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Tamiya's 1/48 scale
Supermarine Spitfire Mk.I

by Geoff Abreu

 

Supermarine Spitfire Mk.I

 


Tamiya's 1/48 scale Spitfire I is available online from Squadron


 

Introduction

 


This is my Tamiya 1/48 Spitfire Mk I. It was built in the markings of QV*K which was one of the airplanes flown by Squadron Leader Brian Lane of No. 19 Squadron at Fowlemere during September 1940. It was also reported to have been flown by Flt. Lt. Walter Lawson.

Between the two of them they were credited with shooting down 2 Bf 110s and 1 He 111 while flying this aircraft during the month of September 1940.

 

 

The aircraft is unique amongst Battle of Britian Spitfires in that it had a non-standard yellow spinner which was reported to have been a hold over from the aircrafts brief stint with an OTU squadron. The aircraft was finally written off in May 1944 while serving with No. 57 OTU. The aircraft had an amazingly long life for a Spitfire Mk I.

 

 

Construction

 


The 1/48 scale Tamiya Spitfire kit was a joy to build.

I started with the cockpit painting the interior sidewalls, lower instrument panel and floor with Gunze H-312. The areas between the internal ribbing on the sidewalls were then sprayed with this color lightened by a bit of white. Various intruments and wiring were painted with silver and Gunze H301 Grey. I like using the grey as it allows me to further highlight dials and switches with a slightly darker black. The instrument panel was also painted in this manner. Everything was then sprayed with future and an oil wash using a mixture of Mig black and brown oils was used. Also at this point Mike Grant Instrument decals were used for the instrument panel as the bezels are molded as blank dials with no details. These decals settled in very well with some Micro Sol and Micro Set. Lastly, the seat was painted Gunze Red Brown H47, and some Eduard pre painted seat harnesses were added.

Click on the thumbnails below to view larger images:

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The fuselage halves were joined together and the cockpit assembly was inserted and later the wings and tail planes were added. Only the slightest bit of filler was needed at the wing roots, and this might have been due to my construction rather than the kit. The lower cowl piece and intakes were added with no problems.

The amount of sanding needed was also minimal which made this process very enjoyable.

 

 

Painting and Markings

 

I primered around the seams with Mr. Surfacer 1200 to check for any seams or blemishes at the joins.

I painted the model with Gunze Acryllics Sky H74 on the lower surfaces. Areas within the panel lines were pained with the base color lightened with a bit of white the resulting effect being the panel line areas appearling slightly darker then the centers of the panels.

The lower surfaces were then masked with Tamiya Tape and Gunze Dark Earth H72 was then sprayed and the panels lightened using this same technique.

 

Click on the thumbnails below to view larger images:

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For the camouflage pattern which to me looked like a very hard edged pattern in photos that I had of the aircraft I again used Tamiya tape using the painting guide that Tamiya supplies with the kit as a guide to cutting the tape. This was probably the most time consuming and tedious part of the painting process. I then sprayed the unmasked areas with Gunze H73 Dark Green and lightened this with both a bit of white and a bit of yellow as well. I used an Aeromaster Battle of Britain sheet for the decals and they went down generally well with some Micro Sol and Micro Set. They did need a small bit of coaxing with a scalpel to help them settle down into some of the panel lines.

After letting the decals set for a couple of days the entire model was given a coat of Testor's Dullcote Lacquer. Weathering in the form of gun staining and exhaust staining was achieved with pastels applied with a micro brush and paint chipping was done with a Prismacolor silver pencil. After all of this the undercarriage was attached and an antenna was made with invisible thread.

 

 

Conclusion

 

Overall this had to be one of the nicest kits I have built to date, there were really no issues throughout the build making it a very enjoyable and relaxing build.

 

 

The fact that it was a Battle of Britain aircraft which is a thing of great interest to me, and that the model was being raffled as a prize to help raise funds for the local Scottish society really made it a worthwhile project.

 

 

Additional Images

 

Click on the thumbnails below to view larger images:

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Model, Images & Text Copyright 2007 by Geoff Abreu
Page Created 10 December, 2007
Last Updated 24 December, 2007

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