A (Spitfire) Model Of Perfection

  • E-Mail this Article
  • View Printable Article
  • Text size:

    • A
    • A
    • A

It’s always best to take your time on a model project, but a British man’s admittedly “obsessive” attention to detail kept him working on one project for 11 years. And does it ever show. David Glen of Whaddon finished an almost unbelievably faithful one-fifth scale model of a Spitfire Mk I late last year, and it’s so good that it’s on display at the Royal Air Force Museum. In fact, it was an offer from the museum to house the finished model that Glen credits with driving him to finish it when he was ready to quit from the sheer strain of the effort. Glen worked from scratch, fabricating each part by hand from drawings and photographs obtained at museums. He estimates there are more than 19,000 rivets in the model, all predrilled and set by hand. The instruments are accurate to the point where the needles “stand proud” of the faces. Placards, engraving and other details are faithfully reproduced. Glen said he’s made some mistakes, which he said experts are sure to point out. He also admits to the odd shortcut made possible by the design of the first generation Spitfire. For instance, the Mark I had a greenhouse-type canopy rather than a bubble, which Glen said he had no way of reproducing. The wheel covers also saved him the bother of re-creating the wheel castings. At 58, Glen figures he has one more project left and he’s started on a one-fifth scale P-51D, which means he must have figured out bubble canopies.

DAVID GLEN'S 1:35 SPITFIRE MK1 MODEL

CLICK FOR LARGE IMAGES
EACH IMAGE WILL OPEN IN A NEW WINDOW