Howard Squire's Spitfire Mk Ia
For the longest time I was keen on buying some of the British specialty magazines devoted to aviation and would follow their stories on the restoration of rare World War II aircraft. Of particular interest was the recovery and restoration of Howard Squire's Spitfire Mk 1a KL A X4650. Squire's plane was lost in a training accident with Al Deere. Both men baled out of their aircraft with Deere's aircraft being sliced into by Squire's and destroyed. While the subject of this article had been trimmed up and with out a pilot had managed to glide into a field. Skidding across the field and wresting near the River Leven. A salvage crew came and took all the sensitive material and chucked the aircraft into the river. Where the banks of the river collapsed and covered the airframe. Which was incapsulated in clay and surrounded in fresh water. 40 years later in 1976 with a heat wave and water levels going down this national treasure was discovered and with the help of deep pockets was brought back to life.
Along came Airfix's Spitfire in 1/72nd with several options for early Spitfires and having the mag as reference for the kit I took the plunge. Unfortunately, the trident on the tail came up short and should be bigger. The code lettering was painted on and some of the camouflaged was adlibbed. Paints used where Model Master enamels and I lightened up the browns and greens with a drop or two of white to better get a scale effect. Some folks don't like the panel lines, thinking there rather deep. However, given the price which is suitable or affordable to many age groups it is reasonable. I found the kit to be guilt free in that if ruin something you can salvage and buy another kit with out breaking the bank. I did cut down the radio mast it was too big and several fuselage mounting tabs were removed to get a better fit. The canopy snapped into place. Over all if your wanting to wet your whistle or put your toe into the water with a Spitfire kit this is a good starter kit.
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