Thursday, April 29, 2010

BarracudaCals is having a 30% off sale? THUD!!

That *thud* you heard was not customers passing out from excitement! It was the sound of P-47s going on sale!

BarracudaCals has 6 new sheets on the way, and we need to make room!

For a limited time, all P-47 Thunderbolt decals sheets in all scales are marked down 30%. We're moving em out, folks. Our prices are IN-SANE!!! Crazy Roy has lost his mind this time. Better snap up these little gems before he comes to his senses...

Go to the website and click on the p-47 sheets. You will see a red "discounts apply" next to the title of each sheet. The price shown is the regular price, but fear not! When you add them to your shopping cart, then go to checkout, you will see the discount applied, even before you have to start filling out ordering info.

Remember, BarracudaCals has free shipping on decals for orders over a certain amount. This offer still applies even to sale merchandise, but to get the free shipping, your actual order total must exceed the stated amounts. See website for details.
A selection of some of the interesting and colorful schemes we have available.

The six new sheets will be announced in the next week or so.

And the long overdue answer to the big question everyone is asking; Yes, the Spitfire parts in 1/32 are coming. I am finishing them up as we speak, and there will be announcements next week regarding the launch of Barracuda Cast and what you can expect to see released first.

Thanks, and happy modelling! Roy

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Spitfire HF VII in 1/72. Part 6 of 6

This view shows well the high altitude wingtips and the dramatic look of the Starkey stripes applied to them. Clicking on these images will give you much larger views, which is not necessarily a good thing with such a tiny model!

After the decals had dried overnight, the model was wiped down with a wet paper towel to remove excess decal adhesive that could later turn brown and stain the finished model. The airbrush was loaded with Future, and the decals were overcoated to blend them in with the rest of the models finish. This is an important step, as applying flat or satin coats over dissimilar finishes will not always lead to a uniform finish.

The panel lines were given a wash consisting of a dark grey mixed from Testors enamel and thinned with mineral spirits. This is left to dry for 20 minutes, then carefully removed with a tightly folded cotton cloth lightly moistened with thinner. This will take off the excess dried wash without harming the Future glosscoat or paint underneath. Undersurfaces were treated with a wash of medium grey, so as not to be too stark of a contrast.

Once the panel lines were completed, light exhaust and gunblast staining was airbrushed on with a thinned brownish black enamel paint. Enamel is used because it can be easily removed it it does not turn out well. Keep the exhaust staining on Spits to a minimum, unless you are depicting an aircraft just returned from a long mission. Real Spitfire cowlings seemed to have been wiped down after most ops.
The 1/72 Hasegawa Spit IX is not a perfect kit, but makes a pretty decent looking 2 stage Merlin Spitfire with minimum effort.

Fuel, oil and grease stains were added to logical points such as fuel fillers, access panels, hinge points, etc. at this point with a fine brush. After a few quick touchups, the model was given a light satin coat using Testors Dullcoat with some Glosscoat mixed in to give it a slight sheen. More subtle staining was added using pastel chalks, and sealed with another coat of Satin.

The cockpit was unmasked and final assembly begun. The prepainted seat, stick and gunsight were now installed. Adding them at this point prevents having them damaged during the building and finishing stages. The sliding canopy came from a Falcon Vac canopy set and was carefully cut out and sanded to shape.The frames were masked off and painted. It fit beautifully on my scratchbuilt canopy rails. I... uh, planned it that way. Yeah. It wasn't just dumb luck or anything.
The underside, showing the Starkey Stripes that cover the underwing roundels. Stripes were only applied for a day or two.

The gearlegs were added and the angles carefully checked with side and frontview photos of the real deal. They were also aligned with each other. The importance of getting the gearlegs on correctly cannot be overstated. I have seen many a beautiful model with the gearlegs installed with too little forward rake, especially on Fw-190s and P-51 Mustangs. The result is a model with the nose too high in the air. It ruins an otherwise nice build.

Wheels were then added and the angles carefully set. Geardoors and tailwheel came next. The exhausts were painted a very dark grey and stippled with a rust color. Earlier, the prop and spinner had been painted and assembled. The blade roots were drilled out and a .014" diameter wire was superglued into the drilled hole. the blade mounting holes in the spinner were drilled out to accept these wire pins. Pinning prop blades is a great way to add strength and ease assembly. When ready to add the blades, glue is placed on the wires, which are then slid into place. You have time to bend the mounting pin to set the correct blade pitch and alignment. Once the glue sets, it is unlikely that the props will be broken off in the future. Unless you have kids, cats, or other human beings that can get within pawing distance your models.
Resist the temptation to weather the stripes, as they were not carried long enough to get dirty and faded.

Pitot tube, antenna mast, and other small parts were added , and the project was pretty much completed. Minor touchups here and there addressed some minor finish flaws and she was done!

In reviewing the photos for this article, I realized two problems. First, the rearview mirror has gone missing, and second, that the belts stop at the top of the seat. I have to make a Y-strap that disappears through the slot in the head armor and is attached to the top of the shoulder harness straps. Oops! Gotta go back and fix those issues.

All in all, an enjoyable project. I was not feeling the Starkey stripes after unmasking. Even with the decals on, it looked a little strange to my eye. When I applied the panel wash and the weathering, suddenly it looked like part of the aircraft, and I have come to like the look quite a bit. It is certainly quite different looking from the average Spitfire, as the stripes really accentuate the long span wings.

Note the tightly sprayed freehand camouflage applied with a Paasche H airbrush. With practice, this is not beyond the skills of a moderately experienced modeler.

That completes this series on building the Spitfire HF VII in 1/72nd scale. I hope you enjoyed it, because with how much work it was to put together, you wont be seeing another build article here anytime soon! Who knows. Once I've forgotten what a pain it is, I will probably do another... then kick myself for doing it.

Next posts on this Blog will be more business related, with some announcements of new stuff. Yes, new stuff IS coming soon.

Happy modelling! Roy

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Spitfire HF VII in 1/72. Part 5 of 6

Subtle post shading and a breakup pass makes the scheme a little less "flat" looking.

Adding new painting and finishing tricks to your repertoire helps keep your skills sharp and your modelling from stagnating and projects from getting dated looking. Back in the 80s and 90s, washes and drybrushing ruled, especially in armor. When you look at photos of some of the models from the more extreme drybrush and wash days, they look a little odd... OK, some of them look positively freaky. Drybrushing and washes are excellent tools when used sparingly, but like all fads, some tend to think that more is better, and even more is even more better-er.

Subtle panel washes, to my way of thinking, add depth to the shadows cast by full scale panel lines. There is no way that a small scale model's panel lines can reproduce that look without a little help. Taken to extremes, it looks harsh and forced. Done subtly, it adds realism, IMHO.

Drybrushing does the opposite. it helps small detail stand out from the surrounding area by carefully painting the edges and high points a lighter color. This simulates the reflection of light caused by full scale details. Taken to extreme, it looks like an artificial Christmas tree (or non-denominational celebration shrub) that has been flocked with artificial snow.

Pre and post shading are relatively new to the hobby, having become popular in the last decade or maybe longer (didn't look at my watch when the fad was born). The idea is to spray a darkened shade of the camouflage paint along some panel lines to add visual interest and depth. In the hands of a good painter such as Chris Wauchop, it can look very authentic. Overdone, it can start to look more like Kabuki makeup. It is not a good idea to shade ALL of the kits panel lines. You can end up with a weird patchwork quilt look. I try to his some of the more major panel lines, and again not all of them, and not to the same extent. It is a battle for me to find a good balance of post shading, where it is dark enough to be seen, but not so dark that it looks overdone. Subtlety is the key to weathering aircraft models.
Walkway stripes are included on the sheet, but I prefer to paint mine on. Masking in progress.

Finally, the breakup pass. I learned about this when I was working in movie modelmaking at ILM . I did a lot of painting on Star Wars Episode II. I worked with some great painters, and learned a lot. The idea behind the breakup pass (this is what they called it) is to add subtle color variation and visual texture to large single color areas.

If you really look at any real painted outdoor surface that is not freshly applied, you will find that it is not one color. Weathering and age plays havoc on painted surfaces. Notice the fine dust coat that has been speckled and streaked by morning dew and rain. Notice the slight variations in color. This is what the breakup pass seeks to simulate. Artists and movie special effects guys have been using these tricks for many, many years. We have not discovered anything new. We are just finally getting around to making it our own. And the line between model making and art blurs...

As this model is 1/72nd scale, there is not a lot of canvas available to get too involved in the more artistic aspects of weathering. To postshade a color, I simply add a drop of black to the base camouflage color (lets say ocean grey in this case) and go back and spray carefully along selected panel lines to darken them somewhat. This should be kept fairly tight, in that you do not want the shadow straying too far into the surrounding panel, but not so tight that it looks like a hard line. Vary the intensity. I may also add some fairly light and narrow lines between panel lines in larger scales to simulate rows of rivets, but this should be VERY subtle. Just hinted at, really.

Wheels were sprayed with Tamiya rattlecan silver. A black wash pops out the detail.

Finally, the breakup pass is done by loading the base color into the airbrush and adding a drop or two of white. I start by spraying a random pattern of spots, shapes and squiggles over the base color. The key word here is random, not a series of similarly sized spots evenly distributed over the surface. Some areas with larger spots, some areas with light coverage and some with a mix. Be careful of a subconscious repeating of random patterns. Make sure you are not making it symmetrical. Again, keep it subtle. It should be hinted at. You can also go back with the base color and darken it a hair, or add a drop of yellow or green, and do some very light breakup.

Be aware that a panel wash, gloss coat and decals will tone down the look. If it is TOO subtle, you may with up with a breakup that is hardly noticeable. There is no magic formula. Look at models you like. Study what they did and strive to repeat it. Practice. Build and paint some models. Do some quickie builds to get practiced at it.

Now that the camo painting is done, I sprayed a coat of Future thinned with a drop or two of water to help my older bottle flow a little better. Future is wonderful stuff. Makes the fragile Tamiya paints tough and sandable. It was left overnight to dry, then it was time to make with the decals, baby.
Resin prop blades are drilled and pinned with stiff wire for strength. This also helps in aligning them while the glue sets.

Decals come, of course, from Barracudacals, sheet number 72004 to be specific. Shameless plugs ARE my bag, baby! As nice as the model would look with the upperwing roundels in place, it is very unlikely that they were not overpainted for the Starkey missions, so were left off on this model. The underwing roundels and trestle markings were also not used as the stripes covered them over. The markings are confined to the fuselage on this build with the exception of some stencils on the wing, tailplanes and prop blades.

With all the decals on now, it is starting to look like the finish line is within sight.

Some have expressed concern with BarracudaCals' rendition of British Roundel Red. They worry that it is too rust brown or terra cotta colored. Surely, the red should be more... well... RED! Most kit decals print them as such, but this is not correct. I have carefully matched the roundel red color to the paint chips in the RAF Museum Guide book on British camouflage in WWII, as well as color chips found in the old Aircraft of the Fighting Powers books publish during the war. Our roundel red is a good match.

I'd gush on about how wonderful the decals were; how well researched they are and how well they go down on the model, but that would be crass. You'll not find me saying that they are thin, beautifully printed, and very thoroughly injured. Huh? Injured??? Wow, I just typed that as I was fading off into a short episode of microsleep. Guess I'm more tired than I thought. LOL. Researched... very thoroughly researched. Yes, you won't catch me saying anything self-serving about my own products like that. At least not until I go take a quick nap to wake myself up a bit.

OK, I'm back again. The decals worked extremely well (they almost applied themselves, and thats not hyperbole. OK, it is.), and the model was left to dry overnight. Coincidentally, at this point, the article on building this model will also be left to dry overnight. This is a good place to stop. Maybe not for you, but I have some other things that need my attention tonight.

The final installment will follow shortly. It will cover the final push to completion, and will feature a number of photos of the finished build. See you back here soon for more fun with plastic.

Happy modelling! Roy

Monday, April 12, 2010

Spitfire HF VII in 1/72. Part 4 of 6

The white painted wingtips are now masked in preparation for the black stripes to be painted.

Here again, with part 4 of what is now a 6 part article. I have revised the installment numbers as I forgot to include the first installment written and posted last year. I have also expanded the series to include a 6th installment, as there are a lot of in-progress photos to share. There was a little delay in getting this blog posting finished and online. There was a model contest yesterday in lovely Stockton, California this past Sunday. I had a few things to get done before the contest, including repairs on a 1/48th scale Fw-190A-6 that has been fighting me for the last 8 months, so the blog was put on hold for a few days.

I am back in the saddle again now, and blogging like there is no tomorrow. Of course there IS a tomorrow, but not after December 21st, 2012. That is the day that the Mayans have determined that the world will come to an end. As my son, Cooper, who is 16, said to a friend of his on this subject "If the Mayans were so smart and prescient, where the hell are they now?"

I believe that by the end of the second installment, the airframe was about ready for paint. So, after the usual masking off of the cockpit, tailwheel bay, and canopy, the airframe was wiped down with rubbing alcohol in preparation for painting.

The outer wing panels were sprayed with Tamiya Flat White thinned with Gunze Mr. Color thinner. This is the thinner made for thinning the Gunze lacquer line. It works very well with Tamiya paints. It gives the it some bite into the plastic that thinning with alcohol does not. The white areas were masked off and scale black was applied with my Paasche H.
This view shows the scale black applied over the masked off white stripes.

Once the paint had dried (it dries really fast, and you could probably mask over it after 10-15 minutes, but I wait half an hour to be safe), The masking was removed, revealing the Starkey stripes. I was pleased with how they came out, although a small amount of touchup was required for a few spots. The stripes were now carefully masked over in preparation for the camouflage to be applied.

Before that could happen, two more colors had to be applied. The rear fuselage band and spinner on late war British aircraft were painted Sky Type S, S being for smooth finishes. Smooth was another word for satin or not matt. I like to paint my fuselage bands, so I sprayed the area with my custom mix using Tamiya. Mix 1 part Tamiya Flat Sky (which is miles too dark to be British Sky) with 1.5 parts Tamiya Flat White. This will be a good match to the Sky code letters on the decal sheet. The band was then masked off using Tamiya tape. Finally, the yellow wing leading edge was sprayed Yellow. British Yellow has a slight orange cast to it. When dry, this was also masked off.
Operation Starkey stripes revealed. Leading edge yellow stripe has also been applied.
Note the rear fuselage has been sprayed with Sky Type S. The rear fuselage band will be masked off before camo painting begins.

The undersides were painted with a custom mixed Medium Sea Grey color from Tamiya paints. I tend to use Tamiya for almost all my exterior painting. I added a drop of black to the MSG mix and post shaded the undersurfaces. I then went back with a slightly lightened version of the MSG and added some spotty breakup to the basic color. This adds a certain visual interest, but keep it subtle. Taking it to extremes results in cartoony looking paintjobs. The undersurfaces were then masked off, and the upper surfaces were sprayed with a custom mix of Ocean Grey. Tamiya now makes all three British late war RAF camo colors. These are numbered XF-81, 82, and 83. They look good, but the Dark Green may be a little light to my eye.

Upper surface colors have been applied. Post shading and breakup pass will add visual interest to the model.

Using my trusty Paasche H airbrush, I applied the dark green disruptive pattern freehand, using drawings and photos as a guide. Sometimes I lightly draw the basic pattern on the model with pencil. The color is once again custom mixed from Tamiya paints. Once the basic pattern is applied, I go back with Ocean Grey and tighten up any overspray. The secret is to lower the paint volume and get in really close. You have to keep the brush moving to keep paint from pooling, but with practice, it is not terribly difficult to get a realistic tight hand sprayed demarcation between colors with a single action airbrush, even in 1/72nd scale. I go back one final time with Dark Green and touch it up a bit more. It takes a bit longer, but I'd rather be painting than spending time cutting tedious masks and spacing them out with Blu-tac or rolled up tape or whatever.

In the 5th installment, I will finish up the post shading and breakup of the uppersurfaces. Gloss coat, decals, and final assembly will also be covered. The 6th installment will feature shots of the finished model.

Hope you are enjoying the build as much as I did.

Happy modelling! Roy

Monday, April 5, 2010

Spitfire HF VII in 1/72. Part 3 of 6

A useful diagram showing the corrections for the wing scribing for the HF VII.

As promised, here is part 2 of the build article. On time and under budget.... If I had a budget.

As we last left our intrepid modeler, he had heroically fought his way through building and painting the cockpit, and had triumphed over evil by gluing the fuselage halves together, making the world a safer place to build models , or something.

With the fuselage seams filled and sanded out, work could now commence on converting the Hasegawa Spitfire Mk. IXc into a proper HF VII. I had mentioned in part 1 that the wings on the Hasegawa kit, while very nicely molded and detailed, contained a number of errors in the panel lines. I filled the rear spar line with medium viscosity super glue (CA) applied with a sharpened rectangular section toothpick. The CA was set with a drop of accelerator, followed 10 minutes later with a 4 grit sanding stick. I use CA exclusively for filling as it will hold a razor edge, and can be cleanly scribed, unlike most putties. It also does not shrink and can be applied very precisely. I do not even own any putty anymore.

The trick to using CA as a filler is to make sure you sand it within an hour or so of applying it. After that, it starts to harden to a point where it is harder than the surrounding plastic. It can still be sanded, but requires a lot more work. I only filled the upper rear spar scribe line. Call me lazy, but it crosses a lot of panel lines on the undersurfaces. Seemed too much like work. The uppersurfaces are also missing some panel lines, so these were added with a pointed steel scriber and a straight edge. See the photo above for details of this work.

The wing together in one piece now, awaiting sanding and touchup.

The ailerons on the Mk VII (and the Mk VIII, which the Mk VII shared many features) were shortened by removing the outer 8 inches of span. This was accomplished on the model by filling the panel lines as shown in the first photograph above. Hasegawa has kindly scribed both the long and short span ailerons. You are left to fill the appropriate panel lines. Sharp eyed viewers will note that I did not scribe the inner wing tanks as shown in the panel line diagram. It escaped my attention until it was too late in the paint process to fix it.

As accuracy cannot be considered when judging in an IPMS USA rules contest for the obvious reason that it is impossible to be equally expert on all aircraft, this oversight should not affect my little Spit in competition. Judging one model (say for example a... um.... Spitfire, a subject the judge may be very well versed on) on a accuracy point is patently unfair, as the Morko Morane or the Ki-61 or the La-5FN sitting next to it may contain many more accuracy errors said judge knows nothing about. Unless you are as intimately familiar with every single type of aircraft on the table, it just is patently unfair. It is also highly reliant on judges memories being 100% accurate, and they would also have to be up on every new discovery. So, wing tanks or not, my Spit VII must be judged on its merits as a model. Suck it, judges! :-) Now, I have been an IPMS judge at the national level for over 10 years, and I am just having some fun. The point , however, about not judging based on accuracy, is very serious.

With the mods to the wings done, I assembled the upper and lower wing parts. The wingtips were added a bit later, and great care was taken to assure that they were aligned properly when viewed from the front. The wing was set aside to dry overnight. All seams were filled and sanded out, and panel lines were restored across the leading edges. Don't forget to do this. Disappearing panel line WILL hurt you in IPMS judging.
Note the pressurization intake, fuel filler cap, and canopy rails visible in this photo.

I turned my attention once again to the fuselage. I added the cockpit pressurization intake to the starboard nose, under the exhausts. I also added the external canopy rails that were a hallmark of the HF VII. These rails were spring loaded and when shut, clamped around the outside of the sliding hood rails, holding the canopy on when pressurized. To jettison the canopy, the rails were released. They snapped open allowing the air stream to strip off the hood so a bail out could be achieved.

The fuel filler cap on top of the nose was drilled out and plugged with styrene rod that was recessed a bit. Wings and tail-planes on next, followed by a number of dreary hours sanding out the wingroots and tailplane roots. Care was taken when attaching the wings to get the proper amount of dihedral (6 degrees I believe) and to make sure the tailplanes align with the wings and are perpendicular to the fin. With this the basic airframe is done, as is this installment for tonight.

Now don't "Awwwwwww, c'mon, just a bit more" me! Off to bed with the lot of you. I'm beginning to think this story may wind up as four installments. Now I know how J.K. Rowling must have felt when writing the Harry Potter stories! As an aside, does J.K. in her name stand for just kidding? Just kidding. See you back here soon for the next installment.

Happy modelling. Roy

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Spitfire HF VII in 1/72. Part 2 of 6

Resin floor, instrument bulkhead, stick and seat bracket are shown prepped and ready for paint.
The lower resin sidewalls installed in the fuselage halves. Note also the small parts added to the upper sidewalls.
Sidewalls painted and ready for assembly.
Note how careful painting and use of color adds visual interest to this very small area.

OK, guys, here it is. The long promised part 1 of 3 of the build article for the HF VII.

I have always liked the special HF versions of the Spitfire. They were produced to counter the perceived threat of German high altitude bombing attacks that were never to materialize. The real problem with high altitude bombing at that point in history the fact that you were lucky to get your bombs to land in the same county as your intended target! While there were some spotty very high altitude attacks by specially modified Ju-86Ps, it was soon dropped as a waste of resources and time.

The HF VI and HF VII were fitted with specially modified Merlin engines rated for high altitude, long span wingtips, and pressurized cockpits. After it became clear the threats would never materialize, the HF VIIs had their long span wingtips replaced with standard ones, and the attractive high altitude scheme was overpainted with standard camouflage and markings. They were eventually reassigned to the regular fighter role, and continued to serve until replaced or destroyed.

Modelling the HF VII in 1/72 scale

Modelling the HF VII in 1/72nd scale requires some conversion work, but using the Hasegawa 1/72nd scale Spitfire Mk. IX kit, it is not beyond the reach of modelers with some experience outside of building OOB. The biggest problem for building this particular aircraft will be finding a Hasegawa kit that has the pointed high altitude wingtips. The kit I started with was Hasegawa kit number 00692 Spitfire Mk VIII "Pointed Wing". If you can't find this, Ventura did a number of kits that had the necessary wingtips. Another option might be finding some aftermarket resin tips in 1/72nd scale. Failing that, they could be scratchbuilt from some plastic card and filler.

I have wanted to build this Spitfire HF VII in Operation Starkey markings since I first saw an illustration of it in the Ian Allen Publication Spitfire Special. Operation Starkey was the feigned invasion of Europe on September 9th, 1943. The plan was to convince the German High Command that a Normandy-style invasion force was going to land at Pas-de-Calais. The ruse was ignored by the Germans, who saw through it easily. For more information on this operation go to:

While a minor footnote in History, Starkey presents the modeller with some interesting markings. D-Day type markings (but reversed) were carried on the wings only for the day of the Operation. Recently unearthed documents detail the correct application of the Stripes. Note that the profiles in the attached article were done before the documents came to light.

Stripes were applied as follows: Black from the tip to the point where the wing chord is 5 feet. Then alternating 18"bands of white, black, white and black. Underwing national markings were overpainted. Speculation about upperwing markings is that they were also overpainted, being that the stripes were only going to be carried for a day or two. It would be a waste of time to carefully paint around the upperwing markings for such a short time. These markings look even more dramatic on a long span Spitfire. On the day of the operation, MB820 of 123 Squadron and flown by F/O Barritt shared a victory with another Spit VII, shooting down an Fw-190 at 31,000 feet, making this an interesting subject for a build.

The Hasegawa Spitfire Mk IX is a very nice kit. It has very finely scribed panel lines and some beautful detail parts. The canopy is superb in thinness, clarity, and shape. The wing is very good in shape in detail, and the landing gear is beautiful. Finally, we have a good 4 slot Spitfire wheel in 1/72nd scale. Hasegawa gives you alternate rudders, standard and clipped wingtips, carb intakes, exhausts, retractable and fixed tailwheels, and a conformal belly tank. The rear fixed portion of the canopy is molded clear down to the canopy rail, allowing Mk VIIs to be easily modelled. I wish Tamiya would have done this as well on their new Spit IX in 1/32nd scale

Now the downside. The fuselage is a little short and tapers too much to the rear in planview. This leaves it with a very thin fin and rudder, but this only shows in plan view. The prop and spinner are a little disappointing. The spinner is split in an odd place, instead of at the natural panel line at the backplate. Speaking of panel lines, Hasegawa has annoyingly scribed the wing rear spar into both the upper and lower wing surfaces. These need to be filled, and a couple of other missed wing panel lines added. The blades are thin and anemic looking. Finally, the cockpit is very spartan.

As with most models I build, work began on the cockpit. I dug out one of my old Cooper Details cockpit sets and began by cutting out the parts and cleaning them up. The instrument panel and seat mounting bulkhead were test fitted into the taped together fuselage halves, and adjusted to fit. The sidewalls were attached as shown below the main fuselage longeron. The upper sidewalls were detailed with boxes and fittings from the resin cockpit set. The seat, stick, gunsight, floor and bulkheads were mounted in preparation for painting.

All cockpit parts were airbrushed with custom mixed Interior Grey Green. The instrument panel was painted scale black, and the seat was painted Model Master Rust. A wash of scale black was applied to pop out the detail, followed by some careful drybrushing with light gray. Details were brush painted with black, white, red, yellow and silver. A clear satin coat ties it all together. I followed this by applying small drops of Future to the instrument dials.

The fuselage halves were then mated, and the cockpit bulkheads and floor were installed. This was then set aside to dry.

In the next installment, I will detail the corrections and conversions I did to bring this Mk IX up to HF VII standard. Decals for this aircraft are available in all 4 scales from BarracudaCals on the Spitfire Mk IX Series, Part 1 sheet. Hope you enjoy this build article.

Happy modelling! Roy