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 months, 1 week ago:

    Last night I managed to follow through with the build plan on the Airfix Mk V “Tropical”, that was laid out in my last build posting.

    Please follow along with how it went. I am happy with how it’s working, and I’ll show you step by step the sequence I used to help eliminate any gaps.

    First off, I finished the detail painting on the cockpit side walls. These parts look very nice as painted.

    Then I built the cockpit tub assembly.

    Once it was built up as a single unit part, it was ready to install inside the fuselage.

    The details are great, and about the only thing I would recommend adding are a set of seat belts.

    This last pictures shows the details from all angles.

    I added the completed cockpit assembly into the already assembled fuselage at this point . It fit perfectly this way.

    Following this step, I deviated from the plans again, and added the upper wing halves first. This picture shows the Starboard side glued in position. The benefit of building it this way is that there are no gaps.

    Then I added the other upper wing half. This photo shows the Port side upper wing installed. Again, this eliminated any gaps. You can see the lower wing section is sitting next to the fuselage / wing assembly.

    Next, I started installing the lower half of the wing. The first step was to glue it in at the rear center, where it joins against the fuselage. The part didn’t fit very tight, and a slight gap was present.

    Then I worked my way around the rear edges of the wing fillet. This picture shows me holding the section tight. I used a set of tweezers to squeeze the gap tight as the glue was setting up. The other side received the same treatment next.

    The next area I secured against the fuselage was the front lower center section. This area was eventually covered by the “Vokes” filter, but the gaps were non existent here. The fit was excellent.

    Next I proceeded to glue the leading edges of the wings. I started at the fuselage, and worked my way outward to the wing tip section. This step was repeated for the other side.

    Finally, I glued the trailing edge of the wings. Again I started at the fuselage and worked my way outward to the wing tips. Here I used the tweezers to squeeze the trailing edge tight as the glue dried. Since I used liquid fast drying glue, it didn’t take long and the lower section of the wing was installed.

    Here you can see how nice the leading edge of the Starboard wing looked after following these steps.

    Here’s another photo showing the Spitfire after the wings were added. It’s looking pretty good at this stage………………….

    These next two photos show how the wing fillet fit using this method of assembly. No gaps were found.
    First up the Port side…………

    followed by the Starboard: I still have to add the small compressed air bottle. I’ll try that later tonight.

    Now on to the bad………………. Remember how I mentioned the gap at the rear of the fuselage insert ?? Here it is. I’m pointing at it with the red tooth pick. Luckily I was able to eliminate this gap on the other side by opening up the side door so that it’s not noticeable at all.

    The insert also has a very prominent “step” that’s visible when looking at it from the side. Here I’m pointing at the location with the old trusty red tooth pick……………

    There is a very slight sink mark located on the nose. It might sand out with a little work, or I may just add a little filler. Here again I am pointing at it with the red tooth pick. It’s hardly noticeably, but it’s there.

    It might be a little more noticeable in this picture………….

    There’s a small seam running down the center of the fuselage. It’s not a gap, but is a low spot. I tried to sand it down a little. It will require the use of filler however. Not much, just enough to fill this in.

    Here’s the small section at the rear of the fuselage where the lower wing joins. This will require a little plastic strip added to tighten up the gap.

    Remember the Vokes filter ???????????? Here it is. The kit instructions have you add this part on first…………

    Don’t do it that way !!!!!!!!!! If you do it will leave a fairly large gap between the rear of the filter and the actual intake that is mounted to the wing.

    Luckily I ran into the problem while the glue had not fully set up yet. Since the glue was still soft, I was able to shove the Vokes filter rearward until it fit tightly against the intake part as seen in this picture below.

    If you look closely at the bottom center of the Vokes filter, you will see a seam. This will require some filler to get rid of. The Tamiya part is a one piece affair and doesn’t have any problems like this.

    Here’s how the Spitfire looks at the moment. I am very happy with the way I installed the wings. This method, although it’s a deviation from the kit instructions, the end result is better. No gaps are present (other than the rear where the wings join the fuselage underneath). But this is a lot better than having to deal with a gap along the wing fillet………….. at least for me.

    If you follow this procedure, and install the actual intake to the lower wing section before adding the “Vokes” filter, you will probably be glad you did.

    The choice is yours………………. it’s your kit.

    This one will get painted as a George “Buzz” Beurling plane……………. I’ll try to get the tail surfaces installed later tonight.

    Please stay tuned for another update.

    As usual,
    “Comments are encouraged”……….

  • Louis Gardner said 2 months, 1 week ago:

    Hello again !!!!

    This next installment will be a short one………… for me anyhow. It will cover the work I completed on the Airfix Mk Vb earlier this afternoon.

    The tail surfaces were added……………………

    I kicked the rudder a little offset to the “Port” side, since I noticed the rudder pedals were off just a little too. Here in this next photo you can see how much it is from center. Not much, just enough to tell a slight difference.

    I also dropped the elevators, as I did on the other Airfix Mk 1 Spitfire. This photo shows the droop.

    I didn’t think I went as far with this one as I did with the Mk 1.

    So I set them side by side to see if there is a difference and yes there was……………….. This next photo shows the Mk 1. It has a little more droop in the elevators as shown here.

    Then I turned my attention to the minor gaps. They were taken care of rather quickly, and didn’t require much filler at all. The true test will be a quick coat of primer gray to see if any imperfections are noticeable afterwards.

    This photo shows the gap by the side entry door on the Starboard side. I have a gut feeling this may take a little more work.

    Here’s the section where the lower wing attached to the fuselage. I’m hoping this will look a little better under a coat of sand able primer.

    The nose section and the blemishes with the engine cowling………….

    and finally that huge “Vokes” air filter……….. It took some work to get this close. I’ll spray on a heavy coat of sand able primer and work all of these areas more until I’m satisfied with how they look.

    Here’s how “BB’s” Spitfire looks at the moment.

    I’m also down to “only” 6 plastic tubs of cockpit parts for Spitfires so some progress has been made.

    As usual comments are encouraged.

    I’m calling it a night.

    Thanks for looking. 🙂

  • James B Robinson said 2 months, 1 week ago:

    Good stuff Louis. I’m following closely, although my Spit Kit is not quite as detailed as yours, I will do my best with what I have. 🙂 Hope to post some progress pics this weekend.

  • Louis Gardner said 2 months, 1 week ago:

    Thanks James !!!

    I’ll be looking forward to seeing your pictures of the Spitfire. I’ll bet it looks great !!! 🙂

    Tonight I finished up the little bit of seam sanding that needed to be done on the Airfix Mk 1 in preparation for paint.

    Then I pre shaded the underside of the Starboard wing, and sprayed on some flat black under the Port wing.

    I’m very pleased with this Airfix kit, as it is looking great with a little paint added. Hopefully tomorrow I can add the white under the other wing.

    As usual,
    Comments are encouraged…………….

  • Chuck A. Villanueva said 2 months, 1 week ago:

    Very well detailed sequence of assembly of the wings Louis. Good to know for anyone who is building an Airfix Spit. Seeing this just nags me to death into finding some Airfix kits to add to the stash. I have the Hurricane and a Stuka in mind. Very inspirational. Your technique on the wings is pretty close to how I try to get a clean wing to fuselage join. Start at the fuselage and work my way out to the wing tips. I usually just place the lower wing section loose to the fuselage and then add the wing upper halves and then apply the cement to the upper wings for a cleaner seam to work with at the fuselage join. Nice approach either way. Thanks for sharing

  • Louis Gardner said 2 months, 1 week ago:

    I appreciate the compliments Chuck. You’re correct this method works well and I used it when I attached the wings on the Tamiya kit too.

    If at all possible I try to use it since it really helps to eliminate the gaps.

    Earlier this evening I was spraying on the color “white” on the underside of the Hurricane and the Airfix Mk 1 Spitfire.

    Here’s how the Spitfire looks after the white was done.

    After the color dried sufficiently I removed the masking tape and this is how it looks now.

    Since I was on a roll, I decided that I would spray the underside of both Tamiya Mk 1 kits.

    So after adding the little things, like the landing gear (which are just pressed into position), pitot tube and radiator, these were ready to paint.

    I used two different colors.

    This color represents “Sky”

    And this one is “Duck Egg Blue”.

    The colors actually look a little different in these pictures than they do in person.

    There is a subtle difference between the two colors. These next pictures are a little better since you have something to compare with.

    I just couldn’t help it, so I had to take a few more pictures of the Spitfires sitting next to each other.

    This last picture has the Black and White Spitfire in the middle. It kind of gives you a better impression on how the colors look.

    I’m calling it a night for now. Hopefully tomorrow I will spray paint the underside of George Beurling’s Airfix Mk Vb. I’m going to use the “Sky” color and probably should have sprayed some on this plane tonight. But the model still has a few more spots that need some more work before painting.

    With any luck, I’ll be painting some green and brown on these soon. While I’m doing that I’ll spray the BP Defiant and the other two Hurricanes.

    As usual comments are encouraged.

    Thanks again for looking.

    Good night.

  • Paul Barber said 2 months, 1 week ago:

    Those photos of the undersides could go in a text-book, Louis! The timeline of the changing paint schemes is going to be captured brilliantly in this spitfire odyssey! And your painting is as clean and impressive as ever!

    Chuck, I agree totally – I have never taken that approach to sticking the wings on – but it will get its debut for me as my spit and Hurri take shape!

    Thanks also, Louis for the detail in these posts. I’ve said it often enough – your pathfinding here is going to help me and countless others as they build these kits. Just stunning productivity, techniques and organisational skills.

    Great stuff, my friend – legendary!

  • Louis Gardner said 2 months, 1 week ago:

    Hello Paul. I like that name “Spitfire Odyssey” …………. Maybe I’ll adopt it for use in the headlines section at some point………. 🙂 Thanks !!!

    I wanted to capture the way the camouflage progressed with the Spitfire, and chose three early schemes that were different to show this.

    As far as how your Hurricane is built, I don’t think it will be necessary to install the wings in this manner. Do a little test fitting and check for gaps at the wing joint before you commit to any glue. If you think there is going to be a problem, then I would definitely go this route. You can sneak the upper wing halves in place when the lower half is in position. I’m fairly certain that’s how I built my Airfix Hurricane. I attached the lower wing section to the fuselage with the completed / painted cockpit section installed. Then I glued the upper wing halves in place last. I was able to sneak the upper wing panels in position and no gaps were present.

    But I’m fairly certain the wing fit very good as a single piece unit too on my test fit.

    Now when it comes to building the Airfix Spitfire, I would definitely go the route I used on the second Airfix Spit I built. Build the cockpit as a single unit and install it. Then add the forward fuselage / windscreen insert. Attach the upper wing halves then the lower wing section is last. This should eliminate most gaps………….. I’ll post up mine in a few. You can definitely tell there’s a lot less filler used on the second build………….

    Thanks again for the compliments………. and I hope to start spraying on some browns and greens very soon.

  • Louis Gardner said 2 months, 1 week ago:

    Today I did some more filler work on the two Airfix Spitfires…………..

    Remember the gaps that were present on the fuselage windscreen insert ????

    Starting with the early Mk 1:

    I ended up carefully cutting away a little more plastic and actually opened up the gaps, making them wider. Then it was simply a matter of inserting a few small pieces of plastic stock in the areas.

    Then I added a shorter section along the vertical edge of the side door next……….

    The other side received the same treatment.

    This next photo shows the Port side of the Mk 1 Airfix Spitfire, just before I was going to spray on some primer paint. The plastic filler and the putty on the forward upper fuselage has been sanded down in this picture.

    Here’s how it looks after a little primer paint………..

    The wing root joint was also sprayed on the Mk 1. The plastic stock filler is the ticket for a nice fit.

    The last Airfix Spitfire built in this group was the Mk Vb. It suffered from the same trouble spot on the forward fuselage / windscreen insert, but due to a different method of construction, the gaps were not nearly as bad.
    Here’s how the Mk Vb looks after a light coat of primer.

    The vertical seam by the Port side entry door turned out decent too on the Mk Vb.

    The underside of the “Vokes” filter was smoothed out and is ready for final paint on the Mk Vb…………..

    and the tiny gap at the rear of the lower wing section filled in nicely too on the Mk Vb.

    These two Spitfires are ready for the spray booth now………………..

    as always,
    “Comments are encouraged”.

  • Tom Bebout said 2 months, 1 week ago:

    Looking good Louis, enjoying the read as well as the information.

  • Pedro L. Rocha said 2 months, 1 week ago:

    I just catched up 2 pages and what can I say? Just great modelling and brilliantly illustrated. I don’t recall ever reading or hearing someone glueing the top half of the wings to the fuselage as a first building step, and the though also never occur me so that alone is awesome. I’ll surely try your way on a next build!
    That B&W underside is very good, wonder if your planning some weathering there? It is a 2 side challenge my friend. Keep it up

  • James B Robinson said 2 months, 1 week ago:

    Excellent stuff Louis!

  • James B Robinson said 2 months ago:

    @lgardner Here’s another one to add to your collection! 😉

    1 attached image. Click to enlarge.

  • Louis Gardner said 2 months ago:

    Thanks Tom,
    I’m happy you’re enjoying the read. I hope you find something useful from this. 🙂

    Hello Pedro…………. Thanks for the compliments my friend. Give this method a try on your next build if it’s possible. Test fit things first to make sure that by going this route you’re not going to cause problems elsewhere later during the build. It can happen and depends on just how the kit is engineered. I was just lucky with these……….. I’m fairly certain that my friend Chuck Villanueva uses this method too when he can. Yes I plan on “dirtying up” the undersides a little on these Spitfires. The white underside is almost like a blank canvas………… 🙂

    Thanks James,
    I’m watching your Spitfire and P-47 progress, and you have made some headway !!! Looks great to ………… Funny you should post up that picture. I usually get both of the “Ghosts” calendars each year. One is WW1 with Biplanes and the occasional Tripe. The other is the WW2 “Warbird” version like the one in the photo you posted………
    Very nice !!!! I like it………… Thanks.

  • Louis Gardner said 2 months ago:

    Today I made a little more progress on the Mk Vb Spitfires……………

    Starting out with the Tamiya kits. I have these almost ready for paint now. I decided to build each plane a little different. One has clipped wing tips, while the other has the standard wing. The clipped wing plane also has a “Vokes” filter, while the “standard” plane does not………..

    Here’s a close up of the “clipped wing” plane:

    and the “Standard” Mk Vb.

    The Airfix kit has the standard wing tips, and a Vokes filer too. This is the plane I will paint as a Geroge Beurling Malta Spitfire. As soon as I get some canopy clear bits added on this one, and some more details under the wing, it should be ready to spray too.

    Here are the three Mk Vb Spits.

    Followed by the underside of the “Standard” Mk Vb Tamiya kit. The landing gear is simply pressed in place for painting. I did the same thing on the other Tamiya Spitfires. I really wish that the Airfix kits would have had such a simple arrangement as this. It’s a very solid attachment point, unlike what comes on the Airfix models.

    Then up next is the Tamiya “Clipped Wing” Tropical Spitfire.

    Finally this shows the undersides of the Airfix Mk V. It really has some nice details, but believe it or not, the Tamiya kits have more details molded into the ailerons. Each kit has it’s distinct advantages. I still have to add the wing cannons, pitot tube, radiator and oil cooler before this one is ready for paint.

    Calling it a day………….. Hopefully tomorrow I can get some more work done on these two. 🙂

    As usual,
    “Comments are Encouraged”.

    Thanks for looking………………………

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