by Mark Davies
Supermarine Spitfire HF.VI
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The Spitfire is truly a plane to be admired, loved
even (by plane lovers if you know what I mean). As a pommie-born Kiwi
(English born New Zealander) of 1960 it goes without saying that Iím
affected by the Spitfireís spell. This is despite having a real fondness
for ugly French planes of the 1930ís that I build whenever possible.
Despite my appreciation of Britainís most famous fighter, I try to avoid
getting too anally-retentive as some Spitfire modellers can be prone to
be. Instead I aim for a general accuracy within reasonable limits. These
limits are premised on averaging 12 models finished a year, and always
aiming for 24.
I wonít bore readers with a history on the Spitfire
Mk VI other than to say it was an early attempt at a high altitude
interceptor version with pressurised cockpit and extended wings often
associated with high flying PR Mk VIIís (although also applied to Mk
VIIIís and IXís).
My model is an amalgam of the Revell Mk Vb, Airfix Mk Vb and Heller Mk
XVIe , and Smer Mk VI The Smer kit is itself a Heller Mk V with the
parts to make a Mk VI; these being the wing tips, 4-blade prop, cockpit
pressurisation intake and markings).
I used the Revell Mk V as the main basis of my airframe. A friend of
mine who restores Spitfires for a living, and who is an excellent
modeller, believes the Revell kit to be very good. Its main faults being
a lack of the gull-wing effect on the wingís rear underside where it
meets the fuselage, imperfect exhausts, and of course basic cockpit
(like the exhausts, a feature of most 1:72 Spitfire kits). To correct
the wing error I let in a part cut from the Airfix Mk V kit. The Revell
kit offers the choice of normal or clipped wing tips, so it was a simple
matter to attach the Smer extended tips, plus Smer provided the cockpit
pressurisation intake. The Smer 4-blade prop was not convincing in my
view, so I used a Heller Mk XVI example instead. The Smer decals were
very good and problem free.
I started this kit and got it to the almost ready to paint stage about
six or seven years ago, but only found the drive to finish it late in
2006. Itís no prize winner, but it serves my purpose of adding an
interesting mark of Spitfire to my display cabinet.
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24 December, 2007
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