**FINISHED** Something a little Different - The Silver Spitfire

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StevenBills

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I usually build SW kits, but I've been on a WWII kick recently. Recently built an Eduard 1/72 FW-190 and Tamiya 1/48 A6M2 Zero.

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I've had an Eduard 1/48 Spitfire Mk. IXc in my stash for a while, and I've been waiting for a good reason to build it up. Pair this with some new chrome/steel paints I've just got my hands on (Kcolors metallics), and I've been wanting to build a bird with a bare metal finish for a while.

Then I heard about the Silver Spitfire. It is a Mk. IX Spitfire that has been restored and stripped down to its bare metal, and then polished. The stars aligned. So here she is:

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Just a little more about G-IRTY: Right now she's doing an around-the-world flight, which started earlier this month. You can find out more about it here: Silver Spitfire – The Longest Flight

So here we go.

Here's the box art on the kit:

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I know, I know, I'm building the "late version," when really it should be an "early version". I'm not going to be a huge stickler about that. I love Eduard's recent ProfiPack kits. They have basically a perfect fit, the kit includes PE parts for the cockpit and other spots on the plane, and it also includes canopy masks, which I absolutely LOVE. I feel spoiled by building this kit.

Something that I and others have noticed (someone is building this over on Britmodeller), is that the reference images of G-IRTY are very inconsistent. The image above is from their early marketing material, whereas the recent images of her actually flying around the globe look different in regards to various details (cannon blisters on the wings, extra fuel tank and cap behind the pilot, red antenna vs silver antenna, highly polished vs dull finish, etc...) This is not a new thing to us sci-fi modelers, as ships such as the MF or X-Wings or Enterprise seemingly change in their details from shot to shot. But such is life.

So, what I've decided to do is to base my model on the image above. This is prior to the addition of the fuel tank behind the pilot, the cannon blisters hadn't been removed yet, etc...

Now, I'm not really a Spitfire aficionado, so forgive me in advance for any blunders.

We start with the cockpit, as usual. after adding the gun sight, I realized that G-IRTY didn't have one anymore (the cannons are also removed), so I ripped it out and made a little iPad to go in its place (as the pilots are using it for navigation or Netflix or something ;))

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I'm not super concerned about the detail painting in the cockpit, as I'm terrible at it, and you don't really see a lot of it once the canopy is closed up.

Thanks for watching!

SB
 

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Madhatter

Active Member
That's one of the coolest looking Spitfires I think I've ever seen. Where are you going to get the decals from? I wonder if they do them in 32nd scale too where ever you get them from?
 

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StevenBills

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
That's one of the coolest looking Spitfires I think I've ever seen. Where are you going to get the decals from? I wonder if they do them in 32nd scale too where ever you get them from?
So I printed my own decals on decal paper that I have, but the inkjet printer that I used was out of alignment or something, so they aren't as crisp as I'd like. Maybe a bit thick as well. So I went onto scalemates.com and found that Mr. Decal out of Poland has made a set, which I ordered. Should be here any day.

I was wondering when someone would do a model of this beautiful Spitfire! Looks like you are on the right track.
Yeah I love the look of this bird. Once I saw it, I couldn't get it out of my head. I just hope to do it justice!

If you are terrible at doing cockpits, then I am beyond hope. That looks very nice to me.
Thanks! Most of it is the Eduard PE that's making me look good haha

I agree, if that is terrible detail painting for the cockpit I can't imagine what good looks like!

And that Zero and FW-190 are fantastic!
Thanks, Analyzer. The Zero was mostly an experiment to see if I could add rivets to a model. I bought a Rosie the Riveter tool a few years back and went at it. Here's a photo if anyone cares:

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I followed a diagram, but can't say how accurate the final result is. Whatever it is, it's good enough for my four year old son's bedroom ceiling! ;)

Okay, so some progress was made. Got the fuselage halves glued together.

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Also got the wings top and bottom put together, as well as snipped off the cannons. This pic does a good job of showing the detail that Eduard packs into these kits. It's crazy!

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Snipping off the guns obviously made some holes for filling. I have Perfect Plastic Putty, but since it's water based, you can't wet-sand it. So I decided to use some leftover Tamiya Extra Thin cement and make my own styrene goop putty. If you've never heard of this before, you basically dissolve styrene in the glue until it becomes a paste, then apply it with a brush. I applied this along the leading edge of the wings to fill the holes.

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I lost some rivet detail while sanding, but nothing I can't put back with my riveter tool. So that's about where she's at as of this morning.

Thanks for watching!

SB
 

StevenBills

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Got a little bit done yesterday. The two intercoolers/intakes under the wing are made up of seven pieces each. A bit over-engineered, if you ask me. Although, if you build them right, the fit is absolutely perfect.

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I also sanded the leading edge again, and then after the photo applied more styrene goop. Also put the ailerons and the tips of the wings on.

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For reasons that I don't know, Eduard (and many other Spitfire manufacturers) have chosen to mold the top engine cowl as two pieces, thus creating a beautifully ugly seam that runs down its length. So I also added styrene goop to that as well, and let it dry overnight. I made the exhaust pipes and put them into the fuselage as well. Again, the fit of this kit is amazing. I dry-fit the wing to the fuselage and it blew my mind. Absolutely no gaps anywhere. No putty needed at all. Can't wait to actually glue it together.

So that's where we're at, currently. Not a big update, but hopefully with the next one I'll have the wing and fuse mated and have a bit more to show.

Thanks for watching!

SB
 
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StevenBills

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Not a super big update, but it's something. I'm doing a lot of filling and sanding on the upper and lower engine cowlings, to completely eliminate the seam. I'm really liking this styrene goop. Seems easier to work with than putty.

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I'll re-scribe the panel line and re-do the rivets later.

In this photo I'm filling the shell ejection ports on the lower side of the wing, as G-IRTY doesn't have those anymore, either. Again, filling with styrene goop. This photo was taken last night. Since then I've sanded them down and added another layer of goop on it.

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I also started on the landing gears. Not really anything special going on there, but I was looking through some reference and saw this image of the wheel well. The color isn't the typical green color, it's a gray color. So that's a new thing as well.

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Hopefully next update I'll have the fuselage together and we'll be getting some paint down!

Thanks for watching.

SB
 

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patrickivan

Sr Member
Awesome! One of my fav planes. I look forward to seeing it completed.

What are you going to paint it with to get that highly reflective surface?

I'm working on one as well. Except I'm painting it to modern CF-18 specs, and painting my CF-18 in second world war colours.
 

StevenBills

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Awesome! One of my fav planes. I look forward to seeing it completed.

What are you going to paint it with to get that highly reflective surface?

I'm working on one as well. Except I'm painting it to modern CF-18 specs, and painting my CF-18 in second world war colours.
Thanks for checking out my build. I've bought some new (to me) Kcolors metallic paints for this one. I first saw them tested by Doogs Models on YouTube here:

I have the 60 steel, and 15 aluminum colors, so I'll test them both to see how they work out. Actually, here's a photo of the 60 steel color on a plastic spoon lying around:

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I also have Alclad Aqua Gloss for the clear coat. I haven't fully tested that combo out yet, but I will soon. I am close to being able to put down the gloss black base on this bird. For that I'm going to use a Tamiya X-1 + X-22 combo, and then polish that out before the silver goes down.

Right now I'm just prepping everything, making sure all my joins are solid and no glue seeped out anywhere before any paint goes down. Also rescribing panel lines and adding rivets back due to sanding.

Thanks for watching!

SB
 
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StevenBills

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Little update time.

Got the wing attached to the fuselage last night. I have never had a model where the fuselage and wing have gone together so well. The tolerances on this kit are pretty tight. It's a bit over-engineered, as I have said before, but dang. This fit is good.

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On the bottom cowl there is a little seam that I'm gooping with the cement mixture. No problemo. Just getting the sandpaper into that corner might be a bit difficult.

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Then I went on to work on the landing gear. These kits are definitely made to be gear-down, which provides a few challenges here. I dry-fit the landing gear assembly and the doors weren't closing flush with the bottom of the wing. So what I ended up doing was filing down HALF of the tire so that it would all fit. But then that brought up another problem, which is that there is a big 'ole gap(TM) where the top of the gear doors meet the body.

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The fit here isn't so good. I went and looked at some reference and found this:

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There definitely isn't a gap on G-IRTY. So tonight I'll work on filling those gaps.

Just trying to get all my ducks in a row before the gloss black goes down. Even then, I'll probably need to come back and fix a few things.

Thanks for watching!

SB
 

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gedmac66

Sr Member
Interesting version of this classic aircraft you’re tackling.
Are you planning to finish her with the surface ‘blemishes/beaten’ look as seen on the underside in post #13 too ?
Subbed !
 

StevenBills

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Interesting version of this classic aircraft you’re tackling.
Are you planning to finish her with the surface ‘blemishes/beaten’ look as seen on the underside in post #13 too ?
Subbed !
I went back and forth with reproducing the stressed skin look (also referred to as "oil-canning"), as seen in this build, but I didn't want to reproduce all of the panel lines and fine rivet detail that Eduard has packed into this kit. There's no way I could have brought it all back, so I decided against it.

SB
 

StevenBills

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Tonight's update:

Still working on the wheels. Like I said earlier, I had to file off half of the wheel in order to get them to fit into the wheel-wells properly.
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I actually had to shim the tops of each wheel's strut with a piece of styrene in order for it to fit flush with the wing bottom at the top. Still the gap to fill at the top, though... Also, I painted the wells gray before fitting all of this in.

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Which I filled with styrene goop:

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Then, I noticed that I need to glue some PE onto the clear canopy piece (I guess it's the handle that's used to slide the canopy back?), and that means super glue. Super glue and clear parts don't really mix well, and the remedy here is to protect the clear parts by dipping them in PFM first.

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I'll let those dry overnight and then dip them again in the morning. Hopefully the canopy won't craze once the glue is on.

And that's really it for tonight. Not much progress today, but since Monday is Labor Day I have the day off so hopefully I'll get some good bench time in.

Thanks for watching!

SB
 

gedmac66

Sr Member
I went back and forth with reproducing the stressed skin look (also referred to as "oil-canning"), as seen in this build, but I didn't want to reproduce all of the panel lines and fine rivet detail that Eduard has packed into this kit. There's no way I could have brought it all back, so I decided against it.

SB
Woah ! Appreciate your sharing the article/site pertaining to ‘oil-canning’ .
I didn’t realise the amount of work (modifications) needed to create such effects, thinking it could be achieved through paint & weathering alone !?
Learned something new on modelling today. Good day, thanks !;)
What’s ‘PFM’ ? Re; dipping in to protect clear parts & super glue please ?
 
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StevenBills

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
PFM is Pledge FloorCare multi-surface cleaner. The bottle I have looks like this:


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Modelers have been using it for years for things ranging from using it as a gloss-coat, to making clear parts more shiny. I read somewhere a few years ago (maybe in FineScale Modeler?) about how it protects clear parts from crazing due to the fumes from super glue. I have used it in the past as a gloss coat before applying decals, but I honestly have never gotten it to the point where I was happy with the shine. I still use it for canopies, though.

SB
 

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