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Perhaps this thread should be called " Confessions of another serial Spitfire starter "

This is something I have been intending to build for some time now, having watched this aircraft displayed for about 35 years, firstly by Neil Williams and then Ray and Mark Hanna, surely three of the best display pilots ever.

I will be using the Hasegawa  1/48 kit ( actually the Mk VIII boxing ) with the Aeroclub Mk IX correction set specially designed to address the deficiencies of the Hasegawa fuselage, an Aires resin cockpit set also designed for the Hasegawa kit and the decals from the Airfix Mk IX from a few years ago. The Hasegawa wings come with the teardrop bulges over the wheel wells which is correct for MH434 and I decided to use the Aires set because the cockpit sidewall detail is a little soft on the Aeroclub fuselage and the Aires set also has a representation of the wobble pump, featured on MH434, on the starboard upper wall.

Some photos below of the assorted bits and pieces with a comparison of the Hasegawa and Aeroclub fuselages showing the significant differences in length.  

IMG_1115IMG_1118

This build will run in the background while I finish other kits from the ' shelf of doom ' so the updates will probably be even more infrequent than usual, but I hope I've shown you enough to whet your appetites.

 

Cheers

 

John  :pilot:   

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Suitably whetted and sitting quietly at the back :)

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I'll be following because I am also a 'serial Spitfire starter', a twisted Spitfire starter, and even though it's in the wrong scale (It should be 1/72).

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Serial Kit-starters UNITE!

Interesting collection of parts and AM-goodies. What's with MH434 that makes it so special by the way?

Edited by Christer A

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Thanks everyone, I should have an update for you soon.

What makes MH434 special Christer?  Well it's probably the best known airworthy Spitfire in the UK,  and for me the three above mentioned pilots,were all something special. Neil Williams was a world class aerobatic pilot who displayed this aircraft regularly,  until he was killed in a Spanish He111 he was ferrying. Ray Hanna ( original leader of The Red Arrows ) took over and eventually bought it and formed The Old Flying Machine Company at Duxford where he displayed it until shortly before he died in 2005. To see Ray Hanna display MH434 was almost a spiritual experience, and his son Mark had achieved  the same level of brilliance when he was tragically killed after crashing in a Hipano Bouchon in 1999. 

That's why MH434 is special to me ( and I'm sure many others ) and of course any Spitfire is special anyway.

 

Cheers

 

John

 

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In addition to John's potted biography above, MH434 has been in pretty much every movie that's needed a Spitfire since Battle Of Britain in the late 1960s. Chances are if you've seen a Mk.IX in a film it's been MH434.

 

There's a documentary on her which some kind soul has uploaded to Youtube, albeit in five parts. Here's the first:

https://youtu.be/fCLQtP88Sow

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Although it wasn't MH434, I saw Ray & Mark Hanna displaying Sir Tim Wallace's Spitfire XVI & XIV at Wanaka in 1994. Spiritual pretty much sums it up, I"ve never seen better.

Steve.

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There's a video of that online too, and one of Mark thrashing the Mk.XIV on the practice day. I wish I'd been there.

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We were there for both Zac, saw Mark arrive from Chch on the Friday in the XIV & give it a work out, big wow factor there but his & Ray's double display the next day was quite simply sublime. A Spitfire in front of the crowd at all times & flown to perfection. You just knew you were seeing something incredibly special.

Steve.

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I remember MH434 from the 60's, when it was based at Elstree as G-ASJV. It was pale blue with a royal blue stripe, from memory. There was a 2 seater there too, G-AVAV (grey?). Used to walk there from school and have a good roam around the hangers.

Great days in S Herts. The Elstree airshow included the Red Arrows, a solo Lightning doing a tail stand over the runway etc... </nostalgia>

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35 minutes ago, stevehnz said:

We were there for both Zac, saw Mark arrive from Chch on the Friday in the XIV & give it a work out, big wow factor there but his & Ray's double display the next day was quite simply sublime. A Spitfire in front of the crowd at all times & flown to perfection. You just knew you were seeing something incredibly special.

Steve.

What stevehnz has said goes double for me; While I have never had the pleasure  of seeing and hearing MH434 fly in person, I have numerous photos and videos...she is without a doubt, the most beautiful and best-flown Mk IX on the planet! I will be doing her in 1/72 at some point, in tribute to the airplane and her pilots, who have given so much pleasure to so many over the years. Wasn't that her daisy-cutting in "A Piece of Cake?"

 

P.S. My laptop's screensaver is a perfect profile photo of her at speed on the deck with the hood open!

 

http://www.airliners.net/photo/Untitled/Supermarine-361-Spitfire-LF9B/781024/L?qsp=eJwljc0KwjAQhF9F5tyTLT3kpl68iIK%2BQEjWNljdsFnQUPrupuntmx9mZjj%2BKP30kSPBIJEVN6JBtGLfCWbGi/KXxRfGPQZ9BqHd5dy13doaWflklQaWDLPvGyQWPRaGL/bBOYpKHpt/FU%2ByRpRc/RjWzzpEcttU2xfpQ4qTrSukNkxYlj8tNzfy

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Thanks for the heads up on MH434!

I'm not that into the whole warbirds thing so this was new info for me. Much appreciated!

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18 hours ago, k5054nz said:

In addition to John's potted biography above, MH434 has been in pretty much every movie that's needed a Spitfire since Battle Of Britain in the late 1960s. Chances are if you've seen a Mk.IX in a film it's been MH434.

 

There's a documentary on her which some kind soul has uploaded to Youtube, albeit in five parts. Here's the first:

https://youtu.be/fCLQtP88Sow

K5054- Wiping the drool off of my laptop screen as I'm typing this! Awesome video and an awesome Spitfire! Thank you so much for posting this! BTW, is there a decal sheet in 1/72 available that has her markings?

Mike

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I'm not sure. The not-too-nice Airfix 1/48 kit from a decade ago has it as an option, and in 1/72 there's a (AZ?) kit of the G-ASJV civil scheme as Jo NZ noted.

 

And yes, Ray was flying 434 for Piece of Cake ;-)

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Thanks for all your contributions guys, you've really made the memories come flooding back, and that's my favourite clip too Steve.

I have one MH434 story for you before I post the first actual build update. In the mid '70s I worked at Heathrow and lived in Windsor and one year we saw advertised a ' low level dogfight '  as one of the attractions of the regular steam engine rally at nearby Bracknell. I went with an ATC friend to the event which was held in a largish field surrounded by tall trees. When the time came, a Spitfire and Sea Fury popped up from behind the trees, the Spitfire was of course MH434 flown by Ray Hanna and the Sea Fury was flown by Ormond Haydon Baillie. The dogfight lasted for about 15 minutes with the Spitfire consistently lower than the Sea Fury ( OHB being no mean ' daisy cutter ' himself ) sometimes appearing to be lower than the surrounding trees and  my friend muttered something about hoping that there weren't any CAA display inspectors watching. Presumably there weren't as we didn't hear anything on the grapevine.

I also love K5054s screen saver, there is a similar picture in John Dibbs' book Spitfire: The Legend Lives On, but flown by Mark Hanna on that occasion.

 

Cheers

 

John

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9 hours ago, k5054nz said:

I'm not sure. The not-too-nice Airfix 1/48 kit from a decade ago has it as an option, and in 1/72 there's a (AZ?) kit of the G-ASJV civil scheme as Jo NZ noted.

 

And yes, Ray was flying 434 for Piece of Cake ;-)

I discovered that there is a very expensive special boxing of the Eduard 1/72 Mk IX released a while back that has MH434 as one of the numerous markings choices, and I also found that Southern Expo has a limited edition decal sheet with Luftwaffe and RAF schemes, and MH434 is one of the schemes. I am in the process of ordering a set. Yessss!

 

Mike

 

Just got a few closeup photos of her taken by a UK friend when he was there for a Duxford show....immaculate, inside and out! I am soooo envious of his being able to see, hear, and lay his hands on her!

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14 Oct.

I have finally made a start on this using something I ' inherited ' from SWMBO to remove the moulded detail from the cockpit sidewalls in preparation for the Aires set. It's actually a manicure/pedicure set but is more controllable in speed than my Dremel and it rotates in both directions if you should need to. My new tool tool proved to be ideal for the job so I'll keep it. I wonder what she'll want in return!

Below is a before and after photo, it took me ten minutes to achieve this result. 

IMG_1122

I have also given the Aires cockpit parts a coat of Xtracrylix interior grey/green, unfortunately I had not cleaned the frames either side of the fuselage bottom properly and the paint finished "frothy" so I had to wipe it off. The try/green looks a little pale to me but as everything still needs to be weathered/dirtied I'm hoping that the eventual shade will be satisfactory. I also noted from cockpit pictures that the grey/green extends behind the seat, unlike on earlier marks.

IMG_1125

In the John Dibbs book there is a whole chapter devoted to MH434 and while studying the pictures closely I discovered that there were no slots for the spent bullet/shell cases on the wing undersides so I will fill them in before joining the wing halves. You can see from the above sprue shots that there are in fact two cannon ejector slots on each wing to allow for an "E"wing version, so I would have had to fill a couple anyway. anyway. 

That's it for now, thanks for looking and feel free to comment

Cheers

 

John  :pilot:   

Edited by Biggles87

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Nice work John. That tool looks like a nice gift from her ladyship! :) 

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Another SSS here following along John. Maybe we should start a support group....?! Especially interested in this build as I have one or two of the Hase/Aeroclub  combos in stock.

 

That tool looks most effective!

 

Also, thanks for being too polite to point out that I was being an idiot in Ced's thread when I asked you if you were intending to build 434 as a twin stick - I have no idea where I got the notion that she'd been converted into a trainer from...!!

 

Keith

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You'd be thinking of ML407 I reckon Keith, Carolyn Grace's twin stick, converted from the war time mount of Kiwi pilot Johnnie Houlton & nearly as famous as Mh434.

Steve.

Edited by stevehnz

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Thanks Steve, you might well be right - I'll use that as my excuse for being daft anyway!

 

Keith

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I thought that you were probably thinking of Ml407 also.

An SSS support group sounds good to me.

 

John

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Another very interesting build from you, John :popcorn:  I'll tag along, if you don't mind :)

 

Ciao

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Pull up a chair Giorgo the more the merrier, I think you know everyone so no introductions necessary. :D

 

John. 

Spoiler

 

 

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