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PRU Spitfire PR1d BR416


Peter Lloyd
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Begging the moderator's permission to add this to the GB: the photo was taken in Palestine so it's only conjecture this aircraft would have visited Malta on its journeys across the Med.

But it's pretty likely I think!

The model will be the Airfix new tool Spit 1, with decals and some aprts from the Pavla conversion kit.

t8G1a.jpg

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Begging the moderator's permission to add this to the GB: the photo was taken in Palestine so it's only conjecture this aircraft would have visited Malta on its journeys across the Med.

But it's pretty likely I think!

The model will be the Airfix new tool Spit 1, with decals and some aprts from the Pavla conversion kit.

t8G1a.jpg

Well it could be this one:

16030d94.jpg

This was a visitor to Malta in early 1941. Looks pink to me, but there are probably people better qualified to answer that.

Would be great to see a 'visiting' PR Spit - so many types came through in transit.

Welcome aboard!

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Here's an interesting thread from The Spitfire Forum - looks to be the same aircraft.

-------

A little more research, when looking up BR416 on the production page it provides this :

BR416 PRIVT 2871 HEA M46 FF 28-4-42 1PRU 2-5-42 47MU 13-7-42 Amot Elkerk 22-7-42 Takoradi 3-9-42 Middle East 19-10-42 SOC 13-9-45

I believe Amot Elkerk was a cargo ship of some type and the spitfire was delivered crated to Takoradi in Ghana. From there it flew to the Middle East - no mention of Malta.

550px-Ghana_(orthographic_projection).svg.png

regards,

Jack

Edited by JackG
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Thanks Jack, I have increased my research materials by about 500% and have a whole new alternative scheme to consider.

I'm not intending to go too crazy with this bird. Like the Fiat, I am keen to spend less time building and more time painting. I also want to save most of the Pavla kit for a future project (there are three options) so I will be making a fuselage tank from scrap, just to fill in the space.

Here is the cockpit. Before installing I removed the gun sight.

luWdA.jpg

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David Niven's character flies a PR Spitfire in the film "Malta Story". I've not watched it for a while, but suspect it was a PRXI. Wrong for that period of the war but readily available when the film was made.

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David Niven's character flies a PR Spitfire in the film "Malta Story". I've not watched it for a while, but suspect it was a PRXI. Wrong for that period of the war but readily available when the film was made.

Haven't seen it since I was a kid, I'd like a DVD of it for old times sake but in all that I'm sure it was Sir Alec Guiness rather than David Niven as the PR pilot, wasn't it. :unsure:

Steve.

Edited by stevehnz
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Haven't seen it since I was a kid, I'd like a DVD of it for old times sake but in all that I'm sure it was Sir Alec Guiness rather than David Niven as the PR pilot, wasn't it. :unsure:

Steve.

I think they were Mk.XVIs in completely non-PR trim. No doubt based on Malta at the time of filming.

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... I'm sure it was Sir Alec Guiness rather than David Niven as the PR pilot, wasn't it. :unsure:

Steve.

I think you are right. For some reason I remembered it as David Niven. Just goes to show how unreliable memory can be.

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Thank goodness for Wikipedia: "The production only had the use of three later Supermarine Spitfire Mk XVIs, which had been located in storage."

The love interest looked remarkably like Cheryl Cole.

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Thank goodness for Wikipedia: "The production only had the use of three later Supermarine Spitfire Mk XVIs, which had been located in storage."

Plus a high back MkIX or MkXVI painted to look like a PR aircraft - I've just had a quick look at one of the early scenes.

Edited by davidelvy
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The Airfix cockpit is excellent. I used scrap parts to make a long-range fuel tank to sit behind the seat. The Pavla kit gives you a very nice one which I think will only fit if the fuselage walls are thinned. As I want to later build one of the other options, I am happy to just have the impression of the tank on this build. The decal instrument panel lets the interior down a bit but the flat panel makes it easy to add a PE replacement if needed, so this is not really an issue.

tQrKv.jpg

I didn't get my forward bulkhead positioned correctly, in fact I think the cockpit sub assembly is too wide. I removed the gun sight and tried to tidy up the coaming with putty.

nF76A.jpg

I patched the drain holes in the forward wing section. Surely if this was a sealed fuel tank to not only would not need them, they would be a liability and another potential source of leakage? I also reasoned in building the PR aircraft Supermarine would simply have taken the relevant panel aside before the cuts were made. Oops, best remember to do the ejection chutes as well. Pretty big gaps on the lower wing, again possibly the result of the fuselage being a bit too wide.

YjGQ3.jpg

O7nVf.jpg

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Looks good. If anything, the fit of that kit is too good- even the thickness of paint can make all the difference to gaps closing up! I usually get a gap on top of the cowling due to the tight fit of the cockpit parts. Same goes for the tailwheel- I'd advise painting it after fitting to the fuselage to avoid problems opening up the hole wider later on.

regards

Will

p.s- something I did to my model, was I figured that the cartridge ejection chutes would have been doped over rather than plated over flush. I used squares of decal to cover mine (having tried fag paper which looked a little to thick). The effect is really subtle, but looks excellent. Emphasises the converted nature of those early PR birds.

Will

Edited by Killingholme
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p.s- something I did to my model, was I figured that the cartridge ejection chutes would have been doped over rather than plated over flush. I used squares of decal to cover mine (having tried fag paper which looked a little to thick). The effect is really subtle, but looks excellent. Emphasises the converted nature of those early PR birds.

Will

Good idea... typically I research after I finish building. I have the idea the PR1d was purpose-built but this one has the standard chin panel and Aboukir filter, which suggest a conversion.

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Good idea... typically I research after I finish building. I have the idea the PR1d was purpose-built but this one has the standard chin panel and Aboukir filter, which suggest a conversion.

Was there any filter at all? As a visiting aircraft on Malta at least? Quite a number of Hurris and Spits went 'eu naturel' on Malta.

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Just noticed this aircraft is one of the subjects on Model Alliance's Spitfire PR sheet. Do you need the decals? I must admit I was never very impressed with the density of colour on the Model Alliance sheet- they are very thin, but need a white base coat to really look appropriate. Looking at the 'X' code, they've printed it in a creamy shade which I'm not sure is appropriate. Anyway- if you need them I'd be happy to send you over the relevant decals cos I don't think I'll ever use them. Drop me a line if you need them,

Will

Edit that offer slightly- I've used the B-roundels from this sheet! Can only offer the codes and serial number. Still, offer stands.

Will

Edited by Killingholme
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Good idea... typically I research after I finish building. I have the idea the PR1d was purpose-built but this one has the standard chin panel and Aboukir filter, which suggest a conversion.

Interesting point. Think I might be wrong about this. I thought like you that the standard chin and Aboukir filter denoted a converted aircraft, but Shaklady includes this aircraft in a batch of PR IVs built as part of a factory-built PR.IV contract. So I think you might be right about the factory-built D-wing. (http://spitfiresite.com/uploaded_images/spitfire-pr-iv-xi-wing.jpg)

Apologies for throwing an unnecessary fly in the ointment!

Will

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The Spitfire Production Page lists twenty-six Spitfires built as PRIVT containing the BR4xx serials. Again, I don't know how accurate these listings are, but only four of these have Malta listed as a destination or stopover, and of these only three fit within the time frame of this GB. They are BR424, BR426 and BR431.

BR416's destination was the middle east, but it did not take the Mediterranean route. It is likely the Aboukir filter was added while in Egypt as it seems this was the only maintenance unit that did this special conversion.

regards,

Jack

Edited by JackG
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Just noticed this aircraft is one of the subjects on Model Alliance's Spitfire PR sheet. Do you need the decals? I must admit I was never very impressed with the density of colour on the Model Alliance sheet- they are very thin, but need a white base coat to really look appropriate. Looking at the 'X' code, they've printed it in a creamy shade which I'm not sure is appropriate. Anyway- if you need them I'd be happy to send you over the relevant decals cos I don't think I'll ever use them. Drop me a line if you need them,

Will

Edit that offer slightly- I've used the B-roundels from this sheet! Can only offer the codes and serial number. Still, offer stands.

Will

Thanks very kindly Will but Pavla include the decals in their conversion set. Perhaps though you might be inspired to join me? Apart from the need for a PR canopy, there's not much to do to convert a Spit I - V model.

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Well, obviously BR416s missions to Malta were far too secret to be recorded on paper, but a bloke down the pub told me that he once met a taxi driver whose podiatrist knew a Maltese farmer, who well remembered the morning, after a night of heavy drinking, when BR416 landed in his orange orchard by mistake. Obviously the whole thing was covered up by the Masons and Opus Dei, but there is compelling evidence. If you play the Beatle's 'Hey Jude' backwards, you can make out the words 'sneaky four-one-six eats oranges in Malta'.

It's all true (and hats off for the research!).

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

Slow progress recently, rarely above 10 degrees in my model room... and I've had some log in problems. Might I say Britmodeller's random-number-generator-bot-detector thing is abysmal.

I have some paint on but my under wing filler always seems to be visible. I am going to proceed from here after several attempts.

My too-wide fuselage would not nearly take the Pavla canopy, so I have tried to bodge on the Pavla curved windscreen and the cut-off Airfix rear section, with the Pavla bubble to be added in the open position. Perhaps I should have made more effort on the cockpit, then!

Credit to Airfix, this model, despite the deep panel lines, is both accurate and engineered to be robust. Not many models that are suitable for both rivet-counters and primary school kids. By which I mean, the cack-handed 40-something uncles of primary school kids. And I have a nice 2-bladed prop for the spares box, I'm sure it will come in handy for something.

7X5td.jpg

Q5Gvu.jpg

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The obligatory disaster has struck.

The Pavla decals are staggeringly delicate. I am pretty used to Czech decals and love them, but half the decals I used failed to make it intact from the very wet paper to the model. I applied the decals over a coat of 'One Go', Aussie Future, which I rarely use and maybe this caused the decals to 'grip'. The starboard fuselage code refused to be moved from this position:

tzUaw.jpg

As you can see, the roundel broke apart on the backing paper, even though it was moving readily. One of the 'X' decals broke and tied itself in a knot, that was the first one to go (I blamed the warmth of the water but it was only tepid). Despite extra care, the other four fuselage markings did not make it in one piece, and the potential to move them once on was almost zero. Pavla don't supply the underwing roundels, which this aircraft obviously has.

pN99D.jpg

This will probably be the end of this project, at least for the purposes of this group build.

:badmood:

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