Hobby Boss 1/32 scale Spitfire Vb

Hi everyone,

It has been a while since I posted, despite almost daily lurking. The main reason has been total immersion in my last build: Hobby Boss’s 1/32 scale, Spitfire Vb.

I went on a little journey with this one, experimenting with techniques and adjusting my modelling state of mind. That adjustment meant enjoying the process of building and painting rather than trying to get to the end. The urge to finish sometimes overtakes my enjoyment of the project, so this time I tried to enjoy every stage not caring about finishing. It’s sort of modelling mindfulness, and actually the sense of relaxation and focus was lovely. Finishing was almost a by-product of simply building and painting.

I chose this kit because I like the scale and it was the right Spit’ to build as a battered and worn example from the North African theatre. There are some beautiful colour photos on line that inspired me. The kit itself isn’t wonderful. There are well documented inaccuracies, only some of which I corrected, but the basic shape looks good and there’s enough detail.

A change of approach meant avoiding some of the stages you often see in videos. So, there’s no primer used anywhere on this kit. I washed the plastic with alcohol and used lacquer based paint for all but a small amount of hand painting. The paint adhesion is wonderful, and it took a lot of abuse during weathering.

There are no gloss or matt coats either. I’ve never enjoyed the varnishing process, and this time I abandoned it completely. Instead I used very fine grit sanders to get a gloss shine in places and in others I just went with whatever surface the paint gave me. I did try to get a smooth coat. There was no problem with weathering using oils or acrylics, and no problems with decals, except a hint of carrier film in places.

My main weathering technique was sanding. I tried to weather as nature would. The paint was applied in layers and then sanded back to simulate desert sand blasting. I’d think twice before doing this with acrylics, but with lacquer it worked well. There’s some traditional chipping and washes too. I tried to match the colour of panel line washes to the weathering, and I avoided using an all over one colour wash, preferring to pick out some places and leave others. I avoided wash in the recessed rivets too.

Finally I used masks for the big markings. I owe a big thank you to Mal Mayfield who sent me a set of his masks years ago. I think he’s stopped producing them now but Mal, if you are reading this, thanks a million. They worked beautifully.

That’s the story of the kit I didn’t try to finish.

Bye for now, and happy modelling guys.


Great result Steve, your experiments with varying techniques paid off handsomely!

Cheers, D

Hi Damian,

Thanks very much. It was a satisfying way to spend, er… quite a lot of hours.

Beautiful job Steve - good philosophy as well .
I find that whatever my project is at the moment I enjoy it more if I focus on the task at hand and not the finish line .
Cheers- Richard

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I like the look of this well worn Spitfire, good job.

Hi Richard and Darren,

Thanks so much. I have to say that my photos have exaggerated the weathering somehow, but not by a huge amount.

Richard, I have to agree, its a sort of freedom form the pressure to finish, which for me is very refreshing, even liberating. I enjoyed this build so much that I probably spent too long fiddling about.

Thanks again guys.

I do like this, very nice weathering and the way that you went about it is quite inspiring. I use MR. Paints and I’m going to try painting without primer for my next build! I find it impossible to enjoy the whole process and that is partly why I have so many on the go! I’ll try and take a leaf out of your book. :slight_smile: The only changes that I might suggest, for another build, would be to remove the extension on the antenna (actually reshape it) and remove the post on the tail.

It’s about time that you used those masks! :grin: You are welcome. Yep, I’ve stopped producing paint masks to order but I still produce them for Uschi van der Rosten and Hypersonic models. And I do sometimes do special requests, I’m just working on a Seafire set for Dani Zamerbide! :slight_smile:

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Hey Mal,

Thanks for dropping in, and yes, sorry it took so long to get to the masks but I’m pleased you are still in business one way. The masks really are a game changer. Thanks also for the suggestion about the antenna and post. I must admit now you’ve mentioned it I took a closer look at my references and of course they do show something different.

I hope you get on OK without primer. There’s almost no PE and no resin at all here so I felt safe. By the way I used AK real colours and they adhere wonderfully, but I guess MRP will be just as good. I’m looking forward to your next build.

With warm wishes,