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Build Report: Revell’s 1/48 Spitfire Mk. II

Dr. Bob Fisher, my good friend and fellow Lafayette Scale Modelers club member (our local IPMS chapter)  is even more of a Spitfire nut than I am, I think. So I consider him a true scholar and gentleman. 🙂 He sent me photos of a Revell Mk. II he’d recently finished as a bit of a nostalgia build, and after I asked him to write a short build report, he graciously did so. It’s great to see these classic models built up so nicely. And it proves you can have a lot of fun even if the kit isn’t the latest marvel of engineering! Thanks so much Bob!

To break away from building the next greatest kit with the latest aftermarket additions, I returned to my youth and relied on my skills to build a kit from the past.  The Revell Spitfire is not a box shaker, nor a refined high-tech amalgamation of superb parts.  What it is though is a real kit from the days of running home with the latest dollar model to squeeze out the tube of glue on, and then paint it, with brush, in fine Pactra colors.  This was an adventure into the past with great satisfaction.

To begin the kit shows relatively few signs of age.  For a kit from the early 70s, the parts are clean and flash free.  The clear parts are free of defect and test fitting shows a clean fit.  Now I had my years of building to see what I could do and keep this build fun.  I began with the cockpit area.  Here is where I broke from tradition and used an Ultracast seat.  While there is good raised detail on the instrument panel, I chose to use decals for the instruments from an old Pro Modeler decal sheet for British aircraft.  I used a base coat of RAF green, then washed the recesses with thinned burnt umber oils and did a quick dry brushing with lightened base colors.

Construction went off without a hitch and the interior was completed quickly.  There is one part that looks like a radio that is mounted to the back of the seat frame.  Since this does not appear on any Spitfire I’ve ever seen, I simply left it off.  Once the interior was finished it was placed in the fuselage and the halves glued together.  The fit is equal to any kit out today.

From this point, the wings were glued together and fitted to the fuselage.  While there was some fit problems it only applied in the forward areas, and the rest of the wing join was smooth.  The tailplanes were then glued in place and the fit was fine.  The landing gear and propeller parts were cleaned up for painting as they would be added later, after painting.  I attached the rear and forward canopy parts at this time, before painting. All clear parts were masked with Tamiya tape.

Unlike the last time I built this kit, I would be painting it with my airbrush, rather than my stock of ten cent paint brushes.  I have a dwindling stock of Aeromaster warbirds colors and used them on this kit.  I preshaded the entire kit panel lines with weathered grey railroad colors.  The underside was painted Ocean Grey panel by panel for highlighting effect.  Sky type S was used to paint the fuselage stripe and propeller hub.  The top side was camouflaged in RAF Dark Grey and Dark Green, painted freehand with my Iwata HP-C.  Wheels and propeller were painted in black and steel.  After painting I coated the kit with Testor’s Glosscoat for applying the decals.

I wanted to have this Spitfire represent a Mk II from 350 Squadron (Belgian), in 1941.  This was easy, since I had a picture of this bird and a full complement of spare decals.  I used Aeromaster and SuperScale decals, with the Belgian flags from an old sheet.  The only problem was the smaller serial numbers.  After searching the spare sheets, I finally printed the serial numbers out on the computer and made my own decals for this.  I did some minor weathering to the hinge areas, and impressed panels.

The next step was to spray on a coat of Testors Dullcoat.  Once this was dry, I removed the maskings, and assembled the propeller and landing gear.  These were glued to the model, and the middle canopy was glued in place using watch crystal cement.  The fiddly bits were added and an antennae made from expanding thread was glued into place.  The only concern I have is the weak contact points of the landing gear, but they seem solid so far.

This was a great build, and really shows how well these older kits can compete with the newer ones out today.  With some experience, I had fun with this kit.  I like it and it will make a good addition to my Spitfire collection.  It really goes back to the enjoyment of this hobby.