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Iain

'Grace' type two-seat Spitfire in 1:32

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"Scalpel, forceps, whisky, valium..."  :)

 

It's only plastic - what could possibly go wrong?  :innocent:

 

There won't be any fuselage work for a couple of weeks - just arranging a clamber over another two-seater airframe at present so I can get exact measurements/photos for this project. That visit will hopefully be in the next few weeks...

 

In the mean-time I've had some answers back that will enable me to progress with a few other areas after the engine bay.

 

Iain

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Guest DeanKB

You too eh Dean?

And now we have to wait a couple more weeks!!

 

Ah well, it gives me time to get back to hacking my Ju 88 up and turn it into a Ju 288. At least I have instructions.

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Excellent news Iain, this is a very exciting project and I'm very grateful to your client for allowing you to share progress.

 

You do realise that wartime they didn't have the RR rockers on them, they were cancelled early on and only came back post war, though it probably has them on it these days, the writing was often picked out in red btw.

And you do realise that the Grace conversion didn't exist until Nick Grace created it in the late 1980s for his restoration of ML407? :innocent:

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Just in case anyone gets the impression I'm building a replica of the 'Grace' Spitfire itself; I'm not.

 

This will have a few differences and built to my customer's specification and markings.

 

My reference to the 'Grace' Spit is in relation to the canopy design used on that airframe, which this model will feature  :)

 

Iain

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Not sure I'll be allowed to share the images (I have asked - we'll see) - but very useful visit!

 

I think I now have most of the structural changes/elements covered off in my mind, so should be able to start fuselage work shortly.

 

In the mean-time - if anyone in Europe has an 'abandoned project' Tamiya Spit (Mk VIII, or Mk IX) they'd like to offload please shout - I could do with some spare parts to facilitate pattern making.

 

Iain

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Couple of useful factory drawings that I'm working from - fuselage skinning/frames and a drawing of the rear panel.

 

These are for the standard TR Mk.IX, so with the large rear canopy - but relative positions of the two cockpits/radio access panel etc.. identical.

 

48b427_d7892ff3bd0b48a1ab30cbbede5df4e6~

 

48b427_94597d931cfa43e29850e51febb5e89d~

 

Back with an update on the plastic in near future...

 

Iain

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Hi all,
 
It's been a few weeks - now that Telford is out of the way, and thanks to Carl (BloorwestSiR) for sending me the parts for the later wheel wells from the Mk XVIe, I've been able to make further progress.
 
Wings - main cannon bulges filled with Milliput epoxy putty, followed by casting resin to fill the cannon ports and ejection ports on the lower gun bay doors. These were filled, then sanded on a flat sheet of 800 grit wet and dry before fitting to the wing.
 
The parts that Carl sent me also included the outer machine gun 'plugs' from the 'e' wing and they were used here. The final scheme will feature the red sections to simulate gun positions on the model.
 
The Tamiya wing has quite a complex breakdown of parts to reflect the differing versions available - so took a while to come together.
 
48b427_6db8547b670c4a61bf8b3b7dbd3d3cb0~
 
48b427_5014b434e5fd43efaea768ab4191755b~
 
48b427_07f91730b8354338ad17ca93d304b7d6~
 
48b427_95c2fa22692441408ce67004682c794a~
 
The wing will be slightly different to the Grace Spit in terms of panel detail - the Grace Spitfire has a 'wet' wing with fewer individual skin panels.
 
As mentioned, the wing has been fitted with the 'bulged' upper gear bays to reflect those found on most restored airframes.
 
Back in a mo...
 
Iain

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Undercarriage - assembled ready for clean-up and paint - but the main gear legs are the standard Mk IX type - now I have the parts for the XVIe with slightly differing angles I'll be replacing them.

 

48b427_5e8c0e737c724231837d3f0be5172f21~

 

Tail feathers and alierons also assembled and awaiting a date with the sanding sticks (note stainless steel hinges):

 

48b427_af75ebe1f9da436b88e2714a6ec831ba~

 

48b427_edb37c9a3ee24fbdae2924b197b6e187~

 

More in a moment...

 

Iain

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The BiG progress has been cutting up the fuselage - £100+ worth of cuts if it all goes wrong!

 

The Supermarine station drawing was copied into CorelDRAW and a pink box drawn to the exact distance on the model fuselage from the front firewall datum point, back along the horizontal datum line to the off vertical empennage joint. Why pink? Because that shows up easily over the background drawing.

 

The factory drawing was then scaled to match this distance at the relevant points. Having done this *all* of the strategic points on the kit fuselage matched the relevant stations on the drawings, which meant I could pretty well trust them for horizontal dimensions - which is what I needed.

 

Just to demonstrate distortion to drawings from copying and re-sizing over time, you can see that it's stretched a little in the vertical plane. Something I could pretty well ignore here...

 

Ignore the parallax on the images below - everything lines up perfectly!

 

48b427_1f697248184342b281ddf633449dc850~

 

48b427_aa72038d040b4dd8be87ce5a388f80ca~

 

48b427_f1d2d91ef5244419a3723fedc57f1f72~

 

Iain

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With the horizontal positions identified and sanity checked it was time to mark out the cut points...

 

The major ones are shown in the following image - I like to keep things simple - so plan was to move sections forward along the horizontal datum - which, somewhat fortuitously, lies on a panel line!

 

48b427_6d3e1fbeb0ef4f9d8141ca652a4f75b6~

 

Out with a fresh No11a scalpel blade and lots and lots of gentle passes. An old piece of photo-etch frame was used as a guide for the initial vertical cut along the curve:

 

48b427_f770484bda884ab28eae83850b93d61c~

 

48b427_57107201d8d9418baba36ef0db4f9273~

 

Once these sections were removed, it was time to work back to where the new rear cockpit will be - with it's sills at the higher level:

 

48b427_1de7b255dad743a9a3fb510650c109bc~

 

In the photo below I've also cut out the opening for the rear entry door:

 

48b427_6cbd9db4e48f4b0788d129bd1eb4bcbe~

 

Iain

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