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Ben Walmsley
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Spitfire Mk V – Operation Starkey

April 28, 2021 · in Aviation · · 16 · 2.1K

This project was a long time coming as work and family commitments must trump modelling time. Nevertheless, here is my Mk V spit from , finished at last!

Operation Starkey was a ruse, and part of a larger deception plan carried out by the allies in September 1943. The idea was to alleviate pressure on forces in Sicily by fooling the Germans into believing an invasion in the Boulogna region was imminent. The operation is notable from a modellers perspective as it saw the introduction of “invasion” stripes on allied aircraft.

This kit needs no introduction, and was everything we've come to expect from Tamiya; with one small exception. For some reason the wing tips for the clipped wing version looked as though they were an afterthought. They were not nearly as crisply formed as the rest of the kit and the fit was relatively poor. Not a big deal, but it seemed unusual for a Tamiya kit.
I added a PE set from Eduard, resin exhausts and wheels and brass cannon barrels (after butchering one of the kit barrels while trying to drill it out). I also added an oxygen bottle from a Hasegawa kit in my stash. After the carpet monster ate the rear view mirror, I also pinched a replacement from said kit. My guitar donated a string for the oxygen hose. I am particularly pleased with how the cockpit turned out.
Paints are a combination of Tamiya and Mr Hobby but I'm not sure that the colours are correct. The dark green in particular looks too light to my eye. The markings are a Montex mask set. This is the first kit I've ever done without any decals at all.
Weathering is still a black art to me and I have to admit I just threw everything at it, oils, pastels, even AKs weathering pencils. I was trying to make it look like the aircraft was well used but the invasion stripes were freshly painted. The result is fairly crude but I'm happy enough with it. In the end I was just glad to finally finish it! Hopefully the next project will be completed in a more reasonable timeframe.

Thanks for checking it out.

Reader reactions:
10  Awesome

11 additional images. Click to enlarge.

16 responses

  1. Nice job, Ben. You can never go wrong with a Spitfire. The weathering looks about right to me, not overdone.

  2. Great build, Ben @popeofchillitown
    To me the weathering looks perfect.
    Detailing of the cockpit is awesome, very detailed and nicely painted.

  3. Sharp looking Spitfire Ben.

  4. Weathering looks good to me - "less is more" is always the way to go - airplanes aren't tanks. Nice out-of-the-ordinary marking.

  5. Beauty Ben. I have a goal of doing every type of aircraft that took part in this operation using these markings

  6. This is a super result and a great modeling subject, my friend @popeofchillitown!
    Weathering looks great!
    Kudos to your great job painting everything, no decals using.

  7. Looks fantastic! Weathering looks great - seems you are now a Merlin of the "black arts."

  8. Super Spitfire, love the cockpit detail.

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