Jump to content

Almost a Spitfire - the Supermarine 224 from the Rareplane kit

Recommended Posts

I have a lot of models in the "in progress" limbo, and I promised myself that I would finish a few ones soon. So, here's one from my big shelf of doom, the very interesting Supermarine-almost-to-be-called-Spitfire started more than 15 years ago. Remained in the same condition of main parts cut and sanded - until some time long ago he awoke from hibernation for the lower wing to be cut in sections. Fast forward to a week ago, when I decided to finish the damned thing.




Here is a better photo of the parts:





The kit instructions cover promises "...multi-view scale plans, picture and article references, colouring and marking details" - but none came with mine.






I've found some references in my shelves. The 14-page chapter in "Spitfire, The History" together with the Putnam "Supermarine since..." provides a good history of the type, together with some photos and detail drawings. The Modellers Datafile provides two good detail photos of the aircraft in unskinned condition. Of course I grabbed all the photos I could find online - not many different from what I already had - but I decided not to be a nit picker with this one and concentrate on a fast build, possibly sacrificing some accuracy. I'm glad I did this way, as I'm almost ready to close the fuselage and assemble the main parts for painting. A week? A record for me since I returned to modeling!




I hope to post details of the work done to date still today. And please feel free to comment and criticize.



  • Like 14
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Carlos,


I'll be following if I may? This is a great subject and you've got all the good references there, so you'll be fine. The Type 224 is such a distinctive aircraft, and Rareplane had a pretty good reputation for accuracy, I believe. The steam condensers in the wing leading edges look very nice. It's going to be a super model when its completed!


Looking forward to your next update.


All the best,


  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Nice work. The cut up lower wing looks like it is all fitting nicely now.


I bought a second hand one that was already cut out but not sanded, so I can get you a scan of the three view that came with it - it might be useful for size and placement of roundels and numbers?


Looking forward to the build.




  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ooooooo this is certainly of interest, I was not aware of the Rare planes kit and will have to head over to ebay after payday!!!

Great progress, ioften find when you re start a stalled kit it often builds quickly and you end up wondering why it stalled in the first place 🙄


  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guys, I am honoured for your company. I hope you may help with some doubts have!



The wing


As I wrote above, the lower wing was cut in five parts to turn the alignment easier. Gordon Stevens suggests it in the instructions, although I remember at least a build made without that step. The aircraft went through so many modifications of the wing (dihedral of inner and outer panels, sweep back, ailerons shape) that I decided to follow one of the drawings found on the Morgan book. It seemed to me that the kit followed the final plan view but with earlier anhedral/dihedral angles. 




It was not very difficult to twist the upper surfaces to follow the drawing, and just in case I made spars to have equal thickness on both sides and to maintain the angles between inner and outer panels. It was easier to make the spars in two parts, mainly because I didn't thought ahead and had already glued the outer panels (the same hurry prevented me from sanding the trailing edges a little more...). 








In the kit, the wing inner panels have a basis for the wheel spats. However I found it too large, so I made new panels from plastic card.


Like with the outer panels, I glued first the trailing edge and then the leading edges. That piece of plastic on the panel gives more surface for gluing and also serves as a stop to maintain the panel in place. 




After all glued and well cured I find the wing very sturdy. Here it is after some rough sanding of the leading edge to a passable profile:






The portion of the exhaust tube that goes under the belly was cut from the centre panel and from the fuselage front, reinforcing the interior. But more on this later, when i show you the work on the fuselage. Tomorrow, I hope!



  • Like 10
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, AdrianMF said:

I bought a second hand one that was already cut out but not sanded, so I can get you a scan of the three view that came with it - it might be useful for size and placement of roundels and numbers?

That would be great, Adrian. Thanks very much!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I just sent you a scan of the other single-sided sheet from the kit, with a ruler overlaid for reference. I'll be watching with interest because I'd got as far as working out that the lower wing needed cutting up, but not how to do it!




  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wow. Amazing to watch this come together with the inner structure you building to maintain the correct shapes. Great to see how these vacforms can be built... I passed over a whole stack of rareplanes kits on sale last month.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks again for your kind words. I'll proceed with work done in the fuselage. Easier to do than to describe!


One of the first things I usually do when dealing with vacforms or short run kits is to add some interlocking tabs to the fuselage. Makes life A LOT easier, without having to tape and untape the parts for alignment and adding interior detail. In this case only one set of tabs was needed, but in other cases I use two or more. It's almost like turning a Mach2 to a Tamigawa!




The kit provides a basic floor and instrument panel but I thought that it would be easier to make my own. The Hasegawa old Spitfire kit provided a decal for the instrument panel. The kit chair was used even if I had to correct a molding defect, and some other bits were added to add interest to an interior that will be barely seen after closing the fuselage. Still need to make an head rest, a control stick and rudder pedals and provide some seat belts. All this after painting the interior. A more correct interior would need to use all the fuselage height down to the lower wing surface, but at will not be seen I decided not to loose time in it.








I also cut the front to use an "after market" Goshawk engine. Some care was put to align it to the proper dowthrust angle.








The kit prop was used - I thickened the blades with plastic card and putty, punched a disk for the rear and filled the interior with Milliput. However the front was a bit crushed so I ended up drilling an hole at the front and gluing sprue rod - after some sculpting it will look the part, I hope. Still a work in progress. 














The portion of the channel with the molded in machine guns barrels was cut and replaced with some half rod. I still need to make some passable guns!






And that's all for now. Already primed the interior, and hope to paint it soon. Adrian suggested a "light grey green" also used on the S6B. While looking for the colour I came across this: https://www.littlegreene.com/eau-de-nil. Something near?


Also I always imagined the seat as aluminium, but photos in the Modellers Datafile (of the Spitfire Mk.I) shows a copper one. What do you think?




I'll try to post all the progress made up to date as soon as possible.



  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...