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Eagle of The Malta

The story of George is quite well described on the i-modeler, so I will limit myself only to some of its elements. You probably remember how long I thought about choosing the plane. Reading the stories of various pilots, I became interested and even fascinated by some threads of Georg Beurling's biography, and the fact that convinced me to create a model of his plane was the story when he forgot his birth certificate while trying to join the RAF and had to go through the Atlantic Ocean full of dangers again, where his ship was almost cornered by a U-boat - here I felt that we had something in common, because I also had stories of forgetting important documents. The second piece of the puzzle was the fact that I realized that today probably Beurling would not have undergone psyhotesting and would not have been taken into aviation. His personality gives the impression of being visibly disturbed, listening to him say, for example, that he genuinely enjoyed having killed his opponent as brutally as possible. He describes in detail how he shot the head off an Italian pilot, and you get the impression that he was proud of it. George Beurling did not even finish high school, which makes it even more surprising that he was accepted into the RAF. It was probably also the reason that after the war he did not know what to do with himself and tried to join the IAF. Another mystery is his death, because there are many indications that the Arabs, and more specifically their intelligence, contributed to her death, leading to the catastrophe at the airport in Italy. The culmination of the story was the fact that the Canadian government did not bring the body of its citizen. Neither did the family. Only the representatives of the Israeli Air Force took care of his rest. His body was buried at the Haifa military cemetery. A Protestant chaplain was specially brought in for the festivities. As you can see, the State of Israel was more concerned with the soldier they recruited than their own country and family.
George Beurling had a total of 31 air victories. In fact, his service ended in October 1944 when he was honorably discharged with the rank of major. It was probably a consequence of his antics of rushing a Tiger Month plane over his home airport, practically at zero altitude. The fact that George Beurling did not find himself in private life is also evidenced by the fact that his marriage quickly broke up.
As for the model, I came back to this brand after six months, with much more experience. The KP model is not a beginner's model. With the return to the market of the new Airfix V, which is superior in many respects, the competitiveness of the KP model declined. In principle, it makes sense to buy and manufacture the Vb version that Airfix provides. Nevertheless, due to the fact that my Airfix model had to wait for a spare, missing part, I took the KP model not without joy. There were moments of doubt during construction, because the model fell apart twice during the final assembly, because the cockpit floor does not have much space above the lower part of the wings. Then it turned out that the link between the wing and the fuselage started to break (after the final painting!), Which gave me more gray hair. I tried to do the best possible fitting of the wings to the fuselage, but it is worse than in the Airfix model. On the other hand, the geometry of the chassis performed very well, and I think this time I managed to achieve those magical 93 degrees of tilt of the landing gear legs. The cockpit fairing was painted after sticking to the model. Thanks to this, all the shortcomings of its alignment have been masked (here again the Airfix beats the KP model on the head). But the wheels undoubtedly look better in the KP model, when it comes to the ones straight out of the box. Overall, this time I used the maximum of elements from the kit, which was a nice change from other projects where the budget was raised by aftermarket gadgets. Painting as usual with Mr Color, Extra Dark Sea Gray (on the desert pattern Dark Earth and Middle Stone, Azure Blue. In addition, I used weathering crayons, Wash Modeler's World and raiostation links from the AmmoMig. Decals was from great DK-Decals set "Aces of the ".
PS. I try to made photos on the air, but I need to back to home because of the rain ๐Ÿ™‚
Lieutenant Lis will return with another Spitfire.
Conclusions:

  1. Spitfire is quite good and fun kit. But if you want to build this brand choose mark Vb version.
  2. Airfix Spitfire is better choose in mark Vc version.
  3. KP kit had more details than Airfix.
  4. If you want best geometry of main landing gear glue wheels covers after fitting main landing gear to the wings.
  5. KP kit best work in OOB. You no need any aftermarket goods.
  6. Remember to paint the floor under pilot's seat.
    And enjoy build ๐Ÿ™‚

Interesting vid about Gerge Beurling

Edit
PS. According to a conspiracy theory of history, George Beurling was hired by British intelligence (British intelligence in the Mediterranean was penetrated by Soviet intelligence - it is a fact confirmed in the sources) to assassinate General Wล‚adysล‚aw Sikorski. After replacing second pilot (first pilot was the Czech Eduard Phral - officially one surived from crashed plane), Buerling was supposed to hit the B-24 into the water. Is it worth believing in? Judge for yourself...

21 additional images. Click to enlarge.


17 responses

  1. Fantastic result, Lis @lis
    This specific camouflage does look perfect.
    Hard to believe this is 1/72, it definitely looks bigger.
    Beurling did indeed seem to have an 'interesting' life. Thanks fror sharing.
    It was a pleasure to follow your thread.

  2. What an excellent model and what a great article, Lieutenant Lis! It was very interesting to read about George Beurling!
    Your build thread was stunning!
    Congratulations!

  3. The opening photo is the best of the lot and really shows to good effect all of the positive things about this kit. The remaining photos give the impression (as I've written before), that the viewer is standing on the ground looking at a Spitfire. It helps give the sense of what the a/c is all about. Loved the bio as only LIs could write.

    The comments about construction . . . no pain, no gain. Triumph over tragedy. LIs, your struggles with the kit does steer the reader into looking at the Airfix kit a lot more into staying with Airfix. Being a prejudice Airfix modeler, it was disappointing to read about the missing part. I read another article in which a modeler rather than wait for a spare part went out and bought another kit. However, if your on a budget and what is left on the shelf . . . it does become frustrating.

    With the success of taking on the KP kit and with the knowledge and experience gained your next model will be out standing.

  4. @stephen-w-towle @fiveten @johnb
    Thank you for your very nice comments! They always motivate me to work. I added some conclusions and sensational rumors about our hero, which I found this afternoon in the sea of the Internet.

  5. Very nice model, Lis. Interesting how the colors you chose can look so different in varied lighting conditions, no doubt true of the colors of the real thing that have cause so much debate. Good finish and weathering and careful attention to details, as always.

    As to the history, I believe Beurling's supposed glee in killing is partly misunderstood. When visiting his family during a War Bond drive in Canada, his brother and father recalled that George had frequent trouble sleeping "because he saw the men heโ€™d killed. Sometimes he said he could look right in their eyes. He could see them because he would be that close to them.โ€ Beurling and his father would go on long drives at night in Montreal and pray together to help George find some peace.

    That same War Bond drive was a living nightmare for him. As with many vets who were pressed into such duties, he had trouble relating to what was expected of him. As a man of "movie star" looks and hero status, he was marketed as such but unready to play the role. Interestingly, some recordings of his statements about his "enjoying killing people" and describing the gory details are actually available on the Internet. They clearly show the cracking stress in his voice from speaking in public - and being recorded - about things he would like to forget.

    Anyone who has spoken with veterans who survived intense combat experience will recognize the effects that war has on certain survivors. Combatants and victims alike can fixate on experiences of almost unimaginable brutality. These are simply the facts, which those who were not there can never fully understand. Processing such experiences - or not quite processing them - can involve resorting to casual language or even humor - which may sound hysterical or (in that other loathsome PC word) "inappropriate". In other words, many people have observed that Beurling was likely a sufferer of PTSD, at a time when it wasn't diagnosed consistently, much less treated. This was the conclusion drawn by his own family years later.

    As to his anti-social tendencies, cameraderie through hard drinking and smoking in the mess hall with fellow pilots did not come easily to him (his religious upbringing forbade it), nor did military discipline in combat, where he coped best by focusing on the technical challenges of air combat to the exclusion of all else. He also made some good friends amongst some of his fellow Canadian pilots in Malta, including French-Canadian Pilot Jean Paradis, whose death in combat motivated him to fight with renewed energy. Beurling became a lone wolf in his desire to use his tremendous flying skills to best advantage against the enemy and in his laser focus on deflection shooting, which totally absorbed him in air combat. Concerning aspects of his personality that sometimes made him unpopular, he was well aware of how he rubbed people the wrong way and is quite self-critical and apologetic about it in his autobiography - Malta Spitfire. I should think that an unbalanced killer wouldn't have that capacity.

    More could be said - or debated - but I think it is worthwhile to put Beurling's character in context, and not judge him too negatively or simply in retrospect. Here is a link to some of what I quoted above from Beurling's brother. BTW and as a final note, leaving his burial to the Israelis did not mean he was abandoned by either his country or his family. It seems to have been a sensitive and and informed decision based on what they believed he would have wanted (as noted in the article and elsewhere). I hope this of interest.

    https://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2013/11/09/second_world_war_flying_ace_hailed_as_hero_in_canada_and_israel.html

    • @coling Thank you for your detailed explanations. They are very interesting. I also read the article from the link provided. George Beurling was a person, I believe, who lacked psychological care after the war. He was also a very young person, and no doubt the war had left an irreversible mark on him. I hope that someday we will find out more details about his life and death, which are probably in secret archives today.

      when it comes to the model of the plane, I confirm - under different lighting, its colors look completely different. This is definitely an interesting effect, I didn't even know it would come out like this when I painted the model.

      PS. I'm glad that you like my model ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Great Spitfire Lis.
    Fantastic and well researched history of George Beurling.

  7. You do an impressive amount of detailed work on these small 1/72 aircraft !

  8. Nicely done , loooks great!

  9. @michaelwoodgate @ssgt @roofrat @gkittinger Thank You! I am pleased that you also liked the story about the hero of this plane.

  10. Great bio on George Beurling and great build! Sharp looking Spitfire and very impressive finish.

  11. Lis @lis

    Your Malta Spitfire looks magnificent. I especially like how you have painted it, and allowed the base camouflage colors to bleed through in some areas. We will likely never know exactly how these planes looked, but my guess is that your model is as close as one can get with todays information. What amazes me the most, is how you are able to get such consistent builds in this smaller 1/72 scale. I would be having a hard time trying to get a larger 1/48 scale model to look this good !

    I definitely clicked the "like" button. Thanks for sharing this with us.

  12. I'm short run kits addict and I think I will back to this brand ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. Thanks s much for making me come back and revisit your build here, @lis. I was unaware of Beurling and between you and Colin, this was an excellent history lesson. Hats off to your build. Very accurate from my perspective.

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