RED ROO MODELS


1/48 Spitfire Mk Vc conversion set for the Tamiya Vb


by David Harvey

 

Review Type

First Look

Scale:

1/48

Price:

$33.00 AUD from Red Roo

Contents and Media:

Conversion provides new outer wing parts, tropical filter, larger oil cooler, two styles of cannon blister (for drum or belt-fed cannons), spinner, propeller blades and cannon barrels.

Advantages:

It does it's job

Disadvantages:

None in particular

Recommendation:

Highly Recommended

 

Introduction

Not that long ago I purchased the Red Roo conversion to turn the Tamiya Spitfire Vb into the Vc as used by the RAAF during WWII. I also splashed out and purchased one of the Red Roo decal sheets for the Vc. The conversion set contains a set of replacement upper / lower wings, propeller blades with spinner, cannon barrels and two types of cannon bulges (skinny and wide).

When I recieved the set I had a good look over it and noticed that there were a number of small air bubbles over the outer edges of the wings. As I was intending to do the kit in the all silver scheme for the Red Roo decals, I had to ensure that I filled in these holes as silver paint brings out ALL the faults in your workmanship. There were also a number of ragged edges/marks along the leading edge of the wings that also required to be filled or sanded. All of these marks were filled with Mr Surfacer 500 and sanded back with 800 and 1200 grit wet and dry sand paper. The trailing edge of the wings also had areas that needed to be cleaned up as it seemed that the moulding process had not quite gone as it should have. Some of the trailing edge was overly thick and other areas were not in the correct curve so they needed to be trimmed.

The Tamiya kit has been reviewed numerous times on all the different web sites so I will not go into any detail other than to say that it was constructed straight from the box and went together easily.

The conversion requires that a cut on the lower wing panels on the outside of the wheel wells of the kit is made. It is most vital that you carry out this cut VERY carefully as it can throw you right out if done incorrectly. I suggest that you cut short of the line recommended by Red Roo and trim a little at a time with heaps of test fitting to ensure that the correct placement is done. I made a slight mess of the line and had to do a bit of extra filling to fix my error. Once the wing has been fitted you then have to fill in the join line as well as an extra panel area on the underside of each wing near the wheel wells. This missing panel area caused some drama as it took several tries at filling and sanding to eradicate it.

The rest of the conversion was a simple task as it just involved superglueing the cannon bubbles and the propeller together. The propeller blades and spinner require some care to ensure that the same angle is achieved for all the blades. One more word of warning when using superglue, ensure that any glue that seeps out from under a part is removed within a few minutes of application otherwise it gets very hard and is difficult to remove without damaging the kit.

Painting

After all glue had dried I masked the canopy with scotch tape and gave the kit a coat of Humbrol rimer to give the silver paint something to grip onto. The undercoat also enabled me to spot any areas I had missed with my filling and sanding. After the undercoat had dried and all areas requiring filling had been done I airbrushed the tail in Matt White for the colour scheme in the Red Roo Decal set. Once dried, the tail was masked off and I then airbrushed the whole kit in Humbrol silver. I then discovered all of the areas that I had missed with the filling and sanding as the silver paint makes them stand out! Once again I filled and sanded to correct these marks and a recoat of silver was sprayed. The black anti glare panel was then masked off and sprayed followed by a Foilage green rudder and black antenna base.

After the paint had dried sufficiently the whole model was airbrushed with several coats of 'One Go' varnish. I then applied the Red Roo Spitfire Mk Vc 85 SQN decals set which went on quite well. After they dried thoroughly I appled another coat of 'One Go' then a Matt varnish to the anti-glare panel and tail.

Once the decals had been given time to dry I added the small bits including the undercarriage. The undercarriage was given brake lines from some electrical wire of the correct looking dimensions.

I then did the minimal weathering I prefer that consists of thinned Humrol black paint brushed into the panel lines. This mix was given a few minutes to dry and then the excess mix was wiped off with a paper towel with a slight amount of thinners on it.

The images

 

Recommendation

This is a relatively easy conversion to do with the hardest part being to ensure you get the cuts in the kit part correct.

I highly recommend this as it is a an easy and relatively cheap way to conver the Vb kit to a Vc.

Edit - with the release of the Classic Airframes and Special Hobby kits of the Vc for the same price it may be cheaper to go for that but if you have a Vb kit this is a good way to make the change.

Kit courtesy of my wallet from Red Roo Models.