Tuesday, August 16, 2011
Empire of Japan capitulates, the war is over!
I was not surprised to find no mention at all by the mass media of this historic event that occurred yesterday all those years ago. Does it matter? I for one think it does. We should remember our past and acknowledge that it is no accident we enjoy freedom and peace in Australia.
Posted bySpitfires in the Antipodesat4:38 AM
Sunday, July 10, 2011
P-51 Mustang (actually a Commonwealth CA-18), 'Big Beautiful Doll' and a French
Douglas Skyraider collided in mid-air while banking
away after a formation fly-past at low level. The Skyraider lost a large part of its starboard wing in the
collision but landed safely. The pilot of the Mustang parachuted to safety
leaving the aircraft to crash into a field. Both pilots were miraculously
I just hope that people don't over-react and call for the end of warbird airshows. What they do need to look at is the level of training and practice pilots undertake prior to any proposed formation flying. Formation flying is inherently dangerous and requires its own unique set of pilot skills; it's not the sort of thing most civilian pilots are familiar with.
Posted bySpitfires in the Antipodesat5:32 PM
Monday, June 6, 2011
was somewhat disappointed that there was virtually no mention in the mainstream
media of the Battle of Midway on the 4 June 1942 and the D-Day landings on 6
In the Battle of Midway the US Navy inflicted a devastating blow upon the Imperial Japanese Navy that turned the tide of the Pacific War in favour of the US and her allies.
On the 6 June the largest amphibious invasion in history took place on the beaches of Normandy, France. The invasion marked the beginning of the end of Nazi Germany's occupation of western Europe and ultimately led to the end of the war within 12 months.
It's a pity we don't make the effort to educate our citizens so they can see that it is no accident that they live in a free country. It could so easily have been very different had it not been for the efforts and sacrifice of a previous generation.
Posted bySpitfires in the Antipodesat6:27 AM
Saturday, January 15, 2011
Please give generously to the Queensland Flood Relief Appeal.
Posted bySpitfires in the Antipodesat6:24 PM
have a Jerry Christmas and a Jappy New Year! This was a common saying after Japan entered WW2 where 'Jerry' refers to Nazi Germany a 'Jappy' the Empire of Japan. All this happened so long ago and now seems so unlikely to have ever occurred and yet it did. We really do live in a different world.
Online reports Riddle of missing Spitfire ace shot down after D-Day is
solved after his plane wreck is found 66 years on.
I have mixed feelings about whether what is a grave should have been disturbed however the recovery does bring closure.
My preliminary reasearch reveals that the Spitfire was a Mk IX, MJ789 coded FU-B.
copy of the soon to be released decal A013204 'Shark Attack! for use on Tamiya's 1/32nd Spitfire Mk VIII kit. All you have
to do is take a look at the Mk VIII build article using A013204 'Shark Attack!
decal 'How to build it, the tips and tricks!' and
identify the particular a/c being modelled.
You know it is an a/c from No. 457 Sqn but what is the individual a/c code letter and A58 serial number? (hint, it's A58-6** and it was flown on operations by two RAAF aces. )
If you know the answer email me; the first correct answer received is the winner. Entries will close in about 2 weeks time when I reveal the identity of the a/c in the build article. If you attended my recent research night on the Spitfire and P-40 in RAAF service you have an edge as I mentioned this a/c. Mmmm, now you wish you were listening more closely :)
We have a winner already, you guys are quick! Ok, so to keep the competition going I'm going to provide a second copy of the decal as a prize. All answers received no later than 22 November, 2010 will be put into a hat and the first correct answer drawn will win a copy of A013204 'Shark Atack! Don't delay get your answer in now!
This is a
common question that I'm currently working on providing an answer to by way of
an article I'll publish in the FOR section of Aero Imageworks
website. As a decal producer and consumer over many years I'll
provide the reader with a unique insight into the production and application of
scale model decals together with the pros and cons of Alps and screen printing.
Whether you are a novice or experienced modeller I'm sure you'll find it
Some of it will seem pretty basic such as how I apply decals. However, it's worth mentioning as every modeller has his own technique so there maybe something about my approach that others like and can adopt. I'll also comment on how to review decals. Time and time again I've read decal reviews where the reviewer hasn't really thought about what decals are and how they are applied. Decals end up being cut to pieces (literally!), dunked in water, dissolved, patted, pressed, squeezed, dried, coated with clear paint and finally weathered. Pretty rough treatment!
Last month I held a 'researchers night' for those interested in the Spitfire and P-40 Kittyhawk in RAAF service during WWII. The presentation was very well received and it was nice to see a good mix of people, not just scale modellers! Although the night went well, it was a lot of work to set up so I think it will be a while before I have another open night. If you missed it, you will probably catch at least some of it on YouTube!
I saw a most interesting BBC documentary on the ATA pilots during WWII. This
small band of women pilots ferried all types of RAF aircraft including the
Spitfire. If you have an interest in WWII aviation this is a must see
AI has completed some minor changes to the 1:32nd scale Spitfire Mk VIII decals A01320, A013202 and A013203 following the release of Tamiya's Spitfire Mk VIII kit. Now you can build the kit with accurate RAAF markings just the way it should be.
Aero Imageworks 'Shark Attack!' decals A013201, A013202 and A013203 have been temporarily unavailable due to them undergoing minor changes following the release of Tamiya's superb Spitfire Mk VIII kit. The changes are more of a minor 'tweak' to the decal in particular the sharkmouth so it fits nicely onto the Tamiya kit nose. They should be available in the next few days, check the AI website.
Speaking of the Tamiya Mk VIII kit, this blog was actually the first to announce it was going to be released! My source in Japan gave me the inside info a couple of weeks before it became generally known. Unfortunately the gun detail that I was expecting did not make it into the kit. Seems something was lost in the translation! The hot tip for the next Spitfire mark to be released is,drum roll ..........wait for it,......XVI. I know what I'll be building it as, FU-? of No. 453 Squadron RAAF.
After building a few of these kits you'd think I should be speeding through building this kit. Alas, no, the kit is complex and there really aren't any shortcuts. This is a good thing given the kit is rather expensive so you are getting your monies worth with this type of kit. Go here for build article. It looks like I've made this huge jump from parts on the sprues to wing and fuselage ready to join. The steps in between are pretty much as for my earlier build of the Spitfire Mk IX so I didn't want to go over old ground. Some minor changes to cockpit detail was required that I'll refer to later.
I'm planning a 'Research Night' for October (date to be confirmed later) to discuss the Spitfire and P-40 in RAAF service with particular emphasis on camouflage and markings. My previous research nights have been adhoc, informal meetings of a small number of local aviation history researchers and scale modellers. What I'd like to do is present a more structured night to a wider audience. I'll present some interesting bits of aviation history which will include a large number of period photos collected from private photo albums. The P-40 photos will no doubt be of interest to scale modellers as will the new Spitfire photos. If you are interested in attending please let me know by email. Venue to be advised, light refreshments to be provided but numbers will be limited. If you have old aviation items (uniforms, badges, memorabilia etc.)or old photos, please feel free to bring them along.
Had a very interesting 'researchers night' discussing the Spitfire in RAAF service with particular emphasis on the Mk VIII. This was very timely as Tamiya has only recently released their beautiful 1:32nd scale model of the Mk VIII. A number of films and photographs were viewed and discussed at length particularly those depicting the 'sharkmouth' adorned Spitfires from No. 457 Squadron (see photo above). Much of the discussion centred on identifying the aircraft, a task that is not as easy as it may appear. The end result is that we have uncovered the c&m, serial and individual a/c code letter of many previously unidentified RAAF Spitfires. Not bad for an evenings 'work' :)
Friday and what better way to end the working week than to find a large box had
been delivered to me direct from Japan. Inside the box was another box! Tamiya's
Spitfire Mk VIII kit in 1:32nd scale. All that has been said about the Spitfire
Mk IX kit released late last year also applies to this kit. It is simply superb
and like the IX kit has plenty of extra bits and pieces to build any number of
sub-variants. I'll post a few pics later and prepare
an article on building the kit along the same
lines as I did for the Mk IX kit. As you would expect, there are plenty of RAAF
c&m options available for the kit, the problem
comes is choosing which one to use!
Update 21 July : Havn't started the kit yet due to local modellers calling in like bees to a honey pot, wanting to see the kit! All were unanimous in their praise, like the Mk IX this kit is simply superb. It's available NOW! from your favourite mail order hobby shop but you better be quick.
Following on from my previous post, Aero Imageworks will be releasing a simple correction decal for the 1:32nd scale Tamiya Spitfire Mk IX kit. It comprises replacement maple leaf marking and Wing Commander rank pennant for JEJ flown by 'Johnnie' Johnson. Coupled with the kit decals you can now build a pretty good representation of this famous MkIX. RRP is only AUD $9.95. Keep an eye on Aero Imageworks website for details.
getting this kit asap via my contact in Japan who late
last year got me one of the first Spitfire Mk IX's. Unfortunately I'm restricted
to only one kit from this source so I have also pre-ordered one from a Japan
based model shop.
The kit includes a fully detailed Hispano cannon and wing machine guns, something that was originally intended for the Mk IX. When the Mk IX was released I was told that it missed out on these 'goodies' because they weren't ready in time. I've since learned that this is untrue! Tamiya could have included these armaments in the kit but didn't for marketing reasons. We all bought the Mk IX, now we are all going to buy the Mk VIII if for no other reason than to get those extra bits for use in the IX! Clever marketing it certainly is but its all wasted on me. I was always going to buy both kits!
I have it
on good authority that Tamiya will be releasing a 1/32nd scale Spitfire Mk VIII
this year. Yes that's THIS year, 2010. If you already have the Mk IX version you
would have noticed that Tamiya has made provision for further marks including
the beautiful Mk VIII. This is good news for RAAF scale modellers who are
looking to build an RAAF Spitfire Mk VIII. Expect to see it around xmas time.
I'm still working on Airfix's BIG Mossie in 1/24th scale. As I mentioned before, the kit is a bit of a disappointment and isn't in the same league in terms of quality as Tamiya's 1/32nd Spitfire IX. The large scale has in some ways worked against the kit making it look somewhat 'toy like'. In this scale any kit needs to be highly detailed or else it will simply look like a big toy. Unfortunately Airfix treated it in terms of detail as it would say a 1/48 kit but in 1/24 scale this just isn't sufficient. It may end up hanging in the apricot tree this summer to scare away the birds!
Tamiya's 1/32nd Spitfire is good but it's not perfect. Aero Imageworks 'Pernickety Spitfire Mk IX' brings the kit a few steps closer to perfection. It includes replacement cockpit instrument panel decals plus detail information. RRP $29.95. Past customers of AI pay only $24.95. To be released soon!
Here's some highlights from a classic war movie featuring the sleek de Havilland Mosquito. Great viewing while you build Airfix's huge de Havilland Mosquito kit. The kit is a bit of a disappointment with a 'toy-like' feel and quality to it in stark contrast to Tamiya's Spitfire Mk IX.
Had a phone call yesterday from an angry and belligerent David Harvey making threats. Simply appalling behaviour from someone who unfortunately seems to be incapable of showing due respect to his betters.
start this week an illustrated article on the Aero Imageworks website describing how to build Tamiya's superb
1:32nd scale Spitfire Mk IX as JE-J EN398 flown by W/C JE Johnson. The kit will
be for the most part built straight out of the box but with a few deviations and
amendments. I'll be deviating from Tamiya's instructions when it comes to the
camouflage and markings for JE-J as these aren't particularly accurate. Much of
the information presented in the article isn't exclusive to JE-J and would be
relevant to any 'early' MK IX. There's also some
interesting details that have been uncovered that perhaps only those with a
ground or aircrew background would have picked up.
How to build Tamiya's Spitfire Mk IX
the record, I do not consider that you need to have some sort of aviation
background to undertake aircraft camouflage and marking research for a model. I
do not hold that view, I don't say that, I dont make
that assertion here or anywhere else for that matter, I can't make it any
clearer than that. I do of course believe that all thing being equal, it's going
to be an advantage!
Anybody can and does undertake c&m research, they can even write books and articles about it! The reason why anybody can do so is really because it doesn't have much to do with aircraft. Think about it, what lick of paint was used doesn't in the main have much if anything to do with the technical and operation aspects of aircraft.
However, when it comes to researching and writing about the technical, operational use and history of an aircraft prior aviation knowledge IS clearly an advantage. Consider the difficulties you would have writing about say Porche motor cars or the Tour de France bike race if you have never driven ANY car before or never riden ANY type of pushbike before! This is why I always look at the bio of a book or article author, the authoritative ones have an aviation background or better still veterans who where there.
In spite of the efforts by the oafish David Harvey, AI has had a successful limited release of RAMROD C013201.It's regrettable that Harvey has attempted over the last year at least, to have a negative impact on the commercial operations of AI and even Pacific Spitfires.
I understand he is a serving member of the ADF. As the ADF is keenly aware these days, it only takes a few rotten apples to cause damage to an organisation that places great store in maintaining its reputation within the general community. My advice to the bad apples or perhaps those who are poorly advised, YOU are responsible for YOUR actions. I'll be looking into this matter and give serious consideration to bringing this appalling behaviour to the attention of his superiors.
As for David Muir, his emotive language and name calling directed at me is simply pathetic and reflects badly on himself.
Scale modelling does unfortunately attract those who act like old women and like to let fly with the handbag!
who didn't get the original newsletter here it is.
RAMROD C013201 is here at last for past customers to order at a discounted price.
RAMROD is a unique product incorporating vinyl masks and Alps printed decals for the smaller elements such as the personal markings.
RAMROD includes markings for three a/c from No. 453 Sqn. 2 Mk IX's, FU-? 'Gremlin' BS227 and FU-X 'Stinker III' BS400 and a Mk XVI with clipped wings, FU-? SN278.
Vinyl masks allow for complete control on what colours you apply to the model. The results are superb as this is the way the markings were applied to real Spitfires!
A word of warning. These masks are VERY FIDDLY AND DIFFICULT TO USE! I recommend and will only sell these to EXPERIENCED MODELLERS ONLY! If you are an average modeller this product is not for you.
RRP $89.95 AUD
Your Special Price $79.95 AUD (includes airmail postage worldwide)
The first 20 customers to order RAMROD will also receive a bonus set of masks and decal for JE-J EN398. The kit decals for this a/c are inaccurate. This is a limited offer only to past customers.
Pleae note however that it is intended to include JE-J EN398 in a later product release C013202 that will also include markings for 2 other Mk IX's. Release date is dependant on the sales of C013201.
It is intended to send all orders received during December and into the first half of January 2010. Please note that I make no undertaking to send the product so you have it before Christmas. Sorry, but it just is too time consuming to produce, package and post to meet that sort of deadline.
This is a limited offer that will expire 9/12/2009.
If you would like to order RAMROD please reply to email@example.com and I'll send details on how to make payment via PayPal.
PV 'Prof' Lloyd
PLEASE NOTE: Above is directed to past customers of AI only.
Aero Imageworks use of vinyl masks and decals in RAMROD is a unique and innovative way of providing authentic markings for a model. There is no other product like this on the market anywhere in the world.
STOP PRESS: Limited offer extended until 16/12/09.
RAMROD, the latest AI product is available for ordering NOW!
Details on how to order C013201 at a special discount price has been sent out today to past customers on our mailing list. Once all orders from past customers have been filled RAMROD will be released generally.
This mailing list special offer is only available for one week (Expires 9/12/09) so hurry!
new big scale Spitfire IX. It looks brilliant in the box but the real test comes
with the construction. As I mentioned on the AI site, I needed the kit for
reference to complete AI's 'RAMROD' that is to be specifically designed for this
As expected, the kit decals arn't accurate, in particular the depiction of JE-J. That's why AI intends to include markings for this a/c.
This blog is starting to become a a model makers blog and to some extent an advert for Tamiya. This is not what this blog is all about. It's intended to cover anything Spitfire related and also a broad spectrum of things relating to aviation history.
brief comment on research fundamentals.
It's not surprising that aircraft scale modellers have an interest in the history and development of aircraft. Over the years I’ve read many books and articles on WW2 aircraft covering their development, history and operational use. I’ve always found the most interesting and authoritative are those written by veterans or authors who have had the benefit of an aviation related background and training.
Authors with for example commercial level, civil or military pilot training have a great advantage over the self taught, aviation enthusiast writer or researcher with no formal training. This early training provides a solid foundation of aviation knowledge upon which can be added specialist knowledge in various aspects of aviation history.
Recently I was asked to have a look at an aviation article that illustrated just how easy it is for the untrained, enthusiast type to get it wrong. The article amongst other things, included a comment that a rather famous (beautiful wing shape!) WW2, single engine, aircraft had the ability to feather its propeller. Had the author had the benefit of an aircrew background and formal training, he would no doubt have found that suggestion very strange! The ability to feather a propeller is for obvious reasons, something associated with and really only of use to, a multi-engine aircraft. The article also reminded me of how easy it is to simply ‘cut and paste’ diagrams and tables without really understanding what they convey.
Simply collecting old photos won’t and never will provide a solid foundation.
A Diagram for a new age
The above diagram illustrates how a gas turbine engine works by reference to the internal combustion engine 4 stroke cycle of Induction, Compression, Power and Exhaust. The cycle is known as the ‘Otto cycle’ after Dr Nicolaus Otto who in collaboration with Gottlieb Daimler and Wilhelm Maybach, was the first to demonstrate a functioning, four stroke engine.
This simple diagram would be very familiar to any pilot who had undergone conversion training to fly a ‘jet’ powered aircraft. For over half a century it has been used to introduce pilots to the main components and function; intake, compressor, combustors (combustion chambers), turbines and exhaust; of a gas turbine engine. It is a little known fact that this diagrams first appearance as a training aid was not with the allies but the Luftwaffe in Nazi Germany.
Junkers, the manufacturer of the Jumo 004 axial flow, gas turbine that powered Messerschmitt’s Me 262 jet fighter, produced this historic diagram linking the new and radically different gas turbine to the familiar and well understood internal combustion engine. The Me 262 was the first ‘jet powered’ aircraft to enter service during WWII, heralding in the beginning of a new age in aviation. This new age required ground crew and pilots to quickly learn about this new propulsion system and what better way to do so than with a simple, easy to understand diagram. It would have been particularly useful to pilots who work on a ‘need to know’ basis and don’t require detailed knowledge. Obviously the diagram served as merely an introduction to the subject and more detailed training would follow.
It is interesting to note that not a single book has identified the significance of this diagram. The reason is undoubtedly because none of the authors had an aviation background and formal training. They were basically ‘enthusiasts’, like the vast majority of the readers of such books.
The above comments first appeared about a year ago in the FOR of Aero Imageworks. It doesn't really have much to do with scale models and that seems to have confused some people :)
about to release a 1:72nd scale Spitfire IX and a 1:24th scale Mosquito this
year. You'd be forgiven for not knowing as these kits have been nearly
completely overshadowed by Tamiya's 1:32nd scale Spitfire release.
Poor old Airfix never seems to get it right these days. A far cry from their heyday in the 1960's and early 70's when they seemed to be able to do no wrong releasing a constant stream of new kits to a receptive market. You really couldn't pick a worse time to release a kit.
I'll be one of the tiny number of people who actually buys the massive Mosquito kit. Why oh why they went for the Mosquito is this scale I'll never know. Surely they must realise that a model of this size and cost is going to have limited appeal.
How much will they cost? The little Spitfire around $15, Mosquito $250 and Big scale Spitfire around $180. Expensive? imo for what you get, its pretty good value for money.
Well, here it is, Tamiya's Spitfire Mk IX in 1:32nd scale. Looks good for sure but it falls short of flawless. Having said that it is still without doubt the finest Spitfire kit in any scale that has ever been produced.
have a 1:48 scale, Special Hobby Spitfire V with AI decals for 'Y' Yvonne from
No. 54 Squadron RAF, No.1 Wing RAAF. This is from an historical perspective, one
of the most important Spitfires of the war. On 6 February 1943 Flt Lt Foster
made history when he shot down a Mitsubishi Ki-46 'Dinah' into the Timor Sea,
the first aerial victory for the Spitfire in the Pacific War.
The details of this aircraft had alluded researchers for years until Pacific Spitfires investigated the matter and subsequently provided the C&M and history of this aircraft for the very first time. Of interest is the unusual (for the time frame) proportioned fuselage roundel, lack of 'DL' squadron codes that were applied some months later and 'Yvonne' name on the engine cowling. The name referred to the girlfriend of the aircraft's usual pilot, Flying Officer Lenagan.
The kit is not 'Tamiya quality' where all the parts fit easily together. It's one of those kits that looks good on the sprue but causes problems when it comes to putting it together. That's why 'in box' reviews should never be given much weight.
astronaut' is a claim that most would not take seriously but what about 'I'm an
ex-RAAF pilot with a number of types (aircraft endorsements)'? Astronauts are a
rare breed unlike RAAF pilots past and present. The problem for one Mr Malone is
that he is not one of them. He is not and never has been a pilot or other
aircrew in the RAAF or RAF or any other airforce
anywhere in the world. We can go further, he is not and
never has been a commercial or even private pilot anywhere in the
Whilst it may seem like fun to 'play act' at being a person in a particular profession you need to take care not to mislead or deceive. Depending on the circumstances and actions, if you try that 'game' in Australia it maybe viewed as fraud. The end result of this is that you may have the law feel your collar! and that applies to any person or persons who reiterates these false claims.
Best of British to you.
Aero Imageworks has officially commenced Operation 'RAMROD' , the production of decals for Tamiya's Spitfire Mk IX in 1:32nd scale. By assembling the best brains in the business AI will allow the modeller to produce unique subjects using what will no doubt be the best Spitfire on the market in any scale. We are after all talking about 'Tamiya' here who have a reputation for producing high quality kits that require little in the way of modelling skills. Interest in this kit is simply astounding especially when you consider it hasn't been released yet! The ease at which this kit can be put together will bring many more into the hobby who previously had kept away or moved on due to the heavy reliance on 'modelling skills'. An easy build kit is good for everyone, even the old sweats who think only scratch building is 'real ' modelling. My tip is these are the guys who have already got the kit on pre-order, come on admit it! :)
time now I've been saying this will happen. Tamiya will release a scale model
kit of the Spitfire Mk IX in the big 1:32nd scale. This is great news for scale
modellers who for the first time will have an accurate and easy to build kit of
this historically important Spitfire mark.
AI will be expanding their range of 1:32nd Spitfire decals to cater for this kit. I predict this kit will not only be a 'best seller' for Tamiya but set a new record for 1:32nd scale kits.
the Airfix 1:24th scale Mossie release date has been delayed to November/December
2009, just in time for X-mas. Airfix has a rather
chequered reputation these days as a result of producing and re-releasing poor
quality kits. This is a far cry from their heyday of the 60's and 70's when
whatever they produced was quickly bought by children and young teenagers who
accepted without complaint even the most indifferent quality kit.
There's a good chance this BIG Airfix kit will meet the expectations of most scale modelers and not fall into the 'Hopeless' category like their awful Spitfire IX kit in 1:48 scale released a few years ago. Whoever was responsible for this should have had their services terminated!
James Brayshaw has completed for AI the decal artwork for 8 Mossie's which includes a/c from both the European and Pacific theatre. We've been very lucky in getting exclusive access to some material that has allowed us to produce what will be the only accurate RAF/RAAF Mossie decals.
Given the cost of the kit is pretty high our projected sales will be 'lower than the low'. Initially I thought I'd buy 4 kits and build three for clients who wanted a completed model with unique markings (throw away the kit decals!). I've since had second thoughts and declined the work as the thought of having a production line of three kits on the go to be completed within a defined timeframe was just too much. Repetitive production line work isn't my bag. I also felt a little uncomfortable about not having seen the kit; it maybe more of a handful than anybody expects but I hope I'm wrong, don't you?
aces of Burma and the Pacific by Andrew Thomas is the latest addition to this
well known 'aces' series of books from Osprey
Publishing. As usual with books in this series, they provide a general overview
of the aircraft's operational use in the theatre rather than concentrating only
on individual aces as the title of the series implies.
The book contains 96 pages separated into 6 chapters, 4 of which cover the RAAF's use of the Spitfire in the Pacific and the remaining 2 chapters the RAF's use of the Spitfire in India and Burma. The text in each chapter describes the operational use of the Spitfire and includes excerpts from combat reports to give a pilots perspective of aerial combat. There's a good number of bw photos throughout the book that help illustrate the text.
The centre section has 9 pages of full colour 'profiles' that show the array of markings displayed on Spitfires in RAF and RAAF service. The profiles were prepared using an airbrush and paint on illustration board. This is very unusual as most aircraft profile artists long ago swapped the airbrush for sophisticated computer programs that give a photo-realistic look to the image.
On the cover is a dramatic painting showing Flt LT Foster from N0. 54 Squadron shooting down a Mitsubishi 'Dinah' on 6 February, 1943. Although I don't think it detracts from the impact of this beautiful painting, its worth noting that the markings on the Spitfire are somewhat inaccurate. Pacific Spitfires many years ago provided for the very first time details of the camouflage and markings for this historically important aircraft. This was followed by the inclusion of the aircraft in an Aero Imageworks decal which provided even more detail on its appearance. Its a shame the artist didn't buy the decal or join Pacific Spitfires before he put brush to canvas!
The book is fine for someone who knows little if anything about the Spitfires operational use in the Pacific War.
'Spitfires in the Antipodes' Part 3 has certainly caused some comment but for a
reason nobody expected. The decal itself has not been the centre of discussion,
its all about what was written in the accompanying
booklet. As AI customers would know, AI set a new standard in the level of
detail and quality of scale model decal instructions. It's gratifying to see
many other decal producers and kit producers have followed our lead producing
decal instructions that go far beyond a simple (and inaccurate) decal placement
The decal booklet accompanying 'Spitfires in the Antipodes' Part 3 simply stated the circumstances as they were at the relevant time. A more detailed and comprehensive discussion wasn’t included due to space restrictions in the booklet and secondly, it really wasn’t appropriate. This was after all a booklet accompanying a decal, it was never intended to be a complete history of the squadron and its C.O.
Much of the comment is also making reference to my letter to the editor contribution in an aviation magazine, Flightpath (worth buying btw ;)). Whilst the letter was a ‘full pager’, it isn’t a complete history by any means. The letter and booklet were not written in such a way that hidden meaning can be extracted by ‘reading between the lines’. I’ll go into the details in an article I’m currently preparing for Pacific Spitfires. Given the article will be published soon there’s little point going over the issues here.
'Spitfires in the Antipodes' Part 3 is currently unavailable as I’m concentrating my efforts on new decals. I’ll probably make it available at a later date when time permits.
Imageworks newsletter was sent out yesterday with
details on how to order our latest release, 'Spitfires in the Antipodes' Pt.4 at
a discount price. Part 3 which has created some controversy is no longer
available. The contoversy or 'storm in a tea cup' has
linked the decal booklet comments with my mailbag contribution on RAAF Spitfires
published recently in an aviation magazine.
Part 4 is available at the discount price until 8 June (Queen's B'day).
Masters is a quality scale model magazine from France (French text). Issue No.70
has something of an Aussie flavour with build articles on CA-12 Boomerang and
Wirraway in 1:48 scale.
Of more interest to me was the article on building the Special Hobby Spitfire Vc with an unusual camouflage scheme. The model builder really shows his talent with some nice detail and weathering.
How accurate is the finished model? Have a look here at what purports to be a genuine, colour image of the real aircraft and judge for yourself. Has this photo been 'doctored'? What I find astounding about this photo is not so much the blue tones on the upper surfaces but the use of yellow for the identification letter 'X'. Yellow is the colour of training aircraft and both air and ground crew were very keen to move on from trainers to operational type aircraft. It's the colour they would avoid using if at all possible and yet we see it apparently being used here.
There's also an article on the RAF Spitfires sent to defend the island of Malta during WW2.
Looking at the CA-12 Boomerang article there's something odd about the main wing dihedral. There isn't any, and it just doesn't look right. This could be due to camera lense distortion but I doubt it.
The two decal offers in the last newsletter have now closed. In the next week or so I'll send out another newsletter with details and pre-ordering link for 'Spitfires in the Antipodes' Part 4. Parts 5 and 6 which complete Series 1, will also be released soon.
some interesting history related videos on YouTube almost hidden in a growing deluge
of pop culture and music items. Do a search for specific things like 'Spitfire'
or a general one with 'WW2' and see what comes up.
I've now organised the decal subjects for the proposed 1/24th de Havilland Mosquito decal. The Antipodean Mossies decal project will comprise 4 parts each covering 6 a/c and the 4 parts (decals) form Series 1. In total Series 1 will provided decals and c&m information for 24 Mosquitoes from the Pacific and European theatres of war. The release and timing of Series 2 (a further 24 a/c) will depend on consumer demand.
The acclaimed 'Spitfires in the Antipodes' decals will also be grouped into Series with Series 1 comprising 6 parts (decals) each with 3 a/c subject options.
Imageworks April newsletter has been sent out today
via email. As usual with the newsletter, it containd
details on up and coming products and allows for pre-ordering of new products.
We have a couple of new decals available for pre-ordering with more on the way
later in the year.
It's great to have James Brayshaw onboard to do the decal artwork for the 1/24th scale Airfix DeHavilland Mosquito kit. This has freed up time which I've used to do a huge amount of original research that will show in the final decal package.
I've also got more time now to start pumping out the updates for Pacific Spitfires website.
‘The vintage years of Airfix’, showcases the superb artwork of Roy Cross who was responsible for much of the box lid artwork during Airfix’s heyday in the 60’s and early 70’s.
This large format 128pp book contains well over 100 paintings depicting aircraft from all periods plus a few warships, armoured vehicles, cars and even a couple of motorbikes!
I found it to be an absolute joy to see these paintings as the artist had originally prepared them showing all the meticulous detail that was often lost when printed on a kit box lid or ‘header’ on the plastic bag packaged Series 1 kits.
If you only buy one book this year, this is the one to buy, you wont be disappointed.
Nearly forgot, here's an interview with the great artist himself by Top Gear's 'Captain slow' James May.
reworked and complete version of my video comment on Jeffrey Watson's biography.
The raw video was made a couple of years ago, sorry about the poor quality
In the background you can see RAAF flag, WW2 RAAF officers hat and tunic with wings and group of medals, Air Crew Europe Star, Pacific Star, 1939-45 Star and British War Medal.
recent newsletter from Aero Imageworks (AI) with
details on how to pre-order the latest decal will be resent in the next week or
so as there were a few people who missed out on the original newsletter. Want to
be on the mailing list? to get on the list you must
have purchased a product from AI in the last 12 months. Simply send me an email
and Ill put you on the list.
Things are progressing nicely on further 'Spitfires in the Antipodes' decals. Feedback on these decals has been very positive, in particular the decal booklet that seems to be more valued than the actual decal! Speaking of the decal, some have asked why it isn't a single sheet like 'regular decals'. It's printed on a number of sheets because the printed process is far more complicated than that involved in producing regular screen printed decals. By separating the decal elements into a number of sheets we are able to achieve printing efficiencies and good quality control.
Imageworks is currently preparing a decal for Airfix's 1:24th scale DeHavilland
Mosquito Mk VI due for release later in the year. The decal will cover RAAF
Mossies from the European and Pacific Theatre with the emphasis on 'nose art'
There's keen interest in this kit even though it wont be cheap. I know of at least half a dozen modellers who will be placing an order for the kit. Stay tuned for more updates .
to believe but it was actually 5 years ago that we launched Pacific Spitfires as a subscription
supported membership site. Over these last five years we've gone from strength
to strength as the leading authority on RAAF Spitfires in the Antipodes.
The next five years look to be even better as we've got a huge amount of research that has yet to be placed on the site. If your thinking of joining, there's never been a better time to so. Welcome aboard!