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Tuesday, October 13, 2015

SUPERMARINE SPITFIRE Mk-Vb TAMIYA 1/48


En irrtabel norske kriger (if the translation is wrong blame Google).


The Spitfire is probably the most known combat aircraft in aviation history. R J Mitchell’s classsic design is widely regarded as one of the most effective and beautiful airplanes ever built.The Spitfire captured the hearts of the british people during the Battle of Britain and was considerd, along with the Hawker Hurricane ,as being responsible for defeating the Luftwaffe during the fatefull summer of 1940.
From a pilot’s viewpoint anyone who has flown the Spitfire agrees it is a delight to fly, a true pilot’s airplane. The plane had something special, it was light on the controls and almost flew itself.It was very forgiving   and the almost testing of the flight was the landing.
For the average observer the Spitfire remains one of the easiest airplanes to recognise. Its distinctive elliptical wing and the sound coming from the Merline engine are unmistakeable.
When production finally ended in 1949 more than 22.000 Spitfires and Seafires had been build. 6487  of them were Mk Vs. It served in more than thirty-six air forces in six continents during and after the war.
Basically it was so good that even the Germans wanted it.




Until 10 September 2015, 237 Spitfires existed around the world. 54 were airworty, 68 were in static display and 115 were under restoration or stored!
From the Spitfire Site I found some interesting informations for our model. The Norwegians formed two squadrons with the RAF. No .331 and No. 332. 331 squadron was equipped with Spitfires in November 1941. In May 1942 the 331 squadron joined with the recently formed 332 squadron. Both units became part of the North Weald Wing.
The 331 squadron was assigned the code letters FN. Legend said that “FN” was an abbreviation for “First Norwegien’ or “For Norway”. This airplane was  normally flown by Lt. Rolf Arne Berg.
The white stripes were applied on 4 July 1942 for Operation Rutter, a planned invasion towards Dieppe which was cancelled.On 19 August the invasion finally took place under the code name Operation Jubilee and it was a complete disaster, with no white stripes applied to the aircraft.

THE KIT
Tamiya released the kit in 1994. It comprises of 59 medium-grey parts on two sprues and 10 clear parts. Decals are provided for three aircraft. Options for the kit includes two styles of wheel hubs, a number of choices for the windscreen and the main canopy, a separate pilot’s access door and two options for the wing tips, elliptical or clippped.
Tamiya has done a great effort for this kit.The overall fit is simply excellent.The kit is very easy to build, the level of detail is very good with fine recessed panel lines.
The two reinforcement strakes on each wing must be removed.
Instructions are suberb. Colours are given only for Tamiya paint color numbers.

CONSTRUCTION

I started by painting the whole interior using Tamiya XF-71, which has a similar shade with Interior Green. Next I painted all the small parts, for the oxygen bottles I used silver enamel and for the radio, the throttle lever, the main gear position lever, the headrest, the voltage regulator, the gunsight and the instrument panel I used black color H-12 from Gunze . Dials on the instrument panel were flat discs with no detail so I applied instrument decals from an old Airwaves set. I painted the pilot’s seat with red brown using Tamiya XF- 64 and for the seat belts I used a set from Eduard. I washed the varius panels using enamel Dark Brown AK-45 from AK interactive and I drybrused all the raised details using enamel Humbrol 64. I glued together the fuselage parts and I installed the cockpit.
I removed the strakes from the wings using sandpapers and rescribed the panel lines.
The interior of the undercarriage well and the main landing gears was painted Gunze Sangyo H-332.
I painted the lower surfaces using Gunze H-306. At the upper surfaces, for the Dark Green I used Tamiya XF-61 and for the Ocean Grey I used Gunze H-69. Using the same colours, but in a lighter tone, I gave a slight highlight to the paint work by adding a few drops of Radome Gunze H-318 into the Dark green and I added a few drops of white Gunze H-11 into the Ocean Grey. Both mixtures were airbrushed very diluted.
For the white stripes I used Tamiya masking tape 6mm width. I  painted  them by using Gunze H-311 with a few drops of white Gunze H-11 .
The spiner and the identifying band on the fuselage were painted Sky using Tamiya
XF-21. I painted, after some carefull masking, the wing leading edges first with white Gunze H-11 and then with yellow Gunze H-4. I used white in order to cover the underlying camouflage.
I decided to paint the national insignias on the upper wings and the tricolor band on the tail. Accurate masking is essential in order to achieve a realistic finish .For the Blue colour I used Humbrol 15, for the Red colour I used Gunze H-327 and for the White I used Gunze-311.
I applied a gloss varnish from Marabu and the model was ready for decal application. The decals were a combination of the ones included in the kit, Hasegawa and also X-Decals. I used the Micro Set and Micro Sol to adapt them.
Another coat of gloss varnish was applied and it was time for the washes. I used the washes from Flory - Models. For the lower surfaces I used the Dirt Black wash and for the upper surfaces I used the Black wash.
The exhausts were painted with Matt Brick Red 70 from Humbrol and drybrushed with Gunze Dark Iron. A Matt Varnish was applied in order to do more weathering with pastel chalks using orange, blue and brown chalks.
With Tamiya X-19 Smoke I sprayed all the panel lines in order to create more depth; with the same colour I sprayed the exhaust stains.
The final matt varnish was airbrushed with Marabu adding just a few drops of gloss varnish again from Marabu. I installed the aerial wires with superglue.
I made some scratches using a silver and a white pencil in places like access panels.
I paint the navigation lights using Clear Red and Clear Green, both from Humbrol.
Tamiya has done a magnificent job with the Spitfire. It is a trouble – free kit and as I read in a modelling site that it is a typical modern Japanese “shake and bake” kit.
At the end of this article I would like to thank two very good friends of mine, Orestis Emmanouelides for providing the decals for the identification letters, and the serial numbers, (and it won’t be the only time Orestis), and Ioannis Giavasis, first of all for showing me what pastels chalks can do in weathering, the exhausts were his work, and secondly for being my “official” photograther. The photos of my models in this site are his wonderfull work.


The photos show an aircraft from RAF 331 squadron, the place is Manston, England and the year is 1942.


































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