled, that's because the work zone results almost unaccessible.


Next major step was joining the Griffon cowling to the fuselage!

Before that I managed to modify the cowling fasteners for a better look



The small holes were added using a very sharp compass needle...



...and the mandatory 15x monocular magnifier!!

The left-hand fuselage (the  one without  alignement pins) and cowling halves were checked for alignement against the profile view ( I used Tenma Mk.XVII for this) then glued together. This time I did not use interlocking keys (see Mk.XIV build) because I need using Eduard cowling frame (see picture below with frame in place)




The cunning plan is using that frame as a support for the tube holding the propeller shaft and gluing it before closing the fuselage.


The right hand fuselage was glued using the LH one as a jig



The fit is excellent. As was the case with the Mk.XIV, there is a wedge-shaped gap in the lower cowling panel (about 0.9mm at the wing leading edge, I'll document it later)



In  the next post I'll describe some more work on the propeller blades








Edited by steh2o
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Fantastic work as always Stefano, you constantly go the extra distance for perfect details - very impressive!

Glad you made it up you favorite mountain - a good way to spend a summer holiday!

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11 hours ago, TempestV said:

Loving your work with this and I have plans to graft the 1/48 SH XII with the new Eduard Vc. I got my Eagles Call box last week and it looks pretty doable :)

Just a quick hijack here, Tempest V. Have a look at a post on here 'So what's actually wrong with Special Hobby's Spitfire XII?' to save yourself a lot of work. I think the method that Stefano is using here is the way to go in 1/48 now that Eduard have released the Mk V kits. I see using the Eduard Mk VIII fuselage (for the retractable tailwheel & pointy rudder), Eduard Mk V wings and Airfix Mk 22 nose and spinner. Not cheap but maybe less painful with overtrees. Very nice work by the way Stefano.


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I  opened now Britmodeller and found lot of messages! Thanks for looking and thank you for the positive comments!



I do not have a direct experience with SH 1/48 Spitfires; the 1/72nd Griffon Spits though have a rather badly  misshapen cowling profile. Airfix Mk.22 is very good in 1/72nd so I suppose it is valid even in 1/48th; otherwise, the new Airfix Mk.XIV in 1/48 would be my first choice for a donor: please consider that wathever choice you make, it requires some work both on the cylinder head blisters rear part and on the cowling fasteners.

As TempestV pointed out, there is now enough good Eduard elements for the rest of the airframe.

Please note that a Mk.VC wing is needed, but you also want a Mk.VII /F.Mk.IX ("short") carburettor intake: I'm now 100% sure that the production Mk.XII had this installed.

As tempest pointed out, a Mk.VIII or Mk.IX fuselage are required (Eduard provides raised rivets on the Mk.VC fuselage)



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Having done a number of XII myself, they are not up to your standard. It's truly amazing work.


Perhaps a bit premature, but what are you planning to use for squadron codes? I had a devil of a time trying to find a genering sheet with the correct size and ending with obtaining 2 sets of a different machine because I wanted to do EB-B.



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Hello Finn, 

I'll likely go for EB X or EB Z, codes are available for the first a/c  in the Printscale sheet on V1 aces but I plan to paint the Sky codes to match the spinner and fuselage band color. Thanks for the positive comments, I have seen your work and is top notch!

Edited by steh2o
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  • 2 months later...

It's two months I'm not posting progress on this Mk.XII!

The work is slowly progressing. The main hurdle I'm currently facing is the main landing gear (chassis?) even if now I think I've found a convincing solution for it, I feel more confident and I can share some of the work done .

Before starting the chassis saga, I would like to show some more work done on  the propeller/spinner assembly



As explained in the Mk.XIVe work in progress, Airfix prop blades are nice but lacking in chord about 0.2mm, which I compensated by gluing thin strips of 0,1mm card to the edges of each blade (I did 5five of them just to be sure)




Here the blades are a bit in better shape. I discovered that working with the blades still connected to the hub is way easier! I thinned down the blade thickness a bit to get a more realistic look.

The blade collar is not in the right position for a Mk.XII   propeller so I decided to remove it entirely  and create new ones using platic tubing






Here the blades are removed from the collar. I marked with black ink the front of the blade. Also I cut four brass pins that will stenghten the joint between blade, new collar, and new hub.




The new collar has been glued to each blade, and the first reshaping of the blade shape effected




Dissolved plastic provides a fillet between new collar and blade.




Here a comparison picture:

left is unmodified Airfix (Mk,22)

center is widened, thinned, new collar, first shape adjustment

right is the final shape, similar but specular to the Mk.VII/VIII/IX profile: notice how different the blade root is.

I smoothed a bit the profile of the  whole blade and sharpened the angular tip




Four blades, ready for paint


Next the spinner: this time I checked times and again the  shape of it (I don't want to repeat the Mk XIV experience), corrected it a bit, then etched and riveted the surface




Near the left-most blade root, on the baseplate I represented the slot discussed some posts above;




Added the hub cap too using a beading tool. This is ready for paint too!






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The carburettor intake ( I call it a "Mk.VII style", but possibly it originated with Mk.XII itself?) need some thinning down of the walls and, most of all, the ice guard.

After some thinking I did this



The rightmost element is a section of a photoetched  fret, it is thin enough (0,1mm) and has a useful T element that I will use for mounting to the intake (I know there are four small braces in reality....)


Here I shaped it and soldered it



All is left is gluing an acceptably thin mesh in front and mounting it to the intake part.



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