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Hi gents,


When I started building my MiG-27, I was already working on this oldtimer. However, as nothing is painted, nor closed, I'm sure there is no problem to add this kit in that group build. Useless to say I'm probably the worst modeller on earth regarding compliance with deadlines (too many ones in my job I guess!) but I don't care. Indeed, I'm sure this thread will be useful as I made a kind of basic tweak list describing all the modifications to make! I already made some of them and will show that in pictures. Obviously as I have to split my time between the two builds, this will not help but if you don't dare, you never win!


The kit has a quite nice surface treatment. To me this is really one of the best ever done. Moreover, no thick plastic here but this can become a drawback in some circumstances. However, this is not all rosy! The adjustment of most parts is a nightmare and the level of inside details and most small parts is very bad. So, this is not the kind of kit you can easily build OOTB to get something correct...alas!


I'm using the 1990 re-edition for this build but I have one or two older boxes stored somewhere! The scheme will be one of two late Mk.Is used by the "City of Chester" 610th Squadron. I still do not know if I will replicate DW-Q or DW-K as I have decals for both.


Unfortunately, getting information regarding the early Spits is a minefield. After some hours of research in my notes and at least a dozen of books, here's the list of modifications I have already identified to improve my kit:


- Replace the propeller with a De Havilland one from the Revell 2014 kit, correct its tip shape and add the screws on the propeller edge (generally absent on kits)

- Replace the canopy with an Hasegawa Mk.II spare one

- Enlarge the nose a little bit to be compatible with the propeller diameter

- Reinforce all the seams between the fuselage halves with strips of plastic

- Fill all the huge gaps and add the missing material on the nose panels

- Replace the horrid exhausts (I will finally use the Model Monkey 3d printed ones)

- Add the tank plug in front of the windscreen (and the two small holes located close to it)

- Add the small bumps on the top of the nose

- Add the typical early mirror on top of the windscreen

- Remove all cockpit related tabs or features on the fuselage sides

- Replace all the cockpit components. I will finally use a modified Aires Mk.V pit with an Eduard Mk.II IP, a converted Barracuda seat, some Barracuda parts (essentially the radio ones on the port side), some modified items from the kit and some scratchbuilt parts (such as the radiator lever on the port side of the seat and the armor plate behind it). The seat must be changed to a metal one with the round recess rather than the lozange-shaped one. Finally, I will add the Sutton belts and their rear fixing mechanism.

-  If possible recreate a Mk.I IP (no aftermarket available) or use a Mk.II one

- Add the red-painted tank behind the IP as well as the connection hose (they were partly visible on the Mk.I as there was no bulkhead behind the IP)

- Create the early bell-shaped voltage regulator, its support plate and its cabling

- Add the canopy ejection system (Barracuda)

- Add the structure of internal bulkheads and strengtheners in the fuselage, behind the cockpit (at least what will be more or less visible because that section is painted silver)

- Add the flare launcher (basic shape)

- Add the TR radio box and its supports (basic shape)

- Replace the cockpit door and remove the crowbar supports as the Mk.I did not have it initially (it appeared later and was retrofitted)
- Correct the mast profile (the kit one is too squared)

- Drill the small oxygen hole in the fuselage close to the canopy rail

- Fill most of the heigth of the canopy rail trenches without damaging the fuselage rivets

- Drill and thin the belly intake lips

- Replace the wheels (I will use the Brassin ones on that kit)

- Correct the LG bay doors (thin them, correct the perimeter shape, add the internal side and lengthen them before adding some rivet lines and the four large screws on the external face)

- Remove the brake drums from the LG legs, correct and add many small details on them (including the brake lines)

- Add LG bays (I started from Aires Mk.V ones but removed the strengtheners to add early ones made in plastic). A bean-shaped hole should be added to simulate the embossed wing area intended to give room to the wheels.

- Add the gun camera hole in the port wing leading edge as well as its oblong access panel in the wing fairing front

- Fill the power plug hatch in the rear of the port wing fairing

- Add the small oval bump close to each wing root

- Add the bean-shaped LG well bump on each wing (I made them out of leftover Hasegawa 109 bumps!) and add the missing rivets on the wings (over the LG bays)

- Add the two fairings protecting the exhaust holes of the wing heating system under each wing tip.

- Correct the location of the MG holes in the wing leading edge

- Rebuild all the internal components of the radiator (mix of plastic card, tubes and spare Eduard and RB photoetched radiator parts)

- Rebuild the oil cooler (thin the edges, add a tube inside with Eduard spare round photoetched parts)

- Thin the internal side of the wing trailing edge

- Recreate more accurate wingtip lights

- Sand cautiously the gull wing shape at the fuselage and wing junction

- Drill drain holes

- Drill the landing light, recreate it

- Fill all the huge gaps or add the missing material on the elevators, rudder, and ailerons (remove all the hinges first)

- Add the rudder actuator arm on the side and the visible hinge parts of the elevators if they are positioned down

- Reshape the tail wheel leg, add all the large screws and replace the wheel


This is a quite important amount of work but there is currently no easy strategy to get a Mk.I as the thread in the Discussion forum showed it. I'm confident the kit will look OK in spite of the shape issues I will not correct (mainly the wing span). Wait and see!






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That's a big list of things to do, still it will be nice to see one of these given the treatment, the kit was the first one that I tried to improve using an article in a model magazine called "Gilding the Lily" by a gentleman called Dennis Teague if I remember correctly and I was most impressed with it.





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Thanks guys!


I do  not want to build the final Mk.I or I would start from a Tamiya kit, for sure. The idea is to get a quite good if not fully accurate result for a reasonable budget. This is why I'm using the not so terrific Aires interior I had for years whereas the Brassin MK.II one is far better and I will essentially rely on scratchbuilt items, some leftover plastic and photoetched parts and some cheap aftermarket items. Note that even with such a strategy, the final cost will not be so cheap as besides the kit and parts from the other Spitfire models you should add the cost of the :


- Aires cockpit

- Barracuda seat, interior and door

- Eduard IP zoom set

- RB Sutton belts

- Aires LG wells

- Brassin wheels

- Eduard radiator parts

- 3D Monkey printed exhausts

- Aftermarket decals


Useless to say, we will be close to the Tamiya kit OOTB cost...


The only major issue I will not manage is the too short wing span. This is not really noticeable as far as you do not put the kit very close to a Tamiya one.


I started taking pictures but I still need to transfer them to my Imgur account. So we will see updates soon!






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1 hour ago, thierry laurent said:

There have been requests to see how is looking the combination of protruding and recessed riveting of the kit. This picture of the rear fuselage is showing how nice this kit is.




That does look good for an older kit.



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Following this with great interest Thierry. I am looking at a similar build and am firmly in your camp re: this kit.


A couple of points regards your list of modifications if I may? The plug for the charger was located in the lower rear starboard cowling on Mk I's, and moved to the wing fairing later. Photos of Mk Is on readiness often show these aircraft with the charging cart in position. The metal seat was used for early build Mk Is, but replaced by the 'plastic' seat - don't have a date to hand but will see if I can check as I am sure I have it in my files. There is also a hole in the starboard cowling to allow for a crank (I think), with a little brass warning plate beneath it, a reasonably prominent detail on these early aircraft. 


And I personally suspect the wheel well walls were perpendicular, not slanted, on early Spitfires (Mk I - Mk Vb) but have no firm evidence to prove this - yet. Photos suggest this was so but can be difficult to interpret from the angles of the photos. I hope to examine an early, original Spitfire as soon as I can travel again.



Edited by Pete Roberts
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Thanks Pete, 


You're right regarding the port cowling changes. They should be in my list as I already added them on the kit when I modified the parts!

Regarding the wheel wells, this would really surprise me. I know that some walkaround pictures of early Spits seem to show that but I also checked tons of wartime pictures and the enlarged ones of K4541 and K9792 that crashed on their back show shadows in the rear section of the well even when the sun was vertical or close to it (brand new Wingleader book about the Mk. I). This is why I quickly concluded they were slanted. This is also compliant with TM wing views. The Datafile had the Seafire I ones and I should check in my TM big book for early Spits but I suspect this is the same. Last, the recent Valiant wings book shows a Mk.II in maintenance and you immediately see the wheel is not centered but far closer to the rear and this makes only sense with slanted walls. 

Last, you are fully right about the LG legs angle. There are many pictures (typically in the old PSL book) confirming it. 



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Here is the picture showing what we were discussing. Initially I made a round hole for the crank  but better pictures showed it was actually smaller with the horizontal slots. So, I corrected it. The plate is aluminium tape but I will possibly replace it with a smaller plastic one.




The picture also shows what you should fill to get more accurate exhaust  holes. This is one of the most elemental corrections required on that kit. This is not really easy as such cowling parts are very fine. They are thicker than the Tamiya ones but thinner than the ones you find in many more recent kits. Note this was a drawback as gluing the parts after correction was a nightmare requiring CA thin glue, CA gel and plastic glue. One problem is the fact the parts are not perfectly dimensioned. If you look at the top of the part on this side, you will see I had to add a thin stip of white plastic to get a correct adjustment of the part. And the other side was even worse.

Moreover, there is one other problem asking for a lot of dry fit checks: some areas of the housing of the cowling parts are unfortunately too deep. So, if you simply glue the part, it will be flush here but recessed with a step there! Accordingly, dry fit ten times and add small shims of plastic where required to be sure the part will be flush everywhere. This is not easy because of the springy nature of the part and explains why I had to use different glues here and there to finalize the exercise!

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You will note this correction change has also one drawback. Indeed, the Dzus fasteners located under the exhausts should be moved up. However, I will probably leave them where they are as the plastic strips I had to add to fill part of the hole height are far too thin to sustain the required scribing or embossing work. So, this will probably stay one of the inaccuracies of my kit. I will just avoid black washes under the exhausts and by the way they will hide most of that problem.

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