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Spitfire Mk. Vc trop, JK879,F/O A.F. Osborne, No. 249 Squadron, Qrendi,Malta, May-June 1943

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1. History

  F/O osborne scored his only kill on April 28, 1943 when,during an early morning sweep, him and Squadron Leader J.J. Lynch spotted two low-flying Ju 52//3m Junkers tran sport aircraft off the coast of Sicily. Lynch attacked and shot one of them, thus securing his place in the historical archives as the author of the 1,000th kill in the Malta defense operations. Lynch rejoined Osborn after his victory and together they shot down a second Ju 52/3m wich crashed into the sea. Osborne was later successful in fighting V-1 flying bombs. He shot doen six of them Flying a Mustang Mk.III with No. 129 Squadron during summer of 1944. The Spitfires delivered to Malta sported several different types of camouflage. One of them was this scheme, with the upper and side surfaces sprayed in Dark Mediterranean Blue, while the lower surfaces were Azure Blue. The red cone indicated aircraft in Meditarranean theatre.

2. The Kit

This is a Limited edition ; Spitfire Story: Southern Star.

 Eduard’s Dual Combo “Southern Star” also features ten decal options along with photo etch, resin wingtips and painting masks.The kit includes version Spit.re Mk.Vb and Vc.

I have used the following accessories:

  • Eduard n. 481065 Spitfire Mk. V Landing flaps 1/48

  • Eduard No. 648664 Spitfire Mk. V wheels 1/48

Spitfire Mk. Vc trop, JK879,F/O A.F. Osborne, No. 249 Squadron, Qrendi,Malta, May-June 1943
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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 kit with alcohol

B. All the kit  with Yellow green Tamiya XF-4

C. Lower surface with mix 50% Light blue H45 Mr. Hobby -  50% Light blue H67 Mr. Hobby

D. Upper surface final with Mr. hobby Blue gray  H42 .

E. 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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