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nmRoberto

Painting Spitfire IX ?

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Hi yall

Question on painting camo on a Spit. Should I use hard or soft edges between the camo colors? I've seen models in the gallery here done both ways.

Also, from viewing photos , the paint looks like it's slightly glossy instead of flat.

Thanks for any advice.

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It is a combination of Hard/soft so you use rolled worms of poster tack or Blue tack. I either lightly pencil in the camo pattern and lay the worms on the lines, or better is to match size a copy of the instructions and cut out the pattern pieces, lay them on the worms and they not only give the shape, but act as a mask.

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This is a HYOOOOOOOOOOGE can of worms. The answer is: there is no single answer. There are extant photos of Spitfire IX's with what appears to all intents and purposes to have completely hard-edged camouflage. There are also extant photos of Mk. IX's with very sloppy soft feathered edges. The latter is much more rare than the former, but the upshot is, build what you see in the photos of the aircraft you're building.

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This isn't an easy question to answer. Originally, all Spitfires were to have a hard edge. This was due simply to the fact that large masks were supplied to have a consistent camo pattern. So new aircraft entering service had that hard edge. Repaints as needed in the field were often done free hand, as mats weren't always available. Colors, and shades varied for the same reasons. They used what was available at the time.

Your best bet is to try and find actual photos of the airplane you're modeling for a specific time frame.

Joel

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In the factory, aircraft were painted using mats as masks, so hard-edged; this started mid-1940, since the Air Ministry found that blending (as it was originally ordered) was usually achieved by pulling away the gun, giving a broad edged rough drag-inducing surface of almost-dry paint (something modellers know only too well.)

In 1942 companies were allowed to start using a synthetic paint, which was matt and smooth, something that couldn't be achieved with cellulose.

Mid-war a new trade was introduced, that of Aircraft Finisher, whose job was to look after the paint surface.

His training included spraying and brush-painting, and one of his duties, after any retouching, was to ensure a smooth finish by using medium-grade wet-and-dry paper, followed by a wash-down with clean water. What effect that smoothing might have had, in areas where the two colours met, is anyone's guess, but a feathered edge would come as no surprise to me. Any feathering (according to ex-sprayers we've talked to) was supposed to be under an inch wide, so it's up to you if you think that, scaled down to a model's size, that would show.

Edgar

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One thing I might add is don't paint your model based on photos of the models built by others. Often, they don't know any more than you do. It's best to either find photos of the real thing, or ask, as you did here.

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Don,

That's really is excellent advice. Although, if the modeler has available references to back up his paint scheme, one should check them out before making any decisions.

Joel

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One of my problems is that most of the photos I've seen of the original (not modern restorations) are so fuzzy and indistinct that it's hard to tell if there is a hard or soft edge on the camo.

I prefer the look of a soft edge but I want to paint the camo like the real thing.

Anyone have a link to good quality WWII photos of the spit?

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Here's a link with pictures of WW11 Spit lXc's, restored aircraft, and even some models. There are a few pictures that are exactly what you're looking for.

Joel

https://www.google.com/search?q=pictures+of+a+spitfire+lXc+early+version&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=a6cPU5yFOOvL0gHp9oDABg&ved=0CCUQsAQ&biw=1345&bih=645

Edited by Joel_W

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Here's a link with pictures of WW11 Spit lXc's, restored aircraft, and even some models. There are a few pictures that are exactly what you're looking for.

Joel

https://www.google.com/search?q=pictures+of+a+spitfire+lXc+early+version&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=a6cPU5yFOOvL0gHp9oDABg&ved=0CCUQsAQ&biw=1345&bih=645

Thanks Joel, this will be very helpful.

Edited by nmRoberto

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