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Spitfire MkVb to MkIX conversion 1/24 349 sqn

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thanks Mike,


I have that picture but it doesn't give any further indication. As you can see it's well past the war, probably circa 1946 when 349 and 350th were fully under Belgian command. (They stayed Under RAF command till 1946) It's very obvious from the belgian roundels. They both remained in Germany till late 1946 (Fasberg) and then came back to Belgium to Beauvechain air base (which is still operationnal today)

In 1945, these aircraft all had the RAF roundels and fin flashes - and some were Mk IX and not (yet) Mk XVI.
The 349 traded Mk IX for MK XVI in May 1945 and 350th traded their Mk XIV for MkXVI in November 1945.

The first aircraft GE-C is definitely 349th with a blue spinner and the rest are 350th sqn with red spinners.
SG17 was never a serial of 349th, but definitely one of the 350th.

349th code was GL and 350th code was MN.



I think that GE-L profile might be wrong ,

349 had a blue spinner in these days and 350th had red spinners. That was official but hard to see the difference on the original b&w picture. Although it is clearly noticed in the picture above.
So IMHO GE-L should be a blue spinner in that profile.

TB991 is Indeed the famous Liège, which is a city in Belgium and came from the code letter LG E on one side of the aircraft

It's a Mk XVI operational from 24 May 1945 to 20 Octobre 1946 by 349th sqn.


The GE-L I am building is PT723 operational from 31 August 1944 to 22 February 1945 in wartime with RAF roundels


It's not the same aircraft :)


Between the two, there was another GE-L from 30 April 1945 to 24 May 1945: TB581 which was also a MkXVI


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19 hours ago, red Dog said:

nope, not yet.

I would say it should be black, but looking at that very picture above. It doesn't look black enough to me

So there's a slight chance it might have been blue


I'm still making research but to this day came up dry



Standard spinner color by the time the MkIX went operational was Sky.

The picture looks blue or red to me.  :shrug:  Have fun.


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  • 2 months later...

Progress has been slow lately on the modelling front.


The MkIX went to another stage after the long and boring hours of surface sanding: surface detailling.


I started by adding the engine cowl fasteners. These were present on the resin parts but most of them were erased during the much needed sanding sessions.

To re create them with 0.3mm plasticard , I tried two methods:


The first one was used on the left side. The fasterner were fully created with a punch and die set before being glued to the fuselage.
First a small hole was made and then I punched a larger one centred on the first one:



Obviously centering issues decreased the success rate to approximately 50% :)

The accepted parts when then glued to the cowlings and immediately sanded thinner.




After cleaning a quick coat of Surfacer was applied




Not entirely satified with the outcome (lots of further cleaning is needed, some inner holes have been filled and need to be bored again,...) I decided to try another method for the right side:


This time I simply punched the larger ones and glued them straight to the cowlings:



and then drilled the inner hole straight trough.




Of course doing this I lost a few where the glue didn't hold but the success rate was higher than for the first try.

The fasteners were then sanded some more, cleaned and painted.


And both sides were further cleaned, repaired and adjusted until I was satisfied with the outcome





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The quality of the surface detail of the resin is very bad. It's full of air Bubble which are not quitevisible to the naked eye but working closely (and macro photographing) made them very obvious




The next step was devoted to trying to fill these holes to have a smoother surface.

This was done with a water based putty which was generously applied all over the cowlings and then wiped away with a humid cloth.

Many passes were needed to fill all of them







Before punching rivet lines I want to be sure that I do not need to sand anymore and therefore I first need to place raised rivets at other specific locations.

This was done by punching the smallest possible bit in a 0.3mm plasticard sheet. then glued to the plastic with ultra thin tamiya glue and then sanded to further decrease the thichness


The wings, at the gun access doors mostly



And the fuselage access doors.

The hinge stil need to be further detailled





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A little more thinning down of the cowling fasteners perhaps?

I’ve used the same method for producing cowling fasteners with mixed results in1/32 scale. I’ve also used a beading tool to produce the outer circle with a shallow hole drilled in the centre. 

keep upthe good work.




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I think I understand now why there are very few Mk IX conversion in 1/24 :)


Dryfitting parts I realised that the prop cone wasn't perfectly round and that the cowling are larger and present aerodynamic issue with the prop cone placed into position.

That is if you can find the best placement considering it doesn't rotate as a circle!


The first step was to find a way to mate the prop cone to the nose of the aircraft. The nose as a rather large hole but the resin prop cone is plain. 
I actually realised it wasn't perfectly round when I was searching for its center to bore a hole. 






The hole in the nose is about 9.5mm. I found a piece of wood rod in my stash which will be perfect for the prop axle. I just sanded one end of it to a more reasonnable 6 mm which is the size of the hole I bore in the rein prop cone. 






Mating now the prop cone to the nose of the aircraft, here is what I discovered:



Going back to the 1/32 Tamiya Spitfire I realised that the nose was curved towards the prop cone to ensure a smooth transition, the resin conversion doesn't curve in, and therein lies the issue.



After having marked the area needing material removal, I simply sanded the nose area in contact with the prop cone to get rid of that offending step and ensure a better (if not 100% accurate) aerodynamic transition.






Of course doing so I found new air bubbles which needed to be filled with the usual method, as you can see with the white dots in the resin sanded area. 

Some more fine sanding required and then I can replace the deleted fasterners


All in all a simple fix with only minor previous work destroyed, but I'm glad I found out now rather than after painting :)


I'm also hesitating to make a new armor plate.

Haven't decided if it's worth the effort or not, especially the issues it may induce around the canopy fitting...






Edited by red Dog
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