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Tom Rodgers
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Airfix 1/48 Spitfire Mk Vb

April 3, 2021 · in Aviation · · 13 · 2.6K

With this build, I continue my “love affair” with the Polish expatriate pilots of RAF 303 Sqdn (Poland) and their service to the U.K. during WWII. Following the Battle of Britain, and over time, the unit transitioned to various models of the Spitfire. This is the Mk Vb flown by Sqdn. Ldr. Jan “Johnny” Zumbach while he was the 303 Sqnd commander at Northolt in September of 1942. As a note, the Techmod decal sheet that I used had five different markings for the various Spits he flew during 1942. Thus, you have some options if you are looking to build a specific aircraft of his during that period. You can read more of the exploits and sacrifices of Zumbach and the other Polish pilots in the VERY good book, "A Question of Honor" by Lynne Olson and Stanley Cloud.

The kit is very nice. The detail and fit are superb (the Eduard Spit is the only thing that beats the detail and their Vb hasn't “officially” come out yet). The kit went together with no problems, except for the main landing gear struts. They have a “butt joint” and I could never get them right…maybe my ineptitude. I should have just “drilled and pinned” them from the start to solve the problem…and after four attempts resulting in misalignment or weak joints, that is just what I did. Problem solved. The rest of the fit was beautiful with very little, if any, filler needed. I used just a bit of Perfect Putty to clean a few seams but that was not really needed. I used the Eduard Cockpit PE set for the seat belts and to add other detail inside the hull. I scratch built the rearview mirror and extended mast. This was a trademark of Zumbach's Spits and is easily seen in all of the photos of him and his aircraft. To leave that out would have been a glaring omission and my good friend, Tom Cleaver, would not let me live that mistake down.

The model was primed with Stynelrez and painted with Vallejo Air acrylics: Ocean Grey (71.273), BS Dark Green (71.324), and BS Medium Sea Grey ( 71.307). Like I said before, I used Techmod Decals from Poland and as such, they do a very good job of providing markings for many Polish subjects. The decals worked well BUT the stencils are VERY thin. If you aren't careful, they will curl under on themselves. Other than that, they are very nice. The weathering was done with Tamiya Panel line accent, AK weathering pencils, and various oils.

I hope you like it…Thanks.

Reader reactions:
16  Awesome

14 additional images. Click to enlarge.

13 responses

  1. Well done, Tom! Beautifully built & painted.

  2. A very realistic buid, Tom.
    That cockpit is nicely detailed.

  3. Really nice work, the finer details looks great!

  4. Really excellent work, @trod348. As you have demonstrated, the Airfix Spitfires are "reliable" when it comes to providing a good canvas to paint the project.

    Eduard has released a "Spitfire Vb" - they just call it the "Spitfire IIb" - use the Vb parts included in the kit, a relevant decal sheet for the Vb, and voila! 🙂

    1 attached image. Click to enlarge.

    • Yup, Tom. I like the was Eduard does that. If you are smart enough to check the dories, you can find all kinds of options. That is what I’m doing with their original P-51D Overtrees. It has all the parts (except the 165 gallon tanks) I need to make an “Iwo” VLR Mustang. Now they’ve released the VLR limited edition kit, so I bought it anyway. You can’t have too many kits.

  5. Well done, Tom!
    Love the cockpit!

  6. Nice work, Tom.

  7. Sharp looking Spitfire!

  8. Very realistic Spitfire.

  9. That's one good looking Spitfire Tom, job well done.

  10. I thought I had seen too many Spitfires, but this one is an exception, great work on an Airfix kit, definitely liked.

  11. Great looking Spit. Nicely painted and weathered. Well done.

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