**** DONE: GB-62 1/48 Spitfire Vc Trop - Spitfires

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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: Eduard
Model Type: Spitfire Mk. Vc Trop
Aftermarket addons: None planned.

My next project will be a Spitfire Mk Vc Trop s/n BR301 coded UF_S of 249 Squadron, a blue Malta Spitfire with all its baggage of colour debates. I wanted something that was a little bit different in my collection and so that's why I've chosen to tackle this one. It will be my first, and perhaps only, British Malta scheme. Here's a screen grab from the Eduard instruction sheet showing the scheme and a bit of the aircraft's history.

Screenshot 2024-05-14 125910.jpg


There's apparently only one known/suspected photo of this aircraft and a good discussion of the colours on Tapatalk here: HyperScale Forums-More Malta Spitfire Discussions and I've linked the photo below.

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The kit is from Eduard's family of venerable recent Spitfire releases and comes with the colour photo-etch fret and masks to supplement beautifully moulded parts and comes with lots of excellent detail and optional parts. I love the box art for all of Eduard's stuff too.

Screenshot 2024-05-14 130204.jpg


My only concern will be the decals with their unusual external carrier film. My experience with these on my recent Wildcat build was a bit of a debacle and so I'll need to consider my options when I get to that stage.

Progress will be slow, as I've got lots of other things on the go right now but I do hope to be able to spend a bit of time each week on this. Thanks for looking and hopefully I'll be back with some early progress soon.
 
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In PG right now Andy but I'll go through my books when I get home; a few about Malta, many many Spitfire books and George Beurlings book, "Malta Spitfire"
 
Not a problem, it's what I enjoy doing here. You've probably already seen scores of comments on camo variations so I'll tells ya I will be doing mine, Mediterranean Blue misted over the desert colours. Just my $.02
 
Not a problem, it's what I enjoy doing here. You've probably already seen scores of comments on camo variations so I'll tells ya I will be doing mine, Mediterranean Blue misted over the desert colours. Just my $.02
Exactly where I was going but will need to figure out a mix for the upper blue. Apparently the underside was repainted to a lighter blue than Azure so I'll need to find a mix for that too. Lots of time for that.
 
The weather is absolute crap so a good day to spend a few hours at the bench. I started with some cockpit assembly and also some lower wing stuff.

The cockpit side panels had seen a shot of aluminum that was left over in my airbrush cup on a previous build. I added the air tanks, throttle, and other stuff yesterday and put the floor and seat parts together. The head armour is PE so will need a shot of primer before laying down the grey-green. Same goes for the seat armour, not seen. Oh and I drilled out the lightening holes on the frame as well.

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Just to keep the glue flowing, I started on the lower wing half as well.

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The wheel wells are made up of multiple parts to capture the retraction horn and the sloped walls.

24051703.jpg


The outer machine guns are provided as small stubs with hollowed muzzles and these are inserted into recesses on the moulding prior to gluing the upper wing half down. As you can see, I didn't bother with clean up of these parts, other than to make sure that the muzzles look clean.

24051702.jpg


Here are all my assembled bits together in my Chinese take-out storage system:

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With that comes my first paint question. Since the wheel wells are to be painted in the "underside colour" per the instructions, do I assume that these were Azure Blue or did the crews that painted the Mediterranean colours on board the USS Wasp bother shooting the Sky Blue colour up into the wells? I'd be inclined to paint the wells Azure Blue with some Sky Blue overspray but thoughts/opinions/facts are welcome.
 
Good start to a tricky subject. My feeling is that on deck painting it would be a bit Fred Whiteley and not so accurate in the demarcation between the inner and outer surfaces. The other thing I think worth mentioning was colour variation of aircraft. I read in a book about Adrian "Warby" Warburton that paint was in short supply and they just colour matched as close as they could. Consequently, aircraft sitting side by side would have slight match variations of the same colour. Just my two penn'orth. :thumbright: :lol:
 
Well then, I now have a small concern about the decal layout on this model. See the profile in post 1 and note the location of the upper left stroke of the "U". Now look at this detail from the photo also shown in post 1:

Detail.jpg


Comparing the profile and the above detail, the left stroke of the U in the profile, if accurately shown, would be to the right of the light patch seen at the yellow arrow. The red arrow shows a lighter patch, likely part of the white squadron or aircraft code but it doesn't match the location for the U in the profile. This has led some to believe that the code letters are therefore S_UF, not the UF_S as shown in the profile. I can live with that but what bugs me more is that if the red arrow represents the top left portion of the "S" then the decal seems to me to be too rounded and it also appears to have a thinner stroke than what is represented by the red arrow. The other mystery is, what does the yellow arrow signify? The patch there seems to be of a darker colour than the one at the red arrow, so I don't think its part of the painted lettering.

This model (not mine) linked from the Tapatalk forum above seems to have a better interpretation than what Eduard have shown:

file.jpg


Thoughts and opinions please! I have a few more questions to come but lets deals with those one at a time.
 
Andy, maybe an explanation from Brian Cauchi's book: "Malta Spitfire Vs-1942, their coulours and markings. BR301 was a Spitfire from Operation Bowery on USS Wasp 9th May 1942. Spitfires loaded aboard the USS Wasp were supposed to have been coded 3/letter or 4/letter with white paint; maybe the light patch seen at the yellow arrow is a trace of the former marking (a letter) when this bird was on USS Wasp... Some photos on this book show Spitfires with these markings in this order Ko3 (letter o 3 on the port side) and 3oX and 3oM (3 o letter and 3 o letter) on the starboard side. Maybe these markings were repainted with a kind of blue paint before to apply the code letters UF-S...?
 
Well that clears things up doesn't it!?!? :lol:

Steph that sounds like a good explanation for the darker patch thanks.

Geo I wouldn't put too much signicance in a publication saying it was UF_S as opposed to S_UF as I'd expect the squadron code to be stated first anyway. The UP vs UF is a bit troubling though.
 

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