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The iModeler Spitfire !!

May 24, 2017 · in Aviation · · 16 · 2.2K

Yep this is the very 1:48 Spitfire Vb that I won here at iM around two years ago, and only just got around to putting-together... I cannot say I enjoyed the build, and I know that sounds ungrateful but before you head down to Wilkinsons (US = Walmart) for blazing torches and pitchforks, let me explain...

The cockpit assembly and installation is far to fiddly and intricate - it takes so much time building-up and test fitting that all the joy of the frankly superb detail is simply lost - also locating/gluing some of the details in to the floor area then the floor to the fuselage is down to luck more than skill, I was lucky.

The attachment of the main gears is an absolute horror - the 'L' shaped cut at the pivot point just inside the well simply doesn't have any residual strength to allow you to later attach the wheels on to the axles and is too thin to drill'n pin - go-on ask me how I know !. The plastic is a little too soft (reminiscent of old Heller kits) and lack 'sharpness'.

Good points outweigh the bad it has to be said - Superb details, crystal clear canopies (and so many of them), excellent fit of all the main parts and once you've wrestled the cockpit in to the fuselage it looks magnificent.

I've harboured the decals for over twenty years and unfortunately they have suffered - they were produced for one of the Hasegawa boxings of their Spit Vb by Aeromaster in the 1990's and despite very careful storage in the meantime, I lost one squadron code completely and had to make it up from spares. Stripes are all painted & masked, as are the yellow ID panels. The camo is extensively pre & post shaded as a painting experiment, and has come-out quite well, but I still need to work at it.

So that's it - a three-week build and a half-decent model at the end of it, far too many errors to be a 'winner' but looks fine on my 1:48 WWII shelf. Please feel free to make any criticism or comment or ask any questions.



Reader reactions:
11  Awesome

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16 responses

  1. I think she looks quite nice Ian. Great looking Spit sir! 🙂

  2. Well...despite any "issues" encountered, I think it turned out nicely. I really like your weathering and detail work, too. As an aside, I don't think I've ever seen [invasion stripes?] painted across the cowl before - on any aircraft. I like it, though...nice job, Ian.

    • Not invasion stripes, Craig - 'Operation Rutter': it was a full dress-rehearsal for the Dieppe Raid (Operation Jubilee) - the exercise was held on and around the 4th of July '42.

      This Spitfire is from 302 (Polish) Squadron which was temporarily at Croydon airport (now part of Heathrow) for that time.


  3. Ian, "Operation Starkey" markings? I've seen other variations, unless I'm confusing the other war games.
    Yours turned out really well, and thanks for the warnings about the fiddly parts. Mayhap they decided to out Eduard Eduard?

    • Not quite, Bernard... have a quick read of the reply I just posted for Craig. In the past it was said that the white stripes seen on this machine (and other types) were for the Dieppe raid, apparently they were applied only for the rehearsal.


  4. Terrific job, Ian. Nice to see one of these get built!

  5. It's all about the fun! I think that I HOPE I can do as well!

    I like the ID stripes in front; great job, Ian.

  6. You built a marvelous looking Spitfire Ian. I really like it...

  7. Well - seems like it was worth it in the end - built into a very nice model! Very distinctive with those white stripes - I hadn't seen that before. Nice job with the staining and finishing work.

  8. Came out great! Ditto on the stripes, nice!

  9. Well, I'm sure someone must have thought those stripes a good idea, but they certainly make for a striking model, good work, Ian.

  10. Ian, looks great, I always wondered about those stripes, now I know !.

  11. Nice job Ian. Really looks the part. Having built several Airfix Spitfires, may I offer this suggestion about the undercarriage installation: I used superglue to join the U/C leg to the top portion & then inserted the complete strut into position from above, before attaching top & bottom wing parts. I didn't have any problem with potential breakage & superglue will give you a strong joint & allow easy attachment of the wheels later on. For the life of me I can't imagine why Airfix designed it to assemble this way. It seems to be peculiar to the Mk.Vb & Mk.I kits: the XII & Seafire have a push fit leg from recollection. Hope this helps with your next one!

    • Cheers Tony... I do fancy the Seafire Mk17, but not for a while. Have just ordered the P-40 for the 'Year of the Cat' GB here at iM (Flying Tiger y'see), and already have the Hurri MkI. Luvvin these new Airfix kits, just wish I could get my paws on a Sea Vixen here in NZ without having to take an extension on the mortgage !

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