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Modelling Supermarine Spitfire PR Mk. XIX

The Complete Conversion Guide for 1/48 Scale

Part 2 - Detailing and Finishing

n by Jim Kiker


Detailing the Cockpit

I like to add a certain level of detail to my models, including the cockpit, wheel wells, and airframe. Here’s how I detailed the kit beyond the changes needed to convert the Mk XIV into a PR XIX.

The completed instrument panel. After painting the panel “scale black,” I picked out the raised instrument details in white, added a few additional markings, added some touches of colour to match my references, and added drops of gloss clear acrylic paint to the instruments to replicate the dials. The compass is from the KMC set. The white rectangle is a piece of bare plastic, providing me with a good place to glue in the camera control box later. Obviously, there were no gun sights in PR Spitfires!

This shot shows the camera controls mounted in the cockpit, much later in construction.

The completed seat assembly with armoured plate and fuselage frame no. 11. You can just see one end of the cockpit air dryer. This is a clear plastic container mounted on the PR XIX’s only, it holds desiccant to dry the cockpit air.

Completed cockpit sidewalls. The oxygen hose on the right side is scratchbuilt, as is the throttle quadrant on the left side. The two identical fuel control boxes can be seen on each side of the cockpit, near the front. 
I painted the interior British Gray-green, put a light wash of dark gray into all the nooks and crannies, and drybrushed the edges of most everything with silver. I kept a light touch here, going for a worn but fairly clean appearance

General Detailing

To produce the "mudguard" inside the tail wheel well, I shaped a bit of Sculpey modelling clay, fitted it into the opening, pushed the tail wheel into it to form the opening, and then baked the piece to harden it. It looks rough in the picture, but when painted, it looks the part.

Markings

There are several pictures of PS852, Powles’ favorite, and her sister ship PS854 taken from their sojourn in Hong Kong. These two airplanes went through several paint scheme changes during this period. I depicted the aircraft as she was painted in early 1952, when Mr. Powles had his brush with the Grim Reaper near the Mach. The basic scheme is Medium Sea Grey (MSG) on all upper surfaces with PRU Blue on the bottom. The RAF type “D” roundels appeared on the fuselage and upper wings only. A/c serial numbers were carried on the fuselage, and repeated on the bottom of the wings in black. Note that the underwing serials are smaller than those seen on other late-Mark Spitfires. A black anti-glare panel was added down the nose in front of the cockpit, just covering the top edge of the Griffon engine’s cylinder head covers. Per Mr. Powles’ description, the aircraft wore a white spinner.

Finishing Up

The cockpit canopy framing was masked and painted British Interior Green, then completed in MSG; note that the windscreen frames and the front frame of the sliding section are painted black. The model was painted with Floquil and Model Master paints, thinned with Dio Sol. I added two thin coats of clear Future before decaling and another coat over the decals.

The roundels and fin flash came from one of Aeromaster’s late mark Spitfire sheets, the serials from one of Extradecal’s RAF serial number sheets, and the underwing serials from Daco Products’ Belgian Spitfire codes and numbers sheet.

I put a thin oil wash into the panel lines, fairly dark (Payne’s Gray) in the engine panels, control surfaces, other removable panels, and in the panel lines on the bottom of the a/c; and a slightly lighter shade in the top side lines. The effect is fairly subtle, which I believe is more accurate for this aircraft.

A bit of exhaust streaking and a bit of silver paint chipping and wear on the wings (which doesn’t show much in the photos) were also added. .005” steel wire was added for the whip antenna and the short aerial on the tail warning fairing below the fuselage to complete construction. The final touch was a semi-flat coat of clear acrylic paint.

n


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