Monday, September 6, 2010

Spitfire! The Second Wave. Coming in October!

You say you can't get enough Spitfire stuff? Well, you are in luck. We never get tired of them either.

The Spitfire VIII sheet was originally scheduled to be released in late August, but the release of the P-40 sheets took longer than expected due to the race to catch up on orders and the US National Convention last month in Phoenix. In order for the sheets to not overlap too much, they have been re-scheduled to be released in October.

It was a fortuitous turn of events, as the original announcement prompted two very helpful and knowledgeable individuals to email me with information that showed the profiles published back in July for the Spitfire VIII sheet to contain some errors. In the case of the 152 Squadron Spitfire , it was a simple transposition of the serial number, and a very easy quick fix.

For the second subject, the rework was extensive, based on 7 new very clear photos of the subject I had never seen before. A58-517, the Australian Spitfire VIII coded UP-F is an interesting aircraft. Originally described by Geoffrey Pentland in 1971 as being painted in a intriguing light and dark green camouflage scheme. While very colorful and different, this scheme has since been shown to have no basis in fact.

More recently, it was thought that the aircraft arrived in Australia painted in desert colors of Dark Earth and Middle Stone over Azure Blue. The thinking was that the Middle Stone was then painted over in Foliage Green. Most recently, it was discovered that this batch of Mk VIIIs were delivered in European Temperate scheme of Dark Green and Ocean Grey over Medium Sea Grey. A surviving wreck from this serial batch survives, and carries these colors. That's pretty much case closed, and is borne out in the contrast between the colors and the look of the paint application.

Closer photos also revealed the true look of the Elephant, which was, according to the pilot himself, painted grey, not pink. A number of other fine details have been reworked and refined, including the wrap around camo under the nose; the end result being a much more accurate representation of Hava Go Jo.

In answer to the many requests from Australian modellers for Australian style treaded tires (tyres) worn by many of the Mk VIIIs operational down under during WWII, we got you covered. The treaded tires are quite different than the postwar style or the modern style seen today. They are being developed in both 48th and 32nd scales, and should be released at the same time as the new decals. More resin for this epic kit is also being developed.

Also in development are some new resin upgrade sets for 1/72nd scale builders, and some interesting new resin sets in 1/48th scale that are not aircraft related.

On top of that, I am gearing up for the IPMS/UK show in November. As big and impressive as the IPMS/USA National Convention is, Scale Modelworld in Telford is considerably bigger. Easily 10,000 built models in one very large building is an impressive site. The Vendor room is bigger by a factor, with many major manufacturers and cottage industries displaying their wares. While the US Nats is dominated by new and used kits for sale, the Telford show is dominated by the aftermarket guys, small manufacturers, and model club displays, which are arguably the highlight of the show.

A number of new products will be targeted for the European market for the show. This will be something like my 10th UK nationals since I first attended in the late 1980s. It has grown considerably since I first stated showing up. highly recommended. Get there one day if you can swing it. You will not be disappointed.

Anyway, that's all for tonight. More soon on my very interesting road trip to Phoenix. Interesting as in "What else could possibly go wrong?", rather than "I'd be happy to give you a ride to Phoenix, Ms. Beckinsale... sorry about your Jaguar XKR breaking down in the middle of the desert". It was a great show. Getting there was NOT half the fun this time. Neither was getting home...

Happy modeling!