Wanderer's Sweeps the Desert Spitfire Mk. Vb

Wanderer's Sweeps the Desert Spitfire Mk. Vb

Postby Wanderer » 14 Dec 2017, 00:21

I have just ordered (and hope it arrived in time!) an Airfix 1:24 Spitfire Mk Vb with tropical chin radiator that will represent one of 666's aircraft from Sweeps the Desert. It will go nicely with some 1:24 pilot figures I have that will represent (most likely) Biggles, Algy, Ginger and someone else *(not necessarily Bertie).

s-l1600.jpg
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Re: Wanderer's Sweeps the Desert Spitfire Mk. Vb

Postby VickersVandal » 14 Dec 2017, 02:36

1/24 :shock:
That'll be one big fella!

Can't wait to see this one - especially with those figures!
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Re: Wanderer's Sweeps the Desert Spitfire Mk. Vb

Postby Fairblue » 14 Dec 2017, 09:35

Could I ask that when the finished photograph is taken that something is placed beside it for scale? I know this will be big but I can't visualise the size.
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Re: Wanderer's Sweeps the Desert Spitfire Mk. Vb

Postby Wanderer » 14 Dec 2017, 11:26

Fairblue wrote:Could I ask that when the finished photograph is taken that something is placed beside it for scale? I know this will be big but I can't visualise the size.

Certainly. At this scale is has a wingspan of approx 18 inches or 47 cm (three times, of course, of the common or garden 1:72 Airfic kit!) If I'd wanted something truly huge I'd have gone for the 1:24 Mosquito :-)
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Re: Wanderer's Sweeps the Desert Spitfire Mk. Vb

Postby Frecks » 14 Dec 2017, 12:10

1/24 is half the scale of my figures so I can imagine it quite well. I am really looking forward to seeing the aircraft and the figures.
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Re: Wanderer's Sweeps the Desert Spitfire Mk. Vb

Postby kylie_koyote » 14 Dec 2017, 12:12

Wow that looks amazing! I can't wait.
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Re: Wanderer's Sweeps the Desert Spitfire Mk. Vb

Postby Babanango » 16 Dec 2017, 19:28

I can't wait to see this monster finished. I thought about getting one a while back, but then didn't know where to put it once it was finished. I've built some WW1 kits in 1/24, and they take up way more space that I'm comfortable with. Here's a size comparison of a 1/24 SPAD next to a 1/72 SPAD.

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Re: Wanderer's Sweeps the Desert Spitfire Mk. Vb

Postby Wanderer » 03 Jan 2018, 02:58

OK. Kit has arrived and am just off to get the paint... Its a rather big beast some 192 parts although not all will be used. Quality of parts variable with fuselage and wings looking like a bit of fiddling will be needed to get everything to fit properly. The pilot figure is excellent so I won't need to chase another "after market" replacement. Some other components may well be worth replacing....

20180102_134651s.jpg

20180102_134553s.jpg

20180102_134634s.jpg
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Re: Wanderer's Sweeps the Desert Spitfire Mk. Vb

Postby 266 » 03 Jan 2018, 04:12

That should keep you busy for a while...
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Re: Wanderer's Sweeps the Desert Spitfire Mk. Vb

Postby kylie_koyote » 03 Jan 2018, 12:22

That looks enormous! Wishing you the very best of luck with that. I wouldn't know where to begin!
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Re: Wanderer's Sweeps the Desert Spitfire Mk. Vb

Postby Fairblue » 03 Jan 2018, 12:35

Me neither. At least with a jigsaw puzzle you have corners and edges to start with.
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Re: Wanderer's Sweeps the Desert Spitfire Mk. Vb

Postby Wanderer » 04 Jan 2018, 09:44

...its a bit like the old puzzle "how do you eat an elephant" - one bite at a time. In this case, three coats of Humbrol Azure Blue for the underside, Mid Stone for the rest of the outer surfaces (the Dark Earth camouflage will be added after assembly), Cockpit Green for the inside and black and gunmetal for the machinery. The main parts of the Merlin engine (in black) are in the middle of the box and will shortly be going together. A pair of scissors and a Stanley Knife for scale, for those who are interested. Also a collection of Humbrol tins that cost nearly as much as the kit.... For someone used to building 1:350 aircraft carriers, this kit is neither all that large or all that complicated.

The colour scheme is essentially identical to that the USAF used for its Spitfire Vbs in North Africa during the winter of 1943. Although Sweeps the Desert is set about a year earlier I am fairly certain everyone was doing something similar. If anyone can give me a clue as to what lettering 666 Squadron might have used at the time, it would be most appreciated.

20180104_191303s.jpg
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Re: Wanderer's Sweeps the Desert Spitfire Mk. Vb

Postby Wanderer » 06 Jan 2018, 13:57

The first sub-assembly - the Rolls Royce Merlin 45 V12 engine rated at 1440 h.p. with propeller.

I am assuming that 666 would have received early VB(Trop) aircraft with the large Volkes chin radiator and the more pointed propeller boss of the Rotol propeller rather than the earlier De Havilland propeller - the photo has the shorter rounded boss of the latter type just for comparison here so you will see the difference on the finished aircraft. It does not yet have the distinctive exhaust pipes added as these go on the model after its fitted into the fuselage.

The model will also have the 2 x cannon, 4 x machine gun armament typical of this model rather than the 8 x machine guns of earlier Spitfires, but will have the original rounded rather than clipped wing that was standard a little later than I believe the book is set (around mid-1941).

The Airfix kit is delightfully crude and I think I should have gone for the Trumpeter one, but thems the breaks.

20180106_232214s.jpg
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Re: Wanderer's Sweeps the Desert Spitfire Mk. Vb

Postby Wanderer » 21 Jan 2018, 08:31

21-01-2018s.jpg

Some progress to report. The four internal bulkheads in place with seat and pedal mechanism.
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Re: Wanderer's Sweeps the Desert Spitfire Mk. Vb

Postby Fairblue » 21 Jan 2018, 11:11

Wanderer wrote:Some progress to report. The four internal bulkheads in place with seat and pedal mechanism.

Excellent. Looking forward to seeing the finished article.
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Re: Wanderer's Sweeps the Desert Spitfire Mk. Vb

Postby Wanderer » 03 Feb 2018, 13:39

20180203_212218s.jpg

Fuselage assembled with engine in place. Unfortunately it is a bit short so the exhausts don't match the fairings properly. Not a great issue as will be reassembled with the radiator removed. Should have gone with Trumpeter and not Airfix...
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Re: Wanderer's Sweeps the Desert Spitfire Mk. Vb

Postby kylie_koyote » 04 Feb 2018, 14:16

It's coming along nicely. I'm impressed with your dedication to the craft.
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Re: Wanderer's Sweeps the Desert Spitfire Mk. Vb

Postby Fairblue » 04 Feb 2018, 15:41

kylie_koyote wrote:It's coming along nicely. I'm impressed with your dedication to the craft.

Me too. I most definitely wouldn't have the patience to do it.
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Re: Wanderer's Sweeps the Desert Spitfire Mk. Vb

Postby Wanderer » 04 Feb 2018, 23:55

20180204_185112s.jpg

20180204_185142s.jpg

Looking a bit more like a plane. Because this is Bigglesverse, my Vb has an extra pair of machine guns :-) It will need a fair bit of coaxing to get the engine panels to fit anywhere near correctly. The propeller also needs work - you might note the broader blades and pointy boss of the "correct" propeller for this model compared to the one posted earlier. Biggles' Spitfire had a blue boss from memory so it might get a repaint. However, I have rather decided that the pilot figure looks more like a Bertie than any of the others, so this may end up as his Spitfire from the book.
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Re: Wanderer's Sweeps the Desert Spitfire Mk. Vb

Postby Spitfire666 » 05 Feb 2018, 09:21

Wanderer wrote: Biggles' Spitfire had a blue boss from memory so it might get a repaint. However, I have rather decided that the pilot figure looks more like a Bertie than any of the others, so this may end up as his Spitfire from the book.

Very nice, Wanderer; I like your thinking :!:
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Re: Wanderer's Sweeps the Desert Spitfire Mk. Vb

Postby Fairblue » 05 Feb 2018, 09:51

Wanderer wrote:However, I have rather decided that the pilot figure looks more like a Bertie than any of the others, so this may end up as his Spitfire from the book.

Now I'd really like to see that, Wanderer.
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Re: Wanderer's Sweeps the Desert Spitfire Mk. Vb

Postby 266 » 10 Feb 2018, 01:58

Good progress! Hope to catch up soon....
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Re: Wanderer's Sweeps the Desert Spitfire Mk. Vb

Postby Wanderer » 13 Feb 2018, 01:25

Bertie's Spitfire, first coat of camouflage on and rubbed down for a second coat - rear of fuselage still to be done.

20180213_111535.jpg
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Re: Wanderer's Sweeps the Desert Spitfire Mk. Vb

Postby kylie_koyote » 13 Feb 2018, 02:01

Nice progress!
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Re: Wanderer's Sweeps the Desert Spitfire Mk. Vb

Postby Babanango » 13 Feb 2018, 03:28

The camo really brings this bird to life. Camo patterns have always interested me, whether on uniforms, on aircraft, or some of the naval "dazzle" types. Perhaps it's because in my youth in the Marines I spent hours staring at the camouflaged back of the man marching in front of me, analyzing the details of the camouflage pattern. Boredom on a long march will cause you to focus on anything just to pass the time!

The RAF's desert scheme is an interesting one. For British-built aircraft that had been in earth/green scheme, they apparently left the Dark Earth where it was and just painted Middlestone over the factory Dark Green. But when USA-built aircraft like the P-40 began to arrive painted in overall USA olive drab, they applied RAF desert scheme with reversed colors, painting Middlestone where the Dark Earth would have been on a British factory-built plane. Somewhere there was a whole bureaucratic mechanism that managed the when and why of applying camouflage to particular aircraft.
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Re: Wanderer's Sweeps the Desert Spitfire Mk. Vb

Postby Fairblue » 13 Feb 2018, 23:22

Babanango wrote: Somewhere there was a whole bureaucratic mechanism that managed the when and why of applying camouflage to particular aircraft.

And I have a book in the Montrose Museum Iibrary which seeks to justify all that.
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Re: Wanderer's Sweeps the Desert Spitfire Mk. Vb

Postby Wanderer » 09 Mar 2018, 14:47

20180309_232133s.jpg


Coming along rapidly now, canons, aerial and some cockpit details and glazing to be added. Bertie assembled but not yet painted!

I have used the markings of the No. 401 Squadron RCAF Mark V YO-Q that actually had the clipped wings and standard radiator. My justification is that for such a sensitive mission every effort would have been put into subterfuge to prevent spies from guessing that this batch of machines were destined for "Special Ops" Squadron 666 - any further suspicion 666 were off to the Middle East would have led to some questions.

In reality the camouflage would have been sprayed so the transition between the two shades of brown would have been far less distinct, but it will do for a "3d Sketch".
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Re: Wanderer's Sweeps the Desert Spitfire Mk. Vb

Postby Fairblue » 09 Mar 2018, 16:02

Wanderer wrote:
20180309_232133s.jpg


Coming along rapidly now, canons, aerial and some cockpit details and glazing to be added. Bertie assembled but not yet painted!

I have used the markings of the No. 401 Squadron RCAF Mark V YO-Q that actually had the clipped wings and standard radiator. My justification is that for such a sensitive mission every effort would have been put into subterfuge to prevent spies from guessing that this batch of machines were destined for "Special Ops" Squadron 666 - any further suspicion 666 were off to the Middle East would have led to some questions.

In reality the camouflage would have been sprayed so the transition between the two shades of brown would have been far less distinct, but it will do for a "3d Sketch".

Marvellous, Wanderer. Can't wait to see Bertie.
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Re: Wanderer's Sweeps the Desert Spitfire Mk. Vb

Postby kylie_koyote » 09 Mar 2018, 16:37

Very well done :salute:

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Re: Wanderer's Sweeps the Desert Spitfire Mk. Vb

Postby fredleander » 09 Mar 2018, 17:06

Good show! I haven't read this book so I wonder - what kind of aircraft did the opposition fly...?

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