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red Dog

Spitfire MkIX 1/24 349 sqn

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Posted (edited)

Thank you guys :)

 

Nothing much to show at the moment as I'm sanding, priming, sanding again

 

Spit_mkIX_24_058.png

 

I hope to have more stuff to show after the week end.

 

The next challenges will be to first mate the engine top cover to the side and fuselage (it's a bit too wide and flat, so it doesn't fit very well) I probably will have to reheat the resin part over boiling water. And second to brainstorm the wings.

I have an itch the wing are not the correct type and I may have to change stuff to make it fully accurate.

Not perfectly sure about it because the pictures I have of that aircraft don't show the second hispano canon stub (when not mounted). So I can't really say if it's a C wing with one canon installed and the second not installed and no stub or if it's an older type of wings with onely one hispano canon.

 

From my previous research, no Spit IX ever had the B-wing and naturally I am looking at the C-wing but that missing stub is bothering me

 

Spit_mkIX_24_056.png

 

That research is a welcome break during the sanding & priming process :)

 

Edited by red Dog

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Posted (edited)

While sanding and priming the wings, these canon blisters on the top of the wings of the airfix model became more and more of a concern :)

 

Airfix probably wanted to depict the two cannon larger blister. That blister was abandonned pretty quickly as they realised that the two cannon per wing were too heavy and field mounted one canon only. So the bulge was changed to a narrow one. Only a very few early MkIX flew with the large bulge (those converted from MkVb) and it's definitely not the case of the aircraft I am representing.

But the Airfix blister is nowhere large enough to represent that large blister and it's nowhere narrow enough to be the later narrow blister either.
It seems to be molded somewhere in the middle of the two blisters dimensions… 

 

On top of that it's placed way too far back. This is what itched me when I was looking at it.
I didn't really realise until I saw the MkVb tamiya in 1/48 of the same aircraft.

spitfire_mkVb.jpg

 As you can see the blister is as wide as the door, that's the large early blister and is accurate for that MkVb trop which is the same as the airfix model.

 

On the Following picture, it is clear that the blister is actually coming lower than the flaps down panel top edge and it shouldn't be.
I also traced in red the rough shape of the double cannon door of the C wing and you can clearly see that the default blister is not only mishapen, it's outcentred.

Spit_mkIX_24_057.png

The black arrows illustrate the width of the airfix blister (not wide enough)

The red arrow illustrates the width that the large early blister should be

the green arrow illustrates the width the narrow late blister should be

 

It took a while to summon the courage to do it, but there is no doubt anymore: That default blister needs to go and be reshapen to a narrow blister and replaced at the correct position.

 

Other things needing to be done, but much easier, will be to relocate the inner .303 gun bay just outboard the panel line (and delete the extra one closest to the gun blister) and correct a lot of panel lines to actually convert this to a decent C wing as depicted on the following picture:

 

C-wing.jpg

 

I also read that some field mods of the C wing removed the short cannon plug completely. That may explain the Reason why I Don't see them on the real aircraft pictures posted above.

I haven't decided yet what to do there. I'll attend that problem later on...

 

The only doubt I haven't cleared about the wings is the slight possibility that this aircraft actually has the E wing installed with no .303 in the outer wings.

Ultimately, that won't change much to the blister and panel lines. As I continue my investigation and if it's Indeed an E wing, then all it takes from that C wing conversion is to fill the gun holes on the outer leading edge.

 

I really doubt it's the case because the official nomenclature of these spits in the 349th squadron is "LF MkIX Merlin 66"

And that should correspond to a C wing with (initially) 2 hispano cannon (one installed in the field only) and 2 .303 guns.

The E wing should only have one gun and one cannon. So at this time, I'll stick to my C wing conclusion.

 

I also read that the C wing had no gear down Indicator. But I wasn't able to confirm that yet...

Edited by red Dog

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Posted (edited)

Based on the serial number on the photo, you are looking at LFXVIs built around March 1945. By that time, I am sticking my neck out and saying that the second gun port was deleted from the C wing. My assertion is based on this MkVc built in 1944 that "shared many of the mods on a MkIXc". Note no extra gun port.

 

NIyXcml.jpg

 

A note from the late Edgar Brooks:

 

Missing outer cannon stubs on C wing Spitfires

Regarding missing stubs, on the Spitfire, there was a modification issued, for the V, IX & XII, to "Remove the outboard cannon front mounting casting." I don't have a date for it, and have no idea how many had it, plus it was cancelled mid-November 1943, probably in anticipation of the E armament. That mod could be responsible for so many reports of B wing IXs, I suspect.

 

You are also correct that the C wing did not have a gear down indicator.

Edited by DonH

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Makes perfect sense.

Many thanks for your input - it is really helpful in trying to sort out the many possibilities of the spitfire wing and more precisely that missing cannon stub.

Much appreciated :)

Cheers

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2 hours ago, DonH said:

Based on the serial number on the photo, you are looking at LFXVIs built around March 1945. By that time, I am sticking my neck out and saying that the second gun port was deleted from the C wing. My assertion is based on this MkVc built in 1944 that "shared many of the mods on a MkIXc". Note no extra gun port.

 

NIyXcml.jpg

 

A note from the late Edgar Brooks:

 

Missing outer cannon stubs on C wing Spitfires

Regarding missing stubs, on the Spitfire, there was a modification issued, for the V, IX & XII, to "Remove the outboard cannon front mounting casting." I don't have a date for it, and have no idea how many had it, plus it was cancelled mid-November 1943, probably in anticipation of the E armament. That mod could be responsible for so many reports of B wing IXs, I suspect.

 

You are also correct that the C wing did not have a gear down indicator.

 

 

Good info there

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Posted (edited)

I cut both blisters from the wings with precision saw (one of them with a field modification specially for this operation)
You could say that i could have done that before actually gluing these blisters on the wings, and you'd probably be right, but it was one piece with some panel and I'm not sure the modification would have been any easier earlier.

Spit_mkIX_24_060.png

 

Then the wings were sanded off once again

Spit_mkIX_24_062.png

 

Milliput was used to fill the gaps before sanding again. The removed blisters were filled with milliput as well as they need to be sanded thinner later on.

Spit_mkIX_24_063.png

 

After a coat of Mr Resin primer, the wings are smooth again (except for a few defaults remaining) and a good base for engraving and rivetting.

Spit_mkIX_24_065.png

 

Thinning the blister to the correct width was easier than expected. I still need to work a bit the symetry and probably reduce the height a bit, but this will be good enough.

The marks on the left picture are the dimensions I need to end up with according to the tamiya blister adapted to 24th scale.

 

Spit_mkIX_24_064.png Spit_mkIX_24_066.png

 

Next step will be to engrave the wings with panel lines and subtle rivets line.

Edited by red Dog

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I love modelling tools, don't you?

Last year I bought nice and fancy tools from DSPIAE and most of their tools are nice and hi quality but here is the story of a failed attempt :)

 

They have a fancy scaled ruler, which I thought was going to be perfect for the project on the bench.

Since I am using a 1/32 model to place accurate panel & rivet lines I thought it would be useful here by removing the need to go through mental calculation (ok ok, a calculator !! )

 

The ruler works great on the 1/24 model:

Spit_mkIX_24_067.png


But unfortunately, there is no 1/32 scale.

Spit_mkIX_24_068.png

It's 1/35 which is probably useful for armor modelling, but with a rather unqiue scale for armor, I don't see much modellers making scale conversion in the armor world (ok, ok maybe 3 guys might need this from 1/48 to 1/35). Whereas it's quite often needed from 1/72 to 1/48 to 1/32 to 1/24 scale in the aviation modelling world.

 

Spit_mkIX_24_069.png

All the aviation scales are there: from 1/144 to 1/24, but unfortunately no 1/32. Which leads me to believe they either ran out of faces on that ruler or they simply didn't realise their mistake. 

Failed attempt for these guys IMHO. 

 

I hope one days to correct this and come up with a revised ruler.

In the meantime, for this project, it's back to mental calculation :) (yeah yeah, calculator I know)

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Another tool that I tried lately was the Tamiya scriber.

Being Tamiya I tought it would be a no brainer and with my favourite squadron tool getting old it would be a perfect replacement

 

Spit_mkIX_24_072.png

It comes with 4 sizes: 0.1, 0.2, 0.3 and 0.5mm

I initially made the mistake to get the 0.5mm tool and I tried it on a 1/32 model. The result was way too large for a panel line, IMHO. 

So I got the 0.2mm and tried again, saving the 0.5mm for the future 1/24 project.

The 0.2 proved to be much more difficult to master.
Compared to the squadron tool (or a very simple needle) it is prone to slip and go all over the place when you use it freehand. 

The solution was to learn again to use a ruler of dymo tape. The result is then better but it still requires practise and getting used to which I still lack at this time.

 

Spit_mkIX_24_073.png

 

For engraving I always have been using the old squadron tool and a simple needle in a large X-acto  

Spit_mkIX_24_074.png

 

With this project, I took the new tool again for a spin but even for 1/24 the 0.5mm tamiya still is quite large, but acceptable IMHO

 

Some lines below were engraved with different tools and i must say I still prefer the needle and the squadron tool over the tamiya tool.

As I said, the issue I have is probably lack of experience with that tool, but at this time, I still prefer the very light first passage with the needle and then the second passage a little bit heavier before finsihing with the squadron tool.

I very often trace the first passage freehand (unless it's straight long lines), with the grip of the needle, it usually remains precise and dig into the plastic just enough to guide the following passage. 

I wasn't able to get the same kind of precision with the tamiya tool. Although very thin, the point is still flat and OHMO much less precise than the needle.

On the contrary, the tamiya tool saves the extra sanding I usually have to do after engraving with the needle (but the squadron tool comes equally clean on that one. 

 

Spit_mkIX_24_076.png

 

So I'm not fully convinced of that tool use, and it's price is steep. Maybe I need to get the 0.3 to finally come to grip with it and I certainly will try.

But considering the overal price of this one with different sized blades, I can't say I'm fully happy with this purchase. 

 

 

In any way, engraving the top of the wings is in progress:

 

Spit_mkIX_24_070.png

 

Spit_mkIX_24_077.png

 

Still some lines to correct and pencil marks to erase, The next step will be rivetting.

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I have been using an Olfa scriber for 30 years or more, which has a blade very similar to the one in the old Tamiya scriber. It only comes in one thickness so you have to vary the pressure to achieve different depth/widths of panel lines, which takes a bit of practise.

I did buy a Bare Metal scriber but it only lasted a year before the tip broke off!

 

John

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Some very difficult and precise work there, you are making excellent progress.

 

Also, thank you for the comparison of the tools and their results. Makes for very interesting reading, and good information for future consideration.

 

Richard

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Thank you gents.

 

I face a bit of a dilemna regarding the spinner colour and I need help.

 

I know for a fact that after the war, when the 349th (and 350th) came back under belgian command, the RAF roundels were replaced by belgian roundels and the spinner of the 349th spitfire were blue. (350th was red)

What I'm looking is the colour of the spinner in 1945 for these RAF squadron (349th)

The info I was able to gather so far:

 

- Tamiya (and others) in its MkXVI boxing of the 349th GE * D has the spinner documented in sky.

102655-11890-23-pristine.jpg

but heller with it's 1/72 has the same aircrfat with a blue spinner:

127771-10189-pristine.jpg

here's a picture of the real one:

16-tb910.jpg

Looks like it is not Sky, so it may be blue after all? 

 

- Usually at the end of the war it was common practice for RAF squadron to repain the spinner in black

 

- All the picture I have are obviously black and white and it seems the spinner are definitely dark, but I am unable to get the colour.

 

Spit_mkIX_24_001.png

It doesnt look black (not dark enough), it doesn't look sky (compared to the letter codes) So it may be blue after all

Were the spinner coloured during RAF service? 

 

 

Any input from you guys is welcome

Many thanks

 

 

Edited by red Dog

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My understanding is that spinners were supposed to be black after D-Day. Especially for low level operations.

 

I am sure that pressure of operations led to delays and/or variations. 

 

So, if it was me, I would paint it black.

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Thanks for your input Don, black seems the more logical choice, still haven't decided though :)

 

In the meantime I'm slowly getting to the point where I will be able to paint after very long multiple sessions of sanding and engraving and correcting panel lines

But before doing that I first needed to attend the final placement of the canon and their blisters.

 

The blisters are flat on their bottom and the wing is slighly curved. So if I place them like this I will endup with more sanding and putty duty.

Shaping these has Always been a problem for me but this time I decided to use a KISS (keep it simple stupid) technique and Simply placed sanding paper on the top of the wing and slided the blisters on the sanding paper at the level where they should be placed hoping the surface of the blister would take the curvature of the wing.

It didn't work too bad so hopefully I won't need to use putty gluing these to the wings :)

 

Spit_mkIX_24_079.png

 

Spit_mkIX_24_081.png

 

Deciding to place the cannon in the outer or inner bay was also a long process - you can see spitfires Mk9 with the canon either on the inner or other bay.

Eventually I decided to place them in the inner bay. The shaped blister can now be glued in place and the position for the (Master) turned cannon tube is marked

 

Spit_mkIX_24_080.png

 

 

 

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