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Tamiya Spitfire Mk IX Kicked Up A Notch: Last Post


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Thank you Gentlemen very much! 


Since I posted this update last night, I was about to glue the two fuselage halves together, when I thought I should double check to make sure I didn't leave anything out of the cockpit area before I did.  Sure enough, on the starboard side at the bottom under the oxygen tank, is a tiny little part called F56.  Looking at Brett Green's book on building this kit, both builds missed it as well, so I'm in very good company.  Yes, Wolf Buddee installed it and even added some really cool decals to it to set it off.  I hate him!  ^_^


Finding pics behind the seat is very difficult and I couldn't find out what it is, even in the Monforton Spitfire book.  Oh well, if Tamiya think it should be there, consider it painted and installed as of now.



That is a nice cockpit.  Good job, Chuck.


'Note that the two central gauges are Barracuda replacement decals, because the kit ones are wrong.'

What does the Tamiya represent, and what does the Barracuda represent?


I groove on that little silver fastened leather wire tie-down.


What does the P.E. handle in the foreground represent?


Thank you.




Thanks Mark,


The central big gauge is the artificial horizontal and below that is the repeater compass, which are blue in the kit, but they should be black instead.  Not a big deal of course, but more accurate.


"Leather" tie downs.  So that's what they are made of and it makes perfect sense!  I thought they were wood and they are all over the place, but since they are almost exactly the reddish color of the seat, I already had the correct paint color.


According to references, that PE handle is the drop tank fuel lever and jettison handle.  The handle is usually aluminum colored and the handle is black, with an interior green base.




Looks great chuck but where's the dirt



I KNEW that would come up!, which is why I made some minor comments about my light weathering above.  Yes, it should look more used and beat up, but:


1)  As usual, I'm blaming my photography set-up for washing out much of the weathering washes I did apply, which can be seen a little better on the sidewall shots above.  Bright lights and the HDR setting I use on my camera blend much of this "dirt" out of the picture.  To the naked eye, even with correction, this cockpit is weathered a lot more than it looks in my pics.


2)  When this cockpit is buttoned up in the fuselage, you can't see some of these details very well, so weathered and dirty parts will subdue the delicate detail even further.  This is when "art" trumps realism.  I want to be able to look into the cockpit from above and see all the detail I worked so hard to produce, rather than see a blur of grime and smudges.  Hopefully I will be able to demonstrate this a little later in the build, which should look something like this.  Note the engine compartment, which you can see very well, is nice and dirty as it should be.





Since we're on the topic of weathering cockpits, I have also changed my approach to creating staining.  Looking at many other builds of this kit, I find many who have used a dark wash that hugs every panel line and surrounds most detail with a dirty halo.  I looks absolutely terrific most times and I have used this weathering method myself many times- but it's unrealistic for a cockpit, at least to me. It sort of reminds me of pre-shading every panel line so that the final paint job will look like it's plaid.  It looks really cool, but also artificial.  Where a heavy wash does look realistic is in the engine bay, where oil and grease DO surround almost everything, so I will be using it liberally there instead.





Edited by chuck540z3
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That's some very detailed work you've done there on that cockpit.  Very nice indeed.  BTW, the photo etch piece you asked about in the foreground is the bomb/drop tank release which would be fitted to the fuselage.  The lever releases the bombs or drop tank, and the handle jettisons the drop tank/bomb mount.  It caused a lot of drag and you might need the speed in a fight.





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Check again!!


I'm not at home at present but, from memory, that part is required when the newer gunsight is fitted. I may be wrong but a red flag went up as soon as I read your post.



You are correct!  Thanks for the tip- and no wonder the other builds didn't have it. 




Edited by chuck540z3
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January 22/18


Now a bit of a treat for the Spitfire fans out there.  While there are many Spitfire reference pics available, about 45% are really old, black and white and hard to see, while another 45% or so are of restored aircraft, some of which can fly, with fresh paint jobs that are not necessarily "accurate" to war time colors and certainly not wear and tear.  That leaves about 10% (or less) reference pics that are truly useful for us modelers to use to try and replicate what a Spit looked like in WW-II.


Two years a go I was in London and managed to visit a few war museums, including the Royal Air Force Museum.  The collection of aircraft there was incredible, but just about all of them had fresh paint jobs and looked fairly sterile.  The much smaller Imperial War Museum, however, had a few aircraft, including this Spitfire 1A, which, by all appearances, has an original or near original paint job on it.  According to references, this aircraft was, "flown by 13 different pilots on 57 operations during the Battle of Britain and it destroyed or damaged eight German aircraft.  It is preserved in its original wartime OTU livery".  Cool!


The reason I bring this up now, is that I just glued the two fuselage halves together over the cockpit.  Along the spine at the join on the top, is fine rivet detail on either side of the mating surface of the two halves.  Should this join be removed or preserved?  Well, you don't get pics of the top of a Spitfire very often, but in this case you can.  Here are a few of the pics I took, all for future (and now current) reference.  Note the demarcation lines of the camo paint job (very fuzzy), the staining and the wear pattern on the wings.  This will come in very handy in a few months when I apply paint.




As you can clearly see in this pic, there is no seam line join on the spine, so that will need to be removed without destroying the fine rivet detail.













To a modeler like me, a detailed shot like this is pure Gold....






Among other aircraft items, this museum also had a very clean and detailed Merlin engine with cut-outs to reveal all sorts of details within.  While stylized with lots of chrome and not typical of a wartime engine, I was able to do a literal walk-around of every square inch of this beautiful machine, which is very helpful when trying to figure out where all the electrical and plumbing lines go, which you often can't do with an engine installed in an aircraft.  Here's just a couple....




I recall Wolf Buddee having difficulty finding reference pics for the rear of his masterpiece engine, so pics like this might have helped.







Anyway, these pics will also come in handy soon.  Feel free to copy any of them for your own use.





Edited by chuck540z3
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Those rivets are mushroom head rivets (snap head) and the are used to join rear area of the fuselage in early version of Spitfire (from Mk.I to Mk.V). As you said this Spitfire on the pictures is early version. Later Spitfires versions (from Mk.IX) had countersunk head rivets. So rivets in your model (Mk.IX) won't be so visible.



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