Wednesday 10 April 2024

East Kent Scale modellers club night 09 April - an impromptu 899 NAS line-up


After missing a couple of meetings thanks to other stuff it was nice to get up to RAF Manston and the history museum cafe/canteen for the monthly club meet of East Kent Scale modellers. As usual some fantastic models on display and plenty of model 'chat' and  'advice' and tips being dispensed ..

Dave's Skyhawk and Mitsubishi T-2

Callum's GwH 1:144 TSR 2

Dick's Airfix Sea Vixen in a line-up  of 899 Sqd machines...

Two of Rod's WnW masterpieces, a DH 2 and a naval Camel..

Peter's HPH 32nd scale SG 38 glider (partially built) and Dick's Special Hobby DFS 230 

Robert's Italeri 72nd Ju 188. Re-scribed panel lines and a neat finish..

Dick's Arma Hobby Hurricane. Lovely kit, decals apparently "a pain.."

The end of the 899 NAS line-up featured Bill's Hunter T8M. XL603 was one of two Hunter T8M conversions operated by 899 Squadron as radar trainers, fitted with the Blue Fox radar..

this is Henry's 32nd Hasegawa Raiden ('Jack')

Harrier trainers from the Kinetic kit by Dick and Bill..

Stu's Airfix Meteor in 72nd. Lots of great comments on his super metallic finish - Tamiya

Wednesday 3 April 2024

More on 19 Sqn Spitfires, Duxford, 1939

Formation of No.19 Squadron RAF Supermarine Spitfire Mk.Is in 1938 over Cambridgeshire


As one web site puts it, " the operational history of the Spitfire began with No. 19 Squadron on 4 August 1938 at Duxford... " On this date Jeffrey Quill delivered the first operational Mk I K9789 to Duxford, nearly a year later than originally anticipated. By then the type had been extensively tested. The Spitfire was simple and easy to fly and had no vices. 

Fast forward to 31 October 1938 -  'press day' for 19 Sqn and the squadron's new Spitfires are all in the air, echeleon right behind CO S/Ldr Henry Cozens. Note the '19' on the tails. This was only on the a/c for a short time and was present on 31 October it seems. There then followed a period of intensive flight trials with Cozens - an engineering officer as well as pilot - keen to get 400 hours on the aircraft so that detailed inspections for wear/tear and faults could be carried out. 

Below; K9795, the 9th production Spitfire Mk. I in the markings of No. 19 Squadron photographed in the autumn of 1938. The aircraft is flown by Sqn Ldr Henry Cozens. During that time squadron letters were not yet assigned for the camouflaged aircraft and the unit temporarily used white-painted number 19 on the fin as a distinctive marking. These numbers appear to have only been used for a short period during 1938 and were later removed.

A good view of 'WZ- ' codes on 19 Sqn machines. Note in the image below one machine has only a single roundel painted on the wing uppersufaces and one aircraft has yet to have any roundels painted on - assuming that two roundels would have some stage have been painted on. In the second view below note the darker brown paint around the fuselage roundel where the outer circle has been overpainted. Also the curved demarcation (not along the panel line) between the upper camo colours and the black of the underside on the lower engine cowl.

A view of the airframes already painted in their camo schemes at the factory

Were the gun ports covered on 'pre-war' Spitfires - probably not. The covering of gun ports only occurred when it was found that cold air and altitude was causing them to freeze, gunnery pre war was done at lower levels, and were often in summer...And not much gunnery. So in all probability no red patches and open ports. This images tends to bear that out..

Note the aileron is still aluminium, and possibly the lighter smudge implies a retained aluminium painted wheel well. No gun patches.