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  1. This was to have been my contribution to last year's "In the Year I Was Born" Group Build, but other things got in the way and I missed the deadline. My model represents Spitfire PR.XIX PS853, as she appeared in 1963 when the RAF flew her in Dissimilar Air Combat Trials against Lightnings, due to a possibility of conflict with Indonesia, whose Air Force was still flying P-51 Mustangs at that time. Having no Mustangs to hand, the RAF brought PS853 out of retirement as a subsitute, and the Central Fighter Establishment carried out a number of trials between the two aircraft. Whilst the Lightning was obviously much faster than the Spitfire, the trials showed that if the aircraft got into a turning dogfight, the Spitfire could get onto the Lightning's tail, and that the Lightning's heat-seeking missiles found it hard to lock onto the piston-engined fighter. However, if the Lightning made a climbing attack from below and behind, its vastly greater power meant it could always win. The kit is Airfix's 1/48 PR.XIX, essentially OOB but with the Barracuda resin cockpit - however in the end I decided to model the canopy closed and you can't see much of it. Colour scheme is Dark Green and Dark Earth over Sky, with a red spinner and white backplate (mainly White Ensign enamels). Decals were Xtradecal for the roundels, fin flashes and fuselage serials, and the underwing serials and CFE badges were done with inkjet decal paper. I've kept weathering to a minimum, given that the aircraft was not flying under operational conditions. I really enjoyed this build - the AIrfix kit goes together nicely (with the possible exception of the main undercarriage, which is a bit wobbly IMO), and it was good to produce a Spitfire connected with the year I was born! Sorry to have missed the GB deadline, but I'll hopefully have another go at one this year.
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