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Spitfire Vb ID and serial decals


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Hi All,

A little help with some 1/32 Spitfire decals please. I am building Vb BL367 FN-Y of 331 Squadron. I'm struggling to find decals for the serial and fuselage codes. Is there a generic sheet I could use to compile them? (I've googled - honestly!) 

 

If not, I can cut masks with a plotter / cutter. I'm a complete duffer at drawing though, so does anyone know if a PC font exists that matches?

 

Thanks for any help,

Gareth

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Hannants have black 8" serials on Xtradecal X32021

They also have Sky codes on Xtradecal X32023 (24" codes) and Xtradecal X32024 (30" codes)

Should you be in need of MSG codes, they are also available.

 

Usual disclaimers - I have no connection with Hannants other than as a satisfied customer.

 

HTH

 

Ian

Edited by Pilot Officer Prune
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Spot on! I had too narrow a search term for them to show up, a bit daft of me. Thanks for taking the time and effort to reply.

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Goon,

 

In that scale, you might consider vinyl masks for the codes and serials- even the roundels. There is a model-builder who offers these, pre-cut, and to order, for most nationalities, eras, and fonts. I have used his serial and code masks, which are reusable, for 1/72 and 1/48 aircraft. He gives great service and might be worth pm- very reasonable, too. (I don't have any affiliation, nor do I receive anything for my endorsement, other than being a very satisfied customer.) Several BM'ers have used his stuff and were very happy with the product and the service.

Mike

 

http://www.gatorsmask.com/

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Hi Goon,

 

331 and 332 are two of the squadrons that I have an interest in so hopefully the following will be a little helpful.

 

Firstly I think you mean BL637 and not BL367.

 

BL637 was delivered to 331 on the 12th April and was a regular mount of Fredrik Fearnley, although she was lost in combat on the 19th June whilst being flown by Ltn. Karl Theodor Jacobsen during a Roadsted op undertaken by the North Weald Wing. She was shot down by the 6th Staffel of JG1 and was observed by several members of 331 to be on fire and crashed into the sea at around 11:15am.

 

Volume 1 of Cato Guhnfeldt's history of 331 and 332 Sqns, "Spitfire Saga" has a photo of BL637 at Skeabrae on page 157. If you're modelling BL637 you should also be aware that she had Norwegian flag striped cannon fairings and although you cannot tell from the photo as the cockpit door is open it is highly likely to probable that she was carrying a small painted Norwegian state or war flag on the door.

 

Both volumes 1 and 2 of Cato's history contain numerous mentions of BL637 and ops flown.

 

HTH,

 

Tim

 

EDIT: I had a bit more of a look through volume one and there's also a picture of BL637 (rear port side fuselage from roundel back) at Catterick on 4th May 1942 on page 173 and also on page 174 (port side) preparing for takeoff from Catterick on the same day.

Edited by Smithy
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Hi Tim,

I do indeed mean  mean BL637. This aircraft has a connection with my home town, Stone in Staffordshire, having been purchased by donations to the Spitfire fund. Local legend is that the organisers of the fund met in The Star pub, and the aircraft was known as The Star of Stone. How true that is I don't know! (The aircraft features on the pub's sign, based on this print, although this is clearly inaccurate as the aircraft was coded FN-Y, from what I gather.)

 

Screen-Shot-2014-02-10-at-14.46.30.png

 

A local Spitfire enthusiast is looking to get a small collection of memorabilia for the pub, and I thought I'd build a model for them to donate to the display.  

 

What you've generously taken the time to find out for me is very useful. I'll have to try and find a copy of the books for the photos, although a brief search shows it to be hard to find. (I don't suppose you can shed any light on why the artist might have chosen FN-C as the code, and the authenticity of the Star of Stone art on the fuselage? Total fiction?) I've briefly considered modelling the aircraft as shown in the print, don't want to ruffle any local feathers, but accuracy I think has to win out! 

 

Many thanks for putting me on the road to discovering much more about this local history,

Gareth

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Hi Gareth,

 

I hope I'm not going to rain on your parade but that painting is incorrect. BL637 was FN-Y not FN-C as you knew and had the earlier A1 type roundels on the fuselage. Also from the photo of BL637 at Catterick it doesn't seem to show any art work. In fact Cato doesn't seem to mention "Star of Stone" in relation to any 331 Spit and he's very good outlining nose art and named airframes and even with photographs. I'll go over Spitfire Saga volumes 1 and 2 again and see if I've missed anything.

 

One thing to remember with presentation aircraft though was they weren't always necessarily assigned to an airframe or sometimes were only painted up for the benefit of visiting photographers. Lots of donors for the Spitfire Fund and similar thought that their actual money was used just to pay in the production of one physical airframe when this wasn't the case. It wouldn't exactly be the first time if the public were told their money paid for a particular Spitfire when the actual airframe carried no evidence of that.

 

I can also email Cato and see what he thinks, he's a lovely chap and usually pretty quick at replying.

 

Cheers,

 

Tim

 

PS - Off topic but my grandfather's side of the family come from not far from you, Stoke-on-Trent.

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Hi Tim,

By all means rain away! I understand that Spitfire Funds paid in to one large pot for production. It does seem that somehow BL637 has become associated with the town. How that might have happened is something beyond my knowledge of how the funds operated, and probably beyond any record or memory in the town. My intention is to depict as accurate a representation of the markings as I can, and gloss over the possibly tenuous connection. :locked:

 

Anything further you could glean from Cato, would be a great help.

 

(My mother's family are all from in and around the Potteries, and my wife's family from the heart of Longton.)

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I've sent an email Gareth, so we should have something shortly.

 

Our Staffordshire side of the family were from Burslem and Porthill.

 

In the meantime I'll have a rustle through what I've got, each of the Spitfire Saga volumes are over 300 pages so it's possible I've missed something. At least it's only these first two volumes I need to got through and not the full seven in the series!

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Crikey, please don't go to too much trouble, it will take ages to go through that lot!

 

Thanks again, I really appreciate it,

Gareth

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OK Gareth some interesting news. I had an email back from Cato saying there was a reference to the Star of Stone story in Spitfire Saga but in one of the later volumes from 1 and 2. I pulled out my other volumes and found the reference in volume 3 page 112. 331 received two letters from the AM (one had been forwarded). In one of the letters a Mr Stanley Blood, the late Honorary Secretary of the Stone Rural and Urban District Spitfire Appeal referred to BL637 having been funded by the fund's committee and had been called "Star of Stone". However as Cato says in the text on page 112, it is unknown whether BL637 had this name painted on her.

 

If you're modelling her as she appeared at Skeabrae or the move south from Catterick and if it was me then I would paint her without the name as the photo of her preparing to take off from Catterick, although small doesn't seem to show a name on the forward port fuselage. Interestingly it also doesn't appear to show a state/war flag below the cockpit - which actually isn't terribly unusual, not all of 331's Spits at this time carried them. But I would definitely paint the cannon fairings with the Norwegian flag stripes.

 

After the flight south from Catterick and up until she was lost, it's really up to you. Did she carry the presentation name? I'm inclined to think that if she didn't have it earlier she probably wasn't carrying it later but no one can say for sure one way or the other so it's entirely up to you.

 

One other thing her serial number was in the squared off stencil style.

 

Hopefully that's helped and really looking forward to the progress pics once you get underway.

 

Best,

 

Tim

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A few notes from my files, mostly telling you what you've already know/have just been told:

 

“Star of Stone”.  Shot down 1135 17/6/42 by Fw 190 of II./JG1. Crashed near Vlissingen, Holland: pilot Lt Karl Theodor Jacobsen missing, presumed killed. 

 

From painting: code FN-C, name in white on panel forward of portside cockpit with u/i symbol below. 

http://alittlebitofstone.com/2014/02/10/musicians-tribute-to-the-star-of-stone/

 

Info on time and crash site from: http://forum.12oclockhigh.net/showthread.php?t=462&page=2.

 

http://www.worldnavalships.com/directory/airframeprofile.php?FrameID=4720 says only “known” code is FN-Y.  Same here:

http://www.luftwaffe.no/casuality.html and here: http://www.airhistory.org.uk/spitfire/p024.html.

 

http://wingstovictory.nl/database/pdf/167-story.pdf gives a through account from all angles of the action in which the aircraft was lost. (This link doesn't work currently, which is a pity.)

 

There was a real labour-of-love book published by Air Britain devoted solely to presentation Spitfires.  I don't have it but I expect someone on the site will....  No photo of Star of Stone in the earlier book "Presentation Aircraft of the Two World Wars" by G R Duval.  Regarding presentation aircraft in general, I think I recall evidence showing the same aircraft being painted with a succession of presentation names, so maybe the name and symbol shown in the painting lasted no longer than a photo session.  If a photo existed, I would expect the local council to have been presented with a copy of it: have you enquired of Stone town council (or its heirs and successors) whether they help?  [Suspect not, otherwise the artist would have worked from it.]

 

My former partner's family came from Stone so many happy hours spent at the Star!

 

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30 minutes ago, Seahawk said:

A few notes from my files, mostly telling you what you've already know/have just been told:

 

“Star of Stone”.  Shot down 1135 17/6/42 by Fw 190 of II./JG1. Crashed near Vlissingen, Holland: pilot Lt Karl Theodor Jacobsen missing, presumed killed. 

 

From painting: code FN-C, name in white on panel forward of portside cockpit with u/i symbol below. 

http://alittlebitofstone.com/2014/02/10/musicians-tribute-to-the-star-of-stone/

 

Info on time and crash site from: http://forum.12oclockhigh.net/showthread.php?t=462&page=2.

 

http://www.worldnavalships.com/directory/airframeprofile.php?FrameID=4720 says only “known” code is FN-Y.  Same here:

http://www.luftwaffe.no/casuality.html and here: http://www.airhistory.org.uk/spitfire/p024.html.

 

http://wingstovictory.nl/database/pdf/167-story.pdf gives a through account from all angles of the action in which the aircraft was lost. (This link doesn't work currently, which is a pity.)

 

Hi Seahawk,

 

The best source of information regarding the Roadstead in which BL637 was lost is Guhnfeldt's volume 2 of Spitfire Saga where he devotes 9 pages to it, including all the full combat reports of 331 from the action, a detailed map of the outbound and homebound routes for the mission, and interviews with the pilots involved. In fairness Japp's information which you link to above is slightly erroneous, the attack on the ships occurred not terribly far from Vlissingen (although in truth this was much closer to Knokke, and occurred just north of it). After the attack on the shipping, 331 and 222 flew on a westerly course further out into the North Sea. Jacobsen was flying tailend Charlie with Müller next to last at around 3,000 feet over the sea when they were attacked and Jacobsen was the first to be shot down around 20km north west of Zeebrugge. The time of this was from 11.15 until 11.35. However it is quite possible that Jacobsen was the first claim of this action by Oberfeldwebel Hans Ehlers of 6th Staffel as his first claim fits perfectly with the location claimed (at 11.24). Cato also lists all the other claims by 6th Staffel with times and locations for this engagement.

 

BL637 was never coded anything other than Y after being assigned to B Flight after being taken on charge on the 12th April.

 

Cheers,

 

Tim

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This is all marvellous stuff, thank you every body for your contributions, and for going to the effort to make them. I don't think I'd have found this with just Googling.

 

Tim - Do the colours on the cannon fairing match this?

01.jpg

 

If not, could you describe them? (I don't want to infringe Cato's copyright by asking for a scan. I'd happily purchase the book(s) if I could find a copy at realistic price.)

 

EDIT: Just read the article I found that in and see it's your model! Nice one :D

 

In summary, I'm looking at a standard camouflage, no flag on the door or Star of Stone 'art', coded FN-Y with stencilled serials.

 

Quote

My former partner's family came from Stone so many happy hours spent at the Star!

Small world, eh? Plenty of afternoons I'll never remember sitting by the lock there.

 

Again, thanks for all the information, invaluable.

 

Gareth

Edited by goon
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5 hours ago, goon said:

This is all marvellous stuff, thank you every body for your contributions, and for going to the effort to make them. I don't think I'd have found this with just Googling.

 

Tim - Do the colours on the cannon fairing match this?

01.jpg

 

If not, could you describe them? (I don't want to infringe Cato's copyright by asking for a scan. I'd happily purchase the book(s) if I could find a copy at realistic price.)

 

EDIT: Just read the article I found that in and see it's your model! Nice one :D

 

In summary, I'm looking at a standard camouflage, no flag on the door or Star of Stone 'art', coded FN-Y with stencilled serials.

 

Small world, eh? Plenty of afternoons I'll never remember sitting by the lock there.

 

Again, thanks for all the information, invaluable.

 

Gareth

 

 

That's a blast from the past Gareth! I made that back in 2005 :)

 

And you are right those are the cannon stripes which were seen on a large number of 331's and 332's Spits during the war. I'm pretty sure I used Humbrol 60 and 25 for the red and blue.

 

I think the way you have chosen to depict BL637 is spot on and certainly fits with how she looks in the photo of her at Skeabrae and the two photos at Catterick.

 

Cheers,

 

Tim

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I think the way you have chosen to depict BL637 is spot on and certainly fits with how she looks in the photo of her at Skeabrae and the two photos at Catterick.

 

Great!

 

If you're ever back around the Potteries I'll buy you a couple at The Star. 

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  • 4 weeks later...

Tim,

A final question, if you don't mind. Would the FN-Y codes be the 24" or 30"?

 

Cheers,

Gareth

 

EDIT: I found the serials I need so deleted the second question.

Edited by goon
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