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Weathering a Spitfire!


Painting and weathering a Tamiya 1/48 Spitfire Mk. Vb, or How I Stopped Worrying and Learned to Love Hard-edged Camouflage

If you're reading this, the number of articles on building, painting and otherwise reviewing the Tamiya Spitfire Mk. Vb and its companion kits has not reached critical mass and irradiated a large chunk of the planet.

Plenty has been written on the Web and in printed magazines on the Tamiya Mk. I/Mk. V 1/48 kit series, and I can add little to what has been said consistently -- they are great-fitting, well-detailed kits that kicked off a long-overdue string of Spitfire kit releases from other manufacturers.

When my local IPMS club held its quarterly contest with a 1/48 aircraft theme, I already had an 80-percent completed Spitfire Mk. Vb sitting on the project shelf. Seizing on that as a chance to return from over a year of airbrush inactivity, I decided to go with a basic Temperate Land Scheme in Dark Green/Ocean Grey/Medium Sea Grey using the kit's already adequate decal option.

Aside from a scratchbuilt Sutton harness, I also cut the elevators from the horizontal stabilizers and added rounded strips of plastic along the elevator leading edges. After milling grooves in the rear of the stabilizers, I test-fit and adjusted the elevators before setting them aside for later masking and painting.

I first primed the whole model with Model Master flat Light Gull Gray from a spray can, wet-sanding the dried paint with 800 and 1,000 grit sandpaper. I then scraped paint from the areas where the canopy parts would attach (Fig. 1).

I already had a complete airframe sans canopy. Since I'm suffering from aging eyesight, I wasn't pleased with the idea of masking and painting canopy interior framing from the inside, so I decided to cheat with layered external colors.

Copyright 2002 - Text and Photos by Mike Still (modelcitizen62). All Rights Reserved.

Project Photos

Figure 1

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