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John D.C. Masters

Israeli Spitfire Mk.IXc, D-130, Herzlyia, July 1948

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Not being one to waste time, I am jumping back into my 'Spitfire A-Go-Go' with the second half of the AZ Models 2-in-1 kit.  I have already built the Egyptian Spit

 and so this will go along well with it.  I think it will also look nice next to the Israeli S-199 'Mule' I built around the same time.  I picked up a new set of paints from the LHS in Athens and, unfortunately, I don't think it has the dark grey-green I will need for the fuselage.  I do like how this aircraft was built from spare parts!  Other than that I have little info on this bird.  My Israeli 1948 air conflict book begins during Operation Horev (12/48-1/49) and this was before that.  

 

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The one I am building is in the middle...

 

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--John

 

 

 

 

 

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Thanks F4U...Me too--especially the early years.  They were, perhaps, the last time the world saw mercenary pilots flying old hunks of junk.  I mean, the S-199 was terrible plane...but the used them well.  I digress...

 

The AZ Model/KoPro Spit is pretty straightforward.  Having built a few already, I see this build going quickly.  I will say that they have nice detail for 1/72nd, especially the cockpit.  The added pieces of card stock covering the area where the exhaust stacks will go is so the stacks have something to glue onto.  The more recent kits have this spelled out in the instructions.  Nice detail easily picked out with a small brush and the interior painted a standard Green Zinc Chromium.  Nice looking little head office too!

 

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Being only 20:48 hrs, I'll watch a little 'Jack Irish' while this all dries and have time later to close up the fuselage and do some work on the wings which will need their pointy bits re-attached!

 

--John

 

 

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The fuselage is closed up and while that sets I'll go about prepping the wings for their pointy ends.  The clipped butt-ends need to be taken off first.  Also, in the section of wing on the bottom you'll see a little nubbin of plastic sticking up?  These are not moulded anchor points.  They are part of the moulding process and need to be carefully removed.  They are all over the place, on every piece.  Damned annoying.

 

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After an hour or so of work, I tend to forget to put things back where they belong.  This is always a good place for me to stop and tidy up.

 

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--John

 

 

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Some wings, some colour...

 

The tips are on as are the air scoops...the small gaps are puttied.

 

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The fuselage is all assembled, including the stabilizers and rudder.

 

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I do like predictability!  Our old friends the wing root gaps are still there during the test fit.

 

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Here's some fun!  Paint swatches.  The grey-green for the fuselage and upper sections of the wings.  The med. sea grey for the under-wings.  The flat brown and middlestone for the camo'd nose panel.  The trick is to try to match the color of the Star's of David markings with the blue stripe on the tail.  The SoD's are not really blue.  There is some purple in them, maybe some black, or maybe dark grey.  The first round was just Prussian Blue with Oxford Blue (2+1).  Close, but too light.  Then I added a touch of black.  Close but too dark.  I think I will try the PB+OB+a dark grey.  It's only a small section but it is so close to the insignia that I want to be as near to the same as I can get.  Also, I think these tail stripes were hand painted with rudimentary masking, like the invasion stripes on the D-Day aircraft.  I'm going to try for that look.

 

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--John

 

 

 

 

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I just found this excellent decal set.  I am hoping it is in 1/72nd.  Note that the first Spit they saw is the one I am building.  It has more information about the scarp-built aircraft.   I guess I'll be making camera ports on the underside an the whole nose section is made up of three different aircraft with three different paint designs.  Very cool!

 

http://www.hyperscale.com/2016/reviews/decals/fundekalsisraelispitreviewmd_1.htm

 

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--John

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So I am looking for a Primer Green, not Grey-Green...hmmm...fun!

 

I am afraid I have just gone a bit...you, know...funny in the head.  I have just spent the last 1/2 hour or so tracking down Israeli Spitfire decals and kits in 1/72nd...I'm a little nuts, I think.  

 

Is this what not smoking does to one?  Fine by me...

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I just remembered I had the big Eduard Special Edition Spifire Triple Combo box with these in there...

 

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Oh my...there is also a Burmese Spit, some English Spits and lots of Czechs.  Hmmm...I could do this all year.

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Thanks to this website

http://www.magnum-x.pl/artykul/izraelskiespitfire

for this interesting photo of the Spit I am currently building

 

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Correct me if I am wrong...that panel on the nose is the same shade as the starboard wing, is it not?  And you can see the colour line even runs beneath the Star of David insignia.  We know that this was a 'composite' aircraft--The FrankenSpit.  The body of PR.XI EN661 and the wings from God knows where.  Also, it was made up of bits from a crashed Egyptian Spitfire, hence the desert camo look on some parts.  Is it possible that the starboard wing (at least) is from that salvage?  

 

I would like a ruling from the moderators on this, and whomever else might want to chime in.

 

Meanwhile...I have highlighted some areas where there was likely to be wear and tear on the paint job.  I have to wait to hear back before I ca lay down the first layer of colour...

 

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Underside with photo-recon ports drilled, but no filled.  I have feeling the cameras were removed before the fuselage went to Israel....oops...

the cameras were refitted for recon flights over Egypt.  I'll have to add in some clear sprue for this.

 

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--John

Edited by John D.C. Masters
historical correction

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Sorry for not replying earlier ! Glad to see you're building another Spitfire, this one was an unusual bird as you say.

I have a book with some info, give me a couple hours and I'll send you something !

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Many thanks to Giorgio for sending me scanned pages from Spitfire: Star of Israel.  On page 4, there are three excellent images that seem to confirm my theory and the text on the first page says that "the engine and wings" were scavenged from an Egyptian Mk.IX.  There is no picture of the port wing...hmmm.  Tempting.  Also, the starboard cannon loading panel is unpainted and is, in fact, lighter in colour than the painted wing.  In the photo it also looks like only the fuselage has the SoD insignia.   At some point they must have painted over the Egyptian paint job with green primer, but certainly for a time it was indeed a mottled craft.  I have to add this as an edit...if the wings were, at one time, DE/MS, then the undersides were RAF Azure Blue until they were repainted by the Israelis.  If I proceed then I will have to re-title my thread "...D-130, en-route to 101 Sq., Herzlyia, July 1948"

 

I am going ahead with the hodgepodge of painting with this one.  Logic suggests that both wings would have been DE/MS if one had been since they probably came from the same aircraft.  This will be a fun one.  Lots of weathering too...😁  

 

Question for the moderators...would any of my theorizing constitute a 'what if?' scenario?  I need a ruling before I proceed to far.

Edited by John D.C. Masters

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From the pictures it's hard to tell if the wings were left in the original Egyptian scheme or they were immediately repainted in green primer.

My view is that when the aircraft carried fuselage Magen David only, the finish was in overall green primer on the fuselage and on top of the wings. The starboard wing had the fairing and the gun panel in natural metal and the left lower engine cowling was also left in metal. The top cowling was in original RAF green/grey. Hard to tell what the right lower section of the cowling was... the bottom section seems to have been in a light colour, maybe azure or medium sea grey ?

I don't think the upper wing was lighter than the fuselage, I believe it's an effect of the different light on wing and fuselage. The right fairing however is in metal and this explains the contrast between this and the rest of the fuselage where the star is.

Regarding the wing undersides, these look light, they may have been in the original azure of the Egyptian scheme. Other pictures however seem to show no variation in colour between top and bottom surfaces of the wings, they may have been repainted on all surfaces in green at some point.

 

Personally I don't consider this a what-if, as the aircraft existed and was a Spitfire operated by a different country, so perfectly eligible. The colour scheme sure requires some interpretation and you may at some point have to apply a bit of guessing. It would still be eligible to me even if the colours are later proven to be not 100% correct.

Edited by Giorgio N

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Thanks Giorgio.  I'll stick with what we know--what the box art shows and also what the Fundekal images above show.  I was thinking the wing tone might be trick of the light as well.  The text mentions the notification to the 101 that a Spitfire was coming and not to shoot it down.  This makes me think that before delivery the Mogen David wasn't on the wings.  Just guessing.

 

Regardless, it'll be an interesting paint job.  Thanks!

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There sure is no sign of stars above the wings but I wouldn't be too sure about the lower surfaces. Besides 101 Sqn, that may have mistaken the new Spitfire for an enemy machine, flak could have been a danger, so some sort of identification from the ground may have been considered useful. Only guessing here, I have no proof about the presence or else of national markings under the wings at that point

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Sorry..skipped a few steps and pictures, so please trust me.  I am going to follow the Fundekal profile since it is happy medium between what I think, what the supplied text of Star of Israel says and what we know for sure.  The underside of the wings is finished Medium Sea Grey.  I have sprayed the side nose panels Middlestone and masked the part for the Dark Earth.

 

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The result...as you can see, I have already painted the upper panel dark Green and Dark Sea Grey.

 

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And the starboard side...

 

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And what's left...I realized after I had made the photo that the spinner is not in the picture.  It will be red.

 

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I will have to duplicate the automobile mirror that they used instead of the RAF supplied unit.  Just a bit of scratch building!😁

I'll mask the canopy later and attach it to the aircraft.  Then, mask the lower wing sections and get the Primer Green on there!

 

--John

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All masked up, canopy on and masked, a quick shot of primer...

 

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And underneath, just the wings are masked.  The rest of the fuselage, top and bottom, will be primer green--stabilizers included.

 

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--John

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No rest for the wicked...

 

Masks off and I took a wooden toothpick to the paint around the nose, etc...exposing the aluminum beneath.  Remember, these forward panels were taken from a junk yard left over from the RAF when they left Palestine.  I figure that they were pretty scratched up before being repainted.

 

Guns on, cannon farings on, exhaust installed.  Getting there.

 

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I already have my eye on my next Spit.  I think I'll get away from the AZ/KoPro (and apparently Sword) moulds and try the Airfix Swedish PR.XIX.  I have two boxes of that one. One's older and the decals are not as detailed.  I'll try the newer one first.

 

--John

 

 

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Looking good ! Like the scruffy look of the cowlings, suits well the hodgepodge of parts that this aircraft was

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Great job once again John ! Glad to see another Spitfire in the gallery, even more one that has had a very interesting career.

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Good afternoon John

Very nice job but I am a little bit surprised by the angle of the UC legs ..

Patrice

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