Spitfire research - RC Groups
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Nov 27, 2001, 04:41 PM
Faded away

Spitfire research

I've have been trying to get some info on the Spitfire that is supposedly represented by the HL kit and have only found out this...

ID P8325 was a Spitfire Mk II. At least this means the tail shape, the exhaust configuration are correct and the fuselage roundels are probably correct. However, as best anyone can tell and that includes members of the Spitfire Association in England, there never was a 'VB' Spitfire Squadron for any version of the Spit. The Polish squadrons where 'RF', 'ZF', 'PK', 'UZ' and a few others.

I know the plane is stand-off scale (stand far off) but would it have been that difficult to at least get a valid set of markings for the plane? How did they get the ID (the smaller letter/numbers) correct but mess up of the Squadron marking (they much larger letters)?

While I'm considering what will be a real scale project, I'm going to play around with HL Spit. I may model it after a Mk Vb. I'm trying to enlarge very detailed 1/48th scale decals scanned at a high resolution. These will include all the markings and a complete set of Spitfire stencils. If it works, I will print the larger decals on some decal stock I have. If this all works, I put any image I scanned out on the web where they can be reached.

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Nov 27, 2001, 08:22 PM
Faded away
The decals are going to work out. I scanned in a sheet and converted it to an enhanced meta file. I can now scale the image up or down without losds of resolution.

I'm going to do a Vb from the Eagle Squadron (American markings). Here are some of the decals (saved in .gif format so they are not to huge to look at via the web. When I get done, I'll put out the .emf versions). Here are a few scaled to the HL Spitfire (or so I believe). If necessary, I can rescale them as needed...

Top Hat
Side Markings
Stencils (partial)

Nov 28, 2001, 03:13 PM
Head NEAT geek
Tom Hunt's Avatar

After building, flying, modifying and flying again my 10lb Pica 65" spit
(http://www.modelairtech.com/applications.html), I certainly learned a lot
about how bad many of these kits really are. I have spent a small fortune
on drawings and books on the Spit to try and get at least two to agree on
either shape or color/markings...... let the scale modeler beware! build it
like the documentation even if it's wrong! One of the best Spit documentary
books I found is POLISH! too bad I can't read it! but the pictures are
great and the drawings as accurate as you will find.

I have the Royal (Murataka?) kit too... new in box, I am not going to build
it.... too much work to make it "right.

>From all the documentaion I have acquired I have drawn my own 1/7th and
1/8th scale versions. I hope to build it this winter, along with a Brian
Taylor Hurricane to match (1/7th scale). I also bought the BT BF-109 plan
and reduced that to 1/7th scale. I also have an old Powermax Mossiquito
semi-kit in 1/7 scale, but I may attempt the 1/8 scale BT semi kit I got
from Bob Holman first.

This should create quite some RAF squadron!

My Pica spit is now powered by an Aveox 1415-3y (ws 1412-4y) on 24 cells and
swings a scale 18" 3 bladed prop at about 3.4/1 on my H-1000 Belt drive. on
2400MAH cells I easily get over 7 minute flights, though admitadly, it's not
at full power all the time.... but it flies very convinceably. I use Rhom
Air retracts with Robo-struts. I modified the wing structure to accept the
out and aft retract cycle, not many kits accomdate this.

Keep up the good work

Tom Hunt
Last edited by Tom Hunt; Nov 28, 2001 at 03:31 PM.
Nov 28, 2001, 03:22 PM
Faded away
For the colors, there are only a few color combinations used on the Spits and 2 camoflage patterns. Getting the correct colors to use is pretty simple and the exact paints are available from Model Masters or Poly-S.

As to knowing what ID's were on which aircraft, I like to find a photo. I'll use a decal set as reference only so long as I can find a photo of the plane to confirm it. This is the hard thing to do and takes the most searching. The Aeromaster website has an extensive listing of decal set instructions that are all based on extensive research and, I feel, can be relied upon (but I still like to have a photo).

You have to avoid recent photos of still flying aircraft. All too often someone gets creative and puts the markings of one version on another.

We'll see where the future takes me but I would like to build the Pica P-40 eventually.

Nov 28, 2001, 03:28 PM
Faded away
Tom, just looked at your page (you missed the 'r' in the URL).

That is one pretty bird! I have got to get to that point!

Nov 28, 2001, 03:31 PM
Lithium Member
Herb's Avatar

Nov 28, 2001, 03:34 PM
Head NEAT geek
Tom Hunt's Avatar
Thanks Dave... fixed the "r"

I forgot to mention, I too have the HL/Scorpio Spit. Have not put it together yet.

I also have the now discontinued FVK speed 400 spitfire (though I have a 480 in mine). That one goes like stink! not easy too hand-launch with that "scale" wing fillet. Canopy is wrong on that one.... hood it too tall. I'll fix that one day with a nice new Vac-formed canopy.

Nov 28, 2001, 04:29 PM
Faded away
Tom, look what I just came across.


Now this is SERIOUS modeling.... A 1/4 scale Mk IX or Mk XII for $4350 complete with engine (not electric unfortunately or I'd jump right on this deal.... yeah, right!).

Nov 29, 2001, 10:12 AM
Faded away

Spitfire colors

The HL Spitfire comes with the Dark Earth/Dark Green camoflage applied using Pattern A (or at least a loose interpretation of it). It also comes with a light blue underside which is completely wrong.

Early Spits had the Earth/Green topside and most had a color call 'Sky' or 'Sky Type-S' applied underneath. This is a strange color looking more pastel green than blue. Some of the early Spits had a black and white underside (one wing black, one white and the fuze split lengthwise).

With the Mk V and later, most Spits were painted Ocean Grey and Dark Green on top with Medium Sea Grey underneath.

'Tropical' or desert version camoflages had Dark Earth and Middle Stone uppers and an Azure Blue underside.

If I have to paint the HL Spit because the pattern is off and the underside color is wrong, I will probably go with the Mk Vb scheme (Grey/Green/Grey). There are more photos and more documentation vailable for this version.

Nov 29, 2001, 10:36 AM
Sloping off....
leccyflyer's Avatar

The Scorpio Spitfire (the one you're calling the HL one I suspect, made by Scorpio over on this side of the water) is definitely pre-painted in Sky underneath- not light blue.

I'll look in a few books later on to see if the model represented is a real Spitfire, hadn't given it a second thought so far.


Nov 29, 2001, 11:22 AM
Faded away
The kit (yep, Scorpio) can represent anything form a Mk I to a Mk Vb. However, the squadron markings, 'VB' are bogus.

In looking at several photos posted of the kit (mine arrives this PM), the bottom color appears incorrect. I will match it up with a jar of Model Masters Sky Type-S later.

If you look at the color drawings of the plane in http://www.eaglestrikeproductions.co...48/sp4805a.jpg and the wing and color chip in http://www.eaglestrikeproductions.co...48/sp4805f.jpg you will see the difference. The Federal Standard number for this color is FS34504 and the second digit, '4', puts the color in the 'green' section. The color, at least in the photos and lighting plays a big part, is very blue/green.

Nov 29, 2001, 12:19 PM
Official Boat Bum
Eddie P's Avatar
Doc, I think you will like your Astra/Scorpio/HL import Spitty. I was in your shoes last year when it came out and I was waiting impatiently as one of the first guys on the list to recieve the kit. When it arrived I was very impressed by the majority of the kit but I too was wondering about some of the markings.

Since it was my first ARF kit ever (I like building I guess even though I don't admit that freely ) I said "When in Rome" and just built it and went flying without getting some of the scale documentation correct. I even swapped some of it around to keep me from thinking about it and added hispano cannons to make it into a rare MKIb, if that even exists, as documented by one of my questionable WWII books.

Be careful with melting foam when painting and have fun!

Nov 29, 2001, 01:54 PM
Registered User
Rotten Robbie's Avatar

Melting Foam?

I don't think Dave will have a problem with MELTING FOAM if he plans to use the Testors Acrylics.

But he will have to buy a lot of those little 1/2oz bottles.

Nov 29, 2001, 02:27 PM
Sloping off....
leccyflyer's Avatar

Not sure this is the place to get into a very protracted "What exactly WAS Sky" discussion but I have my Scorpio Spitfire in my hand now and it is close to the pastel green colour generally regarded as close to Sky and nowhere near any colour of blue. What we used to call Duck Egg Green when I was a lad. The decal for the Sky band around the rear of the fuselage is a different colour, though that is not at all unusual even with plastic kit decals.

One thing to bear in mind though is that whilst these Spitfires were being painted Sky the guys painting them had other things on their minds than stirring the paint properly - like bombs droppping through the roof. Some authorities would say that accounts for a lot of variability in the colour that was actually applied. For sure there are no correctly rendered colour photographs of those Spitties and a few ops and the colour would have changed in any case.

The Scorpio model looks the part, the colours are close enough to being correct- based on restored Spitfires - to give a pleasing rendition. It'll never be a class one scale model though.

I've had a quick look in a few books and P8325 was manufactured at Castle Bromwich as a Spitfire II (or possibly a IIb) being released to 12MU (Maintenance Unit) on 14-4-41. It saw service with 303 (Polish) Squadron from 12-5-41 to 15-9-41 before being transferred to 65 Squadron until 1-4-42 when she moved to 416 (Canadian) Squadron. 303 Squadron famously had the code letters RF (and a few others but not VB- or at least not officially), whilst 65 Squadron had the code letters YT and 416 Squadron had the code letters DN.

From then on it looks like she was relegated from frontline duty, with a spell in 61OTU (Operational Training Unit) followed by a bunch of very short stays in various units, most of which I can't work out at the moment from their wierd and wonderful abbreviations. In early 1943 she was converted to an Air Sea Rescue Mk IIc and remustered to 275 ASR Squadron on 5-5-43 based at RAF Valley. 275 Squadron aircraft should have carried the code PV. Eventually the poor little worn out thing was struck off charge (Cat-E) on 16-8-44. Still three and a half years isn't a bad life span in wartime, and considerably more than the life expectancy of my Spitfire I suspect

So the mystery of the VB-K code letters remains.

The code VB was allocated to 334 (Norwegian) Squadron flying the Mosquito, which formed in 1945, after P8325 was struck off charge. The only other allocation of the VB code I can see was to 14OTU (Operational Training Unit). Unless they got the codes completely wrong or just made them up perhaps they took them from a photograph. One possibility in such a case is that one of the squadron commanders or some other brass hat used her for a personal aircraft with his own initials on - not unknown.

I'll probably make my own decals for a particular aircraft - though P8325's story ending up as an ASR aircraft is very interesting as well.

good luck

Nov 29, 2001, 03:30 PM
Faded away
Excellent research!

I'm going to make my own decals by enlarging decals from Aeromaster. I've already made up a set for 2 different Mk Vb's from the Eagle Squadron (Spit's with American markings). However, after looking at the excellent photos recently posted I might stick with a Mk IIb and just touch up the camo pattern to be more acurate than that which they have on the kit.

The factory workers might have not stirred the paint, but the camoflage was applied by throwing large mats over the fuze and wing and then spray painting the second color. The shape of the pattern was never left up to the eyeball.

Thanks again,