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World War II: Great Britain
Aircraft of Great Britain in WWII.
Spitfire Vb by Hobby Boss in 1/32 scale
SteveAndrews
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England - South East, United Kingdom
Joined: August 16, 2010
KitMaker: 424 posts
AeroScale: 295 posts
Posted: Tuesday, January 17, 2017 - 06:56 AM GMT+7
1/32 Spitfire Vb by Hobby Boss



A new year means a new project. Having spent 2016 wrestling with Italeriís Mirage IIIc, Iím switching my attention to what I hope will be a more straightforward build; Hobby Bossí 1/32 scale Spitfire Vb. Iíve read a few reviews and this seems to be a good kit. There are minor flaws and a few accuracy issues that can be fixed quite easily. Iím not a rivet counter, so a finished model that looks largely like a Spitfire Vb will be good enough for me. The aftermarket parts Iíve bought are mostly to help enhance the kit, and they are:

paint masks from PMask for the roundels and tail markings, and some alternative decals from Xtra decal;



Quickboost replacement stabilisers because the ones supplied in the kit aren't accurate; they show a canvas finish whereas the Vbís were made from metal, or so I read. I also bought the Quickboost propeller and exhausts. These don't look entirely necessary but weíll see as the build goes on;



Master Model replacement cannons. They add detail and definition.



Those are the parts. The plan is to make a straightforward build, only adding the aftermarket and a few scratch built items when they make a visible difference.

The Vb had a long life for a wartime fighter and that means a lot of paint options. They range from the early war green and brown through green and grey to the same with D-day invasion stripes. Itís that latter version Iím going for because it offers a lot of potential fun with weathering and painting, and also an interesting final model.



Luckily there is a wealth of reference material available on-line, including restored aircraft that look like they emerged through a time-warp into 2017. Here are the references Iíll be using:

http://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/234960702-supermarine-spitfire-mkv/

http://spitfiresite.com/2010/07/anatomy-of-spitfire-cockpit.html

http://gallery.kitmaker.net/showgallery.php/cat/23005

In addition Iíll look to wartime photos of Spitfires and other aircraft to try and keep the weathering authentic.

Thatís the plan, so pull up a chair, if you want to. Any and all views are always welcome, and so is advice and discussion about techniques, and anything at all.

Oh, and you just know that this is going to be playing in the background as I work, and yes I know the Vb wasn't operational during the period depicted, but by god sir it stirs an Englishmanís* loins! Time for a warm beer and fish and chips.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IFEXitPn1ko

Tally-ho!

*And possibly the loins of people from other countries whose pilots fought in Spitfires, including Poland, New Zealand, Canada. Czechoslovakia (as it was), Belgium, Australia, South Africa, France, Ireland, USA, Soviet Union, (as it was) Rhodesia, (as it was), Barbados, India, Portugal, Sweden, Greece, Egypt, Israel, Italy and others that my quick Google search didn't reveal.
c4willy
#305
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Christchurch, New Zealand
Joined: February 01, 2006
KitMaker: 1,254 posts
AeroScale: 1,107 posts
Posted: Tuesday, January 17, 2017 - 11:21 AM GMT+7
Hi Steve count me in! I've always been curious about the Hobbyboss offering I'll be interested to see what you make of it.

Cheers
Chris
AussieReg
#007
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Victoria, Australia
Joined: June 09, 2009
KitMaker: 5,304 posts
AeroScale: 3,380 posts
Posted: Tuesday, January 17, 2017 - 02:10 PM GMT+7
Likewise, chair pulled up front and centre for this one!

Cheers, D
SteveAndrews
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England - South East, United Kingdom
Joined: August 16, 2010
KitMaker: 424 posts
AeroScale: 295 posts
Posted: Tuesday, January 17, 2017 - 08:20 PM GMT+7
Hi Chris and Damian

Its a pleasure to have you along. I hope to start this week even if its just some basic assembly. The pace of work might be a little, er... relaxed, to start with too as I'm juggling different commitments.

Thanks for looking in and joining the fun.

All the best

Steve
SpeedyJ
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Bangkok, Thailand / ไทย
Joined: September 17, 2013
KitMaker: 554 posts
AeroScale: 121 posts
Posted: Wednesday, January 18, 2017 - 01:05 AM GMT+7
You can me me in as well. Interesting subject after seeing the French Dart coming along so well.

Regards,

Robert Jan
SteveAndrews
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England - South East, United Kingdom
Joined: August 16, 2010
KitMaker: 424 posts
AeroScale: 295 posts
Posted: Wednesday, January 18, 2017 - 10:55 PM GMT+7
Hi Jan

Welcome aboard. It's great to have you along, and I like your description of the Mirage.

With best wishes

Steve
KelticKnot
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Scotland, United Kingdom
Joined: May 11, 2015
KitMaker: 644 posts
AeroScale: 537 posts
Posted: Wednesday, January 18, 2017 - 11:03 PM GMT+7
After enjoying your Mirage build I'll be following along quite closely. Having NEVER built a spitfire in my life I feel its one of those things every aircraft enthusiast has to do at least once. Hoping to pick up some neat tricks
goodn8
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Berlin, Germany
Joined: October 12, 2008
KitMaker: 383 posts
AeroScale: 369 posts
Posted: Thursday, January 19, 2017 - 04:39 AM GMT+7

Quoted Text

..Having NEVER built a spitfire in my life I feel its one of those things every aircraft enthusiast has to do at least once.



Like me! Think you never can have enough (looking at somebody`s build of) Spitfires...

Kiddin`, for sure a Spit will sit on my workstation soon!
Following up you build, Steve!
Thomas
litespeed
Staff MemberNews Reporter
AEROSCALE
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England - North West, United Kingdom
Joined: October 15, 2009
KitMaker: 1,484 posts
AeroScale: 1,403 posts
Posted: Thursday, January 19, 2017 - 05:48 AM GMT+7
Really looking forward to watching you tackle the Hobbyboss Spit Steve. It's one of those kits that has been high on my "to acquire" list, but just never got round too.
All the best.
tim
Joel_W
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New York, United States
Joined: December 04, 2010
KitMaker: 7,763 posts
AeroScale: 6,443 posts
Posted: Thursday, January 19, 2017 - 06:09 AM GMT+7
Steve,
I really don't need to pull up my chair for this one, as I'm still seating in the one that I followed your Mirage IIIc build in. So let the fun begin. Can't wait to see how you handle those paint masks, as I'm also starting to think about converting to them when possible. But it's tough for an old dog like me to learn any new tricks.

Joel
SteveAndrews
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England - South East, United Kingdom
Joined: August 16, 2010
KitMaker: 424 posts
AeroScale: 295 posts
Posted: Monday, January 23, 2017 - 09:27 AM GMT+7
Hi guys

Wow, a knowledgeable audience. Gulp I feel the pressure already. It's great to see some old buddies from the Mirage build and meet some new guys.

Joel, Tim and Paul. Its a pleasure to have you along again. Thomas welcome and Robert, thanks for joining the fun (and apologies for calling you Jan in my earlier post).

Right, chocks away. We're off...
SteveAndrews
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England - South East, United Kingdom
Joined: August 16, 2010
KitMaker: 424 posts
AeroScale: 295 posts
Posted: Monday, January 23, 2017 - 09:30 AM GMT+7
A beginning is a very delicate time.

I find my approach to the first steps of a new kit sets the tone for the rest of the build. So I tend to start deliberately, checking references and thinking about what Iím doing. It means the progress is slow, but it also means I get to know the kit and its strengths and weaknesses, and this serves me well for the rest of the build.

My first impression of the Hobby Boss Spitfire Vb is that it is a good kit; not a great one but a good one. Its cheaper than a Tamiya Spitfire and more expensive than a Revell one, and that feels about right. The parts are well moulded and seem to reflect the real aircraft well. However there are some ejector pin marks in places that will be seen and some detail that can be enhanced. I like to add detail where it makes a difference. I don't reflect every rivet and bolt. I do selectively add detail to create an impression of the real part.

Construction starts with the seat, and this is the first area where I decided to add a little scratch built detail. Looking at references, I noticed the padding on the seat back is much more obvious than the part supplied, and thereís a little handle or hole that isn't moulded in. There is also an abundance of rivets. I decided not to replicate the rivets - too much work for not enough visual reward in my opinion. I focussed on the padding. At first I tried making it in one part - initially from card and then from Milliput. I didn't like either result and so I resorted to making each individual pad from a strip of card. This worked much better. I was able to sand and carve the curvature of each section and add some folds by cutting little nicks in each part. This approach gave me better control of the work. I started in the centre and worked outwards. Strips were left oversize when glued to the seat and then cut and sanded to match the line of the top.

This is what Hobby Boss offer





Hereís the seat back, almost finished with a final strip glued in but not yet cut and sanded to shape.



And hereís the final result.



Woo-hoo we are underway.

Happy modelling guys.
Joel_W
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New York, United States
Joined: December 04, 2010
KitMaker: 7,763 posts
AeroScale: 6,443 posts
Posted: Monday, January 23, 2017 - 09:42 AM GMT+7
Steve,
I'm totally amazed how you figured out how to construct a new seat back with scribed it to look like a leather covered back. Outstanding my friend in every sense of the word.

Joel
SteveAndrews
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England - South East, United Kingdom
Joined: August 16, 2010
KitMaker: 424 posts
AeroScale: 295 posts
Posted: Monday, January 23, 2017 - 10:22 AM GMT+7
Hi Joel

Thank you very much. It took some trial and error but once I got it worked out the process was pretty straightforward. What I haven't shown are the scratch built bits I discarded! I threw away about 50% of what I made because it was a bad fit or didn't look right. Those creases are V shaped cuts made with a knife and then smoothed out a little with Tamiya Extra Thin.

I used this reference to help figure out where the creases should go:

http://web.ipmsusa3.org/sites/default/files/reviews/spitfire-merlin-variant-walk-around/seat.jpg

Thanks again for looking in, and as always for the encouragement.

Steve.

SteveAndrews
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England - South East, United Kingdom
Joined: August 16, 2010
KitMaker: 424 posts
AeroScale: 295 posts
Posted: Monday, January 23, 2017 - 10:26 AM GMT+7
And now and appeal to all your Spitfire experts out there.

Should the Vb have a flare rack in front of the seat? The kit doesn't provide one but some references seem to show it.

Any advice is very welcome.

With thanks in advance.

S
Joel_W
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New York, United States
Joined: December 04, 2010
KitMaker: 7,763 posts
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Posted: Monday, January 23, 2017 - 10:39 AM GMT+7

Quoted Text

And now and appeal to all your Spitfire experts out there.

Should the Vb have a flare rack in front of the seat? The kit doesn't provide one but some references seem to show it.

Any advice is very welcome.

With thanks in advance.

S



Steve,
From my one Spitfire build I asked the same question, and it seems that the pilots more often then not had them removed as their legs constantly rubbed against it.

Joel
lespauljames
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England - South West, United Kingdom
Joined: January 06, 2007
KitMaker: 3,620 posts
AeroScale: 369 posts
Posted: Monday, January 23, 2017 - 11:17 AM GMT+7
I second Joel here on congratulating you on your seat back. That will addo a lot more life and visual interest to the tub. Looking forward to what other tricks you will pull out of the hat .
thegirl
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Alberta, Canada
Joined: January 19, 2008
KitMaker: 6,365 posts
AeroScale: 5,780 posts
Posted: Monday, January 23, 2017 - 11:48 AM GMT+7
nice job on the seat



Terri
SpeedyJ
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Bangkok, Thailand / ไทย
Joined: September 17, 2013
KitMaker: 554 posts
AeroScale: 121 posts
Posted: Monday, January 23, 2017 - 07:13 PM GMT+7
Hi Steve. I found this very useful making a start building several Spitfires Mk. IX. http://www.jonbius.com/edgar-brooks-spitfire-notes/
LSP Forum also did a tribute like Aeroscale. Some very nice builds over there too.

Kind regards,

Robert Jan
AussieReg
#007
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Victoria, Australia
Joined: June 09, 2009
KitMaker: 5,304 posts
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Posted: Monday, January 23, 2017 - 10:30 PM GMT+7
Loving that seat back, definitely worth the time taken. Cracking job.

Cheers, D
KelticKnot
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Scotland, United Kingdom
Joined: May 11, 2015
KitMaker: 644 posts
AeroScale: 537 posts
Posted: Tuesday, January 24, 2017 - 03:08 AM GMT+7
Excellent skills with the seat Steve, that looks very natural and is a huge improvement over the kit part.


Quoted Text

Those creases are V shaped cuts made with a knife and then smoothed out a little with Tamiya Extra Thin.



The glue trick is something I've learned recently and it's a good one ! It certainly helps smooth and blend shapes together.
SteveAndrews
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England - South East, United Kingdom
Joined: August 16, 2010
KitMaker: 424 posts
AeroScale: 295 posts
Posted: Tuesday, January 24, 2017 - 05:43 AM GMT+7
Joel and James, thanks very much, so its no flare rack. Unanimous!

Robert, that's a cool reference and thanks for sharing it. I've seen Edgar mentioned all over the place, and its great to have his knowledge in one place.

Terri, thanks for looking in. Wow, we have just a tiny bit of gender balance. You'll be an inspiration to my daughters. My oldest has already tackled a Meng Kids Kit.

Paul, and Damian, all I can say is it is great to give it a go. Trial and error are our friends, as is patience and cursing. And of course Tamiya extra thin.

Happy modelling folks

berndm
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Niedersachsen, Germany
Joined: March 26, 2014
KitMaker: 835 posts
AeroScale: 628 posts
Posted: Tuesday, January 24, 2017 - 08:07 PM GMT+7
Great start, your seat is a major improvement over the kit part.
SteveAndrews
_VISITCOMMUNITY
England - South East, United Kingdom
Joined: August 16, 2010
KitMaker: 424 posts
AeroScale: 295 posts
Posted: Monday, January 30, 2017 - 09:13 AM GMT+7
Hi Bernd

Thanks very much for dropping in and for the kind words on the seat.

With best wishes

Steve
SteveAndrews
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England - South East, United Kingdom
Joined: August 16, 2010
KitMaker: 424 posts
AeroScale: 295 posts
Posted: Monday, January 30, 2017 - 09:16 AM GMT+7
With a short weekend trip to London out of the way itís back to another British icon - the Spitfire. Assembling the lattice of tubes and brackets that hold the seat in place is tricky. There aren't many parts but they are a loose fit and have to be aligned perfectly. I used the bulkhead as a guide and did a lot of test fitting to obtain thisÖ



You can see where I used Mr Surfacer 500 to fill ejector pin marks. Thereís a nice photo etched armour plate provided with the kit to add some scale realism. I drilled out some of the holes to add a little diversity as shown in my references.

The seat has its fitting brackets added, and what I guess is the adjuster handle. Iím going to keep the seat and its bracket separate until painted to make life easier.



Hereís a little something to listen to as you look. It has no connection with the Spit, except perhaps that both are the best in their class.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9vbeilE0UrQ

Happy listening and happy modelling guys.