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BloorwestSiR

USAAF Spitfire PR XI- Tamiya w/ Ali Cat conversion kit

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I've had quite a bit of spare building time while sorting out the AFV F-16, so I thought it would be best to put to some use on this project.

 

Originally, the plan had been to do a sort of production line build on a number of Tamiya Spitfire kits at the same time. I figured I would have the paint out and it would just be easier to do them all at once. Castle Bromwich on my workbench. I was going to do an HF VII, FR IX in PRU Pink, an Mk IX as used in the Battle of Britain film, an RCAF FR IX,the PR XI and finally a XIV. I sort of came to my senses and decided that might be a bit too much at once.

 

So I scaled back and am just doing the PR XI:

 

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I have two sets of the Ali Cat conversion set so don't worry, I have the correct decals. The MH434 build I'll start in the regulat WiP section.

 

The first step I did was to start filling in most of the panel lines and all the rivet detail on the wings. I used Mr.Surfacer 500 and a small piece of brass as a putty knife to spread it out as best as I could. 

 

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Here's after wet sanding off the excess. Fortunately, there were only a couple of places that needed a second coat.

 

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Next, I fitted the replacement wings panels from Ali Cat. I have to say I was a bit disappointed in that there were quite a few air bubbles in  both my sets. Having purchased some of their other stuff in the past, this came as a surprise. As a result, I ended up using a couple of the kit's panels suitably modified instead. The replacement panels were a bit larger than the stock ones so a quick sanding and they fit in nicely. The cannon/MG inserts required a bit of filler but then again, so do the stock ones. 

 

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It was at this point I realized that I needed to fill all the rivets on the wings and not just in front of the main spar. So that's whey there's more Mr.Surfacer in this pic.

 

The underside of the wing:

 

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Since I was using a Mk IX as a donor kit, Ali Cat includes copies of the Mk VIII tailwheel section as the PR XI has a retractable tail wheel. The resin panels again, fit really well with a quick cleanup.

 

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Using the PE templates provided, I engraved the new radio door on the starboard fuselage. They give clear instructions on where it goes which is a great help.

 

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After filling in the rivet detail on the original radio door, I made a suitably large hole for the camera lens to fit into. Upon dry fitting the camera lens frame insert, I notice it didn't want to sit flush with the fuselage but was a bit recessed:

 

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I sanded/scraped down the edges around it so that it would follow the contours of the fuselage a bit better. The stock one is on the right, with my tweaked one on the left:

 

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And here's the result:

 

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I think it looks much better now.

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Since I don't plan on having the engine panels removable, I built up the minimum amount of the engine that I thought I could get away with. Here's what I thought was sufficient to get the panels on and the prop in place:

 

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And assembled:

 

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Here's the engine bearer and firewall together, again with just the bare minimum of parts needed:

 

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After joining the two together, I noticed that to securely mount the outer frame work/exhaust mounts, it was best to add the cylinder heads. So here's the absolute bare minimum to get the prop in place.

 

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More to come.

 

Carl

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Guest Peterpools

Carl

Terrific start on the Spit project and no question that scaling back the original project was the right way to go.

Keep 'em coming

Peter

Edited by Peterpools

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Wow, great start Carl! Looking forward to following your progress mate.

 

Kev

Thanks Kev! This one is going together nicely, partly because of the kit and conversion set's overall quality and partly because this is my fifth Tamiya Spitfire to be ahem, started. Well, at least the first two are completed. 

 

Cark

Terrific start on the Spit project and no question that scaling back the original project was the right way to go.

Keep 'em coming

Peter

 

Thanks Peter! I was going to work on the other two that I had started as a double build but they're a bit mixed up at the moment and I need to sort them out. You can just make out a fuselage and the wings in this pic:

 

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There are three completed wing sections in there. Kev might recognize the top one.

 

Back to the build, here is the version that I am planning to do:

 

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I like the combination of US stars and bars, invasion stripes and a touch of nose art on a blue Spitfire. I think it'll make a great combination and help it to stand out from the typical day fighter schemes most late mark Spitfires are in.

 

I have most of the primary paint work on the cockpit parts done. I just need to get some red to do a few details and then i get to try out the Wako paper belts I bought.

 

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Guest Peterpools

Carl

Nice progress n the front offcie. Sure is looking might good

Keep 'em coming

Peter

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Did not about such a conversion kit. Wow, that's a great addon and I'm following that thread and the build for sure.

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