Victory Productions

1/48 Spitfire - Aces of the Empire decal sheet

Product # VPD48006

Product Article by Steve Bamford

 

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Instruction sheets

 

 

Wow....this decal sheet made me need to sit down to absorb the whole package.....41 different Spitfires!!!  Not 3 or 5 or 8.......41!!!  These Spitfires range from Mk.I's to a Mk.XIV.  

As far as campaigns go...this decal sheet includes Spitfires from; 1939, Dunkirk, B.O.B., Dieppe, South Pacific (Australian) Campaign, North Africa, Malta, Sicily, D-Day Striped Spits, European campaign (St. Croix-sur-Mer and Holland). 

As for pilots featured.....well it's quite the list; Johnnie Johnson, Robert Stanford Tuck, Colin F. Gray, Adolph "Sailor" Malan, Douglas Bader, George "Buzz" Beurling, Neville Duke, Peter Dunford, Brenden "Paddy" Finucane, Ian R. Gleed, Eric S. Lock, Johnny Plagis, James Rankin, Clive R. Caldwell, Joseph Lynchdwell, Evan Mackie, Peter Brothers, Robert "Bobby" Gibbes, Frances "Gabby" Gabreski, Richard "Dick" Audet, Donald Smith, Raymond Harries.

As for historical aircraft....how about the Spitfire that Frances "Gabby" Gabreski flew his very first combat mission in or the Spitfire that shot down the 1000th aircraft during then Malta Campaign or Johnnie Johnson's JEJ Jr with the beer kegs under the wings for Squadron parties or the highest scoring Spitfire of WW2. 

As for countries....there are pilots from the Australia, Britain, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, Scotland, South Africa, United States and Wales.

This sheet includes the highest scoring Aces from  all of the main commonwealth members, Canada (Beurling), Australia (Caldwell), New Zealand (Gray), England (Johnson), Ireland (Finucane), Scotland (Rankin), and Wales (Harries). 

Good Grief.....LOOK at all the planes....there are a black one, Grey ones, Blue ones, Desert scheme ones, Green/Brown ones and Green/Grey ones.

Scroll down...look at all 41 one of them....sit back and feast your eyes......this could very well be the last Spitfire sheet you will need to buy.

Spitfire #1 is a Mk.I  K9906 flown by Flying Officer Robert Stanford Tuck of No. 65 Sqn, RAF Hornchurch in May 1939 and it's paint scheme was Dark Earth and Dark Green in the "A" pattern with paint Aluminum lower surfaces and a black spinner.
Spitfire #2 is a MK.I  (probably) N3173 flown by New Zealand Ace Pilot Officer Colin F. Gray of No.54 Sqn, RAF Hornchurch in May 1940 and it's paint scheme was Dark Earth and Dark Green in the "A" pattern with black and white lower surfaces and a black spinner.  Dunkirk aircraft.
Spitfire #3 is a Mk.I  R6893 flown by New Zealand Ace Pilot Officer Colin F. Gray of No.54 Sqn, RAF Hornchurch in summer 1940 and it's paint scheme was Dark Earth and Dark Green in the "A" pattern with sky overpainted lower surfaces and a black spinner.  BOB aircraft.
Spitfire #4  is a Mk.I  K9953 flown by South African Ace Flight Lieutenant Adolph "Sailor" Malan of No.74 Sqn, RAF Hornchurch in May/June 1940 and it's paint scheme was Dark Earth and Dark Green in the "B" pattern with night/white lower surfaces split down the centreline and a black spinner.  Dunkirk aircraft.
Spitfire #5 is a Mk.I  N3249 flown by Flight Lieutenant Robert Stanford Tuck of No. 92 Sqn, RAF Pembry on May 24 1940 and it's paint scheme was Dark Earth and Dark Green in the "B" pattern with night/white lower surfaces split down the centreline and a black spinner.  Dunkirk aircraft.
Spitfire #6 is a Mk. IIa  P7966 "Manxman" flown by Wing Commander Douglas Bader of Tangmere Wing in June/July 1941 and it's paint scheme was Dark Earth and Dark Green in the "A" pattern.  Lower surfaces, fuselage band and spinner in sky. 
Spitfire #7 is a Mk.Vb  EP706 flown by Flying Officer George "Buzz" Beurling of No. 249 Sqn in Malta during 1942. and it's paint scheme was Dark Earth/Mid Stone over Azur Blue and a bright red spinner.  "Buzz" amassed many kills in Malta....including while flying this aircraft.
Spitfire #8 is a Mk.Vb  ER220 flown by Flight Lieutenant Neville Duke of No. 92 Sqn, Libya in January 1943 and it's paint scheme was Dark Earth/Mid Stone over Azur Blue and a bright red spinner.  Duke scored 2 of his kills in this aircraft as well as experiencing a belly landing in this aircraft.
Spitfire #9 is a Mk.Vb  ER821 flown by Flight Lieutenant Neville Duke of No. 92 Sqn, Libya in March 1943 and it's paint scheme was Dark Earth/Mid Stone over Azur Blue and a bright red spinner.  Duke made 7 claims in this aircraft in the first week on March 1943 and was the highest scoring RAF pilot in the Mediterranean theatre by wars end. 
Spitfire #10 is a Mk.Vb  W3848 flown by Flight Sergeant Peter Dunford of No. 111 Sqn, RAF Debden in December 1941 and it's paint scheme was "Special Night" scheme which is an extremely flat lampblack colour with blotchy patches. 
Spitfire #11 is a Mk.Vb  AB852 flown by Flight Lieutenant Brenden "Paddy" Finucane of No. 452 Sqn, Kirton-on-Lindsay in September 1941 and it's paint scheme was Mixed Grey and Dark Green in "A" scheme.  Note slanted fuselage band.  "Paddy" was the top scoring Irish Ace of WW2 and drowned in the English Channel being unable to exit his ditched Spitfire.
Spitfire #12 is a Mk.Vb  AB502 flown by Wing Commander Ian R. Gleed of No. 244 Wing, Gabourine South, Tunisia in April 1943 and it's paint scheme was Dark Earth/Middle Stone over Azur Blue in a "B" scheme and a bright red spinner.   
Spitfire #13 is a MK.Vb  (unknown serial #) flown by Squadron Leader Colin Gray of No. 616 Sqn, Kings Cliff in January 1941 and it's paint scheme was Mixed Grey and Dark Green with Medium Sea Grey undersurfaces.
Spitfire #14 is a MK.Vb  W3457 flown by Flying Officer James Edgar "Johnnie" Johnson of No. 616 Sqn, RAF Tangmere in August 1941 and it's paint scheme was Dark Earth/Dark Green over sky.  The Tail band and spinner are sky in colour.  "Bader's Bus Co., Still Running" nose art.
Spitfire #15 is a MK.Vb  EP251 flown by Squadron Leader Johnnie Johnson of No. 610 Sqn, Dieppe Landings on 19 August 1942 and it's paint scheme was Dark Green/Ocean Grey over Medium Sea Grey Camo with a fuselage band and spinner in sky.
Spitfire #16 is a MK.Vb  W3257 flown by Flight Lieutenant Eric S. Lock of No. 611 Sqn, Hornchurch on 3 August 1941 and it's paint scheme was Dark Earth/Dark Green over Sky camo with a fuselage band and spinner in sky.  Lock was the highest scoring MK.1 Ace and flew in the BOB.  This is the plane he was shot down and killed in on 3 August 1941.
Spitfire #17 is a MK.Vb  BR321 flown by Flying Officer Johnny Plagis of No. 185 Sqn, Malta in early summer 1942 and it's paint scheme was Dark Earth/Mid Stone over Azure Blue with a bright red spinner. Johnny did score some kills in this aircraft over Malta including 2 Re.2001's and a Bf-109F.
Spitfire #18 is a LF MK.Vb  BL374 flown by Flight Lieutenant Johnny Plagis of No. 64 Sqn, November 1943 and it's paint scheme was Dark Green/Ocean Grey over Medium Sea Grey Camo with a fuselage band and spinner in sky.  Johnny shot down a Bf-109G and Fw-190A in this aircraft.
Spitfire #19 is a MK.Vb  W3312 flown by Squadron Leader James Rankin of No. 92 Sqn, Biggin Hill 1942 and it's paint scheme was Dark Earth/Dark Green over Sky camo.  Rankin was the highest scoring Scottish Ace of the war.
Spitfire #20 is a MK.Vb  BL336 flown by Wing Commander Robert Stanford-Tuck of Biggin Hill wing,18 January 1942 and it's paint scheme was Mixed Grey/Dark Green over Medium Sea Grey.  Tuck was shot down in this aircraft by ground flak.
Spitfire #21 is a Mk.Vc  BR301 flown by Flight Sargent George "Buzz" Beurling of No. 249 Sqn from Malta on 27 July 1942 and it's paint scheme was possibly Light and Dark Mediterranean Blue and a bright red spinner.  "Buzz" scored 4 kills in this aircraft on this day.
Spitfire #22 is a Mk.Vc  JL394 flown by Wing Commander Clive R. Caldwell of No. 1 Wing RAAF, Darwin during August 1943 and it's paint scheme was Dark Earth (possibly Australian Earth Brown)/Foliage Green over Medium Sea Gray.  
Spitfire #23 is a Mk.Vc  EP829 flown by RAF Squadron Leader Joseph Lynchdwell of No. 249 Sqn from Kendri, Malta, on 28 April 1943 and it's paint scheme is the famous Blue Malta scheme......refer to the instruction sheet for possible colours to use for this scheme.  Lynch was an American and shot down a Ju-52 in this plane.....which happened to be the 1000th kill for the Malta defenders.  
Spitfire #24 is a Mk.Vc  Jk715 flown by a New Zealander, Flying Officer Evan Mackie of No. 243 Sqn from Hal Far, Malta, during June 1943 and it's paint scheme is the famous Bluue Malta scheme......refer to the instruction sheet for possible colours to use for this scheme.  
Spitfire #25 and Spitfire #26 was a Mk.VII  MD188 flown by Wing Commander Peter Brothers of the Culmhead Wing during June 1944 and it's paint scheme can be one of the following.  Scheme A; June 1944 Medium Sea Gray over PRU Blue or Scheme B; late June/July 1944 Medium Sea Gray over PRU Blue or Scheme C; late summer 1944 Medium Sea Grey upper surfaces crudely overpainted with standard temperate scheme of Ocean Grey/Dark Green in generally the standard "A" scheme with underside of PRU blue.  
Spitfire #27 is a Mk.VIII  A-58-484 flown by Group Captian Clive R. Caldwell of No. 452 Sqn RAAF, Morotoi in early 1945 and it's paint scheme was Dark Earth (possibly Australian Earth Brown)/Foliage Green over Medium Sea Gray.  
Spitfire #28 is a Mk.VIII  A-58-602 flown by Wing Commander Robert "Bobby" Gibbes of No. 457 Sqn RAAF, Morotoi in early 1945 and it's paint scheme was field applied temperate scheme of Ocean Grey/Dark Green over Medium Sea Gray.  Note Sharks mouth.
Spitfire #29 is a MK.IXb  EN398 flown by Wing Commander J.E. Johnnie Johnson of Kenley Wing during summer 1943 and it's paint scheme was Dark Green/Ocean Grey over Medium Sea Grey with a fuselage band and spinner in sky.  This Spitfire could quite possibly be the highest scoring Spitfire of the war.  Note, bottom of fuselage band is angled.
Spitfire #30 is a MK.IXc  MA585 flown by Flight Lieutenant George "Buzz" Beurling of 403 Sqn RCAF in September 1943 and it's paint scheme was Dark Green/Ocean Grey over Medium Sea Grey with a fuselage band and spinner in sky.  30th kill for "Buzz" was in September 1943.
Spitfire #31 is a MK.IXc  MH883 flown by Flight Lieutenant George "Buzz" Beurling of 412 Sqn RCAF in December 1943 and it's paint scheme was Dark Green/Ocean Grey over Medium Sea Grey with a fuselage band and spinner in sky.  31st and final kill for "Buzz" was on Dec 30 1943. 
Spitfire #32  is a MK.IXc  BS410 flown by Captain Frances "Gabby" Gabreski of No. 315 (Polish) Sqn in January 1943 and it's paint scheme was Dark Green/Ocean Grey over Medium Sea Grey with a fuselage band and spinner in sky.  Gabby flew this Spitfire on his first combat mission of the war...famous Spitfire indeed which launch the career of a VERY famous pilot. 
Spitfire #33 is a Mk.IXc  EN520 flown by Squadron Leader Colin Gray of No. 81 Squadron, Tunisia in April 1943 and it's paint scheme was Dark Earth/Middle Stone over Azur Blue and a bright red spinner.  Gray scored 5 kills during this time frame at the end of the Tunisia campaign.   
Spitfire #34 is a Mk.IXc  MA408 flown by Wing Commander Colin Gray of No. 322 Wing, Sicily in July 1943 and it's paint scheme was Dark Earth/Middle Stone over Azur Blue and a bright red spinner.  Gray scored 5 kills during this time frame at the end of the Tunisia campaign.   
Spitfire #35 is a MK.IXe*  MK392 flown by Wing Commander J.E. Johnnie Johnson of No. 144 Wing during summer 1944 from St. Croix-sur-Mer and it's paint scheme was Dark Green/Ocean Grey over Medium Sea Grey with a fuselage band and spinner in sky with 3 different options for D-Day stripes depending to date you choose.  
Spitfire #36 is a MK.IXe*  MK392 flown by Wing Commander J.E. Johnnie Johnson of No. 127 Wing during January 1945 from Eindhoven, Holland  and it's paint scheme was Dark Green/Ocean Grey over Medium Sea Grey.  Basically same as above plane without D-Day stripes or fuselage band and spinner is black.  
Spitfire #37 is a LF MK.IXe  RR201 flown by Flight Lieutenant Richard "Dick" Audet of No. 411 Squadron on December 29 1944 from Heesch, Holland  and it's paint scheme was Dark Green/Ocean Grey over Medium Sea Grey with a fuselage band and spinner in sky.  On Dec 29 1944 "Dick" shot down 2 Bf-109's and 3 Fw-190 in a single mission......and even more amazing is his canopy came off halfway through the attacks.
Spitfire #38  is a MK.IXe  "MK329" flown by Wing Commander J.E. Johnnie Johnson of No. 144 Wing during summer 1944 from St. Croix-sur-Mer and it's paint scheme was Dark Green/Ocean Grey over Medium Sea Grey with a fuselage band and spinner in sky. This is the famous "JEJ Jr" that was used to ferry beer kegs for Squadron parties.....kegs were held on hard points under the wing(s).  Plane was created from spares from wrecks.
Spitfire #39 is a  MK.XIII  MB882 flown by Flight Lieutenant Donald Smith of No. 41 Squadron on December 29 1944 from Friston and it's paint scheme was Dark Green/Ocean Grey over Medium Sea Grey with a fuselage band and spinner in sky.  
Spitfire #40 is a  MK.XII  EN625 flown by Squadron Leader Raymond Harries of No. 91 Squadron from Hawkinge during May 1943 and it's paint scheme was Dark Green/Ocean Grey over Medium Sea Grey with a fuselage band and spinner in sky.  Harries was the top scoring Welsh Ace of the war.
Spitfire #41 is a  MK.XIV  RM787 flown by Wing Commander Colin Gray of Lympne Wing during September/Octogber 1944 and it's paint scheme was Dark Green/Ocean Grey over Medium Sea Grey with a fuselage band and spinner in sky.  Harries was the top scoring Welsh Ace of the war.

As for quality?  Well the decals themselves are beautifully printed and perfectly in register.  These decals are thick enough to provide good coverage of colours, but thin enough to conform nicely.  You get enough national insignias to do 16 or 18 aircraft of the 41 featured.  If you break down the cost per model...these are the cheapest decals you will find.  And considering the fantastic variety of famous pilots and planes featured......I think most modellers will find quite a few Spitfires on this sheet they would love to build and add to their collection.

The instruction sheets are full of data.  War stories, painting information, decal placement info of course and even highly detailed info on what type of gun to fit....what type of prop and wheels to fit (which it tells you are available from Ultracast etc) or what type of Antenna or windscreen to fit.  Heck the info is packed into this set....amazingly complete.  Often a model can become stalled on the workbench because a modeller doesn't know what prop or wheels to fit.....these instruction sheets below have done the research leg work for you with regards to these critical details.

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Instruction sheets

I suspect this decal sheet will be picked up by the astute modelers that understand the fantastic collection of decals on this sheet.  Anyone that doesn't buy this sheet will "miss the boat" on a huge assortment of fantastic and historical Spitfires.  I highly recommend this decal set to anyone interested in this beautiful collection of Spitfires. 

I'd like to thank Paul at Victory Models for bringing this sheet to my attention by sending me a review sample.

Steve Bamford

Photos and text by Steve Bamford