World War 2 plastic models part 1
World War 2 spanned five years, from 1939 to 1945. This page covers (broadly) the first half of that war.
Battle of Britain and beforeLooks like he has just hosed down my garden hose with his machine guns…
The 1/48th scale Spitfire has a nine-inch span.
Standard RAF fighter camouflage during the summer of 1940 was this pattern of ‘RAF dark green’ and ‘dark earth’ on the upper surfaces and fuselage, and a ‘sky’ (often described as ‘duck egg green’) underside.
Propeller spinners were either sky or black. Often a sky band was painted round the aft fuselage, as here. Some squadrons painted one wing underside black.
Roundels were the ‘A type’ with a large amount of white (and, where applicable, yellow) and the small central red disc. The fin flash was equal red, white, and blue (in horizontal division). The gray squadron codes on the fuselage sides were, in my opinion, normally a lighter shade than those supplied with this Tamiya kit. The under-belly oil stain was a hallmark of the Spitfire.
I made the propeller disc by cutting it out of transparent plastic sheet. Cutting the central hole so it fits the spinner is the most difficult part. I filled the holes in the spinner (for the omitted propeller blades) with plastic putty filler.
Other than the fake spinning propeller, I made this Tamiya kit exactly as supplied. However, Humbrol ‘dark earth’ has drifted from specification over the years. (It is too dark and too red, which struck me when I first painted this model in 2012, and my suspicion was confirmed on the Britmodeller forum.) Therefore, in 2019, I repainted the upper surfaces in Valejo acrylics. I then added replacement decals, which I found on eBay after about a year of waiting for a set to come up for sale.
After the French and British forces withdrew from France to England in the spring of 1940, the RAF fought the Luftwaffe over southern England. That air battle, fought during the summer and a warm and largely cloudless early autumn, prevented the armed forces of Germany from invading Britain.Even in 1/48th scale, the Bf109 is a small model. This is the Tamiya kit.
This is an early P-40, before the red disc was deleted from the US star after the attack on Pearl Harbor.
My Tamiya 1/48th scale Mitsubishi A6M2 Zero was on my modeling table for three years! Nevertheless, I think that the result is good, by my own rough-and-ready standards.
I finished this example, as flown by ace Saburō Sakai, in a moderately ‘weathered’ state, so it is a while after Pearl Harbour.
Continued on World War 2 plastic models part 2.
Adolf versus Adolph, my review of the 1968 movie The Battle of Britain
Hero to Zero, my review of the anime The Wind Rises, which depicts a version of the life of Jiro Horikoshi, designer of the Mitsubishi Zero. The anime also constitutes a history of Japan in the first half of the 20th Century.