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Sean_M

Vol 2 All the Spitfire questions here

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There's also AA937, used for trials of clipped versus normal tips in 1942:

pic here

The codes should be ok from generic sheets but the small serial number may be an issue.

John.

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They look like 4 inch. In 1/72 Hannants does a sheet with numbers on it from 4 in to 12 inch. Can't remember more than that right now.

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Question: could a Spitfire Mk.Vb be fitted with "c" wing in field conditions (Mediterranean MU's)?

A recently posted photo of a 352 Sq Spitfire "G" with nose inscription "Hrvat" (Croat) on an Croatian Open scale modelling forum OMF shows it to have the "c" wing.

qGiGXse.jpg

However, in literature the "G" "Hrvat" is always mentioned as EP886, which is a Mk.Vb(T), later transferred to Italian AF.

EP886 VbT CBAF M46 38MU 11-8-42 82MU 15-9-42 Empire Liberty 19-9-42 Takoradi 9-11-42 Malta 1-7-43 MedAAF 21-6-45 to ItalianAF 27-6-46 as MM4071

Vedran

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Interesting idea Vedran.

What sources do we have for 'G/Hrvat' actually being EP886 though?

My knowledge of the 352 Sq planes is limited, and a quick search has not turned up much info, this has a few pics.

http://www.asisbiz.com/il2/Spitfire/MkVc-Trop-RAF-352Sqn.html

the serials are from later batches though.

Thanks for the pic as well.

cheers

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Whatever the serial number of this aircraft, it's interesting that the sky band is clearly visible, as is the light spinner. As we were discussing DFS painted aircrafts in the Med a few weeks ago, this seems to be another one

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Just had a look at the Air Britain book "Squadrons of the Royal Air Force". It shows that 352 Sqn only operated the Vc version of the Spitfire and that was between June 1944 to June 1945.

Trevor

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First may I thank all of the responders to my question.

I think I shall follows Troy's suggestion of the Eduard XIc LO-D although I might use generic decal sheets. I've measured the height of the code characters for the Eduard LO-D at 3/8" which gives an 18" height for the full size characters - would that be correct for the Vb LO-D shown in the "crash" photo? I have not yet found a suitable decal set for this size. What colour should they be - Sky or Light Grey ?

Regarding the concerns over the size of the serials, In the crash photo the height of the serials seems rather larger than the 4" suggested by Black Knght.

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DragonlanceHR, I know of 2 Greek Spitfires that started life as Vb and Vc and during their service changed to c and b wings respectively. Have the pics too, can post later.

Serials are JK327 (Vc became Vb) and EP694 (Vb became Vc).

SpitVc_EP694.jpg

Edited by corto

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There's also AA937, used for trials of clipped versus normal tips in 1942:

pic here

The codes should be ok from generic sheets but the small serial number may be an issue.

John.

They look like 4 inch. In 1/72 Hannants does a sheet with numbers on it from 4 in to 12 inch. Can't remember more than that right now.

First may I thank all of the responders to my question.

I think I shall follows Troy's suggestion of the Eduard XIc LO-D although I might use generic decal sheets. I've measured the height of the code characters for the Eduard LO-D at 3/8" which gives an 18" height for the full size characters - would that be correct for the Vb LO-D shown in the "crash" photo? I have not yet found a suitable decal set for this size. What colour should they be - Sky or Light Grey ?

Regarding the concerns over the size of the serials, In the crash photo the height of the serials seems rather larger than the 4" suggested by Black Knght.

The serial referred to by John and Black Knight is the one on the linked photo of AA937.

the crash photo below of BL686 has what look like standard 8 inch serial , possibly with stencil breaks.

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

The fuselage roundel is a standard 36" C1 type, the code letters look to be just over half this, so I'd say 20". Also, IIRC this was a pretty standard size for Spitfire codes at this time, due to the small area of fuselage.

They are sky, compare to the band, and sky was standard colour for Day Fighter Scheme.

If the Eduard LO-D codes are 18" you may just want to use those, 20 inch is 1/48th is 5/12ths inch. You may want to recheck your measurements.

If in doubt, start a new thread.

AFAIK there are not generic 20 " codes available, Xtradecal do ones which are 24 inch, but these would be reasonably easy to cut down.

The cockpit hood is either unpainted, or a replacement in perhaps faded Ocean Grey? Some schemes reversed the upper colours so the Grey ran through the cockpit.

If you do Clostermann's plane, and have not read The Big Show, do so, it's a classic.

Some parts are maybe not totally accurate, but it's a fascinating personal account nonetheless, written no long after the war, and based on his wartime diaries.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Big-Show-Pierre-Clostermann/dp/055208512X

While searching this up, I noticed 'an illustrated edition'

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Big-Show-III-Illustrated-best-seller/dp/1508999503

Turns out someone has turned it into a comic, or more correctly a graphic novel, though I suppose graphic autobiography might be better, I mention this as Amazon has a 'look inside' facilty for this, and it actually looks well done, right planes and markings at least in the bits I saw!

EDIT here's Clostermann's IX MJ586, the codes do smaller on this.

mj586-2_zps090144cd.jpg

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The fuselage roundel is a standard 36" C1 type, the code letters look to be just over half this, so I'd say 20". Also, IIRC this was a pretty standard size for Spitfire codes at this time, due to the small area of fuselage.

Spitfire Squadrons were given a special dispensation to use 20" codes, so that they would fit between the bottom of the (open) canopy and the top of the wingroot fairing; not all Squadrons took up the option.

The cockpit hood is either unpainted, or a replacement in perhaps faded Ocean Grey?

Spares were supposed to be delivered in (grey) primer, so that could also be a possibility.

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EP964 is certainly an oddball, appearing to have the wing strengtheners needed by the B wing but the wide blisters for the 4-cannon option of the C. However, it is listed in STH as a Mk.Vc.

My understanding is that the exchange is not a straightforward swap, so it may depend upon just how much time the MU (or equivalent) has, and just what spares are available. Giving a B airframe a C wing, and vice versa, would appear perverse. One point to watch for is that the outer stub was sometimes removed (or never present) thus giving the impression of a B wing.

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I know of 2 Greek Spitfires that started life as Vb and Vc and during their service changed to c and b wings respectively. Have the pics too, can post later.

Serials are JK327 (Vc became Vb) and EP694 (Vb became Vc).

If you have before and after photos that would be interesting. I think that it is theoretically possible, and perhaps not that big a change to accomplish (I've seen a memo suggesting that it would be simple enough) but my gut feeling is that, barring major repair, it wasn't done often.

bob

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There's a 31-12-42 modification (560,) which is irritatingly enigmatic as to what was, or could be, done, "To make Mk.V fuselages interchangeable to take either VB or VC wings in respect to gun cocking controls."

1/. The Vb (and IIb) had a control, looking remarkably like a wind-up toy's key, on the starboard wall, which enabled the pilot to recock the cannon, so maybe the same control was introduced on the Vc, (possibly after the Australians' frustrations with jamming guns?) If so, I've never seen it.

2/. Maybe the control was removed, so cocking could only be done by the armourer before take-off. Seems an odd way to make life easier for the pilots, and it does appear in early editions of the IX's Pilot's Notes.

3/. Did the interchangeability relate only to gun cocking, or did it make wing-swapping that much easier?

Without a copy of the (more comprehensive) instruction, issued by the Local Technical Committee, I suspect we'll never know.

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Here's the, or one, memo: (my transcription, bold added to relevant comment)

100A W/C BH Becker to Chief Overseer (Battle) 11/11/43

Mk.Vb spare wings

confirming conversation 9/11,

i) against contract on CB for Spitfire Vb mainplanes, 857 port and 1158 stbd outstanding.

ii) CB will never be in position to satisfy at rate to Service requirements.

iii) manufacture of Vb mainplanes at CB stopped when Vc was introduced. At this time wages changed, so reintroducing would cause problems.

iv) CB have decided to place sub-contract at SM. Production at SM is not likely to commence for 4-5 months and even then only at a maximum rate of 6 pairs per week.

It is recommended that the most practicable solution would be to supply a pair of Vc wings against every demand for Vb. This should present no difficulty as there is only one small difference between the Vb and Vc fuselage, namely in the air pipe lines for the cannon cocking control.

ii) If this agreed, it would be necessary to supply conversion set with each wing, and technical leaflet.

iii, iv) Vb wings made available could then go into supply. this would also ease supply of oleos, which are in less supply for Vb than Vc.

At the moment Vb's are being flown in to SM from FC OTU's for the embodiment of certain mods. It is suggested that while there they might be converted to Vc and the Vb wings be supplied to Service as spares.

Whereas the present rate of Vc spare wings is 5 pairs per week, this will shortly be 8.

I know that there was another comment or two, but not sure they're in the same file.

bob

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Very interesting. It would certainly seem to be a logical solution, given that the C wing was stronger than the B wing anyway. However, had it been adopted I'd have expected to find more reference to such converted airframes, not just the odd disputed example. Subsequent memo(s) are needed to clarify matters.

It is curious that a need for some 1000 wingsets of the B wing were still regarded as necessary as late as the end of 1943. Perhaps the OTUs were getting through them at a high rate? 6 pairs per week from the middle of 1944 is going to take to 1948 to fulfil. It wouldn't make an enormous hole in the requirement before the end of the war - not that they knew that, of course.

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I should have said- and nearly did, but didn't want to be annoyingly vague- that the other memos I recall said no to some part of these suggestions. I don't remember the details well enough, but I think the tone was, "No, we're not going to convert Vbs to Vcs as a general programme." My real point was just to show that it was thought to be a minor adaptation, at least mechanically, and that agrees, it seems, with what Edgar had said. But those other thoughts/ considerations in the memo are also interesting, and perhaps help to show that one cannot say, "This was done on this evidence," unless you can back it up with corroborative evidence, or have knowledge of the "big picture".

OK, here's another one:

109A DDRM(A) to various 21/1/44

Conversion of Mk.Vb to Vc

In accordance with the decisions and suggestions made at the meeting on 20/1/44 at Chief Overseers, if TI works, will be able to convert.

(trial to be at CB 3507 Servicing Unit immediately)

So, if the go-ahead for converting from Vb to Vc would not be given until after a TI was performed, it would seem that it should not have occurred prior to February 1944 or so. Granted someone might have used some initiative in the outer reaches, but it seems pretty unlikely. As for going from Vc to Vb, that would be a retrograde step and I can only see it being done if that's the only way they (locally) could get an additional aircraft "on the line".

bob

p.s. The question of quantities (and rates) of spares is an aspect I have little information on and less understanding for! I have some notes about certain marks being taken off the "major repair" list- in other words, henceforth scrap it, don't fix it if it is damaged to this degree.

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Hey guys,

Don't have before and after pics only the after ones :) That is when they were in RHAF service.

For EP694 I have that it started life as a Vb:

EP694 Vb CBAF M46 6MU 24-7-42 47MU 22-8-42 Takoradi Middle East 21-6-45 RHAF 25-4-46

SpitVc_EP694.jpg

Here's one of the pics of JK327. Clearly shows a B wing, although it started life as a Vc :

JK327 Vc CBAF M46 9MU 10-1-43 222MU 26-1-43 Clearpool 25-2-43 NWAfrica 31-3-43 Malta 1-7-43 Sicily Middle East 30-9-43 NAfricanASC 31-10-43 RHAF 25-4-46

Edited by corto

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Thanks!

Well, I agree that those two serials should have been built as the types you say (that's a good start!)

In the photo above, do we know that this is definitely JK327? I can see a J start to a serial, and wonder if there's a serial under the wing (can't see). Not that I doubt you (or a prior captioner), but one has to rule out the other possibilities! At any rate, now being in Greek service, a case could be made that they were scraping the bottom of the supply barrel.

For EP694, photos farther up this page, it looks like it might have had a full replacement tail (late style elevators, unlikely to have been that way when first built).

It is possible, if perhaps less likely, that the serials were mixed up on these airframes, so that what is painted on is not their actual identity. It is also possible that a bunch of components were put together to create some flyable aircraft, and the fuselages kept their identities while the wings might not have been kept together with their original fuselages. Unfortunately there is little RAF service history/damage history to refer to with the MTO aircraft. I wonder if there are any records for the aircraft while in Greek service?

bob

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Just because there is no outer stub does not make the wing a B not a C. I suggest that the length of the cannon in front of the wing of JK327 looks more like that of a C than a B, where the cannon was set further back. I would also suggest that there appears to be a forward rake on the undercarriage, which also points to a C wing.

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Interesting Graham - agreed on the stub, it's the shape of the cannon with the front sticking out that made me think of it belonging to a B wing. Glad to share and learn new things from you guys :)

As soon as RHAF got Mk.IXs the Vs were providing training for new pilots. Some lasted for a while looking really rough around the edges and I'm sure many "perverse" mods were done to them!

I may have more info on these pics and others by end of summer. Will keep you posted!

Cheers!

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Sorry Graham, but I think he's right on the 'b'. The cannon fairing is conical from the wing, with no cylindrical section before the conical part begins, as you'd see on the 'c'. Also, while it is hard to be sure with this resolution, I think I'm seeing the edge of the external plate around the 'b' cannon port, which would not be there on a 'c'.

bob

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Thank you all for chiming in on my question regarding EP866 "G/Hrvat", esp. Edgar and gingerbob for finding the Mod 560 and the memo.

@Troy

The information on all 352 Sq Spitfires comes from the seminal work "Spitfajer" by A. Kolo and B. Dimitrijevic, ISBN 86-83005-01-1 from 1997 (in Serbian, cyrillic).

A newer book is No. 352 (Y) R.A.F. Squadron by Tino Jelavic, ISBN 953-97698-2-5 from 2003 (in English).

@Giorgio N

Funny I missed that discussion as most of the 352 Sq Spitfires were in DFS, the desert camouflaged ones were a rarity - MH592 - G, JL235 - B.

Some were DFS above with Azure Blue below - EP439 - K being an example.

@Trevor/Max Headroom

There were quite a few Mk Vb's in 352 Sq:

EP range: 727, 439, 519, 579, 617, 665, 782/872 (second is a correction No. according to postwar documents), 886

ER 585

ES range: 257, 264

And as a bonus, there were three Mk.IX's in Yugoslav service - EN513, MK444 and NH271.

@Corto - nice pictures

As Balkan Models make the decals for EP886 in 1/48 scale, I'll have to get me the Alley Cat "c" wing for my Airfix Vb kit.

Vedran

Edited by dragonlanceHR

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Spitfire Squadrons were given a special dispensation to use 20" codes, so that they would fit between the bottom of the (open) canopy and the top of the wingroot fairing; not all Squadrons took up the option.

Spares were supposed to be delivered in (grey) primer, so that could also be a possibility.

I have checked the code heights on the Eduard IXc sheet and those for LO-D are 3/8" - 18" in 1/48 scale. The codes for the other subjects are 9/16" in height - 21" in 1/48 scale - which is close enough to 20". Problem is I can't find any 1/48 scale Sky 18" sheets - 1/72 yes but not 1/48. What are Eduard like for spares ? Nor can I find the Watermark sheet (W48002) for PO-Q (clipped wing). It seems that Watermark might have gone out of business :weep:

Regarding the Tamiya 1/48 Mk Vb which has been mentioned, does it suffer from the portly underside problem of Tamiya's releases for earlier Spitfires ?

Edited by Sky Pilot

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Please excuse my ignorance but what is the meaning of DFS ?

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Please excuse my ignorance but what is the meaning of DFS ?

DFS = Day Fighter Scheme. The name given to the camouflage scheme of Ocean Grey and Dark Green uppers, and Medium Sea Grey undersides.

Cheers,

J.

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