100 Year RAF Anniversary GB Tamiya 1/48th Bristol Beaufighter Mk.VIf No.68 Sdn
This article is part of a series:
- 100 Year RAF Anniversary GB Tamiya 1/48th Avro Lancaster Mk.BIII No. 617 Squadron Operation Chastise
- 100 Year RAF Anniversary GB Tamiya 1/48th Bristol Beaufighter Mk.VIf No.68 Sdn
- 100 Year RAF Anniversary GB – 1/72nd Revell Hawker Siddeley S Mk.2B Buccaneer
- 100 YEAR RAF ANNIVERSARY GB, Revell 1/48th Eurofighter Typhoon, No.29 Sqn, GiNA BoB Commemorative Scheme
One of the benefits in building these models is discovering and learning more of not only of the subject but of the men and squadrons that flew these often dangerous missions. Doing research at times when searching for particular markings or schemes will at times bring into light unknown to me personally of such units that operated during WWII. Well known units such as No.617 and the various Polish units that flew Spits and Hurricanes are well documented. But there are so many stories to learn more of such as this particular squadron that started life in January 1941 as a night fighter unit to be equipped initially with the Bristol Blenheim. Becoming operational in April the same year and moved to High Ercall air base before moving to Coltishall in March of 1942. It was in May of 1941 when the squadron converted to the Bristol Beaufighter Mk.I. In July 1941, with a shortage of pilots RAF wide, an influx of Czechoslovak airmen in exile were slowly integrated into the service. Quite a few ended up in No. 68 squadron where a strong element created a flight of 8 aircrews flying since that time. One Flight consisted of all Czechoslovak personnel and flew with distinction. One notable pilot was Miloslav Mansfield, who became an ace and eventually became squadron leader of "A" Flight, flying Beaufighters shot down many Luftwaffe bomber and when converting to the Mosquito in 1944 took out 2 V1 Flying Buzz Bombs. In January 1943 the Sqdn converted to the Mk.VI variant, upgraded Thimble nose mounted radar set. On the night of 7 October 1943, Czech Pilot officer Jan Serhant with Flight Sergeant Zbyšek Nečas flying WM L were directed to intercept a target a Do 217, which after a long chase was able to over take it and shoot it down. In 1944 Air Chief Marshall Charles Steele recognized the achievements and Czech heritage of the squadron by presenting the unit with a crest which displayed an owls head and the Czech motto, "Vždy připraven" Always prepared or Always Ready. The squadron was deactivated in April 1945, most of the personnel going to 125 squadron. The last image is of Flt Sgt Zbyšek Nečas (John Pemberton) which has a very interesting side story.
The Tamiya kit again was a very fun and quite enjoyable build. Using Polly Scale and Tamiya Acrylics for the Dark Green over Medium Sea Grey. I used Vallejo Copper for the engine cowl rings, but they look like a new US copper penny. Too bright and shiny really. Will try something different on the next Beaufighter that comes time to build. The decals were from AML #C48-018. These worked very well no issues on placement and performed using the Microscale system I used when applying them. It was the first time I have used these from AML, I will recommend them. I wish again to thank Paul Barber for an excellent GB experience.
40 additional images. Click to enlarge.