On the assembly line

Posted on September 21, 2016 by Niek Nijsen

Time for another update on the Spitfire buddy build. Since I’ve got two projects on the go (yes I’m still working on the King Tiger) I will try to swap them each month, so progress will be going on with both models. Be it a little slower than before (if that’s even possible)…

So what has been happening to the Spitfire then over the last couple of weeks. Well, in a nutshell I’ve put the fuselage together, worked on the wings and upgraded the guns. But let’s get into a little more detail.

Although I was initially planning on showing the big Hispano guns as well, I think they look absolutely horrible and can’t seem to make anything good out of them. I’ve decided to cover them up instead and have the brass bits stick out from the front, with the rest of the guns actually missing. But you’ll never notice this as they’d be hidden inside the wings completely. The 2 Browning .303 guns in the right wing will still be on show. With a decent amount of scratch building they should look very close to the real deal.

I’ve spend quite a few hours on the internet looking for blue prints and the likes to use in the diorama. With the help of Photoshop, I’ve scaled these to A0 paper and printed them. Besides the blue prints I will also have a few maps of Western Europe in the cockpit with details of Operation Overlord (D-Day) on them. Reason for this is that I want to add invasion stripes on the wings and tail.

Back to the guns for a bit, in particular the Browning .303 wing mounted ones. At this point I have to send a massive thanks to my build buddy Stephen here, as he sent me parts of this Airfix kit, which happened to include the .303 guns. Man, do they look different to the Trumpeter ones! Many, many thanks mate! Having put then next to each other you can really see the difference, especially with the brass barrel. I cut the plastic barrel off and replaced it with the brass version. A few PE parts from the U-96 project and some lead wiring were added and the end result was a pretty good looking Browning .303.

Next up I painted the inside of the wings with my special RAF interior mix and added the guns and more wiring before weathering the gun bays. The ammo belts were placed after a slight adjustment to get a bit more of a bullet shape to them. A little dry-brushing and some pigment followed.

I’ve added the ailerons to both wings and spend quite some time fiddling with the PE flaps. In the end I opted to have a mix of PE and kit parts to complete the flaps, as I didn’t really like the look of the full PE bits (also this was a lot easier and stronger). With the flaps added, I glued both wing halves together.

And that’s about it, not much else to report for now. As I mentioned before, I’ll be swapping models every month, so the next time I’ll be working on the Spitfire will be in October. Until then I’m working on the King Tiger, which will receive its next update very shortly with loads of new photos, too. Thanks for following and commenting! See you next month.

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