Eduard 1/48 Israeli Air Force Spitfire IX
The aircraft is ex-Czechoslovakian AF and has RAF camouflage scheme. The Phoenix carrying the Spitfire was painted while in Czechoslovakia to provide good fortune for the young pilots ferrying the plane to Israel. The aircraft was delivered to the IAF in December of 1948. The plane was Category E November 3, 1949.
Alex Yofe's Spitfire Mk. IX in the Israeli Air Force Service 1948-1956 is an excellent reference for the service of these iconic aircraft by the IAF. There are photos of the aircraft before the flight from Czechoslovakia and from the spring and summer of 1949 when the plane was being used to transition pilots to the type.
Decals are from Fundekals Spitfire of the Israeli Air Force and were superb with excellent downloadable directions. Paints were Model Master enamels with Tamiya red/white. Weathering was with an acrylic wash, silver pencil, and a variety of artist oils.
Note that the walkways along each wing of many Spitfires are not depicted on this model. Examination of the photos of this aircraft and the others from the delivery flight showed no evidence of these markings. The profiles in the reference material also did not depict the walkways.
18 additional images. Click to enlarge.
Nice-lookin' build, Wayne. Is it just me or does that gear look awfully narrow and too close together? It MUST be me, because I can't see Eduard getting it wrong. And heaven knows I'M no expert...dunno what it is...they just look 'funny'.
Looking at photo 16 the set of the sections is a little out of alignment, as positioned. It's hard to see if the 'stance' is being influenced by the above issue completely. The undercarriage shouldn't stand at right angles to the wingsplanes, rather, at an angle of I think two degrees or so. It may be the slight misalignment as mentioned giving the model that T-bar effect, or the camera angle.
Nice finishes, though.
Rob and Craig--Thanks for the comments and the note about the landing gear. I just added a set of three photos from Wikipedia Commons of Mk IXs (including the T-version)and the landing gear. Using the radiators as reference and the people as scale markers the landing gear are pretty close together. Must have been very interesting to land in a crosswind but then during WW2 they often flew from large grass fields and could take off and land into the wind. I also checked against the drawings in the direction and they do look on. Compared to the Airfix kits I have built the oleos appear to be more collapsed in the Eduard set. Of course the different perspectives from both my photos and the pictures make it hard to judge. Unfortunately the nearest Mk IX is at Paine Field, Everett and I had better get a picture next time. Wonder if they will let me turn it over and get a top view. Thanks for the comments once again.
A very nice Spitfire. You did an amazing job on this one Wayne!
Fine looking Spitfire and done in markings not often seen. A very nice build for sure.
Nice looking Spit, and nice to see one in unusual markings. I love the creativity of the Israeli armed forces to use what they could get their hands on! They definitely seem to get the maximum value of every piece of hardware that put into action.
Thanks for the note. The IAF certainly did at that time. Note that the airplane was written off late in 1949, so they had it maybe a year. Later pictures in the reference book showed the aircraft was pretty scared and not a lot of paint left by the end of the summer.
Lovely work, I like it very much, well done Wayne.
Thanks for the note. So is that a Vampire you are standing beside? Must be a joy to fly.
Looks great Wayne, Spitfires sure are eye candy! Interesting subject/markings, an amazing story the early days of the IAF! I wonder if the re built black painted Spitfire MkIX (or XVI?), is still flying in Israel?
The plane you are talking about is Spitfire Mk. IX 2057 and has been flying since 1950. Last year it came out of a 4 year restoration and is flying once again (http://www.iaf.org.il/4421-45092-en/IAF.aspx). It is known as The Black Spitfire".