Question about colors for a Spitfire Mk Vb

Discussion in 'Painting Questions, Tutorials and Guidebooks' started by Flash_Taco, Sep 14, 2010.

  1. Flash_Taco

    Flash_Taco Member

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    #1 Flash_Taco, Sep 14, 2010
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2010
    Dear gentleman,

    Sorry I have not come to say hi in a while, but I have been busy with mundane work. I just started building the Tamiya 1/48 scale Supermarine Spitfire MkVb. In the instruction sheet, the color paint for the pilot sit calls for semi gloss black for the back resting area, and RAF interior green for the rest of the sit. I have been browsing some pictures of real Spitfire cockpits, and all sits have the back area painted on leather and the rest of the seat could be RAF Interior green or tan-brownish. Could you be kind to suggest the most proper colors for this particular model? BTW In a visit to the WW II museum at New Orleans I photographed a real Spitfire with ID number: BL370 and apparently flown by Lieutenant Tony Cooper of No.64 Squadron. I want to paint it exactly the way it is today. I know some of you are certified gurus in this particular aircraft (e.g. Terry) so any comments or advice are appreciated.

    Best regards.
     

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  2. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    On the MkV, the seat was the composite 'Papier mache' type, made from pulp and resin, and was a reddish brown colour mostly.There were exceptions of course, and black seats have been known, as well as silver painted, and Cockpit Grey Green.
    However, they were predominantly the red/brown colour, with the back rest padding in a very dark brown leather, which reached just below half way down the seat back. The rest of the interior, except the instrument panel, was Cockpit Grey Green, with the Sutton harness in a buff colour.
    Hope this helps.
     
  3. Wurger

    Wurger Siggy Master
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    And my three cents here... it might be helpful for you as well.

    Also I would like to pay your attention to the incorrect wing for the Spit in your pic. This is the wing A type for armament that consited of four machine guns mounted in each of Spitfire wings ( eight MGs totally.) As my memo serves the Mk.Vb was armed with four 0.303-in MGs ( two in each wing) and two 20mm cannons ( one in each wing). The wing was called B type and there were very characteristic drop-shape bulges on the top surfaces covered the cannon magazines and the rear part of the cannons.
     

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  4. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    I didn't even spot that Wojtek, but then, I didn't look close. That must be a MkVA, although I'd have to check the serial numbers, as it could have been preserved as a 'composite' of different aircraft. Certainly the squadron codes, colour scheme and AEAF stripes seem an odd match for that Mark.
     
  5. Wurger

    Wurger Siggy Master
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    Yep I agree my friend. My initiall impression has been the plane was a cheap plywood replic of the Spitfire.

    However I have found a brief story of the BL370. The plane was Mk.Vb variant.She was delivered to No.130 Squadron on 8th of November 1941. Later, the fighter machine was transfered to No.124 Squadron.Then she serviced in 610, Belgian 350 and 118 Squadrons.On 19th September 1943 was moved to No.64 Squadron for farther servicing with code letters SH-J. On 11th August 1944 the Spitfire was sent to 53rd OTU and was crashed on 30th September in Humber Estuary.
    Its wreck was restored partially by Steve Arnold and Julian Mitchell. Then it was sold to Patrick F. Taylor who finished the reconstruction off. Then the Spitfire has been exhibited in The National D-Day Museum in New Orleans , USA.
     
  6. Wurger

    Wurger Siggy Master
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    #6 Wurger, Sep 15, 2010
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2010
    An additional info...the BL370 belonged to the BL362-BL391 series that was issued by Castle Bromwich Aircraft Factory in November-December 1941.
     
  7. Airframes

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    Thanks Wojtek. I thought it's present location rang a bell. So, basically, it is a 'composite', and re-painted as it would have looked in 64 Sqn markings, but with the 'A' wing, without cannons. (not many MkVs survived with the cannons still in place, so the wing might still be the 'B' wing, with the bulges and cannon fairings removed.)
    However, 64 Sqn received Spitfire MkIXs in 1943, so it is very doubtful if it would still have been on the Squadron at the time of D-Day, and so doubtful also if it ever wore AEAF stripes. I'm guessing it was at an M.U. until issue to the OTU in August '44.
    I think that, as it's in the D-Day museum, it has been painted to represent a typical RAF colour scheme of the time, for display purposes.
     
  8. Wurger

    Wurger Siggy Master
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    I think you might be right about the wing and cannons. Undoubtedly it is a 'composite' that was repainted for the D-Day Museum as the representation of RAF camo scheme worn during the special day ( operation) .
    I have found a couple of pics of another Spitfire Mk.Vb of 64th Squadron coded SH-Z.It seems that these shots were taken in the Summer of 1942.
     

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  9. Flash_Taco

    Flash_Taco Member

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    Thank you very much Terry and Dr. Wojtec. I believe I have a better guide now, although I am wondering if the plane has been restored with correct paint, markings and weaponry, so I will have to think about it. Since the model in question has raised your interest, I believe I should share some more pictures. Unfortunately they are not production quality, but you might find them interesting anyway.

    Best regards, gents.
     

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  10. Flash_Taco

    Flash_Taco Member

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    Wurger,

    Awesome images! Maybe we can now make a better comparison of the several features.
     
  11. Wurger

    Wurger Siggy Master
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    #11 Wurger, Sep 15, 2010
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2010
    Yep..we can. However your shots are really very nice.

    Firt of all I would like to make a focus on these wheel bays.No main landing gear there.If these landing legs would be retracted there we saw them with main landing wheels covered partially by bay doors. Also I can't notice the flaps and other details on undersides for instance small drop-shaped bulges ( similar to these on top wing surfaces). Both of underwing radiators look incorrectly as well.As far as the camo is concerned....during D-Day RAF squadrons were equipped with Mk.IX type mostly. So the MK.Vb with D-Day strips looks quite odd. To sum up...the wing is " a total fiction"
     

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  12. Flash_Taco

    Flash_Taco Member

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    Wurger,

    I had the hope that some Mk.Vb took part in D-Day invasion, since I've always thought the stripes make most planes look amazing. Oh well, I guess i will have to wait until I get an Mk.IX
     
  13. Airframes

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    Those museum pics have answered a lot of questions !
    First of all, the aircraft is painted in the correct colours and pattern for its service with 64 Sqn during 1942, with the following exceptions.
    1) It would not have the AEAF stripes.
    2) The code letters, although the correct colour ('Sky') are too small, and should be the larger, 27 inch characters, shown in the B&W pics and profile Wojtek posted. The coloured 'flag' near the cockpit in the profile is a Squadron Leader's pennant btw.
    3) It would have had the cannons and over and under wing bulges.

    As regards the wing, the radiator under the starboard wing is incorrect for a MkV or a MkIX, and the oil cooler under the port wing is the style of the MkI and MkII. The whole wing looks 'wrong', and I suspect it is a fibreglass replica wing, possibly from one of the mock-ups made for the BoB movie, fitted to make the airframe complete. The shape of the radiator is an approximation, good enough for movie work, and remember, this was an aircraft recovered from an underwater crash site, so would be missing many structural parts, too corroded to re-fit or restore. All of this is reinforced by the lack of panel joints, and flap hinge lines, and also by the lack of any structural detail or landing gear attachment points in the empty wheel bays, as well as the complete lack of any empty shell casing and links ejection chutes on the wing underside. The lower cowling also appears slightly out of shape with the true profile of the lower nose, and is probably a glassfibre part.
    All in all, for display purposes, it's more than good enough, and passes examination, unless close examination, as here !
    There were a few MkV Spitfires in use with the 'D-Day' stripes, by a USN spotting unit, although some were fitted with up-rated engines and six-stack 'ejector' exhausts. They were still in RAF colours, but wore the code letters of the US Navy unit.
    There is a thread in the modelling section, I think by Dirk Pitt, with some photos of some of these aircraft.
    I hope all this helps.
     
  14. Wurger

    Wurger Siggy Master
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    #14 Wurger, Sep 15, 2010
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2011
    Sorry you are disappointed. But as Terry has mentioned there was a few of Mk.V that wore the D-Day strips. You say, you have :lol:. Here you are a couple of them.But I would like to pay your attention to a few details. Firstly , believing captions these were Mk.Vc with LF wing. What is more, the AB509 was equipped with the late windshied ( like for Mk.IX ) with the integrated bullet-proof front glass while the BL591 had the early windscreen with the outer bullet-proof glass.And I'm not sure if these code letters were yellow.Looking at the yellow ring of the fuselage roundel I would say these were of Sky S-type indeed.

    Also I found another pic of Mk.Vb of the 64th Squadron.I think it might be interesting for all fans of strips on Spitfires.

    Source....Mushroom Model Magazine Special 6111 - Supermarine Spitfire Mk V
     

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  15. antoni

    antoni Banned

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    #15 antoni, Sep 17, 2010
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2010

    Nope.

    Ignoring specialised roles such as ASR, on D-Day 2nd TAF’s Spitfire squadrons were equipped exclusively with Spitfire Mk IXs. That was not the case with ADGB’s 11 Group that had a number of squadrons, including 64 Squadron, flying Spitfire Mk Vs that day.

    The RAF would have liked more Mustangs but it had been agreed that most production would go to the 8th Air Force. British factories struggled to meet demand for Spitfire Mk IXs, consequently, in 1943 and 1944 tired Mk Vs were re-engined with Merlin 45M, 50M or 55M engines and redesignated LF.Vs. Often they had clipped wings and were sometimes referred to as clipped (wings), cropped (supercharger) and clapped (out). These new Merlins typically were fitted with individual ejector exhausts associated with the Spitfire Mk IX. Many of these LF.Vs ended up with squadrons in ADGB, some of which, had to relinquish their Spitfire Mk IXs.

    D-Day Spitfire Mk V Squadrons

    64, 611, Squadrons Deanland.
    130, 303 (Polish), 402 (RCAF) Squadrons Horne
    350 (Belgian) Squadron Friston

    64 Squadron were equipped with Spitfire Mk Vs from March 1943 – July 1944

    BL370 was a presentation Spitfire – Gurgaon II Punjab. TOC 37 MU Burton wood and allotted to 130 (Punjab) Sn at Harrowbeer 8/11/1941. Then it joined 124 (Baroda) Sqn at Biggen Hill on 28/4/1942. On 31/12/1942 it returned to 130 Sqn, then at Perranporth, and then transferred 20/02/1943 to 610 Squadron at Westhampnett cooded DW-F. on 27/03/1943 it went to 350 (Belgian) Sqn at Acklington coded MN-F. On 11/05/1943 the engine failed and F/O L.M.AH.Lelarge force landed in a field at Laverock Hall Farm near Blyth. The cannon dug into the ground, the Spitfire flipped onto its back, and was despatched to Scottish Aviation at Pestwick for repairs. Allocated 8/06/1943 to 46 MU Lossiemouth it then went to 3501 Servicing Unit at Cranfield on 23/07/1943. Handed over to 118 Squadron at Coltishall on 3/08/1943. When 118 Sqn moved to Peterhead in September it was left at Coltishall to join 64 Sqn coded SH-J 25/09/1943. Passed again to 3501 Servicing Unit at Cranfield for major inspection 12/07/44. On 11/08/1944 joined 53 OTU at Kirton-in-Lindsey. SOC 30/09/1944.

    I suspect it may have been converted to an LF. V at 3501 Servicing Unit in 1943 but have not found anything to confirm it. If you ask the Hendon RAF Museum thay will send you a copy of the Aircraft Movement Card (Form 78). The (original) engine type is on the card. Sometimes it was written over with 45M.
     
  16. Airframes

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    Great info Antoni. It's also helped me a bit, as I've been looking for some clipped MkVs for a future project.
     
  17. Flash_Taco

    Flash_Taco Member

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    The display of knowledge here is overwhelming (specially for a profane in Spitfires)

    Ok so, If I decide to model the plane portrayed in my pictures, I can go ahead to paint it like it is, including the invasion stripes, only the wings have to be clipped? The model I have (Tamiya 1/48 MK Vb with RAF crew figures) has the option of clipped wings.

    Thank you, Gents.
     
  18. Airframes

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    Going off Antoni's info, I'd say yes. It would appear that research by the present owners showed that the markings were carried. Whether or not it had clipped wings at the time is difficult to ascertain, but, with it's role in ADGB (Air Defence of Great Britain), it's very possible that it did have.
    Again, great info Antoni, as I've been wanting to add a clipped MkV to my 1/32nd scale collection, with the external armoured windscreen, but later prop.
     
  19. antoni

    antoni Banned

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    Spifire LF.Vb EP509 RF*G 303 Squadron 3rd June 1944 Horne.

    Fairly typical of the appearance of late war LF.Vs. It underwent conversion to LF.V standard in late 1943, the new engine fitted with individual ejector exhausts normally associated with late Mks. Late style tailplane and elevators. Round rear-view mirror. IFF blade aerial under the starboard wing. In some publications this photograph is captioned as a MK IX!

    The Spitfire in the background, unlike EP509, does not have clipped wings. At the time 303 Squadron was equipped exclusively with LF.Vs and the individual ejector exhausts confirm the fitting of a Merlin 45M showing that not all LF.Vs featured clipped wings.
     

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  20. Airframes

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    Nice pic Antoni. I've seen that one before, when looking for a suitable subject. I've found a couple, one of which being the well-known 'polished' example. But what I really want is a standard service example, with external armour on the windscreen, late prop and three stack exhausts.
     
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