Supermarine Spitfire PR.XIX 1/48

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Re: Supermarine Spitfire PR.XIX 1/48

Postby Geek44 » Tue Nov 17, 2015 8:31 am

Awesome looking Spit I must say and unless Airfix have improved out of sight since my last one, you've really done a great job on a second rate kit. Having said this...I know I may be judging Airfix way too harshly, they may have improved since 1978 :lol: .

Putties and fillers are really a matter of taste and what you can make work. As for myself, I've been using a product called "Milliput" since the early nineties when it finally became available in Australia over the counter. It comes as a two part compound and it's basically two cylinders of goo about the same consistency as cold butter in seperate plastic bags. The idea is to cut off two equal sized bits and knead them together. When they're combined they begin to cure but very, very slowly so you get tons of working time with it. My experience with stuff like Squadron is that it's like toothpaste, very hard to control and begins to form a skin in mere minutes. While kneading the Milliput, you can dip your fingers into water which will work its way into the lump of goo you're kneading which thins it out...if you need it thinner. This way you can decide if you want to work with something like cold, non-sticky butter or something more like non-sticky toothpaste or peanut butter. The fact that it isn't sticky means that it only goes where you need it and not all over your fingers and hence all over your model. If you misplace some of it, it cleans off with water easily.
For filling a gap such as those found at wing-roots I would first use Tamiya Tape to mask the wing surface either side of the gap. Leave about 1mm of plastic visible either side of the gap. Then knead up a small lump of Milliput adding water as you knead until it's warm and you can squash the lump easily between thumb and forefinger. Then I roll that out into a sausage and place it on my cutting board. I then use a flexible blade...an old scalpel blade with some flex (or similar) is ideal. You then simply spread the Milliput into the gap like it's butter on toast...apply a little gentle pressure to ensure that the goo goes into the gap. When you're satisfied that the gap is filled you can wet your finger and the smooth the goo out by running the finger along the seam. Then remove the Tamiya Tape.
You'll be amazed at how neat the fill is and how little putty there is where you DON'T want it.

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Here's an odd seam on Hasegawa's 1/48 Hawker Typhoon masked with Tamiya Tape.

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After speading soft Milliput (Extra Fine White...it comes in 3 grades, white is best for modelling).

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Tape removed. Pretty neat huh? This way you avoid filling in moulded surface detail that ideally should be rescribed which is a total pain to get right.
Seriously, I can't comment on any other filler. I'd never use anything else because Milliput is so versatile. Here's another very useful application for it...if you're into German armour at all...

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Milliput zimmerit method tested on Tamiya's old Panther G turret. Simple. Spread the Milliput on like butter then apply the pattern using a tool of appropriate width...I used an old screwdriver. Just be sure to dip the tool in water to keep it moist otherwise the Milliput sticks and lifts away from the surface of the model. I hope this lot is helpful. ANY questions happily answered.
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Re: Supermarine Spitfire PR.XIX 1/48

Postby Geek44 » Tue Nov 17, 2015 8:36 am

I neglected to mention that Milliput has almost no smell, is non-toxic and can be drilled or even tapped when set. It will cure even if submerged in water. It takes quite some time, about eight to twelve hours to fully set so you get plenty of working time. Last I bought some (only ever bought it three times since about 1991...a pack lasts years) it was about $25.00 Aussie.
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Re: Supermarine Spitfire PR.XIX 1/48

Postby Geek44 » Tue Nov 17, 2015 8:55 am

Going back over your pics.
I think you may have had your tape mask pull some of your paint away when you removed it after spraying the second colour?
This can happen and has recently happened to my on my current build. Luckily in my case the effect looks like stress on the paint so I'm leaving it.
I use Tamiya Tape which is pretty good for masking but if left on for too long it can grab a bit hard. A way around that is to stick your tape onto a clean surface and remove it again maybe twice or three times before you use it as a mask. I have a sheet of glass I use for this...I can clean the glass now and again. What this does is remove some of the "stick" of the tape making it easier to remove from your paint and there's far less risk of surface damage.
I see Emery also mentioned decal solutions. Always good to use but they actually don't help much if your decals are poor quality. Thick decals can be very hard work to get right and depending on the manufacturer of the kit I'm building there's a chance I won't use kit decals at all because aftermarket ones are so much better. You need a true gloss surface to start with as you probably know. Long story short, you apply a pool of SETTING solution to the spot on the model where your decal will be...not too much or the decal will swim and be difficult to position but enough so there's no air under the decal. Apply the decal to the model. With something absorbent but lint/fibre free (no paper towels or cotton buds, they leave bits on your model) gently soak up excess setting solution until the decal flattens onto the surface. Be patient. When the decal is flat you can use your cloth (I use a bit of old T-Shirt) to push it down gently and to roll over the decal to squeeze out any liquid or(heaven forbid) bubbles from under it. Then apply SOLVENT. The purpose of solvent is to dissolve the carrier film that the ink of the decals has been printed on. You can take this to the extreme and apply solvent until only ink remains but that can be dicey. Sometimes, when you add solvent to high-quality decals they will wrinkle like the surface of a raisin and you will FREAK OUT! Don't. They will flatten out again by themselves but it's critical that if this happens that you don't touch the decal no matter how bad it looks. You'll find that your decals will conform beautifully to the surface details, sink into recessed panel lines and around rivets, hatches etc. Once set for twelve hours...maybe a couple more solvent applications (at your discretion), seal them in with a coat of gloss clear. The weather your model.

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British SEAC roundel by "XtraDecal" applied as described to Tamiya's 1/48 P-47 Razorback. Note no shiny carrier film visible around the design and decal weathered along with the rest. I have to say I think in all cases, aftermarket decals leave kit ones in the shade in terms of quality and result. I hope this has been useful.
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Re: Supermarine Spitfire PR.XIX 1/48

Postby Whiterook » Tue Nov 17, 2015 9:06 pm

Thanks Nick....Awesome write ups!!!!! Actually would love to have you also replicate each post into a Tips & Help thread of its own (just hit edit, copy, and paste it as is in a new thread)!
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Re: Supermarine Spitfire PR.XIX 1/48

Postby McCoy » Wed Nov 18, 2015 3:36 pm

Late to the party here and Nick have said quite a lot already.
The masking tape along each side of the gap that you want to fill as Nick told you is the best way to go. Nick's in love with Milliput and he should be as I've not heard anything bad about it. I personally haven't even tested it, I don't even own any but I'm thinking about adding their black one to my arsenal as my old Magic Sculp (same same but different as Milliput) have upped and died on me. But you can use a lot of different putty for that kind of work. If the gap is small, then you can use some of the puttys that you brush on but I don't like those so let's skip them all-together. So what to use then besides Milliput? Almost any brand of basic putty will work (be careful with puttys designed for other use than modelling as some may be harmful to the plastic), Tammy's Basic grey or white putty is good and fairly cheap for this kind of work. There's a fairly new putty out on the market that have gotten a lot of praise, I've bought it but not tested it yet. It's PPP as in Perfect Plastic Putty and it cleans up with water. What's really important here for a good result is that the putty you use doesn't shrink when it dries. I've also used CA glue for filling seams and it works fine as well and it comes in different thickness for ease of use. Just put it on the seam that you want to fill, no need to wait for it to dry as you can sprinkle baking soda on top of it for it to cure instantly, no shrinkage and it sands well.

Then there's the possibly best filler of them all out there to use, the one you make by yourself. Take a Tamiya Extra Thin Cement bottle when you've used up half of it, cut up sprue runners and put it in the bottle, not too much so go slow until you get the thickness you prefer, you can even add a few drops of your prefered Tamiya/Gunze colour in the mix in order to get it in a different colour than the plastic you work with. It's easy to work with and it sands exactly the same as the kit you're working with (providing that the sprue cuts is from the same brand as the kit as the styrene varies between different manufactures. Hasegawa = Crisp, Tamiya = Medium soft and Airfix = Soft as three examples) so it's really easy to get a seam filled when you sand just one material.

For wide gaps, use Plastic Card. Cut it roughly in shape and glue it to one side of the seam, cut of the excess as near the parts as you dare and use putty for the final filling and sand as usual. In short, you shim the gap with plastic card.

Remember that if you have delicate texture/details in close proximity to the gap that you're filling and sanding, just sand with the masking tape still on the model protecting the details.

Priming: Some don't prime their work (Nick) Some do prime their work (Me).

Nick gets away with it as his favourite paint is Tammy and you really don't need to prime before using it as the paint have a good grip on the plastic. You can even use Tammy paint to prime your work before using water based acrylics (Vallejo and Lifecolor for example). The drawback though is that Tammy paint doesn't grip that well on metal but you can get around that by carefully rub the PE on the fret with a fine grit sand paper before cutting it loose and bending it to shape.

Some acrylics have a good grip on metal and one that I can recomend is Ammo of Mig.

Resin is also an material that pose some difficulties to get paint to adhere to it but it do get quite a lot easyer if you remember to clean it from mold residues before you start to work with it. And glueing resin isn't that difficult, you don't need CA even if CA should be in everyones arsenal. No you can glue resin with Gator's Acrylic Hobby Glue, it's a white glue on steroids and it comes in two variants, standard and thin blend. Both is thinable with water.

Back to priming. I do it as I like to work on a primed surface when I paint with an even colour as well, I prefer black for most of my work. Some primers will fill scratches and small defects in the plastic MR Surface 500 is one of those and they also work as a check to see if you've missed a gap or not filled it completely so it's just a matter then of more filling and sanding. Some primers doesn't like to be sanded before they've cured completly, Vallejo's polyurethane primer is one of those as it'll start to peel if you sand it too soon. But there's a way to instant cure it in 15-20 minutes. Just spray Future/Pledge on top of the Vallejo primer and it'll cure.

Canopies: I dip my canopies in Future/Pledge Floor Polish for plastic floors. I dip it and remove the excesive polish by putting a corner of paper towel against the drops that apears, when I'm sure that there's no excesive floor polish on the canopy I put it atop of a couple of toothpicks and cover the canopy with a plastic container over it so I won't get any dust on it before it cures. I usualy do this early on so there's no hurry for it to cure. What do I gain with it? The clear plastic gets a protective layer against light scratching and it fills small scratches in the plastic on the same time. The floor polish will also create an illusion of thinner glass as it helps to bend the light better through the clear styrene. On top of all that it also gives a better protection against fogging if you have to use CA near or on the clear plastic.

For masking there's a really good material you can use. It's a bit expensive but you can get shorter lenghts of it on Ebay. It's called Parafilm M, it's a medical film that is used for sealing glass cans. You cut it to a 4 x 4cm bit and stretch it out about 200-300% to activate it and then press it down over the canopy making sure that it's flush over the whole canopy (use a dull toothpick that you press along the canopy frames), then you cut it with a fresh #11 blade along the canopy frames, an action that is easy to do as the film itself is transparant. One more good thing is that you can have it in place for a long period without any side effects. And yet another good thing with it is that there's no tape glue what so ever on it. When done painting, just lift it in a corner with a sharp toothpick.

That's all for now.
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Re: Supermarine Spitfire PR.XIX 1/48

Postby McCoy » Wed Nov 18, 2015 3:41 pm

Geek44 wrote:Awesome looking Spit I must say and unless Airfix have improved out of sight since my last one, you've really done a great job on a second rate kit. Having said this...I know I may be judging Airfix way too harshly, they may have improved since 1978 :lol: .


It's a new tool from 2013 and it comes with Swedish markings to make it even sexier... ;)
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Re: Supermarine Spitfire PR.XIX 1/48

Postby Geek44 » Thu Nov 19, 2015 12:04 am

Great posts mate. Good to see you here too.
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Re: Supermarine Spitfire PR.XIX 1/48

Postby McCoy » Thu Nov 19, 2015 10:14 am

Thanks mate! Just trying to spread my little knowledge a bit.
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