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1/18 Supermarine S6B - S1595

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Hello all :)


With apologies to my P39, it is time to nail something new together...


I was inspired by the exquisite models on show at Telford to go back to old school model making. My P39 started as an experiment that proved I could make a whole airfame in 3D, but after a long break from any modelmaking as I focused on airscale I found it hard to pick it back up..


Add to that a chance conversation with my friend Torben at SMW about subjects that could inspire me, he mentioned early racers and a bulb in my head went off :). Both he and I like ther S5, but the S6B has so many attributes that suit me - one being it is all metal rather than fabric winged and the other being that the real one is accessible at the Science Museum in London...


So here we are... S1595..






..a beautiful machine..


..with inspiration in place and many hours of trawling the internet for images, I set off for London to get reference pics - unfortunately it is really badly lit, but 457 pics later I had enough with the disparate plans I found to start drawing out shapes...


..the rear of a float for example..




..and this aeroplane is covered in a LOT of rivets, especially the wings as the surface doubles as the radiators (which were removed from the slipstream for streamlining)..


typical is the float again...




..though where I have been doing complex cockpits in previous models, this one is pretty simple..




..still room for 3D though, this will become the fuel tank under the instrument panel..




..with drawings created, I made lots and lots of parts from 1mm card & 2mm cores... I also designed a 3D printed matrix with the bottom of the fuselage and the top of the floats to set the angle and give strength to the struts..






..the cockpit is going to be tricky as there is just skin and very small thin formers so for now it is part of the core and with brass 'U' channel running down the sides where the real one has a strengthener I hope to cut it all away later


..the 3D core in the fuselage includes holes for the wing spars and you can see on the forward end one of the holes for 3mm brass rod for the strut cores (the other is just visible under the back of the wing)..




..Same for the float tops, though the scars from me getting the angles wrong on the first pass are visible here..  there is also a slot running around it to centre the cores...





..and assembly has started, the fuselage is super slim, literally the size of the engine cross section - the shape will be created by filling the gaps with hard sculpting foam and a skim of P38 filler before skinning.. for now there are just placeholders for the engine blisters as I need to refine the drawings - they are a complex shape..








..then adding more strength to the fuselage in a jig to keep the spine straight until it's all set.. and chopped out the cockpit area and thankfully the brass bracing structure that mirrors the real one (the lower beams are a bit overscale thickness for strength) seem to have worked and it is all quite rigid..






..even put a mock up IP in it, though the real one is sloped slightly..




having fun :)




so that's it - underway with a new project and I am glad to be back at the bench and back here with my pals :)




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have you ever had it where you go to bed at night and think about what you are going to do on your build the next day?


I know when I am really into my build when I feel like it's Christmas Eve and I can't wait to get up... so at my bench at 8am on a Sunday and I have S6B floats now :)


..started by adding a 'T' section to the bottom of the cores - this really should have been brass, but I haven't got enough so plastic it is.. then each former one by one with the plan view stiffner in between..


..having made the parts already, it took shape quickly..




..soon front and rear sections had one side of the profiles..




...soon all the formers were added and integrated with the 3D top part that the struts mount to..




..then all the components were cemented together )x2) :)





..with the floats made up, it was time for a test fit..




..the 3D parts really help lock everything in and get the geometry right..








..happy with that for a day's work :)



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hey chaps :) thanks for dropping in

..because the foam and filler part of the build is very messy. I kind of wanted to confine it to one long session. To that end it meant I need all four corners of the airframe completed, so up next wings & tailplane..


..the wing starts with a 0.16mm sheet brass trailing edge - here the outline is stuck to the sheet and later cut out with a dremel & slitting disc on a bit of balsa to stop it bending..




..with it cut out is is pinned to a balsa backed plan with a small wodden strip lifting the TE off the plan. Then the ribs are threaded on the tube spars and spaced out - I made more ribs than there are lines on the plan so they don't line up and all are set in place with a set square & CA.. a slot in each rib captures the TE...




..the LE is made of brass rod - the use of brass for LE & TE is to ensure clean hard lines i can fill & sand to..


..here a block of aluminium is used to set a nice square leading edge (a block that will hopefully later be carved / bashed / smashed into a propeller..)




..the other wing is built off the first so everything lines up and is square..


..fill in plates have been added to give torsional strength and stop twisting, all of it being washed with old tamiya liquid cement to bond it all together...




..the tailplanes are of similar construction, but without the brass..




,,and that is enough of the airframe complete to start building it up from here...















having a blast :)



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Hi Peter

I sit here amazed and spellbound at both the process and your incredible building skills.

This is at one time what model building was all about, the skill and ingenuity of the modeler. Of course, I never possessed any of the skills required and could never even build a wooden balsa model with the ribs and paper covering.

Just a joy to follow your progress.


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  • 2 weeks later...

thank you all, very kind :)


time to build out the fuselage of this curvy girl..


started by black outlining all formers with a sharpie so when I sand I can see when I hit the outline, then it was filled out with hard foam blocks in between all the formers ..




then those were cut and sanded to the base profile - litho cockpit sides were added to keep shape integrity while filling / sanding..








..then the structure was given a thin skim of P38 filler..




..and sanded to shape.. this is the 'rough cut'..




..lots of sanding and re-filling & re-priming and the base fuselage is complete for skinning in metal later..




..the big definitive rocker cover fairings were a challange and I pondered how to do them. Eventually, I made up a basic 3D version which my skills in no way allow me to get all the subtle shapes so these just serve as something to start with - though the exhaust port blocks will be separate as they will ultimately be scale..




..I started the refinement by getting the position and relationship to the fuselage right. This is done by covering the fuselage with aluminium plumbers tape that pretty much defies anything sticking to it for long and the fairings spot CA'd in place followed by filler so they become a close fit... they can then be easily broken off for final shaping..




.. then after they were permanently fixed, a definition needed to be made to start to represent the fuselage break where the fuselage and engine fairings meet..


..this was done with lining tape and filler added and sanded until the tape can be seen..




,,and the all important nose profile starts to take shape..












..and thats it for now :)




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thanks chaps :)


time to make the fuselage sides, so made a plug using the same bulkhead drawings and vacformed form sheet..




,,these were then tack CA'd into place so the sanding & filling could start.. you can see additional strip plugs added as I screwed up the measure / cutting..




..and once refined, the structural elements of the fuselage are complete..






..a jig was fixed to the sides while they were in place to keep everything where it should be (if they flex, the detail breaks free inside later  - tell me how I know), and then they were cut & prised off and interior detail started..




..in the next screw up, I should have made the sides run right to the last bulkhead, but I had cut them at the headrest bulkhead - the fuselage is hollow in real life so actually there is no bulkhead at all, but I ran it to one behind the seat in the hope it won't be seen..


..so the sides were refitted and the last section cut out..




..this meant the sides needed sorting out to integrate the additional walls, so out with the filler again..




..the missing detail was added..




..and cleaned up & primed you would never know on the inside..






..however, on the outside it is Frankenstein's monster..




...the structural beams were made from litho, but will have to be fitted to the fuselage rails, rather than the walls as there is no way to add the sides over the brass beams once they are in place..




onwards & upwards :)





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thank you ladies, you are all too kind :)


so, this is one of the few pics I have of the cockpit...




..tons of info there - all I have to do now is make it..


..started with control yoke, forward bulkhead & rudder pedals, all from plastic or brasss..




...then it was a few more bobbins including the seat and time for paint.. I have tried to start a bit of weathering as I suspect open cockpit, seawater and an oliy monster 18 inches away would mean it would get a bit grubby..








..also starting to get the fuel tank seen in the photo ready for fitting, though lots more pipes to go..




..and thats it - I want to get it closed up so I can start skinning the fuselage - the instrument panel is next as soon as the decals arrive later this week


have a wonderful Xmas everyone 🤶



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Holy Cow, simply astonishing work ... the detail and precision are beyond amazing. Surely by the end of this build I most likely will stop having anything to say as I will have completely run out of compliments. Might just need to keep increasing the number of OMG :construction:

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Seasons Greetings :)


I figured before I finish the cockpit, I better start skinning some of the nose as there would be some hammering involved to get the metal to conform to the very curvy rocker cover blisters..


..it all starts like this - a bit of ali sheet taped along one edge and worked & beaten to follow the shape.... it creases and buckles and really doesn't like it, but I will have my way in the end..




..by now it's pretty much there, always working the creases away with thousands of taps of a tiny ball pein hammer..




..then the surface is abraded to get it smooth (sorry for the crap pictures..)..




..and finally cut to shape allowing the bottom edges to flare under the panels that will sit on top of them....




..and with those panels added and the exhaust ports..











lots more panels to go, and I need to complete the cockpit before I can do the rear of the blisters and add the cooling vents..


Happy Christmas everyone :)



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