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dr_gn

1:72 Hasegawa Spitfire Mk. IXc

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I never learn. Building two kits at once takes at least three times as long as building them one at a time, but whatever; the Mosquito is more of an experiment, right? I wanted a grey/green Spitfire to go with my Mk.1, and since I've been a bit Beaufighter curious for a while, when I saw this I thought it would be rude not to get it:

l4VsLBZq.jpg

I believe the Spitfire dates from the '90's, and comprised relatively few parts, and pretty sparse interior detail. This won't be much of a problem with a closed canopy though:

EDggfmty.jpg

H6gbeOdE.jpg

With the exception of some seatbelts, this will be OOB (really this time), although I'd like to finish it without invasion stripes, so I've got some alternative decals in the pipeline.

An hour of cleaning up the parts allowed pretty much the whole model to be assembled with Tamiya tape, with very little evidence of any significant gaps or fit issues. One of the cannon fairings had got broken in the box, but a bit of work with a drill and brass pin will soon fix that:

rNfWYa8L.jpg

A decent 1:72 Spitfire is always a good model to build...

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Here are the Eduard pre-painted RAF belts, along with the seat (which subsequently had the rear painted black):

49NBzkij.jpg

And completed cockpit, with gunsight which will be fitted later:

HlrQ64FO.jpg

Cockpit sides complete - or at least painted - there's not much to see:

5MlizmWr.jpg

Propeller and spinner assembled:

EtQtfgDU.jpg

and finally wheels and u/c doors:

W72sVLjI.jpg

All the ejector pin marks will be covered on assembly.

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Main structure is finished now - went a bit OTT with the Milliput on the nose, but it'll soon smooth out:

WA9oKpTU.jpg

Cockpit just needs a bit of clear acetate cutting for the gunsight which I'll fit immediately before the canopy (which of course will be closed).

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So I've now pretty much completed the sanding/guide coat/filling/rescribing/re-rivetting process. Just a couple of dots on the nose and fuselage need flatting. I repaired the cannon fairing with some brass tube. I also fitted the gunsight and added a small strip of cockpit green painted decal paper internally to the rear canopy, to represent some internal framing:

0EGaEY1v.jpg

I've also partially drilled the ventral signalling lamp out to make subsequent painting easier. This will be a dot of Vallejo silver followed by Tamiya clear red, both applied with the end of a cocktail stick:

g73waYmq.jpg

Next job will be to paint the undersides in Medium Sea Grey.

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Very nice work indeed. Will you be doing D-Day markings - I love those stripes.

 

Thanks TG,

 

No, I've got some other decals to use (Techmod I think).

 

The original Hasegawa original included the stripes, and these would be very difficult to apply well. I'd have painted the stripes and used the existing codes, but for some reason the codes and roundels (and the sky fuselage band for that matter) are printed as one, over the stripes, making them pretty much impossible to separate. A bit of a daft way of doing things becasue it makes it impossible to paint your own stripes.

 

Ah well.

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Added a missing panel line under the nose, then sprayed with Vallejo MSG plus a drop of white grey, then preshaded with Vallejo German Grey:

XTkO1vbV.jpg

Then oversprayed to leave my favoured (very subtle) preshade:

XZ2pZ8i6.jpg

The replacement Techmod decal set arrived today from hannants. I've never used Techmod before, but they look good, and include a comprehensive set of stencils, which is not always the case with aftermarket decals:

ZbtlhaDw.jpg

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Most of the masking is complete now, although the rear canopy lower frames aren't well defined, so I still need to check that I've masked them at the right height. I always use Tamiya tape to completely cover the undersides these days, plus I add masking fluid along any dodgy looking joints to make sure there is no overspray. Might seem excessive, but correcting overspray is worse...

a6BoUmYV.jpg

According to Tamiya paint schemes, the cannon fairings should be top camo colour all around, apart from their roots, so that's how I've masked

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Finished the canopy masking and fitted the mast and rear view mirror, then followed the usual process for the Ocean Grey upper camo:

L8IBCOg5.jpg

CNP0haQT.jpg

riQUY19H.jpg

The Ocean Grey was Xtracrylix, preshading with Vallejo German Grey. I normally only use retarder meduim for the preshading, but in this case I used it for both colours; I've never used Xtracrylix before, and it did seem more prone to clogging than other paints.

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Masking pretty much done. A bit more wavyness needs adding on the stbd. cockpit side, and the port cannon fairings need covering, then it's the green:

yUY0kKD4.jpg

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So the green is on, and shaded of course:

VkrSN4VO.jpg

One of the best modelling 'things' is to de-mask a Spitfire...all the contrasting greys and greens pop out after you've seemingly been spraying colour after colour of totally the wrong shade onto layers of masking tape:

xvTdTjV9.jpg

...but it harldy ever goes smoothly (at least for me!). Here, I've obviously got some contamination on the primer coat, and the masking tape has pulled off the top coats:

VCfZpDhG.jpg

So the whole process of masking, painting, pre-shading and de-masking has to be done again locally (after first carefully and gently cleaning the affected area with dilute detergent). The repair needs to be seamlessly faded out into the good paint. It's much more tricky to do this, but that's one of the reasons I invested in a good quality airbrush; I don't need to fight against the equipment!

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I think with the old enamels, the solvent cleaned or at least slightly keyed to the plastic to some degree, whereas with acrylics it doesn't happen. Having said that, the underside of the model, which was 100% masked, was fine...plus the paint lifted from the Tamiya primer, not the plastic.

No problem I thought, so I partially masked the wings with tissue to protect from overspray, accidentally caught the right hand one and...

qxEzW8J8.jpg

Goodbye cannon fairing repair. Luckily I'd used brass rod to strengthen it, so it went back OK with a dot or cyano. Excellent example of one error compounding to create a total screw-up. Anyway, it's now all repaired, and I gave it a coat of Klear in the hope that it might consolidate the paint a bit for when I mask for the sky band and yellow leading edge stripes.

41IeOnrf.jpg

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End of play tonight and the sky fuselage band is done, along with the leading edge strips. The yellow is a bit sudden, but I'll probably end up giving an overall coat or two of Tamiya smoke to tone down the white in the decals, so that should sort it:

MM2d3vOo.jpg

Apart form a couple of bits of overspray, no problens masking this time.

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I decided the yellow strips were a bit thick, so I re-masked them and touched in the adjacent upper camo with the airbrush in a low pressure/low viscosity mode. It looks better now, and has the added benefit of the wing upper roundels fitting in - nearly - the correct positions.

Apart from de-masking a Spitfire, the second best thing in modelling must be applying a set of RAF decals to it:

E5cZLksQ.jpg

These are for 306 (Polish) Squadron, F/Lt Jozef Zulikowski, RAF Northolt 1942.

The Techmod decals are very comprehensive, and go on pretty well with my tried and tested mix of Microsol and Klear. Still needs most of the stencil decals applying, but enough is enough for this evening.

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I gave the main panel lines a dark wash, and oversprayed the whole thing with Tamiya Smoke (to knock back the pure white bits of the decals) and then overcoated everything with Humbrol Acrylic Matt. Pushed the propeller into place, fitted teh exhausts and dotted pva over Tamiya Clear acrylics for the navigation lamps/covers. That now just leaves the last few details to fit:

Op244h3t.jpg

Apparently, the dot over the "Z" in the squadron code signified the surname initial of the pilot (in some cases). Must admit although I've seen pilot's initials on their aircraft before (D-B, JE-J etc.), I've never noticed a dot before.

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