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Douglas Bader's Mk.VA Spitfire D-B W3185

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This is going to be my entry in this GB. Douglas Bader's Spitfire Mk VA (W3185) converted back from a Tamiya 1/48 VB. I hope it fits the criteria? Otherwise I'l withdraw my build. This is the aircraft that he was shot down in during the BoB.


Now I may need some help with this from you Spitfire experts as I've only got two pics of his a/c and it doesn't show the upper wing surface. I know for a fact that the VA had eight machine guns so I have removed the cannon from the wings and have re-etched where I think the third MG goes. I also believe there is no gun blister on the upper side of the wing so will have to remove that and back fill (marked with an X on the pic below)


Other than this I have just painted the interior of the fuselage.


If anyone can help with some pics of the upper surface (and lower if possible and nose on) of Bader's a/c or a VA they'd be greatly appreciated. Not only am I doing this for this GB, but for my brother-in-law who has just finished reading Bader's book 'Reach for the Sky' and asked me to build it for him.


Andrew :cop:

Edited by Andrew Doppel
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To be honest, you would probably have been better off making the the Tamiya Mk I a Va than trying to backdate the Vb.

All the right canopy parts are in the Mk I kit already. The only differences would have been the exhausts , oil cooler and probably the prop, all of which are available aftermarket, and adding seat/headrest armour , which is easily scratch built, or comes with most PE sets for the Spitfire.

Alternatively, you can cross kit the MkI and Vb kits to give you a Va and a Ib.

If you want to continue with backdating these Vb wings, then you'll need to, (off the top of my head, and I could be missing some things)

1: Remove the upper and lower blisters.

2: Remove those strengthener strakes.

3: Fill all the panel lines for the cannon access panels.

4: Rescribe the necessary 'a' wing MG access panels.

5: Fill the cannot shell ejection port.

6: Open up new MG ejection ports

7: Scribe in the missing landing lamp panel lines

Drilling a new MG barrel hole would only be necessary if you were going to show the barrels untaped. usually they would have been covered with patches and wouldn't be visible.



Edited by Matt
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Well it's no going back now! I have in the past few days followed Matt's instructions and since originally posting dremelled off the gun blisters, backfilled the holes with plastic card and filled the ballance with Milliput. I have also removed the other cannon and have painted up the main cockpit section including Bader. i apologise for the blurry pics but any further away and you wouldn't know what you were supposed to be looking at. Thanks Matt for the tips and thanks Is it windy yet for the comments. Here's my progress over the past few days.


Andrew :thumbsup:








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  • 2 weeks later...

I was going to put this project on its wheels for my brother-in-law just to have sitting on his desk, but he requested that I put it in a flying pose when ready so over the past few days I have closed shop on the fuselage and wings and have made an ajustable stand for it with some copper pipe and home made wooden base (I intend to sand and stain) through where the landing light was as this seems to be just off its centre of gravity so it can be posed in a shallow dive. Here's how it looks now.


Andrew :woo:




Edited by Andrew Doppel
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Thanks Mike and here's how it looks now;


Notice the Dambuster in the background? It's in the Dropping Iron GB

It's a bit wet in Melbourne at the moment, so I'm going to have to wait a couple of days before the green goes on. Hopefully by the time it's painted my decals will have arrived from the States.


Andrew :stupid:

Edited by Andrew Doppel
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Here's tonight's update guys. Everything bar the pitot tube and Mirror are fitted. I've just sprayed it with clear gloss ready for when the decals arrive either tomorrow or Monday. This is how she looked prior to the gloss coat. I also managed to track down the Base Squadron 'Tangmere' crest which was where Bader was based when shot down. The crest will be inlaid when I clear varnish the stand. I hope you like it.


Andrew :woot.gif:





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Thanks IIWY for the comment. Here she is with the decals on. Just have to do the wash and weathering then the finishing touches. Hopefully to be done by tomorrow night if not later this week.


Andrew B)




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  • 2 months later...

Hi Andrew, sorry if I'm trangressing digging up this thread, its not that old though. ;) I was looking around for info on Baders Va following a thread at Britmodeller. You haven't mentioned where your decals came from & what references you used. It'd be good to know that, was it a set or put together from generics? Nice model too btw, it looks good on that stand. :thumbsup:


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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 5 months later...
Thanks Ray,

Thought you'd already seen it on AMI?


Andrew :salute:

ummm hi im new to the site, i have a diecast model spitfire, and it matches your plane exactly, like down to the camo and numbers on the decals, except my models been through some abuse and is missing the tail fins, propeller, and cockpit glass, can i ask what you used as a reference for your model? im looking to buy a new one.

cheers, conner.

Edited by spitfire2713
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