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Spitfire Mk.Ia

by David Turner


Supermarine Spitfire Mk Ia
No 65 (East India) Squadron


Tamiya's 1/48 scale Spitfire Mk.I is available online from Squadron.com




Tamiya 1/48 Spitfire Mk Ia

No 65 (East India) Squadron

Motto: “By Force Of Arms” 

On completion of pilot’s course, Pilot Officer Robert Stanford Tuck was posted to 65(F) Squadron to fly Gloster Gauntlets and Gladiators. He was promoted to Flying Officer during 1938 and was selected to represent 65SQN on the Spitfire conversion course to be held at Duxford.  The first Mk Ia that he flew was K9796 and it is safe to say, that it made a lasting impression on the young aviator. He returned to 65SQN on January 9th 1939, as one of the RAF’s first qualified Spitfire pilots. Following the outbreak of the second world war, he was made a flight commander in that unit.


The Model

The first Spitfire is marked as FZ o L, K9906 during May 1939; this was one of the earliest squadron-assigned Spitfires flown by RST. It is in the standard pre-war colour scheme of Dark Earth and Dark Green in the “A” pattern camouflage, with painted Aluminium lower surfaces. I used Gunze paints for the upper surfaces, with Testor's Aluminium non-buffing metaliser for the lower surfaces. 

The basic kit was modified to represent the early Mk Ia configuration as follows:

·   Unarmoured windscreen and flat-sided pressure-vent equipped hood. (Falcon Clear Vac set 51 – Spitfire Special)

·   Pole type antenna mast made from brass tubing.

·   Addition of a ring sight from Eduard.

·   Modification of the pitot tube to the early twin-probe type.

·   Chassis retraction selector box replaced with hydraulic hand pump and selector lever.

·   Deletion of the voltage regulator.

·   Replacement of the poorly represented kit seat with the Cutting Edge Spitfire seat with early “Sutton” harness. (CEC48347)

·   The exhausts were replaced with items from Ultracast (48040)

·   Decals are from the Victory Productions, Spitfire – Aces of the Empire set (VPD48006)


An excellent photo of this aircraft appears on Page 38 in “Combat Legend. Spitfire Mks I – V” by Peter Caygill (2002, Airlife Publishing Ltd). This clearly shows pertinent modification details and depicts the aircraft with the serial repainted in miniature on the fin.



Additional Images


Click on the thumbnails below to view larger images:

Model and Text Copyright © 2003 by SQNLDR David Turner
Model Images Copyright © 2003 by Brett Green
Page Created 15 September, 2003
Last Updated 25 March, 2004

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