Need your advice about "early" Spitfire Vb wheel well colors.

Discussion in 'Painting Questions, Tutorials and Guidebooks' started by le_steph40, May 20, 2012.

  1. le_steph40

    le_steph40 Well-Known Member

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    Hello,

    I'm working on 2 projects. 2 "early" Spitfires Vb (W3122 W3257) both DE/DG/Sky. I think to paint wheel wells and gear doors in the undersurface colour (Sky and not RAF interior green), I believe this goes for the gear legs as well. And I think the wheel hubs normally would be painted in an aluminum-ish colour.
    Please, any experts to correct me if I'm wrong ?

    TIA
    ST├ęph
     
  2. A4K

    A4K Well-Known Member

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    #2 A4K, May 20, 2012
    Last edited: May 20, 2012
    IMO you're right about the wheel hub colours: Alu outer ring getting slightly darker toward the hub, interior of hub cutouts almost gun metal (not black).
    Not sure about the gear legs, though would guess Aluminium for aircraft with Sky lowers, u/c doors too, possibly u/c wells aswell (though most likely Sky).
    Could be wrong though!
     
  3. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    The wheel wells themselves, and the inside of the U/C doors, were normally the under surface colour, in this case, 'Sky', with the 'tunnels' for the legs normally Cockpit grey-green - there were exceptions though, but mostly as above. Gear legs were normally painted in a 'silver' finish, to which aluminium powder had been added, giving a light grey tinge to the 'silver'. The wheels were mostly as described by Evan, although there were cases of these also being in 'Sky'.
     
  4. A4K

    A4K Well-Known Member

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    Good stuff Terry! I thought you'd be the man for this one!
    Le Steph, please disregard my comment, Terry knows his Spitfires!
     
  5. le_steph40

    le_steph40 Well-Known Member

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    Hello all,

    Is it something like this ?
    Spitfire Vbww.jpg

    TIA, regards
     
  6. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Yep, that's it. As you can see, the 'lip' of the U/C leg 'tunnel' is also the underside colour, with the inner walls and 'roof' in the Cockpit Grey-Green. The wheels, although sometimes painted, were mostly as shown.
     
  7. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    #7 stona, May 21, 2012
    Last edited: May 22, 2012
    It all depends whether the wheel wells were considered internal or external parts. If internal they would leave the factory in Interior Green or a Silver/Aluminium finish. If they were considered external they would have been in the underside colour. Incidentally all of these were applied over a grey primer.Noone has turned up any evidence to let us know what the wheel wells were considered to be at the time.....yet.
    What happened later,when for example the underside colour was changed (from Night/White to Sky and later from Sky to Medium Sea Grey is anyone's guess.
    Even if the undercarriage legs got painted,at some post factory stage,the maintenance routine involved frequent cleaning (with paraffin no less!) and dis-assembling which would surely have removed the paint
    You can follow "Airframes" excellent advice or adopt any of the above. Noone can prove you wrong one way or the other.

    I'm currently wrestling with PCM's Spitfire XIV and have decided to go for Interior Green in the wheel wells despite having no certainty that this was definitely done until after the war.
    It's not a kit for the faint hearted!

    Cheers
    Steve
     
  8. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    I agree with Steve. The exceptions I mentioned are due to the facts Steve quotes, and I've seen period photo evidence of all combinations, as well as restored examples displaying variations.
    Good luck with the MkXIV Steve - sounds like it might be as tricky as my 1/32nd scale conversion/cross kit build with the Hasegawa and Matchbox (Revell) kits !
     
  9. fubar57

    fubar57 Well-Known Member

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    And I just keep learning...thanks Terry and Steve.

    Geo
     
  10. le_steph40

    le_steph40 Well-Known Member

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    I agree, I keep learning too => A big THANK YOU all... :)

    I love this forum...!!! :)
     
  11. A4K

    A4K Well-Known Member

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    Great info Terry and Steve! (Another continuous learner here....:) )
     
  12. Edgar Brooks

    Edgar Brooks Active Member

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    When built, early Marks were painted silver in all interior areas, including u/c leg tunnels, u/c door interiors, oleo legs, engine covers, fuselage interiors aft of the cockpit, and flap interiors. Wheel wells, themselves, are something of a mystery, since they are not mentioned on drawings, and nobody is clear whether they were seen as part of the interior, or exterior. This really means that you're spoilt for choice, with silver or the underside colour(s) being options, but not cockpit grey-green; only the cockpit, firewall and engine bearers got that as a coating. Note that none of the colours were primers; Spitfires used a light, or medium, grey as an undercoat, with the green, silver, or camouflage colours painted on top of that. Late in the war, or just after, silver was largely discontinued, and green spread to the interiors, but that might only apply to the 20-series, plus Seafires from the 15 onwards.
     
  13. A4K

    A4K Well-Known Member

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    Great info mate!
     
  14. le_steph40

    le_steph40 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Edgar for these presisions :)
     
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