1/24 HobbyCraft Spitfire Mk Vb

Gallery Article by Tim Jones on Dec 27 2012



Hi, this is my 145 Squadron RAF spitfire and diorama, depicting an aircraft from the North African campaign in 1943.  The aircraft is the standard Trumpeter / HobbyCraft kit with extra scratch-built detail on the engine, cockpit, guns and landing gear.  As well as the usual bits and bobs for scratch building (wire, spare parts etc.)  I discovered that cut up bits of intravenous cannula make perfect little lengths of tubing. I work for the UK National Health Service and yes, it would appear that Iíve been stealing from work.  In my defence Iíd like to point out that building this model has made me a happier and more productive employee.

The model interior was painted with good old Humbrol interior green with, the exterior with Vallejo Model Air and Xtracolour acrylics.  Paint chipping was done with Humbrol aluminum, a teeny brush and a steady (ish) hand.  I then used a crushed black chalk pastel wash for panel lines and staining, topped off with Humbrol Matt varnish. Weathering was courtesy of a Tamiya weathering kit thingy.  Decals are an after-market set from Techmod.

For the detail-freaks amongst you, as far as I could ascertain this aircraft didnít have the big tropical air filter under the nose.  This plane is probably riddled with inaccuracies (see how many you can spot!) but Iím fairly sure the air filter is OK.


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Iím particularly pleased with the little smoking pilot chap. The kit came with three figures, of which he was the most interesting. Unfortunately however, he didnít have any flying gear and was clearly dressed to fly a desk. To make him look like a proper pilot I transplanted his legs with another figure to give him furry flying boots. Then I made him a helmet out of Milliput, wine foil and bits from the spares box. He was painted with Tamiya acrylics as a base coat, then with enamel wash and dry-brush to bring out the detail. His boots got more of the Tamiya weathering treatment to make them look dusty. 

The diorama is a piece of 42cm square MDF covered in modeling plaster stuff. It was then textured with PVA and plastering sand and sprayed with increasingly light coats of acrylic. I have no idea if Libya and Egypt were actually this colour in 1943, but Iím guessing it canít be far off. Scrubby lichen bushes complete the desert look. 

Chocks Away!

Tim Jones

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Photos and text © by Tim Jones