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Supermarine Spitfire Mk.I PR Type B, KP Models 1/72, now Eduard 1/48!


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I've recently "run out of steam" with my many and various 1/72 builds, to the point where I decided to chuck it all in and move up to 1/48 scale. This build is one that got caught in the cross-fire and was shot down in no uncertain terms.

 

However, the arrival of an Eduard Spitfire Mk.I Dual Combo double kit has put me in the position of being able to start again. Same subject but biggerer :) My references listed below are still valid, of course.

 

If, dear reader, you're interested in the false start, please read on. Otherwise, please feel free to skip ahead to Page 3 where hopefully things will actually be happening!

 

Cheers,

Mark

 

Despite my two posted place-holders, I've found myself inspired by @Hammer2023's build of a Spitfire PR1 and decided to have a go at one myself. Its been on my "to-do" list for quite a while anyway, so that was really just the spur I needed to get cracking.

 

I'm using the KP Spitfire Mk.Ia "Black and white" boxing, which contains an amazing quantity of parts for the spares box, not least a complete "B" wing, two spare sets of 3-blade props and a Watts 2-blader as well.

 

For references, I'm dipping into Dr Alfred Price's "The Spitfire Story", Valiant Wings' "Merlin-engined Spitfires", Ventura's Classic Wardbirds #10 "Merlin PR Spitfires", and On Target Profiles #8 "Photo Reconnaissance Spitfires". I've also got a copy of Morgan and Shacklady's "Spitfire: The History" on its way.

 

I'm also referring to some previous BM threads:

Sidney Cotton's Spitfires

Spitfire PRI Details

A Question Regarding Early Spitfire Seats

1/48 Spitfire PR I - Build diary

Spitfire PR.Ia N3071 - Airfix 1/72

Spitfire Mk. I PR Type A

 

Box and sprue shots:

IMG-20230303-133316096-HDR.jpg

IMG-20230303-133332612-HDR.jpg

IMG-20230303-133406867-HDR.jpg

IMG-20230303-133458268.jpg

IMG-20230303-133525762.jpg

IMG-20230303-133555607.jpg

IMG-20230303-133620114.jpg

The main sprues contains the "B" wing, the alternative "A" wing is on the supplementary sprue along with the Watts prop and, what's that? Its a Mk.IIa LR wing fuel tank!

 

I've started with the "Cottonising" process, filling the wing panel lines and drilling the camera ports in the centre of the under-wing inboard ammunition box hatches. The panel lines for those are retained of course, as are the upper-wing gun access panels for the innermost Browning, which was used as an access point for the camera operating mechanism.

 

More photos to follow!

 

Cheers,

Mark

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1 hour ago, Col. said:

Nice one Mark. Do you have a particular example in mind?

Thanks, Col, I haven't decided yet, but its early days so I think I've got time as I need to find details of the fuselage fuel tank that the Type Bs had. I could be wrong (quite likely!) but think most Type As became progressively Type Bs and Type Cs as more mods were introduced, so a specific time will be important.

 

Cheers,

Mark

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4 hours ago, 2996 Victor said:

The panel lines for those are retained of course, as are the upper-wing gun access panels for the innermost Browning, which was used as an access point for the camera operating mechanism.

 

Hey Mark, where did you find that tidbit? I'm working from mostly the same selection of references (I don't have On Target 8 ) and seem to have missed it. Do you know if the top of wing access hatch panel lines are applicable to the PR1A also, or just the 1B?

Edited by Hammer2023
no smiley intended!
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19 minutes ago, Hammer2023 said:

Hey Mark, where did you find that tidbit? I'm working from mostly the same selection of references (I don't have On Target 😎 and seem to have missed it. Do you know if the top of wing access hatch panel lines are applicable to the PR1A also, or just the 1B?

I think I found it via a post in CedB's build thread, which links to this photo in the IWM Archives. Dang - that shows the camera access is on top as well..... :facepalm: - I'll need to scribe that in. As far as I know, the Ia and Ib were externally identical, the main difference being the addition of the 29gal fuselage fuel tank behind the pilot in the Ib. I stand to be corrected, though!

 

Hope that helps :) 

 

Cheers,

Mark

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Thanks!

I have to admit I'm a bit confused by it all at this point, as everyone seems to fill a different selection of panel lines! I think I'm going to leave mine as is rather than trying to rescribe anything in. I probably shouldn't have shaved off the top of wing bulges, but hey ho!

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1 hour ago, Hammer2023 said:

Thanks!

I have to admit I'm a bit confused by it all at this point, as everyone seems to fill a different selection of panel lines! I think I'm going to leave mine as is rather than trying to rescribe anything in. I probably shouldn't have shaved off the top of wing bulges, but hey ho!

I know what you mean! I've decided to go with the gun panel for the camera motor gear, and scribe in the access panel next to it where the ammo box would have been. I think I'll fill the ammo box panel lines on the underside around the camera port. No idea if that's right..... :lol: On the underside, I'm filling everything outboard of the radiator and oil cooler. Again, I've no idea if it's right!!!

 

I've assembled the wings, they needed a bit of shimming to get the underside surfaces flush. The ailerons and flaps are moulded with the upper surfaces, so there's the danger of a step without shims. And a fair bit of filing/dry fitting/filing/dry fitting etc etc :)

 

Next job is a witness coat to see what needs more filler! Some dingy pics:

IMG-20230305-193123697-HDR.jpg

IMG-20230305-193136551-HDR.jpg

 

Close up - hopefully the filled panel lines are more obvious!

IMG-20230305-193207377.jpg

IMG-20230305-193155809.jpg

 

Thanks for looking in!

 

Cheers,

Mark 

 

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2 minutes ago, AliGauld said:

Nice start Mark,

Looking forward to seeing what you do with this one.

 

Cheers,

Alistair

Thanks, Alistair, hopefully once I've got the wings sorted, it'll be plain sailing and just a paint job!

 

Cheers,

Mark 

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6 hours ago, 2996 Victor said:

Thanks, Col, I haven't decided yet, but its early days so I think I've got time as I need to find details of the fuselage fuel tank that the Type Bs had. I could be wrong (quite likely!) but think most Type As became progressively Type Bs and Type Cs as more mods were introduced, so a specific time will be important.

Reading around on the subject a few years ago got me confused but with the impression all the designations got so messy and confusing even for those working with the real machines they brought in the Mk. IV designation to help tidy things up a bit.

Do you have a bulged canopy hood for this one?

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6 hours ago, opus999 said:

I'll be interested to see how a KP kit goes together.  I don't have any experience with those.  The instructions look better than those that came with my Sword kit!

 

5 hours ago, Scargsy said:

I have a KP kit in the stash, will be following along with some interest!

Experience so far is pretty positive, both with this one and the Seafire Ib and Spit Vc I've got going in Salty Sea Dog. Detail is nice, panel lines are quite restrained and generally fit is good. Its short run so there aren't any location pins and mating surfaces need a bit of care, particularly wings if you want a nice fine trailing edge, but its nothing untoward. The only issue I've found with the Seafire and Spit V are the cowling tops are slightly off, needing a thin skim of filler/Mr Surfacer, but of course that's probably just me getting things a bit skew-whiff!

 

One useful thing I have found so far is with the cockpit. Its better to assemble the fuselage halves first, and then when they're dry, add the IP and the seat/bulkhead from underneath. Lastly add the "floor" with the control column - this takes a little gentle wiggling but it goes in alright. Far easier than trying to get everything square in one fuselage half!

 

Cheers,

Mark

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14 hours ago, Hammer2023 said:

where did you find that tidbit?

Double dang!!! Looking again at the photo of the camera fit, the two innermost gun bays have open panels for accessing the camera gear, don't they? Looks like I need to clean the Mr Surfacer out of the panel lines for the second gun bay! My Dad always did say that I couldn't see for looking :D 

 

Cheers,

Mark

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Just to add another curved ball, I'm going to bring up non-standard green interiors on early Spitfires. I don't want to open a :worms: as there are lots of other threads on BM that do just that!

However, I understand that @Paul Lucas wrote about this subject in, I believe, the Model Aircraft Monthly Spitfire Special? Unfortunately, that publication seems quite elusive, so I was wondering if you, Paul, would mind offering some thoughts on the apple-i-ness or otherwise of this colour? I realise of course that there is no way to determine which particular airframes may or may not have had this alternative interior colour, but being early machines it seems at lease plausible.

 

All the best,

Mark

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I remember reading something on Spitfire wing bulges quite a few years ago and I seem to remember that a lot of kits have bulges that were not originally on the real thing but were added later during upgrades. - something along the lines of preserved Mk I having been reworked to Mk V standard later so the exhausts, canopy and various other things are not correct. Clearly the Mk Ia did not have cannon bulges, and there was something about the undercarriage being changed/moved slightly at some point and bigger wheels/thicker tyres being added as I recall, maybe resulting in a bulge over the u/c,, but I could be wrong. Photos in the Morgan and Shacklady book do not seem to show bulges on the Mk 1 but perhaps these are something to do with the PR version?

 

Pete 

Edited by PeterB
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8 hours ago, PeterB said:

I remember reading something on Spitfire wing bulges quite a few years ago and I seem to remember that a lot of kits have bulges that were not originally on the real thing but were added later during upgrades. - something along the lines of preserved Mk I having been reworked to Mk V standard later so the exhausts, canopy and various other things are not correct. Clearly the Mk Ia did not have cannon bulges, and there was something about the undercarriage being changed/moved slightly at some point and bigger wheels/thicker tyres being added as I recall, maybe resulting in a bulge over the u/c,, but I could be wrong. Photos in the Morgan and Shacklady book do not seem to show bulges on the Mk 1 but perhaps these are something to do with the PR version?

 

Pete 

Hi Pete,

I'd forgotten about the changes to the undercarriage and the wheel bulges - I'll have to check the photos to which I have access, but I think you're absolutely right and the Mk.I and hence its variants didn't have those bulges. Something else I was concerned with preserving that I needn't have bothered about! :D 

Cheers,

Mark

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9 hours ago, PeterB said:

and there was something about the undercarriage being changed/moved slightly at some point

The bulges are are on A and B wings, they were not added.  What was added during service were two chordwise strengthening strips.  The change in UC rake was a with the C wing, by adding a small wedge in the pivot the leg raked forward, and sat lower in the well, allowing the elimination of the bulge. The lower sit needed a curved UC door.

There are detailed threads on this.

HTH 

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44 minutes ago, Troy Smith said:

The bulges are are on A and B wings, they were not added.  What was added during service were two chordwise strengthening strips.  The change in UC rake was a with the C wing, by adding a small wedge in the pivot the leg raked forward, and sat lower in the well, allowing the elimination of the bulge. The lower sit needed a curved UC door.

There are detailed threads on this.

HTH 

Many thanks, Troy, excellent info. Good job I hadn't filed off those bulges :D 

 

Cheers,

Mark

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On 3/6/2023 at 7:55 AM, 2996 Victor said:

Double dang!!! Looking again at the photo of the camera fit, the two innermost gun bays have open panels for accessing the camera gear, don't they? Looks like I need to clean the Mr Surfacer out of the panel lines for the second gun bay! My Dad always did say that I couldn't see for looking :D 

 

Cheers,

Mark

Must say that's the best photo I've seen so far of the early camera fit. Thanks for putting it up. 

Justin

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14 minutes ago, Bedders said:

Must say that's the best photo I've seen so far of the early camera fit. Thanks for putting it up. 

Justin

Hi Justin,

Glad its of use - I found it via @CedB's build thread, so I can't really take the credit :) But its certainly a useful pic to see.

Cheers,

Mark

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