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PostPosted: Wed 16 Nov 2016 11:22 am 
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Very nicely done 'milktrip', captures the look perfectly.

I'm starting to view the Spitfire F.22 as "the peoples' aeroplane" (excuse the well-used phrase). This is because most regions of the British Isles had a local R Aux AF squadron in the 1950's, most (but not all) with F.22s. So for anyone interested in their local aviation history it becomes a natural choice, and there are so many marking variations to choose from during this period of transition from wartime markings to post-war schemes.

I'd also like to comment on one aspect of F.22 colours that has puzzled me - the colour of the cockpit interior behind the pilot's seat. I notice that 'milktrip' has done his with interior green. This part of the real aircraft was basically fuselage, right up to the seat back headrest. Some period photos of silver F.22s appear to show this area painted dark, while others show it to be silver on silver-painted machines. My assumption is that on any aircraft that was repainted in service (e.g. from camo to silver) they would not have bothered to remove the canopy and just repainted the exterior. So the question then becomes, what was the interior colour on the original camouflage scheme? The answer seems well documented - it was the fuselage colour, which in that area was dark green, applied in the factory before the canopy was attached.

The silver option in the Airfix kit was definately an in-service repaint, so I think that the colour should be dark green. But having said all that, there are photos of silver F.22s with silver cockpit interiors, so in those cases the canopy must have been removed to do the repaint. There may be other examples where the pilots complained about the 'interior silver', and the reflections were reduced by applying a brushfull of matt black, or interior green?


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PostPosted: Tue 22 Nov 2016 13:52 pm 
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@Acklington

Para 2 - Yes and no; Witness the 602 (City of Glasgow) machine in Kelvingrove. It's correct, but 602 operated Spitfire Mk I back in 1939 (and made the first air to air kill over the UK of WW2 despite what 603 say).

Paras 3 and 4 - Interesting; I'll have to have a closer look at my photos of low-backs.

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PostPosted: Tue 22 Nov 2016 15:22 pm 
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Acklington wrote:
...My assumption is that on any aircraft that was repainted in service (e.g. from camo to silver) they would not have bothered to remove the canopy and just repainted the exterior. So the question then becomes, what was the interior colour on the original camouflage scheme? The answer seems well documented - it was the fuselage colour, which in that area was dark green, applied in the factory before the canopy was attached.

The silver option in the Airfix kit was definately an in-service repaint, so I think that the colour should be dark green. But having said all that, there are photos of silver F.22s with silver cockpit interiors, so in those cases the canopy must have been removed to do the repaint. There may be other examples where the pilots complained about the 'interior silver', and the reflections were reduced by applying a brushfull of matt black, or interior green?


Re-painting doesn't usually involve over-coating existing schemes, because adding paint adds weight - think how much a gallon tin of paint weighs, that's what you'd be adding for every gallon of coverage. I suspect that airframes painted aluminium/high speed silver would have been stripped back to bare metal and if this were the case it would be quite likely that the canopies were removed. This is supposition and I stand to be corrected. I'm sure the late Edgar Brooks would have something about this in his archives, he was a frequent poster on Britmodeller and it may be worth doing a search there.

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PostPosted: Tue 22 Nov 2016 16:24 pm 
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peebeep wrote:
think how much a gallon tin of paint weighs, that's what you'd be adding for every gallon of coverage.
Less the weight of the evaporated solvent. Think how much a gallon of white spirit weighs, and subtract that from the weight of the gallon of paint :) A quick bit of research tells me that the solid component of contemporary paint is somewhere in the order of 30% to 60% by weight.

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PostPosted: Tue 22 Nov 2016 17:58 pm 
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It's still extra baggage that you don't want to be carrying around with you. Weight has a very significant impact on performance.

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PostPosted: Tue 22 Nov 2016 21:31 pm 
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Absolutely. FYI white paint is the lightest. That's why Civil aeroplanes are mostly white, unless they're American Airlines, for instance.

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PostPosted: Tue 22 Nov 2016 21:59 pm 
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From my brief time at 23MU [Aldergrove] all airframes in for repainting are stripped back to bare metal and fresh anticorrosion primer applied after the metal is checked, then the necessary top coats applied. Every part which is not to be painted and is removable is removed. On the example I helped on, an F4 Phantom, the opening parts of the canopy were removed and parts of the interior covered in special paper taped up by the master painter.

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PostPosted: Wed 23 Nov 2016 05:34 am 
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When in the RAN we repainted an UH-1B Iroquois, the weight of paint was surprising at 120kg added before flight ear etc.

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PostPosted: Wed 23 Nov 2016 11:26 am 
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The 'behind the seat' problem isn't unique to late model Spits. It's an area that often doesn't show well in photographs, and most colour drawings just show the surface of the transparency. I've agonised over the colour of one or two other prototypes where the interior colour didn't seem appropriate but I couldn't find evidence to support the exterior finish. If going for the latter it is, of course, a lot easier if you paint overall before adding the canopy, although that method seems unpopular nowadays (perhaps because of the difficulty of filling any gaps if the glass isn't a perfect fit).

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PostPosted: Wed 23 Nov 2016 11:38 am 
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Interesting comments everyone!

I can add a further one - current UK civil airliners are allowed six repaints before it all has to be stripped off, for weight reasons. So six repaints is a lot of extra paint and weight, which is obviously permissable.

And going back to wartime/post-war repaints, there seems to be plenty of evidence from UK crash sites that new paints was applied on top of previous schemes. I think that it was also the case that 'new instructions from the AM' were adopted and applied locally. But I agree that any full repaint at an MU would probably be done properly.

One further point re the Airfix F.22 silver (Edinburgh) option. This does appear to have been a 'local repaint' because some of the markings are a non-standard size, including the fuselage serial. I'm suspicious regarding the upper wing roundel size, which may be correct for this particular repaint, but is not the usual larger size roundel applied to Spitfires. Reference sources are ambiguous, and it seems that either size may have appeared on silver Spitfires. When I do another Spitfire F.22 with post-war type D roundels, I plan to apply the larger size, just for some variety!


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PostPosted: Wed 23 Nov 2016 12:03 pm 
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re the roundel; on wartime aircraft the roundel was to fit with 1 inch from leading edge and 1 inch from aileron; but on the D type post-war there was a set size of roundel for use on various aircraft and these were not the same size as the war-time ones.

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PostPosted: Wed 23 Nov 2016 14:24 pm 
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Acklington wrote:
My assumption is that on any aircraft that was repainted in service (e.g. from camo to silver) they would not have bothered to remove the canopy and just repainted the exterior.


I think it's interesting that you would assume that. My relatively feeble research into Spitfire colors has revealed an unbelievable (to me) amount of repainting, even during the height of battle. So I guess it makes sense. On the other hand, my personal, real-world experience in aviation would lead me to doubt it. But I wasn't painting Spitfires in the forties and fifties, either.

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PostPosted: Wed 23 Nov 2016 14:45 pm 
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Ah, Dan, difference; Spitfires; BoB and till early '45, fixed canopy rear section; the 22 has a bubble canopy which comes off very easily.
We practiced firefighting & crew rescue on aircraft with bubble canopies and they come off very easily; just one lever to release the mechanism from the slides, it just pops off one side and can be lifted away by one person. We had to take them off proper like, so they could be put on again for the next practice session.

During the BoB when the underwings were changed from black & white to sky this was done whenever possible, old colour removed and new sky put on, at squadron level. After the war there was even more time to remove old colour, reprime and repaint.

Also; post WW2 there were new sizes of code letters and numerals to be used. These again were in many cases not the same as war time or pre-war sizes. These new sizes of codes and roundels started being used in Europe from VE day [roughly] onwards as can be seen on late Typhoons & Tempests using large type 'C' roundels on the tops of wings.

What I'm reading in the OP is that this Spitfire was repainted 'locally' in a manner not according to set regulations and in a careless manner.
Nothing would be further from the truth. Whilst some corners would be cut the order of work would be done according to regulations and to ensure it was done so there would have been several W/Os and Senior officers checking that it was done according to regulations. Never, ever, cross your W/O, you won't live to regret it.
If regs said to use a 36 inch roundel then it was, not a 30 inch or 40 inch. At this time roundels were more frequently giant water slide decals. I saw them and had to get the ones for the F4.
If lettering was to be a certain size cut masks [aka stencils] for those sizes were available from stores; I checked out the ones for the code on the F4.
There is also the pride of the workers and the team as a whole. Not to have done a perfect job would get them a rocket and a black in the book. A perfect job just gets nothing as its expected.
And the reserve squadrons always had an intense rivallary so any aeroplane turned out for the squadron had to be 100% so as not to let the side down at the summer schools for bombing and fighting practice.

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