Eduard 1/48 Spitfire IIa and IIb

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  • Tom Cleaver said 1 month, 1 week ago:

    So, I subscribe to The Atlantic magazine, and they have online questionnaires they ask subscribers to participate in, and they plant the bait of “you might win a $100 gift card for your participation.” So, two weeks ago, I opened an e-mail from them that informed me that I had won one of the gift cards. Wow! First time I ever won anything that way!

    Naturally, once it arrived last Saturday, it burned an immediate hole in my pocket, so I hopped up to Sprue Brothers and spent $89 (shipping included) on the new Eduard limited release of the Spitfire IIa and IIb, which arrived Thursday.

    A glance through the kit assured me that Eduard really was doing Spitfire IIs. The cannon wing for the Spitfire IIb isn’t a Spitfire V wing, it’s a Spitfire IIb wing, i.e., a Spitfire I wing modified to take cannons. (Yes, you have to have your dues paid up as a Spit Boffin for this to matter).

    Then I spent yesterday trying to decide which one to do first, which was a conundrum. Until I thought “It’s not that hard to do them both.”

    Which is what is going to happen here.

    I’m really looking forward to this, because the Spitfire II is smack in the middle of one of the more interesting periods of RAF camouflage – the changeover from Dark Earth/Dark Green/Sky to Ocean Grey/Dark Green/Sea Grey Medium. And it had to be done in one day. Since there was a shortage of Ocean Grey, this led to some interesting “looks” as squadrons followed the directive that they could substitute “Mixed Grey” for Ocean Grey. This could be done by mixing black and white, mixing Sea Grey Medium with black, or anything else they could come up with (like prewar RAF Light Grey) using what was there in the paint shop. As the old Profile “Spitfire: Camouflage and Markings, Northern Europe” explains it, “this led to shades of grey from very light to very dark, depending on the individual interpretations of the painters.” Some airplanes substituted colors like RAF Light Grey where supplies of Sea Grey Medium were lacking.

    I know for sure I will do Bill Dunn’s 71 Eagle Squadron Spitfire IIa, since he is the first American ace of World War II. While Eduard calls out Ocean Grey/Dark Green/Sea Grey Medium, Xtradecal called it out as “Mixed Grey”/Dark Green/Sky, stating that all that was done was the Dark Earth was overpainted and the squadron code color changed, with the “sky” spinner, squadron codes and fuselage stripe in “sky blue”. This makes sense to me, since I can assure you that painting the underside of an airplane standing on its gear is a Right Pain In The Patootie, especially with a fast turnaround required, and there were lots of misinterpretations of other color callouts. As to the Spitfire IIb, it’s going to get a “take” on Mixed Grey upper and lower surface in something like prewar RAF Light Grey.

    For those who have the 1/32 Revell Spitfire IIa and have come to a stop in proceeding for the reason that it doesn’t have the “proper” Rotol prop, Eduard points out that many Spitfire IIs actually used the deHavilland prop. So if lack of the right prop has been hanging you up, you can proceed on the belief your Spitfire replaced the “proper” prop.

    Onward!

    1 attached image. Click to enlarge.

  • John vd Biggelaar said 1 month, 1 week ago:

    You spent that gift card very well, Tom @tcinla
    Really looking forward to the build of both Spit’s.
    Those early ones are the best looking to my opinion.

  • Paul Barber said 1 month, 1 week ago:

    Well done on being the guy who actually won the prize – so they do exist! It’s amazing how that ‘bonus cash’ always seems to convert to plastic in the blink of an eye. The Polish Sqn Plane from August ’41 in that box looks stunning. I have to say I am tempted myself. Might look good next to an Arma Hobby Hurricane. I am tempted!

  • Tom Cleaver said 1 month, 1 week ago:

    @yellow10 – That’s going to be the one I do. 306 Squadron.

  • Spiros Pendedekas said 1 month, 1 week ago:

    Spending prize money in similar ways like yours, has always been a pleasure for me, Tom @tcinla.
    Looking forward to these two.

  • Tom Cleaver said 1 month ago:

    Not a lot of time to post, but I did get the models assembled and painted.

    Interestingly, for the Spitfire IIb, there is a sprue that has everything you need to make a Spitfire Vb – the deHavilland and Rotol props, different horizontal stabilizers (difference is all in minor detail like rivet patterns – only Eduard would pay attention to that!), even the later windscreen, the metal ailerons. So if you really want a Vb and have aftermarket decals, you wouldn’t have to wait to wait for Eduard. You could also do mix-and-match of those parts with the Spitfire IIa kit and get the rare Spitfire Va (only Bader flew one in combat). Speaking of Bader, you could use the metal ailerons on the Spitfire IIa kit to do his Spitfire IIa when he had all the planes in the Tangmere Wing unofficially so modified, since this Spitfire happens to be a markings option.

    Painting them was the entire purpose, to do two airplanes in that strange period of the in-the-field repaints from Dark Green/Dark Earth/Sky to Ocean Grey/Dark Green/Sea Grey Medium, when they didn’t have enough of the “proper” paint and had to improvise. So the IIa still has its earlier Sky undersurface, with the “Mixed Grey” being a 50-50 black/white mixture, for which I used Tamiya XF-53 Neutral Grey. The Spitfire IIb has “mixed grey” colors for both upper and lower, which I did with Tamiya XF-54 Dark Sea Grey for the upper color and Tamiya XF-19 Sky Grey for the lower color. XF-82 RAF Dark Green used on both. I also liked that the Spitfire IIa does a “B” scheme while the IIa does an “A” scheme, both “approximations” from the overpaint “in the field.”

    The Spitfire IIa is also different because it was one of the airplanes where the “sky” spinner, fuselage band and code letters were Sky Blue (a much lighter blue than the camera invented in these shots).

    Overall, if you’ve made any Eduard Spitfires, you know everything you need to know for these. Tight, precise parts fit means clean off all sprue nubs, don’t paint mating surfaces, etc. Take time in fitting everything together and you get a model that needs no filler anywhere.

    14 attached images. Click to enlarge.

  • John vd Biggelaar said 1 month ago:

    Nice and quick progress, Tom.
    Camo shaping done nicely.

  • Spiros Pendedekas said 1 month ago:

    Nice result, Tom.

  • Pedro L. Rocha said 1 month ago:

    Looking real good Tom. Indeed that Sky blue band is too bright, lightning and camera exposure does that sometimes.
    I just bought my first Eduard Spit, a Mk.IX late version Profipack that I picked up on a good deal, and it’s been ages since I last built a Spitfire but all this flood of builds here lately got my attention turn to them once again.

  • David D. said 1 month ago:

    Nice stuff Tom. Coming along nicely. I did the Revell 1/32 Spitfire MKIIa few years back and replaced the kit prop with a Resin Rotol prop. Looking forward to seeing more.

  • Deleted User said 1 month ago:

    Nice work Tom. I can’t say I am an expert on the Spitfire by any means, and my own interpretation of this aircraft using the Airfix Mk 1 kit is almost certainly wrong in many areas. But this bird is a beautiful design. I like where you are going with yours.

  • Tom Cleaver said 1 month ago:

    Both decaled.

    The Spitfire IIa is the one flown by Bill Dunn, first American ace of World War II in August 1941. Notice I went back and got the light blue light enough to be right.

    The Spitfire IIb is the one flown (until he wrecked it in a landing accident) by F/Sgt Marcin Machowiak, 306 “Torun” Squadron, in which he scored two Bf-109Fs.

    The good news is, these are Eduard’s decals. They have obviously taken to heart the criticism of the yellow in their decals being too thin to go over dark colors. The blue and red are in fact the WW2 dark blue and “brick red” they should be, despite the camera’s “brain” reinterpreting them a bit.

    Doing Dunn’s airplane involved taking a #11 blade and outlining the letters of the ID codes, then painting them, then dipping them in water, sliding the surrounding decal away, and applying them. A nerve-wracking process! In fact, I did the fuselage first, in case I screwed up and needed to start over with a different markings scheme. If I were doing this again, I would give serious consideration to agreeing with the extensive documentation that says these areas really were Sky. Given the “source” is two black and white photos, no final agreement can really happen. I did this because it was out of the ordinary and a good documentation of the variations in camo and markings that happened during this changeover period.

    6 attached images. Click to enlarge.

  • John vd Biggelaar said 1 month ago:

    Progress is looking great on both, Tom.
    Personal favorite is the Mk.IIb

  • Morne Meyer said 1 month ago:

    One can never have enough Spitfires!! The subtle weathering looks great Tom. Can’t wait for the final reveal!

  • Spiros Pendedekas said 1 month ago:

    The light blue looks better now, Tom @tcinla!
    Kudos to your patience regarding the ID codes!

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