mark.au Posted November 5, 2022 Share Posted November 5, 2022 (edited) Spitfire LF Mk.VIII s/n A58-518 was one of three Spitfire in No.452 Squadron marked as CR-C belonging to WgCdr. Caldwell. A58-518 was one of Caldwell's two spares (his usual aircraft was A58-484) so it was usually flown by F.Lt McCormack. However, on 10 July 1945 another pilot was at the controls, Flt. Lt. Norman Cullen. Cullen was from Perth in WA and had seen a lot of the war, enlisting in mid-1940 he spent two and half years in the Middle East as well as time in Darwin. He was 28 years old and a very experienced pilot. Cullen was flying one of four No. 452 Squadron Spitfires and eight Kittyhawks tasked with an attack on Japanese positions at Tawao in Northern Borneo, Malaysia. The bombing and strafing attack was to be carried out in conjunction with a seaborne attack by American PT boats. Upon arrival they successfully destroyed two bridges and burned huts in the area. Only one Spitfire of the twelve attacking aircraft was lost, Spitfire A58-518; it was seen to drop its bombs, but nothing more was seen and it failed to return to base. In December 1945 the wreckage of his aircraft was found, as well as Norman Cullen's remains. He was buried in the war cemetery on Labuan. The Cullen family gave much to the war effort; his brother Doug, also in the RAAF was killed in an air accident in 1944. Four other brothers served; Don was made a POW in Crete, Dern was a captain in the.A.I.F., Dan flew with the R.A.F. and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, and Ken, who served with the A.I.F. in the Middle East. A58-518 was built as a Spitfire LF Mk.VIII at Eastleigh. Around three months later it arrived in theatre on SS Rimu in September 1944 and issued to 452 Sqn RAAF in December. It was designated as one of WgCdr Caldwell's spare aircraft and marked up with his personal code of CR-C though it was usually flown by F.Lt McCormack through the remainder of its service. Following its loss on 10th July it was struck off charge on 25 July, 1945. _____________________________ As someone that shies away from the conventional approach, I'm using the ICM kit instead of the Eduard. Why? because I quite like the IMC Spitfires despite their idiosyncrasies and besides, I don't have an Eduard in the stash. I've built a few of these kits, the most recent a conversion to a PR.X and with a little effort and some planning in assembly they build very nicely. And they're cheap as chips. The assembly sequence is a little different to most. Of course, we start with with the cockpit but it's not installed immediately. In fact, it can be left to quite late in the construction phase. I have built mine close to out of the box, but I did use a PE seat which looks much better than the kit part, even if it's not totally accurate. I also used a PE instrument panel because of expediency as much as anything else. The basic process for cockpit and fuselage interior was the same as usual; a black base followed by the base colour (I used Hataka, again because of expediency, and isn't as blue as it appears above) followed by a wash, dry brush and finish coat. For a cockpit and interior as cramped and largely invisible as for a Spitfire it more than does the job for me. Whether the fuselage interior aft of the cockpit should be natural metal or not on a Mk.VIII I couldn't remember, but as it can barely be seen anyway I left it green. Construction continued then. I made a real balls-up of the wing tips and had to use a fair bit of sprue goo to fill the gaps I caused by over zealous fettling. I still need to scribe the missing panel lines but can do nothing now about the slight valley effect I've created around the seam, hopefully it won't be too obvious under flat paint. On the underside I have also attached the radiators but need to properly blend them in. The fuselage is joined, and while not pictured in the shot below I have cleaned up the seam and blended the cockpit frame. It still needs to be painted. I also drilled out all the little holes in the frame just because. I didn't add the engine - I haven't on any of the ICMs I've built - so joining the fuselage is a stage by stage task. Not a difficult task by any means excepting the requirement to maintain patience in letting each section properly set before moving on to the next. There are no pins so alignment is down to the modeller's care. I needed to use just a smidge of CA glue to fix a couple of little seams but I avoided a stepped join for a change and not a lot of sanding was required. I added some 3D printed seatbelts for the Sutton Harness. They look ok, but I've since added a wash and grubbed them up a bit as the white carrier film on the edges was distracting. The current state of play is as below. I've a little more assembly and clean up to do before reaching the point of inserting the cockpit and closing everything up for paint. In offering up the wings - they are only dry fitted in the pic below - the fit looks pretty good after cleaning up the mating edges. The horizontal tail fit was almost perfect with just a slight adjustment, though it and the engine cowl look much worse in the pic than in real life, it does give me pause to check those fits again! That'll do for now. Oh, and Roger @Dunny, I haven't forgotten the P-38 but I can't seem to get motivated for it just yet... Cheers. Edited November 20, 2022 by mark.au 15 Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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