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Spitfire Vb Trop. (RAF 100 GB)

Tamiya kit with Eduard PE

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Sean Emmott13/01/2018 12:59:26
2262 forum posts
4584 photos
3 articles

[Notes from the instruction sheet:]

The Supermarine Spitfire is regarded by many as the most beautifully designed single seat fighter to appear during World War Two. The Spitfire went through numerous major and minor changes throughout its long service life. Early improvements resulted in the Mk.V which became the most widely produced version of all Spitfires. The main improvements were the introduction of three wing armament configurations and the use of the more powerful Merlin type 45 engine. The most numerous Mk.V was the "b" winged version which had a mixed armament of two .303 browning machine guns and one 20mm cannon in each wing.

The Spitfire that demonstrated such superb performance over its homeland was also urgently required for operations overseas. One of the better known versions was the North African prepared variant, designated "TROP", for Tropical. The biggest problem in desert operations was the intake of abrasive sand into the engine, which quickly wore out moving parts. To overcome this difficulty a Vokes air filter was fixed over the carburetor intake. Although the filter was successful its large mass reduced the aircraft's speed. The problem was solved by the local maintenance unit stationed at Aboukir, who designed a smaller, more streamlined unit that equally effective.

I will be completing this model using decals from an Aeromaster sheet, "Defenders of Malta (part II)". The subject will be a Vb flown by Pilot Officer George 'Screwball' Beurling, 249 Sqn in 1942. Buerling, a Canadian flying with the RAF, became Malta's highest scoring ace with 23 and 1/3 victories. He shot down three Bf109s in one sortie during September 1942. Beurling was decorated with the DSO, DFC, and DFM and Bar. (For discussion)


Over time, I plan to build most of the aircraft on this decal sheet, and have already completed a Hurricane Mk.I:


Here are the extras I will be adding to the base kit and using to make it an easier build (the time saved by buying pre-cut masks is well worth the money to me!).


I've made a start on the interior. The base colour is British Interior Grey-Green from Alclad II's Mil-Spec range. Pre-thinned enamels ready for spraying. This was then drybrushed with a mix of base colour lightened with Titanium White oil paint. The protect the finish I sealed ith with Johnson's Klear and washed with a moderately heavy mix of Black and Burnt Umber oils.





John Race13/01/2018 14:27:50
7183 forum posts
1518 photos

Sean .

Although not a wingy person myself its great to watch these builds, I'm sure you will do another of your great detailed builds.

Mind you they don't have tracks so maybe I'm on the wrong courselaugh


Sean Emmott18/01/2018 09:16:27
2262 forum posts
4584 photos
3 articles

Thank you, John.

I have done a little more, adding detail from the etch set. When completed this was matted down with Testor's Dullcote. Some areas received a very light dry brushing of silver enamel to simulate wear on metallic surfaces.trop_spit_005.jpg

dots of Testor's Gloss Cote were added over instrument dials to replicate glass covers. (You will note I managed to snap off one of the rudder pedals when I was setting up this shot! embarrassed)


Ready to seal the fuselage now!



jimbo18/01/2018 12:43:42
14256 forum posts
2711 photos

Hi Sean

Another stunner in the making. Screwball is some nickname. I was reading about the Canadian pilots in the Battle of Britain and the general impression seemed to be that they were all rather extrovert screwballs.


Tim Marlow18/01/2018 13:43:50
1412 forum posts
1058 photos

Hi Sean

Looking good so far.....



Kevin Cole 118/01/2018 22:18:31
264 forum posts
51 photos

Very spiffy details. Looking good!

Beurling's 'official' nickname in Canada is 'Buzz'. A little less colorful, perhaps less scandalous, as his off duty exploits often had him clashing with authority, public propriety, etc. Typical spirited fighter pilot stuff, really.

Steve Jones 1219/01/2018 19:53:25
4098 forum posts
9187 photos


I am sure it helps to be familiar with the plane before building it. With all the extra goodies I am sure it will stand out from the crowd. Good luck


Fernando Nijhuis20/01/2018 17:32:03
787 forum posts
649 photos

Hi Sean,

Nice intro and great looking interior work.thumbs up

Looking forward to see this one develop and how the painting masks work out.teeth 2


ps. Great looking p

Sean Emmott01/02/2018 20:31:09
2262 forum posts
4584 photos
3 articles

Thank you for your replies, chaps. thumbs up

These pilots were certainly a special breed of young men, Jim. They had to grow up all too quickly, unfortunately.

I've read so many blogs and articles where the builder says that the kit went together without the use of any filler. Well, for the first time in my life I've managed that myself! The fuselage is closed up now. The dark lins on the seam are just where the mating surfaces had paint on them from completing the interior.






The next photo is over-exposed so you can see the control panel


Next up I added the windscreen and the rear of the canopy. I sealed the cockpit for painting using a spare canopy hood from the kit (three varieties are supplied) keeping the one for this build separate so I can show the cockpit open. I tacked the cockpit door that i cut from the fuselage half back in place with PVA so I can pop it out later.

With seams sanded down and polished I pre-shaded I didn't use a primer coat as the exterior is all plastic, and I want to keep the external detail as sharp as possible.



and I've painted the propellor (it still needs weathering) ready to put in place at the end of the build.




jimbo01/02/2018 20:54:23
14256 forum posts
2711 photos

Hi Sean

No filler on the fuselage or the wing roots - well done Tamiya. That doesn't happen with many plane builds. So no rescribing panel lines thumbs up

Cockpit looks superb and having the cut away door probably means more will be seen. Did you clean the surface before the preshade? Just wondering how the paint will stick without primer. Having said that the fewer coats of paint the better for preserving detail. Interested in seeing how those camo masks work out. Some awkward curves to cope with.


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