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Found 4 results

  1. Quick little four-evening build of a Tamiya Spitfire Mk.I 1/72 scale kit that I received in a club gift exchange. I decided to build it as an early production Mk.Ia after scrounging through my spare decal bin. IMG_4830 by Evan Bailly, on Flickr IMG_4854 by Evan Bailly, on Flickr Spitfire Mk.Ia Serial K9099 wasn’t even two months old when she was photographed already looking well worn in a lineup of other No.65 “East India” Squadron machines in May of 1939, wearing the code FZ-O. Apparently she had an early stroke of bad luck as apparently she had her oil cooler fairing and pitot tube replaced with black-painted parts and a yet un-repainted port forward wing root fillet. K9099 ended her existence in another stroke of bad luck when, recoded YT-O, she was shot down by a Bf. 109 over Bazinghen, Pas-de-Calais with the loss of her pilot, Sgt Michael Keymer, on August 22nd 1940. IMG_4849 by Evan Bailly, on Flickr IMG_4852 by Evan Bailly, on Flickr IMG_4847 by Evan Bailly, on Flickr IMG_4839 by Evan Bailly, on Flickr IMG_4853 by Evan Bailly, on Flickr The model was built mostly out of the box with an added Eduard seat harness and brake lines from fine wire. I also replaced the later style gunsight with the early ring style one, and scratch built the idiosyncratic early style pitot tube and antenna aerial. Prewar markings were put together with a mix of spare decals from the bin. Paints were mostly Vallejo acrylics.
  2. Finally got it done and finally got some decent pictures. Here's the link for the works in progress. http://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/234995586-1939-willys-gasser/
  3. When Hitler demanded on March 20, 1939, that Lithuania cede the port of Memel immediately, Lithuania's Military Aviation was certainly unequal to any conflict with Germany. The thirteen Dewoitine D.501 monoplanes of the 1st Eskadrile comprised half the fighter strength of the Lithuanian air service. In the summer of 1935, when this type entered French service, it was the most advanced fighter in front-line service anywhere in Western Europe, but that was far from true any longer in the early months of 1939. In 1934 the Lithuanian government had gone shopping for modern fighters to replace obsolescent Fiat CR. 20 biplanes, and had settled on the Dewoitine D.370 parasol monoplane. Production of this type, however, met with delays owing to problems with its new high-powered twin-row radial engine. When the Spanish Civil War began in July, 1936, the Popular Front government in France wished to provide some aid to the Spanish government. The batch of D.370 fighters just recently completed for Lithuania became part of this aid, with Lithuania agreeing to accept in lieu 14 of the newer D.501 types. Delivery was not prompt, though; the Lithuanian examples were built only at the end of the production run, and only arrived in Lithuania late in 1937 (by which time the up-engined D.510 was coming into French service). Dewoitine's D.500/501/510 series was one of the transitional designs so often seen in the 1930s, a period of rapid advance in aeronautical engineering. It was built employing the most modern techniques, being of all-metal, stressed skin construction, and of low-wing, cantilever monoplane configuration, yet it retained an open cockpit, and a fixed landing gear. The original D.500 was armed with two rifle-caliber synchronized machine-guns, but the D.501 and D.510 were armed with a 20mm cannon firing through the hollow shaft of a propeller driven by a geared motor, and supplemented this with a rifle-caliber machine-gun under each wing, a very heavy armament for a serving fighter at that time. The D.500/501 had a top speed of a bit over 230mph, good for its time but not commandingly so (the P-26 and PZL-11 were faster), but the D.510 with its more powerful motor was the first French fighter to exceed 250mph in level flight. It is worth noting that, had England and France stood by Czechoslovakia in September of 1938, these Dewoitine monoplanes would have been the chief French fighter planes: it would not be until January of 1939 that the first production example of the Morane 406 was delivered. Hitler's demand for the port of Memel, and his unopposed seizure of it on March 23, 1939, barely a week after his liquidation of what remained of the state of Czechoslovakia, served notice to all, if any were still required, that his territorial ambitions extended far beyond what he had claimed during the Munich Crisis six months before. Public revulsion at it in England was a leading reason Chamberlain's government gave its guarantee of future assistance to Poland. The military impotence of the largest of the Baltic states in the face of German arms convinced Stalin only Soviet garrisons in these states could prevent Hitler using them as a spring-board to invasion of Russia. The state of Lithuania which existed between 1918 and 1940 arose in the chaos of the Russian revolution. In the course of the Great War, the area had come under German occupation, and with the rise of the Bolsheviks, German authorities adopted a policy of fostering independent states in the western reaches of what had been Czarist Russia. Prior to absorption by Russia in the late eighteenth century, Lithuania had been part of a Commonwealth with Poland: the two had originally been equal partners (and a major power indeed in Central Europe), but vagaries of war and disease had left Lithuania much the junior by the end. Newly independent Lithuania in 1919 had to fight not only Bolsheviks to the east but also the revived state of Poland to the south, and various German freikorps bodies to the north in Latvia. Matters reached such a pitch at one point that Lithuania briefly allied with the Bolsheviks against Poland. The port of Memel was detached from Prussia by the Treaty of Versailles, and made a Mandate Territory of the League of Nations, which assigned its administration to France. In 1922, the Lithuanian government contrived a rising in the city, intending to secure its annexation. After some protests from France and England, the League accepted the attachment of Memel to Lithuania as an autonomous district, at the same time, in a sort of de facto swap, recognizing Poland's seizure two years before of Vilnius and setting the border between Poland and Lithuania well north of where the latter thought it ought to be. A large portion of the inhabitants of Memel did consider themselves Prussian, and the area contained a disproportionate amount of Lithuania's industry, as well as being the passage for nearly all its foreign trade. When Hitler came to power in Germany, Memel was an obvious target for his 'in-gathering' of German populations under foreign rule. A Lithuanian crack-down on Nazi organization in Memel increased tensions considerably. Hitler declared early in 1938 his intention to incorporate Memel in Germany. Poland took the opportunity of Hitler's occupation of Austria to demand Lithuania accept Polish rule of Vilnius or face invasion, and Hitler declared if Poland and Lithuania went to war, he would invade Lithuania as well. Acceptance of the Polish ultimatum brought no relief, as this was followed by fresh demands from Hitler that a Nazi party be given a free hand in Memel. Local elections in December of 1938 were dominated by Nazi candidates, and it was anticipated the local Parliament would vote when it convened at the end of March for union with Germany. Hitler would not wait, however, and once Czechoslovakia was liquidated in mid-March, he demanded, via Ribbentrop, immediate cessation of Memel to Germany. The entire German surface fleet, with Hitler himself aboard the pocket battleship Deutschland, set sail for Memel, and in the face of this, Lithuania's government acquiesced, and signed Memel over hours before Hitler arrived. The kit is a vintage Heller offering, and goes together pretty well, as Heller kits generally do. The radiator tunnel assembly is difficult, and the kit windscreen is very poor. Care is needed to get the wing alignment right, but the fit is good. There are some 'issues' in this kit with section of the fuselage behind the cockpit, and belly profile, but I left these areas alone. Raised detail is correct on the nose area, and over the wing spars. Decals are home-made, with the black outline printed on white film, and cut out to leave a surrounding white pinstripe around the black. Finish is kitchen foil, treated by heating with eggshells, and using Micro-Scale foil adhesive.
  4. I've got a slight issue I need help with. I'm steadily working along on my Airfix Spit Mk 1 with Watts 2 bladed prop and I see that the birds from 1939 to at least the early fall of 1940 had protruding flash suppressors on the outer wing guns, at least before the red arming tape covers were added in early 1941. I've done web searches for .303s with flash suppressors and they look to be cone shaped. But the Spit suppressors I've seen in pictures from the 1939-40 period (assuming they are suppressors and not some other housing) seem to look more cylindrical in shape. So I am scratching my head a little here. I can't necessarily leave them off as they are a rather prominant feature on Spitfires from the pre-war period.
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