Spitfire Mk XIV Rhapsody in Blue Rolls Royce’s Spitfire in 1/48

May 3, 2014 · in Aviation · · 19 · 3K

I've long admired the glorious turquoise and white scheme that adorned Rolls Royce's Mk XIV in the mid to late 1060's just before G-ALGT played a supporting role in the epic film the ‘Battle of Britain'. A challenging build with a number of self-imposed setbacks, not the least of was an episode with an acrylic top coat after the decals were applied that resulted in a stripping and partial repaint, it is with no small measure of relief that GT joins the rest of movie stars in display cabinet!

I'm not sure if this model is best described as a ‘kitbash' or a conversion; it consists of Mk IX wings, horizontal tail surfaces and a modified fuselage. The Hasegawa fuselage was modified by removing the Merlin and grafting on an Mk 22/24 Griffin nose and an Mk XIV vertical tail and rudder. I chose to base the model on Hasegawa's Mk IX/VIII for a couple of reasons. The companion BoB movie star Mk IX is a Hasegawa and I wanted there to be a definite relationship between differing marks. Using the same kit as the base insured the small details and nuances would match. Any differences between the models would not be due to differences in the kits, and would represent the development of the real aircraft.

Other changes to make a Mk XIV from a Mk IX include, larger radiators, larger wheel with different tyre. A bit of trivia: these tyres were sourced from Buccaneer /Sea Vixen nose wheels when Spitfire specific replacements became scarce. (Note my use of tyre vs tire as a nod to subject ancestry in spite of my yanky origin)

G-ALGT also had the tailwheel locked down, the doors notched to fit around the extended strut, closed and deactivated. These are all documented in the work in progress posting here: http://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/234922144-spitfire-mk-xiv-g-algt-148-conversion-return-from-the-shelf-of-doom/

Just a hint of weathering as befitting an active aircraft.

As some of you may remember, this model is part of a series of aircraft used to film the movie 'Battle of Britain' the other movie stars have already been completed. Here is G-ALGT alongside her cousin, Spitfire Mk IX also playing a part in the movie, MH415 already in costume. This allows a comparison between the two marks.

A short history of G-ALGT
Built in 1944 as a Spitfire F.XIV, construction number 6S/432263 was given the RAF serial RM689 and entered service with 39 MU on 3rd July 1944. Participating in Air Fighting Development Unit trials in the fall of 1944, RM689 apparently suffered some damage as she was repaired on site in September 1944. Turned over to the 83 Group Service Unit in February of 1945, RM689 was then assigned service with 350 Sqn and 443 Sqn, being transferred to the Ministry of Supply on 9th February 1949. Rolls-Royce then purchased the Spitfire and received the registration G-ALGT. Based at Hucknall, GT was used for many years for Griffin engine development work and a chase/communications aircraft.

In 1967 GT joined the cast filming the move the ‘Battle of Britain', trading her colorful civilian dress for a drab wartime costume. Replacing the original short wingtip fairings with standard length tips helped her play the supporting role of an earlier mark in the summer of 1940. After filming was complete, she retained the standard tips and flew for many years marked as RM619.

Tragedy occurred June 27, 1992, at the Woodford airshow when pilot David Moore was killed when unable to recover from a loop began at too low an altitude. The wreckage was stored for a number of years and a restoration project was begun in 2002. Quite some progress had been made but the project was halted in 2010.

Eric aka The Yankymodeler

Reader reactions:
7  Awesome

8 additional images. Click to enlarge.

19 responses

  1. terrific scheme...really picks up the gorgeous lines...well done...great choice

  2. Wonderful build...love it.

  3. Haven't heard from you in a while. Good to have you back.
    I have a soft spot for warbirds in civilian livery & yours is one of the better looking one's I've seen.
    Great build.

  4. Love it. Beautiful job. I wanna do it too...

  5. Nice colors ! change of war paint...great !

  6. Very nice, Eric! I appreciated the history behind the plane and its role in the movie. I like the idea of your collection of "movie stars" from BoB. Very attractive finish.

  7. Probably one of the nicest looking Spiyfires I've seen .

  8. Great project, Eric. Inspiring!
    Can't help thinking about The Great Escape ...
    No model of the Bü 181 though, as much as I know.

  9. Thanks very much for taking the time to post all the nice comments! Once I finish my epic Intruder/Prowler/Growler build, I'll continue with a couple of movie stars/civilian warbird projects.

    A Bu 181 wouldn't be too hard to scratch build...

  10. Always like a good Spit! How about a film star from the 1969 movie "Mosquito Squadron"?

  11. Its Really nice to see a Spit out of the usual work wear and put on its sunday best, your model Erik is beautifully presented just Stunning mate

    and thanks for the History of this plane, i didn't know it was this plane that crashed at the Woodford air Show i live not to far from there and 92 was one of the years i didn't get there, it was a shame the show was closed down a few years later, but i have heard that it may come back on a much smaller scale, i Hope So it was a great show for us in the North of England and with plenty of history associated with the place after all the Lancaster Bomber was Built there.

    Cheers Craig


  12. A very fine and clean build Eric.

  13. Nice clean build, interesting paint scheme.

  14. Very cool Spitfire.

  15. Thanks very much guys, glad you like. It is a bit different from most Spits!

  16. Eric,
    I absolutely love what you have done with this Spit. Great story.

  17. Great build, Eric! I love the square-wingtip Spits! I think this makes me a bit odd, but there you go! Such a sad ending for a beautiful airplane and a great tragedy. This is probably the most beautiful paintjob of a "civlianised" warbird I've seen.

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