1/32nd scale Revell Spitfire Mk22.

Discussion in 'Start to Finish Builds' started by Airframes, Jun 23, 2009.

  1. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Spitfire, or 'Fire Spit'?
    Here's the parallel build to the Spitfire MkXIV, using the rest of the Revell 'donor' kit.
    Going along with the theme originally devised by Evan and Alex, rather than consign the unused parts of the Revell kit to the spares box, I thought I'd build the remains of the kit to represent an abandoned airframe, or in this case, to be more precise, a hulk used for fire rescue training and practice.
    At one time, most airports and R.A.F. airfields had a 'fire dump', where obsolete or damaged aircraft were literally dumped, to be used by the Station or Airport Fire Service for training and practice in rescue and fire-fighting techniques. Depending on requirements specific to operations from the particular airfield, many different types of airframe were, and still are employed, from bombers and transports, to airliners and fighters, and, believe it or not, the Spitfire was no exception. I know of at least one instance where a Spitfire Mk22, and some earlier models, have been used for this inglorious, but vital role.
    So, the kit will be built as the Mk22, and finished in a scheme representative of an Instructional Airframe, which means that the serial number will be followed by the letter 'M', for example 1234M. These numbers were allocated to time-expired aircraft by the R.A.F.,replacing the original number, in order to clasify them as non-flying airframes, still 'on strength', but not part of the operational inventory.Many of these aircraft, of varied types, were used for such things as Battle Damage Repair (BDR) training, airframe and systems training and so on, as well as the ultimate fate of fire training. Fortunately today, more and more of the rare types used for such work have been withdrawn from 'service', and have been, or are being, refurbished for static display, and some also to flying condition.
    So, down to the build.
    When I first had the idea for this project, I thought it would be a simple task of 'throwing together' the remaining, unused kit parts, together with some of the remains of those parts 'butchered' for the MkXIV build.
    Wrong!
    As it turns out, there is going to be almost as much work involved in this build, as there would be in a major conversion, such as the MkXIV, or a scratch-built detailing exercise. To just assemble the model and place it on a suitable base would not achieve the desired effect, so I sat back, studied the kit parts and lots of photographs of 'hulks', and thought carefully about how to go about this task.
    In order to achieve the 'look' of a hulk used for fire training, there will have to be some detail work carried out, and most of this is not so much scratch-building, but more 'scratch-destroying'!
    Much of the detail already present in the kit will need to be removed, and other areas will need to have 'decay' scratch-built. Such items as inspection panels, opening or removable hatches, control surfaces removed for spares, natural and fire damage, and, of course, the effects of wind and weather, will have to be considered. All this has been planned, and hopefully these plans will work, and allow me to build an acceptably attractive, if very unusual model.
    Work commenced with the internal areas first, wih some of the cockpit parts being cleaned up and enhanced.
    As the airframe would have been stripped of all usuable equipment and fittings, and other parts lost to vandals or souvenir hunters, I had to plan to build the cockpit more or less as a bare shell, but with empty equipment brackets, loose wires and pipe work etc.
    As the seat and armoured back-plate are not being used, this leaves the rear cockpit frame exposed and fully visible. The kit part is a reasonable representation of the this frame, but is rather bare. The prominent lightening holes, seen on all Spitfires, were drilled out around the frame, and the countersunk bolt heads on the head armour added.
    The kit instrument panel includes a clear piece for the Blind Flying Panel in the centre of the main panel, which will be omitted from the build, helping enormously in providing an 'empty' appearance. The main instrument dials were drilled out, to give the appearance of empty apertures, and some bent or othersise damaged switch mounting plates etc will be added.
    The rudder pedals were moulded as part of the instrument panel sub-frame, and were totally the wrong shape, so these were removed and the frame cleaned up. New pedals, and the push-rod tubes, will be fabricated later.
    PIC 1 shows the two parts awaiting clean-up and the additions.
    As mentioned in the MkXIV build, the kit firewall will be used in that build, in order to mount the engine. This meant that a new firewall, and front bulkhead had to be made, and these have been cut from plastic sheet, slightly oversize, ready to fit and sand to shape once the fuselage halves have been joined, as
    shown in PIC 2.
    PIC 3Shows the forward upper and lower fuel tanks, and, in the rear, the fuselage tank assembled. The filler caps have been drilled out, as 'fire wrecks' would have the caps removed to prevent any concentration of explosive fumes. Note the 'dents' in the upper tank.
    PIC 4 Shows the fuselage halves, with some holes drilled to represent removed or lost inspection covers, and the aperture cut out for the rear hatch, with the hatch skin made from plastic sheet. This is yet to be detailed on the internal surface, and will be positioned open on the finished model. The holes have yet to be cleaned up and the fuselage walls thinned around the edges in these areas.
    PIC 5 Shows the inside of the fuselage to date, with some basic framework added to the port rear side, as this will be partly visible through the open hatch. The dark marks and 'mess' are smudges from the heavy pencil used to mark the positions of the framework, which was made from plastic strip.
    For some unknown reason, Revell have not included a throttle quadrant or trim wheel, although what appear to be locating pins for these are moulded onto the cockpit wall. I seem to recall that these items were included in the originall Matchbox kit, when I built it back in 1975 or '76. The beginings of these have been made from plastic sheet, and glued into position, as shown in PIC 6.
    Throttle, pitch and boost levers will be added from stretched sprue later.
    PIC 7 Is a couple of further additions, in the form of empty switch and instrument brackets, which have yet to be cleaned up and trimmed, and again plastic sheet was used to fabricate these. Note the rough appearance of the cockpit wall, which will be sanded before painting.
    More detail will be added to the cockpit area once the 'walls' have been extended to form the lower fuselage area, as the Spitfire did not have a cockpit floor. This detail will be in the form of loose and broken wiring and pipework, the control runs, and a couple of more 'empty' brackets and so on; the control column will not be fitted.
    So, that's it so far. The next stage is to trial fit the wings and wing root fillets, in order to work out the best way of extending the cockpit walls, and how to make the empty area at the front of the fuselage look convincing.
    I hope you've enjoyed this so far,and I apologise for the long initial post, but the background did need some explaining!
    I'll post some more pics once I've done more work!
    Thanks for your interest,
    Terry.
     

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  2. Tony Hill

    Tony Hill Active Member

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    Intentionally wrecking and burning a SPITFIRE??? :cry:

    Hang him from the nearest yard arm, I say!:twisted:


    Looks like a great project Terry, can't wait to see more.(how about a couple of pictures of a real airframe?)

    cheers


    Darryl
     
  3. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Thanks Darryl. Sacrilige, isn't it? Not much else to do with just over half a kit and butchered parts though!
    I think I might have a rather blurred shot of a Spit Mk22 or XVI on a fire dump, or maybe a Javlin or similar. If or when Ii find them/it, I'll post in this thread.
    BTW, 'matey' is hopefully coming up to see me on his way elsewhere today, so I should have some news re. the canopy etc.
     
  4. Wayne Little

    Wayne Little Well-Known Member

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    So you have sprouted a couple of extra hands Terry....:D Good work mate!
     
  5. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Thanks Wayne. I'm getting as bad as Jan aren't I? Not one model on the go, not two, but...b*gg*r, I've lost count!!
     
  6. Wayne Little

    Wayne Little Well-Known Member

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    seems that way.....I can't really say much, either....I'm probably into double figures!:shock:
     
  7. Wurger

    Wurger Siggy Master
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    A surgery on a model is like the smallpox.Who is touched once will be suffer from that all time.:lol:

    An excellent job so far Terry.Keep woking on.:D
     
  8. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Thanks Wojtek!
     
  9. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    So, the work on the internals continues, including the wing.
    PIC 1. The 'V'-shaped cross bracing has been added to the cockpit rear frame. The bracing on the full-size Spit was square-section tube, so I decided to build this up from lengths of plastic strip. Unfortunately, I didn't have any strip of the required size, being either too thin or too wide, and trying to trim some plastic sheet ended up with curled slivers of unusable plastic. Consequently, I've opted for flat, slightly oversized strip which, hopefully, will look acceptable once painted and 'buried' in the otherwise empty cockpit.
    PIC 2. The rudder pedals and control rods tubes have been added to the front frame, cobbled together from plastic strip, stretched sprue and pieces of tubing cut from cotton buds (Q tips.) The pedals have yet to be trimmed, and the empty brackets for the gunsight and compass have to be made and fitted.
    PIC 3. Spitfire cockpits didn't have a floor, and this area of the kit is bare and empty, with the inside of the wing roots visible. To simulate the curved metal of the lower fuselage, thin sections of plastic sheet were bent, joined and cemented around the front spar and onto the centre-section moulding, with a cross-brace added from plastic strip.
    PICS 4 5. I had intended to use the kit firewall in the MkXIV conversion, to provide strength and rigidity for the engine mounts and otherwise weak forward fuselage section. However, after much trial-fitting of the Mk22 fuselage to the centre section, it was aparent that the firewall would be required, otherwise there would be nowhere for the forward edge of the fuselage to locate and cement. The moulded shape and cut-outs shown are where the fuselage etc needs to sit. No problem, I'll just 'beef-up' the scratch-built firewall for the MkXIV when the time comes.
    PIC 6. As I was already sawing off more plastic than doing anything constructive, I decided to cut out at least one set of flaps, and added some rudimentary ribbing detail. This will only just be seen once the model is finished, as the aircraft will be lying on its belly, so I haven't gone overboard here, keeping it very simple, in order to just give a hint that there's something there!
    PICS7 and 8 As the armament would have obviously been removed from a 'fire dump' hulk, the gun bays and ammo trays will be displayed open. I'll be using one of the guns for the Mk XIV, and might need the mounting frames supplied in the Mk22 kit, so the bays were boxed in, again using thin plastic card, and some basic frame detail added, together with the apertures where the cannon barrels would pass through the spar. A small amount of extra detail, in the form of mangled pipework and loose wiring, will be added later, although once the model is painted, the bays will probably be treated to a dose of dirt, weeds and moss!
    PIC 9. With the razor saw still hungry for more work, the ailerons were cut off, and the trim tab removed from one of them. This will be fitted in a drooped position on one wing only, the opposite wing being devoid of control surfaces, as will the tailplanes. The 'solid' wing-tip nav lights were also removed, and will either be left 'empty', or replaced with broken glazing.
    PIC 10. The final pic shows the state of play to date with the wing and centre section. Note the shape of the wing, compared to the 'normal' semi-elliptical wings of 'traditional' Spitfires. The Mk21 was the first production Spit to employ the new wing, which was subsequently fitted to the Mk22 / 24.
    The port wing-top has yet to be fitted, and the gun bays boxed in as per the starboard wing, and the stubs for the cannons drilled out to the correct diameter to represent empty mounting ports. It's then a case of a lot more trial fitting of the fuselage, in order to ensure that all the internal fittings such as frames and bulkheads don't foul the centre section. Once this has been satisfactorily completed, the internal areas will be painted, before final assembly, and then the fuselage will be fitted to the wing, followed by the separate wing-root fillets, the latter also receiving some attention in the 'missing and damaged' department.
    With a bit of luck, the Hasegawa MkVI kit should arrive within the next day or two, then I can verify exactly which other parts are needed from the Revell kit, other than those already earmarked, in order to continue with the MkXIV conversion.
    Thanks again for your attention, and I hope this is proving to be interesting.
    Terry.
     

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  10. Wurger

    Wurger Siggy Master
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    :thumbright: Looking vere nice Terry.:D
     
  11. Screaming Eagle

    Screaming Eagle Active Member

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    Great progress Terry!
     
  12. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Thanks very much guys, it's appreciated.
     
  13. Wayne Little

    Wayne Little Well-Known Member

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    Wow ..Terry....do you actually sleep these days? or just take naps....between modeling projects...:D:D
     
  14. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    You're not far off the mark Wayne! I've been having ups and downs with my sleep patterns lately - maybe the weather, and definitely the Arthritis - so when I can't sleep, or can't settle, I get on with a few bits and bobs until I feel knackered, then get some kip! I think I'm slowly getting the cycle back to normal though!
     
  15. Junkers88A1

    Junkers88A1 Active Member

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    man this will be a cool build :) keep`em comming :)
     
  16. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    Holy fricken gees, NICE!
     
  17. Venganza

    Venganza Member

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    Good job, Terry! Similar to what I'm thinking about doing to a Ju-87D I robbed of its engine to finish another Ju-87D that was almost completed, but didn't have its engine anymore (don't ask...). I plan to do a diorama, with the engine-less Stuka as a derelict next to an airfield where a couple of IL-2 Arrows (I had to work in those Shturmoviks somehow) are sitting. Anyway, it is sacrilege to do that to a poor, defenseless Spitifire, but I look forward to the progress shots.

    Venganza
     
  18. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Thanks very much guys. Yes, it's a shame to butcher a Spitfire, but with a kit with its front end missing, and many other parts too, being used elsewhere, it's not such a massive crime. At least the remains of the kit will build into sometheing..er...unusual!
     
  19. Wayne Little

    Wayne Little Well-Known Member

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    Well...hope you get the best of both worlds mate.....modelling AND sleep!:D
     
  20. lesofprimus

    lesofprimus Active Member

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    Lookin great so far Terry, interesting projects we got goin on the site....
     
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