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Christmas Build Challenge 2021-2022, 1/72 Spitfire PR mk XIX

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  • Member since
    May 2020
  • From: North East of England
Christmas Build Challenge 2021-2022, 1/72 Spitfire PR mk XIX
Posted by Hutch6390 on Saturday, January 8, 2022 2:53 PM

As I said when I joined this "GB with a difference", my bench time is pretty well limited to weekends only, so my entry was going to be something quick and easy.  So, here it is - Airfix' 1/72 Spitfire PR XIX.

I have to say that, as a lifelong Airfix fan, I'm somewhat disappointed with this one.  The sprue gates are large and, sometimes, awkwardly placed (wing edges, prop blades, etc.), the plastic is softer than any I've encountered, in any kit from any manufacturer, and is very thin in places.  Accidentally damaging these parts would be very easy indeed.  There is a tiny amount of flash on just about all the parts - removal is easy, but needs care to avoid overdoing it!  However, the panel lines are finely done, and fit is mostly good, but dry-fitting is a must.

The parts count is very low - about 45 or so (I really didn't think it would be THAT simple!), so this is going to be a trip down memory lane, building the very simple Spitfires of the 60s and 70s!  Despite this, the drawbacks mentioned earlier mean this is not a kit for the absolute beginner.

Big sprue gates -

There is some interior sidewall detail, but very softly moulded -

And the cockpit floor was short shot - no R/H rudder pedal -

The exhausts are very thin - given the nature of the plastic I won't even attempt to drill these out -

However, the wing "halves" were a superb fit, with beautifully thin trailing edges, and dry fits of other parts look pretty good, although the inside rear edges of the prop spinner had to be shaved down to fit onto the backplate.

So, this is where I am.  Construction looks like it will be a doddle, although requiring care, and both marking options with this kit are very simple - either overall PRU blue for a Swedish Air Force machine, or overall Aluminium for a post-war British one.  Given that I have good references for the latter (including photos I took at Duxford a few years ago), I'll probably plump for that one.  It's a bit late now to crank up the compressor, so I'll start painting tomorrow.

Thanks for looking.

Vell, Zaphod's just zis guy, you know?

   

TakkaTakkaTakkaTakkaTakkaTakka

 

  • Member since
    May 2020
  • From: North East of England
Posted by Hutch6390 on Sunday, January 16, 2022 1:11 PM

Well, part 2 of this build, and I've hit a bit of a snag - more later.  I got the interior primed & painted, but only to a basic level, since the canopy is a bit on the thick side, and little will be seen through it.  I added some masking tape seat belts, and that's as far as I pushed it.  Unfortunately, I forgot to photograph that stage - never mind!

Next was to close up the fuselage -

The clothes pegs were only to maintain contact between the halves, there was no need to close any gaps.  The fit was really good and will need little tidying up -

So far, so good.  As I mentioned earlier, the wings joined together very nicely, and now, so has the fuselage.  However, when I went to put them together - 

This is horrible - I haven't seen wing root gaps like this since I can't remember when!  I've looked over the work so far, and can't find anything I've done wrong - the sheer simplicity of the kit means there's hardly anything you can do wrong!  Has anyone else come across this?  Anyway, -

 the starboard side is worse than the port, not only is the gap wider, but there is a definite step.  This is going to take some work to rectify, starting with some putty.  First application, enough to sort out the port side, if not the starboard - 

And a little bit underneath - the joint aft of the wings was pretty good, it's mainly the upper surfaces where the problem is. 

Second application -

This is going to be left for at least a day, then gently sanded to shape, and panel lines reinstated.  I had hoped to have a shiny silver Spitfire by now, with only the few dangly bits and markings to worry about - so much for thatSad

Still, I'll try to get this sorted out during the week, if I can - I'm rarely up to doing any modelling after finishing work, but we'll see.  I've got until Saturday to finish this, so it's still achievable.

Thanks for looking.

 

Vell, Zaphod's just zis guy, you know?

   

TakkaTakkaTakkaTakkaTakkaTakka

 

  • Member since
    April 2020
  • From: West Texas
Posted by JBRaider on Tuesday, January 18, 2022 5:32 AM

I built this one a couple of years ago. I do recall the gap in the wing root but I don't remember it being that bad. The only other issues I remember was the  poor fit of the camera glass and the lack of detail in the wheel bays. It it does build up into a nice little kit so hang in there.

  • Member since
    May 2020
  • From: North East of England
Posted by Hutch6390 on Tuesday, January 18, 2022 10:22 AM

JBRaider
other issues I remember was the  poor fit of the camera glass and the lack of detail in the wheel bays

You're right about those - I'm thinking of painting the exisiting belly-mounted "lenses" silver & adding some Kristal Kleer over the top to improve matters, but the wheel bays will have to stay as they are, for now at least.  I'll keep plugging away - thanks for the encoutagement!

Cheers,

         Hutch.

Vell, Zaphod's just zis guy, you know?

   

TakkaTakkaTakkaTakkaTakkaTakka

 

  • Member since
    May 2009
  • From: Poland
Posted by Pawel on Tuesday, January 18, 2022 2:31 PM

Hello!

Everybody agree Spitfires are cool! Good luck with yours!

As for that wing root thing - you've already managed it, but I would like to share a solution I practiced while working on my Kfir. Now there it had a potenital for a gap that would not only be wide, but also loong! So i took a length of sprue and glued it across the insides of the fuselage to pry it outward just a little bit - and that took care of most of the gap. Another trick I had to try on my Dragon P-38 (this is an example of iffy fit) was to add some sheet styrene on the surface that was supposed to mate with the fuselage or booms, do all the filling and sanding with the wing in hand, and then to sand off the excess material until the fit was OK without filler.

Anyhow - good luck with your Spitfire and have a nice day

Paweł

All comments and critique welcomed. Thanks for your honest opinions!

www.vietnam.net.pl

  • Member since
    May 2020
  • From: North East of England
Posted by Hutch6390 on Tuesday, January 18, 2022 2:57 PM

Hello, Pawel, I hope you're well.  

Pawel
a length of sprue and glued it across the insides of the fuselage to pry it outward just a little bit

I was going to try this, but there are three items inside the fuselage which hold it in place - sort of "pulled in".  These are the instrument panel, the frame the pilot's seat mounts to, and the bulkhead at the back of the cockpit, all glued in place, so prying the fuselage open, even a little bit, may have caused damage.  But I didn't think of using strips of styrene to close the gap - that's a good tip, saves messing about with filler - thanks, Pawel!

Vell, Zaphod's just zis guy, you know?

   

TakkaTakkaTakkaTakkaTakkaTakka

 

  • Member since
    May 2020
  • From: North East of England
Posted by Hutch6390 on Saturday, January 22, 2022 12:35 PM

The wing-root gaps took three applications of putty & three sanding sessions to deal with.  Next, I added the tailplanes - a nice touch here is that they are cleverly made with tiny locating lugs so they can't be fitted the wrong way round.  Then followed primer, which revealed the need for a few more touch-ups, and some more primer.  I finally got a coat of aluminium paint on it (rattle-can), which is now touch-dry, but will need another day or so to cure properly. 

 

It looks a bit brighter in the photo than it really is.  I need to mask it to paint the anti-glare panel on the nose, which extends over the front part of the canopy frame.  With hindsight (always easy after the fact!) I should have painted this first, then masked it & sprayed the ali.  Never mind.  This means I've run out of time, as the build will not be finished before tomorrow, at least - finish the paint, final assembly, decals, gloss coat.  Still, when it's done I will post pictures.  Thanks for the GB, Snapdragon, I just wasn't quick enough!Big Smile

Vell, Zaphod's just zis guy, you know?

   

TakkaTakkaTakkaTakkaTakkaTakka

 

  • Member since
    November 2003
  • From: Nashville, TN area
Posted by bobbaily on Saturday, January 22, 2022 1:22 PM

Hutch-looking at the Spitfire in silver, you'd never know that there were any fit issues-looks good.

Looking forward to seeing the finished product.

Bob

 

  • Member since
    May 2020
  • From: North East of England
Posted by Hutch6390 on Saturday, January 22, 2022 5:22 PM

Thanks, Bob - appreciatedSmile

Vell, Zaphod's just zis guy, you know?

   

TakkaTakkaTakkaTakkaTakkaTakka

 

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