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Baldy

Spitfire XVI TB752

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I have ordered one of the lovely looking Eduard Dual Combo Spitfire XVI kits. I notice that one of the options is TB752 coded KH-Z of 403 Squadron.

This spitfire actually still survives and has had a very interesting career both during and after the war. This is the Manston Spitfire and it has a special place in my heart as I can still remember visiting it may times as a child whilst it was sat out in the elements for many years. It now resides in a very interesting little museum with Hurricane IIC BN230 and is well worth a visit.

Getting to my point, TB752 has clipped wings. It was delivered with clipped wings, sat at Manston for a couple of decades or more with clipped wings and was restored and housed with clipped wings. Why then does the kit portray it with full span wings?

It begs the question to non-experts like myself how many other options in kits are incorrect? In fact the codes for TB752 also lack the black outline portrayed on the restored aircraft and period photographs but it is possible that this was correct at some stage of it's career

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Can you confirm that TB752 was delivered with clipped wings? This may only be an assumption - not all Mk.XVIs were. For example, TE330 is shown with full wingtips in Spitfire The History.

There's no doubt that many kits have incorrect options in the markings or details: you just have to follow this forum for a while to be exposed to many such examples. Sometimes this is just carelessness on the part of the manufacturer, sometimes a matter of convenience; but more often it is because too much reliance is based on previous publications rather than a deeper investigation of all that is nowadays available. In all fairness, the manufacturers are working under constraints of time and cost that do not affect the enthusiast.

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I can't confirm absolutely for sure that TB752 was delivered with clipped wings but it is referred to in an excellent little book by L E Deal on the aircraft as being one of the "Clipped, clapped and cropped" spitfires, part of an additional order placed with Vickers Armstrong in April 44. It also notes that all of the early aircraft from this order were clipped wing versions (both Mk.IX and Mk.XVI). TB752 appeared just above the first third of the order. TE330 was also part of the same order but was towards the end of the serial batches. Also, there are a couple of shots of TB752 in service with 403 Sqn dated "1945" one of which is fairly clear that it has cropped wings. It also clearly shows dark (Possibly black?) outlines to the codes as per the now restored aircraft.

​I understand what you are saying about manufacturers and I agree that not all published material is reliable. I guess at the end of the day this is what makes it interesting.

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"Clipped, clapped and cropped" referred to certain Mark V Spitfires; it was never applied to the XVI. The Merlin 266 was a rebuilt Packard 69, to Merlin 66 standards, and the impeller was certainly not cropped, neither could the engine, by any stretch of the imagination, be called "clapped," since there were plans, S.O.O. only, for it use 25lbs boost.

If the airframe was fitted with the rear fuselage tank, clipped tips were a mandatory modification.

Edited by Edgar

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I'm glad this has come up.

I to have bought the combo set and was interested in TB752 as it's at the Manston museum just 3 miles from me. I contacted Eduard about their mistake and am about to write an article for their magazine about this aircraft.

Regarding the clipped wings I hope the following will clarify the situation. The information I got from the museum the other day.

Manufactured by Vickers-Armstrong at Castle Bromwich factory and delivered to the RAF at 33 Maintenance Unit RAF Lyneham on 21st. February 1945.

Entered frontline service with 66 Squadron March 1945, coded LZ - F (Early E wing; elliptical wing tips)

25th. March 1945 made an emergency landing (damage to one wing and propeller). Damage category AC and removed to No. 409 Repair and salvage unit.

19th. April 1945 reissued to 403 Squadron now fitted with latter E wing and clipped wing tips. Given the code KH - Z.

21st. April 1945 S/L Zary gains the aircrafts first "kill" flying from B.114 airfield at Diephltz, Germany. (Me 109)

25th. April 1945 P/O D Leslie gains TB752 second "kill". (FW 189)

1st. May 1945 F/O R Young gains TB752 third "kill". (FW190).

3rd. May 1945 F/O Fred Town downs a He 111.

If you are modelling S/L Zary's aircraft it did not have the black outline to the code letters.

HTH

Dick

Edited by jenko

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Late E wing had the bulges on the top of the wing to accommodate the wider wheels. The early E wing did not have these.

Dick

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I have a photo of TB752, KH-Z taken in Germany just after the war showing the outlined codes and the roundel painted spinner and when I heard the decal options which were going to be in it this was the main reason for me buying the kit, as I was hoping to model the aircraft in this later configuration,......but ho-hum,......never mind,...the wartime one is still a good second choice I suppose!

Thanks for the info,

Cheers

Tony

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Late E wing had the bulges on the top of the wing to accommodate the wider wheels. The early E wing did not have these.

Dick

Cheers Dick,

I was led to believe that the bulges were added post war in order to accommodate the larger 3 spoke wheels with treaded tyres, but you hear so much `legit' info nowadays that I don`t know what to believe for real or not anymore!

Cheers

Tony

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I have a photo of TB752, KH-Z taken in Germany just after the war showing the outlined codes and the roundel painted spinner and when I heard the decal options which were going to be in it this was the main reason for me buying the kit, as I was hoping to model the aircraft in this later configuration,......but ho-hum,......never mind,...the wartime one is still a good second choice I suppose!

Thanks for the info,

Cheers

Tony

Easy enough to do the post war option by just outlining the codes with black strip.

Here's the Museum web site

http://www.spitfiremuseum.org.uk/

The markings are 100% correct for post war.

Cheers

Dick

Edited by jenko

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I was led to believe that the bulges were added post war in order to accommodate the larger 3 spoke wheels with treaded tyres,

It was neither, in fact nothing to do with the wheels or tyres; when the u/c tracking was changed to fore-and-aft (due to the tyres being worn away on metalled runways,) with parallel wheels, the tyres fouled the upper wing surface, so it was bulged up, out of the way. Supermarine list it as from June/July 1945, though there's a suspicion some XVIs had it before the end of the war. Edited by Edgar

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It's the same story with the Spitfire XIV, some had clipped some didn't, it's confusing when some got clipped wings.

Ben

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It's the same story with the Spitfire XIV, some had clipped some didn't, it's confusing when some got clipped wings.

Ben

Agreed.

It makes you think the foreman of the wingtip fitters team woke up and thought

"I'll tell the lads to fit clipped tips up until lunchtime then fit'em on every fifth one upto

knocking off time today"

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"Clipped, clapped and cropped" referred to certain Mark V Spitfires; it was never applied to the XVI. The Merlin 266 was a rebuilt Packard 69, to Merlin 66 standards, and the impeller was certainly not cropped, neither could the engine, by any stretch of the imagination, be called "clapped," since there were plans, S.O.O. only, for it use 25lbs boost.

If the airframe was fitted with the rear fuselage tank, clipped tips were a mandatory modification.

Thanks Edgar. I was merely referring to the book which attributes the unofficial term as an "old RAF term" for clipped wing spitfires. It goes to show that written sources are not 100% reliable!

I'm glad this has come up.

I to have bought the combo set and was interested in TB752 as it's at the Manston museum just 3 miles from me. I contacted Eduard about their mistake and am about to write an article for their magazine about this aircraft.

Regarding the clipped wings I hope the following will clarify the situation. The information I got from the museum the other day.

Manufactured by Vickers-Armstrong at Castle Bromwich factory and delivered to the RAF at 33 Maintenance Unit RAF Lyneham on 21st. February 1945.

Entered frontline service with 66 Squadron March 1945, coded LZ - F (Early E wing; elliptical wing tips)

25th. March 1945 made an emergency landing (damage to one wing and propeller). Damage category AC and removed to No. 409 Repair and salvage unit.

19th. April 1945 reissued to 403 Squadron now fitted with latter E wing and clipped wing tips. Given the code KH - Z.

21st. April 1945 S/L Zary gains the aircrafts first "kill" flying from B.114 airfield at Diephltz, Germany. (Me 109)

25th. April 1945 P/O D Leslie gains TB752 second "kill". (FW 189)

1st. May 1945 F/O R Young gains TB752 third "kill". (FW190).

3rd. May 1945 F/O Fred Town downs a He 111.

If you are modelling S/L Zary's aircraft it did not have the black outline to the code letters.

HTH

Dick

Thanks for that Dick

I guess that clears it up

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Hi, all,

The restoration seem to show MSG lettering (outlined Black) and "free-hand" (or at least "non-mat-applied") camouflage. Would that be correct?

Fernando

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Hi, all,

The restoration seem to show MSG lettering (outlined Black) and "free-hand" (or at least "non-mat-applied") camouflage. Would that be correct?

Fernando

Correct colour for the codes. The camo is matt .It's the way the light has caught it.

Dick

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It was neither, in fact nothing to do with the wheels or tyres; when the u/c tracking was changed to fore-and-aft (due to the tyres being worn away on metalled runways,) with parallel wheels, the tyres fouled the upper wing surface, so it was bulged up, out of the way. Supermarine list it as from June/July 1945, though there's a suspicion some XVIs had it before the end of the war.

Cheers for clearing that up Edgar,.....you hear so many stories that it is hard to tell which is true!

Cheers to Dick too,....I never thought about using decal strip and thanks for the pics too,

Tony

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Hi, Jenko,

I had understood that the regulation colour for code letters was Sky at that time.

I was not clear when I asked about the camouflage. It was not the sheen, but the edges. They look "feathered" as if free-hand applied, not by using "masking-mats".

Fernando

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Hi, Jenko,

I had understood that the regulation colour for code letters was Sky at that time.

I was not clear when I asked about the camouflage. It was not the sheen, but the edges. They look "feathered" as if free-hand applied, not by using "masking-mats".

Fernando

Hi Fernando,

The code colours during the war would have been Sky. However it has post was codes. The painting was done "freehand" without masks.................... Humbrol provided the paint........... in a big tin !! :banghead:

Edited by jenko

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When we (fundekals) looked at pictures of 403 Sqn Spitfire XVIs from various websites we noticed a pattern:

Mar/Apr 1945 = black spinners and standard wingtips (and codes w/o outlines)

Postwar (May/June) 1945 = red-white-blue spinner, clipped wings, codes w/ outlines

I have also read that the pilots of 403 Sqn did not like the clipped wings.

(BTW, it's flattering to see that Eduard has a keen interest in our work.) :)

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I visited the Manston Museum a few days ago and the Spitfire TB752 does not feature a sky fuselage band, but has a black band.

If you look at the 'virtual walk around' on the Museum website you can see it:

https://www.spitfiremuseum.org.uk/360virtualtour

 

I am surprised that nobody commented on this in the previous entries on this thread; the volunteer I to whom I mentioned this at the museum said she thought it had 'always been like that' and and could offer no explanation. 

I have always thought that any fuselage band should either be in sky or not present at all after repainting post war.

To be correct with its red/white/blue spinner I assume that it should not have any fuselage band (either sky or black).

Please can anyone clarify whether the scheme as shown on TB752 is correct, an error or still unresolved and painted black to indicate this. 

 

Thanks, John

 

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The Sky band was not required by 2 TAF, from (I think) very early January 1945.  It was retained in the UK, so some aircraft ended up on the Continent still carrying the Sky band  They had it overpainted and this does appear darker - but not black.

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Thank you for that, Graham.

The Fundekals instructions do not show any fuselage band, which is the logical choice.

I was bemused by the black band as normally the work done by the Medway Preservation Group is spot on for accuracy and this seemed to be so unusual.

 

I am pursuing a third edition copy of the TB752 monograph just to see what that can tell me; I know where to get one but it ain't cheap!

Thanks again,

John

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Both Medway PG and Fundekals are right in a way.  The Sky trim was deleted from 2 TAF aircraft from 3 Jan 1945: it's often reported to have been to reduce visibility after Bodenplatte on New Year's Day caught so many aircraft on the ground.  The spinners were to be repainted Black and the fuselage bands painted out in the neighbouring camouflage colours.  This is well illustrated in a nice large clear photo of 74 Sq's clipped-wing low-back Spitfire LF.XVIe TB675 4D-V on p.187 of the first edition of Rawlings' Fighter Squadrons of the RAF: black spinner, Ocean Grey and Dark Green used to paint out the band, with the Ocean Grey continuing under the fuselage where one might have expected the Sky overpainted with Medium Sea Grey.  The tone of the Ocean Grey is noticeably darker than on the surrounding airframe.  However the whole airframe is fairly glossy and the sheen continues over the repainted areas.

 

So, as general rule:

 

- there was no fuselage band (because it was ordered painted out)

- there was a fuselage band in that where it had been was often discernable

- but never have I seen one painted out in black - which is not to say it could never have happened, especially in the brief period immediately after war's end when many squadrons applied all sorts of coloured trim prior to disbandment.  A  photo to corroborate would be nice. 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Seahawk

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