Author Topic: 1:72 Supermarine (Type 250) Skylark Mk. I, Irish Army Air Corps, 1938  (Read 469 times)

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Offline Dizzyfugu

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Retro-models seem to be the current hot sh!t - incidently, I just finished a build similar to KiwiZac's P-40A. Here comes the missing link between Spitfire's Type 224 and 300 (the Spitfire): the Type 250, better known as Supermarine Skylark Mk. I, in Irish Armry Air Corps service, 1938, right after the type's service intruduction:


1:72 Supermarine (Type 250) “Skylark Mk. I”, aircraft “50” of the Irish Army Air Corps (IAAC) No. 1 Squadron; Baldonnel (Dublin), late 1938 (What-if/modified Hasegawa kit)
by dizzyfugu, on Flickr



Some background:
The Supermarine Type 250 was a fighter design that responded to the British Air Ministry specification F.5/34 for a new single-seat fighter that was primarily intended to intercept incoming bombers. Five companies responded with proposals, Bristol with the Type 146, Martin-Baker with the M.B.2, Vickers with the Type 279 Venom, Gloster F.5/34 and Supermarine with the Type 250.

The first design of the Type 250 still retained fabric covering on the fuselage and the outer wings. The engine was to be the liquid-cooled Rolls-Royce Kestrel with 520 hp, which drove a wooden fixed-pitch two-blade propeller and featured a ventral radiator and a separate oil cooler under the inner starboard side gull wing, a characteristic feature that helped reduce the length of the fixed, spatted landing gear. The wings already had an elliptic shape that became the trademark of the later Type 300, the legendary Spitfire. The cockpit was semi-enclosed, with open sides and a short spine behind it. Despite the conservative layout, much detail work was invested into structural lightness, a compact and streamlined airframe. Armament consisted of four 0.303" machine guns, a synchronized pair in the fuselage flanks, firing through the propeller disc, and another, unsynchronized pair in the wings just outboard of the gull wing's kink.


1:72 Supermarine (Type 250) “Skylark Mk. I”, aircraft “50” of the Irish Army Air Corps (IAAC) No. 1 Squadron; Baldonnel (Dublin), late 1938 (What-if/modified Hasegawa kit)
by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


1:72 Supermarine (Type 250) “Skylark Mk. I”, aircraft “50” of the Irish Army Air Corps (IAAC) No. 1 Squadron; Baldonnel (Dublin), late 1938 (What-if/modified Hasegawa kit)
by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


1:72 Supermarine (Type 250) “Skylark Mk. I”, aircraft “50” of the Irish Army Air Corps (IAAC) No. 1 Squadron; Baldonnel (Dublin), late 1938 (What-if/modified Hasegawa kit)
by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


1:72 Supermarine (Type 250) “Skylark Mk. I”, aircraft “50” of the Irish Army Air Corps (IAAC) No. 1 Squadron; Baldonnel (Dublin), late 1938 (What-if/modified Hasegawa kit)
by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


By 1935, however, the design had evolved and changed in many details. For instance, the Type 250 had acquired a number of improved features such as a metal stressed-skin fuselage (only the rudders were still covered with fabric), a more powerful (630 hp) version of the Kestrel and an upgraded armament, which had the wing-mounted machine guns replaced with new 20mm Hispano cannon.
The rationale behind the latter decision was the tactical insight, that modern fighters would only have few opportunities to open fire on incoming bombers due to the ever-raising speed of modern aircraft. In consequence, the potential weight of fire had to be increased to ensure an effective hit upon the first opportunity. Since the Type 250's thin and complex wings did not offer enough room for more machine guns, the weapon's caliber was simply raised and the 20 mm cannons and their drum magazines hidden under streamlined fairings, their barrels protruding from the wing’s leading edge. The improvement was considerable: with its original weapons, the Type 250 had a weight of fire of ~1.8 kg/sec. with an effective firing range of 1,500 yd (1,400 m), while the heavier guns raised this to ~4 kg/sec. with a maximum firing range of up to 7,000 yd (6,500 m). The only drawback was the relatively small supply of rounds: only 60 could be carried per weapon.


1:72 Supermarine (Type 250) “Skylark Mk. I”, aircraft “50” of the Irish Army Air Corps (IAAC) No. 1 Squadron; Baldonnel (Dublin), late 1938 (What-if/modified Hasegawa kit)
by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


1:72 Supermarine (Type 250) “Skylark Mk. I”, aircraft “50” of the Irish Army Air Corps (IAAC) No. 1 Squadron; Baldonnel (Dublin), late 1938 (What-if/modified Hasegawa kit)
by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


1:72 Supermarine (Type 250) “Skylark Mk. I”, aircraft “50” of the Irish Army Air Corps (IAAC) No. 1 Squadron; Baldonnel (Dublin), late 1938 (What-if/modified Hasegawa kit)
by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


The first prototype made its maiden flight in April 1936. Compared to its contemporaries, test pilots found the Type 250 prototypes had a shorter take off run, offered better initial climb and were more responsive and manoeuvrable due to ailerons that did not become excessively heavy at high speed. Handling was considered very good and the all-round cockpit visibility was far better than other designs (which had fully closed cockpits, though). In a shallow dive, the Type 250 was capable of exceeding 310 mph (500 km/h), while top speed at level flight was 280 mph (450 km/h).


1:72 Supermarine (Type 250) “Skylark Mk. I”, aircraft “50” of the Irish Army Air Corps (IAAC) No. 1 Squadron; Baldonnel (Dublin), late 1938 (What-if/modified Hasegawa kit)
by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


1:72 Supermarine (Type 250) “Skylark Mk. I”, aircraft “50” of the Irish Army Air Corps (IAAC) No. 1 Squadron; Baldonnel (Dublin), late 1938 (What-if/modified Hasegawa kit)
by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


1:72 Supermarine (Type 250) “Skylark Mk. I”, aircraft “50” of the Irish Army Air Corps (IAAC) No. 1 Squadron; Baldonnel (Dublin), late 1938 (What-if/modified Hasegawa kit)
by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


1:72 Supermarine (Type 250) “Skylark Mk. I”, aircraft “50” of the Irish Army Air Corps (IAAC) No. 1 Squadron; Baldonnel (Dublin), late 1938 (What-if/modified Hasegawa kit)
by dizzyfugu, on Flickr



Supermarine's Type 250 debuted officially at the 1936 Hendon Air Show under its official name "Skylark", and serial production for the Royal Air Force, which had ordered 100 aircraft, started. However, this order was already cancelled in 1937 when it had become obvious that types like the Hawker Hurricane, as well as Supermarine's own new Spitfire, both monoplanes with retractable landing gear and a fully closed cockpit, easily outperformed the "Skylark" in almost any tactical aspect, and had much more development potential. In consequence, production stopped prematurely after only 65 airframes, which were delivered only to RAF 25 and 43 Squadron, where they replaced Hawker Fury biplanes.


1:72 Supermarine (Type 250) “Skylark Mk. I”, aircraft “50” of the Irish Army Air Corps (IAAC) No. 1 Squadron; Baldonnel (Dublin), late 1938 (What-if/modified Hasegawa kit)
by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


1:72 Supermarine (Type 250) “Skylark Mk. I”, aircraft “50” of the Irish Army Air Corps (IAAC) No. 1 Squadron; Baldonnel (Dublin), late 1938 (What-if/modified Hasegawa kit)
by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


1:72 Supermarine (Type 250) “Skylark Mk. I”, aircraft “50” of the Irish Army Air Corps (IAAC) No. 1 Squadron; Baldonnel (Dublin), late 1938 (What-if/modified Hasegawa kit)
by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


However, they were soon retired from these front line units, and plans to upgrade the aircraft with fully closed canopies and three-blade metal propellers with variable pitch to a Mk. II standard were never carried out. The RAF “Skylarks” were relegated to the advanced trainer role or used as instructional airframes until 1943. Additionally, a number of the retired RAF “Skylark” Mk. Is were also sold to Ireland (six in 1937) and Iraq (ten in 1938), where they served until the late Forties.



1:72 Supermarine (Type 250) “Skylark Mk. I”, aircraft “50” of the Irish Army Air Corps (IAAC) No. 1 Squadron; Baldonnel (Dublin), late 1938 (What-if/modified Hasegawa kit)
by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


1:72 Supermarine (Type 250) “Skylark Mk. I”, aircraft “50” of the Irish Army Air Corps (IAAC) No. 1 Squadron; Baldonnel (Dublin), late 1938 (What-if/modified Hasegawa kit)
by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


1:72 Supermarine (Type 250) “Skylark Mk. I”, aircraft “50” of the Irish Army Air Corps (IAAC) No. 1 Squadron; Baldonnel (Dublin), late 1938 (What-if/modified Hasegawa kit)
by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


1:72 Supermarine (Type 250) “Skylark Mk. I”, aircraft “50” of the Irish Army Air Corps (IAAC) No. 1 Squadron; Baldonnel (Dublin), late 1938 (What-if/modified Hasegawa kit)
by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


1:72 Supermarine (Type 250) “Skylark Mk. I”, aircraft “50” of the Irish Army Air Corps (IAAC) No. 1 Squadron; Baldonnel (Dublin), late 1938 (What-if/modified Hasegawa kit)
by dizzyfugu, on Flickr



General characteristics:
    Crew: one pilot
    Length: 29 ft 11 in (9.12 m)
    Wingspan: 36 ft 10 in (11.23 m)
    Height: 11 ft 5 in (3.86 m)
    Wing area: 242.1 ft2 (22.48 m²)
    Airfoil: NACA 2213 (root)
    NACA 2209.4 (tip)
    Empty weight: 4,190 lb (1,900 kg)
    Loaded weight: 5,400 lb (2,449 kg)
    Max. takeoff weight: 5,600 lb (2,542 kg)

Powerplant:
    1× Rolls-Royce Kestrel XV supercharged V12 engine, 685 hp (511 kW) at 2,240 rpm for
      take-off and 631 hp (471 kW) at 2,900 rpm at 14,400 ft (4,400 m)

Performance:
    Maximum speed: 244 knots (280 mph, 451 km/h) at 16,000 ft (4,875 m)
    Rate of climb: 2,300 ft/min[121] (11.7 m/s)
    Climb to 10,000 ft (3,050 m): 4.75 min
    Service ceiling: 32,500 ft (9,910 m)
    Wing loading: 17.3 lb/ft² (84 kg/m²)
    Power/mass: 0.163 hp/lb (0.269 kW/kg)

Armament:
    2× synchronized 0.303-in Vickers machine guns in fuselage sides with 300 RPG
    2× 0.787-in (20mm) Hispano Mk. I cannons with 60 RPG in the wings
    Provision for 20 lb (9.1 kg) bomb carriers under the outer wings



The kit and its assembly:
This model was inspired by a drawing, created by Paul Mason in 2013 but re-posted by modeler ben summerfield at FlickR who was about to build something along its lines:


1/72 Supermarine Type 250 1936 inspired by dizzyfugu kit bash masterpieces.
by ben summerfield, on Flickr

As a side note, his build went a very different direction, which can be seen here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/139863929@N06/albums/72157712434408801


I had already built a similar aircraft a while ago, a retrograded Messerschmitt Bf 109 with spats and an open cockpit (as a fictional Bf 94), but found the idea of a British counterpart very attractive. Even more so because of the particularly elegant lines of this so-called “Type 250”.

At its core, this heavily modified model is a Hasegawa Spitfire Mk. I, chosen because of the kit’s simplicity, good fit and very delicate surface details. Many changes were made, though, partly inspired by the drawing, but also following my own instincts. The biggest changes concern the engine and the wings.

I found the Merlin from the drawing to be too modern for this aircraft, so I transplanted an earlier Kestrel engine from a Matchbox Hawker Fury biplane, together with its ventral radiator that replaced the Spitfire’s cooling system under the wings, together with the older two blade wooden propeller.
The wings were also heavily modified: landing gear wells and radiator openings were filled/closed with 2C putty. Then the wings were cut/bent and re-arranged so that they ended up in an F4U-esque, but very attractive inverted gull wing shape. Not an easy task, though, more PSR involved, but it worked well and looks very natural. Under the wings’ kinks, shortened spats from an Avia B.35 (old KP kit) were added and holes for the new/bigger guns (hollow steel needles) were drilled. As a bonus, the bulges from the original landing gear could now be used as fairings for the early Hispano 60 rounds drum magazines.


1:72 Supermarine (Type 250) "Skylark Mk. I", aircraft "50" of the Irish Army Air Corps (IAAC) No. 1 Squadron; Baldonnel (Dublin), late 1938 (What-if/modified Hasegawa kit) - WiP
by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


1:72 Supermarine (Type 250) "Skylark Mk. I", aircraft "50" of the Irish Army Air Corps (IAAC) No. 1 Squadron; Baldonnel (Dublin), late 1938 (What-if/modified Hasegawa kit) - WiP
by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


1:72 Supermarine (Type 250) "Skylark Mk. I", aircraft "50" of the Irish Army Air Corps (IAAC) No. 1 Squadron; Baldonnel (Dublin), late 1938 (What-if/modified Hasegawa kit) - WiP
by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


1:72 Supermarine (Type 250) "Skylark Mk. I", aircraft "50" of the Irish Army Air Corps (IAAC) No. 1 Squadron; Baldonnel (Dublin), late 1938 (What-if/modified Hasegawa kit) - WiP
by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


The cockpit area was modified, too, into an open configuration. The original Spitfire windscreen was retained (cut away from the OOB single-piece canopy), as well as the entry door, which was cut open for later display. The door itself was replaced with a thinner a piece of 0.5mm styrene sheet. The Spitfire’s spine was completely cut down and re-sculpted with 2C putty. I wanted a low back (similar to the late versions with a bubble canopy), only a short headrest fairing was added behind the pilot’s seat, which received recesses on its flanks for a better field of view for the pilot backwards.


1:72 Supermarine (Type 250) "Skylark Mk. I", aircraft "50" of the Irish Army Air Corps (IAAC) No. 1 Squadron; Baldonnel (Dublin), late 1938 (What-if/modified Hasegawa kit) - WiP
by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


1:72 Supermarine (Type 250) "Skylark Mk. I", aircraft "50" of the Irish Army Air Corps (IAAC) No. 1 Squadron; Baldonnel (Dublin), late 1938 (What-if/modified Hasegawa kit) - WiP
by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


A final change/addition are the machine guns in the flanks that appeared on the Paul Mason drawing. A placement on top of the engine might have been a more logical position and easier to realize with the Hawker Fury’s nose section, but I stuck to the drawing. The fairings were carved from styrene profiles and blended under the kestrel’s exhaust stubs, where the Spitfire fuselage and the Fury engine meet.


1:72 Supermarine (Type 250) "Skylark Mk. I", aircraft "50" of the Irish Army Air Corps (IAAC) No. 1 Squadron; Baldonnel (Dublin), late 1938 (What-if/modified Hasegawa kit) - WiP
by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


Painting and markings:
The original benchmark drawing for this build showed an RAF machine with standard Dark Green/Dark Earth camouflage and somewhat inconclusive markings, but I wanted a different livery, anyway, since there are already some RAF model in the standard guise in my collection. Searching for pre-WWII alternatives and also potential operators outside of Great Britain I stumbled across the Irish Gloster Gladiators that were delivered in 1938: these machine eventually received an RAF-style paint scheme when the war broke out, but before that, they carried for a short period of time (a year maybe) a very attractive scheme in green and silver, with bright national insignia. I am not certain whether this scheme was intended to be just decorative or a serious camouflage, but that’s what I eventually used on the Irish Skylark. Turned out to be a very good decision!

The Irish Gladiators’ original green carried on fuselage and fin is called “Titanine TE348”. BS5064 “Bredon Green” is supposed to be a modern tone that comes close, but there’s no direct model paint equivalent for both. According to Max Decals, who offer some sheets for Irish military vehicles, a potential option is Revell’s 360 (Fern Green, RAL 6025), and this is what I went for. The fuselage was mostly painted in this bright tone, and the green was also used on the landing gear’s spats.
The wings were painted in Matt Aluminum Metallizer from Humbrol, while Revell 99 and Polished Aluminum Metallizer was used around the engine for a brighter look (the Irish Gladiators had highly polished cowlings). The interior was painted in RAF Cockpit Green (Humbrol 78). The propeller blades received a wooden look with the help of Humbrol 63 (Sand) worked into a semi-dry base of Humbrol 62 (Leather) with a relatively hard, flat brush. The metal fairings on the blades’ leading edges are decal strips in silver.


1:72 Supermarine (Type 250) "Skylark Mk. I", aircraft "50" of the Irish Army Air Corps (IAAC) No. 1 Squadron; Baldonnel (Dublin), late 1938 (What-if/modified Hasegawa kit) - WiP
by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


The kit received a light black ink wash as well as some post shading treatment and fake panel lines with a soft pencil – more to emphasize details than for weathering, since the aircraft would be quite new and well kept. Some soot stains were added around the exhaust stubs and the gun nozzles, too.

During the pre-WWII era, Irish aircraft did not carry any roundels yet. Instead, they were marked with stripes with colors from the Irish flag on their wings and on the vertical rudder. These were created with generic decal sheet material (green, white and orange), IMHO a more convenient solution than trying to paint everything. The only other marking is the tactical code, which comes from an Xtradecal sheet for Bristol Blenheim – finding numbers in a suitable font, size and in black and white was not easy!


1:72 Supermarine (Type 250) "Skylark Mk. I", aircraft "50" of the Irish Army Air Corps (IAAC) No. 1 Squadron; Baldonnel (Dublin), late 1938 (What-if/modified Hasegawa kit) - WiP
by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


1:72 Supermarine (Type 250) "Skylark Mk. I", aircraft "50" of the Irish Army Air Corps (IAAC) No. 1 Squadron; Baldonnel (Dublin), late 1938 (What-if/modified Hasegawa kit) - WiP
by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


Finally, the kit was sealed with a sheen coat of acrylic varnish, a mix of matt and semi-gloss Italeri varnish.




1:72 Supermarine (Type 250) “Skylark Mk. I”, aircraft “50” of the Irish Army Air Corps (IAAC) No. 1 Squadron; Baldonnel (Dublin), late 1938 (What-if/modified Hasegawa kit)
by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


1:72 Supermarine (Type 250) “Skylark Mk. I”, aircraft “50” of the Irish Army Air Corps (IAAC) No. 1 Squadron; Baldonnel (Dublin), late 1938 (What-if/modified Hasegawa kit)
by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


1:72 Supermarine (Type 250) “Skylark Mk. I”, aircraft “50” of the Irish Army Air Corps (IAAC) No. 1 Squadron; Baldonnel (Dublin), late 1938 (What-if/modified Hasegawa kit)
by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


1:72 Supermarine (Type 250) “Skylark Mk. I”, aircraft “50” of the Irish Army Air Corps (IAAC) No. 1 Squadron; Baldonnel (Dublin), late 1938 (What-if/modified Hasegawa kit)
by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


1:72 Supermarine (Type 250) “Skylark Mk. I”, aircraft “50” of the Irish Army Air Corps (IAAC) No. 1 Squadron; Baldonnel (Dublin), late 1938 (What-if/modified Hasegawa kit)
by dizzyfugu, on Flickr



I am very pleased with the outcome of this build. Not only is the resulting aircraft very elegant, I am also happy that I opted for the early, bright green Irish livery that almost makes it look like an air racer? My hardware interpretation of the Type 250 drawing also reminds a lot of the contemporary Dewoitine 501/510 monoplane, doesn’t it?

Offline zenrat

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Re: 1:72 Supermarine (Type 250) Skylark Mk. I, Irish Army Air Corps, 1938
« Reply #1 on: January 16, 2020, 01:34:38 am »
...also reminds a lot of the contemporary Dewoitine 501/510 monoplane, doesn’t it?

That'll be the ventral radiator.

Good job Dizz.
 :thumbsup:
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Offline Tophe

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Re: 1:72 Supermarine (Type 250) Skylark Mk. I, Irish Army Air Corps, 1938
« Reply #2 on: January 16, 2020, 01:39:48 am »
Weird! (meaning: good!) :unsure: :thumbsup: ;D
A Spitfire with open cockpit and spats!
[the word "realistic" hurts my heart...]

Offline AndrewF

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Re: 1:72 Supermarine (Type 250) Skylark Mk. I, Irish Army Air Corps, 1938
« Reply #3 on: January 16, 2020, 01:47:20 am »
Fantastic (in both senses of the word). Iontach.

Offline Dizzyfugu

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Re: 1:72 Supermarine (Type 250) Skylark Mk. I, Irish Army Air Corps, 1938
« Reply #4 on: January 16, 2020, 02:47:41 am »
Thanks a lot, glad you like it!  ;D

Offline chrisonord

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Re: 1:72 Supermarine (Type 250) Skylark Mk. I, Irish Army Air Corps, 1938
« Reply #5 on: January 16, 2020, 02:59:08 am »
Very nice  :thumbsup:
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Offline major

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Re: 1:72 Supermarine (Type 250) Skylark Mk. I, Irish Army Air Corps, 1938
« Reply #6 on: January 16, 2020, 04:23:02 am »

That's fabulous! :thumbsup:
Started something similar a couple of years ago, but has languished in the pile of unfinished.
Inspired to drag it out an complete it now! :lol:

Offline NARSES2

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Re: 1:72 Supermarine (Type 250) Skylark Mk. I, Irish Army Air Corps, 1938
« Reply #7 on: January 16, 2020, 06:09:49 am »
...also reminds a lot of the contemporary Dewoitine 501/510 monoplane, doesn’t it?

That'll be the ventral radiator.


Absolutely.

Fantastic build Dizzy and I do like the colour scheme you've chosen for it.
Decals my @r$e!

Offline The Wooksta!

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Re: 1:72 Supermarine (Type 250) Skylark Mk. I, Irish Army Air Corps, 1938
« Reply #8 on: January 16, 2020, 06:26:27 am »
It's a nice model but as an interim 224-Spitfire it simply doesn't work - it just looks like a backdated Spitfire, rather than a developed 224, which is what it should be.  The Morgan/Shacklady bible "Spitfire: The History" has all of the drawings showing Mitchell evolving the 224 into the Spitfire and this just doesn't fit into it at all.
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Re: 1:72 Supermarine (Type 250) Skylark Mk. I, Irish Army Air Corps, 1938
« Reply #9 on: January 16, 2020, 06:53:10 am »
Great build, Dizzy! :thumbsup:
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Re: 1:72 Supermarine (Type 250) Skylark Mk. I, Irish Army Air Corps, 1938
« Reply #10 on: January 16, 2020, 08:37:15 am »
MAGNIFICENT!

I absolutely love it, well done Thomas.  :wub:

The Skylark was a contemporary of the Hawker Cyclone of course, although the latter never went past the prototype stage.  ;D

Any aircraft can be improved by fitting longer wings, and/or a longer fuselage

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Offline TomZ

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Re: 1:72 Supermarine (Type 250) Skylark Mk. I, Irish Army Air Corps, 1938
« Reply #11 on: January 16, 2020, 08:58:57 am »
Great work.

TomZ
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Re: 1:72 Supermarine (Type 250) Skylark Mk. I, Irish Army Air Corps, 1938
« Reply #12 on: January 16, 2020, 10:25:58 am »
Very nice! It sort of fits that period between biplanes and streamlined monoplanes.  :thumbsup:

Offline ChernayaAkula

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Re: 1:72 Supermarine (Type 250) Skylark Mk. I, Irish Army Air Corps, 1938
« Reply #13 on: January 16, 2020, 11:05:18 am »
<...> I am very pleased with the outcome of this build. <...>

And rightly so!  :thumbsup:
Cheers,
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Re: 1:72 Supermarine (Type 250) Skylark Mk. I, Irish Army Air Corps, 1938
« Reply #14 on: January 16, 2020, 01:54:11 pm »
Nice ! What a groovy looking machine. Looks so Supermarine from some angles, but also very Italian. Coupled with the colours on that one I guess. Great stuff !

Thanks for posting that art as well.

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