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Posted (edited)

After a run of difficult models, I fancied doing something simple for a change, at least that was the plan! So here is Airfix's 1974 model of the Spitfire Vb, which has been released and re-boxed several times. It is a reasonably accurate kit, although much simpler than today's CAD generated models.

47705661981_307b4cbcfb_z.jpgEN821, 243 Sqdn, Ouston, July 1942 (2) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr

33828328208_b148e22e01_z.jpgEN821, 243 Sqdn, Ouston, July 1942 (5) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr

47705661441_f9583e697a_z.jpgEN821, 243 Sqdn, Ouston, July 1942 (12) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr

33828327598_43a4e42ae5_z.jpgEN821, 243 Sqdn, Ouston, July 1942 (14) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr

47705660931_eb2ae1e24e_z.jpgEN821, 243 Sqdn, Ouston, July 1942 (16) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr

I had to find a replacement for the canopy, as mine had bad air bubbles. Also fitted a larger oil cooler (from a more modern Airfix kit), and scratch built two heating pipes coming out of the rear of the exhausts. The marking became a big challenge, as the real machine had obviously started life with 1941 style roundels (and their brighter colours), before being partly repainted into the mid-1942 scheme. Also the code letters were a funny size, which I couldn't quite find a match for. The letter 'M' is always difficult, as no matter how many M's you have on decal sheets, they never include the one you want, so I made mine using letter 'V's.

It is a Spitfire Mk.Vb serial EN821 of 243 Squadron at RAF Ouston, Northumberland in July 1942. It was being flown by their commander Squadron Leader Allan E.Johnston when the "Aeroplane Magazine" took a series of photos, which have since been widely published. Does this one look familiar to you?
40739295733_2828428a4a_z.jpg243 Sqn Ouston 1942 original by Philip Pain, on Flickr

You will recognise it as the following art print that has become the most common Spitfire painting to adorn living room walls;
47705700021_931d01e1f2_b.jpgVickers Supermarine Spitfire Mark VB of 243 Squadron by Philip Pain, on Flickr

And then the story of EN821 gets even more interesting. Later on in 1942 it moved on to 65 Squadron, before being returned to manufacturers throughout 1943, for various updates and mods. In February 1944 it was transferred to the Fleet Air Arm, but apparently it was not 'navalised' or hooked, just being intended for shore based training. It was issued to 808 Squadron at RNAS Lee-on-Solent, and then on D-Day 6th June 1944 it was shot down by an enemy aircraft over Le Havre while spotting and gun-laying for Royal Navy warships. Sadly Sub Lieutenant Cogill was seen struggling to bail out, but he was killed. Most versions of D-Day say that the Luftwaffe was nowhere to be seen, but 129 allied aircraft were lost during the invasion. It must have been a rare event for an aircraft to fall to a Luftwaffe fighter. It is not known if EN821 wore navy camouflage, but it would undoubtedly have had full D-Day stripes.

Edited by Acklington

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Very nice looking Spit.

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That's a nice model of an old kit and an interesting, and moving, back story.

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Very nicely done. I heard my first Merlin of the season today but wasn't quick enough to see it - so I'm gazing at yours to make me feel better.

Congrats on excellent build, finish, background info and pics.

Mark

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Neat and attractive Mk Vb!

 

You can cut off the aerial, though, since Mk V:s and onward had VHF radios and so only needed a shorter antenna, integral to the aerial post itself.

 

Nice work and finish!

 

Kind regards,

 

Joachim

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That old Airfix Mk.V scrubs up well doesn't it. Lovely job!

 

Matt

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11 hours ago, Spitfire31 said:

Neat and attractive Mk Vb!

 

You can cut off the aerial, though, since Mk V:s and onward had VHF radios and so only needed a shorter antenna, integral to the aerial post itself.

 

Nice work and finish!

 

Kind regards,

 

Joachim

Drat! I did look long and hard for the little stub on top of the rudder, and wondered why it wasn't there. But I'm very glad to be corrected as I hate doing aerial wires.

 

I'm also puzzled, in the "Aeroplane" photo above, by the apparent absence of the prominent canon blister on top of the starboard wing. It may have been removed by the censor, but why?

 

Many thanks for the comments everyone, they are much appreciated.

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3 hours ago, Acklington said:

It may have been removed by the censor

Don't think so, looks more like the angle from which the photo has been taken.

The bulges on the Vb wing are quite a way back in chord, the stbd upper bulge is hidden behind the wing spar, whilst the lower stbd bulge is visible. On the port wing it's the  other way round, the upper bulge is visible but the lower one isn't.

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An update - not only did I incorrectly fit an aerial wire to this model, I also completely missed the obvious in the photos of the real thing i.e. it had the earlier style canopy, not the 'blown hood' of most Spitfire Mk.Vb's. So I've prised the wrong canopy off, and fitted the correct style. Here are a new set of photos, and I'll eventually delete most of the earlier photos;

47080467124_e11425cb4b_z.jpgEN821, 243 Sqdn, Ouston, July 1942 (21) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr

40903362893_9a0c63d374_b.jpgEN821, 243 Sqdn, Ouston, July 1942 (25) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr

47080466564_012dc8a614_b.jpgEN821, 243 Sqdn, Ouston, July 1942 (28) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr

47080466284_68461653b2_b.jpgEN821, 243 Sqdn, Ouston, July 1942 (35) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr

40903361183_bae43ef3c7_b.jpgEN821, 243 Sqdn, Ouston, July 1942 (44) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr

47080465834_518c3db3ca_b.jpgEN821, 243 Sqdn, Ouston, July 1942 (47) w by Philip Pain, on Flickr

Ignorance is bliss where Spitfires are concerned, and the more that you learn about them the more you realise that you don't even know half of it!

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Nice job on an oldie but goodie: think it would still be my preferred starting point for a Spitfire Vb despite the younger pretenders to the throne.  Like the canopy too: it actually looks like a thin transparency rather than a thick blob of plastic pretending to be one!

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On 26/04/2019 at 19:07, Acklington said:

You will recognise it as the following art print that has become the most common Spitfire painting to adorn living room walls;

47705700021_931d01e1f2_b.jpgVickers Supermarine Spitfire Mark VB of 243 Squadron by Philip Pain, on Flickr

Great work on the model, it looks great. 

 

As a kid this very painting hung on the living room wall. I actually think it was this painting that got me into aircraft in the first place. 

 

It's a very moody painting so there's no wonder really. 

 

Wonder how many other folk got into aircraft as a result? 

 

Sorry, i digress, great work again bud! 

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