1/24th Airfix Spitfire Mk1a Conversion to Vb build....

Discussion in 'Start to Finish Builds' started by weetam, Nov 21, 2012.

  1. weetam

    weetam Member

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    #1 weetam, Nov 21, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2012
    Day one...

    So, having not built an aircraft for a good 20 or so years, i decided the best way to get back into it, would be to build a super detailed 1/24th Spit. Im sure most of you have seen the other threads iv'e posted on explaining why i'm converting this particular aircraft, so without further ado, i shall commence on the build.

    Following the instructions (its been a while, bear with me!) i started first on the engine. Although the shape is basically right and presents real-looking version of the Merlin, i was a little disappointed with this as its kinda lacking in the detail i would have expected from a super scale kit. I may source a photo and add a few bits to this later in the build, but for now it shall stay as it is out of the box.

    I decided to go with the colours shown in this photo, really for no other reason than im getting back into the swing of aircraft builds again, and wanted something that was easy and looked good/realistic :
    IMG_1402.JPG

    So, i put the engine together, and started painting...
    IMG_1401.JPG
    IMG_1403.JPG
    IMG_1412.JPG

    The basic colours were achieved using Citadel acrylics, Chaos black and and an acrylic silver by crawfords and black. The engine was painted black, the silver detail was added and then dry-brushed with a very light coat of silver just to give it a metallic sheen.

    The prop and spinner came next, using exactly the same colours with the exception of the silver parts on the props being given a wash of Citadel baddab black to make it look grimy and weathered.
    IMG_1405.JPG
    IMG_1406.JPG

    The spinner was just painted in chaos black and will be added when the build is complete (i haven't decided whether to glue it on, or leave it removable yet) i also may add a few scratches etc to make it look worn, but again, i haven't decided as of yet.

    So, next came the pilot... figures are my personal favourites, so i though i might be ok with this, however, it didn't turn out as well as i had liked, due to the face being partially covered with a mis-cast. I tried to clean it up as best as possible, but as it covered the right eye (left eye in the pictures) it was almost impossible to get to... also it proved almost impossible to make it look like an actual eye with the mis-cast over it...
    IMG_1410.JPG
    IMG_1411.JPG

    The pilot is again painted with Citadel paints, the trousers and jacket being mordian blue, the Mae west being sunburst yellow, the boots being graveyard earth, the helmet and gloves, scorched earth, the sutton harnesses were done with graveyard earth and a dry-brush of scorched earth and the socks being skull white with a dry brush of bleached bone. (It is worth noting that Citadel have changed the names in their paint range now, so finding these paints will be impossible, however, i will as i can, update the names via editing the post)

    The goggle lenses were watered down scorched earth, and then gone over with a watered down silver, so the brown could still be seen through it but it gave a shiny inference. The pics are not great of the pilot, so it might not be possible to see what i mean.

    More to come as the build progresses

    Tam
     
  2. Wurger

    Wurger Siggy Master
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    A nice beginning. :thumbright:

    These prop blades had yellow tips... methinks.
     
  3. weetam

    weetam Member

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    i thought that as well Wurger, but i wanted to let the black dry first before masking and adding those tonight. might give it a coat of matt cote first as well i think so the paint doesn't come away with the masking tape :)
     
  4. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    #4 Airframes, Nov 21, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2012
    Looking good, but the pics are still loading as I type, having read the post. Are you uploading, after re-sizing, direct to the forum? If not, then it slows things down and takes up space.
    One point concerning the pilot. The helmet was a very dark brown chrome leather,and, depending on Mark, had either large leather 'domes' of the same colour over the heaphones, or black rubber cup-like covers. Parachute harness was off-white, with a red dotted safety 'check stitch' up the centre of each harness strap (possible in this scale), and the quick release box was light grey with red writing, stating 'Turn and Press', with a curved red arrow with 'feathered' flights in the direction of turn (anti clockwise looking from above).
    Flying boots were either black leather, or the 'escape' type, with brown canvas legging, and a black shoe, the legging being detachable for escape purposes behind lines, leaving a black, laced shoe.
    I agree about the minimal detail on the engine, but it was state of the art when this, the very first 1/24th scale 'Super kit' was first released in late 1969, and provides a good basis for adding scratch-built detail.
     
  5. Wurger

    Wurger Siggy Master
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    I understand. But it is better to aply lighter colour firstly then darker ones .... the matt coat might cause the blade surafce is abrasive and a masking tape won't be stuck properly. The effect - a paint under the tape. To prevent against peeling off of a paint, a surface needs to be washed with warm water and soap and applied with a primer ( depending on a kind of colours ).

    And I agree with Terry. These pictures are a way too large.
     
  6. herman1rg

    herman1rg Well-Known Member

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    Interesting
     
  7. weetam

    weetam Member

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    cheers for the update on the pilot detail, i shall get on that tonight and amend it :)

    apologies about the pics, im a forum novice lol
     
  8. weetam

    weetam Member

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    #8 weetam, Nov 21, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2012
  9. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Easier to post pictures here - saves time for viewers, and the possibility, however slim, of catching any malware problems.
    All you need to do is re-size pics to no more than 800 x 600 pixels, and post to the forum via the 'Go Advanced' button. Once in this area, you can either use the 'Manage Attachments' facility, ot, as i do, just use the normal Attachments symbol. Select the (re-sized) pic from your files, and, once all pics required are selected, upload to files. If they are out of order in the box below this screen then they can be 'dragged' into position as needed.
    You can re-size via any photo editing system, and if you don't have one, the 'Irfanview' can be downloaded free, and is very easy to use.
    Hope this helps.
     
  10. weetam

    weetam Member

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    #10 weetam, Nov 22, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2012
    Day 2

    So, today, i started off with the interior of the fuselage and cockpit detail. First of all i gave the cockpit interior a coat of green, this is a colour i mixed myself for the Multi Terrain Pattern (MTP) camouflage the British soldiers are now wearing, but is also not too far away from the colour the Spitfire cockpits were painted, and i went with this. It is about 3 parts Khaki green, 2 parts yellow, 2 part white and 2 parts forrest green.
    IMG_1413.JPG

    It was then given a dry brush of silver to pick out the metallic detail, and the canvas panels were re-painted using the green i mixed.
    IMG_1415.JPG

    Next up was the interior struts for the engine bay. For this, i left the sprue dividers in, so it kept shape until i was ready for the final putting together of the fuselage.
    IMG_1414.JPG

    After that came the cockpit detailing etc, quite straightforward really, it was just a case of cutting them from their sprue, giving them a going over with the file and sanding block and painting. The spade grip will be black, as will the cabling that runs down the front of the control column.
    IMG_1416.JPG

    While they were drying, i concentrated on some of the smaller cockpit detail, the throttle levers, undercarriage retraction lever etc.
    img_14211-e1353594842243.jpg

    I researched as far as was possible, all the colours from pictures on the internet, there are quite a few colour photos of the inside of a Spitfire cockpit here. Whether or not these are representative of operational Spitfires, i don't know, but its the only reference to the interior of a real Spitfire i could find, so went with the colours shown.

    I was a little disappointed to find that the cockpit detail was slightly lacking in a lot of ways, but as this kit was released in the late 60's, i suppose its not a bad resemblance to the original. I decided to add a few bits myself, using of cuts of sprues and casting defects etc, but only where i could find a picture to support it. This will be ongoing work i feel in an attempt to make the cockpit as real as possible.

    So, having let the instrument panel dry, i gave the clear instrument details a coat of black on the back, and a dry brush of white over the indicators, it doesn't look brilliant up close, but from the limited view you will get when the fuselage is together and the canopy on, i think it will look OK.
    IMG_1417.JPG

    Next up, was the painting of the spade grip and cables, and the fitting of the rudder pedals, compass and the reflector gun sight, all fairly simple.
    IMG_1419.JPG

    It was around this time, i realised my bucket seat was missing... Not sure if it was me being careless or the kit was without it when it was manufactured (i have to say that some of the parts had come away from their sprues when i received the kit, so its not impossible that it could have dropped off during packing) but whichever way, i'm now waiting on a replacement part to arrive so i can complete the cockpit construction. Knowing my luck, the replacement will arrive and i'll find the original!

    More to come Tomorrow, stay posted!
     
  11. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    #11 Airframes, Nov 22, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2012
    Not bad, but unless it's the lighting, the green for the interior is far too green. The colour is called Cockpit Grey Green, and is more of a sage green shade. The Humbrol enamel No.78 is a good match for the actual colour, and can be lightened just a touch for scale effect.
    Note that the control column only moved fore and aft, ailerons being controlled by moving the grip section right or left. The grip needs the addition of the cannon and machine gun buttons at top left front, and the diagonal lever at the rear of the grip is the brake lever, which was bare metal.
    The undercarriage lever shown is a slightly under scale manual pump, used only on early Mk1s, and later replaced by an engine-driven pump, which was activated by a lever, in a quadrant box, on the starboard wall, with the associated plumbing being very prominent.
    There are a number of other differences between the Mk1 and MkV cockpits, some not as obvious, some major, and also many differences externally, apart from the cannons and wing bulges top and bottom. These might include the windscreen and canopy, and the prop, depending on early or later production batch of the MkV, which can be ascertained from the serial number.
     
  12. Wayne Little

    Wayne Little Well-Known Member

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    not bad so far...
     
  13. weetam

    weetam Member

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    yeah, with regards to the paint the lighting and the fact it was still wet shows it a little darker than it is now dry, however, im still not happy with the colour and i think im going to lighten it somewhat just by adding a fair bit of white to it and re-painting, but will still leave some dark patches to reflect the light/shadows etc and see if that works... if not, total re-paint!

    fantastic detail for the canopy, i did wonder about the undercarriage lever, as in all the films i've seen, its been the automatic gear lever and i've not seen this version, guess it must just be the early version(s) fitted with it?

    the control column was only moved to show the reflector sight and some of the instrument panel detail, im going to fix it in place once im happy with the whole affair (which is not yet!) as you pointed out a few bits that need a bit of work :)

    thanks for all the tips incidentally, i would have had no idea about most of them, and it isnt entirely obvious what differences there are between the two Mk's of spitfire from the photos
     
  14. meatloaf109

    meatloaf109 Well-Known Member

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    There are several fine examples on this forum of previous Spitty builds, great for inspiration!
     
  15. weetam

    weetam Member

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    oooooh just a quick one, anyone know what colour the oxygen tanks and such like were? cant really find any pics that aren't of models :/
     
  16. Crimea_River

    Crimea_River Well-Known Member

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    The link you posted with the cockpit pics is an excellent reference for a realistic Mk V. The restoration was as true to the original as possible with een some of the modern radio equipment being hidden within period boxes. There are also good detail shots of the engine driven landing gear control. The hand pump, as Terry pointed out, was discarded by the time the Mk V came into production.

    For a good series of pick of a Mk I cockpit, including the hand pump, go to Tony Hill's (Darryl) 1:1 Mk1 cockpit build thread wghere he recently posted some very good references.

    I agree with Terry on the colour. If you are going to lighten it, I would suggest you also add a medium/light gray.
     
  17. meatloaf109

    meatloaf109 Well-Known Member

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    The two on the port side were generally aluminum and the small one on the starboard, green. There was a GB not long ago that has a lot of great info in it. Airframes (and others) has posted much info on the Spitfire, and as we all go for the accuracy thing, (with minor exceptions), you may trust the model pictures posted on this forum.
     
  18. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    #18 Airframes, Nov 23, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2012
    The small feeder bottle on the starboard side was normally black, not green, but has been seen (rarely) in silver. The two main oxygen supply tanks on the port side were either painted 'Aluminium' or shiny bare metal.
    There are a lot of major external differences between the Mk1 and the MkV, particularly so on full production MkVs, which might not be immediately apparent to the layman. Another which might prove difficult, along with the wing cannon bulges mentioned, is the oil cooler intake, which, on the MkV, had a circular section, and the prop and spinner.
    It really would be easier to obtain the MkV kit, which has the necessary parts, although it is the Mk1 with added parts.
    To obtain an authentic replica of the Spitfire in question will involve some research into the exact period of use, and a sample serial number at least, preferably the serial number of the actual aircraft flown.
     
  19. meatloaf109

    meatloaf109 Well-Known Member

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    See? I told you he knew his onions! I painted the oxygen bottle black in my Spitty build as instructed, but didn't remember it. Trust Terry!
     
  20. weetam

    weetam Member

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    Terry, was that inclusive of the Mk1's that were upgraded to Vb's? thats what this aircraft is suppose to represent, and upgrade rather than a factory built MkVb
     
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