Aeromaster 48-597: Defenders of Malta, pt 1

Units: Various


$9.00 MSRP ($7.00 at North American Hobbies )


Scott Van Aken

This is the first of two sheets covering the defenders of Malta from 1940 to 1943 when it really was under no threat from the then-capitulated Italians. The Germans were too busy trying to halt the Allies in Italy to bother with attacking this small island. What is really nice about this sheet is that it covers a large number of aircraft and schemes. My kind of sheet. There are enough insignia to do three of these planes if you choose carefully. However, getting RAF roundels isn't a real problem and you can always use the kit ones in a pinch. Let's get to what's on the sheet.

First is one of the Sea Gladiators dubbed by the press as Faith, Hope and Charity. Actually that is a total myth as to them being so named and also being the only defending aircraft. But it made good press and like many other war-time myths, continues to last over 50 years later. It is in standard FAA colors with one lower side painted black and the other white as was the norm for fighters in 1940.

Next is  Hurricane I with a tropical filter. It is in desert colors and locally applied by the Hal Far flight folks in 1940.

This Hurricane IIB is in standard European colors of dark green, dark earth and sky and is from 261 Sq in 1941. You'll note that it does not have the butt-ugly Vokes filter.

The first Spitfire is this Mk Vc. It is in the blue upper colors painted on it during the trip to Malta aboard the Wasp. This is probably deck paint and was so done to make it blend in with the deck during transit. It was assigned to 603 Sq and has the filter.

Also 'filtered' is this 185 Sq Spit Vb from 1942. It is in a proper desert scheme. It still has early war roundels on the side and lower surfaces.

This next Spit Vb is the mount of Wing Commander Peter Prosser Hanks (hence the PPH code). It is in desert colors with the newer roundels but without the filter.

The final plane is from 249 Sqn's CO and is the plane flown for Malta's 1,000th air victory in April 1943. It is also in desert colors and with the filter. This is a Spitfire Vc with a black spinner.

So there you have it. A really fine sheet and surely one where you can find a scheme that appeals.

Review sheet courtesy North American Hobbies, where you can get everything from 20-30% below retail.

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