1/72 Airfix Spitfire PR XIX and Seafire side-by-side build

Discussion in 'Start to Finish Builds' started by conkerking, Aug 3, 2009.

  1. conkerking

    conkerking Member

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    There's a bit of a preamble to this, so I hope you'll bear with me!

    I'm pretty much a newbie on this forum, I introduced myself a few months back with a few 1/72 Revells and in the meantime have come up with this lot:

    [​IMG]

    Plus a couple of unfinished bits and pieces.

    While one of the reasons I got into modelling was to do something creative and help temper an apallingly short attention span, it's become apparent that modelling and me are not easy bedfellows, given that I have very little time and even less patience. A heavy bomber would probably take me upwards of two months and I just don't have that kind of staying power to see a result. Seriously, I see some of the stuff you guys do on this forum and wonder how you can possibly see it through, it's pretty impressive. So I've decided that somehow I have to make modelling work for me.

    Anyways, inspired in part by this:

    Modelling for a Lifetime - A Story About the Ultimate Spitfire Collection

    I have come up with a solution. I'm going to open a Spitfire factory! If I can specialise in a particular (small) plane, in 1/72, I can probably crank out a couple a month to a reasonable standard (none of that "weathering" mallarkey though... haven't the patience! :oops:) I'll be happy to get historical accuracy for variant, colours and markings without getting too hung up on the exact shade of green for the (largely unseen) cockpit interior... :D

    Why the Spitfire?

    1) Well, it's a Spitfire, innit?
    2) Well served with kits - all the manufacturers offer it
    3) Served in pretty much every theatre of war between 1940 and the mid 50s under the flags over over a dozen different nations - loads of variety
    4) tons of variants
    5) Huge availability of aftermarket decals etc. - will never run out of possibilties
    6) Well, it's a Spitfire, innit?

    So, wish me luck, this could go either of two ways - either I could end up with Arguably The East Midlands' Largest Collection Of Model Spitfires In 1/72 Scale... or I could end up never wanting to see another Spit as long as I live. (Small question of what to do with the 15 or so kits of various shapes and sizes that I have accumulated in my stash - ebay here I come! :rolleyes:)

    ______________________________________________________________

    So down to business... I'm kicking off with two Airfix kits - the new PR XIX that seems to be kicking up a bit of excitement in the modelling world, and a Seafire Mk. IIc.

    I'm a bit surprised that I'm doing Airfix at all, so far I have stuck with Revell, except one bad experience with an Airfix Kittyhawk where the quality was.... really bad. I never finished it. Recently I was at the RIAT airshow in Fairford where Airfix had a very good promotional tent, I got talking to one of the guys and had a good-natured pop at him about their quality. He said that new owners Hornby are putting money behind Airfix which is reflected in the new models just released, of which the XIX is one. So I thought I'd give them a chance. The XIX is one of the "new tool" kits, and the Seafire is part of a three-model limited edition Fleet Air Arm kit that comes with Airfix Club membership (yeah, they signed me up - guess the other two planes will be on ebay too!).

    [​IMG]

    This is the XIX out of the box:

    [​IMG]

    Not that I have much of a frame of reference but... this seems pretty good, certainly as good as anything I've seen out of the box from Revell. Nice recessed panel lines, no flash. Two decal options, RAF and Swedish air force both from the 50s, I'm doing RAF - bit surprised that there isn't a WW2 decal option but OK, most of the XIX's action was postwar. (The Battle Of Britain Memorial Flight flies a PR XIX and it is a beautiful plane):

    [​IMG]

    And this is Seafire. Curiously there are two sets of wings, one of which seems to go with the original 70s mould which is a bit pants, and a newer pair which have better detail but are a bit of a mismatch with the fuselage. Anyway the instructions go with the latter, therefore so do I. Decal options are two WW2 Fleet Air Arm planes. There is a fair bit of flash, nothing that can be tidied. The prop spinner is a bit of a horror. Will be interesting to see how the fit is.

    [​IMG]

    So off I go...
     
  2. Tony Hill

    Tony Hill Active Member

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    Good luck with your "factory", your work so far looks very nice!!



    I still can't think why ANYONE would want to build a Spitifre though :?: :?: :?: :?: :?: :?: :?: :?: :?: :?:



    Darryl ;)
     
  3. Wurger

    Wurger Siggy Master
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    #3 Wurger, Aug 4, 2009
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2009

    Because, because...she is one of the most beautiful birds in all over the world.:D:D:D


    Good luck with the project Conkerking. Keep us updated please.:)
     
  4. trackend

    trackend Active Member

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    Hi CK I'll be interested to see how things progress as I am a total first build in progress modeller and need to see how all those with more experience that myself do things
     
  5. Wayne Little

    Wayne Little Well-Known Member

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    Good luck with your project Conker...:D
     
  6. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Yep, good luck, and kep the updates coming.
     
  7. Heinz

    Heinz Active Member

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    What they said! :)
     
  8. A4K

    A4K Well-Known Member

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    ...From me too! :D

    Thanks too for posting the pics of the Airfix PR.XIX - I've got my own PR.XIX conversion planned, and was curious how she shaped up...
     
  9. conkerking

    conkerking Member

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    Thanks for the words of encouragement! Well, I've made a start, just the cockpit assemblies so far, XIX on the left, Seafire on the right:

    [​IMG]

    The XIX cockpit is fairly plain but quite nice to put together, there is no dashboard decal like I've seen with most Revell kits so I've put some blobs of white and grey to suggest dials. Not particularly realistic I guess but at least there is a bit of something going on. I've added some seatbelts made out of little bits if Tamiya tape.

    The Seafire doesn't offer much to shout about - just the seat really (again rudimentary seatbelts added). The dashboard, such as it is, is part of the two halves of the fuselage moulding, and is tucked so far underneath that it can't be seen so not much point in doing anything with it. There's a little joystick thing that sticks into this bit (pictured).

    Incidentally, I've discarded the wee fellers that came with both kits, and if 6' is 1" at 1:72, out Seafire pilot is a strapping six-footer, while the XIX was flown by what appears to have been a twelve-year-old boy!

    Just now I've been trying to cut a hole in the underside of the Seafire to accomodate the hook thingy - I think what I'm being asked to do here is effectively convert a Spitfire into a Seafire? - I have no experience of this kind of thing, but I set to work with a sharp knife and after much blood and swearing have managed to gouge a hole that will do the job but will need a lot of tidying with filler/filing/sanding. Nobody said this was going to be easy!

    (By the way trackend - "those with more experience" - yer kidding, right? :lol:)
     
  10. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Nice work so far, looks good. Things have come a long way since the first Airfix Spit, back in the '50's. The cockpit consisted of two pins on which to cement 'Mr. Blobby', and that was it!
    Just as a wee note that might (or might not!) be of interest; the PR19 is a sod to climb in to, compared to other Spits. As there isn't a cockpit entrance hatch, you have to climb over the canopy sill, and there's no step, like the Hurricane for example, so it's a bit of a stretch of ..er...vital parts, shall we say!!
     
  11. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    Very nice, excellent job so far!!
     
  12. A4K

    A4K Well-Known Member

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    #12 A4K, Aug 5, 2009
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2009
    Good progress so far mate! Agree with Terry too, BIG difference between the XIX and original Airfix Spit cockpits! (Check out their Mk.IX...)

    Good point too what he said about cockpit entry - the cockpit of most PR.XIX's was pressurised, so canopy runners and cockpit bulkheads were sealed, and the entry hatch was deleted. I have a photo of 81 sqn CO Sqn/ Ldr Bill Swaby carefully leaping out of the cockpit of PS888 after the last opertaional Spitfire flight, supporting himself with both hands on the two parts of the canopy - looks tricky!
     
  13. conkerking

    conkerking Member

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    I remember doing that kid when I was a kid! Wasn't in the 50s though... :lol:

    I've got the fuselage assemblies together but they need tidying up still. The yellow tape on the inside of the XIX wing base is holding in place a bit of aluminium foil to make the downward camera lenses look "reflective", I've done the same with the side camera behind the cockpit, however not sure this is the way to go as they might look more like lights than cameras?

    [​IMG]

    On the Seafire wings there are a couple of drop-in machine gun blisters, there are two variants with the kit, they have dropped in very slightly too low so they're a bit recessed but I can live with it and learn from it.

    This is the absolute hash I've made of the hole for the grab hook thingy on the Seafire, first I though I'd cut it too far forward, then too far aft, so all in all I ended up cutting a hole the size of a Lancaster's bomb doors. Nice. Anyway I've filled the fuselage with blu-tac to give the slot part a bed to sit on and filled around it, with a bit of careful trimming and sanding hopefully it will look acceptable.

    [​IMG]

    First indication of the fuselage/wing fit:

    XIX - nice! Pretty snug, no more than a smear of filler needed there I think.

    [​IMG]

    Seafire... meh, not so much. Sits way too deep, bad fit at rear edges and trenches you could take cover in. Bit of work to do there. Also as said before it looks a bit odd with the "new" wings with loads of details and the fuslegae which has hardly any detail at all.

    [​IMG]
     
  14. A4K

    A4K Well-Known Member

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    Looks like a little bit of work in places, but nice progress mate!

    I think you might be right about the cameras looking more like lights - a camera lens is dark when you look into it. Another point to consider too is the fact that the cameras were only installed prior to the mission, and removed immediately after for processing...my own PR.XIX project will be devoid of cameras for that reason.
     
  15. conkerking

    conkerking Member

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    You're dead right... I've taken the foil out.
     
  16. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Nice work mate. Good you've taken out the foil, as the cameras would hardly be seen anyway, when installed.
     
  17. Wayne Little

    Wayne Little Well-Known Member

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    No mucking around I see.....making some good progress there CK!
     
  18. conkerking

    conkerking Member

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    I've had a few days off work, back today, let's see if I can keep the momentum up!
     
  19. DBII

    DBII Active Member

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    Good luck at the factory. I think you will find that your attention span will increase as you spend more time producing aircraft. Once you have cranked out a couple, you will start to look for something different and will begain to weather the planes. I am looking forward to seeing your birds.

    DBII
     
  20. conkerking

    conkerking Member

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    Today's fun and games... got the wings/fuselages together and all teh necessary sanding and filling done. As anticipated the XIX goes together beautifully with just a smear of filler needed in a couple of places (left) while the Seafire is filler-a-go-go (right). Much smearing and sanding but I don't think it's too bad a job. However there was I cheerfully finishing off the Seafire when I realised I had forgotten to glue the cockpit assembly in!!!!! Cue much swearing. Well I can stick the seat in on a blob of blu-tac (useful stuff) and there won't be a visible difference.

    I have started doing the canopy on the XIX - another reason to love them Spits, very little faffing around with glasswork. If there is a hell it is masking and painting the front end of and He-111 in 1/72 scale over and over again for all eternity... :twisted::twisted::twisted:

    Also today I discovered Klear - amazing stuff. I thought I wouldn't be able to get it as I heard it's discontinued but they had it at Asda, I bought 10 bottles so now I have 5 litres of a floor cleaning product. That was probably a bit silly. :oops:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The rescue job on the hook slot on the Seafire turned out OK, very slightly uneven towards the fron but not so much anyone would notice.

    [​IMG]
     
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