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Spitfire MK I No. 74 Squadron, RAF Hornchurch, Essex, June/July 1940

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1. History

 No. 74 Squadron reinforced their Spitfires in February 1939. A South African Adolf “Sailor” Malan, whose original job was truly a sailor, entered the war

on September 6th, 1940, through infamous Battle of Barking Creek incident, where his A Flight accidentally shot down two Hurricanes of No. 56 Squadron.

During operation Dynamo accumulated 5 confirmed kills and in the night from 19th to 20th of June managed to destroy two He 111. Malan was opposed

of line-astern formation proposing more flexible finger-four formation. Legend says that he damaged the plane of Werner Molders and even injured him

on July 28th. On August 8th, he became S/Ldr of No. 75 Squadron, which achieved 38 kills during four sorties led by Malan on August 11th, 1940.

 That event is known as “Malan´s 11th of August”. Malan had 16 confirmed kills in the BoB. Until the end of his career in 1941 he accumulated 27 confirmed kills and

7 shared kills. He was an amazing tactician, and famous with his Ten rules of air combat. After his retirement in 1946 he became a farmer in South Africa.

He was politically active as an opponent of apartheid. He died on September 17th, 1963 at the age of 53.

2. The Kit

This is a Limited edition ; Spitfire Story: The Few.

The kit includes Spit.re Mk.IA in multiple variations and development stages,from the introduction to the manufacturing line in 1938 until the Battle of Britain 1940.

I have used the following accessories:

  • Eduard 648578 Spitfire Mk. I cockpit 1/48

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  • Eduard 648580 Spitfire Mk. I exhaust stacks 1/48

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  • Eduard  481026 Spitfire Mk. I landing flaps 1/48

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  •  Eduard 648579 Spitfire Mk. I wheels 1/48

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3. Cockpit and Seat

The cockpit benefits most from the photo-etch with a nice multi-layered instrument panel, coloured harness straps and scale-thickness pilot's armour.I availed myself of some photos and drawings of the interior of the Spitfire Mk.I, so that I could update the kit in this area. The instrument panel is very good ,but I opted to use the photo-etched example from the Eduard set. I Also added cables made from wire of different thickness, and sidewall detail and control levers from plasticard. All of the interior was painted light green; I prefer using acrylics, and therefore used Mr. Hobby H50 . After painting the inside, I glued the reflector gunsight in position ,having first added the‘glass’ element from this acetate sheet. The Kit-supplied pilot’s seat was used, with the addition of etched seat belts from the Eduard set.

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4. Fuselage

The fuselage is accurate, with recessed panel lines and the plastic is easy to work. After assembling and painting the inner parts, you have to insert the exhaust pipes and glue them in place. The fit of the two fuselage halves is good, but you will have to rescribe some panel lines that are removed during sanding etc.

5. Wing and Tailplane

The wing look good, so I just secured them to the fuselage. This operation proved straightforward, as the join was extremely good.

6. Canopy

After assembling the model I installed the canopy. This was masked with paper, then painted. This painting included the frame of the internal armoured windscreen. When the canopy is finished it can be positioned and secured with cement.

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7. Painting

Here I will detail a couple of the techniques I employed. The first task is to smooth the surface of the kit using wet abrasive sponge of different grades until you get to 2000. After having prepared the surface the model is primed.

This is the sequence of the surfaces that I painted.

A. Clean the whole with alcohol

B. Lower surface with Mr, Finishing Surfacer 1200 gray

C. Upper surface with Yellow green Tamiya XF-4

D. Lower surface final with Mr hobby C26 Duck Egg Green

E. Lower surface overall Dark Earth Mr Hobby H 72 and after I masked the areas to create the camouflage with the help of AK Camouflage elastic Putty.

F. After, as you can see in the photos with the help of the airbrush, it will be necessary to shade and illuminate the panels. For the final touch it will be necessary to use oil paints.

 

8. Landing Gears and Wheels

The undercarriage looks good, but still needs some detailing work like adding some wire to simulate the brake cables on each oleo. The wheels are too are good too. I replaced the wheels with the Eduard brassin resin.

 

9. Spinner and Propeller

The shape of the propeller is beautiful. The prop blades had their tips painted yellow, which, when dry, were masked prior to spraying the blades Flat black Mr. Hobby H12. After this can paint the model and stick the propeller into the propeller-hub.

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10. Decals

The decals of the kit are excellent, I have passed a layer of transparent acrylic paint of semi-gloss with Johnson's Pledge Revive it.

11. Weathering

The weathering of the model is very important and this entire task was undertaken carefully. In order to give prominence to the panel lines I added diluted Acrylic. The darker colors were added to the lower areas of the panel lines with the lighter shades along the edges. This  latter operation will give a certain depth to the model and will eliminate the flat appearance of a standard paint scheme. The rivets around the engine hood and the various panels were worked with the help of AK's aluminum pencils.  For the lines between the panels I used colors OIL - MAIMERI PURO mixing with THINNER 5816604 - Petroleum essence (278 - Burnt Sienna - 535 - Ivory Black - 018 - Titanium White ). In conclusion you will paint all the surfaces with Final semi-gloss with Johnson's Pledge Revive it - floor glass, with a thin coat of Flat clear Mr. Hobby H20.

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12. References.

*  Supermarine Spitfire,Special issue wide color – editorial office Model Art Co.Ltd. Vol. No. 387

*  Squadron Signal – No. 39

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