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Sean_M

Vol 2 All the Spitfire questions here

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I'm having difficulty identifying Spitfire F VIIIs with normal wingtips for which 1/48 decals might be available. By "normal" in mean neither clipped nor extended wingtips. By F VIIIs I mean those powered by the Merlin M63 engine. There seem to be numerous examples of M63 powered Mk VIIIs with clipped and extended wingtips but my understanding is that these could not be correctly classed as LFs or HFs. Have I got this right ?

I would be grateful for any help or opinions.

Cheers

Edited by Sky Pilot

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I'm having difficulty identifying Spitfire F VIIIs with normal wingtips for which 1/48 decals might be available. By "normal" in mean neither clipped nor extended wingtips. By F VIIIs I mean those powered by the Merlin M63 engine. There seem to be numerous examples of M63 powered Mk VIIIs with clipped and extended wingtips but my understanding is that these could not be correctly classed as LFs or HFs. Have I got this right ?

I would be grateful for any help or opinions.

Cheers

The first Eduard boxing

http://www.eduard.com/store/Eduard/Spitfire-Mk-VIII-1-48-1.html

which says it's discontinued, but 3 of the marking options, SEAC, RAF Italy and RAAF are F.VIII with standard tips.

aftermarket?

http://www.hannants.co.uk/search/index.php?adv=1&product_category_id=&product_division_id=&manufacturer_id=&product_type_id=all_decals&code=&scale_id=955&keyword_search=spitfire+viii&setPerPage=25&sort=0&search_direction=0&save_search_name=&save_search=

and some on both of these

http://www.hannants.co.uk/product/BC48008

http://www.hannants.co.uk/product/X48129

Is this what you mean?

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Supermarine stopped producing the Spitfire VIII with extended wingtips in August 1944, and had previously issued a "how to" leaflet, on replacing them with standard tips, in May of that year.

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Hi folks,I,m busy assembling the last two Spitfires in the stash(Airfix newish tool) one is HA-Z from the extra decals BoB sheet and the only other

decals I have are XT-L flown by the BBMF from the then and now boxing with the Typhoon which I thought might be a nice change in a shiny

clean finish.Looking at photos I notice the same exhaust as the kit but a few photos seem to show what looks like a later six port affair also am I

correct this aircraft does not have the wire running from pole to tail help appreciated as usual.

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If you are modelling it as the BBMF aircraft then go with the photographs - it is likely to have changed somewhat over the years. The six-a-side exhausts, in wartime, were only seen with 3-blade props on very late F Mk.Vs with the M55 engine (this link is stated in sources but has not been confirmed). The BBMF has to go with whatever working bits it can get, with rather less emphasis on historical accuracy in the past than now.

The wire is for the HF radio, which was superseded in the UK fairly early on in the war (before the introduction of the Mk.V) but retained overseas. For the later radio the aerial went up the mast.

Edited by Graham Boak

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HF radios were replaced by VHF during the Battle, so the aerials tended to disappear at the same time (much to the disappointment of some pilots, who used to tune in to the BBC during sorties.)

6-branch exhausts, on the Mk.I, are mostly associated with post-war rebuilds, definitely not during the Battle.

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The six-a-side exhausts, in wartime, were only seen with 3-blade props on very late F Mk.Vs with the M55 engine (this link is stated in sources but has not been confirmed).

I suspect the cause of that correlation may be operational rather than technical, as a result of the Vc with the cropped supercharger engine being the only V still of front line operational relevance in Europe at the time the supply chain standardised on the 6-stack exhaust.Spitfire_LF_Mk.Vc.jpg

Here's a nice pic of a French one.

Edited by Work In Progress

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You may well be right, this simply being coincident with the arrival of the M55, but I think it's not certain. However, not all of these were engines were low-rated i.e with a M suffix. As the concurrent thread on Greek Mk.Vs shows, in the Middle East aircraft are being recorded as being fitted with the M46 (not M46M) as late as November 1944. In the UK, domination of the LF Mk.V is highly probable, at least in combat units, but the Mk.V lasted much longer in the ME.

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Troy

Many thanks for your reply.

Regarding the Eduard boxing, of the three F VIIIs covered ( JF470, JF330 and JF404 ) the first is shown, in the instruction schemes, as having clipped wings while the other two have extended wings. The other three a/c are LFs and HFs. The wing tips "thing" really is a can of worms :undecided:

I had already done a search for decals for a normally wing tipped F VIII which produced but two available options - one by ICM (via big H) the other by Barracuda (via FlightDecs in Canada). The remaining options are either out of stock or no longer available.

Supermarine stopped producing the Spitfire VIII with extended wingtips in August 1944, and had previously issued a "how to" leaflet, on replacing them with standard tips, in May of that year.

Edgar

Your comment about wingtip replacement is interesting and appreciated. Might there be details of any affected a/c ?

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The extended wingtips had been found to overstress the wing roots when the aircraft was used in dogfights at lower levels. The classic example is perhaps the Mk.VIIIs of 81 Sqn. in India, but the Mk.VIIs of Peter Brothers' wing (ok I forget... 616 Sqn?) also had them replaced.

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Your comment about wingtip replacement is interesting and appreciated. Might there be details of any affected a/c ?

It was entirely down to the individual unit's requirements, and the work was only supposed to entail 6 man-hours, so it's very unlikely it would appear on an airframe's movement card.

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Could the experts among us please help me in attempting, at least, to identify the discernable differences (if any), apart from the wing tips, between the Mk VIII variants, i.e F VIII (M61 and M63 powered, LF VIII and HF VIII.

John

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There isn't much; any Merlin 61-powered aircraft would have had the same small bulge on the starboard engine cover as the Spitfire II, since it had the Coffman gear box. However, the Merlin 61 saw more service in the IX.

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The difference is the engine not the wingtips.

WIP

Actually I was, already, painfully aware of the above fact. Nevertheless, many thanks for your reply.

There isn't much; any Merlin 61-powered aircraft would have had the same small bulge on the starboard engine cover as the Spitfire II, since it had the Coffman gear box. However, the Merlin 61 saw more service in the IX.

Edgar

Please forgive me for questioning the above but according to the Spitfire Site the said small bulge was associated with the cabin blower drive on the M61, M64 and perhaps M63A. Although not required on M63, M66, M70 and M266 equipped a/c it was still fitted until production changed in late 1942 or possibly early 1943.

Incidentally, the bulge is shown fitted to all 6 options provided by the Eduard Mk VIII kit.

Your comments would be great appreciated.

John

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It seems a bit unlikely that any M66, M70 or M266 engines were around for Spitfire production as early as late 1942, so there's something odd about that comment. From the sound of it a "cabin blower drive" was presumably only required on pressurised Spitfires, but the point about the "Coffman" bulge remaining as standard production is taken. It was still present on Mk.VIII MT818 (later as G-AIDN): this one first flew in June 1944 presumably with the M66 but in the middle of a run of M70.

I think that WIP missed the word "only" from his posting.

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I would like to build a 1/48th Spitfire Vb with clipped wings based on the Airfix Vb kit and for which decals are available. So far I have found only two suitable examples - AB502 (IR-G) powered by an M45 and ER22 (WR-D) powered by an M46. I have not been able to positively identify any other Vbs. An a/c EP548 (NHB/LVC) powered by an M46 is shown in the Production site as an LFLRVb. What distinguishes this LF from other M46 powered Vbs.

Any suggestions regarding the above would be greatly appreciated.

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Please forgive me for questioning the above but according to the Spitfire Site the said small bulge was associated with the cabin blower drive on the M61, M64 and perhaps M63A. Although not required on M63, M66, M70 and M266 equipped a/c it was still fitted until production changed in late 1942 or possibly early 1943.

Incidentally, the bulge is shown fitted to all 6 options provided by the Eduard Mk VIII kit.

From StH, it seems the Mk.VIII was designed to take the Merlin 61, hence the small bulge being present, so perhaps (as with the bulged cowling top on the IX & XVI) it was easier to just leave the cowling "as is." There were also plans to use the Merlin 63A, and for a P.R. version of the VIII, which might have had a bearing on using the Coffman gearbox.

IX%20Merlin%20var%202_zpsk2tskre9.jpg

The Merlin 64 was used on the Spitfire VII & P.R.X, so would have needed the blower drive; the 266 started life as the Mosquito-mounted Merlin 69, so wouldn't have had it.

Edited by Edgar

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EP548 was not converted to an LF (Merlin 46M) until after its frontline service, it went on to serve with 53 OTU. NHB doesn't make sense in terms of its frontline history: NH was used by a number of units but not with Spitfires, HB was used by a Mk.VB unit in the Mediterranean but EP548 stayed at home. It served with 19, 402 and 416 Sqs., coded QV, AE and DN respectively. According to STH/Combat Codes.

ER548 might have been a possibility but this seems to have gone to the Middle East via Takoradi - STH does confuse this with going to Takali on Malta but apparently not in this case. It has no recorded service.

LR stands for long range, which initially meant the fixed tank on the starboard wing.

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I would like to build a 1/48th Spitfire Vb with clipped wings based on the Airfix Vb kit and for which decals are available. So far I have found only two suitable examples - AB502 (IR-G) powered by an M45 and ER22 (WR-D) powered by an M46. I have not been able to positively identify any other Vbs. An a/c EP548 (NHB/LVC) powered by an M46 is shown in the Production site as an LFLRVb. What distinguishes this LF from other M46 powered Vbs.

Any suggestions regarding the above would be greatly appreciated.

I doubt whether any other suitable Vbs will be identified so it looks like it will be either AB502 (IR-G) or ER22 (WR-D) - or both :Tasty: - I like clipped wings. They make the Spit look more "purposeful" :D

Which raises the question :- Does anybody know where a definitive list of non-standard-winged spitfires might be found ?

Edited by Sky Pilot

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What do you mean by "non-standard-winged"? Do you mean clipped/standard/extended? Many changed from one to another without record. Mainly from extended to standard, or standard to clipped, but some the other way.

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I doubt whether any other suitable Vbs will be identified so it looks like it will be either AB502 (IR-G) or ER22 (WR-D) - or both :Tasty: - I like clipped wings. They make the Spit look more "purposeful" :D

Which raises the question :- Does anybody know where a definitive list of non-standard-winged spitfires might be found ?

FWIW, one of the options in the Tamiya 1/48 Vb kit, BL479, SZ-X, of 316 (Polish) Sqn, is shown with clipped wings and DFS.

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I would like to build a 1/48th Spitfire Vb with clipped wings based on the Airfix Vb kit and for which decals are available. So far I have found only two suitable examples - AB502 (IR-G) powered by an M45 and ER22 (WR-D) powered by an M46. I have not been able to positively identify any other Vbs. An a/c EP548 (NHB/LVC) powered by an M46 is shown in the Production site as an LFLRVb. What distinguishes this LF from other M46 powered Vbs.

Any suggestions regarding the above would be greatly appreciated.

Watermark decals

http://www.aircraftresourcecenter.com/Rev1/001-100/rev058-WaterMark48002/00.shtm

I think some of these are clipped VB's, I have the remains of a sheet, (not sure where and not going to look now), as hard to tell from the link, but a couple look to be, if not all.

This is one on the sheet, and it's clipped

spitifre-lf-mk-vb.jpg

http://spitfiresite.com/2010/04/supermarine-spitfire-variants-the-initial-merlin-powered-line.html/4

A clipped-wing Spitfire Mk. Vb of No. 401 (Canadian) Squadron. Although this aircraft is a Mk. Vb, it features a later type canopy with integral windscreen usually associated with Mk. Vc’s.

AE-A on the same sheet I think is clipped too.

Also, some Malta aircraft

http://www.agapemodels.com/2013/02/06/build-report-tamiyas-148-spitfire-mk-vb-maltas-1000th/

lynch-spitfire.jpg

I doubt whether any other suitable Vbs will be identified so it looks like it will be either AB502 (IR-G) or ER22 (WR-D) - or both :Tasty: - I like clipped wings. They make the Spit look more "purposeful" :D

Which raises the question :- Does anybody know where a definitive list of non-standard-winged spitfires might be found ?

No, there won't be one.

Spitfire wing tips could be changed in about 6 hours IIRC, so it was not done without a good reason, but could be done if the need arose, which would be on operational use.

The VB started having the tips replaced in the UK when the IX came into widespread use, the clipped tips for use low down where less lift was needed, and a faster roll rate was of use from memory. That's what is on the Watermark sheet it seems too.

Pierre Clostermann in 'The Big Show' mentions using a Spitfire 'VD' as it 'clipped, cropped and clapped' and mentions it having on 60 rounds of cannon ammo, and many hours on the airframe. I that was with 602 sq.

http://www.gaetanmarie.com/fr/articles/Clostermann%20et%20le%20Spitfire/Clostermann%20et%20le%20Spitfire.htm

Spitfire Mk V BL686

Après son transfert au No 602 Squadron "City of Glasgow", Clostermann passe sur un modèle de Spitfire plus ancien, le Mk Vb. Il se pose en catastrophe à bord du BL686, codé LO-D.

with a serial

http://www.master194.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=86462

Spitfire-LFVb-RAF-602Sqn-LO-D-Pierre-Clo

http://www.asisbiz.com/il2/Spitfire/LFVb-RAF-602Sqn-LO.html

and this could probably be done with a generic codes sheet.... as could many other anonymous VB's ... actaully, the codes could be scrounged from the Eduard IX kit which has the Clostermann markings, as the IX was LO-D as well...

4429-a.jpg

I'm sure others will know more.

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