Thanks to Eduard for providing more of their excellent aftermarket parts for IPMS USA review, and to IPMS leadership for sending it to me!
Here we go. According to the flight manual, the average Spitfire pilot will retract the flaps as soon as he/she is on the ground because the flap interferes with cooling air exhaust from the radiator, which leads to overheating on the ground. BUT, sometimes flaps must be down for maintenance, which is how Eduard approaches the situation.
This set is not for the faint of heart. it requires patience, dexterity, skill, and a lot of luck to pull off a successful installation. I get four of 10 on this one for my lack of the above.
HOWEVER, many will do just fine with it. Remember rule 1: Metal work hardens every time you bend it. Breakage is a way of life. if you try to bend things more than once, you MIGHT get a second chance.
SO, study your flaps, and develop a course of action!
First, gently remove the flaps and some plastic from the wings, both upper and lower. Use your best scalpel/curved X-Acto knife here. You also get the fun task of opening up the flap indicators on the upper wing. After having done this the hard way, with the standard thickness of the plastic, I would thin the plastic first with a dremel, and finish with the best, sharpest #11 blade to cut out the indicator door. I made a dog’s breakfast out of it, to borrow from my British friends.
I decided to fold the flap ribs BEFORE removal from the fret. This gave time to bend them into place, and hopefully not screw up, because you get two bends and these little bits fly off! Also pay attention to orientation, as the flaps fit onto wire or rod which means you can put them on backwards. I did it, so I know.
Using a curved X-Acto (or knockoff company) blade, cut through the fret hold-down gates. You will then have one flexible, squirrely set of flaps which need delicate and careful handling. I started in the center area, and worked my way out with superglue. Take your time because if you attach yourself to a flap, might as well call “game over”.
I know, because I did this on a previous model.
I successfully removed the flaps from the fret, and was able to (more or less) fold them into recognizable flaps. The flap indicator actuating arms come next, then the door. This is microsurgery beyond my ability, but I tried.
Superglue is our friend. Installation is pretty straightforward from there, primer final and paint.
Thanks again to Eduard for one more solution to our AMS!