Hurricane Mk I, Sqdn Ldr Witold Urbanowicz
Christmas of 2003, my oldest son gave me the book, “A Question of Honor, The Kosciuszko Squadron” by Lynne Olson and Stanley Cloud. It was an eye opener, to say the least. I have been an avid follower of WWII aviation history since I was a kid in the 1950’s. That is a major reason I grew up to be a USAF fighter pilot. Prior to reading this book, I had never heard of the pilots of RAF 303 Sqdn (Poland) and their service during the Battle of Britain. According to the RAF Museum, this squadron had the highest kill total of ALL RAF squadrons during the BoB. The Authors do a superb job of telling the story (mostly forgotten today) of the Polish fighter pilots who fought for Poland, then France, and finally for Britain.
Their story inspired me and I wanted to build one of their aircraft, but until recently, there were no really good options available. Last year, Airfix came out with a boxing of their new tool 1/48 Mk I kit that included the markings for RF*J, flown by Flt Lt J. A. Kent. I ordered it from Airfix but due to Covid, the delivery kept slipping and slipping. I was about to give up on the project when a fellow modeler on one of my FB modeling pages mentioned that every Airfix Mk I boxing had the same sprues, just different decals. This led me on a search for decals and Techmod from Poland provided the perfect solution. These can be found on ebay, Amazon, and various hobby shop websites. The sheet I got (48025) has the markings for three aircraft RF*J (Kent), RF*F (Urbanowicz), and V*UZ. The first two are 303 Sqdn and the last is 306 Sqdn.
For this build, I chose the markings of Sqdn Ldr Witold Urbanowicz, RF*F, V6684, Nortolt, UK, September 1940. He was the second highest scoring Polish ace of the war (15 kills and one probable during the BoB alone) and was the second Polish commander of 303 Sqdn. This was a bit unusual due to the early RAF practice of normally having British commanders for expat squadrons.
The kit went together with NO problems whatsoever. The only issue I found was a “short shot” area above the horizontal stabilizers on both fuselage halves. This, however, was no problem to fill and correct. Almost no filler was used anywhere. I did use some CA along the main fuselage seams, just to make sure no cracks appeared after I painted the model. I used Eduard PE and pre-cut masks to detail the cockpit and as well as various external areas. Another addition was Brassin resin exhaust stacks which are very nice and didn’t need any micro-drilling of exhaust ports. Vallejo Air paints were used throughout followed by a clear coat of Alclad Aqua Gloss. Next were the Techmod decals which went down nicely with no problem using MicroSet/MicroSol. Following another clear coat, I weathered using Tamiya Dark Brown Panel Line Accent and a black oil pin wash in various areas for shading. Finally, I finished up with a final coat of Vallejo Acrylic Matte varnish and a radio antenna wire made with EZ-Line.
I hope you like my tribute to the forgotten pilots of RAF 303 Sqdn (Poland) and the other expat pilots that were members of “the Few”.
14 additional images. Click to enlarge.