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Airfix 1/24 Spitfire

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Hello Jean,

 

Your work is absolutely first class. I'm looking forward to your updates for inspiration as I drag along with my Trumpy Vb.

 

Earl

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Finding this thread again has involved something in the nature of an archaelogical dig. A slight exageration perhaps, but I did have to go farther back than 90 days to extract it. With more than three months elapsed since my last post it's high time to send something in, if only to reassure myself that this project is moving forward rather than withering away. Work has interfered a lot with modeling of late, there's been a string of bad luck involving the loss of painstakingly-made parts that have vanished into the ether, and the self-imposed chore of redoing the cockpit side-walls after realizing that stringer rivet details were just visible enough in 24th scale to need reproducing. This time though to make a change from the cockpit here are a few pictures of the MkIX nose being fabricated. Essential for this operation, indeed the whole build, have been the outstanding set of plans by Paul Monforton Click here!. The method used is simple if time-consuming: paste the plans onto styrene sheet, cut around the forms, trim down to the outline (Mastercasters teardrop sanders are ideal for this!) and then cement the ribs thus obtained to a "keel", i.e. in this case the shape of the nose seen from above along the contour of the top cowling...

post-917-1163199807.jpg

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All this was done a couple of months ago, and if I had a good reason for doing two halves, it now escapes me

post-917-1163200002.jpg

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The spaces between the ribs are filled with polyurethane foam, which is solvent-resistant and very easy to sand...

post-917-1163200117.jpg

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When the foam has been sanded flush with the ribs the part receives a coat of polyurethane varnish liberally thickened with talcum powder to facilitate the later rubbing down.

post-917-1163200342.jpg

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The same procedure was repeated for the lower part of the nose, using red styrene sheet that contrasts better with the blue foam...

post-917-1163200509.jpg

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And a final one for tonight: I thought I'd brought more pics with me (I'm sending this from Vienna) but I'll have more next week. As a final word, the nose was made with reference to the plans exclusively, and yet it mates up almost perfectly with the Airfix fuselage after minor surgery to the bottom wing, a tribute to the accuracy of a kit over 35 yrs old!

post-917-1163200892.jpg

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Geez Jean....that is super stuff. You make the very complex look disturbingly easy. I can't wait to see this project progress, because your methods make great sense, and the results speak for themselves.

 

Your stories of losing parts that took ages to make, also apply to me and my crappy 1/24 aifix spit build. The carpet is partly to blame in my case, but sometimes little parts just vanish! Drives you insane, doesn't it?!

 

Keep up the super work here mate!

 

Cheers

Ango.

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Bravo Jean, bravo. B)

 

Great construction shots, and you won't regret putting the rivets on the stringers. Every little bit helps. From the first time I saw this thread I knew we were in for something special. Once again, I can only applaud in appreciation. :)

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Thanks for your nice comments,

 

Ango: Yeah, it does drive one spare. The bottom part of the cowling with the red styrene in fact represents a second attempt. The first was just about finished, I was doing the final sanding on my seventh-floor balcony (to avoid getting polyurethane dust all over the apartment when before I knew it the bl***y thing was no longer in my hands but drifting downward to the ground. Oh well, I told myself, it's so light there won't be much damage, and just then it settled gracefully in the flower-box of a neighbour below who was away for the whole month. There are days, nay weeks like that....

 

Andy: the rivets are slightly overscale but it shouldn't be too noticeable, especially as there will be no shading or washes. Your beautiful pit confirmed for me that none is needed in 24th scale.

 

Cheers, Jean

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Hi jean !

 

Your work with brass is really fantastic !

And your technic with foam is so imaginative and precise !

Congratulations !

 

Amitiés.

 

Manu.

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Merci Manu, it's great that increasing numbers of French modelers are making ths - by far the best modeling site - their home. I've known for a long time about the top-notch talent in this country and now it's the others turn to get their socks knocked off.

 

Best, Jean

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Jean

 

Looking really good.

 

This polyurethane foam you use, what is its consistency? How well does it sand? What purpose is it normally sold for? I'm intigued by this material and may want to have a go with it. Sorry for all the questions.

 

TIA

 

Matt

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Hi Matt,

 

The foam I used was purchased at an arts supply shop. The consistency is similar to that of rigid insulating foam but more friable, which makes it easy to sand. This means in particular that you can sand it flush with ribs of just about any material without altering their profile. It can be cut with a knife and also with a hot-wire cutter but here a mask is a must because the fumes are probably not very good for you. I should point out that my foam cowling forms are not intended as structural elements, but rather to be used as masters for casting resin parts which will then be skinned. By the way, I read about this technique and many others on SF modeling sites such as culttvman and starship modeler: if you're willing to put up with their sometimes sniffy attitude toward plastic modelers (we are referred to as "kit assemblers"), you'll find a wealth of invaluable tips, including info on where to source the various products.

 

Hope that helps,

 

Jean

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