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Found 7 results

  1. After some false starts on recent group builds, I thought that I would try to restart in 2021 with this kit, the Sword 1/72: As the kit box clearly states RAAF, it seems ideal for this GB and I have had it for some time. I will be doing the 79 Squadron version which is A58-169 originally ES307 built at Castle Bromwich (kipper tie, no I have just had one thank you). The airframe history is from ADF serials website: 58-169 F.VC ES307 Arrived in Australia on SS Empire Strength 11/04/43.Rec 2AD ex UK 29/03/43. Rec 1AD ex 2AD 23/04/43. Received streamline cowling modification 1AD (sans Trop)23/04/43. Returned to 79Sqn RAAF 06/05/43. Coded UP-X. Rec 1AD ex 79Sqn RAAF 02/06/43. Rec 79Sqn RAAF ex 1AD 06/06/43. Accident 26/06/43 when after having taken off for a one hour gun test flight, could not select undercarriage on landing. Pilot made a wheels up landing at Milne Bay. Pilot; Sgt G A Chomley Serv#418232 was uninjured. (Code name for Kiriwana was Drake Force) Fitted RR Merlin M46 was #93069. Rec 26RSU ex 79Sqn RAAF 22/08/43. Rec 79 Sqn RAAF ex 26RSU 30/10/43. As LZ844 (A58-213) with 79 Sqn RAAF was now also coded as UP-X, ES307(A58-169) also coded as UP-X, was modified with a white overscore below and another above the grey X, with new Volkes Filter in natural metal cowl. RR Merlin M46 #92661. Rec 12RSU ex 79Sqn RAAF 28/10/44. Rec 6AD ex 12RSU 26/11/44. Rec 8OTU ex 6AD 07/01/45. Rec 6AD ex 8OTU 27/11/45. Authorised for write off 22/05/46. Passed to DAP 26/11/47. Struck off 15/11/48. And I think it is this aircraft: From the Australian War Memorial Site. Interestingly there isn't any serial code on the aircraft. The accepted scheme seems to be RAF DE with RAAF Foliage Green painted over the original RAF Midstone with RAF Azure Blue beneath- the repaint for Spitfires originally finished in 'Desert Camouflage'. The Vokes filter from the above text was a refit and in aluminium which is why it light. The underneath appears lighter that Azure blue on the wings and darker almost imperceptible from the upper colours at the rear. Notice also the dark colour of the leg strut. Of course its not a pin sharp photo. I think there are two likely-hoods, the aircraft is painted Azure Blue and the wings are reflecting the sand beneath or the aircraft could have been repainted RAAF Sky Blue in its many trips back to Servicing. I have build the Sword Spitfire Vc before and it goes together quite well, but the cockpit canopy can be a bit iffy possibly.
  2. "There is no other help for us, no stronger wall to ward off disaster, no city with its ramparts to hide inside, no other army to turn the flow of battle. Here on the plains of Troy are we, our backs to the sea facing the mail-clad Trojans, far from our native land. So in the strength of our own hands is our salvation, and there can be no surrender in this fight." -- Homer, The Iliad, XV (trans. A S Kline) "Only fully experienced pilots must come here. It is no place for beginners." --Hugh Pughe Lloyd, AOC Malta, to Arthur Tedder, 25 April 1942 "I thought my last minute had come and decided to sell my life dearly. I flew straight at the nearest machine with the intention of ramming it. I did not fire a shot, but the Macchi pilot, suddenly realising that his number might be up too, took violent evasive action, stalled, and crashed into the sea." -- Ioannis Agorastos "John" Plagis, on 11 May 1942 Born to Greek parents in Hartley in what was then Southern Rhodesia in 1919, Johnny Plagis was still a Greek citizen at the start of the Second World War, though he had lived in Rhodesia all his life, and it was under the birth nationality of his parents that he served in the RAF. Plagis went to Malta on 6 March 1942 off HMS Eagle with the first sixteen Spitfires sent to that beleaguered island. On 20 March 1942, Plagis's close friend and fellow Rhodesian, Pilot Officer "Douggie" Leggo, was shot down and killed by either the experte Hermann Neuhoff (who would himself be shot down by Canadian Hurricane pilot F/Sgt Garth Horricks DFM of 185 Squadron and taken captive on 10 May 1942), or Ernst Klager (taken prisoner on 3 July 1942 at El Alamein after being shot down on a frie jagd by a SAAF Kittyhawk Ia flown by Lt Sydney "Moose" Reinders). It appears that a 109 then either fired into Leggo as he dangled in his parachute, or deliberately or by accident (the attack took place at only 50 yards range) collapsed his parachute as it flew past him. Regardless of what had transpired, the results for the Luftwaffe were very nearly as catastrophic as the killing of Patroclus had been for the Trojans. In his diary that night, Plagis wrote "Swear to shoot down ten for Doug -- I will, too, if it takes me a lifetime." In fact, it took him only until 7 June, a little less than three months. Among those he shot down was the 13-claim ace Fw Hans Schade on 1 April, one of four aircraft he brought down that day. Plagis went on to be a Wing Commander in northwest Europe and flew Meteors with the RAF postwar, before returning to Rhodesia, where he involved himself in several deeply regrettable ventures, including a business partnership with Scientologist huckster L Ron Hubbard which ended when the latter was expelled from Rhodesia, and more seriously, Ian Smith's Rhodesian Front. In 1974, apparently unable to adjust to civilian life, Plagis died by suicide. He was married and had four children, but in the tumult of Rhodesia's subsequent collapse and reformation as Zimbabwe, they seem to have not surfaced anywhere to provide a more comprehensive biography of his life. In what is now Harare, a street is still named John Plagis Avenue after him. So not a very happy story behind the model we'll be building today, which is why my leading quote for this build, is perhaps apropos: Telamonian Ajax defended the Greek ships from the assault of Hector and the Trojans almost single-handedly, but was bested by Odysseus in a contest of skill with the armour of Great Achilles as a prize. Ovid writes in Metamorphoses that Ajax, "who so often when alone, stood firm against great Hector and the sword, and flames and Jove, stood not against a single passion, wrath. The unconquerable was conquered by his grief. He drew his sword, and said...'I must use this against myself...lest any man but Ajax vanquish Ajax.'" As for the kit, it's of course the new Airfix Spitfire Vc, which I'm pretty excited about. I'm planning on using the DK Decals Aces of Malta sheet, which has markings for GL-J/BR321, which Plagis apparently flew after transferring to 249 Squadron in June of 1942. Naturally I can't find any photos of it in Cauchi's Malta Spitfire Vs, so if you have or know of one, I'd appreciate it!
  3. I am just about to launch into my conversion of the Airfix 1/48 Vb into an early Vc (RAAF Aircraft). It seems a fairly straightforward and reasonably easy conversion. Special thanks to @Troy Smith for the suggestion. I have read a number of excellent BM threads on the subject of Vb to Vc conversion including some great input from, but not limited to, @Graham Boak@Magpie22@Giorgio N@Troy Smith@gingerbob and, of course, the late great Edgar Brooks. I have also perused other links like the Spitfire Site and its often visited "Concise Guide to Spitfire wings" http://spitfiresite.com/2010/04/concise-guide-to-spitfire-wing-types.html. et.al. I have now put together my list of what is required including some questions that are not clear. What have I missed? Top Wing Half 1. Remove external wing strengtheners 2. Remove wheel well blisters and repair. 3. Fill domed wheel well (upper wing blister) and provide new ribbing to match C-Wing. 4. Remove cannon blisters and repair. 5. Remove inboard machine gun detail and relocate between ribs 13 and 14. 6. Fill all unnecessary panel lines. 7. Re-scribe new panel lines in accordance with C-Wing including new panel for early wide cannon blister and relocated inboard machine guns. Check and include any new access hatches. 8. Fit wide cannon blister (CHECK: my subject has the early wide blister) Bottom Wing Half 9. Remove underwing cannon blisters and repair. 10. Add cannon ejection ports and panel detail. CHECK: New trailing small blister in cannon access panel in C-Wing. Include if required. 11. Fill link and case ejection port for inboard machine gun in old B-Wing position and include in new C-Wing position. 12. CHECK: Do Airfix provide landing lights to be removed? 13. Re-scribe panels. Check and include any new access hatches. Complete Wing 14. Fill old inboard machine gun position and drill outboard new position. 15. Replace tapered cannons housings with taper and cylindrical type and fit. 16. Fit outboard second cannon position stubs. Other Stuff 17. Rake undercarriage legs forward by 2” EDIT: @Graham Boak commented - The undercarriage change is described in Spitfire the History (in the chapter on the Mk.III) as being a movement forward of 2 inches at the axle 18. Fit bulged undercarriage doors. 19. CHECK: Strengthened undercarriage, what does this mean? 20. CHECK: Does Airfix include the larger round oil cooler? 21. EDIT: @Graham Boak commented: The Mk.Vc also introduced the revised windscreen with the inset armour glass. This was seen on Mk.Vb late in production. It had a straight interface with the fuselage rather than curved. 22. EDIT: Check your references for correct Propeller and Spinner @Troy Smith has given a good explanation and links further down in this thread RAAF 79 Squadron BS219 23. Wide cannon blister. No evidence of any other blisters on upper wing. 24. No pilot head rest. 25. Exhaust gun heating tube removed. Hole in cowling remains. I am modelling how the aircraft looked in March/April 1943. 26. IFF included. Thanks in advance for any input. Soon I'll start a WIP of these changes. This can be found here: Ray
  4. Well before the arrival of Airfix's new 1/72 Mk Vc, I'm gonna try and sneak this one in; an Eduard Mk IX with the nose from an extra Mk V fuselage from a Sword Seafire kit (and spare oil cooler from an Airfix Mk I/II/V kit). Just some minor surgery required (hopefully).
  5. Hi to everybody! First posting for me at Britmodeller, a kind of symbolic, I may say. This is a recently built 1/48 Italeri (Special Hobby reboxing) Spitfire Vc , representing a Royal Hellenic Air Force Sharkmouth Spitfire, immediately after the return of the RAF Greek squadrons to Greece (hence the mixed-bag markings - fuselage Greek, wings still RAF). It wasn't exactly a problem-free build, but with the help of Eduard photo-ethed and the recently published RHAF decals from our native LM decals, I tried to do my best. Hope you like it. Dimitris K.
  6. My boyfriend's back, he's gonna save my reputation (Hey-la, hey-la, my boyfriend's back) If I were you, I'd take a permanent vacation (Hey-la, hey-la, my boyfriend's back) -- The Angels, "My Boyfriend's Back" '"He's, he's not my date. He's my fury and my holy avenger."' -- Alan De Niro, "The Caliber" "Now Pallas Athene gave Diomedes, Tydeus’ son, strength and courage to prove himself the finest of the Argives and win glory and renown. She made his helm and shield burn with unwavering flame, like that of Sirius the star of harvest, who when he has bathed in the Ocean depths rises to shine brightest of all. Such was the fire that streamed from his head and shoulders, as she thrust him into the heart of the fight where the enemy were strongest." -- Iliad, Book V “Either, sir, we get the Spitfires here within days, not weeks, or we’re done. That’s it.” -- Squadron Leader Stan Turner, February 1942 I'm going to be building two Sword Spitfire Vc trop kits; one of BR301/UF-S of 249 (Gold Coast) Squadron, based at Malta during the "Spitfire Summer" of 1942, and one of BS164/DL-K with 54 Squadron based at Darwin in northwestern Australia in 1943. For millions of small children since 1940, or possibly even 1936, the Spitfire has assumed a talismanic significance, and I include myself in their number, having fallen under its spell on a rainy midwestern afternoon in 1991, when I turned the page in a large coffee table book on aviation that a family friend had loaned me, and came face to face with the aircraft which has ever since been an important part of my life. I don't imagine that many nine-year-olds were writing fan mail to Spitfire pilots in 1992, but perhaps I'm wrong. In any case, I sent a letter to D.C.O., the journal of The Spitfire Society, asking if any Spitfire pilots would write to me and send me their photographs. In addition to the great J E "Johnnie" Johnson, who I wrote to directly, several other pilots took the time to write: 1st Lt Edwin Dalrymple, 308 FS, 31st FG Lt (A) Peter G H Roome, RNVR 899 and 801 Squadrons FAA F/O M A Collett, 485 Squadron RNZAF F/Sgt F W F Sweet, RAF Several of them continued to write me for some time, sending me Christmas cards, a WWII-era copy of Malan's "Ten Rules for Air Fighting" (from F/Sgt Sweet), and in the case of Lt Roome, an original photo of him with either a Seafire or Spitfire in 1941 or 1942. I wish I could articulate to you how receiving these made me feel then, and how I feel now, twenty or more years later. It might be impossible to do so in a seemly manner. I felt and feel the same unquestioning love for them that a small boy might feel for his own father; they were gods to me, their bodies a shield for everything I have grown to adulthood valuing, all this long before I or my parents were ever born. But perhaps that's too overwrought for your tastes, and for that I apologize. But "there were giants in the earth in those days." I titled the thread "The Repairers of Reputations" because both of these Spitfires were sent "into the heart of the fight where the enemy were strongest", to try and stem the Axis tide where it threatened to sweep aside all before it. The Spitfire V was possibly the mark which compared least-favorably with its contemporary adversaries, but even bedeviled by mechanical difficulties over Australia (chronic cannon jamming, repeated failures of the constant speed units) or hideously outnumbered by the Luftwaffe over Malta, the weaknesses of the aircraft were mitigated by the determination of their pilots, who endured bitter blows and when their time came, struck hard and true, strong enough, as it turned out, to save. BR301 was flown off of USS Wasp to Malta during Operation BOWERY on 9 May 1942, the second time the big American carrier was used to help ferry Spitfires to the island. Bowery was a well-planned and coordinated operation, and despite heavy German and Italian attacks throughout the day, almost all of the Spitfires survived. The following day, for the first time, German raiders over Malta were engaged by Spitfires in Wing strength, and they would never again enjoy the overwhelming advantage. BR301 was flown both by the great Canadian ace George Buerling, as well as the ace John McElroy, who after the war would have the dubious (to put it very, very, very mildly) distinction of shooting down two RAF Spitfires while flying for the IAF; one of the pilots, P/2 Ron Sayers, was killed. I can't seem to find the photo of BR301 that the various profiles are all based off of. Sword suggests DE/MS over the troublesome and elusive "Sky Blue", with all of the upper surfaces aside from the top of the spine sprayed "Dark Sea Grey or Extra Dark Sea Grey or US Navy Blue-Grey [sic]"; way to take a stand, Sword. I welcome the input of the BM Hive Mind here. BS164 was the regular mount of RAF Squadron Leader Eric M "Bill" Gibbs, a pre-war Coastal Command pilot who was reassigned to 54 Squadron and then rapidly promoted to Squadron Leader shortly before it was sent to Australia as part of 1 Fighter Wing RAAF (commanded by the greatest Australian ace of the war, Clive Caldwell), combating Japanese air raids from Timor. Gibbs clashed frequently with his Wing Leader; In the opinion of Anthony Cooper in his excellent book Darwin Spitfires, Gibbs appears to have had a better conception of how the Spitfires should be deployed tactically, in opposition to Caldwell's predilection for Wing tactics. Gibbs would claim six victories against the Japanese, although the evidence suggests that the claiming standards were lax, and several of these are dubious -- a recurring problem with RAF/RAAF scores over Darwin. I also have an old Ventura sheet with markings for Caldwell's Spitfire Vc, painted in the same Dark Earth/Foliage Green/Sky Blue scheme as Gibbs' machine, so I may build Caldwell's aircraft instead, seeing as I've just finished his P-40E. So that's where we are now. The kits are ready, and so am I.
  7. Hmm I appear to have been somewhat remiss in documenting my latest project, which is a follow up - or rather a prequel to my recent Hurricane IIc project. In October 1942, my Dad was posted to 81 Squadron which at that time was in Gibraltar, awaiting the launch of Operation Torch to invade North West Africa. At this time 81 Squadron were flying Spitfire Vc which were adapted to the Tropical configuration by adding a Volkes filter at some point. So my source kit is the HobbyBoss Spitfire Vb Trop and to convert to the Vc I'm using the resin C wing conversion from Grey Matter Figures. Obligatory sprue shot Some of the aftermarket - the wings and some other bits turned up later The most glaring problem with the kit is the tailplanes which are metal on one side and fabric covered on the other! This is easily fixed by the QuckBoost update. I've also sourced fabric seat belts from HGW and metal cannon barrels from Masterworks, plus some Eduard PE for the exterior. Now comes the major admission - I appear to have all the photos taken int he early part of the project. I'd been keeping a photo record of the cockpit progress, but all the pics seem to have vanished, so all I have left are those I've taken very recently which you will see is some distance into the build!!! For this build I am going to do another diorama with my father in like I did with the Hurricane, but this time it will be set in Algeria in winter 1942, so no shorts and bush hats! The first thing I need to decide is what will my father be doing? For the Hurricane it was easy - open up the sides and have him fiddling around with the main junction box behind the cockpit. The HobbyBoss kit comes with an openable radio hatch and a crude representation of the radio set, however my dad wasn't a radio tech but an electrician. While building the cockpit I realised that the 3 lights that are on the port sidewall are only represented by small blobs in this kit... bingo, Dad is obviously replacing these lamps!! That means he'll be standing on the port wing leaning over the side if the cockpit. Although this kit comes with an engine and removable cowelings, the engine isn't a very good representation of a Merlin 45, so I'm going to leave it closed. The main work is going to be replacing the kit wings with the resin wings. So to begin - a lot of work was put into the cockpit, the Baraccuda resin set is very nice and although intended for a Mk IX, it'll pass for a Vc. I also used an Eduard Zoom set for the instrument panel. So here are some photos taken this evening to show the cockpit. There is a bit of dust from sanding the wing joints which I'll need to flush out with some air and the control stick is missing as it fell out during assembly so I left it out for now! The cloth seatbelts were superb and took staining very well and I would recommend them to anyone who has the patience to assemble them properly!! and here is the radio hatch - I did superdetail the radio but you can't see it in the small opening. I did add some placards from the airscale set to try to make it a bit more interesting and there will be a PE door from the Eduard set to fit later. So what of the wings? Well let me tell you they are beautifully cast but a total bugger to fit! For a start they come with the tips missing so you can add your own LF, high altitude or normal ones. Problem here is that the HobbyBoss kit, unlike the Tamiya kits come with the wing tips moulded on! So you need to cut the wing tips off. Then you find that the wing chord and width of the resin wings are just a little bit smaller than the wings that come in the kit! Fortunately, I have a Tamiya Spitfire VIII in the stash, bought when I thought my dad was with 81 Sqn in Burma. I'm still planning on building an 81 Sqn Burma Spitfire VIII but will build that with the high latitude wings as they first used when being posted there in late 43 early 44. So I can use the normal wing tips from the VIII to match up with the resin wings as their chord is slightly thinner. However they are still about 4 mm too wide when joining up. I solved this with some careful trimming and sanding as you can see above. Now when it came to attaching them to the fuselage, you need to cut up the kit lower wing section to provide the under-fuselage joint. I managed to mess this up a bit and had to insert extra triangles where I'd been too eager to cut and got the shape wrong. The upper surface fit is quite good but again the resin wing is about 6 mm narrower than the original kit part. The wing thickness is also thinner but this isn't so prominent. Here are the wings fitted and the cannon bulges added (these come as separate blisters that need gluing to the right places. Notice also the pencil marks to show where the cannons and machine gun ports need to go on the leading edge) Here is the underside where you can see the triangular in-fills I had to add where I'd made mistakes The trickiest part here was getting the dihedral right and I think I might have overdone this just a little - judge for yourselves here: So thats the progress so far. Its been about a month and a bit elapsed time but I haven't been rushing... Oh I almost forgot, I'm also building another of the iconair accumulator trolley kits to go with the diorama, but this time I'm doing it in RAF blue (ish) and adding a small motor on top as was seen on many airfields like here: (Copyright IWM Archive, used here for reference only) and here it is so far I used a piece from the Tamiya 1:35 US Maintenance kit which has a compressor with a small engine on top. I cut of f the engine and stuck it on top of the accumulator trolley. I doubt if it is 100% accurate but its a decent representation of the sort of thing they would have had. Oh and there will NOT be another PE toolbox in this diorama - I had enough with the one in the Hurricane dio
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