Spitfire Masterpiece

Jul 20, 2012 15 Comments by

This is one outstanding model, a scratch built 1/5th scale Supermarine Spitfire MK 1 by an English model builder. The pictures and accompanying text are by the model maker, David Glen. I wish I could make something this great.

The job took well over eleven years, during which there were times he very nearly came to giving the project up for lost. The sheer amount of work involved, countless hours, proved almost too much, were it not for a serendipitous encounter at my flying club in Cambridge with Dr Michael Fopp, Director General of the Royal Air Force Museum in England.

The model is skinned with litho plate over a balsa core and has been left in bare metal at the suggestion of Michael Fopp, so that the structure is seen to best advantage. The rivets are real and many are pushed into drilled holes in the skin and underlying balsa, but many more are actual mechanical fixings, there are at least 19,000!

All interior detail is built from a combination of Supermarine drawings and workshop manuals, plus countless photographs

The degree of detail is probably obsessive: The needles of the dials in the cockpit actually stand proud of the instrument faces, but you have to look hard to see it!

John Reid

About the author

West Coast senior editor About me: I’ve been involved with RC aircraft since high school and have flown just about everything. I started my RC career with scratch-building, but now like many pilots I rely on ARFs to get me in the air. My main focus is on pylon racing, aerobats, combat and scale warbirds.

15 Responses to “Spitfire Masterpiece”

  1. John Carter says:

    Belongs in a museum.

    Clearly a labour of love.

    Is it a static model or does it fly ?

  2. Rene Finger says:

    The model seems to be exposed at the RAF-Museum north of London UK where I have seen it three we3eks ago.

  3. Mat says:

    There’s a feller on Youtube out of Brazil I believe does these scratchbuilts entirely of metal that are really nice too, he’s does his for museums and private collectors, has a really nice BF109 Messerschmitt…”rojasbaton” I believe he calls himself on Youtube. This Spitfire looks like it could fly out of the screen…NICE!!

  4. Don Cloyd says:

    Fantastic workmanship. I agree that I wish I could model to this level.. Well done!

  5. Joey Reinleib says:

    A model as well crafted as this humbles me and I have been building non-flying scale models for most of my life. It is a pleasure to see this beautiful model, and I wish Mr. Glen success in all his future projects.

  6. Allen B says:

    A fantastic model.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Derek Brooker July 27th 2012 8pm

    Totally gobsmacked !! a most beautifiul model of a beatiful plane.
    A marvelous achievement.

  8. BOB says:


  9. Todd Breda says:

    Wow…Simply superb craftsmanship. Now if only we could get RC manufacturers to build them that scale! :)

  10. RR says:

    In a way it’s frustrating to look at because I know I would Never have the skill or patience to do something like that any more than I could run a mile in under 3 minutes. It’s also upsetting that I can’t see how ANYONE could possibly build something like that. The cockpit is Impossible. I would just love to see it in person.

    And really, all some of you can think of to say is, “does it fly”? Do you even know what you are looking at? It’s not CG.

  11. Mark Phillips says:

    I agree with RR, who cares if it flies! It is a beautiful work of ART and should be enjoyed as such. It could collect dust on my coffee table and I would still covet it all the same. Where did Mr. Glen aquire the ability to build like that? He must be a retired Dentist, an engineer or some type of god. Really, Great Job Ol’ Chap!

  12. r.cannon says:

    The men who flew these planes into certain death 70 years ago make me thank God for their courage.

  13. Terry Solesbee says:

    I wouldn’t put an eleven year project in the air ! Only a three year.

  14. Anonymous says:

    If it could fly, who would dare to try it!!!!!!!!!!!!

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