The Southern Maryland Scale Modelers meet every third Thursday of the month at 7:00 pm. We currently meet at the NSi, 21513 Great Mills Road, Lexington Park, Maryland.

Everyone is welcome, all we ask is that you bring a project, finished or not, theme or non-theme to share during our Show-N-Tell discussion. Okay, you don't really have to bring a project...

Sunday, April 21, 2013

119: The Taming of the Sprue

Living out of a suitcase isn't the best way to enjoy our hobby. No tools, no kits, no paint (fumes) and none of the other things that make this so enjoyable a hobby.

Because my shipment has yet to arrive, and I'm not sure the ship has even docked, I'm forced to violate the one rule I had coming here: no new tools, or other supplies, needed to model. Oh sure, I'm buying kits, decals, resin and brass, but until recently, no tools.

I am going through withdrawals. The opposite of Advance Modelers Syndrome, I must build a kit regardless of the genre, scale, or medium!

What does a modeler need who has everything yet nothing?

Start by walking through a build:
  • Sprue cutters - I have a pocket multi tool, I may be able to make that work.
  • Sharp knife - that multi tool can help here.
  • Sanding sticks or files for cleaning up the plastic - nail files?
  • Glue - well, that was to be a new purchase anyway given I could not ship flammables (they checked everything).
  • Paint - interiors first, then primers and if my water based acrylics still aren't here, exterior.
  • Brushes - cheap set from local arts and crafts store.
  • Cutting mat - smallest I can find.
I found a decent hobby shop that is a reasonable distance. Only 45 minutes away up in Wigton, called Jackson's, he has everything I'll need and a good stock of kits to choose from as well.

Since I wanted to buy the Admiral FM-2/Wildcat VI kit from Hannants anyway, I added the AZModel Spitfire Ib kit to my order. Both are very accurate and "best in scale" for these two subjects, even if limited run kits and all that entails. Since I have my primary Spitfire reference with me (Spitfire The History) I decided to dive into the Spitfire kit.

I've attempted converting Tamiya's Mk Vb kit to a Mk Ib, but failed miserably. That was nearly two years ago and my skills and knowledge are a bit better today. (Ok, before you ask, the AZModel kit is really their Mk Ib/IIb/Vb/VI kit, so modifications are required to make the version desired.) Technically there were only a handful of Mk Ib, and the weight of the 20mm cannons with two outer wing .303's was too much, so all were quickly converted to Mk Vb standard with the more powerful Merlin 45 engines. There WERE 30 "cannon armed Mk I" aircraft used during the Battle of Britain, but these had no guns, only the two cannon. Because he guns were installed uniquely in the Mk I (and II) they had a tendency to jam after only firing a few rounds. Not a positive thing during the height of battle!

So this subject will require a few added mods, which given my desire to model and lack of usual tools, I'm going to be challenged. This is where I am so far, taking it slow to truly enjoy it:



On the right (left underside) wing is what I've filled so far; both outer gun casing ejector chutes, and the ejector opening used on the Mk V/VI only (part of how Supermarine solved the jamming). I also removed the large bulge on the underside, as the Mk I's had a smaller bulge based on how the cannon was situated in the wing. There are also small bulges near the outer guns used for heating that were not installed until the Mk V, albeit retrofitted to the Mk I/II post Battle of Britain.

The topside requires no changes. What is nice for this build is that the wings were modified for the cannons and the outer gun bays not changed other than as as I've indicated above. A very easy mod.

Another difference, but not noticeable in this scale, is the Mk I/II and early Mk V's had fabric covered ailerons, replaced by metal covered in 1941.

Airfix's liquid glue is is very thin, and the brush that comes in the lid is large. It gets everywhere so I've had to clean a number of fingerprints and other mistakes. I miss my Tenax...

Since this photo was taken I've finished the wing, painted all the interiors and started on the fuselage. Slow going given its limited run nature, but very enjoyable. I've also been to RAF Cosford for the IPMS Shropshire show where I picked up some kits, resin and references. Airfix had a display of their new Lancaster BIII (special) Dambusters kit, each of the aircraft in the squadron built by members of the Shropshire chapter. The kit was just released the following week, and YES, I have one. I also picked up their new Typhoon kit and both are very nice. I'll write up a preview for next month on at least one of them, if not both.

Until next time...

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