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BillL

Spitfire Mk. IX

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It's taken me a few days, but I've added the majority of the PE parts that I can before painting.

This is ICM's 1/48 Spitfire Mk. IX, with Eduard photoetch. The kit is a REAL beauty, with very nice detail. From what I've read, it's the most accurate Spit IX available in 1/48. You get tons of extra parts to build other versions, and bombs and rockets are included. There's flash to clean, sink marks, and some seams need filling, but that's all just basic modeling stuff. The wing's trailing edges are razor sharp (you could almost get a paper cut from them !). There's a full Merlin engine & compartment, along with gun bay details if you want to show them open. I've chosen to build them closed. I got this kit from Squadron for about seven bucks. Probably the best deal I've ever gotten on a kit !

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Here's the Eduard instructions and frets, along with a profile of the aircraft I'll be building. The decals are Techmod, for a Desert Air Force bird in a Polish squadron: http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v280/Pixilater/spitfire/

Time to break out the British Interior Green paint !

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Bill, looks great so far. The Eduard set will add a lot of realism to the kit. Just a word of warning. Be careful with the Techmod decals. I have had some experience with them, and if you are not careful, they will explode on you when you put them in water. If I were you, I would coat them in some decal film first, just to be on the safe side. Also, make sure your water temp is at room temp, nothing warmer than that. And only use the mildest of setting solutions, if any at all. Good luck with the kit, and keep posting the progress pics.

:wave:

J.C.

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Thanks PapaSmurf and Jamie !

PapaSmurf - yes, Eduard produces a two-fret set for this kit. I have scans of the instructions and frets HERE .

Jamie - thanks for the heads-up on the decals. There's enough for a few aircraft, so I'll test them first.

First, A DISCLAIMER:

There are many Spitfire purists out there that will no doubt find errors in my build. My aim is not to build the world's most accurate Spitfire, but to have fun with this kit and detail set. If there are things that you would do differently, I will thank you to do them on your build. Many hold the Spitfire as sacred territory. I do not wish to upset those persons, but please refrain from a "fault finding mission." Thank you for your understanding. Now on to the pics and info.

I finished the cockpit today. It looks a LOT different with paint. I used Model Master RAF Interior Green for the overall color. The seat was painted with a mix of MM Insignia Red, Black, and a touch of WEM's Japanese ID Yellow. I lightened the Black so that a black oil wash would show. Washes and drybrushing was done with darkened & lightened versions of the individual colors. They were mixed with Black and White oil paint.

I lost the strap on the left rudder pedal. My replacement is a bit wider, but it won't show when the cockpit is installed. That pedal was reglued more times than I care to remember !

The kit is ICM's 1/48 Mk. IX, with Eduard PE details.

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Thanks for letting me share the build with you ! :bandhead2:

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Hi Bill;

Loving the cockpit. Nicely done on picking out the details. That instrument panel is crystal. Are you going to simulate glass with a drop of Future or clear gloss?

:worship::worship:

Oh: What did you use for the red bezel? Looks most excellent!

J.C.

Edited by Jamie Cheslo

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Looking good! So good in fact that I've just picked up a copy at the LHS to fiddle with whilst I'm in Hong Kong for a few months. Won't get much done beyond some preparation, but the first looksee has raised a couple of questions; perhaps you can answer them? I'm going to build MK392 as flown by Johnson. Do you know which elevators are more likely and which of the canons/overwing bulges?

I'm planning to leave open at least one of the engine cowling parts which will definitely be a first for me....... I'll keep watching your thread with interest, good luck with the rest of it.

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Nice work so far - the spade grip looks wierd, were they square on some Spit variants ?

No; oval with a greater dimension top to bottom than from side to side.

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Thanks David, Jamie, jagmate, and Skii !

David - I can't build a model without PE anymore, so I've had a LOT of experience using it. I've probably made every mistake with it that's humanly possible. I'm a firm believer that making mistakes is the only way to learn.

Jamie - the film instruments are attached to the PE panel with Future. This holds the part and creates the "glass." The camera angle and lighting don't show it very well (I try to eliminate reflections when I shoot pics).

jagmate - I don't know which parts would be appropriate for that particular aircraft. Since he is so well known, I would imagine that there are many pics of his aircraft. You might try some of the dedicated Spitfire web sites for pics.

Skii - the cockpit pics of Spit IXs that I found show a squarish-looking grip, although it's smaller overall. I'm not looking for "perfection," so it's good enough for me.

20.jpg

Thanks again !

Edited by BillL

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Looking great Bill. I bought my one on friday with the Eduard PE to go along with it. It'll be my first dive in to the PE department but I'm looking forward to it. After seeing your project, it made me want to have a shot (haven't built a spit properly!) and could be a nice break from my Sea Harrier.

Keep it up, looking forward to pictures. Oh btw, are there any tools you would recommend? I don't have a PE 'bender' thingy, and I've just bought some PE snippers off Ebay. Anything you'd recommend?

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.....Bill....great work so far!! :wave: Your copy of the kit looks like a very crisp example. Is it one of the latest ICM releases?? Does it have the sink marks in the upper wings? Or above the tailwheel fairing on both side of the fuse, below the stabs? I have heard the latest ones coming via Testor's (ICM's new U.S. importer) are the nicest moldings yet seen of this kit. Nice work on your cockpit et al, very inspiring efforts from you as usual! :cheers:

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Thanks PapaSmurf and Carbine !

PapaSmurf - I don't use a PE bender. I bought a pair of tweezers from Squadron that have a wide, flat end. I place the tweezers at the fold line, and start the bend with my finger (under magnification, of course). To get a sharp fold, I press it against a piece of glass on my workbench. I'd also recommend getting a pair of tweezers with a sharp point. These come in handy for holding tiny parts. To avoid gluing the part to the tweezers, apply glue to where the part will go. Beware the dreaded "tweezerpult," though. It's easy to launch small parts into orbit. Take your time and work carefully.

I deviated on the instructions when I attached the part that represents the cockpit "floor." I aligned the opening in it with the housing for the light on the lower wing piece. I clipped and bent the rear corners until I achieved a good fit of the wing/fuselage (the PE "floor" can interfere with the fit if you install it per instructions). Lookingf forward to the pics!

Carbine - no, this is the original issue of the kit. It has all the sinkmarks, along with cloudy canopies. Just a little Zap-A-Gap followed by sanding, and they're gone. No big deal.

Thanks agan !

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Looking great Bill.

I also recommend using every form of protection you can with the Techmod decals. I just finished applying mine to a 1/24 Spitfire, and even with a layer of Future on the decal sheet, I had quite a few that shattered. Underwing roundrels were especially difficult, as they had to conform to bulges and other details. I'm going to have to touch them up with paint, and some creative paint chipping.

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Bill, VERY nice!!! I used that very same Edouard PE set on my ICM, really makes it look MUCH better! Keep it up :cheers:

Take Care

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Thanks smithery and Mario !

smithery - there are markings for four aircraft on the sheet, so I have some spares to try first. They look VERY good on the sheet, but I'll see what happens once they get wet.

Mario - the Eduard PE for this kit is sweet. The seat, armor, and landing gear details look soooooo much better than the kit parts. Care is needed with these frets, as there are no spares for the little parts.

Update:

The wing trailing edges are very sharp, and construction has been a breeze. This is the original issue of the kit, complete with sink marks (filled with CA) and foggy canopy (fixed with Future). I have left out the engine, and the spinner will be glued directly to the forward fuselage. If you build this kit, make sure you trim the engine compartment's firewall. The wings are a difficult fit otherwise. Since I left out the engine, I had no need for the firewall and omitted it.

I finished painting the camo and details, and it's ready for Future and decals. Some parts are only dryfit, and hence a little out of alignment (gear, wheels, cannon barrels). The prop goes a long way adding color to this brown/blue aircraft !

The camo was sprayed freehand (after masking off the lower surfaces) using Model Master Middlestone and a mix of WEM enamels for the Dark Earth. The exhausts were brush painted with MM Metalizer Burnt Iron, and the spinner is MM Insignia Red. The yellow leading edge stripes and prop tips are WEM RLM 04 over a coat of white.

spitIX021.jpg

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Coming along very nicely, Bill! I have always loved the Mediterranean scheme on the Spitfire. I think the Azure Blue under the dark earth/middlestone camo is among the sharpest looking schemes for this A/C. Can't wait to see it with the rest of the PE added! I know you are not one for "weathering up" your A/C, but will you be doing any on this one? Those Pacific Spitttys got awfully dirty, especially the ones landing and taking off from the mud landing strips. :thumbsup:

B)

J.C.

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Very nice work. I've got one of those kits next in my pile, but I hadn't heard about the Eduard PE set for it before and it certainly looks a treat. Are you using any of the ICM decals? I'd heard they are a bit lacking.

Cheers,

Mickey

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Thanks Jamie and Mickey !

Jamie - I don't care for the looks of a weathered model unless it's in a dio. It just looks odd to me on a clean shelf. I plan to build a 1/48 museum setting as my display case (one day!), so a weathered aircraft would look out-of-place in that setting, IMHO.

Mickey - I don't know if you saw my link, but I have scans of the PE instructions and parts HERE. I'm using some Techmod decals for this aircraft:

spitIX009.jpg

The ICM decals are for an Israeli IXe with tall tail and clipped wings. The Techmod sheet includes a plethora of stencils as well.

Thanks again !

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I finished applying the decals and got them sealed with Future.

The decals look nice (IMHO), and are in register. The tiny stencils are readable. Techmod's decals were a lot of work to apply. I tried many different things (warm/hot water - setting them down on Micro Set, diluted white glue, Future - rolling a damp Q-Tip over them), and the didn't want to conform to panel lines and wanted to silver. The most successful method (for me) was to dip them in hot water and slide them onto a thin layer of wet Future on the model's surface. There was still silvering in some places, so I sliced the silvered areas open and applied Future with a brush. I also needed to slit the decals along every panel line, and apply copious amounts of Micro Sol. Those that still refused to conform were given a mix of white glue & hot water. After a couple days, they looked like the less labor-intensive decals. I think it's the carrier film that Techmod used. It's thin, but stiff. It doesn't want to soften with Micro Sol or Aero Sol (the only solutions I have). Solvaset may be an option (I don't have any) if you don't want to do the work that I did.

Even with the extra time that was necessary to apply the decals, I like the way it looks in this scheme with these markings A "Z" and "X," followed by a number, all in blue. Different !

spitIX025.jpg

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spitIX027.jpg

Now to get started on the washes !

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Very nice job Bill! I'm looking forwarding to seeing it having been weathered. ;)

Regards,

Edited by JEN722

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Great job with those Techmod decals, Bill! Looks like they were not a problem at all. I find it fascinating that not one of them self destructed on you, the way they did for me. ;) I would never even go near those decals with a solvent as strong as Solvaset. On my Jug, even water that was too hot caused them to shatter.

Anyway, lovely progress you have made!

:banana:

J.C.

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Thank you JEN and Jamie !

JEN - I don't weather my aircraft. My display case will (one day) be a 1/48 museum setting. It would look out of place there. I only care for subtly weathered that are part of a dio. All it will receive are panel line washes, which will just strengther the shadow colors slightly.

Jamie - they may have a problem with the supply of carrier film. These decals are very thin (but nicely opaque), and they may be trying to save money by the amount of carrier film they use. If these are newer than yours were, they may have applied less film to yours and similar, yet stronger, amount to mine. That's about all the "detective" work I can do to try and understand the differences.

Thanks again !

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Very nice! I'm about to start a 1/48 spitfire IXc build for my father as a present. Its the hasegawa kit with aires detail set (my first attempt at super detailing). I just recently completed my first ever limited run kit of a 1/72 Fairey Firefly so I'm juiced for this spitfire.

Yours is coming along nicely and its helping me to get ready for my build!

-Isaac

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Wow... IMPRESSIVE!!! I love the nice clean finish you did there :)

TAke Care

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