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Invictaag

Spitfire Mk1a Airfix 1:72 plus P.E.

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This is the first of 2 builds I have planned for this group build. I have choosen the 2 aircraft that I think of when someone mentions the RAF. I far as I can remember an Airfix Spitfire was the first model kit I ever made many, many years ago, given to me by my late Uncle Ern, my Mother's elder Brother. Uncle Ern worked at Shorts in Rochester, Kent building Flying Boats before joining the RAF during WWII serving as a Bomb Aimer/Navigator on Lancasters, as did his Brother my Uncle Harold. Maybe one day I'll build a Lancaster as a tribute to my 2 Uncles, but in the mean time I'll start with this Airfix Spitfire, and I've decided to add a little bit of extra detail. I will be using the Eduard photoetch set for a Mk1 Spitfire, this is for the Tamiya Mk1 but the parts should fit ok.

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I started off by washing the plastic parts and whilst this was drying I folded the P.E. Seat,  and then added the P.E. side pieces. The plastic Seat Support Frame needed a little bit of adjustment and then I fitted the P.E. Armour Plate. I carefully removed the Pilot's Headrest and then glued the upper Bulkhead P.E plate on. Once it was dry I added the plastic Pilot's Headrest. The  Seat was then fitted.

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I removed the moulded on Rudder Pedals and then glued the Instrument Panel Bulkhead to the Rudder Pedal assembly. All the moulded on detail was then removed from the Cockpit side walls. The Cockpit side walls, Seat assembly and Instrument Panel Bulkhead were then painted.

 

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After the paint had dried I painted the Pilot's Headrest Tan and then fitted the P.E. Seat Belts.

 

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The 2 P.E. Rudder Pedals were folded and then fitted using PVA to tack them in place and then fixed with C.A. gel, I am going to leave them unpainted. I used PVA to glue the Instrument Panel film to the back of the Instrument Panel and then fitted the whole thing to the front Bulkhead. I next fitted the the 2 small switches below the I.P. The various P.E. parts were then fitted to the port side of the inner Cockpit wall.

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Cheers Andy

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30 minutes ago, Grunhertz said:

Oh my god that's small!! Well done Andy for your patience and perseverance 

Thanks Darren, I am used to building 1:700 scale ships with Photoetch so this is large scale modelling :D

Cheers Andy 

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I have continued with the port side of the Cockpit area and fitted the plastic bottles and then painted them silver.

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I then turned my attention to the starboard side and fitted the various P.E. pieces. I first of all cut out the P.E. part using a scalpel with my finger over the top of the part to stop it flying off. I then hold it in a pair of tweezers and file off any rough edges using a fine needle file. Using a cocktail stick I then put a touch of C.A gel on the place where the P.E. is to go, put a touch of PVA on the point of another cocktail stick and use it to lift the P.E. part and place in position, wait a few seconds for the C.A gel to dry, remove the cocktail stick leaving the P.E. part in place and then clean off the PVA. 

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The plastic Control Stick needed a little bit of flash removing from the base and then it was glued in place and painted.

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I have now reached the part I hate doing whilst building aircraft and that is fitting the Seat area to the Fuselage halves. I don't build very many aircraft and I always struggle to get everything lined up. I glued the Seat and Instrument Panel together and then glued them to one side of the Fuselage. I dry fitted the other Fuselage side to hold the Seat/I.P. in place. I left this for a few hours and then glued the both Fuselages together and clamped the whole thing. I'll leave it overnight before I remove the clamps.

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The P.E sheet also contains parts for the Radiator that goes under the Wings. I removed the plastic flap at the rear end and folded the P.E. replacement. The 2 P.E. Radiator grills were slightly too big so I cut them down and glued them in place.

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Cheers Andy

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Nice work Andy. One of the things I do with spitfires and sea fires is tape the fuselage halves together and see if the Cockpit will go in from below.  to me it saves the 3 hand juggling act you have to do to line it all up. Some spits let you Eduard and SH for example and some don't. Great work with the pe again 

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Thanks Darren. I did try taping the Fuselage sides together and dry fitting the Cockpit, but I knocked one of the Rudder Pedals off. Thanks for the advice though,

Cheers Andy 

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12 hours ago, Grunhertz said:

Nice work Andy. One of the things I do with spitfires and sea fires is tape the fuselage halves together and see if the Cockpit will go in from below.  to me it saves the 3 hand juggling act you have to do to line it all up. Some spits let you Eduard and SH for example and some don't. Great work with the pe again 

Alas the design of how the instrument panel and seat frame fit into the fuselage halves makes this trick impossible on the Airfix kit.

You're packing plenty lovely detail in there Andy. Do you have a replacement canopy as well? The Airfix item is rather thick and will hide almost all of your extra work if you don't replace it - guess how I found that out :( 

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On 07/04/2018 at 19:54, Col. said:

Alas the design of how the instrument panel and seat frame fit into the fuselage halves makes this trick impossible on the Airfix kit.

You're packing plenty lovely detail in there Andy. Do you have a replacement canopy as well? The Airfix item is rather thick and will hide almost all of your extra work if you don't replace it - guess how I found that out :( 

Thanks Col, I am in 2 minds regarding the Canopy,  I have dry fitted it and it is difficult to see through it. I've had a search on the Outernet and couldn't find a replacement Canopy and once this is finished it will sit in my Display Cabinet and no one will see it, well no one who is interested in the models I build that is.

Cheers Andy 

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11 hours ago, Invictaag said:

Thanks Col, I am in 2 minds regarding the Canopy,  I have dry fitted it and it is difficult to see through it. I've had a search on the Outernet and couldn't find a replacement Canopy and once this is finished it will sit in my Display Cabinet and no one will see it, well no one who is interested in the models I build that is.

Cheers Andy 

Drop me a PM with your postal address as I can help you there. Do you want two so you have a spare for those oops moments?

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The two Fuselage halves actually fitted together rather well, just a small gap at the front of the Cockpit which I filled with some C.A. gel and smoothed down.

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I dry fitted the upper and lower Wings and found that they will fit to the Fuselage without any work needed, in fact I am impressed with the fit of all the parts, not like Airfix kits of old. I have decided to use the colour scheme on the box which means having one lower Wing painted white the other black, with the rest of the underneath painted silver. I have not seen this colour scheme before but I am assuming it's correct, I'm more used to the underneath being light blue or light grey. Seeing as I am using spray paints for the white, black and siver I thought it would be easier to mask and spray the lower Wings before fitting them to the Fuselage. I started with Halford's white plastic primer and then used Halford's appliance white on the correct side, as well as doing the Under Carriage legs as well. I then sprayed the lower side of the 2 rear wings using a chrome silver spray I got from B&Q. This has come out very shiny but once the decals are fitted I'll matt it down. I left the main Wings a week to dry and then masked off one side and sprayed the other side with a matt black spray that I also got from B&Q. I'll leave this for another week and then fit the wings to the Fuselage,

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Cheers Andy

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Cheers Darren, I don't like painting models and I don't have an Airbrush, so I can't get an even finish on large ares of colour especially white so that's why I am using spray cans but it is taking a bit of time to get the coverage right,

Cheers Andy 

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