Desert Spitfire


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Desert Spitfire

Airfix 1/48th scale Supermarine Spitfire Mk Vb built and painted by Lootenant Aloominum in October 2020

Airfix 1/48th scale Spitfire Vb in simulated flight

Red spinner

Here is my second Airfix 1/48th scale kit of the Spitfire Vb. I finished this one in colorful desert camouflage using transfers by LifeLike Decals, obtained from Hannants. It has the dust filter under the nose, supplied with the kit (must have made it prone to yawing around, I speculate) and the canopy open. (The kit also comes with several open and closed canopies.)

Airfix 1/48th scale Spitfire Vb in simulated flight

On a wing and a prayer

Airfix 1/48th scale Spitfire Vb in simulated flight

Check six

To plug the holes in the spinner where the blades go, I found it easiest to glue the propeller — that is the blades integral with their ring — in place. When dry, I cut the blades off, filed down the stubs, and filled the gaps. They are much smaller gaps to fill than my previous method of omitting the blades entirely.

Airfix 1/48th scale Spitfire Vb in simulated flight

Vokes air/dust ‘tropical’ filter comes with the kit

Method of Airfix 1/48th scale Spitfire Vb in simulated flight

My desert scenario

Airfix 1/48th scale Spitfire Vb in simulated flight

Coat d’azure


The model is suspended by thread from the top of a boxing punch bag stand.

Airfix 1/48th scale Spitfire Vb in simulated flight

Turning left

Airfix 1/48th scale Spitfire Vb in simulated flight

“Follow me down.”

I omitted my usual spinning propeller; a transparent disc. Not sure which is best, with or without.

Airfix 1/48th scale Spitfire Vb in simulated flight

Camouflage

Construction

Airfix 1/48th scale Spitfire Vb kit, 'after market' decals and paints

Kit, decals, and paints

Airfix 1/48th scale World War 2 RAF pilot

Pilot

The pilot, which comes with the kit, is well detailed.

Airfix 1/48th scale Spitfire Vb cockpit base profile

Cockpit base profile

A fault with this otherwise exquisite kit is that the cockpit tub protrudes at the bottom, preventing the wings from fitting!

Airfix 1/48th scale Spitfire Vb cockpit base marked for cutting

Cockpit base marked for cutting

Airfix 1/48th scale Spitfire Vb cockpit base cut-out

Cockpit base cut-out

I found it necessary to file more plastic away forward of the cut using a round file. Notice that the oval frame behind the seat is not fully down in its slots. I should have cut the bottom off it so it could go all the way down.


Airfix 1/48th scale Spitfire Vb partly built

Part built and glue drying

Finish

As always (to date) I used a brush. (Experts use spray painting.) Nowadays (2020) Hataka sell paint specifically for brush application; their ‘blue’ range. The azure is somewhat translucent and required two coats. The dark earth covered with a single coat. The ‘mid stone’ (sand) which I applied on top of the dark earth (which I painted first on the whole upper surface) I also found to be translucent and it needed two coats.

Airfix 1/48th scale Spitfire Vb Sticky varnish powdered

Sticky varnish powdered

I used Flory Models dark dirt for ‘weathering.’ Its instructions (in a video accompanying the item on their web site) say to wait 12 hours for paint to dry before applying the liquid. I left it overnight, but the satin varnish was still tacky to the touch. I then used a technique from the world of silicone rubber dolls, which is to apply corn starch powder (not talc) which in Britain is Johnson’s baby powder. (Not talc, which is fit only for gritting roads in winter.)

Airfix 1/48th scale Spitfire Vb Sticky varnish powdered and brushed

Sticky varnish powdered and brushed

I then brushed in the ‘weathering’ liquid, a clay solution/suspension with a ‘secret formula.’ That reminds me of a Dilbert cartoon where Dilbert was sent to Elbonia, a land of bearded folk in tall hats. Only on a second look do you notice there is nothing below waist level, at which ripples spread outward from each figure, Elbonia being waist deep in mud. Anyways, one guy says (as I recall) “You say you have come to teach us programming, but I think you are a spy come to steal our formula for making mud.”

“Dirt and water?”

“He knows. We must kill him.”

Airfix 1/48th scale Spitfire Vb

Finished model

I digress…

Related

English Channel in World War 2 plastic models part 1 for my first build of this kit