After another round of fixing the seams and rescribing, I called it done and did a final primer coat to prep for painting. For this kit I used Vallejo White Primer instead of the usual Tamiya rattle can primer. It required multiple thin coats but at least it doesn’t smell as bad.
As is the norm in the 1960s, the Crusader’s camouflage is made up of a glossy light grey up top and white on the bottom. I decided to use the primer as the white color of the camouflage so I masked off the moving surfaces on top which needed to remain white.
The gray is FS16440 Light Gull Grey which I matched to Vallejo Model Air US Light Grey 045. This color is matched to FS36440, a matt version of FS16440. After spraying it on though, I find that the color seems overly warm compared to what I’ve seen of the F-8E online (here, here, here and here).
I’m not sure if this is a trick of the lighting even though my photo is taken with a daylight balanced flash. Also interesting to note is that even on the 4 sample photos of the real aircraft, the grey all look to be of different shades. The only thing common about them is they are cooler (blue) than what I have.
I think I’ll check out the color under daylight after it cures…
Work continues on this kit with fixing seamlines. This kit has a lot of panel lines and rivets that get obliterated due to sanding.
I rescribed with a needle + pin vise combo using a strip of dymo tape as a guide. I choose to not redo the rivets just because :).
It was also here that I realized I have flipped the ventral fins. They are the same except the side with more details should be facing down. Oh well.
Next up I masked the canopy (which went for a dunk in Future previously) with Tamiya tape and Gunze Masking Sol. The front canopy had curves that was hard to mask with tape so I brush painted the masking sol free hand. There is an IRST ball that needs to be attached on the front canopy but I think I’ll hold till later.
I’m also holding off attaching the canopy till after all primer is done on the main body. In this pic, there is a bit of gray peeking under the main color of the canopy frame. That’s the primer layer. It’s not very nice looking so I’m trying something different this time to prevent this from happening again.
Media: Injection Plastic
The Supermarine Spitfire is a British single-seat, short-range and high-performance fighter aircraft used by the Royal Air Force (RAF) and her many allies during and after the Second World War. It was the most produced British aircraft in history and spawned many variants, with the Mk. V being the most produced at 6,487 built.
The Spitfire was perceived by the public to the be RAF fighter that won the Battle of Britain although it was the Hawker Hurricane that shouldered the majority of the burden against the Luftwaffe. It did however, suffer less losses and had a higher victory-loss ratio than the Hurricane. It’s much loved by its pilots and it would continue to serve air forces into the 1950s.
Pierre Clostermann was the highest scoring French flying ace who flew for the RAF in the Second World War. Clostermann was credited with 33 victories while flying 432 sorties between 1943-1945 in the Supermarine Spitfire and Hawker Tempest. He also claimed 225 motor vehicles, 72 locomotives, 5 tanks and 2 E-boats destroyed.
More info on Wikipedia
This kit is my first completed since 2013. Yes, I’ve had a long Dark Age. I started on the Spitfire at the suggestion of my son who watched the episode of James May’s Toy Stories where he built a 1:1 scaled plastic Spitfire kit.
Tamiya is known for their shake-and-bake kits and this one pretty much came together without much problems: everything fit very well and it’s probably the kit with the least puttying I’ve done so far. The only issue construction-wise was the fit of the canopy that I wanted to close: seems like it’s meant to be posed open. I have to say though that the 1/48 Hasegawa Spitfire I did about a decade ago wasn’t complicated either. I find that prop planes have less fitting problems than modern aircraft probably due to having less parts in general. The one thing that’s more difficult on prop planes is masking of the canopy. The Spitfire’s canopy however is probably considered simple on that front.
I decided that this will be a straight OOB build with aftermarket decals: French Ace Pierre Clostermann’s Spitfire from the Eagle Strike 48059 British Thoroughbreds Spitfires Mk V/VIII/IX sheet. I also decided on a clean finish with only some preshading and panel lining. I figured if I’m going to start doing exhaust and gunpowder stains I should go all out with oil streaks and paint chipping too. I think I’ll be doing this KISS approach from now on. I have to reduce my stash quickly. 😀
I used the following colors for this kit:
The biggest challenge for me with this kit is probably the camouflage. I used Blutack masking and I had to do quite a bit of cleaning up after. The end results turned out well enough and in the scheme of things, it was probably the lesser issue of the whole build. Some notes for my reference for future projects:
In the end though, this was the perfect kit to get me back on the saddle: it was a simple and straightforward build. I’m now motivated to start on my next kit as soon as I can.
I have found that Future is a lot easier to airbrush when thinned. It was however, slow going as I let the Future cure for a day between layers. In the end though, I got a decent result out of it.
Time for decals! In my decals stash were 3 remaining markings from the Eagle Strike 48059 British Thoroughbreds Spitfires Mk V/VIII/IX. I chose to do Pierre Clostermann’s markings. Clostermann is the highest scoring French Ace in WW2. He did it all while flying for the RAF. The sheet only came with 1 set of stencils (which I’ve used already previously) so I had to mix and match with the kit’s decals.
One good thing about WW2 subjects is the general lack of stenciling compared to modern subjects. However, the Eagle Strike decals proved to be quite thick and resistant to Mark Softer. On the other hand, the Tamiya decals were very fragile with some shattering when detached from the backing. They also both took their time to separate from the backing. Some of the decals are also supposed to be placed on compound surfaces which caused some breakage and will need to be fixed.
I tried cutting pieces out of the remaining decals to patch up the broken ones but it proved to be time consuming and at all effective so I simply touched up by hand painting. I had to mix some of the paint to get as close as I could. The work wasn’t perfect but it’ll have to do. I was hoping subsequent gloss and flat coat will hide some of the imperfections.
And then the 1st disaster struck. To seal the decals I layered on Future and it was so thick it pooled on some of the surfaces. I carefully removed the pool of Future with windex which caused more than the Future to be removed. Yep. The white is the primer coat.
So then I carefully masked (making sure none of the masking tape touched the decals), then carefully sanded the offending area down, then carefully airbrushed the color.
In the end, I also had to respray some of the black walkway line as I got some green on the original decal. At least it came out OK. I then hand brushed on Future to gloss up the fixed areas to prep for panel lining.
For panel lining I decided to try something new: Vallejo’s Model Wash. It’s a water soluble solution that’s supposed to be used straight out of the bottle.
However, I’ve read that it’s better to thin it first before use so I decided to just try it at 1 part wash to 5 parts water. Using it was simple enough. You simply brushed it on and let capillary action help to get to all the nooks and crannies on the kit.
Let it dry a bit, then use a wet cotton bud to do clean up. Not intense enough for you? Just go over again until you’re happy with it.
I have to say it’s easier to clean up than the usual oil paint + turpentine mix as the wash doesn’t streak as easily as the latter mix.
I was finished in no time at all. Next I added the antenna. This will need to be touched up a bit. After this is the final flat coat, removing the masking tape around the canopy and attaching the rear view mirror, exhausts and spinner. And I’m all done!
And then while writing this entry, the 2nd disaster struck. It turns out the markings for Pierre Clostermann is for his Spitfire Mk. IX, and not the Mk. Vb I’m doing. Nice… /facepalm