A group of Eight various 1/48 Spitfires………. Four Airfix and Four Tamiya, Mk 1 to the FR 46 / 47

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  • Louis Gardner said 2 years, 10 months ago:

    It’s almost that time………. I just about have the 1/48 Monogram He-111 wrapped up and I wanted to join the party……….. in my typical “Iron Werks” fashion.

    I have been thinking about jumping in with some Spitfires………..

    I wanted to build three early Mk1 versions. These are the kits I have in mind. All are in 1/48 scale.

    Starting with new tool Airfix Mk 1.
    It comes with 3 different props and several different canopies. I wanted to build an early two bladed Watts propped Spit out of this one.

    Next was two of the Tamiya kits………… I wanted to build one with a light blue underside and the other with a ”Sky” or light gray underneath. On one plane I wanted to use the Rotol prop, and the other a De Havilland prop. I wanted to use part of the Airfix decals on one of the Tamiya kits and build “LO -G” as it has initials from my name.

    To round things out, I was going to do the new tool Airfix PR Mk XIX in an overall P.R.U. blue with RAF markings.

    I ordered a set of decals for this one to do that. Here are the different marking options from the aftermarket set.

    I may ask for help in choosing the final scheme with this one. As long as it’s an overall PRU color scheme and not two tone…………….. I wanted a late War or even early 1950’s plane with the red / white / blue roundels in all positions……. The D Day invasion striped one is neat looking too. I’m still undecided so far.

    and this picture shows the upper / lower views.

    The last one would be a FR 46 / 47. I was thinking about doing the one with the folded wings……………

    I also ordered a set of after market resin exhausts for the PR plane and the FR 46/47.

    I pulled them out of the stash and they are on deck…………..

    So lets get this party started !!!!!

    As usual,
    Comments are encouraged………..

  • Paul Barber said 2 years, 10 months ago:

    Having spoken about this with you Louis, I shouldn’t be surprised – but seeing it here has left me a little gobsmacked! The Spitfire is THE RAF icon – and only you could chose to contribute FIVE builds – this is going to be a history lesson and a modelling masterclass – I’m humbled and excited by this, and with respect to all the other fantastic contributors it is going to be another highlight of the group build.

    From my ‘Dunkirk’ research I found a couple of things that will work well here.

    The first is a little history of Spitfire production – something akin to your work bench in the near future!!

    And the second is a kind of early ‘Walkaround’ of a Mk1 just weeks before the Battle of Britain. I found it really informative before considering my build.

    It is the right time of the year to go ‘Spitfire mad’, Louis – there will be lots of people here happy you are hosting this party! I’m looking forward to this immensely!

  • Louis Gardner said 2 years, 10 months ago:

    I just watched the videos you posted. There is a lot of great information about the Spitfire in them. Thank you very much !!!

    I took the liberty of snapping a few pictures during the videos to use as future references.

    They will come in handy………

    Here’s a few things that I picked up on during the videos.

    The early Spitfire doesn’t have a crow bar mounted on the entry door. You can also see how tight the demarcation line is between the two upper camouflage colors here too.

    Here’s a great photo that shows the outline of the spinner. I’m not sure if this is the De Havilland or the Rotol version but I am going to find out. I’m going to guess and say this one is a De Havilland version in this photo. Going from memory I think that the Rotol prop used a spinner that was more rounded, and more commonly used on the Mk II.

    It also looks like the wheel wells and inside of the gear doors were painted with the same colors as the underside of the wings on the planes that were painted with black and white under the wings. This photo definitely shows that the wheel wells are white on the white side of the wings. I’m sure that it’s possible that on some early planes these areas were left in aluminum color.

    In this photo it looks like the black side has paint that extends into the wheel wells and gear doors too. I know that the main gear leg that is closer in this picture is darker than the one from the other side, which was painted white. It makes sense that it would be painted in the same manner as the other side. This is the same plane that was used throughout the maintenance video.

    Good stuff !!!!

    In the first video I learned that the factory had taken some severe bomb damage. Up until now I never realized that it had been hit or that 25 percent of the workers were killed or injured during the first two air raids.

    It makes sense that the production would be decentralized and moved out to other smaller locations.

    This is exactly what the Germans had to do in the latter part of the War for the same reason.

    Thanks again !!!! I’m very excited about this and I’m getting to the point where I don’t know how much longer I can wait before I start snipping plastic …..

  • Chuck A. Villanueva said 2 years, 10 months ago:

    Five of them, wow quite ambitious Louis and using couple of the newer Airfix kits as well. A nice WIP is about to get started. Ready to see how the Airfix kits come along. Have fun

  • Louis Gardner said 2 years, 9 months ago:

    Yes Chuck, I’m going to attempt 5 Spitfires. It’s not as ambitious as your Lancaster, which is really looking great !!!! Now the Lancaster is a serious build………..

    I’ll post up the differences as I go along with the builds.

    Initially I wanted to build some early Spitfires (mainly the Mark 1 versions). But having the new Airfix Mk PR XIX in the stash and the Seafire 46/47, I thought it would be cool to show the first and the last versions of this iconic plane.

    Since I am going to be spraying the same colors for the BP Defiant, I thought why not ?? After building the He-111’s, I wanted to do something simple, and that is what drew me to the single color PRU Spitfire……

    I have this kit in the stash in the group of unbuilt Hurricanes. It’s the Classic Airframes early version Hurricane MK 1 with the fabric covered wings.

    But I didn’t want to build it with markings from a Foreign service. I have been watching this set of decals, and pulled the trigger on them tonight.

    Now I’m not committing to building this Hurricane, but if time allows it, I just might……….. I think it would be neat to build it up as a pre war plane with the two blade wooden Watts prop, and have it sitting next to it’s companion early Spitfire (also with a two bladed Watts prop)………..

    We will see where this goes………….

    and more good news………. The decals and resin exhaust arrived today for the PRU Spit…………..

    Plus I dug this decal set out from the decal stash. I have been wanting to use some of these for the longest time. However I haven’t tried this brand of decal before. Does anyone have any experience with them ???

    There are some pretty good selections included in this set. Here is a picture of just a few included.

    Hopefully they will work OK and not be stubborn (or even shatter apart)……….

    I’m really getting stoked now !!!!!! 🙂

    As usual,
    Comments are encouraged.

  • david leigh-smith said 2 years, 9 months ago:

    Comments are encouraged…

    I can think of a few, Louis. There’s always been something of a thin line between genius and crazy. You, my friend, are on the genius side, but sometimes I wonder. FIVE Spitfires?

    You have my undivided attention. But then, I am a shrink.

  • Louis Gardner said 2 years, 9 months ago:

    Well Doc,
    after reading today’s post, you may want to sign me up for a session………… I did it, and started the build. Maybe you can tell me how many spider webs or loose marbles you see rolling around inside my cranium……….. 🙂

    Last night I finally broke the seal and started cutting plastic. I was working on wheels for the Defiant and the two He-111’s.

    So in typical “Iron Werks” fashion, I got busy.

    You will notice there are some differences, mainly in overall diameter. I understand after some research, that the early Spitfires used 5 or 4 spoke wheels, and the later marks used a 3 spoke wheel.

    Here’s a breakdown of the wheels, from top to bottom. I also placed the corresponding tail wheels next to the main wheels when possible.

    Top in dark gray plastic, the Airfix FR 46/47

    second in lighter gray is the new mold Airfix PR XIX

    Third in the middle are the new replacement cream colored resin wheels for the Defiant. They are closer to the camera and look much bigger in this picture than they actually are.

    The fourth and fifth rows are from the Tamiya Mk 1 Spitfire. I’ll be building two of these, so that’s why there are 4 wheels shown in the photo.

    Last on the bottom are the wheels from the new tool Airfix Mk 1 Spitfire.

    They all look very nice under a coat of paint.

    Here’s a close up of the Tamiya wheel…………..it has the tire (or “tyre” depending on where you live) manufacturer name cast into the sidewall. You can see where it says “DUNLOP” rather well.

    The BP Defiant resin wheel also has the DUNLOP wording…….. You can see the details in this photo below.

    Next up is the 1990’s vintage Airfix FR 46 / 47 wheel. It’s a three spoke version, and the wheel hub is cast into the tire as one unit.

    This next picture shows the new tool Airfix Mk 1 Spitfire tire. This kit has the wheel hub with the spoke openings cast as a separate insert that will make it easier to paint. What you see here is the side that goes closest to the landing gear leg.

    This last picture shows the wheel / tire for the new tool Airfix PR XIX Spitfire. It too uses a separate wheel hub insert on the other side.

    I hope you enjoy the progress made so far. I have noticed a difference with the plastic. Some is harder and more brittle, while others are softer are a lot easier to sand and polish.

    Please stay tuned for new updates, as I plan on knocking these out……………

    Meanwhile I’ll adjourn for a cup of tea…………… since I’m building Spitfires I have the urge.

    As usual,
    Comments are encouraged………….

  • Jeff Bailey said 2 years, 9 months ago:

    ‘AttaBoy, Louis! This is an ambitious project … that I’m SURE you’ll have no trouble finishing!

    I don’t often have the urge for tea & when I do it’s almost always iced tea. My Scottish (British) wife thinks that putting ice in your tea is an affront to God & country and shouldn’t be allowed in civilised society. LoL!

    I think you should add another Spit to your build, one of the squared wing that were (to some) quite a nasty departure from the gorgeous lines of a Spitfire. I think they’re interesting looking, especially the squared wings on a “bubbletop” mark.

    Jolly good show, Louis!

  • neil foster said 2 years, 9 months ago:

    Wow ! I wish I had the time to do a project like this you lucky man. In terms of which Spitfire looks best or should I say less great than the others I think the Mk V is probably the image of a Spitfire that most people recognise ,I agree with Jeff that the squared off wing tips on some Spitfires look good but in my opinion the Mk XIX is easily the best looking version by a mile, especially with the invasion stripes. The only shape change I don’t like is the extended and pointed wing tips that I think were used on very high altitude versions.
    Good luck Louis

  • James B Robinson said 2 years, 9 months ago:

    Louis, FCM Decals are from Brasil – http://www.fcm.eti.br/index.html
    I haven’t used them but if you look at their site, these may have been printed by MicroScale, depending upon the year.

    Curious, the photo of all the boxes, is that your stash in the background or were you at a shop?

  • Louis Gardner said 2 years, 9 months ago:

    I really like my sweet iced tea…………. That’s what I went for when I mentioned it above. During the winter I like to drink it hot.

    Funny you should mention building another Spitfire. These three kits shown here were on the short list for this build journal, and ironically they are all Mark V’s !!! So maybe, (just maybe) I could be persuaded into adding to the list of Spitfires for this GB. I may have to break it down into Tamiya and Airfix to keep things easier to sort out………. If I could ever get my hands on a 1/48 scale Mk 22 with a 5 blade prop and the bubble canopy, that one would get done in a flash……………..

    I am lucky that I have the time to build my models. I’m retired now, so I do have more hobby time than I used to. But I can remember a time when there were several years that went by and I didn’t get to build a thing, let alone even look at a model. I guess now I’m trying to make up for “lost time”.

    Funny you should mention a Mark V too………… and like you, I think the MK XIX is a beautiful plane, as are most of the Spitfires. Once I saw Airfix was releasing a new tool kit, I just couldn’t resist !!! I hope it builds up as nice as it looks.

    I have the decals now to build it with the invasion stripes. I’ll count that as a vote for that one on the decal sheet……………. I still haven’t decided as to which plane I’m going to build my Mk XIX as, but your vote counts…………

    So if any of you out there following along with this have any thoughts on which markings I should use on the MK XIX Spit, please sound off so you can be heard, and your vote counted. Thanks !!!

    Thanks for the information about the FCM decals. It looks like the Battle of Britain set I have was discontinued a while ago. I’m tempted to give them a try to see just how they work. I have never used a set from this company, so it could be interesting……….

    These kits shown in the back ground are part of the stash…………. I’ll bet the Pro Modeler Curtiss Helldiver caught your eye………… I have not heard back from the family yet about the unpublished veteran SB2C and SBD photos we talked about. I will keep you posted on that.

    Thanks for looking.

    I had an idea earlier today and gave it a try. I’m actually quite pleased with how it turned out………..

    I took some “Matte Aluminum” Bare Metal Foil……………..

    which looks almost like this once you remove it form the package……….. I used some therefor a small section on one corner is missing. The wrinkle you see on the sheet will disappear once the foil is installed so don’t be too alarmed by that.

    and used it in place of painting the wheel portion of the main wheels. The first attempt was one of the wheels for the BP Defiant. I used a Q-tip to press the foil material down into the details cast into the wheels. Then a new razor blade was used to trim off the excess where the tire (or tyre) meets the wheel. I also went over the “DUNLOP” lettering lightly with a white colored pencil.

    Here are the results……………. but these up close zoomed in photos don’t really do the wheels any justice. They look much better in person.

    I wanted to see how this looked on the Airfix FR 46 / 47 three spoke wheel. I’m happy to report that it looks pretty darned good……….. at least to me. After the treatment I mentioned above with the trimming and such, I simply painted the three holes using “Flat Black” to give it a little color contrast for the wheels……….

    Anyhow, please let me know what your thoughts are on this build.

    Should I add a Mark V to this or go totally bonkers and add all three Mk V’s ????

    Doing this will probably get me an office visit with David LS, who will undoubtedly have his butterfly net and straight jacket at the ready………. just waiting to see what my reactions to the ink blot tests are like 🙂

    I have been wanting to build a George Beurling “Tropical” Mk V as flown from Malta…………….(they reportedly had some unusual camouflage colors used in operation from Malta), and I still need to locate the proper decals to build that one.

    Also which decals should I use on the overall PRU blue Mk XIX ???

    Currently I have one vote for the plane with the D Day Invasion stripes……………

    Thanks again for looking, I’m calling it a night.

    As usual,
    Comments are encouraged.

  • Tom Bebout said 2 years, 9 months ago:

    Louis I do believe if you were given a Rorschach test you would say every ink blot page looked like a Spitfire to you. Nice start on a vary ambitious project buddy. I’ve build both the Tamiya Mk1 and Mk Vb Trop. kits. Great little kits with excellent fit and parts alignment and some very nice cockpit detail. Neither kit required the use of any putty. The only after market item I used were seats, especially one’s that had the hardness detail molded into them. They’re usually better than the kit provided seats and I don’t enjoy working with PE metal harness or belts. Good luck and I’ll be watching.

  • James B Robinson said 2 years, 9 months ago:

    @lgardner Yes, that particular box did catch my eye. I’ve got 4 waiting to start, just need to get the room finished. Wonder if she’d notice another one??? 🙂

    1 attached image. Click to enlarge.

  • Louis Gardner said 2 years, 9 months ago:

    Tom my friend,
    It’s good to hear from you. In fact, it was one of your Spitfire builds that helped to inspire me for this one…………… I have several of the Tamiya Spitfires (four in total) , and plan on pulling the trigger on all of them at once.

    If they gave me a Rorschach test, some of the ink blots would probably resemble big block Mopar engines (Hemi’s included), Challengers / Cuda’s, Chargers, Pratt & Whitney R2800’s, F4U gull wings, a Grumman or two, a big red fire engine, and a tanker’s helmet, a Focke Wulf or two, a 109, P-40, P-47 and a Me-262, and just possibly a WW1 Fokker, not necessarily in that order.

    I don’t have any of the resin seats you mentioned, and they are a definite improvement for sure over the stock kit parts. Your builds always look great with them………….

    Ha ha ha !!!!!!!! Good stuff my friend……….. I say go for it. It’s only another kit right ??? That’s how I started many years ago…………

    High, my name is Louis, and I’m a plasticoholic…………… “Hi Louis”…………… 🙂

    I like your attached photo. It’s very true……………..

  • Louis Gardner said 2 years, 9 months ago:

    OK so now you all can say it’s official………….. I have never attempted anything like this before. I have decided to add the three Mk V’s I posted pictures of last night.

    What I have done to make this more manageable for me is that I combined both Tamiya Mk 1 kits into one box. This box is on the bottom of the Spitfire pile………….

    Then in an effort to help simplify the building process, I’m going to build these up as four Tamiya kits, and four Airfix kits. This should make it a little easier during the painting and assembly stages.

    So in essence, this will be two separate builds, in typical “Iron Werks” fashion of four each. But they will both be included here. I may go back and edit the title of this work journal to reflect the new change……………

    To start out with, earlier today I added some putty to the Airfix FR 46 /47 props. Each one had a small sink mark on the back side. I also finished up the second wheel with the Bare Metal Foil treatment. This picture is a better representation of how the stuff looks……..

    Next up I completed the BMF process of the back sides of the Tamiya kit wheels. These wheels are the ones for the Mk 1 kits………..

    Then I broke open the plastic on the new three kits. These wheels are from top to bottom:

    Top: Tamiya Mk V b tropicalized, molded in tan colored plastic

    Middle: Tamiya Mk V b.

    Bottom: Airfix Mk V b

    Then I sprayed them and they are now drying. Once dried, I’ll finish these up using the BMF and have all of the wheels completed for the Spitfires. Next step will most likely be work on the propellers…………

    I looked at the decals in the stash, and I just might be able to “cobble” together a set of markings for a George Beurling Malta Spitfire. If anyone has any comments on how these Malta Spits were painted, I’d love to hear them…………… From what I have read so far, some of these planes were painted by the US Navy while en route to Malta, using US Navy colors. Others state that some of these planes were painted on Malta using a mixture of home brewed paint stocks……….

    This could be interesting.

    Thanks again,
    and as always,

    “Comments are encouraged”.

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