Spitfire Mk Vb... Help needed with a few questions...

Discussion in 'Building Questions, Tutorials and Guidebooks' started by weetam, Nov 16, 2012.

  1. weetam

    weetam Member

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    #1 weetam, Nov 16, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2012
    So...

    I found a 1/24th Mk1 Spit on eBay for £35... bit of a no brainer so i snapped it up quick-sharp, BUT and here it is...

    I want to convert it to a Mk Vb and so set about researching the differences... no issue there except there seems to be some doubt over the differences from various sources so i was hoping there will be a few among you who can help me out with a few answers to questions on this one...

    1.) there seems to be several sources that show the Vb with clipped wings, whereas others show the conventional rounded wingtips... were the models with the conventional wingtips retro-fitted and upgraded to a Vb and the factory produced models produced with clipped wings as standard?

    2.) again, several sources show the Vb with wing mounted cannon, several dont, so again, are these retro-fitted upgrades?

    3.) some photos show the Vb with an Aboukir filter, and some without, were these only used in the planes that served in Africa and other dusty, dry theaters or were they standard to Vb's and the retro-fitted upgrades?

    4.) Did the Vb use the new undercarriage lever or the original as used in the prototypes and early model Mk 1as?

    5.) are there any other significant aesthetic differences between the 1a and the 5b that would require specific attention/after market products/conversion? such as a difference in the radio antennae, rear landing wheels, undercart construction, canopy etc.

    6.) which version of the sutton harness did the Vb use (i know im going to have to buy these in, and just want to make sure i get the correct version for the aircraft), and for instance, would a retro-fitted upgraded aircraft have the original sutton harness, or the Vb model?

    7.) Can anyone tell me if 316 Sqd used factory model Vb's or retro-fitted upgrades from the 1a's the flew at the start of the BoB?

    If anyone who knows, could include as much details about the differences as possible, that would be most handy as source material is difficult to come by, but also, the few pictures that do remain are bad quality at best :/

    Cheers in advance
    Tam
     
  2. Wurger

    Wurger Siggy Master
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    #2 Wurger, Nov 16, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2016
    Ad1... Spitfire Mk.V is nothing more but the Spitfire Mk.I/II with and new RR Merlin 45 engine . Externally she wasn't too different in shape comparing to the Mk.I/II. The main difference that can be noticed is bigger more rounded oil radiator. Initailly the cockpit conopy had the windshield with an external bullet-proof glass but later it was replaced with a windscreen of internal and integrated one. These wingtips were easy removable and could be dismounted making the wing for LF variant. But Spits Mk.V were the standard fighter ( with wingtips added) mostly. In the case you need a picture of the particular plane showing you if the one had the LF or standard wing type.

    Ad2... the kind of armament mounted for Spitfire depended on a wing type. The A variant was "equipped" with 2x4 MGs, the B type - with 2xMGs and the 20mm cannon for each of wing halves. There was the C variant called the universal one that could carry 4x20mm cannons or the same like the A and B types.

    Ad3... Spitfire Mk.V could use either the Aboukir filter or the Vokes one. Both of them were used at North Africa and in other TOs where sand could damaged engines. At the European TO these filters weren't used rather.

    Ad4.. Because the Mk.V was Mk.I/II basicly the landing gear was the same. Later Mk.V had the wheel solid hubs.

    Ad5... as memo serves later Mk.V got a new shape of elevators. But their span was still the same. But I'm not sure if I'm correct.

    Ad6... the sutton harness were the RAF standard ones.

    Ad7... The 316 Squadron ( Polish ) used Spitfire Mk VB from 10.1941 to 03.1943. Judging by serials of these there could have been both brand-new Spitfire Mk.Vbs and those upgraded Mk.I/IIs.

    In addition.... there were used two props and spinners for Spitfire Mk.V.
     
  3. weetam

    weetam Member

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    outstanding, thank you!

    something else i forgot to ask, did the Vb's have 3 or 4 blade props, and were they the metal variable pitch types or just the standard ones?
     
  4. Wurger

    Wurger Siggy Master
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    The Mk.Vb had the metal three-blade variable pitch prop. Initailly it was the deHavilland of 3,3 meters in diameter and later two kinds of the Rotol one of the same diameter. Here the diagram I found via the net....

    [​IMG]
     
  5. Wurger

    Wurger Siggy Master
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    A couple of prop images....

    The Rotol prop...

    [​IMG]

    the de Havilland one..

    [​IMG]

    and both of these...

    [​IMG]
     
  6. weetam

    weetam Member

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    thanks for that, i can see the difference between the early rounded rotol and the DH props, but as im leaning towards an upgrade Mk1a to Vb would it be more likely that it would be a rotol spinner or would that have been changed in the upgrade system?
     
  7. Wurger

    Wurger Siggy Master
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    It is quite difficult to state because there were Mk.Vb with both types of props. It depends on a particular Spit . So a picture of her would be a great help. Here you are an example of Polish 302 Spitfire Mk.Vb with the de Havilland prop... also please, notice the solid wheel hubs.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  8. weetam

    weetam Member

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    the aircraft im looking to replicate is WO Tadeusz "Tadek" Szymanski of 316 Sqn. As mentioned in a previous thread, he was a friend of mine when i was a boy and i thought it fitting to do this project and dedicate it to him. Unfortunately, i cant find any pictures of his Spitfire(s) only of his Mustang III(s)

    The only Picture i can find of a Vb from 316 Sqd is of his Commanding Officer (identification letters SZ-G) and another (identification letter SZ-X) both of which shows rounded wingtips, the cannon and from the pics you've shown, the DH spinner.

    I know Tadeks ID letters were SZ-B, on both his spitfire and mustang, but other than that, i cant seem to trace any personal marking he may have had on his plane, and without any pics of his plane, or reference material, i can never be 100% sure its an accurate representation :/
     
  9. Wurger

    Wurger Siggy Master
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    OK I understand. I'll check my references...

    Here pictures of two other Spitfires of the 316 Squadron.... the source the Net.

    Spitfire Mk.V SZ-E (AD130) of F/O Bernard Buchwald who was shot down on the 12th April 1942 by Fw 190 over France and made a forced landing on a beach near Calais.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Spitfire Mk.V SZ-N of Sgt. Stefan Sztuka after an emergency landing on the 8th January 1943.

    [​IMG]


    It seems that the Spitfire Mk.Vb coded SZ-B was of W3512 serial.
     
  10. weetam

    weetam Member

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    thats super stuff, thanks for that.

    This photo shows SZ-X to be a LF Mk Vb with clipped wings, from March 43. Im guessing this would have been a replacement aircract as the pictures above seem to show the Mk1a's converted to the Vb's as opposed to the factory produced Vb's

    006c728d166505a6ee9bac9c92ea7f19.jpg
     
  11. weetam

    weetam Member

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    here what i found on W3512...

    "W3512 Vb 1814 CHA M45 FF 26-6-41 12MU 28-6-41 452S 5-8-41 Missing escorting Blenheims to Grand Queville 18-9-41 P/O W D Willis RAAF killed"

    seemingly it was assigned to a non-polish pilot, would the number have been used on a future plane or was it one of many from that batch number?
     
  12. Wurger

    Wurger Siggy Master
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    #12 Wurger, Nov 16, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2012
    Here you are other images of the SZ-X Spit... serial BL 479..... the story behind the picture. In March 1943 the squadron received the new Spitfires Mk. IX. However, after the reorganisation of the RAF in August 1943 that year the unit was assigned to the newly-formed Air Defence of Great Britain. In this role it converted back to the LF Mk. VB for low-level defence and convoy escort duties. The sqadron was relocated to to Acklington, Northumberland, and then Woodvale in Lancs. The squadron pilots weren't enthusiastic about these old aircraft. The received Mk. Vs were long-used airframes somewhat uprated by the maintenance units. The 316th Squadron used Spitfires Mk.V at two periods of time. The first one for standard Spitfire Mk.Vb from December 1941 to March/April 1943 and then for Spitfire LF Mk.Vb from September 1943 to March 1944 when the Mustang III became the unit equipment. So the picture above and shots below show Spitfire LF Mk.Vb used later than the standard Mk.Vb.In addition... W. Matusiak in monography of Spitfire V , Mushroom Publication states that according to the Operations Record Book, the SZ-X wasn't the Polish aircraft at all – at the same time the 316th Squadron already flown Spitfire Mk.IX, and the LF Mk.Vb belonged to the Wing HQ. („at the time all Spitfires of the Wing and Station HQ at Northolt were SZ-coded, too").

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    And the next shot of the SZ-E

    [​IMG]
     
  13. weetam

    weetam Member

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    excellent, so it would be acceptable to convert the Mk1a 1/24th kit to the Vb as there was actually some machines like this in the squadron...

    awesome :D

    thanks for your help :)
     
  14. Wurger

    Wurger Siggy Master
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    #14 Wurger, Nov 16, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2012
    Yep... also there are aftermarket sets for converting Mk.I/II into the Mk.Vb. And an additional info ... although the clipped wing was a feature of the LF variant , it was the main one. The main difference was the engine. The Mk.Vb was powered by RR Merlin 45 but the LF Mk.VB by RR Merlin 50M. In 1943 many of standard Mk.Vb had removed these wing tips but still powered by the RR Merlin 45 and weren't LF type at all.

    And you'r welcome.

    Still looking for the SZ-B Spit.
     
  15. Wurger

    Wurger Siggy Master
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    I have the info ... here... 316. peru

    27.04.1943 Spitfire VB AR382 SZ-W Sgt Jerzy Gierczycki-KAS Collision in the air during a training flight.
    27.04.1943 Spitfire VB EP108 SZ-B Sgt Antoni Plenkiewicz-KAS Collision in the air during a training flight.

    KAS-died in service
     
  16. Wurger

    Wurger Siggy Master
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    And the next image of SZ-E I found... please notice that the Spitfire seems to have wooden prop blades...

    [​IMG]
     
  17. weetam

    weetam Member

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    #17 weetam, Nov 16, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2012
    ah... so SZ-B WASNT Tadeks plane then... the plot thickens!!!

    i had kinda assumed it was, although judging by that record, the ID letters SZ-B were used on more than one aircraft as it has it attributed to S / Ldr Bogdan Arct and Sgt Antoni Plenkiewicz.

    possibly it was reassigned to tadek after these dates?
     
  18. Wurger

    Wurger Siggy Master
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    You might be right but to a certain extent... of course. Many of planes in Polish squadrons were using by the same pilots all time. So it can be said these were their personal aircraft. But is isn't a rule. One plane could be used by a couple of pilots as well for some reason. E.g... illness. wounding, training etc... As a result the Spitfire VB EP108 SZ-B ( even though being flown by T.Szymański usually ( if it is true the plane was his one ) ) was lost during the accident, flown by Sgt Antoni Plenkiewicz.
     
  19. Wayne Little

    Wayne Little Well-Known Member

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    Excellent details Wojtek! :thumbright:
     
  20. weetam

    weetam Member

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    superb! thank you! i will endevour to see if i can find if Tadeks ID letters were different (having no luck so far)

    your knowledge on Spitfires and the Polish Squadrons has been invaluable Wurger, and i cant thank you enough. If it turns out half as good as Waynes models, then i will be extremely pleased!
     
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