1/48 Seafire L III 885 Squadron Lee-on-Solent

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6 years 5 months ago - 6 years 5 months ago #1 by Wally
Made a start on my third D-Day entry - Special Hobby Seafire Mk III - NF547 '2D', Sub Lt R. Hales, 885 Squadron, Air Spotting Pool, Lee-on-Solent, which undertook spotting duties for the Allied Fleet on D-Day. I have AeroMaster decals although I may use some alternatives.



I have in mind a possible diorama if there is time. When is the deadline boss?
First thing I discovered was the canopy is cracked. Luckily I have a canopy left over from C.A. Mk Vc Trop only the kit part won't fit in the open position for me



Second thing, the film parts are missing. It's an eBay purchase from England.



Faced with only the decal option I promptly wrecked the main decal when I got to this stage. So I used the centre instrument decal and made up the outsides using 3 pieces of left-over Mosquito IP in various configurations. One is upside down. It is not too bad I guess ...? I used the kitset PE too, which meant painting the seatbelts. I don't do this as well as Mr Eduard ...



It is a lovely and well detailed kit but it is still short-run and when it comes to fitting the cockpit parts into the fuselage there is some reshaping involved, leastwise there is for me. I wanted to have a very 'smoked' looking cockpit so I have rather overdone it. Poor light in the photos too. One shortcoming of my brush painting so far is I cannot emulate that 'smoked' look you airbrushers get.







Got the wings together too. It has nice wheelwell and air scoop detail but no photos of that yet.



Fuselage went together this morning. More soon ....
Wally.

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Last edit: 6 years 5 months ago by Wally. Reason: bit more info, corrections

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6 years 5 months ago #2 by Gary
End of October is the deadline for this group build you can then enter it in to the D-Day competition at Armistice in November if you're attending ;) :)



'Yea, Though I Fly Through the Valley of the Shadow of Death, I Shall Fear No Evil. For I am at 50,000 Feet and Climbing.'

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6 years 5 months ago #3 by Nosferatu
Replied by Nosferatu on topic 1/48 Seafire L III 885 Squadron Lee-on-Solent
Looking good as always Wally!

"Of all the things I've lost I miss my mind the most"

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6 years 5 months ago #4 by Wally
Cool, thanks Gary. That should allow time to complete my diorama idea which is so amazing I shall only reveal it when finished!
I'll send another entry fee at the end of the week.
Still hoping to attend Armistice but I don't have accommodation there any more. My relative moved back North.
I'll explore options, one being simply to stay in my semi-camper van. Cheers.

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6 years 5 months ago #5 by Gary
They have onsite accommodation but you'll need to be quick, contact the Lake domain at Karapiro they do quite reasonable rates there in the chalets.



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6 years 5 months ago - 6 years 5 months ago #6 by Wally
Better do an update to stay in the running ...
This one's called, "Don't you hate it when that happens ... but it wasn't so bad after all"
Seafire has progressed along quite nicely ...













The last picture possibly gives the game away ...? Anyhow, I then dug out my ICM RAF Pilots & Groundcrew, ICM USAAF Pilots & Groundcrew and Eduard USN Personnel 1942 and proceeded to "cut & paste" and paint 9 figures in RAF colours recommended by ICM (although I am a little dubious about Azure Blue being the basic RAF uniform & overalls colour?). I also assembled Pro-Modeller's RAF Starter Cart and painted it RAF colours -







Then, thinks I, I had better find out what Lee-on-Solent or Lee-on-the-Solent looked like. Stupid of me not to do this first, knowing that my Seafire is 885 Sqn FAA. Stupid because, of course, Lee-on-Solent is HMS Daedalus, an onshore Naval Station. I even find photos of FAA groundcrew crawling over a Seafire (without invasion stripes) and, of course, they are all wearing NAVY UNIFORMS!!! These uniforms, including what looks like very worn overalls, all have the "bib thing" at the back of the collar, the caps and Wrens hats are different and all the colours are generally darker with white or light undergarments.
I'm in for a complete reshaping, remodelling and repainting of all these figures by the looks of it, thinks I ....
Luckily, some more research reveals that the Air Spotting Pool was made up of FAA and RAF squadrons and aircraft and included 17 pilots from the USN.
Air Spotting Pool:
26, 63 Sqn RAF Lee on Solent, Hants Spitfire V
808(FAA), 897(FAA) Sqns, Lee on Solent, Hants Seafire III
885(FAA), 886(FAA) Sqns, Lee on Solent, Hants Seafire III
1320 Special Duty Flight, Lee on Solent, Hants Typhoon
There is even a photo of USN VCS-7 groundcrew crawling all over a Spitfire at RNAS Lee-on-the-Solent ...



So I can probably get away with only modifying a conveniently small number of my figures .... phew!!! ... to represent an international groundcrew.
I've purchased some 1/48 Tarmac off our very own Kitmodeller Simon to use for the base, as photos show clearly a square tarmac pattern.
I'm enjoying this a great deal, even if I do do my research the wrong way around. Seems the Gosport area was a hive of activity for the invasion. Much of the Mulberry Harbour construction went on there apparently.
I should get onto painting the black stripes very soon. Another look at the famous photo of an RAF Spitfire being painted at Tangmere reveals just how "rough and ready" the stripe painting actually was, so my unmasked black stripes should be fine ...
Cheers
Wally.

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Last edit: 6 years 5 months ago by Wally. Reason: clarity

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6 years 5 months ago #7 by Gary
I'm from around that area Wally, I used to work in Portsmouth, I know Gosport and Lee on Solent well, and my friend was from Tangmere. I remember going to what was left of the airfield there at dusk, you could almost feel the Spitfires coming in still. I've had a few beers in the Bader Arms pub as well :)



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6 years 5 months ago #8 by IAN
Lee-on -Solent is still active, I've flown out of there on a few occasions on old 'Whisky Bravo'




...HMCG Sea Kings are no longer with us, been replaced by AB-139's, (don't get me started on that, let's just say it wasn't the choice of the pilots, the crews nor the folks who actually knew what they were talking about !!). Gary's right about Tangmere too, only I felt the ghosts of Typhoons not Spits when I was there....

Good progress, Wally. Looking forward to seeing it in the flesh in November.

Ian
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6 years 5 months ago #9 by Flying_Kiwi
Replied by Flying_Kiwi on topic 1/48 Seafire L III 885 Squadron Lee-on-Solent
I got diverted to Lee-on-Solent once as Southhampton was not wanting us (and to be fair being a bit of a prick) weather was closing in, i got a coffee and was not charged for leaving the plane there for a few days.

Cost to travel to and from London a few times though ooooh nasty,

Nice chaps at RNAS Daedelus!!


Do love wally's work... man he does knock them out... models.. i mean

Most pilots last words are "Watch this"


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6 years 5 months ago - 6 years 5 months ago #10 by Gary
They operated all sorts out of Tangmere, we also had Goodwood, West Hampnett, Shoreham and Ford although technically Ford was RN but they handed it to the RAF because they couldn't defend it properly, all these airfields within 30 minute of my home, I was in aviation historical heaven (well if it had included a few Lancaster bases I would of been). :)



'Yea, Though I Fly Through the Valley of the Shadow of Death, I Shall Fear No Evil. For I am at 50,000 Feet and Climbing.'
Last edit: 6 years 5 months ago by Gary.

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6 years 5 months ago #11 by Wally
I'm glad my subject brings back memories for you guys. Very useful background information for me. I didn't realize Tangmere was nearby, having only looked separately at the "Spitfire being painted" photo. Gary, the general area sounds like Aviation Historical Heaven to me.
I've altered 4 of my figures into RN or FAA groundcrew in "sailor suits" (sorry I don't know the correct terms for some of these things) and I've repainted the Officer/Pilot and Wren in darker blue RN uniform colours. That leaves the 2 painters and one other mechanic as RAF groundcrew on loan. I think that mix will work okay.
The great thing about the subject aircraft '2D' is it is documented as having a complete replacement tail assembly including fin and rudder, painted only in primer Grey-Green, with the old horizontal stabilizer ailerons fitted still wearing their original camo. It's perfect for a groundcrew scenario. Everyone frantically making ready for the invasion including having the stripes painted on ...
Over the weekend I got the Black stripes painted - suitably roughly - and fitted the undercarriage and the arrester hook in down position, the latter being the subject of inspection by Pilot Sub/Lt Hales and a Mechanic. My thinking is that if the aircraft got shot-up over Normandy the pilot might have the option of landing on a carrier among the fleet off the coast ...? So he's making doubly sure the arrester hook is working.
I'm not downloading photos from the camera as frequently since the change to Windows 7 because of the hassle but I'll post progress shots in due course.
Cheers guys
Wally.

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6 years 5 months ago #12 by Flying_Kiwi
Replied by Flying_Kiwi on topic 1/48 Seafire L III 885 Squadron Lee-on-Solent
These figures look so good wally, Im still very impressed you do these excellent paint jobs with a brush!

I have a 1:24 Spit i did all with brush work it came out ok, but the subtle shading that you pull off is excellent

Most pilots last words are "Watch this"


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6 years 5 months ago #13 by Wally
Cheers man, much appreciated.
I guess I can take some of the credit, though as I always say, a big part of it is due to AeroMaster acrylic paints - though I've no idea from where they can be obtained - and also that the photos are not super-close-up. Upon very close scrutiny my figures are still kinda messy, although, if I do say so myself, they actually look better now after repainting and finishing. I hope to post some pics later this week.

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6 years 5 months ago #14 by 1/35th Battalion
Replied by 1/35th Battalion on topic 1/48 Seafire L III 885 Squadron Lee-on-Solent
Weez Watchin' Wal :lol: ;)
Impressed as always . . .

D1

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6 years 5 months ago #15 by Tiger
Hi Wally. Looking good. Intrigued about the dio :-)
Watching here
Dave

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6 years 5 months ago #16 by Kiwimav
Replied by Kiwimav on topic 1/48 Seafire L III 885 Squadron Lee-on-Solent
like the other Dave's said...
nice work Wally

d2

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6 years 4 months ago #17 by Wally
I've been progressing the build along fairly slowly but have found it very difficult to find time to post up my progress
Seafire is finished after painting invasion stripes and my strange pre-weathering and panel lines in advance, then gloss coat and decals.
I scribed the very plain kitset exhausts to add some fishtail flavour.



I used all AeroMaster decals which proved more pliable with some soap in the water but were still very difficult on underwing bumps -



Conversely, Special Hobby's stencils were incredibly sticky. Good decals but I messed up one or two very small ones and lost them.



And of course there was the inevitable silvering of AeroMaster's clear-around-serials -



The RAF Starter Cart also got a couple of decals -





In Kaikohe the other day I found an ideal roughly A4 picture frame for $4-00, took out the print, Caneletto's "Florence" on hardboard grossly faded with a huge coffee stain all over it, and successfully attached Si's (Kitmodeller's) 1/48 tarmac sheet with aerosol photo mount adhesive.



Si, mate, I swear I would have used it too except in an effort to dampen the gloss I overdid my second coat of aerosol artist's Matt Varnish and the tarmac sheet lifted. The product is absolutely fine. It looks great. I just messed up. I tried to reattach it with PVA which is all I had at home but then it crinkled. Time being fairly critical I scribed the same pattern in the other side of the hardboard and copied Si's colours and oil stains using acrylic paint. I also added some 'summer grass' - (these are poor quality pictures) -





I've attached my painter to the Seafire's wing, although I'm a little unhappy with the angle I've got him at, and I'm about ready to attach the other figures and various items to the base -









Cheers
Wally.

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6 years 4 months ago #18 by Nosferatu
Replied by Nosferatu on topic 1/48 Seafire L III 885 Squadron Lee-on-Solent
Very cool Wally!! Liking the base!

"Of all the things I've lost I miss my mind the most"

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6 years 4 months ago #19 by Fritz
Wow that's awesome Wally!! I really like how you added the figure painting the invasion strips. Really nice touch there.

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6 years 4 months ago #20 by Tiger
Wow that cool Wally, great dio idea.
Watching progress here :)
Dave

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6 years 4 months ago #21 by Wally
Thanks people. I finally got back to it last night and fixed everything I have so far in place. The basic idea is based on this undated photo of HMS Daedelas which, given there are 3 Walruses on the slipway is probably mid-late-30s. (Photos are larger than usual because Picasa refused to resize when exporting this time. I blame Windows 7)



I used 1/35 fencing and a light standard from Miniart House Accessories left over from my Monte Cassino diorama, made some wheel chocks and used an ICM rudder as the one being replaced. So I have got it up to this stage. (The natural light wasn't good enough today so these are atrocious photos really ...)



















As you may have noted my undersized windsock actually works. It rotates around the pole. I chopped a Corsair drop tank and took to it with dremel, files and sandpaper. It's a shade less than ideal.
I'm a little disappointed in my placement of the aircraft too. I think it's a little too far over to one side and a little too extremely angled. It has left a space I feel obliged to fill between it and the fence. The windsock helps if pointed in that direction as does the old rudder laying on the tarmac.
I am also aware of my tendency to overpopulate dios and split the focus. There's a good chance I have done so already.
I will sit with it for a while. I am very inclined towards adding two shot-up horizontal stabilizers and I'd love to have a whole Spitfire tailplane assembly but haven't.
The question also arises in me, "How did my three RAF ground crew get over here from Tangmere or wherever they come from?" (Perhaps bringing with them the tailplane and the paint?)
So I am considering 3 x 1/48 scale bicycles, though I've no idea yet if anyone makes them, and even more seriously considering Tamiya's 1/48 Austin "Tilly" ... except it's expensive. I feel a Tilly pointing out the 'gate' would look good but would then give rise to a need to more strongly identify this as a Royal Navy establishment ...?
Maybe a sign with the HMS Daedelas pendant on it ... which I have seen in my searches ....? I don't really want to do another flagpole ....
Feel free to comment, all ideas are welcome.
Better photos soon.
All for now
Wally.

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6 years 4 months ago #22 by IAN
Not just a Seafire but a clipped-wing Seafire. I am always astonished at the results you achieve with a 'hairy stick' that some of us struggle to get with airbrushes, filters, oil washes and the like. Excellent work, sir...

...now where did I leave that Mosquito ??

Ian

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6 years 4 months ago #23 by Dads Army
Replied by Dads Army on topic 1/48 Seafire L III 885 Squadron Lee-on-Solent
Great work Wally!
I think you've got the balance just right, the aircraft would have needed a bit of space around it, which you have and I can see how an RN Tilly would help to distinguish it as a naval scene but it would get too busy - just my opinion.
I like the look of the guys there, they have a job to do and they probably have another 1/2 dozen planes to stripe before dark, the last thing they need is some jumped up officer calling in in a Tilly, brandishing a long straight edge bellowing on about painting straight lines :lol:
Keep it up Wally, enjoy watching your builds.

"Rough as Guts Production's"

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6 years 4 months ago #24 by Wally
Thanks Ian and DA.
Last night I did a couple of bashed up horizontal stabilizers with the ailerons removed (from the same ICM kit as the old rudder)
I also made several tool boxes, a tool satchel and a spanner pouch since the Eduard US Navy Personnel set had a lovely little PE fret of tools.
I'm inclined to agree with you DA. These additional items should constitute quite enough detail without over-complication.
More pictures soon.
Cheers
Wally.

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6 years 4 months ago #25 by Glenn
Very cool Wally :cheer:
LOOKS very good,nice work :)

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6 years 4 months ago #26 by Dangermouse84
Replied by Dangermouse84 on topic 1/48 Seafire L III 885 Squadron Lee-on-Solent
Wally, I agree with Dad's Army. Too much around it will detract from the aircraft and the spacing is bang on

Slow is steady, steady is fast

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6 years 4 months ago #27 by Wally
OK, thanks for your input people. I have taken your advice, although having looked at Tamiya's 10hp 'Tilly' kits in 1/35 and 1/48 I really want to build one now and include it in a future diorama.
I only added my toolboxes plus the two shot-up horizontal stabilizers and glued them down along with the old rudder





And it looks much the same as last time I posted.
Anyhow, this is "finished" now .... if they are truly ever finished? .... but I need to give it a good dusting before I take my final photos -
I also need to pay an entry fee for it!















A most enjoyable build. Especially the discovery of how good old picture/photo frames are as bases for bases.
Cheers
Wally.

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6 years 4 months ago #28 by Nosferatu
Replied by Nosferatu on topic 1/48 Seafire L III 885 Squadron Lee-on-Solent
Love it Wally! Great Work!!

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6 years 4 months ago #29 by 1/35th Battalion
Replied by 1/35th Battalion on topic 1/48 Seafire L III 885 Squadron Lee-on-Solent
What a cracker!!!!! Nice work, as usual, Wally!!! :cheer:

D1

On the Bench:
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6 years 4 months ago #30 by Tiger
Nice Wally, as always :)
Dave

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