Painting the markings on my Hobby Boss 1/32 Spitfire Vb Trop

This is my Hobby Boss 1/32 Spitfire Mk Vb Trop which will be finished in the markings of Wing Commander Ian Gleed.
I have used my paint masks to paint the camouflage but it isn’t quite standard so I have had to modify some of the masks to show what can be seen in a couple of available photos of this aircraft. I did miss something but it was corrected and that is shown later on.

The Hobby Boss kit is not that accurate and for a Spitfire Mk V, certainly this particular one there are a few things that really need addressing. I used Quick boos tailplanes to address the odd fabric on one side and metal skin on the other of the kit parts! There should be an internal windscreen but the kit only has the external one, so I replaced it with the Revell Spitfire Mk IX one. I was very lucky that one of my kits had 2 sets of clear parts! And a simple cut and a little filler are all that you need. I scratch built a new set of armour, the headrest should be deleted and I modified the seat. There was more but this is about the painted-on markings. And this is a bit of a test.

The photos are captioned.


OK, that worked, some more photos.

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Applying paint mask is no harder than applying decals, you just need to understand the process. Some more photos. :sunglasses:


The next sequence.


Great stuff Mal, it’s really good to see such detail on the whole process along with your reasoning behind and the little tips and tricks.

Looking forward to more updates.

Cheers, D

Thanks D, Captioning the photos makes it a lot easier to explain the proces. It does make the whole thing longer as there are more photos requiered to get the message across and then writing the captions but I think that it’s worth it?
So continuing with the sequence:

On with painting the blue of the roundels and fin flash.

And the results:

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Outstanding result Mal! So much nicer than decals in so many ways.

Are you still printing the mask sets for sale? I’ve got a 1/24 P-47 that could use a set.

Cheers, D

You ain’t seen owt yet! :sunglasses:
Sorry, no I retired from producing paint masks to order a couple of years ago! :weary:

After the cockades are painted comes the more exciting parts to be painted. I like schemes that make me push the boundaries of what is possible when using paint masks. I’ve used the multi-mask technique before so I know that it works well, it’s the size of some of the cuts that are the technically difficult bits, and that is more about can they be weeded:

And the final sequence, finishing off all of the painted markings.

Yes I know that this is actually “Figero the cat”!


Hi Mal,

You must be a mind reader because I’m working on this exact same kit in different markings and I have a set of masks that you very kindly sent me years ago. Thanks so much for posting your tutorial style guide. Here’s one modeller who is going to put it into practice.

With thanks again,


Yes, I posted this because I knew that you were building it :grin:

I’m also going to post my build which shows some improvements. Some that are a must? I plan on doing that later today. it will be on Aeroscale. :slight_smile:

That’s very kind Mal. Thanks so much. I’ll share some pics too so you can see how I get on. Right now I’m priming the cockpit having added some details but possibly not correcting all the errors. I’m looking forward to seeing how you’ve approached it and a tiny bit nervous that I might now have to live with some details that are wrong. With a big thank you again.

Don’t worry, you can’t correct all of the errors. I’ll post some pics of my ETO Mk V that is wrong! :weary:

Great stuff Mal, having such fine details painted instead of using decals is just outstanding!

Cheers, D

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Wow! What a fantastic tutorial Mal! :+1:

Really, I’ve always felt that anything 1/32 and above should have painted on markings and I’ve earmarked the big 1/24 Tiffy in the stash for just such a treatment… I’ll be referring back here for inspiration!

PS. have you ever tried printing into the masking film?

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Yes, absolutely. Painted markings do make a lot of difference and I paint markings on everything that I build, regardless of scale. I have built the big Tiffy, a wonderful kit. I built it wheels up and fitted a motor. It was a gift from the guy who built the original pre-production example for the reveal at SMW, as I produce paint masks for him as there were no decals. So mine is actually a pre-production one, he was given 2 so that he would definitely be able to build one.

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I remember that build on the old site-what a really fantastic display it made :slightly_smiling_face: If memory serves, you ended up hanging if from the ceiling?

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