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Project Notes

#630 Spitfire Mk.Vc

Building a diorama inspired by the box-art of Airfix’s 1:72 scale Spitfire Mk.Vc flying over La Sénia Algeria 1942, enhanced with some LED candle effects and targets of opportunity.



The Kit

The kit - Supermarine Spitfire Mk.Vc; Airfix No. A02108, 1:72 - is a nice new mould from 2020.


I’m modelling ER180 - US Army Air Force 307 FS, 31 FG MX-P / ER180

Main paint scheme:

Feature Colour Recommended Paint Used
cockpit detail Black Humbrol 33 70.950
cockpit interior Aluminium Humbrol 56 Humbrol 56
seat Leather Humbrol 62 70.843 Cork Brown ?
cockpit interior Cockpit Green Humbrol 78 Humbrol 78
prop tips Yellow Humbrol 24  
upper camo Dark Earth Humbrol 29 70.921 English Uniform
spinner nose Matt White Humbrol 34 70.951 White
exhaust Gun metal Humbrol 53 Humbrol 53
spinner nose trim Brick Red Humbrol 70 70.909 vermillion
lower camo Middle Blue/Azure Blue Humbrol 89 70.907 Pale Gre Blue + 70.839 Ultramarine ~ 1:1
upper camo Middle Stone Humbrol 225 blend 70.843 cork brown, 70.824 German Camo Orange Ochre, 70.917 Beige, 70.907 Pale Grey Blue

Recommended colours for the pilot:

  • Humbrol 33 Black
  • Humbrol 24 Trainer Yellow
  • Humbrol 61 Flesh
  • Humbrol 62 Leather
  • Humbrol 121 Pale Stone

For the pilot, I used a grab-bag of similar colours from my paint stash, mainly Vallejo Model Color.

The Build


The cockpit is reasonable well detailed out of the box


These recent (2020) Airfix tools are impressively engineered. Construction was a breeze with minimal seam-lines to deal with.


I realised I fluffed the tail camo after the fact - my usual problem of confusing and mirroring the masking (on the right tail plane).

build02a build02b build02c build03a

decals done and wire attached for an in-flight pose


ready for finishing

build03c build03d

enhancing the panel lines (Tamiya black panel line accent)

build04a build04b

Time to start dirtying up that sweet finish with some oils

build05a build05b

using pastels to break up the finish and add some dust effects

build07a build07b build07c

Planning the Diorama

It was the box-art of the Airfix A02108 kit that really drew me to build it in the first place, so no surprise that it inspires the choice of presentation.

I’m building a simple base on a tile to represent Algerian desert, with Spitfire causing a little havoc amongst some German targets of opportunity.

The target convoy will be in a smaller scale so that the aircraft remains the focus with some forced-perspective. I have a few options in mind for vehicles:

  • Hauler 1:120 TIGER I ausf E and Staff Car
  • Pit-Road 1/144 German vehicles
  • Pit-Road 1/700 German vehicles

I have some of these on order. Interested to see how far I can push the forced-perspective!

Diorama Base

Starting to build a base on a tile. The LEDs I’ve wired in have a candle-flicker effect, powered from 3V coin cell holder also built into the base


used tile grout this time and I like the texture it brings


trying the black-basing approach for groundwork


an hour or so in the spray booth working through a progression of colours


LED Effects

This is really simple, as I have some 5mm Yellow Blinking Candle Effect LEDs from aliexpress. With a 3V coin cell, they light perfectly and don’t even need a current-limiting resistor.



Trial Assembly

attaching to the base build08a

Spinning prop and candle-flicker effects in the explosion… about as far as I can take this for now - waiting for some vehicle kits to populate the base

build09a build09b build09c

1:120 Convoy

I received these fabulous little resin+PE kits from Hauler in 1:120 scale:

Tiger I Ausf. E

The Hauler kit No. HTT120002 comes in cast resin with a PE sheet and some decals. The decals include at least 3 schemes.

A beautiful little build:

build10a build10b

A quick paint job to get this beast on the diorama without delay.


I’ll probably come back for some finer weathering later…


Opel Kapitän

The Hauler kit No. HTT120076 comes with two vehicles. Basically the resin cast and some PE+decal number plates.


“Construction” primarily means cleaning up the printing supports!


A quick paint job:


No weathering to speak of, just a simple camo scheme for now..


Final Diorama (1:72, 1:120 Scale)

Testing with the convoy vehicles after priming but before they are painted and finished:


Some initial shots after painting the convoy vehicles.

The 1:72 to 1:120 forced-perspective seems to work fine. I still have some Pit-road 1:144 and 1:700 on the way to try later to see how far I can push it.

build13a build13b build13c build13d build13e

How it now looks compared to the box art:


Revised with a 1:144 Convoy

I was interseted in pushing the forced-perspective experiment further with a 1:144 convoy. I picked up the new 2020 tool Pit-Road kit of WWII German army military vehicles set 1 No. SGK02 1:144.

The molding is sublime, and the kit contains parts for 2 each of:

  • Kfz. 305 Opel Blitz
  • Pz.Kpfw. II Ausf. F
  • Sd.Kfz. 250
  • Sd.Kfz. 251

I built a few of the vehicles and gave them a quick desert camo paintjob:


NB: I did also checkout Pit-Road WWII German Military Vehicle Set 1 No. MI02, but I think the 1:700 scale is a bit too extreme for this diorama.

Updated Diorama (1:72, 1:144 Scale)

Some updated shots with the new convoy vehicles and re-scaled the “explosion” to suit.


The 1:72 to 1:144 forced-perspective seems to work even better; even closer to the box art.

build15a build15b

Never Finished

OK, after calling this done for a second time, I came back to fiddle the groundwork and decal the convoy.

build16a build16b build16c build16d build16e build17a build17b build17c build17d

Maybe now I can say I’m finished?

Credits and References

Project Source on GitHub Project Gallery Return to the LEAP Catalog

This page is a web-friendly rendering of my project notes shared in the LEAP GitHub repository.

LEAP is just my personal collection of projects. Two main themes have emerged in recent years, sometimes combined:

  • electronics - usually involving an Arduino or other microprocessor in one way or another. Some are full-blown projects, while many are trivial breadboard experiments, intended to learn and explore something interesting
  • scale modelling - I caught the bug after deciding to build a Harrier during covid to demonstrate an electronic jet engine simulation. Let the fun begin..
To be honest, I haven't quite figured out if these two interests belong in the same GitHub repo or not. But for now - they are all here!

Projects are often inspired by things found wild on the net, or ideas from the many great electronics and scale modelling podcasts and YouTube channels. Feel free to borrow liberally, and if you spot any issues do let me know (or send a PR!). See the individual projects for credits where due.