SAirfix Club 1/48 Spitfire LF.Vb Build

Hi All,

After the Lightning and 109 I seem to have got a taste for 1/48 builds. This kit has been lurking in the lift for the last few years, but I thought it was time to bring it down as I haven't built a Spitfire for a while.

I'm planning on building the Air Sea Rescue version in standard mid-war day camouflage and not the nightfighter.

The instructions, paint guide and decals. I did pull out some old markings I had in my spares box from the old tool Airfix Vb for a desert bird, but thought better of it.

The plastic parts. Surface detail is well executed engraved lines, and internal is very complete with about 30 parts making up the cockpit. There are also many options, several of which are not relevant to this boxing. They include two different props, tropical filters, 250lb bombs, large ferry tank, different canopies, armoured or plain fuel tank cover infront of the cockpit, plain or spoked wheel hubs and normal or clipped wings. The clipped wingtips come as solid plastic or clear parts. A pilot figure with seperate arms is included and the undercart can be modelled lowered or raised.

I started the build by assembling the cockpit parts. These all fitted well, although some perts were small and fiddly. There are internal skins onto which the rest of the cockpit builds onto before going into the fuselage, and four internal bulkheads.

Sub-assemblies painted up and weathered. The instrument panel is a decal.

The cockpit all put together, this required very careful lining up to get everything square, and any paint had to be scraped off mating surfaces to get a proper join.

As the paint was drying inbetween cockpit stages I started putting the prop together.

The construction method means that the prop can be added after the main assembly of the airframe is complete.

Fuselage joined with no issues at all. The fuel tank cover can also be seen. This didn't quite sit down properly over the instrument panel bulkhead, which had to be sanded down a little at a time to get a good fit.

 

More coming soon when the wings go on.

Colin M

104 posts

 Very nice. Good work on what looks like quite a well detailed cockpit.

T2B

1076 posts

Yes the cockpit tub looks very detailed and well done. Almost makes me think about doing 1:48th scale kits! But only almost lol!!

Thanks for the comments guys.

Just a quick update on the armoured fuel tank cover. 

When first test fitted it looked like this as the top of the instrument panel was fouling it.

 

After carefully sanding down the top of the instrument panel and several test fits as I went I got a fit like this.

Note that this part should sit slightly proud of the rest of the fuselage as it represents the armour plating over the top of the tank.

Colin M

104 posts

Proper modelling = making bits fit. Don't get me wrong, modern Tamiya is lovely, but they do sort of fall together.

Things have been progressing well with my Spitfire. The wing was assembled after first removing the standard wingtips by scoring along the panel line repeatly with my craft knife, and painting the inside black to save bare plastic showing through the spent cartridge ejector slot.

In the photo you can also see the constructed wheel bays, made up from two plastic circles and two mini spars, and the wheel leg attachments all painted dull aluminium metalcote. 

 

Once the wing was together it was joined to the fuselage. I started by gluing the 'tail' of the wing and once that was cured worked forward, securing with tape and clamps. Even though in other online builds of this kit that I had read they had no problem with the wing attachment I was left with a step and a few gaps where it met the wingroot.

As this is a later war Mk V, I'll be leaving the two strengthening strips on each top surface. The clear wingtips have also been cemented on, and were a reasonable fit.The tail went on next, each tailplane made from two halves, then the one piece elevator followed by the small retaining part and rudder. All were slightly offset to add a little life. 

 

The basic airframe was soon all together and the joints filled and sanded. The only filler needed was at the wingroots and the rear of the wing underside join. On the following images the light grey painted areas are were done to check after they were filled and sanded. The radiator, oil cooler and carb intake all went on nicely, but the undernose part needed a little sanding to get a good fit.

The ailerons were also put on slightly offset. The model was washed with soapy water with an old toothbrush to remove dust and grease then rinsed, and painting will begin once dry.

Paws4thot

1238 posts

I get your point about bare plastic above ejector chutes, but I usually paint that area in the relevant interior colour or "aluminium sheet" depending on type and period.

Though I fly through the shadow of the valley of death, I shall fear no evil, for I am at 65_000 feet and climbing.

I've completed the basic painting of the Spitfire. Most of the colours used were Humbrol acrylics (Hu64 Meduim Sea Grey on the underside, Hu106 Ocean Grey topside), but the green was Mr Hobby Mr Color Dark Green. I did have one issue when I painted the Sky band around the rear fuselage. Where the Hu90 sky paint went over the Mr Hobby green the Humbrol paint cracked and crazed. To overcome this I coated the area with a layer of Klear then repainted the band.

The chipped paint at the wingroot was achieved by painting the area aluminium, applying Maskol with a small piece of sponge, painting the top colours over the top then rubbing off the Maskol to leave the aluminium showing through. The completed prop can also be seen as well as the pilot who is not yet fully painted.

Close up of the damaged paint on the tail band.

 

Now the band is repaired and the whole plane coated with Klear the decals are ready to be applied. On the final stretch now.

The decal mostly went on without any problems over a gloss coat, with the exception of the wing roundels which had to go over some lumps and bumps and needed to to sliced a little and lots of decal softener applied.

The prop spinner had three decals, and the pilot is also finished. All went on without silvering, except the carrier film on the code letters, but this was remedied by cutting the decal along the panel line and running more softener under it.

When the decals were fully dry the shell ejector slots were carefully cut out of the underwing roundels.

 

Next the model was given a couple of coats of matt varnish, and the smaller parts and canopy added. I left the main undercarriage to last as I was not confident that the construction method was as strong as it could be. Basically the leg attaches to the stub in the wheelwell by a stepped butt joint, with very little surface area. On the Airfix Bf 109 I built recently the legs had nice sturdy square pegs that set the angle of the legs perfectly, this method may be more accurate but it seems pretty weak. I attached mine with lots of super glue!

 

Once the undercart was finished I applied some weathering and the Spitfire was done.

I really enjoyed this kit, it went together well with the exception of the fuel tank cover in front of the cockpit, and the only weak point was the undercarriage legs. There are plenty of options as well allowing you to build almost any Vb spitfire. I might just make another in desert camo sometime.

T2B

1076 posts

Looks a good build and nice finish PMM. And I understand what you mean with the weak under-carriage joints for the legs, as all the weight of the model is at that location point.

 

I think maybe 1 day I'll try a larger scale kit for the extra detail you get lol? 

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