**** DONE: GB-57 1/48 Spitfire MK.XVIe Low-back - WW2 Foreign Service (1 Viewer)

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Crimea_River

Marshal
45,595
13,610
Nov 16, 2008
Calgary
Username: Crimea River
First name: Andy
Category: Judge – Non competing
Scale: 1/48
Manufacturer: ICM
Model Type: Spitfire Mk.XVI
Aftermarket addons: Decals I got in a trade with Wayne pluse the usual odd scratch-built crap.

This GB gives me a chance to break out my old ICM Spitty and get that done. The subject will be a Mk.XVIe Low-back flown by Chuck Darrow, of 416 Squadron RCAF in the last month of the war in Europe. This aircraft is not supported by any photos that I've been able to find, though one or two may be in the venerable 2nd TAF volumes by Chris Shores. There is a profile in "Spitfire: The Canadians" by Robert Bracken which I've reproduced below (book is out of print):

Profile Spit XVI DN_A TB891 416 Sqdn Chuck Darrow.jpg

There's also a decal sheet by Watermark with some very detailed descriptions of the finish on this bird, details which could only be gleaned from anlaysis of a photo. Excerpt shown below from WaterMark 48004 - Canadian Spitfires, 1944-1945 :

Capture.JPG


Both the profile and decal description show the wing to be full span and not clipped which is perhaps a bit unusual but presumably the authors of these documents have reproduced that feature faithfully from photos.

I'm not going to bother with sprue shots. The plastic is pure white which will beg to be painted quickly. I will start on this build when I see the back of my P-38, which I need to finish for GB56 over the next couple of weeks.
 
Nice one Andy.
I have both volumes of the 2 TAF books, so when I'm not as stiff and tender, I'll have a look through them and see if I can find any photos.
 
Try here Andy. The thread is old but the member is still active. Apparently he has a photo of your kite but I hope its different than the one that Watermark shows
 
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Not sure I hope it's different Geo. I'd rather like it to confirm what Watermark have shown. Thanks for the link but I'll need to become a member to PM the author I think.

Terry I appreciate your offer to look when you can. No hurry. This plane would have been a very late addition to the 2TAF so probably near the end of the volumes if they are chronological.
 
Thanks Wojek. DN H was 140 airframes away from mine - quite a lot actually. Also it has the higher fuselage spine. My understanding is that the wing tips could be changed out in the field elatively easily and that there are several known examples of full-wing XVIe's in service at the end of the war. Spit XVI with standard wings?

IMHO the profile and Watermark detailed descriptions could only have been created with the benefit of a photo and so I hope that one turns up confirming the wing type.
 
Thanks Wojek. DN H was 140 airframes away from mine - quite a lot actually. Also it has the higher fuselage spine. My understanding is that the wing tips could be changed out in the field elatively easily and that there are several known examples of full-wing XVIe's in service at the end of the war. Spit XVI with standard wings?

IMHO the profile and Watermark detailed descriptions could only have been created with the benefit of a photo and so I hope that one turns up confirming the wing type.


I see.
Regarding the serials ... actually it is not the difference of the 140 airframes but 30. See the excerption with the serial range for the TB756 and the TB891 below ...

TB.jpg


Looking for the DN-A, I saw the next airframe of the TB series ( it was TB 704 or someting like that ) and she had the clipped E wing. That's true that the MK.XVI could have the wing tips or not but also it should be kept in mind that the variant of the Spitfire was assembled with the C wing. As a result there might appear troubles with identification in picture , especially if the wing details weren't noticed. IMHO if the type marking is LF Mk.XVIe it means that the plane had the E wing with no wing tips. The only trouble may be the fuselage because there were both the standard one and the one of the low-back type used , eg... TB137 of the no.350 squadron coded MN-K.
 
Went through "All the Fine Young Eagles - In the Cockpit With Canada's Second World War Fighter Pilots" and even though he is mentioned five times and has his own chapter, no pic or description of TB891
 
The longer I'm trying to find out more about the kite the more I'm getting convinced the TB891 was of the standard fuselage. No picture has been found so far. So I tried to find an aircraft of the serial as close as possible to the TB891. And viola. It appears that the closest one that could be found is the TB890. She belonged to the Polish 308 Squadron and was coded ZF-M. According to the caption of the image she is the most background kite. The foreground one is the TB995 ZF-O then TB632 ZF-R, TB637 ZF-T and just the last one is the TB890 ZF-M. The pic was taken in the Spring of the 1945 in Germany. So I digged slightly deeper and found a nice shot of her in the Wojtek Matusiak's book "Spitfire IX and XVI of Polish airmen vol.1. The image confirms the standard fuselage of the Spitfire. Certainly I may be wrong because the TB891-TB908 range from the serial batch could have been finished as the low-back kites. Anyway all of them had the clipped E wing.

308_Spits_germany.jpg

the source: Rycerze Przestworzy - Dywizjon 308!
 
I forgot to mention, I found another source the the above Spitfire formation and the caption reads, "Three Spits, "B" – "A" – "T", heading for No. 13 P.T.C. for "Air Firing" course, 25 November 44.". I went through the entire article and though you boy is in it quite a bit, your aircraft isn't
 
Something additional .. actually I have found one pic showing the squadron Spitfire "bubble top" Mk.XVIe. The image was taken at the B.114 Diepholz airfield, Germany where the no.416 Squadron was moved in April 1945. The shot is quite blurry and the details of the background stuff can't be seen fully. But it can be noticed that all of the Spitfires of the line ( at least the three first ones ) had the clipped wings. The foreground one looks like the low-back one while the another one seems ot be of the standard fuselage. What is more it seems that the plane has the code letter "A" applied while the foreground one still not. See the enlarged shots.

416.jpg


416b.jpg


416c.jpg

the source: The Making of a WWII RCAF Spitfire Pilot – Part Six
 
Thanks for your efforts guys and sorry for the delay in responding. Yesterday was my usual full day on the Mosquito so I did not have time to look through all this. I'm still doing a lot of reading about the subject including your materials above, much of which I have seen before. The pictures posted by Geo are of an earlier high-back DN_A. The Diepholz picture is most interesting.

I continue to believe that there must be a photo of this aircraft somewhere, given the observation of the faded serials, and I hope that such a picture might clear up the mystery of the wing tips. I'm well aware that the majority of XVI's had the clipped wings but this was not a rule - there are some examples of full wing versions. Bracken's illustrator pays attention to detail and has shown other low-back XVI's with clipped wngs but made the effort to show a full wing on DN_A.

I thank you all for your time in helping with this. The search continues.
 
Almost missed this one. Great choice Andy and huge effort and input from all you guy. Great teamwork. :D
 

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