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Spitfire K5054 cerulean blue

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  • DazDaMan
    Rank 5 Registered User
    • Aug 2003
    • 18720

    #21
    Originally posted by stuart gowans View Post
    I believe Gordon Mitchell's book suggests the wings were formed from long thin strips of alloy, possibly they were filled flush so as to appear one piece, and that is the cracking of filler you mention.
    I've seen diagrams/three-views which support the suggestion.
    Daren Cogdon

    Spitfire fanatic

    Comment

    • R6915
      Rank 5 Registered User
      • Jan 2013
      • 148

      #22
      The comments in posts 21 & 22 make valid points. Perhaps then I may just add some additional splinters of background info. Gordon Mitchell and Jeffrey Quill were closely involved ( JKQ with other former colleagues from Supermarine) in ensuring that the facsimile was as accurate as it was possible to be in all visual details from the build beginning to the unveiling at RAF Hendon Museum. They visited Andover a number of times and it was actually JKQ's original idea that a facsimile should be built for future generations to study if they so wished. They also helped raise much of the 40K needed for the build incorporating a very few early Mark parts where appropriate.

      In the event that the question is raised could the facsimile ever be flown? NO! Fuselage frames are made from ply-wood and the wing attachment is such that it can be dismantled from the fuselage quickly (fuselage remains on the undercarriage as well) and easily with just one small screw in each wing – as examples!

      I confirm that the desk model was painted with the surplus paint, Gordon told me so and added that his father had mentioned that to him before he died. The model was auctioned by the family with other artefacts from Gordon's estate only three or so years ago.

      Lastly, Alfred Price's book on page 26 has a fine detail drawing of the original K5054. Including the wing 'plating' details and the original rudder horn balance shape. This book also mentions the wing flexing and the crazed surfaces that continually appeared and needed remedying by works staff. That's why I posed the question - if in the works visit in Sept / Oct 1937 the wings MIGHT have been changed to a preproduction Mark l design set? I have never seen any mention on this (minor?) topic and does anyone know if this happened? Or was it left to the first production Mark l first flown in May 1938 to establish that the new wing structure design was satisfactory?

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      • stuart gowans
        Not a real Spitfire
        • Dec 2005
        • 2005

        #23
        Without absolute detailed knowledge, I could only say being as the prototype was hand built, how close to that was the mkI, in terms of tolerance, would the wing fixings line up, and if they didn't, and they then changed the stub spars, would the holes for their fixing line up?

        Wasn't the issue of wing flexing solved by the introduction of a modified rear spar web?

        As an aside the replica built by Clive Du crois was painted as K5054 when it was trailered around by Solent Sky, any pictures around of it in that trim; I wonder where that ended up? and another part built replica down at Hawkinge; I seem to remember the fuselage was mostly finished, was it painted? what did they use for reference, re, paint colour?
        Last edited by stuart gowans; 8th October 2014, 15:57.
        Why be your own worse critic, that's what the forum is for.

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        • Meddle
          Rank Bajin.
          • Sep 2014
          • 1628

          #24
          Originally posted by R6915 View Post
          I confirm that the desk model was painted with the surplus paint, Gordon told me so and added that his father had mentioned that to him before he died. The model was auctioned by the family with other artefacts from Gordon's estate only three or so years ago.
          It seems that the logical step here would be to find this model again and do a subtle wet-sanding job on a very small area of the aircraft. I don't know a whole lot about 30's car paint, but anything from the '50s and '60s has the capacity to develop a white bloom in the case of the former and a yellowing in the case of the latter. Back then I presume aircraft were painted by first priming then applying a colour coat? Was this a cellulose-based colour paint or something else?

          Comment

          • Edgar Brooks
            Rank 5 Registered User
            • Apr 2009
            • 966

            #25
            There is a photo, taken from above, of K5054 in camouflage, with Jeffrey Quill at the controls, and it's just possible, in places, to see the faint lines of the strip construction of the wings; Gordon Mitchell described it as "clinker-built," and a seaman assured me this meant overlapped. There is a copy of the photo in Jonathon Glancey's "Spitfire, The Illustrated Biography," pages 56/57.

            Comment

            • David Burke
              Rank 5 Registered User
              • Jan 2000
              • 10032

              #26
              Stuart -the Solent Sky /Clive Du Cross machine is at Hawkinge.

              Comment

              • R6915
                Rank 5 Registered User
                • Jan 2013
                • 148

                #27
                Quick catch up's
                Post 23, a very good question in para one I suggest. This afternoon a 1942 + ex Supermarine friend is looking in thre Boscombe Down archives as he thinks there may be a refernce in them - I'll let you no more when I know. But he also said to me that it was a possibility that Supermarine's manufactured a redesigned wing structure hand built at Woolston to test the new structure's increased rigidity. Some wings were also made in the Itchen works at Woolston early on before subcontract manufacture went to General Aircraft and Pobjoy.

                Post 24 Mr. Meddle ! Good idea..except the person who purchased it auction required anonymity from the auctioneers so no go I'm afraid. Cellulose based paint on the original.... I don't know and doubt its possible to find out beyond a comment from years ago from a Supermainer of that era who told me they 'liked' Titanine' branded paint at Woolston Does that help at all, Sir?

                Post 25 I do not have the Glancy book but thank you I will acquire a copy. As far as clinker built is concerned. The reason it is said that Pemberton Billing started the company on an old coaling wharf at Woolston Southampton was because "it was said" he wanted to make float planes and thought that the Socut Coast of the Uk would give him access to the traditional boat building skills in the area. Odd actually because Rolls-Royce cars stated the same reason for coming to Chichester around 2003 !

                Comment

                • skyskooter
                  Rank 5 Registered User
                  • Oct 2012
                  • 414

                  #28
                  Originally posted by Meddle View Post
                  Was this a cellulose-based colour paint or something else?
                  There is a suggestion that it was enamel based. In a well researched feature on the Spitfire prototype which appeared in Scale Models magazine issue March 1977 Harry Robinson wrote that a highly polished enamel finish was applied. He adds:

                  "This was a shade of blue-grey commonly called French Grey and was arrived at by adding blue pigment to a grey enamel base. The resulting subtle blend not only appeared blue to some eyes and grey to others but often photographed as a pale colour, although in reality it was rather dark as indicated by the yellow outlines to fuselage roundels and white outlines to black serial numbers."

                  He also refers to the clinker built panels claiming that on the upper surfaces of the wings they ran spanwise but chordwise on the under surfaces in line with the machine gun access panels.

                  Credit is acknowledged to Jeffrey Quill, C. F. Andrews, Charles W. Cain, Ian Huntley and Wacek Klepacki in the article.

                  Comment

                  • Beermat
                    1 Registered Rank Loser
                    • Oct 2009
                    • 3646

                    #29
                    Not 'Toyota Niagara Green'? Just checking.. Click image for larger version

Name:	Niagara.jpg
Views:	1
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ID:	3657112

                    ..from http://www.toyotareference.com/stout

                    If one looks at the different examples, you can really see how it photographs differently (or perhaps got mixed differently) each time!
                    Last edited by Beermat; 10th October 2014, 13:10.
                    www.whirlwindfighterproject.org
                    It's all good. Probably.

                    Comment

                    • Meddle
                      Rank Bajin.
                      • Sep 2014
                      • 1628

                      #30
                      Originally posted by skyskooter View Post
                      There is a suggestion that it was enamel based. In a well researched feature on the Spitfire prototype which appeared in Scale Models magazine issue March 1977 Harry Robinson wrote that a highly polished enamel finish was applied. He adds:

                      "This was a shade of blue-grey commonly called French Grey and was arrived at by adding blue pigment to a grey enamel base. The resulting subtle blend not only appeared blue to some eyes and grey to others but often photographed as a pale colour, although in reality it was rather dark as indicated by the yellow outlines to fuselage roundels and white outlines to black serial numbers."
                      That is pretty interesting to read. Having done some sleuthing, it appears that '30s enamel paints were based on alkyd resins. Ironically I've been spraying a bit of alkyd-based lacquer recently on a non-aircraft project and I could not get the stuff to dry. I understand that UV protection is minimal for alkyd enamel, so it is possible that, combined with weathering effects, K5054 subtly changed colour for the period it was painted this mystery blue shade.

                      If Harry Robinson is correct, then the Toyota paint mentioned in this thread is incorrect, as it contains a green hue that would be absent if one were to simply mix a grey and a blue paint together. Having said that, BS381 Light Admiralty Grey clearly contains a green-blue component. If we ignore this then we must assume that K5054 must have looked more like this:

                      Comment

                      • R6915
                        Rank 5 Registered User
                        • Jan 2013
                        • 148

                        #31
                        Mr Beermat, Sir, your post No 29 is very intersting! I think that you may have solved the question. Lookig on my monitor screen (that probably isn't very accurate!) that looks to be a very close match to my eyes. That you have also played about with the words and come up with a practical suggestion I feel adds weight to this being the closest colour shade comparison that anyone can make in present times.

                        Looking at other recent posts I know nothing about chemistry and paint make up but one friend did phone me ask if the type of 'body filler' that may have been used by the paint contractors back in 1936 could have reacted with the paint to produce the paint 'pickling effect' that subsequently caused the 'crazing of the surfaces to occur?

                        Post 28 from Skyshooter and the reference to a Harry Robinson drawing in Scale Models magazine of March 1977 is it correct to assume it is the same drawing used by Dr. Price in his 1982 book "The Spitfire Story" ?

                        Comment

                        • skyskooter
                          Rank 5 Registered User
                          • Oct 2012
                          • 414

                          #32
                          Originally posted by R6915 View Post

                          Post 28 from Skyshooter and the reference to a Harry Robinson drawing in Scale Models magazine of March 1977 is it correct to assume it is the same drawing used by Dr. Price in his 1982 book "The Spitfire Story" ?
                          Sorry for the delay. I don't have Dr. Price's book on the Spitfire to make the comparison. Could you possibly scan and post a portion of it so that I can give you an answer.

                          Comment

                          • R6915
                            Rank 5 Registered User
                            • Jan 2013
                            • 148

                            #33
                            Mr Skyscooter, I note that you are in West Sussex. I'm not too far away either. Maybe if you PM me, we might be able to meet up, and you can have a look at my copy of the book! I have to say that I do think we are looking at one and the same info set here!

                            Comment

                            • skyskooter
                              Rank 5 Registered User
                              • Oct 2012
                              • 414

                              #34
                              Done.

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