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Airfix 1:48 Spitfire F.24 - Can I replace the canopy with the one from Airfix's 1:48 Spitfire Mk. XIV


Alan Li

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Hi all,

 

I am building my Airfix 1:48 Spitfire F.24, and based on numerous reports the canopy is not shaped correctly.  I also have the new Airfix 1:48 Spitfire Mk. XIV kit, and its canopy seems correct as I haven't heard a lot of complaints about it shape-wise.  So I am thinking about building my F.24 with open canopy donated by Mk. XIV.

 

My question is:  Are the two canopies interchangeable?

 

Thanks for your help!!

 

Alan

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8 hours ago, Alan Li said:

I am thinking about building my F.24 with open canopy donated by Mk. XIV.

 Using the Falcon / Squadron vac-form replacement, or the Rob Taurus one, will give you a far superior result and not involve you in reducing your options when you do get round to the XIV

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The canopy of the 22/24/46/47 family is easily the weakest part of the kit (apart from the missing nose intake interior for the 47). When I built mine in 1996 (yes, I once did finish a kit...), I replaced it with an Aeroclub Sea Fury canopy, as no dedicated one for the Seafire was yet available. May not have been 100%, but fit well and looked a huge lot better, both shapewise and in clarity.

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8 hours ago, gingerbob said:

The XIV (low back) canopy is, in real life, the same as that of the 22/24. 

One is indeed correct Sir,RV fuselage XIV,XVI,Seafire XVII,Spitfire XVIII,22,24 plus Seafire 46 and 47.

 

This was researched by oneself back in the late 80's,early 90's.

Edited by Dave Wilko
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Worth contacting Airfix to see if they can send you another canopy for the XIV.

 

If you tell them it was received either broken or damaged they'll send you it for free providing you can quote their reference, which will be on their sticker somewhere on the box. Otherwise they'll want to charge you around £4 plus postage!

 

Just a thought.

 

Pat.

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13 hours ago, Seawinder said:

Seems as if by the time you get to that stage of the build it'll be pretty easy to make that determination yourself by test-fitting?

@Seawinder I tried it already...the canopy does fit, but the shape - especially when looking at it from the side - looks a bit off.

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47 minutes ago, PatG said:

Worth contacting Airfix to see if they can send you another canopy for the XIV.

 

If you tell them it was received either broken or damaged they'll send you it for free providing you can quote their reference, which will be on their sticker somewhere on the box. Otherwise they'll want to charge you around £4 plus postage!

 

Just a thought.

 

Pat.

@PatG  Thanks for the advice...I'll give it a try so I can keep my options for the Mk. XIV open.

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On 27/02/2024 at 17:14, PatG said:

Worth contacting Airfix to see if they can send you another canopy for the XIV.

 

If you tell them it was received either broken or damaged they'll send you it for free providing you can quote their reference, which will be on their sticker somewhere on the box. Otherwise they'll want to charge you around £4 plus postage!

 

Just a thought.

 

Pat.

 

If you're interested in the ongoing success of Hornby, it's best not to try to obtain spares by subterfuge, especially as we know that several of their staff visit here from time-to-time, and Airfix will have to pay for the free part that you're getting by foul means, and pennies add up to pounds in the end.  It's down to your conscience in the end though :shrug:

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Sorry but what they charge for spares is excessive and way beyond the actual cost.

 

I recently asked them for a price for 4 small pieces that I'm missing from my 72nd scale Spitfire 1 and it was far more than buying a completely new kit at over £20! Needless to say I declined their offer!

 

Their biggest financial issue is the decline in OO/HO trains sales which is far more serious and recently resulted in Hattons deciding to close as this key market is now going down a cliff face. So quite why they have introduced a new TT gauge for trains seems to be highly questionable at best.

 

As a member of the HRCA I can also confirm that the demand for train sets of all vintages is declining with great speed so Hornby/Airfix/Corgi need to re-balance their business plan IMHO to avoid another major hit and re-focus on those market segments that are still viable. How many young children now actually want a train set for Xmas I wonder?

 

So I have no issue with asking Airfix to send me a part I've broken or lost if I can then get it for free, after all this is what Eduard ( and I suspect others too) are quite willing to do as part of their customer service approach and it will only help me to keep buying Airfix.

 

Pat.

 

 

Edited by PatG
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56 minutes ago, PatG said:

Sorry but what they charge for spares is excessive and way beyond the actual cost.

 

I recently asked them for a price for 4 small pieces that I'm missing from my 72nd scale Spitfire 1 and it was far more than buying a completely new kit at over £20! Needless to say I declined their offer!

 

Their biggest financial issue is the decline in OO/HO trains sales which is far more serious and recently resulted in Hattons deciding to close as this key market is now going down a cliff face. So quite why they have introduced a new TT gauge for trains seems to be highly questionable at best.

 

As a member of the HRCA I can also confirm that the demand for train sets of all vintages is declining with great speed so Hornby/Airfix/Corgi need to re-balance their business plan IMHO to avoid another major hit and re-focus on those market segments that are still viable. How many young children now actually want a train set for Xmas I wonder?

 

So I have no issue with asking Airfix to send me a part I've broken or lost if I can then get it for free, after all this is what Eduard ( and I suspect others too) are quite willing to do as part of their customer service approach and it will only help me to keep buying Airfix.

 

Pat.

 

 

So basically you're saying: "I don't like their pricing, so subterfuge is ok" ?

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On 2/27/2024 at 8:24 AM, Work In Progress said:

 Using the Falcon / Squadron vac-form replacement, or the Rob Taurus one, will give you a far superior result and not involve you in reducing your options when you do get round to the XIV

 

@Alan Li if the Falcon Spitfire Special set has one in 1/48, and mine on the shelf still has it, I’d be happy to pop it in the post to you, if you PM me your address. No charge! I’ll go and look…

best,

M.

Edit: it looks like I can do you one for an Academy 14e, or one for the Seafire 47 in open or closed form. If you are happy using the kit windscreen and one of the sliding portions, that’ll get you most of the way there…

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Asking Airfix to send a free spare part to build my kit and keep me buying Airfix is hardly a crime and seems to be good sense and customer service on their part, which means customer loyalty and repeat purchases so a worthwhile investment on their part.

 

The fact is if the model railways department goes down a cliff face, which it is facing given Hattons recent demise as a good indicator, the company will need every customer it has for its other products.

 

The recent Hornby series on TV was very much focused on their investment and focus on model railways so if this goes into decline both Airfix and Corgi will come under increasing pressure to sustain the group business, so customer loyalty will be key.

 

Pat.

 

Ps. Eduard have just agreed to send me a replacement decal sheet for free, including postage from the Czech Republic, so a small piece of plastic from Margate is not too much of a stress really

 

Edited by PatG
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8 hours ago, Mike said:

 

If you're interested in the ongoing success of Hornby, it's best not to try to obtain spares by subterfuge, especially as we know that several of their staff visit here from time-to-time, and Airfix will have to pay for the free part that you're getting by foul means, and pennies add up to pounds in the end.  It's down to your conscience in the end though :shrug:

@Mike Thanks for the advice.  Since I am not really experienced in working with vacuum-formed canopy, and as a longtime Airfix fan I certainly want to see it grow (although at the same time I also see the price of their kits keep rising here in Toronto, Canada, and it hurts my wallet!!), so I think I will live with the wrong-shaped canopy rather than ordering a replacement piece - free-of-charge or not.

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I think it's because of issues like the one being suggested here, that Airfix unfortunately introduced the charges that they now have in place for spares! If it is a genuine problem, they do still sort it out. 

I had a complete sprue missing from a kit(!) and initially customer services said that they couldn't help as the kit was not in stock. However... It was, and still on sale on the website. Couple of emails to.one of the upper managers, and it got sorted, no charge as it was their error that the sprue was missing. 

On another occasion, I damaged some decals on a rather large and expensive kit. I had no problem paying for the replacement decals. That was my fault it happened, so I paid as, more for the postage than anything else I believe  it was. Few days later, the spares turned up, kit got finished. 

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Thanks everyone for your comments...just wanna let you know that your feedback is greatly appreciated :)

 

Will see if I am able to start my F.24 in March - I haven't built anything for quite a while due to work from my day job, plus being a driver for kids' activities during weekend.  Need to f ind some time to build something before my mojo gives way :(

 

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9 hours ago, Alan Li said:

Since I am not really experienced in working with vacuum-formed canopy... I think I will live with the wrong-shaped canopy...

 

Just had another thought: if I remember right, all the Eduard Spit IXs (etc) come with a bubble canopy on the clear sprue, so there'll be plenty of those left over.  Also, this would be a fairly simple piece with which to try working with a vac canopy- what do you have to lose?

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10 hours ago, Alan Li said:

Since I am not really experienced in working with vacuum-formed canopy

They're not as hard to work with as you'd think actually.  The first few kits I got close to finishing had vacform canopies, so I was kind of forced to deal with them, and found them not too difficult, if a little scary.

 

  • Pack the inside of the canopy with Blutak or something similar
  • Put a brand new #11 blade in your scalpel
  • Work under an excellent light source
  • Lightly draw around the edge of the canopy with your scalpel, repeating the action time-after-time until the part is released from its carrier
  • Leaving the Blutak in situ, sand the edges if necessary to tidy up
  • If you plan on cutting the canopy to open it up, leave it until you're happy with the fit on the model, using Blutak again to support the additional cuts
  • Remove the Blutak and test-fit
  • Sand the edges of the canopy until they fit the cut-out well
  • Once you're happy, mask the canopy if you paint your canopies in-situ
  • Use a non-destructive glue to adhere them to the model, either GS-Hypo (my favourite) or high-strength PVA
  • Leave the part to set for a good while, taping it into position if feasible
  • Next day, remove the tape if used, and carry on building your model

 

There's a reason most kits with Vacform canopies include two, for mistakes and to help you if you can't cut the canopy tidily to pose it open.

 

HTH ;)

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12 minutes ago, Mike said:

They're not as hard to work with as you'd think actually.  The first few kits I got close to finishing had vacform canopies, so I was kind of forced to deal with them, and found them not too difficult, if a little scary.

 

  • Pack the inside of the canopy with Blutak or something similar
  • Put a brand new #11 blade in your scalpel
  • Work under an excellent light source
  • Lightly draw around the edge of the canopy with your scalpel, repeating the action time-after-time until the part is released from its carrier
  • Leaving the Blutak in situ, sand the edges if necessary to tidy up
  • If you plan on cutting the canopy to open it up, leave it until you're happy with the fit on the model, using Blutak again to support the additional cuts
  • Remove the Blutak and test-fit
  • Sand the edges of the canopy until they fit the cut-out well
  • Once you're happy, mask the canopy if you paint your canopies in-situ
  • Use a non-destructive glue to adhere them to the model, either GS-Hypo (my favourite) or high-strength PVA
  • Leave the part to set for a good while, taping it into position if feasible
  • Next day, remove the tape if used, and carry on building your model

 

There's a reason most kits with Vacform canopies include two, for mistakes and to help you if you can't cut the canopy tidily to pose it open.

 

HTH ;)

forgot one step, "mask the 'glass' part with masking tape"  😉

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That Seafire was my first attempt, you have to start at some point or leave alone. I am pretty sure I only used the Xacto to separate canopy and Windshield, and cut out the canopy with very sharp nail scissors - they give great control,, and you can work very slowly if you like. 

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49 minutes ago, tempestfan said:

and cut out the canopy with very sharp nail scissor

The only trouble with scissors is that if you accidentally close the blades fully, or tweak the scissors to one side, that can instigate a tear, or at the least a bit of stress haze to the plastic.  :owww:

 

The absolute KEY component of using vacform canopies is patience and having the right tools for the job :yes:

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I know some people find difficulties in sanding down the edges of vac-form canopies but I always find it straightforward to cut them out a bit oversized with the scissors and sand them down gently on 400 or 600 grit wet& dry, used wet

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As we all know the Airfix molding is quite thick/crude on the sprues compared with Eduard/Arma/Tamiya etc. and so it is VERY easy to damage small and delicate parts such as aerials and other parts.

 

That being the case it is not unfair to ask them to replace such parts for free if they are damaged when attempting to remove them, however carefully.

 

In my case with Eduard I spilled liquid cement over the decal sheet making it unusable so I contacted them and honestly explained my error but they were still willing to send a new sheet at zero cost to me form the Czech Republic.

 

So asking Airfix to supply a new canopy for free from Margate will hardly affect their bottom line and result in the business going in to decline. Rather it will engender greater customer loyalty and future sales to support their business which will increasingly rely upon Airfix and Corgi to off-set the decline in their Hornby model train sales.

 

Just my thoughts.

 

Pat.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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