Aviaeology News for June 2013
Our RCAF Fighter Recce (FR) Spitfires "Decals 'n Docs" sets are now in stock, and we are currently in the midst of shipping all pre-orders... repeat and e-newsletter subscriber customers should have them in hand over the coming week or two.
For modelers looking to add a few truly rare, and well-storied birds to an existing Spitfire flock, or who have a thing for tactical recce types, will enjoy this set.
In fact, there are three distinct variants of Spitfire covered here, so true aficionados may want to pick up three!
NOT YOUR RUN-OF-THE-MILL SPITFIRES -
These Low-level Fighter Recce Machines were a breed all their own.
available in 1/72, 1/48 & 1/32 scales
This Aviaeology revamped and expanded (as compared to our previous release on the subject) set features 7 subject options - well 9 if you include the two additional aircraft squeezed into the Docs as a result of late breaking research. The 2 bonus options can be easily modeled if desired, by a little slashing up of a few of the decals already supplied for the other more thoroughly covered
--One Set, Three Types, Seven+ Examples--
The Fighter Recce Spitfires of 39 Wing Within the final year of the Second World War, the RCAF's 39 (Reconnaissance) Wing operated not one, but two of the rarest Spitfire variants to see action during that conflict; the FR.IXC and FR.XIVE FR conversions created by 511 Field Repair Unit (FRU). Responding to the Wing's requirement for a fast, armed, and sometimes camera-equipped tactical aircraft to replace aging Mustang Mk.I's, the FRU (they dropped the number in late 1944) adaptation involved a rearranged rear fuselage radio compartment which featured unique camera window fairings on either side of the fuselage. The initial effort involved existing LF.IXC donor airframes, most of which were combat veterans being cycled through the FRU for heavy maintenance or major repairs. Commencing in August of 1944, the new type, now designated FR.IXC, started to replace the Mustangs of the Wing's 414 Squadron as planned.
Here are the three examples (and one bonus subject) covered in our set.
F/L M. Carr (sometimes wingman to Squadron Commander G. Wonnacott)
BONUS OPTION 1 - flown by S/L G. Wonnacott DFC & Bar, during a 3 victory sortie, 1 Jan. 1945
S/L G. Wonnacott DFC & Bar - later aircraft
F/L K. Lawson
Next the FRU applied its talents and resources to a small fleet of standard-fuselage Griffon-engined F.XIVE's. By all appearances the same conversion "kit" was used on these higher-powered machines... Mk.IX fuselage radio hatch, camera fairings and all. All of the converted F.XIVE's, now known as FR.XIVE's, entered service with 430 Squadron with the first examples arriving through November.
Here's the line-up:
W/C R.C.A Waddell DFC - personalized aircraft
BONUS OPTION 2 - W/C R.C.A Waddell DFC, and F/O J.N. McLeod (KIA)
F/L W. Middleton (Fw190 victory action aircraft) - 2 schemes, early (shown) and late
The FRU conversions were the rare birds of the bunch. Each of the above types were envisioned as interim equipment while the Service awaited Supermarine's purpose-built Fighter Recce thoroughbred, the FR.XIVE. The so-called "low-backed" Spitfire (due to it's all-around vision bubble canopy) began to replace 414 Squadron's well-used FR.IXC's through April of 1944. Although the war in Europe was nearly over, these sleek machines nonetheless exhibited all of the characteristic evidence of busy operational careers within a very short time. And they featured nose art (of the inscription sort) to boot. Both phenomena are perennial points of interest for scale model candidates.
And the subjects are:
F/L K. Lawson
S/L J.B. Prendergast DFC, 414 Squadron Commander
The Aviaeology approach to decal sets has evolved over the years to include, as one repeat customer likes to call it, "a magazine article in a bag". This one should prove to be a fine example of the marque with its 8 chock-full pages of text and illustration.
Fighter Recce Spitfires one and two -
A quick-up-to-speed background piece on each of the three FR sub-types used by two of 39 Wing's three squadrons.
Fighter Recce Spitfire (FRU conversion) Camera Fairings -
A compact 3/4 page guide to some simple scratch-building, complete with scale drawings that you can zoom in on (if using the included PDF file on you computer, tablet, or smartphone).
Spitfire FR.IXC airframe stencil / data & national markingsA comprehensive spread showing placement and variations in four views. Also loaded up with configuration notes just for good measure.
There's a similar separate page on FR.XIVE's... they were quite different after all...
A summary text covering the finish scheme and baseline markings used on these Spitfires. Fighter Command's Day Fighter Scheme and its slight evolution towards a less conspicuous scheme in the hands of the 2nd Tactical Air Force. Both Merlin and Griffon-powered types are given the treatment...
What's left are three pages covering the individual aircraft themselves. Clear decal placement profile illustrations accompanied by snippets of history, where applicable and known, on each machine and the men who flew them. Photos and captions to help keep the modelling juices flowing - Enjoy! While supplies last...
Aviaeology great website has these and other excellent stuff on their homepage - do yourself a favour and sign up for their newsletter - and hide your credit card from yourself!!