453 SQN RAAF, UK 1943

1/72 Spitfire Mk VII

by David Edwards


For a preview of this decal sheet, have a look at David Harvey's comments here.

I've fiercely resisted the urge to expand my aircraft modelling into RAAF Squadrons in Europe and the Med, but the tale of some unique Spitfire VIIs has intrigued me since Tony Mollica first raised it on Hyperscale a few years back.  When Mr Harvey handballed the 1/72 sheet my way, the excuse to build a model of this subject was ready made.

In 1/72, Ventura had a very nice Spitfire VII kit which does need some cockpit detailing and a bit of cleanup.  Naturally one turned up on Ebay just as I finished mine.  Hasegawa also kits this mark, but they miss some minor details such as the cabin bulkhead and external canopy rails.  I couldn't find one of these either, but the lovely blokes at Snowy Mountain Models were able to source a VIII for me at a bargain price.  My mate Bruce Archer was able to come up with some resin wing tips as well as a heap of advice on Spitfire VII features, so I was good to go.

A word of minor caution on the artwork provided with the decals.  The side views show 3 stack exhausts, which are correct for earlier marks, and the plan view shows bulges on the wing uppers above the wheel wells which are correct for later aircraft and need to be removed from Mr Hasegawa's kit.  No big deal, but I thought I should mention it!

I chose the Medium Sea Grey/PRU blue scheme because it's pretty and there's a photo of this aircraft included in the instructions.  For the grey I mixed Xtracolour 50% with the old Humbrol Authentics shade, and the blue is the Agama enamel NKR used to sell.  My first application went on badly, so it was a strip, reputty and respray job.

As expected, the decals went on like a charm.  I viewed the application of a white code letter over each black serial with skepticism, but it was no problem at all.  The clear carrier for the serial and squadron codes presented no silvering, and the decals settled well with microset and microsol.

Another highly recommended decal sheet from Red Roo with hopefully more to come!

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