Photos by Mr. Steve Byars
am a retired U.S. Naval Flight Officer (22 yrs) with over 3,000 hrs and 250
carrier arrested landings in the Lockheed S-3B Viking aircraft. I was an avid
modeler up until I graduated from college in 1979 and went off to Pensacola, FL
to receive my wings of gold after attending Aviation Officer Candidate School,
commissioning and flight school. My modeling has virtually been on hold since
work for a defense contractor supporting Commander, Naval Air Force, Pacific
Fleet, Aviation Life Support Systems Class Desk. My decision for building this
Revell 1/32 Supermarine Spitfire MK-1/II kit was twofold:
First, I wanted to present it to our Martin-Baker ejection seat
representative on the occasion of his retirement after 38 yrs of support service
to our command. He is an avid aircraft enthusiast with special interest in WWII
British aircraft; and second, it
rekindled my modeling interest and gave me a chance get the rust off of my
The kit is
basically out of the box with some minor scratchbuilding (seat cushions) and
aftermarket seat belts and resin bulge tires.
I bored out the pilot figure head leaving the helmet.
Additionally, cut the gloves off and sanded the bottoms to make them lay
flat. Both were painted, weathered
and placed on the canopy rail and left wing root, respectively.
All painting and drybrushing of the cockpit and exterior was done with
Testor's RAF WWII acrylics and a final coat of clear semi-gloss.
I did some minor kit bashing regarding decals.
I wanted to personalize it for him so I put his initials (BD) on the
fuselage along with a P for his hometown (Pinner) in England. As you may know,
many Spitfires were named for villages (towns) in England because the
townspeople donated pots, pans, etc. that were melted down to be used to produce
aircraft in support of the war effort.
You will see
some minor flaws (skills are still a little rusty) and also had some problems
with masking tape pulling off parts of some decals. I did some paint touch up
and it looked acceptable. Overall, I was happy with the final result considering
how long it had been since I took on a project.
Note: Wooden base handmade out of Philippine mahogany and photos taken by Mr. Steve Byars
Photos and text © by Rich Rowan and Mr. Steve Byars