Jump to content

Search the Community

Showing results for tags 'Battle of Britain'.

The search index is currently processing. Current results may not be complete.
  • Search By Tags

    Type tags separated by commas.
  • Search By Author

Content Type


Calendars

  • Community Calendar
  • Group Builds
  • Model Show Calendar

Forums

  • Forum Functionality & Forum Software Help and Support
    • FAQs
    • Help & Support
    • New Members
  • Aircraft Modelling
    • Military Aircraft Modelling Discussion by Era
    • Civil Aircraft Modelling Discussion by Era
    • Work in Progress - Aircraft
    • Ready for Inspection - Aircraft
    • Aircraft Related Subjects
  • AFV Modelling (armour, military vehicles & artillery)
    • Armour Discussion by Era
    • Work in Progress - Armour
    • Ready for Inspection - Armour
    • Armour Related Subjects
    • large Scale AFVs (1:16 and above)
  • Maritime Modelling (Ships and subs)
    • Maritime Discussion by era
    • Work in Progress - Maritime
    • Ready for Inspection - Maritime
  • Vehicle Modelling (non-military)
    • Vehicle Discussion
    • Work In Progress - Vehicles
    • Ready For Inspection - Vehicles
  • Science Fiction & RealSpace
    • Science Fiction Discussion
    • RealSpace Discussion
    • Work In Progress - SF & RealSpace
    • Ready for Inspection - SF & RealSpace
  • Figure Modeling
    • Figure Discussion
    • Figure Work In Progress
    • Figure Ready for Inspection
  • Dioramas, Vignettes & Scenery
    • Diorama Chat
    • Work In Progress - Dioramas
    • Ready For Inspection - Dioramas
  • Reviews, News & Walkarounds
    • Reviews
    • Current News
    • Build Articles
    • Tips & Tricks
    • Walkarounds
  • Modeling using 3D Printing
    • 3D Printing Basics
    • 3D Printing Chat
    • 3D Makerspace
  • Modelling
    • Group Builds
    • The Rumourmonger
    • Manufacturer News
    • Other Modelling Genres
    • Britmodeller Yearbooks
    • Tools & Tips
  • General Discussion
    • Chat
    • Shows
    • Photography
    • Members' Wishlists
  • Shops, manufacturers & vendors
    • Aerocraft Models
    • Above & Beyond Retail
    • Air-craft.net
    • Amarket Modl
    • A.M.U.R. Reaver
    • Atlantic Models
    • BlackMike Models
    • Casemate UK
    • Copper State Models
    • Creative Models Ltd
    • EBMA Hobby & Craft
    • Freightdog Models
    • Hannants
    • fantasy Printshop
    • HMH Publications
    • Hobby Paint'n'Stuff
    • Hypersonic Models
    • Iliad Design
    • L'Arsenal 2.0
    • MikroMir
    • Kingkit
    • Model Designs
    • Modellingtools.co.uk
    • Maketar Paint Masks
    • Marmaduke Press Decals
    • NeOmega & Vector Resin
    • Parkes682Decals
    • Paulus Victor Decals
    • Red Roo Models
    • RES/KIT
    • SBS Model - Hungary
    • Scalectronics - Lighting & Sound Solutions
    • Scale-Model-Kits.com
    • Shelf Oddity
    • Sovereign Hobbies
    • Special Hobby
    • Starling Models
    • Test Valley Models
    • The48ers
    • Tiger Hobbies
    • Tirydium Models
    • Ultimate Modelling Products
    • Valiant Wings Publishing
    • Videoaviation Italy
    • Wonderland Models
  • Archive
    • 2007 Group Builds
    • 2008 Group Builds
    • 2009 Group Builds
    • 2010 Group Builds
    • 2011 Group Builds
    • 2012 Group Builds
    • 2013 Group Builds

Find results in...

Find results that contain...


Date Created

  • Start

    End


Last Updated

  • Start

    End


Filter by number of...

Joined

  • Start

    End


Group


AIM


MSN


Website URL


ICQ


Yahoo


Jabber


Skype


Location


Interests

  1. Spitfire Mk.Ia ProfiPACK (82151) 1:48 Eduard The Spitfire was the champion of the Battle of Britain along with the Hurricane and a few other less well-known players, and it’s an aircraft with an amazing reputation that started from a bit of a damp squib in the shape of the Supermarine Type 224. The gull-winged oddity was the grandfather of the Spitfire, and despite losing out to the biplane Gloster Gladiator, designer R J Mitchell was spurred on to go back to the drawing board and create a more modern, technologically advanced and therefore risky design. This was the Type 300, and it was an all-metal construction with an incredibly thin elliptical wing that became legendary, although it didn’t leave much space for fuel, a situation that was further worsened by the Air Ministry’s insistence that four .303 machine guns were to be installed in each wing, rather than the three originally envisaged. It was a very well-sorted aircraft from the outset, so quickly entered service with the RAF in 1938 in small numbers. With the clouds of war accumulating, the Ministry issued more orders and it became a battle to create enough to fulfil demand in time for the outbreak and early days of war from September 1939 onwards. By then, the restrictive straight sided canopy had been replaced by a “blown” hood to give the pilot more visibility, although a few with the old canopy still lingered. The title Mk.Ia was given retrospectively to differentiate between the cannon-winged Mk.Ib that was instigated after the .303s were found somewhat lacking compared to the 20mm cannon armament of their main opposition at the time, the Bf.109. As is usual in wartime, the designers could never rest on their laurels with an airframe like the Spitfire, as it had significant potential for development, a process that lasted throughout the whole of WWII, and included many changes to the Merlin engine, then the installation of the more powerful Griffon engine, as well as the removal of the spine of the fuselage and creation of a bubble canopy to improve the pilot’s situational awareness. Its immediate successor was the Mk.II with a new Mk.XII Merlin, followed by the Mk.V that had yet another more powerful Merlin fitted, which returned the fright of the earlier marks’ first encounters with Fw.190s by a similar increase in performance of an outwardly almost identical Spitfire. The Kit This is a new tool from Eduard, following on from their other later marks of the Spit in their usual manner, providing us modellers with a wide selection of types and sub-variants as they proceed through their launch schedule. This is a thoroughly modern tooling with immense detail squeezed into every part, and for the inveterate upgraders, the kits are moulded with that in mind, to be augmented by a raft of super-detailed resin and brass sets from Eduard themselves, which benefit from concurrent launch and excellent fit. The outer skin has been fully riveted with fine lines and rivets everywhere, plus different widths of engraved lines, Dzuz fasteners on cowling panels, and even some lapped panels such as the fuel tank in front of the canopy. It arrives in Eduard’s standard ProfiPACK box, with five sprues in their grey/blue styrene, a circular clear sprue, a fret of Photo-Etch (PE) that is nickel-plated and pre-painted, a small sheet of pre-cut kabuki masking material (not pictured), a large decal sheet with separate stencil sheet, and the glossy instruction booklet with painting guide at the rear in full colour. Construction begins with the cockpit, which will probably be familiar to most, although maybe not in so much detail if you’re not used to the Eduard way. It is built up on the starboard sidewall insert, with equipment, controls and a choice of seat-carrying fuselage frames depending on which decal option you have chosen. The seat is next, having the flare rack at the front removed and replaced by the daintier PE part, as well as some nice PE seatbelts and rear armour. The control column is also made up, and has a PE trigger added before it and the flight control box (more of a tangle, really) are joined to the seat and inserted in the next two fuselage frames forward. The next frame forward holds the instrument panel, which can be plastic with decals, or the more complex and detailed lamination of PE parts with those lovely glossy dial faces on a separate backing plate, either of which then glue to the frame, with the gunsight at the top of the panel, and the compass just below, then the rudder pedals are outfitted with PE straps and footrests, before being put just inside the cut-out below the panel. Forward of that frame is a blanking plate that is glued in place along with the spinner back during the fuselage closure procedure. The socket for the tail wheel and the leading edge of the wing fairing are also glued in, and take care here, as there are two diagrams below the fuselage closure that cover the painting and decaling of the cockpit sidewalls, which must be done before closure, as you’d imagine. The canopy will require small parts of the sidewalls removing to accommodate the appropriate glazing, so make sure you cut those parts off too. They slip in a mention of a panel line on the very front of the nose that you need to fill in, so don’t forget that one, as it’s called out with a line and the word “fill” during the attachment to the wings later on. The lower wing is a single part out as far as the clipped wing rib, and there are two small holes that need drilling out on both undersides before you go any further. A long wing spar bridges the gap between the wheel bay cut-outs, then the rest of the bay walls are made out of short sections and the wing-gun barrels are dropped into their slots ready for closing up the wing, then placing the fuselage into the gap and gluing home. The tail feathers are next, with separate elevator fins and flying surfaces, plus the rudder and its control link. Back to the wings, and the elliptical tips are slid into place along with the ailerons, which you can pose deflected if you wish. Staying with the wing, the model is flipped over, and the radiator, oil cooler and chin intake with fairing are all added in, the radiator and oil cooler both having PE mesh inserts, L-shaped feeder pipes at the rear, and a scale-thickness PE flap with two actuators for open and closed positions. The narrow track landing gear has replacement PE details fixed to the leg after removing the plastic representation, and these then have the captive doors attached to the rear, and wheels made up from a tyre and two hub parts, with a split yoke and wheel for the tail, which slots into the socket buried in the fuselage. The canopy has a choice of fittings on the windscreen, and a choice of open or closed canopies with a PE pull-handle in the top. The fixed rear glazing is fitted first for the open option, but is moulded into the closed canopy for better fit. The locations for the masks are shown in a diagram at the end of the instructions, using liquid mask for highly curved areas of the blown canopy. The cockpit door can be mounted open or closed, then the aerial is glued to the rear of the canopy on a base, two small holes are opened up on the upper wing for the PE landing gear markers, with a fuel filler cap on the cowling in front of the windscreen. The exhaust stacks have been moulded carefully to give hollow tips, and the prop is a single part, covered front and back by the two-part spinner, with the peg on the rear sliding into the front of the fuselage. The final steps show two aerial wire layouts for the different markings, which you will need to provide from your own toolbox. Markings There are a generous seven marking options from the box, including some very early war aircraft with the black and white underwing markings, and the over-sized roundels with yellow outer rings under the wings. From the box you can build one of the following: R6709, flown by P/O Colin Falkland Gray, RNZAF, No. 54 Squadron, RAF Hornchurch, United Kingdom, March 1940 N3250, flown by P/O Allan R. Wright, No. 92 Squadron, RAF Croydon, United Kingdom, late May/early June 1940 R6690, flown by P/O John C. Dundas, No. 609 Squadron, RAF Middle Wallop/RAF Warmwell, United Kingdom, August 13th, 1940 R6835, flown by F/O Brian J. Carbury, No. 603 Squadron, RAF Hornchurch, United Kingdom, late August 1940 P9386, flown by S/Ldr Brian J. Lane, No. 19 Squadron, RAF Fowlmere, United Kingdom, September 1940 X4253, flown by P/O Wilfrid G. Duncan Smith, No. 611 Squadron, RAF Hornchurch, United Kingdom, February 1941 X4828, flown by F/Lt Wojciech Kolaczkowski, No. 303 Squadron, RAF Speke, United Kingdom, September 1941 The decals are printed by Eduard and are in good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin gloss carrier film cut close to the printed areas. The stencils are marked on the rear page of the booklet, separate from the rest of the markings to avoid confusion from trying to read overly busy diagrams. Conclusion There are bound to be some moans about another Spitfire model, but other people’s kits don’t make money for Eduard. They’ve done a great job of this early mark, and the detail is second to none from the box, with nothing else needed to create a great replica other than paint and glue, with a sprinkling of talent. Very highly recommended. You can also get an ART poster of the full box art, which really is a nice one. You can see that below: Review sample courtesy of
  2. This was my first build for a long time and since retiring late last year. Its the Airfix 1/48 Hurricane kit and was built straight out the box, apart from the addition of aftermarket resin exhaust stacks (I messed up the kit originals trying to drill them out. Doh! Paints are the mig acrylic Early RAF WWII Early Colo(u)rs and various Tamiya acrylics. Radio wires are mig 0.02mm elastic rigging thread. Decals are the kit ones in the main, with aircraft serial No and Sqn codes supplied by Xtradecal. I used my cheap old Aztek airbrush to spray this one. Hence the rather spluttered finish. I've since splashed out on a H&S Infinity CR+. I'm only just starting to try various weathering techniques and concentrated on dirtying up the underside and wheel wells here. For although the aircraft were being heavily used in war time conditions and were no doubt lacking the normal pampering that groundcrew would have provided in peace time, I didn't want to over do it because it was hot and dry in summer 1940, so dust, boot scuffs and screwdriver scratches would have been the likely main wear and tear on what were relatively new airframes. My chosen aircraft can be seen in this contemporary Pathe Newsreel featuring 56 Sqn aircraft, normally based at North Weald in Essex but filmed operating out of an Ashford in Kent during the Battle of Britain. P3153 US-U has the moniker 'Euthanasia' hand painted on the port fuselage side, just below the windshield. U is for Euthanasia presumably? The dark humour behind this appealed to me. My attempt to replicate this is unfortunately slightly overscale, but it's the smallest script I could write by hand on decal film using a 0.3mm Rotring pen filled with white ink! Hard to see the camo pattern demarcation in this old B&W film, but glimpses of the rear fuselage during taxying lead me to believe its type A, so that's what I went with. I was also able to choose what I believe is the correct serial number font based on the film footage and scratch build an appropriate rear view mirror. I've since also completed an Albion 3-point re-fuelling vehicle based on the 1/48 Airfix kit. I hope to complete a BoB Diorama featuring the Hurri and the re-fueller at some point. Am I the only one who finds researching the subject matter ultimately more rewarding than the final model?
  3. Spitfire Mk.I Early ProfiPACK (83152) 1:48 Eduard The Spitfire was the champion of the Battle of Britain along with the Hurricane and a few other less well-known players, and it’s an aircraft with an amazing reputation that started from a bit of a damp squib in the shape of the Supermarine Type 224. The gull-winged oddity was the grandfather of the Spitfire, and despite losing out to the biplane Gloster Gladiator, designer R J Mitchell was spurred on to go back to the drawing board and create a more modern, technologically advanced and therefore risky design. This was the Type 300, and it was an all-metal construction with an iconic thin elliptical wing that became legendary, although it didn’t leave much space for fuel or weapons, a situation that was further worsened by the Air Ministry’s insistence that four .303 machine guns were to be installed in each wing, rather than the three originally envisaged. It was a very well-sorted aircraft from the outset, so quickly entered service with the RAF in 1938 in small numbers. With the clouds of war accumulating, the Ministry issued more orders and it became a battle to create enough to fulfil demand in time for the outbreak and early days of war from September 1939 onwards. Fairly early on the restrictive straight sided canopy was replaced by a “blown” hood to give the pilot more visibility, although a few with the old canopy still lingered. The difference between the Mk.I early and Mk.Ia was negligible and the A was given retrospectively to differentiate between the cannon-winged Mk.Ib that was developed after the .303s were found somewhat lacking compared to the 20mm cannon armament of their main rival, the Bf.109. As is usual in wartime, the designers could never rest on their laurels with an airframe like the Spitfire, as it had significant potential for development, a process that lasted throughout the whole of WWII, and included many changes to the Merlin engine, then the installation of the more powerful Griffon engine, as well as the removal of the spine of the fuselage and creation of a bubble canopy to improve the pilot’s situational awareness. Its immediate successor was the Mk.II with a new Mk.XII Merlin, followed by the Mk.V that had yet another more powerful Merlin fitted, which returned the fright of the earlier marks’ first encounters with Fw.190s by a similar increase in performance of an outwardly almost identical Spitfire. The Kit This is a revised tooling from Eduard, following on from their other later marks of the Spit in their usual manner, providing us modellers with a wide selection of types and sub-variants as they proceed through their launch schedule. This is a thoroughly modern tooling with immense detail squeezed into every part, and for the inveterate upgraders, the kits are moulded with that in mind, to be augmented by a raft of super-detailed resin and brass sets from Eduard themselves, which benefit from concurrent launch and excellent fit. The outer skin has been fully riveted with fine lines and rivets everywhere, plus different widths of engraved lines, Dzuz fasteners on cowling panels, and even some lapped panels such as the fuel tank in front of the canopy. It arrives in Eduard’s standard gold-themed ProfiPACK box, with six sprues in their grey/blue styrene, a clear sprue, a fret of Photo-Etch (PE) that is nickel-plated and pre-painted, a small sheet of pre-cut kabuki masking material (not pictured), a large decal sheet with separate stencil sheet, and the glossy instruction booklet with painting guide at the rear in full colour. Construction begins with the cockpit, which will probably be familiar to most, although maybe not in so much detail if you’re not used to the Eduard way. It is built up on the starboard sidewall insert, with equipment, controls and a slot in the rear that needs filling. The seat is next, having the flare rack at the front removed and replaced by the daintier PE part, as well as some nice PE seatbelts and rear armour – you should probably check to see whether the rack was fitted for your decal option. The control column is also made up, and has a PE trigger added before it and the flight controls box (more of a tangle, really) are joined to the seat and inserted in the next two fuselage frames forward. The next frame forward holds the instrument panel, which can be plastic with decals, or the more complex and detailed lamination of PE parts with those lovely glossy dial faces on a separate backing plate, either of which then glue to the frame, with a choice of gunsight at the top of the panel, and the compass just below, then the rudder pedals are outfitted with PE straps and footrests, before being put just inside the cut-out below the panel. Forward of that frame is a blanking plate that is glued in place along with the spinner back during the fuselage closure procedure. The socket for the tail wheel and the leading edge of the wing fairing are also glued in, and take care here, as there are two diagrams below the fuselage closure that cover the painting and decaling of the cockpit sidewalls, which must be done before closure, as you’d imagine. The canopy will require small parts of the sidewalls removing to accommodate the appropriate glazing, so make sure you cut those parts off too. They slip in a mention of an access panel on the very front of the nose that you need to fill in, so don’t forget that one, as it’s called out with a line and the word “fill” during the attachment to the wings later on, plus an access hatch on the rear port wing fillet. The lower wing is a single part out as far as the clipped wing rib, and there are two small holes that need drilling out on both undersides for various decal options before you go any further. A long wing spar bridges the gap between the wheel bay cut-outs, then the rest of the bay walls are made out of short sections and the wing-gun barrels are dropped into their slots ready for closing up the wing, then placing the fuselage into the gap and gluing home. The tail feathers are next, with separate elevator fins and flying surfaces, plus the rudder and its control link, and a PE antenna at the top of the fixed part of the tail. Back to the wings, and the elliptical tips are slid into place along with the ailerons, which you can pose deflected if you wish. Staying with the wing, the model is flipped over, and the radiator, oil cooler and chin intake with fairing are all added in, the radiator and oil cooler both having PE mesh inserts, L-shaped feeder pipes at the rear, a cooling flap with two PE stiffeners and actuators for open and closed positions. The narrow track landing gear has replacement PE details fixed to the leg after removing the plastic representation, and these then have the captive doors attached to the rear, and wheels made up from a tyre and two hub parts, with a split yoke and wheel for the tail, which slots into the socket buried in the fuselage. The canopy has a choice of open or closed canopies with a PE pull-handle in the top. The fixed rear glazing is fitted first for the open option, but is moulded into the closed canopy for better fit, with the flat un-blown canopy used on the majority of the markings options. The locations for the masks are shown in a diagram at the end of the instructions, using liquid mask for highly curved areas of the blown canopy. The cockpit door can be mounted open or closed, then the aerial is glued to the rear of the canopy on a base, two small holes are opened up on the upper wing for the PE landing gear markers, with a fuel filler cap on the cowling in front of the windscreen. The exhaust stacks have been moulded carefully to give hollow tips, and the prop is a single part, covered front and back by the two-part spinner, with the peg on the rear sliding into the front of the fuselage and a choice of two or three bladed options, the former having the central section of the spinner moulded into each blade. The final step shows the aerial wire for the early variants, which you will need to provide from your own toolbox. Markings There are a generous seven marking options from the box, including some pre-war and very very early war aircraft with the black and white underwing painting, and over-sized roundels plus some yellow outer rings and faint overpainted rings for some markings options. From the box you can build one of the following: K9797 Flown by Sgt. George Unwin, No.19 Sqn., RAF Duxford, Cambs, United Kingdom, Oct 1938 No.19 Sqn., RAF Duxford, Cambs, United Kingdom, early 1939 K9843 No.54 Sqn., Hornchurch, Essex, United Kingdom, early 1940 K9938 No.72 Sqn., Church Fenton, North Yorkshire, United Kingdom, Apr 1939 K9962 flown by S/Ldr. Andrew Farquhar, CO of No.602 Sqn., RAF Abbotsinch, Renfrewshire, United Kingdom, May 1939 No.609 Sqn., Drem, East Lothian, United Kingdom, Mar 1940 No.602 Sqn., Drem, East Lothian, United Kingdom, Apr 1940 The decals are printed by Eduard and are in good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin gloss carrier film cut close to the printed areas. The stencils are marked on the rear page of the booklet, separate from the rest of the markings to avoid confusion from trying to read overly busy diagrams. Conclusion There are always moans about yet another Spitfire model from some quarters, but other people’s kits don’t make money for Eduard. They’ve done a great job of this earliest variant, and the detail is second to none from the box, with nothing else needed to create a great replica other than paint and glue, with a sprinkling of talent. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  4. On the anniversary of the Battle of Britain, I decided to make a model of the Spitfire Mk.I. The model is an Airfix, I enjoyed doing it. Here's the picture.
  5. Im starting to organize my Robert Stanford Tuck info for my planned builds. The builds will include Two Mk.I spitfires coded GR*P and FZ*L. A Hurricane Mk.I coded DT*A, and a Spitfire Mk.Vb coded RS*T. Im currently planning on building the Mk.Vb as I have decals and kit. Im looking for any photo’s of Tucks planes or him, anything i can use to glean info for future work. The only three photo’s I have of the Mk.Vb are the three of the plane after his crash. If anyone has photo’s of this plane prior to the last flight, I would be grateful if you shared them. If you send them via P/M or Email I guarantee i wont share them without your permission. They would be strictly for personal use. Any help would be grateful and I give thanks in advanced. Dennis
  6. The Hawker Hurricane – Airframe & Miniature #16 ISBN: 9781912932122 Valiant Wings Publishing The Hurricane was the lesser-known stablemate of the Supermarine Spitfire, the plainer (in some people’s opinion) sister that didn’t get the limelight like its slightly younger, slightly faster and slightly sleeker colleague in the battle against the marauding hordes of Luftwaffe bombers that were intent on the destruction of our cities, airfields and infrastructure before, during and after the famous Battle of Britain. Often, the Spits kept the faster and more agile escorts such as the Bf.109s and later the Fw.190s busy, while the Hurricanes went after the slower bombers where their slight speed deficit wasn’t such an issue against the lumbering heavies. The Hurricane was also a sturdy aircraft thanks to its stronger, more traditional airframe construction and its fabric aft fuselage that was easier to repair than the all-metal Spitfire. It didn't get the love that the Spitfire gets from the public and press, but anyone that knows the full story knows that Britain would have been equally stuffed without either of them. The Book The book is perfect-bound with 272 pages on glossy paper, tons of photographs, diagrams and profiles, the modern pictures being in colour, while the contemporary content is black and white due to that being the dominant film format of the day. It is of course written by Richard A Franks, with profiles by Richard J Caruana, isometric drawings by Juraj Jankkovic and models by Libor Jekl and Steve A Evans. If you're familiar with the series, you'll know that the tome is broken down into the Airframe section that deals with the 1:1 real thing, and the miniature section that covers the scale models and has a number of builds, plus a host of photographic detail that will be of great help to the modeller. Airframe Chapters 1. Evolution – Prototype & Mk.I 2. Evolution – Mk.II to Mk.V 3. Sea Hurricane & Canadian Production 3. Reconnaissance (PR & TacR), Prototypes & Projects 4. Camouflage & Markings and Colour Profiles Miniature Chapters 5. Hurricane Kits 6. Building a Selection 7. Building a Collection 8. In Detail: The Hawker Hurricane Engine, Cowlings & Propeller Cockpit & Canopy Mid & Aft Fuselage Tail Wings & Control Surfaces Undercarriage & Arrestor Hook Armament Radio, Radar, Cameras & Misc. Electrical Access Panels & Miscellaneous Appendices I. Kit List II. Accessories & Mask List III. Decals IV. Bibliography A concertina sheets of 1:48 Scale plans captive in the rear cover (equivalent to 8 pages printed on both sides) The scale plans are nicely thought out, and fold out sideways with the left-hand edge captive to the inside cover, and the isometric drawings by Juraj Jankovic that pick out the differences between variants and sub-variants are a dream for anyone like me that struggles to remember the details that separate the marks. As usual with the photographs in these titles, they're excellent for the most part, and as good as they can be for the occasional slightly grainy one that is all that remains of this or that variant. Afterall, there's only so much that modern photo editing software can do. The builds by Libor Jekl and Steve A. Evans are all first-rate too, with two in 1:72, one Arma one Airfix, two other completed Arma kits in summary, one Hasegawa kit in 1:48, and one Sea Hurricane by Fly Models in 1:32, all of which wouldn't look out of place on competition tables at the highest level. Conclusion This book is brimming with interest and information, with something for everyone – the modeller, the aviation enthusiast or history buff. My personal favourite parts are the variant isometrics as previously mentioned, but there is so much to enjoy and it’s all good. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  7. Spitfire Mk.IIa ProfiPACK (82153) 1:48 Eduard The Spitfire was the champion of the Battle of Britain along with the Hurricane and a few other less well-known players, and it’s an aircraft with an amazing reputation that started from a bit of a damp squib in the shape of the Supermarine Type 224. The gull-winged oddity was the grandfather of the Spitfire, and despite losing out to the biplane Gloster Gladiator, designer R J Mitchell was spurred on to go back to the drawing board and create a more modern, technologically advanced and therefore risky design. This was the Type 300, and it was an all-metal construction with an incredibly thin elliptical wing that became legendary, although it didn’t leave much space for fuel, a situation that was further worsened by the Air Ministry’s insistence that four .303 machine guns were to be installed in each wing, rather than the three originally envisaged. It was a very well-sorted aircraft from the outset, so quickly entered service with the RAF in 1938 in small numbers. With the clouds of war accumulating, the Ministry issued more orders and it became a battle to create enough to fulfil demand in time for the outbreak and early days of war from September 1939 onwards. By then, the restrictive straight sided canopy had been replaced by a “blown” hood to give the pilot more visibility, although a few with the old canopy still lingered. The title Mk.Ia was given retrospectively to differentiate between the cannon-winged Mk.Ib that was instigated after the .303s were found somewhat lacking compared to the 20mm cannon armament of their main opposition at the time, the Bf.109. As is usual in wartime, the designers could never rest on their laurels with an airframe like the Spitfire, as it had significant potential for development, a process that lasted throughout the whole of WWII, and included many changes to the Merlin engine, then the installation of the more powerful Griffon engine, as well as the removal of the spine of the fuselage and creation of a bubble canopy to improve the pilot’s situational awareness. Its immediate successor was the Mk.II that had a better Merlin engine and higher octane fuel to give it a healthy boost in performance. The IIa was armed identically to the Mk.Ia, while the IIb carried the cannons of the Ib. It was followed by the Mk.V that had yet another more powerful Merlin fitted, which returned the fright of the earlier marks’ first encounters with Fw.190s by a similar increase in performance of an outwardly almost identical Spitfire. The Kit This is a reboxing with new parts of a new tool from Eduard, following on from their other later marks of the Spit in their usual manner, providing us modellers with a wide selection of types and sub-variants as they proceed through their launch schedule. This is a thoroughly modern tooling with immense detail squeezed into every part, and for the inveterate upgraders, the kits are moulded with that in mind, to be augmented by a raft of super-detailed resin and brass sets from Eduard themselves, which benefit from concurrent launch and excellent fit. The outer skin has been fully riveted with fine lines and rivets everywhere, plus different widths of engraved lines, Dzuz fasteners on cowling panels, and even some lapped panels such as the fuel tank in front of the canopy. It arrives in Eduard’s new ProfiPACK box with the gold banner, with five sprues in their grey/blue styrene, a clear sprue, a fret of Photo-Etch (PE) that is nickel-plated and pre-painted, a small sheet of pre-cut kabuki masking material (not pictured), a large decal sheet with separate stencil sheet, and the glossy instruction booklet with painting guide at the rear in full colour. It is a very similar airframe to the Mk.Ia that we reviewed recently, so shares four sprues and the clear parts with its sibling. The new sprue has many of the external differences upon it, so keep your eyes open for the options as they occur through the build. Construction begins with the cockpit, which will probably be familiar to most, although maybe not in so much detail if you’re not used to the Eduard way. It is built up on the starboard sidewall insert, with equipment, controls and a choice of seat-carrying fuselage frames depending on which decal option you have chosen. The seat is next, having the flare rack at the front added from PE, as well as some nice painted PE seatbelts and rear armour. The control column is also made up, and has a PE trigger added before it and the flight control box (more of a tangle, really) are joined to the seat and inserted in the next two fuselage frames forward. The next frame forward holds the instrument panel, which can be plastic with decals, or the more complex and detailed lamination of PE parts with those lovely glossy dial faces on a separate backing plate, either of which then glue to the frame, with the gunsight at the top of the panel, and the compass just below, then the rudder pedals are outfitted with PE straps and footrests, before being put just inside the footwell below the panel. Forward of that frame is a blanking plate that is glued in place along with the spinner back during the fuselage closure procedure. The socket for the tail wheel and the leading edge of the wing fairing are also glued in, and take care here, as there are two diagrams below the fuselage closure that cover the painting and decaling of the cockpit sidewalls, which must be done before closure, as you’d imagine. The canopy will require small parts of the sidewalls removing to accommodate the appropriate glazing, so make sure you cut those parts off too. They slip in a mention of a panel line on the very front of the nose that you need to fill in, so don’t forget that one, as it’s called out with a line and the word “fill” during the attachment to the wings later on. There is also a hole to be drilled in the port wing root fairing as well. The lower wing is a single part out as far as the clipped wing rib, and there are two small holes that need drilling out on both undersides before you go any further. A long wing spar bridges the gap between the wheel bay cut-outs, then the rest of the bay walls are made out of short sections and the wing-gun barrels (four per side) are dropped into their slots ready for closing up the wing, then placing the fuselage into the gap and gluing home. The empennage is next, with separate elevator fins and flying surfaces, plus the rudder and its control link, chopping off the short tube on the top of the fin. Back to the wings, and the elliptical tips are slid into place along with the ailerons, which you can pose deflected if you wish. Staying with the wing, the model is flipped over, and the radiator, oil cooler and chin intake with fairing are all added in, the radiator and oil cooler both having PE mesh inserts, L-shaped feeder pipes at the rear, and a scale-thickness PE flap with two actuators for open and closed positions. The narrow track landing gear has replacement PE details fixed to the leg after removing the plastic representation, and these then have the captive doors attached to the rear, and wheels made up from a tyre and two hub parts, with a split yoke and wheel for the tail, which slots into the socket buried in the fuselage. The canopy has a choice of fittings on the windscreen, and a choice of open or closed canopies with a PE pull-handle in the top. The fixed rear glazing is fitted first for the open option, but is moulded into the closed canopy for better fit. The locations for the masks are shown in a diagram at the end of the instructions, using liquid mask for highly curved areas of the blown canopy. The cockpit door can be mounted open or closed, then the aerial is glued to the rear of the canopy on a base, two small holes are opened up on the upper wing for the PE landing gear markers, with a fuel filler cap on the cowling in front of the windscreen. The exhaust stacks have been moulded carefully to give hollow tips, and the prop is a single part, covered front and back by the two-part spinner in either blunt or pointed versions, with the peg on the rear sliding into the front of the fuselage. The final steps show two aerial wires from the fuselage to the elevators, which you will need to provide from your own toolbox. Markings There are a decent five marking options from the box, including some early war in Dark Earth/Dark Green and later examples with Ocean Grey and Dark Green camo. From the box you can build one of the following: P7881, flown by S/Ldr. Michael L. Robinson, CO of No.609 Squadron, RAF Biggin Hill, Great Britain, April 1941 P8387, flown by Sgt. Stanislaw Blok, No.315 (Polish) Squadron, RAF Northolt, Great Britain, August 1941 P8038, flown by Fl/Lt. Brendan E.F. Finucane DFC, No.452 Squadron RAAF, RAF Kenley, Great Britain, August 1941 P8081, flown by Fl/Lt. Tomáš Vybíral, No.312 (Czechoslovak) Squadron, RAF Ayr, Great Britain, November 1941 P7840, No.340 (Free French) Squadron, RAF Ayr, Great Britain, January 1942 The decals are printed by Eduard and are in good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin gloss carrier film cut close to the printed areas. The stencils are marked on the rear page of the booklet, separate from the rest of the markings to avoid confusion from trying to read overly busy diagrams. Conclusion There are always some moans about another Spitfire model, but other people’s kits don’t make money for Eduard. They’ve done a great job of these early marks, and the detail is excellent from the box, with nothing else needed to create a great replica other than paint and glue, with a soupçon of talent. Very highly recommended. You can also get a Dual Combo containing a Mk.IIa and a Mk.IIb for a bit of variety, which named “SPITFIRE STORY: Tally ho!”. You can see that below: Review sample courtesy of
  8. Spitfire Mk.Ia Decals (48-174) 1:72, 1:48 & 1:32 EagleCals Decals We’ve never been short of Mk.1 Spits in any scale, but there have been a few new 1:48 kits from a couple of manufacturers of late, and it’s only natural that decal manufacturers are on the spot providing some alternative options to what can be found in the decal sheet within your kit’s box. EagleCals are one of those happy band, and have released this set of three specific airframes from early war, namely 1940 in the run up to, and during the Battle of Britain. The set arrives in the almost ubiquitous (for decal sets) ziplok bag, with the A3+ cover sheet and instruction booklet folded into four at the front, and two sheets of decals within, the smaller of the two containing the overflow of the first option with the Kiwi bird on the side. Decals are by Cartograf, which is a guarantee of good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin gloss carrier film cut close to the printed areas. The instructions guide you through the decaling process, with the stencils on separate diagrams to avoid confusion, and photographic quality side profiles show where the rest of the decals go, with a little help from some smaller top/bottom profiles overleaf. There is a lot of background information for each option along with a little blurb about the Spitfire in general, and the former is shown below along with the profiles of your options. The quality of research is clearly very dilligent, and the instructions take the time to thank Mark Proulx for his help, and credits James Bentley for the excellent profiles. Conclusion For a Mk.Ia Spit, this is an excellent set, offering three options, some of which you may have heard of, printed by the de facto gold standard of decal printers. Great instructions round out the package. Highly recommended. The sheet is available in 1:72, 1:48 and 1:32 flavours, and you can see more information and choose which scale you fancy from the link below: Review sample courtesy of
  9. Morning all, May I present my 2020 yearbook. Obviously it's been a mostly dreadful year in so many ways, but one positive I've taken away from it is a renaissance in my enthusiasm in modelling. I had rediscovered my mojo before lockdown hit, but being furloughed for two and half months, and subsequently working reduced hours has meant I've been able to dedicate so much spare time to the workbench. As such, I've managed 26 completions this year, a personal record since I got back into the hobby properly in 2008. I've found building to themes has helped maintain the enthusiasm; the 80th Anniversary of the Battle of Britain was my main priority going into the year, but it turns out my naval theme contributed to the bulk of my builds. I do love naval types! As ever for me, all are 1/72, and posted in chronological order. More images and details of the builds can be found by following the RFI links for those interested. Bandai's superb A-Wing. (Obviously, this didn't fit either of my themes, but it had been sitting on the shelf of doom for two and a half years so I pulled my finger out and got it done!) 1/72 Bandai A-Wing Starfighter by Shaun Schofield, on Flickr Hasegawa Su-33 Flanker 1/72 Hasegawa Sukhoi Su-33 Flanker by Shaun Schofield, on Flickr Tamiya Spitfire I 1/72 Tamiya Supermarine Spitfire I by Shaun Schofield, on Flickr Airfix Ju-87B-1 Stuka 1/72 Airfix Junkers Ju 87B-1 Stuka by Shaun Schofield, on Flickr Trumpeter Su-33UB Flanker 1/72 Trumpeter Sukhoi Su-33UB Flanker by Shaun Schofield, on Flickr Airfix Buccaneer S2C 1/72 Airfix Blackburn Buccaneer S2C by Shaun Schofield, on Flickr Arma Hobby Hurricane I 1/72 Arma Hobby Hurricane I by Shaun Schofield, on Flickr Hobby Boss Rafale Marine. This was the first of three models built as a mini French Navy theme within the wider naval theme 1/72 Hobby Boss Dassault Rafale M by Shaun Schofield, on Flickr Academy F-8P Crusader 1/72 Academy Vought F-8P Crusader by Shaun Schofield, on Flickr Eduard Hellcat II 1/72 Eduard Grumman Hellcat II by Shaun Schofield, on Flickr Tamiya Bf109E-4 Tamiya 1/72 Messerschmitt Bf109E-4 by Shaun Schofield, on Flickr Academy Super Etendard Academy 1/72 Dassault Super Étendard by Shaun Schofield, on Flickr Airfix Hurricane I Airfix 1/72 Hawker Hurricane I by Shaun Schofield, on Flickr Academy F-14A Tomcat Academy 1/72 Grumman F-14A Tomcat by Shaun Schofield, on Flickr Arma Hobby Wildcat VI Arma Hobby 1/72 Grumman Wildcat VI by Shaun Schofield, on Flickr Hasegawa Avenger II Hasegawa 1/72 Grumman Avenger II by Shaun Schofield, on Flickr Tamiya Corsair IV Tamiya 1/72 Vought Corsair IV by Shaun Schofield, on Flickr Academy Helldiver I Academy 1/72 Curtiss Helldiver I by Shaun Schofield, on Flickr Airfix Do17z Airfix 1/72 Dornier Do17 by Shaun Schofield, on Flickr Revell Ju88A-1 Revell 1/72 Junkers Ju88A-1 by Shaun Schofield, on Flickr Eduard Hellcat II 1/72 Eduard Grumman Hellcat II by Shaun Schofield, on Flickr Revell Tornado IDS Revell 1/72 Panavia Tornado IDS by Shaun Schofield, on Flickr Tamiya Corsair II Tamiya 1/72 Vought Corsair II by Shaun Schofield, on Flickr Academy F-4J Phantom II Academy 1/72 McDonnell Douglas F-4J Phantom II by Shaun Schofield, on Flickr Airfix Sea King HC4 Airfix 1/72 Westland Sea King HC4 by Shaun Schofield, on Flickr Fujimi A-4E Skyhawk Fujimi 1/72 Douglas A-4E Skyhawk by Shaun Schofield, on Flickr Thanks for looking, hope they were of interest. Merry Christmas, Shaun
  10. My next build continues with Erprobungsgruppe 210 - this time I want to build a Bf110D. I have no link to this other than my mother lives in Southampton, over which the aircraft was targeting the Supermarine works on the night of 24th Sept 1940. Interestingly one of my other builds, a Spitfire flown by Crelin Bodie, is mentioned in my main reference source for the build, Bombsites over Britain, by John J Vasco. His Sqn, 66 Sqn RAF, engaged 3 x Bf110 over Aldebugh, downing 1 x Bf110D. This build will be of Bf110D-0 of the 1st Staffel, Wr 2284 coded S9 + HH. I will be also using the 1/72 build that @Stew Dapple completed back in 2014 as my paint reference etc as he'd done some previous research that showed a slightly different approach than the decals set. The aircraft was hit by anti aircraft fire that night and crashed into the channel. The 22 year old pilot, Lt Ulrich Freiherr von de Horst and 24 year old W/T Op, Ogefr Franz Ollers were listed as killed in action, their bodies never recovered. Ogefr Ollers would have celebrated his 25th birthday 2 days later. The Luftwaffe list the aircraft as shot down by fighters, although there are no traceable claims. Sold as new, when I opened the box there are signs of a few scratches, maybe sanding and copious notes on the instructions - thats E Bay for you! Should be fine though. Have some Montex Masks - didn't fancy that masking task ! @Stew Dapple - you mention some tinkering with the personal marking/unit marking on your thread, can i ask what that was? I have not done any WW2 Luftwaffe camo before, so plan a bit of practice on a paint mule. I have Mr Paint paints, but not sure it will work with a stipple brush etc, also have Mr Color that I may be able to thin to allow this. Any top tips on mottling appreciated - one of my builds will need real tight mottle that an airbrush just won't do....
  11. Well I'm still 15,356 kms from my stash, so my planned Defiant and Do-17Z builds ain't going to happen. Second option - my Eduard Spit's - on order, will they arrive in time? I'm sure many are wondering that! My Corsair STGB build will wrap up within the 2 weeks. Everyone else is having fun and I could be sitting on the bench. So, I thought a trip to the LHS was in order. Can I be so lucky? Sitting on the shelf was Eduard's lovely 1/48 Bf-110C. Without hesitation, the cash quickly left the wallet and here it is, fresh off the shelf and still nicely wrapped in plastic. So, I'm in!! I have decided to build one of the options in the Eduard boxing. A nice rendition of Obl. Urban Schlaffer's aircraft with the RLM 70 over sprayed with RLM 02. A result of the Luftwaffe experiment to lighten the aircraft silhouette. Did it work? You be the judge. This particular aircraft was shot down by 602 Squadron August 16, 1940 - a twin that didn't get away. The build should be pretty much OOB. I'll probably add some resin exhaust and wheels. Maybe replace those cannon and machine guns with some brass. I'm sure another enjoyable build coming up. Only one problem. When ever I go to the LHS I pay double the price. Got this one free though. Or that's my story and I'm sticking with it. Ray
  12. Hi everyone and happy new year! For the last 6 months or so I have been in the modelling doldrums, I've lost count of the number of threads that I've started only to loose interest at the early stage of the build. This is a model I stared when it was first released back in 2015 only to shelve it at the first hurdle. Anyway with a new year comes a new enthusiasm for modelling, my wife has allowed me to take over our summer house and convert it into my man cave and I have a real urge to build the RAF airplanes that took part in the Battle of Britain. I already had a Mk.1 Hurricane (this one) and I've bought the Airfix 1/48 Blenheim Mk.1F, Tamiya 1/48 Spitfire Mk.1 (new tool), Airfix 1/48 Defiant Mk.1 and a Tamiya Beaufighter Mk.VI (I need to look into what it will take to convert it into a Mk1), I'd like to find a good 1/48 Gloster Gladiator and I need to try and finish my 1/48 Eduard Lysander. So, first model first, the Airfix 1/48 Hawker Hurricane Mk.1. I wont bore folks with sprue shots as the can be found anywhere on the web but I will show the box art of the kit that I'm using, the 2015 release. For the markings I'll use the excellent Xtradecal set X48146 available from Hannants. Whilst I was looking for information on Hawker Hurricane Mk.1 P3675 UF*S I found a build thread on Britmodeller started by Tonyot, it threw open some interesting questions as to the validity of the picture showing UF*S and its rather gaudy markings for a RAF figther during the Battle of Britain. So the aircraft (and picture) in question. Picture credited to Asisbiz. Hawker Hurricane Mk.I UF*S was the regular aircraft assigned to F/L Michael L "Mike" Robinson of No 601 Squadron RAF Exeter during 1940. F/L Robinson claimed 4 a/c destroyed and 1 damaged whilst flying this aircraft until being posted to 238 Sqn on 28th September 1940. Ok to the build, I've added some extra detail to the cockpit (framework and fuselage sides) and I redid the instrument panel using Airscale decals and I've added some lap belts made from masking tape. Since these pictures were taken earlier today I've glued the fuselage to the wings and painted the prop and spinner. Cheers Iain
  13. Hi everyone and here's my Tornado F3 built for the 'Tornado Warning' Group Build. The short build thread is here but to recap: Kit: Tamiya (ex Italeri) Tornado F3 Scale: 1/72 Build: Out of box with tape for seatbelts Paints: Halfords plastic primer, Revell acrylics airbrushed, Klear, Flory Models Wash, 4B pencil Decals: XTRADECAL Tornado F.3 229 OCU/65 Sqn "Red Zebra display" scheme Extras: some panel lines rescribed. Notes: This aircraft ZE809 was lost in a non-fatal crash in June 1994 while flying with 111 Squadron. A seal around a high pressure shaft failed leading to an engine explosion and fire. Really enjoyed this one and very happy how the decals turned out - but a little touch up with red paint was needed where they cracked. Tamiya_Tornado_F3_1 (4) by Dermot Moriarty, on Flickr As the Tornado scheme commemorated 50 years since the Battle of Britain, thought I should pose it with a Spitfire from that time - this is an Airfix Mk1a from 602 Squadron, July 1940. Thanks for looking, stay safe and happy modelling. Dermot
  14. Yes indeed, an Airfix 109 in 1/72! Built for the recent Battle of Britain 80th GB here on the forum, the build thread is here but to recap: Kit: Airfix 1/72 Messerschmitt Bf109E-4 (new boxing A01008A) finished as an E-3 Build: OOB with masking tape for seat belts Paints: Tamiya & Revell Acrylics. Klear, Flory Model wash; Oil weathering; W&N Matt Varnish Decals: Southern Expo Battle of Britain 70th Anniversary - 'White 2" of 4./JG51 from August 1940 Notes: According to the decal notes, this a/c flown by Ofw. Johann Illner collided with a Spitfire flown by Al Deere on 9 July 1940 but managed to return to France. Illner was later shot down over England in November that year and spent the rest of the war as a POW. Airfix Bf 109E-4_Done by Dermot Moriarty, on Flickr Airfix Bf 109E-4_Done_(3) by Dermot Moriarty, on Flickr Airfix Bf 109E-4_Done_(4) by Dermot Moriarty, on Flickr Airfix Bf 109E-4_Done_(2) by Dermot Moriarty, on Flickr Airfix Bf 109E-4_Done_(14) by Dermot Moriarty, on Flickr Airfix Bf 109E-4_Done_(7) by Dermot Moriarty, on Flickr Thanks for looking, stay safe and happy modelling. All the best, Dermot
  15. I got the Galland Eduard Bf109E and had a think about the subject. I saw the Possum Werks decals that covered the dogfight that ended in the demise of Luftwaffe top scoring pilot Maj Helmut Wick, Flt Lt John Dundas, his wingman PO Paul A Ballion. Perfect, I thought, 2 subjects in 1 go, I click buy.....then I looked at the date of Dundas'/Wicks' final battle....28 Nov 1940......after the official battle dates....not wanting to feel the wrath of the GB moderators, I looked at other options and with Helmut Wick he was promoted to Major just before the end of the battle, its debatable if his aircraft was repainted by 30 Oct.... So I sourced some other decals of his aircraft Wr 5344, before his promotion. He was the leading Luftwaffe ace the day he died, there are lots of old black and white pics of his aircraft, so thought I'd give it a go. Plenty of history here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helmut_Wick https://www.luftwaffe.cz/wick.html Never built Eduard, so any tips on this kit appreciated - will be built in flight so I have looked closely at the instructions ref the engine cover! Never done any mottling before so had a play over the weekend. The mottle on Wr5344 is really tight and what I would call 'dirty' so a sponge seems to be the best approach as per around the hole on the F111 wing! Nice 1/32 build here: https://forum.largescaleplanes.com/index.php?/topic/71809-eduard-bf-109-e-4-major-helmut-wick-1940/ http://falkeeins.blogspot.com/2009/12/helmut-wick-his-me-109-wnr-5344.html https://www.asisbiz.com/il2/Bf-109E/JG2-Stab/pages/Messerschmitt-Bf-109E4-Geschwader-Stab-JG2-Helmut-Wick-France-Oct-1940-0A.html Hope fully an interesting subject.
  16. Supermarine Spitfire Mk.Ia (A05126A) 1:48 Airfix The Spitfire is perhaps one of the best known and well-loved aircraft in Britain, and deservedly so for its work in the Battle of Britain alongside the doughty Hurricane. It thrived in its point-defence role, and shone during its finest hour, the through many versions and types to the end of WWII and beyond. The Mk.I was predictably the first in-service type, and sported eight .303 Browning machine guns, and by the time hostilities commenced in 1939 many of them were using the blown canopies that gave the pilot a better field of view with less likelihood of smacking his head against the glazing. Fairly soon it was understood that the Brownings didn’t have enough destructive power, and the Ministry asked for a cannon wing to be developed, with those airframes being referred to as Mk.Ibs, and the original machine gun armed airframes retrospectively designated Mk.Ia to prevent confusion. As the early cannon installations were prone to jamming, sometimes it would have been better to have the more reliable smaller bullets than bigger ones you couldn't fire. The Mk.I was superseded by the Mk.II, Mk.III, and then the Mk.V due to the introduction of the Fw.190 by the Germans that gave the British Spitfire pilots a nasty shock when they first encountered it. The Mk.V gave them the extra horsepower to cope with these pugnacious little fighters, and so the tactical leapfrog continued to the end of the war with the Mk.22/24 being the last mark of the Spitfire with cut-down fuselage, bubble canopy and the monstrous power of the Griffon engine at the front. The Kit This is a reboxing of Airfix’s recent Mk.I that has been given new decals and box art to depict it as the retrospectively named Mk.Ia. It arrives in a standard Airfix red-themed top-opening box, with five sprues of light grey styrene inside, a clear sprue, decal sheet and the spot-colour instructions that have a colour painting guides on the rear pages. It brings with it all the detail you would expect from a recent Airfix tooling, and the knowledge that if you want more detail, the aftermarket industry will be there to help you out if you don’t fancy the DIY option. Construction begins with the cockpit interior, which consists of two inner skins that are decorated with the usual items we all know and recognise instantly. The pilot's seat is made from an L-shaped seat with separate sides, which can either be mounted on an armour panel or without one, with both having the adjustment lever on the right side. The frame behind the pilot has moulded-in lightening holes that you can either fill with wash or drill out at your whim, then add the seat frame and optional head-armour, finally fitting the seat to the frame on its four corners. The rudder pedal assembly goes through a section of the wing spar and has separate pedals that you should leave off if you are intending to fit the pilot, and the control column with separate top is planted in the middle of the sub-assembly. The instrument panel is glued to the next frame forward and has a nice decal with just the dials printed and an outline to help locate it correctly on the panel. A little decal solution should help that to settle down into the recesses nicely. The compass attaches to the rear of the panel, and is then inserted into the port cockpit side along with the rudder pedal assembly and a lever, allowing the two halves to be joined and a front firewall bulkhead to be fitted to close in the foot well. Then the seat assembly and next frame to the rear are slotted into the grooves, and your optional pilot with his two separate arms can be plonked in if you’re using him. Before inserting the cockpit tub you need to paint the interior of the fuselage above the waistline, and remove a small part of the sill if you are posing the canopy closed. Then it slips inside the starboard fuselage half along with an oxygen bottle, and the port side is joined up together with an insert in front of the canopy, which is where the fuel tank filler is found. You can also cut out the access door on the left side of the fuselage, bearing in mind that you have a new door on the sprue so you can be a bit brutal in removing the plastic. The wings are built next, and you have the option of opening up three of the four gun bays by cutting out three panels on the top and one larger one on the underside, using the instructions as a guide on where to cut. The full-width lower wing has two circular bay walls fitted along with a section of the front spar, which holds the landing gear top sections, before the rear spar and front extensions are also attached to stiffen the wing. If you are fitting the guns they are built up as breeches and mounts, then slipped into recesses within the spar, with a pair of boxes straddling the lower cutout. If you’re not cutting out the gun bays, it’s just a case of popping on the upper wings and moving on to joining them to the fuselage after making sure you’ve fitted the light in the belly first. The elevator fins are slotted into the tail at 90o to the rudder fin, then the flying surfaces are added with any deflections that you might wish to portray, remembering that some smart-alec will always complain if you don’t also offset the control column and rudder pedals too. The ailerons are also separate and can be posed with the same caveats applied. Under the nose the chin-insert is glued in, noting the Dzuz fastenings there and on the side cowlings. They could possibly stand a very slight flatting down to look less like semi-flush donuts, but maybe that’s just me. Under the leading edge of the wing there is a two-part intake, then the square radiator bath with textured radiator panels and tubular oil-cooler are added to their recesses, with optional open or closed cooling flaps on the rear of the radiator. The tail wheel was fixed in the Mk.I, so slots into a hole in the tail, and you then have the choice of wheels up or down. In-flight a small portion of the wheels can still be seen, so Airfix have provided a slim wheel to put on the doors so that a realistic look is obtained. For the wheels down option, you have separate struts and doors, which slot into the top-sections already within the bay and have a pair of tyres with separate hubs added, making sure that the slightly flattened section is facing the floor. A pair of scrap diagrams show the correct angles from the front and sides to help with positioning. A choice of straight or kinked pitot probe goes under the wing, then the exhaust stubs are glued into the nose, and joined by a one-piece triple-bladed prop, two-part spinner, and three parts that permit the prop to spin if you don’t flood it with glue. You then have a choice of open or closed canopies, using a three-part assembly plus rear-view mirror for open, and two-part plus mirror for closed. You did remember to paint and fit the clear reflector gunsight, didn’t you? The open option also allows the door to be posed down, which as previously mentioned uses a new part. There is a choice of wide or narrow aerial mast behind the cockpit with small teardrop light, and then if you’ve cut open the gun bays, there are four bay doors on each side that you can place on the wings or nearby. Markings There are two decal options in the box, and predictably they are both from the early part of the war in 1939/40. From the box you can build one of the following: Flown by Sergeant Arthur William Peter Spears, No.222 Sqn., RAF Hornchurch, Essex, England, August 30th 1940 No.611 (West Lancashire) Sqn., RAF Duxford, Cambridgeshire, England, Autumn 1939 Decals are by Cartograf, which is a guarantee of good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin gloss carrier film cut close to the printed areas. Conclusion A welcome reboxing of this recent tool from Airfix, and the early black/white identification markings are kind of cool. Detail is good, and you’ll be left with a number of spare canopy parts for the parts bin. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  17. I had an old tool Tamiya Spit, which seems relatively straightforward so I looked for decals as the originals are no good. I saw the Possum Werks decals that covered the dogfight that ended in both Dundas, his wingman PO Paul A Ballion and Maj Helmut Wick, Luftwaffe top scoring pilot and Group Commander of JG 2's demise. Perfect, 2 subjects in 1 go, I click buy.....then I looked at the date of Dundas' final sortie....28 Nov 1940......after the official battle dates....not wanting to feel the wrath of the GB moderators, I looked to use the decals as much as I could...no records I could find of Dundas flying X4586 or R6631 before 30th Oct so counted out both on the sheet. With Helmut Wick he was promoted to Major just before the end of the battle, but who knows if his aircraft was repainted by 30 Oct.... I digress - I looked at the records of aircraft that John Dundas to decide on an aircraft to model. One that stuck out was R6915, Dundas flew it as PR-U on 9 Oct and claimed a Bf110 probable kill, as well as being injured in the leg by a cannon round. He was then to be awarded the DFC. The aircraft is still around on display in the Imperial War Museum in London. ''Eleven days later Dundas claimed a probable victory against a Bf 110, after a battle with German aircraft six miles north of RAF Warmwell at 16:30. Despite firing a 12–14 second burst at the enemy fighter, he did not see it crash. During the battle Dundas was hit in the leg when a cannon round exploded in his cockpit, but flew again the next day. The Spitfire Dundas flew that day, R6915, still exists, having been preserved by the Imperial War Museum. By 9 October 1940, his score stood at 10 and he was award the Distinguished Flying Cross.'' Using the various sets I think I can get the right decals. Any pearls of wisdom ref the old tool Tamiya kit build please let me know - should it be the 'blown' cockpit? Also any more specifics about R6915/PR-U ? Kit - pilot does seem quite big compared to the airfix and Fujumi characters! Montex masks and decals Build research and plan! Got the bits off the sprue and cleaned up No head armour so I grabbed the airfix part and some plasticard to replicate! Nor perfect but hey it will do, will have the pilot in and hood closed Primed using Stynlrez - thought I would try it....bizarre put 30 psi through my Iwata Neo .3 needle, but it came out ok then clogged up and was a bit messy cleaning up.....results are good, but I do like the Mr Paint Laquer pre mixed or Mr Surfacer 1500...Will prime the prop and pilots in white for ease. As I have copious builds (see more on Maj Wick to come!) mt plan is to get all the bits off the sprues, prime, then paint interiors/crew together to save time, paint and airbrush cleaning! Things will then progress as whatever pace takes my feelings towards various subjects.... Any top tips v welcome ref this old tool and subject matter!
  18. The next build I plan is of a BF109E-4/B. Reading through a bit of history, I became aware of the Fighter Bomber squadron, that was shortlived, but quite effective. Erprobungsgruppe literally means test group and were involved in the concept, with 2 x Bf110 Staffel and 1 x Bf109 Staffel. The fighter codes were smaller than usual on the units aircraft, about the same size as the cross in height, so again, great advice to use 1/72 versions! Having read a bit and become hooked, I bought a coy of Bombsights over England, by John J Vasco - a fascinating read for anyone interested in BoB history. But I expect plenty on this GB will know about the unit, the book etc. The Bf109E-4/B's had a ETC-500 bomb rack, I think it could carry 4 x SC 50KG bombs, or 1 SC 250 KG bomb? It appears I may have an SC 500 KG bomb in the kit? Can I gather that I should fit the SC 250 on my build? Also noted is the unarmoured Windscreen and lack of head armour, plus the latest 'square' canopy. Being a non Bf109 expert (I do see lots of German and RAF references to Me109 but won't go there as I have been warned!) I had to ensure I use the right parts on my build earlier on the chat, thanks for the help chaps! Will use part 26 Spinner Parts 3,6 and 8 for the canopy - think thats right? Will Omit part 36 Hintze flew the airframe from 1st July - 17th Oct, where it was taken off charge as it had flown 250hrs. He was shot down in White 6 on 29th Oct 40 right at the end of the battle, apparently by a Spitfire flown by Sgt Burgess of 222 Squadron. Hintze was wounded but managed to bail out and became a POW. Yellow 3 is also featured in the book, flown by Lt Horst Marx, shot down and injured, becoming a POW during the Croydon raid on 15th Sept 1940. That day was costly for the unit, with the loss/heavy damage of 7 Bf110 as well as Hintze's Bf109 Yellow 3. A Yellow 11 can also be seen in a pic, but I thought I'd go for Yellow 1 as it was the lead and was pretty much omni-present during the battle. The Staffel had a yellow painted spinner tip and a bit of non standard camo, appears to be the normal RLM 65 undersides and sides, RLM 71/02 wings and upper cam, but in place of the sometimes seen mottle, there appears to be a more stripe variation, using both RLM 02/71. Couple of builds here: http://www.hyperscale.com/2013/features/bf109e348rm_1.htm https://imodeler.com/2018/12/airfix-1-48-scale-messerschmitt-bf-109-e-4-b/ and a great 1/32 build here: https://forum.largescaleplanes.com/index.php?/topic/32278-bf109-e-4b-yellow-6-oblt-otto-hintze-3-erprgr210-1940/ Whilst doing some research, I came up with a tenuous personal link! I was posted to Dover for 5 years, spent a lot of time running along the white cliffs etc, being Dover we were always running up the hill at the end of the PT, as the camp was just behind the castle....one young officer liked to take us to the port once a week, running down the hill.....straight into the sea, swim out to a wall, swim back, run back up the hill, a weekly joy! However some of the routes were fascinating, along the cliffs west, gun emplacements etc...even our sports field dated back to a WW1 fighter strip, and Fort Burgoyne was inside the camp, used as a vehicle park was fascinating, with tunnels, rumoured to go to the castle. Camp is now closed and the Land Trust open up the fort. https://thelandtrust.org.uk/space/fort-burgoyne/ I digress....we had various annual fitness tests, a couple unique to our unit. One of which was the 2 miler. To be done in max of 18 minutes, carrying 29Lb of webbing/daysack, wearing 10lb body armour and a helmet, carrying a rifle. This is a quite tough test. The route was around the masts just over the road from our camp....Turns out this was the site of the Swingate Radar station here (you can see a scar to the west which is the old site of the camp, now demolished, with the fort intact to the north end. I remember thinking it must be WW2 related. Turns out it was targeted by Erprobungsgruppe 210 on the morning of 12 Aug 1940. According to page 28 of the Bombsites over Britain book, Hintze led this raid of 8 Bf109E-4/B's. Am I right in saying its a SC 250 KG on Yellow 3? Depicted in Graham Turner's painting 'Attacking the Chain Home Radar Sites' https://www.studio88.co.uk/acatalog/Attacking_the_Chain_Home_radar_sites.html So, I think I plan to build the subject, Yellow 1, in flight that morning.
  19. My next build is the 1/48 Airfix Hurricane Mk1. I have some P Maks and decals for serial/Sqn Codes to model 249 Sqn Hurricane P3616 GN-F I read the book 'Gun Button to Fire' by Tom 'Ginger' Neil, who was a Pilot Officer and flew with 249 Sqn during the battle. He loved his Hurricane, P3616 coded GN-F. Whilst on a days leave, it was flown by another pilot, Pilot Officer Martyn Aurel King. Sadly he was shot down and killed, having bailed out but suffering a collapsed parachute. PO Martyn Aurel King He is buried in All Saints' churchyard, Fawley, Hampshire For his actions during this engagement in which PO King was KIA, Fl Lt Nicholson of 249 Sqn was to be gazetted for the only VC awarded to aircrew for actions in the battle. http://ww2today.com/16th-august-1940-flight-lieutenant-nicolson-wins-v-c Fl Lt Nicholson VC So I looked into the history, to find an interesting link. PO King was born in West Mersea, 15 minutes down the road from where I live in Colchester. Looking further into it, it became apparent that it is likely that PO King was the youngest serving RAF pilot in the battle and almost certainly the youngest to lose his life. It appears an admin error recorded him as being 19, but his birth certificate would show him to in fact be 18. The CWGC looked into this and apparently agreed to change the record on his grave stone. I is still generally reported that Geoffrey Wellum was the youngest RAF pilot in the battle - interestingly I saw a post on here about a spitfire build, describing him as the youngest spitfire pilot, rather than youngest. Some articles if interested: http://www.bbm.org.uk/airmen/KingMA.htm https://www.gazette-news.co.uk/news/16884592.youngest-of-the-few-was-an-18-year-old-from-mersea-island/ https://249squadron.wordpress.com/2016/05/25/in-memory-of-pilot-officer-m-a-king-249-squadron/ https://www.essexlifemag.co.uk/people/youngest-battle-of-britain-pilot-1-6086942 So I thought I would model Neil's beloved P3616/GN-F, but reflecting on the young man who gave his life flying the that Hurricane fighting for his country.... I joined the Army at the age of 16 1/2, joined a frontline unit at 17 1/2 (I would not have been allowed to deploy on operations until I was 18, which I did. This was a throwback to 2 young soldiers from my unit who were KIA at the age of 17 along with another who died on his 18th birthday during the Falklands war....the rules then said they could not deploy to Northern Ireland, but did not count outside that theatre). I also commanded young 18 year old soldiers on operations; so I do feel I have an understanding as to what things were like for these young men, serving at a young age. However, they were forced into the ultimate battle, where losing would mean the end for Britain as they knew its amazing how quickly these airmen became Sqn Leaders and Wing Comds at such young ages.... Our armed forces still deploy young men and women, willing to put their young lives on the line, firstly for their mates, then for their nation..... Pte Damian Jackson, KIA, Helmand Afghanistan, 5th July 2006, aged 19. I must admit I did have misgivings looking at my younger soldiers at the start of that tour in 2006, thinking 'bloody Playstation generation', will they up to it, etc - but they all stood up to the plate and performed.... I just felt the local link, youngest RAF pilot in the battle deserved to be a subject in this GB...... P3616 'GN-F', Hurricane I, 249 Squadron, RAF Boscombe Down. The Hawker Hurricane was the primary air defence fighter of the Battle of Britain and was flown by Pilot Officer Tom 'Ginger' Neil of No 249 Squadron based at RAF Boscombe Down, part of No 10 Group. Hurricane Mk I, P3616 was his preferred mount but on 16 August 1940, when he was on a well-earned 24 hours leave, it was allocated to Pilot Officer Martyn King. That day, Flight Lieutenant James (Nick) Nicolson was leading Red Section, which consisted of P/O King in 'F for Freddie' and the supernumerary Squadron Leader Eric King (no relation). The Section was ordered to a patrol-line Salisbury to Ringwood but it was not long before it was vectored to a raid attacking Lee-on-Solent. During the engagement with Messerschmitt Bf 110 escorts, P/O King was shot down and died when his parachute collapsed and Sqn Ldr King was so badly shot up that he barely limped back to Boscombe Down. The leader, Flt Lt Nicolson was severely wounded in the side and leg, and was about to abandon his burning Hurricane when the attacking Messerschmitt overshot, at which point Nicolson gallantly returned to his controls and shot down his attacker. Badly burnt, he finally took to his parachute but shot on the way down by a watching British Army NCO. For this action, Nicolson was awarded the Victoria Cross the following November. Pilot Officer Neil returned from leave to find his beloved P3616 had been destroyed but when No 249 moved to RAF North Weald on 1 September, he arranged for its replacement, V7313 to be marked 'F for Freddie'. During the continuing Battle, Neil flew 62 times in V7313 before it too was lost on 10 October, and a total of 141 times against the Luftwaffe, by which time he had been credited with 13 confirmed victories. A replica of Hurricane V7313 now stands as 'Gate Guardian' at North Weald airfield. Words © Paul Beaver. Thanks for looking.
  20. Hello everyone.. Id like to present the third of my Robert S.Tuck builds. This is the great 1/72 Arma Mk.I Hurricane representing V6555 DT*A of 257 Squadron September/October 1940. This is the third of my builds from the Battle of Britain group build going on currently. It is also the 26th completed build for me this year. Without further talk here it is. A couple of family photo’s from the group build. Tuck’s Spitfire Mk.I QJ*Z 92 Squadron and B.P.Defiant Mk.I PS*U 264 Squadron both from July 1940. Please feel free to ask questions, post comments, and Ive added a link to the Hurricanes build thread. Dennis
  21. This build was inspired by a good friend and Army colleague of 25 years + (he is actually serving, still must be in his 36th year!). He posted that PO Crelin Bodie was his childhood hero, turns out he was my mates Bob's mothers cousin. I decide to look into his story, which was quite interesting. He was a Suffolk lad, so has a local connection too. He became an ace and was gazetted for the DFC on 8 Nov 1940. He has a chapter in 10 Fighter Boys by Jimmy Corbin. Apparently he had a habit of belly landings....hence I plan to model Spitfire X4321 Coded LZ-F, 66 Sqn RAF, based at RAF Kenley. He belly landed the Spitfire after being damaged in a dogfight on either the 5th Sept or 7 Sept 1940, anyone who can confirm please do! X4321 Ia 1085 EA MIII FF 29-8-40 8MU 30-8-40 66S ‘LZ-F’ 5-9-40 damaged by Bf109 over Norfolk force-landed P/O Bodie safe C3 7-9-40 Weathering will be minimal as it appears it was only about a week old! Some date the forced landing as 7 Sept 1940. Can't find any actual ref pics (probably as it only lasted a week!) , but anything I do find points to a black spinner rather than the red sometimes seen with 66 Sqn? Any advice welcomed.... So Port LZ - F and Std F-LZ would seem correct from other references? @nimrod54 - been looking at your build as a reference, did you go for the standard Sky underneath, xtradecal seem to show a more Blue sky which I can't read? Bodie in the Battle of Britain On 8th July 1940, he claimed his first kill; a Heinkel HE111. A second Heinkel followed on 19th August and two Messerschmitt ME110 the following day. He rounded off August 1940 with a hit on a Dornier DO17 on 31st. Pilot Officer Bodie was a respected ace in the Battle of Britain, registering the destruction of the following planes. Destroyed HE111 (2nd September) Probable destroyed ME109 (4th September) Damaged two ME109s (6th September) Destroyed HE111 (11th September) Destroyed two DO17s (15th September) Destroyed HE111 (18th September) Probable destroyed ME109 (24th September) Damaged JU88 (5th October) Destroyed ME109 (11th October) Probable destroyed two ME109s (12th October) Probable damaged two ME109s (12th October) Destroyed ME109 (13th October) Destroyed ME109 (25th October) Destroyed ME109 (14th November) Kit: Has anyone used P Masks? Could only get them as others sold out... Also have some B Scheme camo masks and various codes/serial decals to help with my RAF builds. My own quick notes He was promoted and posted a couple of times, sadly he died later in the war at RNAS Eglington (now City of Derry airport) in Northern Ireland. Again, I flew out this airport regularly when posted to Ballykelly camp in the late 90's.... A fatal accident in Northern Ireland At the age of only twenty-one, Bodie was involved in a fatal incident in Northern Ireland. On 24th February 1942, his Spitfire Mk IIA P8077 spun out of control near RNAS Eglinton. By this time, Bodie was Flight Commander of B Flight. He had been practicing aerobatics over RNAS Eglinton when he lost control of the Spitfire. The plane came down near the airfield and Bodie was instantaneously killed and the aircraft was written off. Crelin Arthur Walford Bodie’s grave is in St. Canice’s Church of Ireland Churchyard, Faughanvale, Eglinton, Co. Londonderry. I plan to build this with the pilot inside, but on the ground ready to go. I will mount on some sort of surface (never done before but have the base of an old cat scratching post to use!) with some model grass surface etc.... I will just need to wrap it well and post it safely to Hereford for Bob, who hopefully like it! Any historical/build advice etc be much appreciated!
  22. Hello everybody In full knowledge that there are plenty of these Arma 1:72 Hurricanes milling about I wanted to add my own humble contribution. Its from the Mk. 1 Expert Set in the kit scheme of Josef Frantisek of 303 Squadron. I finished it last week and am posting now because we are at the 80th Anniversary of the formal establishment of 303 Squadron and completely co-incidentally, as I was applying the last touches, the Historic Aircraft Collection were kind enough to also reveal the public certification flight of a 1:1 scale edition ;-) from Duxford. In terms of the kit, I found the cockpit very well detailed but a very tight fit - much fettling was required to get the wing installed. The wing root was very good but due to user error the leading edge wing to fuselage join needed a little filler. Nonetheless, I was pleased with the end result with much thanks to Bruno from the Dakota club here in Flanders for helping out with a spare u/c strut to replace the one consumed by the Carpet Monster (in addition to the PE rear view mirror after I had spent a good thirty minutes making the glass out of kitchen foil). Oh, and I hand made the navigation lights from clear sprue only to discover I could have used those on provided by Arma all along! Oh well. It was painted with a mix of Vallejo, Tamiya and Lifecolour paints, with Ammo of MiG weathering powders and pencils and W&N oil paints. Overall very enjoyable but I'd probably do the junior set as the trade-off of PE versus visibility for the cockpit is not necessarily valuable for my purpose (i.e. to go on my shelf at the office). On reflection I think the panel line wash on the upper surfaces of the wings is a bit Over The Top (vertical surfaces are more muted) and also the chipping on the gun panels but I'm quite happy how the interior and exhausts worked out in the end... As usual, errors and omissions are my own but as a long time lurker here on BM I would like to say how very grateful I am to all those who have posted their Arma Hurricane builds & experiences already (e.g. @Procopius, @CedB, amongst others) and those with seemingly boundless Hurricane knowledge, especially @Troy Smith all of which I found very helpful indeed!
  23. Kit: Tamiya 1/48 Spitfire I Decals: Victory Productions “Aces of the Empire” Here’s my entry for the group build The subject is Spitfire I R6893 “KL-T” 54 Sqn, based at Hornchurch in Summer 1940. This aircraft was regularly flown by Pilot Officer Colin Gray and he recorded a number of kills whilst flying this aircraft. First, the box and sprues And the profile from Victory Productions
  24. I was trawling through the builds, looking at some great skilz that I can only wish I had, and pointed out a few to one of my guys at work, an ex submariner. He pointed out that the Royal Navy was involved in the Battle of Britain but is always overshadowed by the RAF..... I have had a love/hate relationship with both the RAF and RN, 26 years of waiting around for Crab Air to turn up, cursing them when they went U/S somewhere nice and ended up in some swanky hotel, or when they have dropped me by helo at the wrong Grid, adding some extra K's tabbing and making me late on target etc etc....however they have also came to my assistance on a few memorable occasions, with GR9's, some dicey infils/extracts by Chinook in Helmand, which saw some extraordinary flying and brave airmanship....when we called, they came, sometimes into enemy fire. Then they fly me around the UK at 250ft, 300 knots, some wannabe jet jockey up front getting his annual low level flying ticket whilst 90 paratroopers are jammed in like sardine, the smell of avgas and puking inducing more vomit.....only for them to pop up to 600ft and throw us out.... I spent most of my time avoiding the RN, when forced I embarked on various ships, including aircraft carriers, a destroyer and various underwater tin cans....what a pain, just trying to find my way to the galley for food was a mission, where we were gawped at by sailors who clearly thought we were some type of lower class animal, muttering words like pongo.... In the worst case scenario the 2 horrors were combined and I was twice part of a 6 man patrol who jumped into some freezing Scottish water having been subjected to the aforementioned low level horror, to then embark on those hideous underwater contraptions for a few days, before being thrown out on an inflatable we bought with us to go ashore... Anyway I digress as usual....It must be said that the RAF did have their finest hour during the battle, I also felt that the Navy should be represented in this GB....it seems the Army spent a lot of time recuperating after Dunkirk and sometimes shooting at our own fighters during the battle....their time was to come later in the war. For that reason, I have decided to include the RN in this GB. I have a Roden Gloster Sea Gladiator, will model as N2272/G, flown by the FAA's 804 NAS from HMS Sparrowhawk, which was the name given to the RNAS Hatston on Mainland Orkney, in Scotland during the BoB. References show it was flown by Sub Lt. J.W. Sleigh during the battle. Beautifully modelled here by @Arkady72 - I suspect I will not come anywhere close as I have never modelled a bi-plane! I have the book, 'Forgotten Few' by Paul Beaver that is quite interesting. It seems Sleigh went onto quite a distinguished career, having had a couple of near misses... This may be a bit of overstretch, with so many builds, but I will see how it goes. current state of crew, typically Roden do not include a pilot...I have asked on the wanted page for any surplus unwanted pilots... Box Sprues - put some primer down last night when I was spraying the Apache.
  25. The Supermarine Spitfire is one of a handful of aircraft to have passed from history into legend. Its good looks helped (good looks often do) --- the curve of a Spitfire's wing might well stand for an essence of beauty in the ruminations of some Romantic esthete. It is the Spitfire that is the emblem of the Battle of Britain, the iconic mount of 'the Few' who delivered the first solid check to Nazi arms, and it does no good to point out Hawker's Hurricane did more of the heavy lifting, or that the effectiveness of the Me 109 was greatly hampered by limited range, and at times by escort deployments mandated more for boosting the morale of bomber crews than for their combat utility. When the legend becomes fact, print the legend, so the saying goes, and don't bother arguing. Just about every modeller feels impelled to do a Battle of Britain Spitfire sometime, and this model of Spitfire Mk Ia serial R6915 is mine. Spitfire Mk Ia serial R6915 is preserved at the Imperial War Museum, albeit as it appeared during the twilight of its career in an Operational Training Unit. This aeroplane, however, began its active service career just as the Battle of Britain commenced. It was built to a contract let shortly before the war began, and on July 11 1940 was delivered to No. 6 Maintenance Unit. On July 21, R6915 was received by 609 (West Riding) Squadron, an old Auxiliary Air Force formation based then at Middle Wallop. The aircraft was assigned to B Flight's Blue Section, and marked as PR-U. Several pilots flew R6915 PR-U in its early days with the squadron, but by late August, this machine became the favored mount of a Pilot Officer with the striking name of Noël le Chevalier Agazarian. Noël le Chevalier Agazarian was one of four sons and two daughters born to an Armenian electrical engineer and his wife, a genteel Frenchwoman. After the Great War, she purchased a surplus Sopwith Pup airframe that was installed in the garden of their London residence as a children's plaything. Which may account for the unusual degree of 'air mindedness' among the Agazarian brood, for four of them when grown took up aviation. Noël's younger sister Monique was a ferry pilot for the Air Transport Auxiliary during WWII, and afterwards became a prominent authority on simulator training and instrument flying. Their eldest brother, Levon Berdj Agazarian, joined the RAF and served in the Far East, flying Thunderbolts from Calcutta at the end of the war. Another of the brothers, Jack Charles Agazarian, joined the RAF, but during his training was recruited into the Special Operations Executive for service as a radio operator in France, where in 1943 he was betrayed into Nazi hands under circumstances which on their face are none too favorable to MI-6 (see note below). Known as 'Aggie' to his friends, Noël le Chevalier Agazarian proved to be quite an athlete in his school days, excelling at rugby, swimming, and boxing. He was denied entry to Trinity College by its President, with the comment that "In 1911, when the last coloured gentleman had been at Trinity, it had really proved most unfortunate." Noël was accepted at another Oxford school, Wadham College, in 1935. While studying law Noël kept up his championship caliber boxing, and joined the Oxford University Air Squadron, part of the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. Here he met and became good friends with another aspiring pilot, Richard Hillary, who in his war-time memoir The Last Enemy (see note below) described Noël Agazarian as an extremely intelligent fellow with 'a pleasantly ugly face' who seemed a bit bewildered at finding himself to be such a fine athlete instead of a scholar. Early in 1939, the reservists of the Oxford Squadron were called up for active training at Lossiemouth. Agazarian and Hillary, along with several others, coalesced into a clique who referred to themselves as 'the longhairs', and plagued the RAF sergeants in charge of their initial training by their studied indiscipline. On completion of their flight training, Agazarian and Hillary both were disappointed to be assigned to Army Cooperation School at Old Sarum. There they flew exercises on obsolete Hawker Hector biplanes (one of which Noël crashed without injury to himself) and on the standard service type, the Westland Lysander. When their class at Old Sarum concluded in June, 1940, the RAF was bracing itself for an impending aerial onslaught by the Luftwaffe, and almost all graduates of the Army Cooperation School were assigned to Fighter Command. Noël le Chevalier Agazarian joined 609 Squadron in July, and soon showed himself a good fighting pilot. By mid-August, he had been credited with destroying three German fighters in air battles over naval installations on the south coast. Noël was flying PR-U R6915 on August 25, when he was credited with a fourth German fighter, an Me 110. From then through the end of September he flew this machine, being credited with two more fighters confirmed and two bombers as probables. On two occasions while attacking bombers, PR-U R6915 took damage from their defensive fire that forced Pilot Officer Agazarian to make a hurried landing, once with a bullet through the Merlin engine's oil sump, and once with a bullet through its glycol coolant tank. Both these, being in the lower part of the aeroplane's nose, were particularly vulnerable to well-aimed fire from a gunner directly attacked. PR-U R6915 was not flown by Pilot Officer Agazarian on its last sortie for 609 Squadron, but instead by Flying Officer John Dundas, considered a leading 'ace' at the time. Engaged with an Me 110, R6915 was struck by cannon shells, and the damage was beyond what a squadron workshop could cope with. The aeroplane was sent to a Civilian Repair Unit at Crowley on October 14, where it would remain till December. Noël le Chevalier Agazarian requested a transfer to North Africa in December, and was assigned to 274 Squadron there in January, 1941. Flying a Hurricane in support of 'Operation Brevity', he was killed on May 16. Spitfire Mk Ia R6915 had emerged from the repair shops and been delivered to 602 (City of Glasgow) Squadron in late January, 1941. With the new Spitfire Mk V coming into service, in July R6915 was relinquished to an Operational Training Unit, 61 OTU. R6915 then commenced to shuttle between various training units and repair facilities till summer of 1944, when it went into storage at Cardiff. From there, it was struck off RAF charge to the Imperial War Museum for static display in 1947, where it exists today. This model is built from the 'old tool' Airfix Spitfire I/II in 1/72. It was recommended back when I bought it as having better shape to the wing than the Tamiya offering, and Airfix was at the time putting out a 50th anniversary re-issue of the kit, the first one it had put on the market, which like the original came in a bag, not a box, and was moulded in bright blue plastic. I built the kit to OOB standard, with panel lines scribed and pilot figure employed. National markings are from an old Techmod sheet, ID codes from what remains of a Fantasy Workshop sheet. Wife printed up the serials. I doubt many of these are going to be built up nowadays, with the excellent new tooling available, but it went together well, and I think still does the business of making a decent miniature Battle of Britain Spitfire. When I chose PR-U R6915 as a subject for my model, I had no idea what lay behind the machine. I was simply looking through profiles in an old Aircam number for a Spitfire that had been in the thick of things in the Battle of Britain, whose codings could be replicated with decals I had on hand. Looking into operations of 609 Squadron, and refreshing my memory of Spitfire development and service, led to the discovery this machine was preserved in the Imperial War Museum. Reading the museum's 'History Note' for R6915, the name Noël le Chevalier Agazarian leapt out as something that just might be worth a closer look. Doing so led not only to a good deal of information about the gentleman, but to other stories his touched on, such as the skein of betrayals which caught up his brother Jack in France, and the painfully-won celebrity his friend Richard Hillary briefly enjoyed. I have prepared a note on each of these gentlemen, presented below in separate posts. It would be churlish to present here no detail concerning the career of Noël's sister Monique, but I can do no better justice to her than was done in her obituary in The Independent, written by someone she taught to fly, who considered her both mentor and friend.... https://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/obituary-monique-agazarian-1499214.html
×
×
  • Create New...