Step by step building guide of Spitfire airplane in 1/48 scale, part 2
Piotr "Słoma" Słomiński needs no introduction. Well known for his detailed and precise made model kits of warships and airplanes, this time mad a kit for us! It's a Spitfire Mk.IX in 1/48 scale made by Eduard. Here's a second part of our guide. First one can be seen here:
Phase II - Finishing the build and painting.
At this point we have to decide which variant of this airplane we'll be building. We have a choice of upper wing variants. I chose to build the Spitfire flown by Stanisław Skalski, coded ZX 6. So i glued the proper parts together. As earlier, everything fit very well, so I could attach the wing to the fuselage along with other details.
My miniature started taking shape.
Parts were glued together using extra thin Tamiya glue, which was lightly let into the gaps between parts.
After gluing the wingtips…
…I moved to the details on the underside of the airplne. First all of the cleaned up parts were painted black.
Radiators were drybrushed with metallic paint and inner sides of the intakes were painted with the base colour of the plane's underside - Azure Blue. Mr. Hobby C370.
I glued them to the wing.
Undercarriage elements were next in queue. I cleaned the up with very fine sandpaper. When all parts were ready I put them aside, because I'll glue them later.
Before painting - I had to glue the transparent parts of the canopy. Painting masks included in the set are very useful for painting those parts. Instructions are clear as to where put them. Fit is also very good.
Of course part of the surface has to be covered with masking fluid, but that's not a problem.
Because I chose variant with an open canopy, I glued only the front and back panel. I will paint the moving part separately and glue it at the very end.
For securing the transparencies I used Micro Kristal Klear. When dry, it creates a transparent bond that doesn't react with plastic.
With two strips of masking tape I secured the parts to the fuselage and left for the glue to dry...
…switching in the meantime to the "propeller section". As usual, I started with cleaning up all the neccessary parts.
There wasn't much work, so I could go the painting fast. First - I painted the prop tips (using Mr. Hobby C329) yellow,
which I masked off after the paint dried.
Then, I painted the hubcap and the blades black (using Mr. Hobby C33).
To achieve the effect of a "propeller in use" I have to weather it a bit :-)
Very helpful was an AK Interactive 088 Worn Effects fluid, which I sprayed on the elements using an airbrush. It's a fluid which separates the colours. Paint put on top of it, after moistening with water, easily peels off, revealing the underside colour. It's a great way of imitating paint chips and scratches. However you must remember not to overdo it. Depending on the desired look we can remove the paint using short, stiff paintbrush, toothpick, tip of the hobby knife or sharply pointed tweezers.
After moistening with water, I brushed the spinner blades with a rough paintbrush. Fading effect became irregular thus more realistic and natural looking.
Hubcap was scratched with a pointed tweezers, to uncover some black from under the red paint.
After gluing the parts together I sealed it all with semi-matt varnish. I used Alclad – Klear Kote Light Sheen.
I finished the weathering effects using watercolour pencils making very delicate scratches, chips and streaks. You have to have the pencils well sharpened and just draw with them. They are safe to use, because if don't like the effect, we can just wipe it off and start again.
Ok, further we go… When the canopy parts dried, I had to mask off the cockpit interior before painting the model. I used some sponge pieces, which I carefully put in the opening.
Wherever possible, I used Tamiya masking tape. I cut it to proper shape with a sharp blade.
Finally at the end - just to be sure no paint will come through - I sealed the tape ends using masking fluid Mr. Masking Sol Neo.
And now I have everything ready to begin the painting process.
I had to remember that the canopy frames were gray-green from the inside (Mr. Hobby C364), thus it was the first color that I sprayed onto the canopy. On the transparent plastic it will be visible from the inside.
Next step was to paint the whole aircraft silver Mr. Hobby C008. The exception were the elevators and rudder. On the real machine they were fabric covered as a primer I used a color similar to this i.e. Mr. Hobby C44 Tan. All the paint was done with an airbrush. Paint put in the cup has to be of a consistency similar to milk. For thinning it's best to use dedicated thinner. Because I mainly paint with Mr. Hobby series C paints i.e. Mr.Color, I use Levelling Thinner of the same brand which also acts as paint retarder which facilitates airbrush painting.
PLaces most exposed for exploatation (like engine and armament covers, wing that pilot walked on to the cockpit) were sprayed with aforementioned Worn Effects fluid. It will help me to create some chipping and scrathes later on.
Now it's time for preshading. It's a method of creating a grid of lines along the panel lines and all the places we think suitable, using much darker colours than the model's final paint. On such prepared preshading I paint the main colour in a thin layer as not cover it completely. On a finished miniature it'll give us an illusion of some play of light and aging of the painting layer. The model would be in a desert camopuflage so I preshaded the upper surfaces with Mr. Hobby C029…
…and the lower were preshaded with Mr. Hobby C328.
Also in a form of preshading I made a basis for the gun streaks and shell ejection ports. I used heavily thinned Mr.Color C033 – black.
As first camouflage colour, I painted the undersides with Mr.Color C370 Azure blue. I sprayed the paint from the panels center to their edges, be careful of not covering the preshading completely.
Not cleaning up the airbrush I put some white paint in the cup which mixed with the rest of the blue. With such mixture, I highlighted some chosen places.
Underside was ready. Before continuing painting the upper side, I have to mask off the color transition lines. Again Tamiya masking tape was put to use. It's worth taking care to weaken the tape's glue a bit by sticking it onto a hand or some clothing. Paint sprayed onto silver painted surfaces has a tendency of lifting off while removing the tape. This can also happen if we sprayed paint onto greasy plastic.
I started painting upper camouflage ith the darker colour i.e. Mr. Hobby C369 Dark earth. I sprayed it with a little surplus, only in places where it occured.
Similarly as with the undersides, I chose to highlight some elements. So, as I wrote earlier, I didn't clean the airbrush after C369 colour, only poured some thinned Mr. Hobby C045 Sail color. Again - you need to control the highlighting as not to overdo it. In case it happens, it can be toned down with a delicate mist of base colour.
When the paint thoroughly dried I masked off the darker camouflage spots. I used for this so called panzer putty. It's in a plasticine form that can be shpaed esily and it don't leave any grasy residue. Also - it's reusable. After finished work, you remove it from the model and lock away in its container. You have to remember, however, that you can't leave the masking for long - putty simply runs down from the model after some time - well there's no rose without a thorn. You have to plan your work to paint right after masking with this putty.
I started with a thin roll to make a proper shape of camouflage spots
and then I filled in the inside.
When all the places were masked I applied the lighter camouflage colour Mr. Hobby C021 Middle stone. As with previous paints, I highlighted some elements with a thinned down mix of it and a lighter tone (C045).
After removing the masks I was happy with the result.
Skalski aircraft had a very distinct fuel stain that manifested as a discoloured paint. I wanted to recreate it. So I cut out from the Tamiya masking tape a shape similar to it.
I sprayed there lighter colour of Mr. Hobby C336.
Base turned out OK, rest of the effect I'll make when finishing the miniature.
After the camouflage was ready and paint dried I varnished the model with a gloss coat of Mr. Hobby C046. The smooth surface not only protects the colours but also makes applying the decals, washes and other weathering effects much easier. At this stage I do not recommend using widely known Future or Sidolux. While creating various effects, there is a risk that used products might dissolve it thus destroying the surface.
Nest step was to paint the yellow bands on the leading edges of the wings. Again a proper masking was neccessary. First I sprayed them with white...
I removed the masks and - voilla!
It's time for the decals. Applying them is nothing difficult. I followed the instructions. One thing worth mentioning is thay I used some Microscale liquids while doing this. Micro Set was applied underneath the decal. It enables easier positioning and good adhesion to the surface. Micro Sol was used on top of the decals, after it's placed. It softens the markings making it conform nicely to any reccesses, rivets and other irregularities of the surface.
When all of the decals were applied I put the model aside to let them dry. Then I'll cover them again with clear varnish.
I used the decals drying time to prepare the undercarriage elements. I painted the parts in proper colours. Tyres were sprayed with Mr.Color C033, while places around rims were highlighted using Mr.Color C127 Tire black.
After that I glued together all of the parts that could be assembled at this point but I didn't glue them to the wings yet... It will come later.
It was time to paint the exhausts. I used paintbrush and a Lifecolor UA 701 paint. When the paint dried I drybrushed the exhaust tips black. It was a base for further finishing with pigments.
We've reached the end of second part of the our Spitfire building guide. Soon there will be final part with rest of the steps and a gallery of the finished model!