Prototype Build Volume 2 Part 2 – Adding some colour

Over the last week we have been having a great time painting. We started with the fuselage, first taping off with masking tape all the surfaces that will receive the fuselage covering. Using a white universal water based undercoat we sprayed the wooden frame. It was my first attempt at spray painting anything bigger than a model and, having watched various videos on technique (thanks Youtube!) I started with trepidation. My fear was unfounded as with a reasonable amount of care the paint applied very nicely.

Universal undercoat applied

I have used the Tamiya XF71 as my cockpit green colour. It seems to be closest to what I could find on original paints. This being a Mk.IX Spitfire, the shade is a little darker than the early models. I was able to take a painted sample of wood to my local friendly paint merchant and after much trail and testing came up with an exact match. I now have the formula for achieving the correct shade in a water based PVA (Latex) paint.

Cockpit Green!

This paint was a little thicker than the undercoat but after thinning it with about 10 percent water it applied very nicely.

It is so nice the way the structure is now starting to look very much like the original

The painting has brought the sandwiched construction to its rights, the flat colour highlighting the details such as the lightening holes.

Structure coming into its own

Of course, I had to trial fit the throttle quadrant…

Spitfire Mk.IX Engine Hand Control

We have also had a go at painting the Nylon components. The XT3 Resin turned out to be unnecessary. It is very thick and in future I will rather use a normal fibreglass resin should I wish to get something really smooth. The XT3 tends to cover up important detailing. That said, I found that the uncoated SLS parts take paint beautifully without any further coating. I use Tamiya water based acrylic model paints and the colours lay on very nicely and smoothly with a brush. The following images give an idea. Lots of fun being had with this (and in between the creation of the sheet metal cutting patterns continues!

Compass

The instruments and the compass have had their decals applied but still need their clear plexiglass covers. In spite of not being finished, they are starting to look really good 🙂

Instruments with faceplate decals, glass still to follow
Morse Switchbox was not coated in order to preserve fine details. Looks great nevertheless!
Undercarriage Control Valve Block with one 1/4″ BSP hose fitting in place
Rudder Trim Wheel paint is complex but coming along

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