Case Studies

Spitfire restoration at Edinburgh Airport

13th May 2019
Repair to vintage spitfire in Edinburgh

Edinburgh Airport is home to an iconic, life-sized model of a Spitfire plane. Built in memorial to the sacrifices of the RAF (during which the airport was used as an RAF base) it has become a focal point for Remembrance Sunday commemorations. With 2018 marking the centenary of the end of World War I, an extra special remembrance service was planned and the team at Plastic Surgeon was tasked with restoring the plane in time for the November ceremony.

Key Information

  • Project: Edinburgh Airport Spitfire Repair
  • Client: Balfour Beatty on behalf of Merlin ERD
  • Repair type: Model Spitfire restoration
  • Project time: 2 finishers working across 5 full days


Having been moved to a new location several times, the wings and body of the Spitfire had started to crack in multiple places and Plastic Surgeon’s finishers were asked to rectify this damage, which was starting to seriously affect the aesthetics of the plane

One of the key challenges of this restoration was the colour. With a camouflaged exterior, the team had to take great care to ensure that any colour didn’t leech into other areas, spoiling the camouflage look. It was also quite tricky to match the finish of the repair (which needed to be very matt) to the existing paint work. The finishers hand mixed the colours and matched it by eye to ensure a seamless overall finish.


Our two finishers delivered the restoration work on time and to the customers’ satisfaction.

The body and wings of the plane are now restored to their former glory, with the repairs completed in time for the Remembrance Sunday service, and the cracks no longer visible.

Damage to the nose cone of the plane was not part of the original repair request, Merlin ERD is now looking at bringing in Plastic Surgeon again to fully restore this aspect, having been so impressed with the job done on the body and wings.

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