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chuck540z3

1/32 Tam.Spitfire "Kicked Up A Notch" Dec 20/18 DONE!!

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Gents,

 

Thank you all for your feedback and tips.  I really appreciate them and please keep them coming!

 

Today, on Remembrance Day, I would like to recognize all who served in any conflict that keep us free today, no matter where you live.  As mentioned earlier, I have two reference books titled “Spitfire, the Canadians”, Volume 1 and 2, that I use for reference pics, but also to read the stories of many Canadian Spitfire pilots who served in WWII.  Their personal stories are sometimes well written and sometimes not so much, but the common thread is that they were all very, very brave.  Can you imagine going on a sortie with a few of your fellow Spitfire pilots and encountering many ME109’s and FW190’s in a free for all dogfight?  It must have been terrifying- and they did this many, many times throughout the war.  The survival rate was quite low, but they somehow did it nonetheless because they were totally committed to the cause, even though they were thousands of miles from home.  Almost unbelievable to comprehend today.

 

I started this build as a tribute to my late father, Gordon Sawyer, who was an “airframe mechanic” on Spitfires, in RCAF 401 Squadron that started out in England, then eventually moved to France towards the end of the war (see beginning thread in LSP).  I smile when I think of my father as a mechanic of any kind, because he was the most unmechanical guy you would ever know.  He was smart, he was a really nice guy, but he couldn’t change the oil in a lawnmower, so I suspect he was a “gopher” or assistant to those who really knew what to do.  He lied about his age at 17 to join his brothers in the war effort (a very common phenomenon at the time), because he wanted to help like so many others.  My Dad had Alzheimer’s disease in his later years and could not count to 10, but when I asked him what his squadron was in the war he was always very quick to proudly say, “401” immediately.  He had many stories of the war, one of which I’d like to share on this special day.

 

My father had 4 brothers and they all served with the RCAF in WWII.  Two of them stayed in Canada and served with the many training air bases throughout Canada at the time, and he had an older brother Will, who was a Lancaster bomb aimer with 29 “Ops” under his belt and Ken, who was a pilot on Liberators, who also served in Europe and had about the same number of sorties in the war.  All of the brothers survived the war, despite the very poor odds, so the Sawyer family was very lucky to survive the war completely.

 

 Anyway, when the war concluded and they all made their way back to England and everyone was celebrating, my Dad bet $5 to a few of his peers that he would walk into the Officers Mess, whereever that was, and kick the first officer he saw in the butt.  That bet was quickly taken up and so my Dad, a mere RCAF grunt like the rest of them, walked into the Officers Mess and did exactly just that!  Thankfully that kick was received by my Uncle Ken, who quickly hugged my Dad before anyone could react.  Too funny,  and I recall my uncles talking about this incident and laughing about it many times as I grew up.

 

To all who served, we thank you.

 

Chuck

Edited by chuck540z3

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Chuck well said. 

You Dad was a Rigger...nice, I joined as a fitter; oh the rivalry we had with each other.

 

Could I ask for the ISBN numbers of the Spitfire books you have?

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1 minute ago, AlienFrogModeller said:

Chuck well said. 

You Dad was a Rigger...nice, I joined as a fitter; oh the rivalry we had with each other.

 

Could I ask for the ISBN numbers of the Spitfire books you have?

 

 

Yes sir, I will tomorrow when I get home.

 

Take Care,

Chuck

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7 hours ago, chuck540z3 said:

Gents,

 

Thank you all for your feedback and tips.  I really appreciate them and please keep them coming!

 

Today, on Remembrance Day, I would like to recognize all who served in any conflict that keep us free today, no matter where you live.  As mentioned earlier, I have two reference books titled “Spitfire, the Canadians”, Volume 1 and 2, that I use for reference pics, but also to read the stories of many Canadian Spitfire pilots who served in WWII.  Their personal stories are sometimes well written and sometimes not so much, but the common thread is that they were all very, very brave.  Can you imagine going on a sortie with a few of your fellow Spitfire pilots and encountering many ME109’s and FW190’s in a free for all dogfight?  It must have been terrifying- and they did this many, many times throughout the war.  The survival rate was quite low, but they somehow did it nonetheless because they were totally committed to the cause, even though they were thousands of miles from home.  Almost unbelievable to comprehend today.

 

I started this build as a tribute to my late father, Gordon Sawyer, who was an “airframe mechanic” on Spitfires, in RCAF 401 Squadron that started out in England, then eventually moved to France towards the end of the war (see beginning thread in LSP).  I smile when I think of my father as a mechanic of any kind, because he was the most unmechanical guy you would ever know.  He was smart, he was a really nice guy, but he couldn’t change the oil in a lawnmower, so I suspect he was a “gopher” or assistant to those who really knew what to do.  He lied about his age at 17 to join his brothers in the war effort (a very common phenomenon at the time), because he wanted to help like so many others.  My Dad had Alzheimer’s disease in his later years and could not count to 10, but when I asked him what his squadron was in the war he was always very quick to proudly say, “401” immediately.  He had many stories of the war, one of which I’d like to share on this special day.

 

My father had 4 brothers and they all served with the RCAF in WWII.  Two of them stayed in Canada and served with the many training air bases throughout Canada at the time, and he had his older brother Will, who was a Lancaster bomb aimer with 29 “Ops” under his belt and Ken, who was a pilot on Liberators, who also served in Europe and had about the same number of sorties in the war.  All of the brothers survived the war, despite the very poor odds, so the Sawyer family was very lucky to survive the war completely.

 

 Anyway, when the war concluded and they all made their way back to England and everyone was celebrating, my Dad bet $5 to a few of his peers that he would walk into the Officers Mess, whereever that was, and kick the first officer he saw in the butt.  That bet was quickly taken up and so my Dad, a mere RCAF grunt like the rest of them, walked into the Officers Mess and did exactly just that!  Thankfully that kick was received by my Uncle Ken, who quickly hugged my Dad before anyone could react.  Too funny,  and I recall my uncles talking about this incident and laughing about it many times as I grew up.

 

To all who served, we thank you.

 

Chuck

 

Great story Chuck. Now, you know there are many of us that would love to see you build a 1/32 Lancaster and Liberator right?

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On 11/10/2018 at 11:28 PM, skyhawk174 said:

 

Ok Gary you need to hook a buddy up 😁. Maybe bring a few to the meeting next week and I can pass you some cash. Can I have 5 or 6 please?

 

I thought I gave all of you 200 in zip lock bags?

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On 11/10/2018 at 7:10 PM, chuck540z3 said:

 

Where Gary, where?  Inquiring minds need to save money!  I love theTestors pipettes but not the price.

 

Cheers,

Chuck

 

From a Medical Supplier for labs, I think Fisher Scientific. I’ll get the specifics when I get home.

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Great story Chuck, must bring back memories with 401 Squadron reactivating.

 

Also amazing your uncles survived. I’m currently reading “Luck of a Lancaster.” It is the story of the crews that flew a particular Lancaster that survived all operations in 9 Squadron during the War.

 

Most of the crews that flew this particular airframe were not so fortunate. I had a neighbor who was an upper turret gunner in a Lancaster and he always told me how brutal the losses were during raids although I didn’t fully comprehend this until I started reading this particular book.

 

The numbers lost on each raid is staggering, often if a Lanc was lost no one survived. The previous book I read to this one was a recent Dambusters release (next up is another Dambuster read, this one focusing on the Canadian’s).

 

To reach 30 missions was a feat. I just read about a crew that was shot down on their 30th last night. The pilot was on his 31th, he flew an extra to complete his tour with his crew. Luckily only one didn’t make it in his crew.

 

Bomber crews had it tough.

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Thanks Gary,

 

From what I recall when doing research on Bomber Command for my uncle’s Lancaster build, the attrition rate was close to 50% to be killed, wounded or captured overall and I think the American attrition rate was even worse, because they flew their missions during daylight.  Not all of my Uncle Will’s “Ops” were dangerous or stressful, however, because the last few were dropping food over Holland at the end of the war, which was very much appreciated by the Dutch.  On one such mission, my uncle said that they made large signs out of cut tulips on the ground, that said “Thank You”.  My Uncle must have been very proud as he released food rather than bombs on his last sorties.

 

Now that I know that you bought your pipettes from a medical supply store vs a model paint or hobby store, I rechecked Amazon and found them everywhere at cheap prices.  Thanks for the tip Gary and Dylan!

 

Cheers,

Chuck

Edited by chuck540z3

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3 hours ago, Mr Matt Foley said:

 

Great story Chuck. Now, you know there are many of us that would love to see you build a 1/32 Lancaster and Liberator right?

 

All this talk of Lancaster’s and the new releases of them in 1/32 scale has me very tempted to build another.  As cool as it would be to build one of these highly detailed monsters, I have no idea where I could display it, because my 1/48 Tamiya version is already hard to park.  I have two of the 1/48 kits in the stash, one of which is the Dambuster version and I’ve always wanted to pose this one in the air, with LED lights used for distance control over water.  Or, I could do it on the ground, but change a couple of the engines to the highly detailed Eduard resin Merlin engines during maintenance.  This is one of the reasons I don’t post over at LSP any more, because the focus there is 1/32 or larger or nothing, so I can’t build this big kit in the mainstream forum.  Hmmmmm....:hmmm:

 

Cheers,

Chuck

 

 

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Chuck, I figure instead of taking roughly one year to build your usual exquisite aircraft, a Lancaster would run you maybe two years? The audience would be huge and it could be used for a book. Maybe we could take up a Go Fund Me page for cover the cost of the kit and supplies? Let the gang on LSP come over here and respectfully watch?

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On 11/11/2018 at 9:39 PM, AlienFrogModeller said:

Chuck well said. 

You Dad was a Rigger...nice, I joined as a fitter; oh the rivalry we had with each other.

 

Could I ask for the ISBN numbers of the Spitfire books you have?

 

 

Carmen,

 

The first volume is ISBN-10: 1550461486, while the second is ISBN-10: 1550462679.  The first volume is extremely hard to find and therefore expensive, even used.  It was over $300 a few months ago but I managed to buy one recently for about $70 Cdn.  The second one is more readily available and you should be able to pick one up used for $20-$30 Cdn.  If you can only buy one, the second one is still terrific and a source of many pics of Spitfires taken during the war, including 401 Squadron, the focus of this build.

 

Spitfire, The Canadians Volume I and II

 

Cheers,

Chuck

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15 hours ago, Mr Matt Foley said:

Chuck, I figure instead of taking roughly one year to build your usual exquisite aircraft, a Lancaster would run you maybe two years? The audience would be huge and it could be used for a book. Maybe we could take up a Go Fund Me page for cover the cost of the kit and supplies? Let the gang on LSP come over here and respectfully watch?

 

Ha!  Thanks for the thought, but I have most of the parts already.  My only reservation at this early stage is that I usually flip between props and jets as shown in my sig pic below, so the next build may be a kerosene burner.  Time will tell!

 

Cheers,

Chuck

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1 hour ago, chuck540z3 said:

 

 

Carmen,

 

The first volume is ISBN-10: 1550461486, while the second is ISBN-10: 1550462679.  The first volume is extremely hard to find and therefore expensive, even used.  It was over $300 a few months ago but I managed to buy one recently for about $70 Cdn.  The second one is more readily available and you should be able to pick one up used for $20-$30 Cdn.  If you can only buy one, the second one is still terrific and a source of many pics of Spitfires taken during the war, including 401 Squadron, the focus of this build.

 

Spitfire, The Canadians Volume I and II

 

Cheers,

Chuck

 

Sadly the author Robert Bracken passed away soon after the books were released and it doesn’t appear there will be a second run. He was much too young when he passed away.

 

I actually bought them both volumes new at Costco.

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24 minutes ago, Scooby said:

 

Sadly the author Robert Bracken passed away soon after the books were released and it doesn’t appear there will be a second run. He was much too young when he passed away.

 

I actually bought them both volumes new at Costco.

Sir,

Thank you for that info, I will now be researching and locating those books. Your help is much appreciated.

 

Cheers

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56 minutes ago, AlienFrogModeller said:

Sir,

Thank you for that info, I will now be researching and locating those books. Your help is much appreciated.

 

Cheers

 

No problem Bear, good to see you have your heals together for me. 😉

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Mr.Bracken actually did a third volume but the publisher went under before it was published and then he unfortunately passed away before the mess was resolved and  it could be published elsewhere so his passing was especially sad.

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3 hours ago, chuck540z3 said:

 

 

Carmen,

 

The first volume is ISBN-10: 1550461486, while the second is ISBN-10: 1550462679.  The first volume is extremely hard to find and therefore expensive, even used.  It was over $300 a few months ago but I managed to buy one recently for about $70 Cdn.  The second one is more readily available and you should be able to pick one up used for $20-$30 Cdn.  If you can only buy one, the second one is still terrific and a source of many pics of Spitfires taken during the war, including 401 Squadron, the focus of this build.

 

Spitfire, The Canadians Volume I and II

 

Cheers,

Chuck

Sir,

Google + ARC...it's a wonderful thing. Thanks again for the info.

 

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November 15/18

 

A BIG update today!  As mentioned very early in my thread over at LSP when I started this project, I was not sure of which exact Spitfire I was going to build, because my father didn’t mention any specific pilots and there hasn’t been any 401 Spits that jumped out at me.   I need to know which one before I start to paint insignia’s and code letters, so all this discussion earlier about the two Bracken Spitfire books got me looking at Volume II a little closer, when it struck me- I’m going to build YO-L, the wingman on the cover of this book!  This Spit was flown by Bill McRae who wrote 3 stories in this book and the artwork tells a very cool story.  First the book:

 

2whcwF.jpg

 

And the description of this artwork on page 59….

 

VzXzxr.jpg

 

There is also a very cool tribute to Bill after he passed away at Vintage Wings of Canada here:

 

Requiem for a Wingman- the Death of Bill McRae

 

This caption in the link above really intrigued me, because this is the kind of weathering I want to do:

 

“His headphones came alive as Kennedy called a sweeping left turn towards the outskirts of Paris. His attention was drawn to his squadron leader. With the light high and now off their port rear quarter, Hap's Spit came into sharp focus. The big letters YO-A were covered in oil and the dirt from the Beny-sur-mer airfield where 401 was based. Streaks of exhaust and filth ran down the side. Muddy boot prints ran up the side of Hap's port wing and McRae was struck by the incongruous image of footprints at this altitude. There were patches where shrapnel from close call flak detonations had punctured its skin and bright bare metal flecks where rough treatment on the ground had chipped the overpaint.”

 

Too cool, so I now need to finish off Bill McRae’s Spitfire IX of 401 Squadron!

 

Using masks and painting insignias and other artwork on a model is totally new to me, so I went with a few things that I’ve seen others do, which resulted in some very good results and a few that I wished I had a second chance on.  First the masks.  These are made by Maketar for 1/32 Spitfires and they can be purchased directly from Maketar or in many cases Sprue Bros.  Before I show any painting results, they are excellent and I would buy them again.  As a matter of fact, I did already.

 

The instructions suggest that you put masking tape over each roundel, then lift the entire assembly, so that it can be transferred as one unit.  That didn’t work at all, because each roundel needs to be centered over specific locations and the only way to do that was to pull the roundel masks apart , center them, then put them back together, which takes a long time to do it correctly without overlaps.

 

Here is a rookie mistake already.  I placed all of the masks on the model at the same time, which caused me to crowd them on the sides between the code letters and the roundels.  I should have done the roundels first, then added the code letters later.  Next time….

 

mpd5SR.jpg

 

Make sure you mask a wide area around the roundels to prevent overspray.

 

3YlIY1.jpg

 

With a microbrush or other soft object, burnish the edges of the mask so that they sit flat and very tight.

 

xPnkOr.jpg

 

I was a bit worried about the tri-color banner on the tail, because masking was difficult.

 

Sjj1my.jpg

 

The real difficult ones, however, were the roundels on the bottom of each wing, which are over a bulge and protrusion form the shell cute of the outside guns.

 

DQErre.jpg

 

For the 4 colors of paint, I went with my usual go-to Model Master enamels in “Insignia Blue, Red, Yellow and White”, which I thinned in a roughly 50/50 mixture so that it wouldn’t spray too thick and cause ridges along the margins of each roundel color.  Jumping ahead, don’t use the yellow unless you paint white first underneath it, another rookie mistake.  I had to spray several coats to cover, which created raised paint edges.

 

xUSpse.jpg

 

Here’s another tip I learned from others.  Instead of using Testors enamel thinner, that I’ve been using for years, use Mr. Color Leveling Thinner 400 instead.  It suspends the pigment better and it sprays finer than ordinary thinner.

 

cC0zeC.jpg

 

Starting in the middle of each roundel, I removed the central mask and sprayed the red.

 

SOLW0S.jpg

Edited by chuck540z3

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On curved surfaces, you sometimes need to cut the roundel ring, as I did on the thin ring around the central red.

 

CnqFPM.jpg

 

After the paint dries for a day, cover the red with the central mask and then spray the blue.

 

Cs3VCj.jpg

 

For the side and bottom roundels, move past the white ring and go straight to the blue as well, because the thin ring is easily damaged removing and replacing it.

 

8OgS5q.jpg

 

After blue paint.

 

KvVhbr.jpg

 

Of course the tail banner is being painted in the same way.

 

nKnuLH.jpg

 

Next the white, after replacing the blue area mask.

 

lL0cqA.jpg

 

The roundel on the bottom of the wing needs surgery to get it to sit flat.

 

NwDexK.jpg

 

The first reveal!  After light sanding with a polishing cloth to remove paint edges, it looks like I have overspray in a few areas.

 

vwRrof.jpg

 

The other side looks better- and I really like how these roundels look like paint rather than decals, because they really are!

 

Z1VeiX.jpg

 

The tail had issues as well on the bottom.  Note that I removed the rudder for ease of painting.

 

fwcLEg.jpg

Edited by chuck540z3

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A little more masking to repair small flaws…

 

5PfKH6.jpg

 

Meanwhile, the side roundel is ready for an outer ring of yellow, while there is no need to put the inner circles back into place

 

Wem8gq.jpg

 

Repair results:

 

hdZ4uw.jpg

 

rP9ruY.jpg

 

The bottom roundels fought me every step of the way, but they turned out OK, especially since they will rarely be seen.

 

arbIOW.jpg

 

Here’s the side after painting the yellow.  A bit rough around the edges due to too many coats of paint to cover, but I’ll just have to live with it at this late stage.  After weathering, you likely won’t notice any of it.  Note also that the code letters could be applied now, rather than at the beginning, like I did.  Positioning of the letters was taken from many references and to tell you the truth, there are no hard and fast rules, because they are all over the place!

 

cgxiVr.jpg

 

Masked and ready for paint.  Remember, burnish down those mask tape edges!

 

TnWKfJ.jpg

 

The only correct color that I can find for so-called “Sky” used for the lettering, tail and prop cone that came in Tamiya or Testors paint is Tamiya Acrylic XF-21.  Another tip:  Use the Tamiya lacquer thinner rather than acrylic thinner.  A few modeling friends told me about using this and the results are terrific.  Thinned about 60/40 paint to thinner, you only need two thin coats in one spray session to cover.

 

sCpFPc.jpg

 

And the final results, before sanding and weathering.  Pretty good overall- and I REALLY wished I had used Tamiya Acrylic yellow instead!

 

ceXLV3.jpg

 

The other side looks good too, with no paint bleed around the canopy slider.

 

51a4wE.jpg

 

Unfortunately, the Serial number of "MJ 199" of Bill's aircraft will have to wait, maybe a few weeks.  I ordered some custom vinyl masks (sharper edges than tape) from Maketar and they need to come by our wonderful Canadian postal service, which is on a continuing and annoying rotating strike!

 

One more thing.  While the Maketar masks are tough and can be placed and removed a few times, after this modeling assignment they are garbage, despite Maketar's claim that they can be used over and over again.  The glue gets weak and the masks become distorted over time, just like any masking material.  Fortunately, the set I used has enough roundels for two models, including side roundels with the wider yellow ring if desired.

 

I hope my experiences with painting insignias has helped you and from now on, I’ll never use a big decal again if I can find a mask and paint it instead.  Having said that, some painting tasks are too detailed and a well placed and set-down decal will still be the best option.

 

 

Cheers,

Chuck

Edited by chuck540z3

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Chuck,

  While I've converted to auto modeling these days, I do follow a few builders here, and you're on the top of my list. 

  Just an outstanding tutorial and walk through on painting insignias, numbers, & Letters. Very well done, as well as how easy it is to understand and follow. There's been plenty of times I've tried my best to follow modelers using masks, but more often then not it got confusing to the point that I was just plain lost.  Not so this time. 

Joel

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Those painted markings do an amazing difference!

Really good work, and I really liked your Remembrance Day post, too.

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 Hi Chuck . The Spit is looking amazing ! 

 

 While fooling around with things on my table, I recently discovered that the Mr.color will also spray the old Humbrols as well.  Even better than the original thinner.

 

 Regards, Christian 

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