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Horbaczewski and polish squadrons

6 Jun

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In all my 30 years of model building, this is the first model I have encountered that did not require filler of any kind! (Mind you I have built many models without filler which in retrospect, could have benefited from it!). This model is exceptional. Moulded in medium grey plastic with a good assortment of canopy options – closed Malcolm hood; closed ‘clam-shell’ canopy or open ‘clam-shell’. The canopies are a touch on the thick side but have amazing clarity.
When the kit was first released the main complaint was about the curved cockpit floor and how it should be the flat wooden variety. I admit that Tamiya got that bit wrong but it is something I can live with – especially as it comes with a kit that assembles so well. Once the closed Malcolm hood is installed, the floor is really not that visible. One major plus is the option of building it with the flaps down.

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Squadron Leader Eugeniusz Horbaczewski: At the close of hostilities in Europe, the Polish manned fighter squadrons within the RAF had accounted 922 ‘Confirmed’ and 188 ‘Probable’ victories. In addition they claimed 258 ‘Damaged’ enemy aircraft and produced forty-one aces, six of which had shot down ten or more aircraft. Amongst the most legendary of all the Polish aces was S/Ldr Eugeniusz Horbaczewski. Polish pilots were noted for their bravery and Horbaczewski was no exception. For instance, on 22 June 1944, while No 315 Deblinski Squadron was on a strafing mission, W/O T Tarnowiez was shot down by flak and crashed in a marsh. Horbaczewski landed on an uncompleted Normandy landing strip and rescued his comrade and flew back to base sitting on his lap. On 18 August, twelve Mustangs from No 315 Sqn engaged sixty Fw 190s. During the ensuing battle which lasted some fifteen minutes, they claimed sixteen enemy aircraft shot down for loss of only one Mustang. This single loss was that of S/Ldr Eugeniusz Horbaczewski, but not before he had downed three Fw 190s. Horbaczewski’s final tally was sixteen aircraft and four VI flying bombs destroyed.

As this kit was to be built out-of-the-box, using the kit decals, any modifications were limited to what would pass at an IPMS Competition. Construction started with the interior, which was airbrushed with Testors Model Master Interior Green (FS34151). The seat was finished in Model Master Chromate Green, while the radio gear and instrument panel were painted with Black Chrome. A dark wash was applied to all the green components and when dry, was followed by three applications of green dry-brushing. Each subsequent dry-brushing was slightly lighter than the previous one until I had created a nice contrast between the dark areas and the high-lights. A multi-step, grey dry-brushing process was also used for the black chrome areas to break up the mono-chromatic look. Afterwards, small traces of red were applied to selected areas of the instrument panel, side consoles, and control stick.

Above and left: Randy’s finished Tamiya model of S/Ldr Eugeniusz Horbaczewski’s Mustang Mk III, FB387, PK-G of No 315 (Deblinski) Sqn., as she looked when based at Brenzett, in the spring of 1944.

Right: Close-up detail of the mainwheel undercarriage bay showing the various colours involved – see main text.

Below: Close-up of the nose area and undercarriage legs.

Micro Scale Kristal Kleer was applied to the instrument faces, and the kit supplied seat belt decal was finally added to the seat. Tamiya also supply a decal for the instrument panel, but I find these are a little too vibrant in comparison with the rest of the interior.

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Part numbers A13 and B15 are the radiator and oil cooler and they were airbrushed with Testors Metalizer Aluminium and then given a black wash to pick out the details. The tail wheel opening was airbrushed with Testors Zinc Chromate Yellow and then the fuselage halves were assembled, trapping all the previously finished interior components.
Step three of the instruction relates to the installation of the exhaust pipes. Tamiya suggests installing them at this stage but this would Jead to unnecessary masking. I found it best to leave them off until after painting the main airframe. You should however, verify with photographs of the subject being modelled, as both shrouded and unshrouded exhausts are included with the kit. Horbaczewski’s Mustang had the unshrouded style. These two parts were airbrushed with Metalizer Burnt Iron – after the pipes were drilled out.
The upper and lower halves of the wing were assembled and the mainwheel wells were finished in three different colours. The main spar at the back of the mainwheel well was painted Chromate Yellow; Interior Green was applied to the main spar that separates the two wells; and the remainder of the wells were finished in Metalizer Aluminium. Tamiya’s instructions indicate a wheel well colour of Interior Green overall, but based on my references, (‘Camouflage and Markings, NA Mustang, RAF Northern Europe 1936-45’, and ‘P-51 Mustang in Color’) this is incorrect.

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A dark wash was next applied to the details and then the gear doors were tacked in place, in the closed position using Kristal Kleer. This prevents any underside colour over-spray from getting in the wells. The main wing and both tailplanes were attached at this time. The fit of these parts is superb. No filler of any kind was necessary. At this point, the engine cowl breather vents, gun barrels and any other miscellaneous openings were drilled out.

316 squadron

Next, the canopy was attached, the framing masked off and then given a light coat of Interior Green. The instructions show an external rear view mirror on Horbaczewski’s aircraft, but this is incorrect. He did have a mirror, but it was the internal type – so I left off part A3.

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I was now ready to start painting the model, and it was at this point some of the errors in the instruction sheet came to my attention. Tamiya’s painting guide does not indicate the white band around the nose, immediately behind the spinner and the bands around the wings. These,

Above: Close-up of the exhaust manifolds and engine cowl breather vents – all suitably drilled out.

Left: Close-up of the canopy area • note the correct absence of a rear view mirror.

tamiya spitfire 1 32

Victor G. Archer describes and illustrates the official paint schemes

Yellow wing leading edge identification stripes were not painted on at the NAA plant, being added later by RAF Maintenance Units in the UK.
The colours and camouflage pattern followed the existing RAF requirements exactly, except that the RAF Dark Green colour was replaced by USAAF ANA Bulletin 157 Olive Drab 613. Note that this shade of Olive Drab was not the same as the earlier USAAF Bulletin 41 Dark Olive Drab No 41, being somewhat lighter and greener.
All of the ANA colours had been agreed on at joint RAF/USAAF meetings in 1942 and early 1943, with many RAF and USAAF colours being dropped in favour of jointly used colours. (Full details of these colours can be found in Chapter 7 of the Schiffer Publishing book,
‘USAAF Aircraft

plastic model aircraft 1 72 scale



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The following notes complete the NAA instructions for interior and exterior surfaces:

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