JonteSvensson's blog View Details
Posted by JonteSvensson | Aug 04, 2011 @ 03:33 PM | 8,997 Views
The Alfa Model Spitfire is like on rails. Very stable and great fun to fly. There can't possibly be a better flying model in this size.
Posted by JonteSvensson | Jul 26, 2011 @ 03:29 PM | 9,957 Views
Couldn't resist to start weathering the Spit.

Over time paint discolors, chips and eventually peels off the surface of an airplane in a variety of shapes and sizes. Usually it happens on edges and corners of panels, and around rivets and screws. To simulate this effect, I went around the edges of panels adding random spots with Tamiya X-11 chrome silver using a small brush.

The photos show that it looks a bit too sharp right now, just like the paint peeled of minutes ago. My next step will be to make the effect look a bit more convincing by going over the chipped areas with thin grime color (a 50:50 mix of black and red brown) to tone back the peels and blending them into the overall weathering effect.
Posted by JonteSvensson | Jul 26, 2011 @ 02:44 PM | 9,481 Views
The Spitfire has been assembled for some time now; balanced, varnished and ready to go.

Big note to self: never forget the servo arm screws (which I did.. Isn't easy getting them in there when the aileron servos are glued inside the wing..
Posted by JonteSvensson | Jul 07, 2011 @ 02:35 PM | 10,691 Views
Getting the elevator and optional rudder servo in place is done in a snap. The aileron servos are a bit more complicated to say the least.

I had heard before that it could be quite hard to string the servo wires through the wing, but to my surprise the first one passed through without any worries on the first attempt. The second one was not as easy.. The pull string was tangled around the internal framing of the wing, so it didn't even move to begin with. Once I got it loose it turned out to be extremely tight in that wing half, because it took me forever to get the wire through. I didn't want to cut any holes in the wing, and I'm glad I didn't have to. Finally they were both there (after a lot of blood, sweat and tears).

Note 1: there isn't two pull strings (I thought there was one for each aileron servo), it is actually one long string from one end to the other (passing through the middle).

Note 2: the string is taped to the inside of the wing, just beneath the area that is marked for cutting. Be careful when cutting through this area and when getting the foam out of there.
Posted by JonteSvensson | Jul 05, 2011 @ 03:55 PM | 10,676 Views
Somewhere along the way, I lost motivation to complete my Spitfire. Today I finally got a desire to continue, and mounted spacers, motor and ESC. I guess one has to be lucky to get the distance for the spinner right out of the box, but I hope my spacers of ply will do the trick.
Tomorrow it's time for the servos, and it remains to be seen how easy it is to get the servo cables through the wing.
Posted by JonteSvensson | Mar 14, 2011 @ 05:03 PM | 12,468 Views
Wing insignias added. As usual minor touch ups necessary.
Posted by JonteSvensson | Mar 14, 2011 @ 04:39 PM | 12,327 Views
Finally got around to cut stencils and add the tail number. It is impossible to avoid underspray since the frisket film doesn't adhere to the Alfa foam for some reason. Nothing that can't be easily fixed though.
Posted by JonteSvensson | Jan 14, 2011 @ 03:23 PM | 13,165 Views
Lately there has been a lot of bumping into great inspiration for projects based on Alfa Models. Like this Bf 109 (a G, but anywho)

For me it will probably be more of selling than getting Alfas in the near future since my radar is stuck on a Savex Spitfire. Perhaps the Bf 109 could serve as inspiration for someone else?
Posted by JonteSvensson | Jan 06, 2011 @ 03:29 PM | 13,073 Views
AXI 2208/34 motor and radial mount + 18A ESC + 2 HS-50 and 2 HS-55 servos. This Spitfire will be really nice.
Posted by JonteSvensson | Jan 04, 2011 @ 06:18 AM | 13,524 Views
The masking tape on the canopy was removed which ended my first repaint/remake/detailing/weathering project. It was nice to finally see the shiny glass of the canopy and McCuskey Jr in there.
Posted by JonteSvensson | Jan 04, 2011 @ 06:12 AM | 13,441 Views
After decals and varnish it was time to add some dirt & grime and highlights. A combination of postshading using the airbrush with a mix of black and brown, pastel chalks and pencils was used.
Posted by JonteSvensson | Jan 04, 2011 @ 05:59 AM | 13,547 Views
The decals where put straight onto the flat Tamiya acrylic paint with the help of MicroSet and MicroSol. I didn't have any problems with silvering, but since the decals have a glossy surface and the flat Tamiya paint doesn't, it took two coats of semi-gloss varnish to get the proper "painted on"-look.

Alfa decals don't have any large areas of carrier film around them, which is nice. But it also means that it isn't easy to get them on in one piece without twisting and tearing.

The images show the model with added decals and a first coat of semi-gloss. Painted details and all the weathering is not there yet. Left to do is also cockpit (including pilot), and details like machine gun barrels, radio masts, and wire antennas.
Posted by JonteSvensson | Jan 04, 2011 @ 05:52 AM | 13,705 Views
When reviewing the rivets I wasn't really happy with the depth of them and in the end I went over the riveting three times with 'One Strike Filler' lightweight spackle.

After adding the rivets the model was preshaded using Tamiya XF-1 flat black for panel lines and the riveting.

I decided to go with Lt. Elbert Scot McCuskey's F4F-3 from USS Yorktown resulting in basecoats using a mix of grey and white for the lower surfaces and a mix of blue and white for the upper surfaces.

The image shows the model after spackling, preshading, and basecoats (the canopy is masked using Tamiya masking tape).
Posted by JonteSvensson | Jan 03, 2011 @ 05:54 PM | 13,459 Views
Rivets added using a Trumpeter 1:32 Wildcat as reference.
Posted by JonteSvensson | Jan 03, 2011 @ 04:45 PM | 13,233 Views
The spinner now have got the color of 2nd division (same blue used for crown insignias). The colors look a bit dark, but I am sure it will look better in daylight.

Finally got around to order the power unit and servos. The spitfire will have the following setup:
  • AXI 2208/34 motor and radial mount
  • 18A ESC
  • 1300 mAh 3S battery packs
  • Hitec HS-50 and 55 servos
  • APC 9x6SF propeller

I got a real good price on Hitec HS-50 and HS-55, so this time I'll give those a shot. Interesting to see if I notice any difference from other cheaper servos I've used previously.
Posted by JonteSvensson | Dec 31, 2010 @ 05:13 PM | 13,628 Views
Crown insignias on the fuselage almost there, touch ups left to do. Next is air force wing and aircraft number.
Posted by JonteSvensson | Dec 30, 2010 @ 10:00 AM | 13,678 Views
A first test in the center section of the wing showed that frisket film does not work on Alfa foam at all! The film just doesn't adhere to the surface resulting in heavy underspray (and a smooth edge). On the old P-51 wing i have lying around it worked just fine to use the frisket film on top of a base coat of Tamiya XF acrylics, but on Alfa foam it won't work.

My second attempt was to add a layer of varnish on top of the base paint, hoping that the frisket film would attach better, but no luck with that. Really weird..

After that I tried using repositionable spray adhesive to get the masks to adhere properly on the Alfa foam. I first thought I would give '3M Remount' a go, but then I found out that it contains acetone and that does not work with foam nor Tamiya acrylics. I found another brand (without acetone) and gave it a shot. Luckily I tried it in the center section of the wing again, because the solvent in the glue attacked both the varnish, paint and foam.

So, with no ideas left I today decided to use the frisket film, try to hold it down as much as possible and spray with a low pressure. Unfortunately some underspray occured, but nothing that can't be fixed.

The attached pictures show the result of the first step of the crown insignias, and the down-toned pre-shading. It is very subtle but is to be followed by usual weathering and perhaps a post-shade step as well.
Posted by JonteSvensson | Nov 20, 2010 @ 04:25 PM | 13,969 Views
A lot of time has been spent adding thin coats of the base paint for both upper and lower surfaces, and even though the "build" is progressing it doesn't really feel that it does since the changes are so small. Just finished what I think will be the last layer of base paint, will have to see the model in daylight to judge if the pre-shade is faded enough.

Dropped by my local hobby shop to get paint for the crown insignias and markings; yellow (XF-3), blue (XF-8), and white (XF-2). The yellow seems to fit the bill perfectly, but I think that the blue will have to be mixed a bit to be a perfect match.

There is a reference article on IPMS Stockholm that shows roughly what I am aiming for with my Spitfire (except that my Spitfire will be a 2nd division aircraft with blue spinner and blue letters):

I really like the appearance of panel lines, riveting and weathering in the photo of the wing center section.
Posted by JonteSvensson | Nov 18, 2010 @ 02:40 PM | 11,053 Views
A more general reference for colors can be found at IPMS Stockholms web, The first part contains color reference charts with authentic military colors organized by country and time period and part two deals with model paints and color conversions between paint manufacturers.

These charts, together with the Federal Standard 595 Color Server at make a perfect reference for colors.