The Spitfire Forums

Aviation Heritage => Modelling => Topic started by: Andrew Hack on March 12, 2012, 02:14:55 PM

Title: Canopy conundrum...
Post by: Andrew Hack on March 12, 2012, 02:14:55 PM first build in over 30 years, Tamiya's 1/48 Mk1, is (even if I say so myself) going rather well. Not least becuase of all the hints and tips that are available online.


I'm getting to that 'have to deal with the canopy stage' and have run into a problem.

I had intended to paint the frames, first interior green and then dark green to give the impression of the interior colour on the inside. Similarly, interior green was earmarked for the screen and sliding canopy edges.

But looking at the excellent 'Anatomy of a Spitfire cockpit' on this site, what leaps out at me is that the only colour one can see on the frames is dark green. Inside and out.

I'm vaguely aware that anything considered 'inside' the aircraft would be IG and given that the canopy clearly is not inside the aircraft, the use of dark green would seem logical. I also know that the Spit in the profile is a Mk V although can't believe that would make any difference. Unless it's a restoration anomaly.

So. Is there a definitive answer or is this another one of those wheelwell 'almost any colour will do and you won't be wrong' puzzles.

Someone will know. Edgar??!

Title: Re: Canopy conundrum...
Post by: Jaybee on March 12, 2012, 10:17:49 PM
While monitor rendering may vary - particularly of dark colours - it appears to me that the interior faces of the windscreen surround and at least the leading edge of the sliding canopy are a satin black ( possibly ' Smooth Night ' or its modern equivalent? ) This would make sense as an anti-glare precaution. The front face of the framing for the fixed rear glazing appears darker than the Interior Green on the seat armour etc., suggesting that the exterior colour was wrapped round the edge. The internal framing for the fixed glazing seems to be in the same colour as the rest of that part of the fuselage interior - note that earlier Spits. were painted Interior Green the full length of the fuselage, from the Mk. V on only the cockpit area was painted, as can be seen in some of the photos.

Title: Re: Canopy conundrum...
Post by: Edgar Brooks on March 13, 2012, 02:34:33 AM
This is an un-rebuilt Vb, photographed just after rescue, and before work started on it; it should give you an idea of which areas were black, and which were green. The interior of the sliding canopy was black, as well, and including the mating faces of it and the windshield. The rear, fixed, part seems to have been camouflage green on its face, and cockpit green on the inside of the framing.
Any early Spitfire, which had an entirely green interior, went against the orders of the instructional drawing, which specified that the cockpit, engine bearers, and front face of frame 5 should be interior grey-green, while the interior of the rear fuselage, engine covers, flaps, oleo legs and wheel covers, should be silver. For some (unknown - to me anyway) reason the interior of the IX's fuselage was not painted from 13-9-43, but whether that was just the silver, or included the grey primer (which seems unlikely, but you never know) I've not discovered. Later production Spitfires (possibly from the 22 onwards, did have all-green interiors, even running to the flap and wheel well interiors.

Title: Re: Canopy conundrum...
Post by: Jaybee on March 13, 2012, 12:02:31 PM
Edgar, that clarifies a brief entry in Morgan and Shacklady under ' Mods to Mk. V ' Mod 787, ' delete painting fuselage interior ' ( all Marks ) 13/9/43. Not having seen the original painting specification I assumed that early Spits had Interior Green throughout the fuselage interior, and the mod was an economy measure. I've seen a picture of a PR XI with the oblique camera hatch open, the interior face is a light colour which could be bare metal or a light grey primer. On the basis of ' similar solutions to the same problem ' I'd suspect that the grey primer may still have been applied, as US aircraft delivered in bare metal externally still had zinc chromate primer applied to wheel wells and the insides of access hatches. It would certainly reduce the possibility of internal condensation seeping between skin panels and ribs/stiffeners and corrosion developing.

Title: Re: Canopy conundrum...
Post by: Edgar Brooks on March 14, 2012, 06:29:33 PM
That, I'm sorry to say, is not the first error found in "StH." The Vickers ledger (held in the RAF Museum library,) containing all Spitfire & Seafire mods, notes mod 787 as being for the "FIX" only; no other Marks get a mention. We can only speculate on the reason, which would get us nowhere, really.

Title: Re: Canopy conundrum...
Post by: Andrew Hack on March 15, 2012, 11:41:32 PM

thank you both.

Edgar, I don't know how you do it. But thanks. Excellent material. As ever. Solved my canopy problem and now that I look more closely at the 'Anatomy' stuff, I can see you're right.

On which point, Tamiya would have you paint gold leaf down the centre line, on the inside of the fixed rear portion of the canopy. I've no intention of doing that! But it would seem that there should be an internal brace between the amoured headrest and the next frame at the end of the cockpit opening...

...surely that would be either silver or IG, depending on your previous answers...

Title: Re: Canopy conundrum...
Post by: Edgar Brooks on March 16, 2012, 10:12:00 AM
It's difficult to be absolutely sure; a photo of a preserved IX in the Kbely Aviation Museum shows it as silver. As well as a brace, in early airframes it was also a support for the Sutton harness, as it went down into the rear fuselage; a short length of cable went from the harness's connection, behind the headrest, to the middle of the brace. This started with K5054 (it's just visible in photos,) and was discontinued, from the V onwards, in September 1942.

Title: Re: Canopy conundrum...
Post by: Spits on May 01, 2012, 07:02:27 AM
The structural piece between F11 and F12 was a spine longeron "V"section as far as I know,if anyone has any old pics from the Y2K spitfire restoration one pic has a good shot of that area.