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Airfix 1/48 Spitfires - chunky props

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I have so little time (none, currently) to devote to model building, whatever I can do to expedite the process is welcomed. Could I fix every problem myself? Probably. I could also grow my own wheat, grind my own flour, and bake my own bread, but I don't. I also don't drill my own oil, refine my own gasoline, or build my own car from scratch.

Edited by Jennings
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It would be sad if everyone just do they own fixing and say nothing, no matter how trivial the problem may seems. I wish there were more threads like this, I'd love to know every short coming of a kit, even if I won't fix anything it's still good to know,

True, but there's a world of difference between an opinion that something looks wrong, and physically measuring the real thing so as to verify that. In order to measure a propeller blade (apart from persuading the owner/museum you'll do no damage) as well as the width and thickness, you'll need a clinometer to measure the angle of twist (unless you can get your hands on a laser measure.)

A few years ago, there was uproar over the Airfix Spitfire XII, with an "expert" (who shall remain nameless) proving, by way of photographs that it was hopelessly distorted. What he did not know was that the Spitfire's fuselage formers flatten, slightly, top and bottom (presumably to lessen the strain on the wrapover metal covering,) so, unless you view from about half a mile away, it's impossible to see the spine and keel at the same time, making photos useless. Taking measurements, supplied by Supermarine on their drawings, it was possible to work out that the fuselage was, on average, 1mm too deep, well within sandpapering range.

At the time, we knew that the previous owners of Peter Cooke's drawings used copiers which stretched the image, but Hornby didn't (they do now!) Arthur Bentley had had to redraw all of his drawings to allow for this distortion; now that he's had them returned, he's taken them back to the original dimensions, and supplies them photographically.

We now know that Hasegawa (of 1/48 Spitfire IX infamy,) also used some duff drawings, available in one of an impressive series of books.

Trumpeter did the same with their 1/32 Lightning, using dud drawings from another publication; they used to have a member of staff who would ask for help from the modelling community, but he left, to start his own company, Trumpeter no longer ask for help, and the result is a Hornet with propellers turning the same way, instead of being counter-rotating.

Hornby do actually ask for assistance (from those they can trust to keep their own counsel, and not spill any beans,) so we can only hope that these problems lessen with time.

I'm off to make some bread (well the machine will.)

Edited by Edgar
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The problem, I suppose, is that I'm just showing my age; in the 60s/70s, if something looked oversized, thick, or "chunky," we simply pulled out the sanding board, or sheet of sandpaper, and put it right, without saying anything.

Try the 1/32 Matchbox/Revell Spitfire 24, whose propeller blades are so thick, and lacking any aerofoil section, they could apparently turn either way. It's the same with "over-thick" wing trailing edges; sand, or scrape, them down (it's been normal behaviour on vacforms for years.)

Model kits used to be viewed as a canvas, on which a modeller could, if he wished, show his abilities to modify, improve, call it what you will; now a fuselage 1mm "too fat" makes a kit unbuildable, and, from my perspective, that's a little sad.

Since you remember those times, do you remember what magazine cover models looked like back then? A magazine cover model of the 1970s, and even late 1980s, typically looks way too terrible today to even contemplate bringing to your local monthly club meeting... You would get looks of friendly but slightly embarrassed commiseration at best... Even the Sheperd Paine Monogram diorama leaflets look decidedly rushed by today's standards (and they were rushed)...

Despite all the better releases since, because in particular of the seemingly sticky issues of props blades, canopies and wing thicknesses (especially the wingtips), you would still rarely confuse most current WWII airplane models with the real thing in a photo (quite unlike what 1/35th armor has been doing for decades now, and even some 1/350 or larger ships): We are just getting a bit closer, with a few great releases from time to time... And if you just take one whiff of the Godawful crap that was someone's magazine cover model thirty plus years ago, you would know there's nothing sad about better models, especially if it gives us more time to build them...

I guess the recent Airfix 1/48th Mk XII mentionned reminds one of those heady old (and admittedly much more passionate) days, so let's just examine this item worthy of such a spirited defense (or is it excuses?), I kid you not...:




Just a duff profile drawing, let's remember that... The new PR XIX is more than much better, it's an actual kit, but somehow you still wouldn't quite confuse it with the real thing... The panel lines I worry...

Note below the measures taken to avoid any prop thickness issues... I don't remember if the prop was really that bad on this kit, but I agree it's sad to see at a show a roomful of croocked blunt-tipped wings and unthinned props... Something did get lost these days...


Have no worries, in aircraft modelling, the good old days are alive and well: In the far future, the -maybe- few remaining modellers will look back on our aircraft kit photos, with the cute props and all, and they will go: "Can you believe this stuff?"


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It's entirely possible we see a correction set for Airfix's 1/48 Spitfire prop in a near future BUT the big question is... will we get a correction set for Canada's 1/1 Robertson ? It looks like lots will need to be corrected and when I spoke about the project to my favourite sanding sticks & putty, they bursed into tears imploring me to lock them in a psychiatric hospital.

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1430864858[/url]' post='2709150']

I'm using a Tamiya prop on mine, thank you very much. And my model will have to satisfy exactly NO ONE in the universe besides me.

My Mk1 is a Tamiya. Phew! Guess I can sleep well. I feel so RIGHT.

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Well said Edgar. :salute:/>/>

:D, +1 here. I still do that. I wasn't satidfied with the prop blades in the Zvesda/Encore Ant-5/I-4. Wrong shape and wrong rotation so I carved and sanded my own from a couple of pieces of sprue and attached them to the spinner (which was pretty accurate in shape).



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