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1/48 Eduard Spitfire Mk VcT, Operation Bowery, Malta, May 1942

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  • Member since
    July 2019
1/48 Eduard Spitfire Mk VcT, Operation Bowery, Malta, May 1942
Posted by Hoss WA on Sunday, December 4, 2022 9:03 PM

 

This is my second in a series of projects focused on the siege of Malta in 1942. The subject in this case is a Spitfire Mk Vc Trop that was flown to reinforce Malta from the USS Wasp during Operation Bowery. There were a series of such operations as the British scrambled to defend the island.

 

 

 

One of the interesting aspects of these operations were the paint schemes for the Spitfires. Brian Cauchi and Paul Lucas have researched the topic extensively. In a nutshell, Spitfires were initally manufactured and sent to Malta in the desert scheme (Dark Earth, Middlestone, Azure Blue) but this was not appropriate as most of the combat was over water. The Malta units urgently requested the Spitfires to be delivered in "sea" based schemes instead of desert. In the rush to get the aircraft to the island and painted in an appropriate scheme (lots of confusion here), they were repainted enroute in a variety of different schemes and in a number of different locations using available paints. They were repainted in maintenance units, at the factories, at Gilbraltar and on the carriers as they were ferried to Malta. 

 

 

Planes on the USS Wasp during Bowery were painted using available US Navy paints. Exact colors/schemes for each plane are not certain, but Paul Lucas makes an interesting case for the use of Blue-Grey (same color as the Wildcats on board) and Deck Blue for some of the Spitfires in a two-tone scheme. That's the assumed color scheme (over Sky Blue) for BR344, my chosen subject. 

 

 

I chose to depict the new plane freshly painted as it would have looked on the deck of the USS Wasp, getting ready for take off. 

 

 

The available B&W photo of BR344 shows a crisply painted aircraft in a medium contrast scheme. The giveaway that it had been painted on board was the scalloped demarcation on the lower fuselage area, which was apparently not an RAF method but was a US Navy technique. 

 

 

In any event, the Eduard kit is very nice, well-detailed and certainly looks the part. I used the Spitfire Story: Southern Star limited edition kit as it offers two Mk V Trops. 

 

 

Master cannon barrels and Brassin landing gear upgrades were the aftermarket goodies for this one. 

 

 

Main paints were Mr. Color lacquers Extra Dark Sea Grey and Blue-Grey. I mixed the Sky Blue from white and RLM 76. I slightly faded and shaded various areas and panels to depict an uneven paint application in tight quarters. 

 

 

Maketar masks were used for the RAF markings and code letters. MRP paints were used for the RAF markings. 

 

 

Decals were used for the serial numbers and maintenance stencils applied to the lower section only. 

For weathering, I applied an oil wash with Payne's Grey and Burnt Umber colors and did a light application of Tamiya Black/Brown mix over selected panel lines. 

 

 

Overall, it was a fun project -- interesting research, a unique subject and a good kit. 

Thanks for looking! Comments and critiques are always welcome. 

 

 

 

 

Tags: 1/48 , eduard , Malta , RAF , Spitfire , WWII
  • Member since
    January 2021
Posted by PFJN2 on Sunday, December 4, 2022 9:14 PM

Hi,

Your build looks great, and that is an interested back story for the color scheme.

Pat

  • Member since
    January 2004
  • From: Brisbane Australia
Posted by ChrisJH666 on Monday, December 5, 2022 1:39 PM

Lovely model. Love the Malta stuff. There were so many unusual schemes and oddities.

In the queue: 1/48 Beech Staggerwing (RAAF), P38 (RAAF), Vultee Vengeance (RAAF), Spitfire Vb (Malta), Spitfire VIII x2 (RAAF), P39 x2 (RAAF), Martin Baltimore (Malta?), Martin Maryland (Malta), Typhoon NF1b, Hellcat x2 (FAA)

 

Chris

  • Member since
    February 2012
  • From: Olmsted Township, Ohio
Posted by lawdog114 on Tuesday, December 6, 2022 10:57 PM

Carrier based spit/seafire are not subjects you see often.  Yours is excellent.  I'm due for another spit soon. I still love that photography which really enhances your work.    

 "Can you fly this plane and land it?...Surely you can't be serious....I am serious, and don't call me Shirley"

 

 

 

 

  • Member since
    June 2014
Posted by BrandonK on Wednesday, December 7, 2022 9:17 AM

I second what Joe said. Your work is splendid, but your photography takes it to the next level. Excellent work.

BK

On the bench:

A lot !! And I mean A LOT!!

2023 Kits on deck / in process / completed   

                         14 / 5 / 0   

                              Tongue Tied

  • Member since
    July 2019
Posted by Hoss WA on Thursday, December 8, 2022 5:53 PM

PFJN2

Hi,

Your build looks great, and that is an interested back story for the color scheme.

Pat

 

Thanks Pat. 

  • Member since
    July 2019
Posted by Hoss WA on Thursday, December 8, 2022 5:53 PM

ChrisJH666

Lovely model. Love the Malta stuff. There were so many unusual schemes and oddities.

 

Thanks Chris. 

  • Member since
    July 2019
Posted by Hoss WA on Thursday, December 8, 2022 5:54 PM

lawdog114

Carrier based spit/seafire are not subjects you see often.  Yours is excellent.  I'm due for another spit soon. I still love that photography which really enhances your work.    

 

Thanks LD. Much appreciated. It's fun trying to depict the plane in its natural habitat. Thanks again. 

  • Member since
    July 2019
Posted by Hoss WA on Thursday, December 8, 2022 5:55 PM

BrandonK

I second what Joe said. Your work is splendid, but your photography takes it to the next level. Excellent work.

BK

 

Many thanks Brandon!

  • Member since
    March 2008
  • From: West Palm Beach, Florida
Posted by mic53mlb on Wednesday, December 14, 2022 4:10 PM

This is beautiful !! Great plane, great color scheme !! The backstory is very interesting,  I didn't know USS Wasp was used in delivering British AC to Malta in '42. Thanks for sharing this, great job !!

  • Member since
    November 2003
  • From: Naples, FL
Posted by tempestjohnny on Saturday, December 17, 2022 5:10 AM

Holy.....another amazing build. The research and the photography really make this stand up

 

  • Member since
    May 2011
Posted by dazzjazz on Tuesday, December 20, 2022 2:39 AM

Looks fantastic. Congratulations. 

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