RAF No.92 (formerly known as “East India”) is a Test
and Evaluation Squadron based at RAF Waddington, Lincolnshire. It was formed as
part of the Royal Flying Corps at London Colney as a fighter unit on 1 September
1917 and deployed to France in July 1918, where it flew both air superiority and
direct ground support missions. It was disbanded at Eil on 7 August 1919 and
reformed on 10 October 1939, at Tangmere Airfield. Though supposed to be
equipped with medium bombers, it instead became one of the first RAF units to
receive Spitfires, going on to fight in the Battle of Britain.
In February 1942, the Squadron was posted to Egypt to join Air Headquarters Western Desert to support the Allies on the ground. Upon the personnel’s arrival there in April no aircraft were available, with some pilots flying operations with Hawker Hurricanes of 80 Squadron. Spitfires finally arrived in August and the unit commenced operations from RAF Heliopolis over the El Alamein sector, and then at Landing Ground 173 in the Western Desert.
Neville Frederick Duke, DSO, OBE, DFC & Two Bars, AFC, FRAeS (11 January 1922 – 7 April 2007) was a British test pilot and fighter ace of the Second World War, credited with the destruction of 27 enemy aircraft and acknowledged as one of the world's foremost test pilots. In 1953, he became holder of the world air speed record when he flew a Hawker Hunter at 727.63 mph (1,171.01 km/h) over Littlehampton.
Duke was posted to 92 Squadron at Biggin Hill in April, flying Spitfire Mk Vs. When the unit was withdrawn for a rest in October 1941, Duke was posted to North Africa to fly with 112 Squadron on the Curtiss Tomahawk, which he found less agreeable than the Spitfire. In November 1942, he rejoined the recently transferred to North Africa 92 Squadron, flying the tropicalized Spitfire Mk V. He became a Flight Commander in February 1943 and received a Distinguished Service Order in March. By the end of his second tour in June, Duke had amassed a further 14 victories to his total and was awarded a bar to his DFC.
For a more comprehensive history on Neville Duke and his accomplishments, you should look no further than Tom’s article on a beautifully built Eduard ER821 Neville Duke’s Spitfire Vb.
This is the
late 70’s Airfix mold that had been reboxed numerous times till 2013 and
superseded by the 2014 new tool. Simplistic and soft on details, compared to the
more recent offerings, let alone the latest Wunderkits, but with correct shape
and pleasant, uncomplicated construction, this is an unpretentious elderly
fellow that had loyally accompanied us during our earlier modeling years.
The specific kit is the 1994 Mk.Vb rebox and was a surprise present from my Dutch friend John. Needless to say, I jumped into building it immediately upon reception. For a more in-depth look at the kit's contents, you may read its preview found at the MM archives.
I started by attaching the front and rear bulkhead
(the front contains the instrument panel) to the starboard fuselage half, then
joined the fuselage. The seat, control stick, gunsight and the rear wheel were
left off to be attached at end stages. The prop shaft was affixed in position
and secured by styrene pieces glued to the fuselage, thus retaining its rotating
function, with the prop itself also able to be attached at end stages.
Basic cockpit color was Hu78 Interior Green, with instrument panel, side consoles, stick grip and headrest painted black. The instrument panel and consoles were dry brushed with silver to bring out the raised details and had a couple of red “knobs” done with red paint and a very fine brush. The seat had its cushion painted “leather” and received seat belts made from masking tape.
The main wing was then assembled and attached to the fuselage, followed by the Vokes tropical intake. I decided to separate the elevators from the horizontal stabilizers, in order to droop them for more dynamic looks. To do so, I gently ran the back side of my hobby knife through the hinge lines, then, upon separation, smoothed the appearing edges and finally attached the horizontal stabilizers to the fuselage.
While the radiator shape-wise looked good , its prominent inlet and outlet screens were totally flat, so I decided to attach pieces of fine mesh onto them, painted black and heavily dry brushed with silver, with the final result looking more believable. The radiator housing was then attached, with the duct innards painted “steel”.
Overall fit varied from good (fuselage) to average (wing roots, air filter). With the basic model assembled, I decided to treat the emerging gaps first with liquefied styrene and then with “normal” putty. Upon sanding, I took the bird to the paint shop!
|COLORS & MARKINGS|
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