Author Topic: Spitfire Mk.IXc of the AeronŠutica Militar Portuguesa, Esq. Nļ 4, BA4 Lajes 1949  (Read 244 times)

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Online DogfighterZen

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"Portugal was officially a neutral country during WWII but seeing that the Azores archipelago Islands were of significant importance for the Allies to be able to have a chance of winning the battle against Nazi U-boats that were severely crippling the vital efforts by the U.S. to aid Britain in the Battle of the Atlantic, in 1943, the British, U.S. and Portuguese governments signed an agreement for the use of the Lajes BA4 by the Allies in the fight against the U-boats in the Mid-Atlantic route.
Compensation for use of the base was made in the form of military equipment. The "AeronŠutica Militar Portuguesa" (AMP) initially received 18 Spitfire Mk.Ia, which later were joined by 34 Mk.V airframes, of which, 7 were LF Mk Vb and 2 Mk.Vc, and the rest being standard Mk.Vb.
After the end of the war, in October of 1945, the British government made an offer of 120 Mk.IX  surplus RAF airframes, which the AMP saw as a good upgrade to their older airframes, allowing for the retirement of all the Mk.Ia and to replace some Mk.V lost in accidents as well as to complement the rest of the existing Mk.V in service.






Delivery of the first 45 Mk.IXc took place in April of 1947, with the last batch being delivered in January of 1948.
Most of these Mk.IX airframes were put in service With the MR and RL fighter squadrons based at BA2, OTA and BA3 Tancos airbases in mainland Portugal and some 40 airframes were reserved to form a new fighter squadron with the code LM, to operate from the Lajes BA4 airbase in the Azores in September of 1948.






The Spitfires were later handed over to the PoAF, which was formed in 1952, when the Portuguese armed forces decided that a specialized military branch was needed to better organize the country's air defense resources and their role in future conflicts.

Portuguese Spitfires used the standard RAF day-fighter camouflage scheme, which was only changed when the PoAF was created, which determined the end of the squadron organization scheme with letters, to adopt the American organization scheme of squadron numbers.
The RAF camo scheme was also discontinued and all PoAF fighters started being painted in an Olive green topside color with the underside painted in sky grey.





In September of 1952, the first jet aircraft were being delivered to the PoAF and from then on, all piston engine fighters were to be relegated to instruction service.
The last Portuguese Spitfire flew its last mission in March of 1958 at BA1, Sintra, which was the home of the basic instruction squadron to which all remaining Spitfires were attached at the time.
Sadly, the PoAF scrapped all of it's Spitfires so when the PoAF's museum "Musar" was opened 1971, the PoAF had to look for a deal to acquire a Spitfire to display with the original RAF camo scheme used when in AMP service. The sole example of a Portuguese Spitfire is permanently on display at the "Musar" which is attached to the PoAF's academy at BA1, Sintra."

So, here is an "almost was" AMP Spitfire IXc. The kit is the old Monogram 1/48 kit with AMP Spitfire Mk.V decals by Black Cat decals from Portugal.
I started building it as a real world build for a Portuguese forum's GB but when it came time for markings, the ones i had were just to old and i didn't bother with them so i decided it was better to buy a new sheet for it but then i thought: " Well, i might as well buy some other operator's markings and turn it into a whif..." sometime after that i came across a page with the history of Portuguese spitfires and read that the British government had offered 120 of the Mk.IX but the Portuguese government didn't accept the offer, choosing to buy more Mk.V instead... :unsure: :banghead:
Curious fact is that the only Spitfire with Portuguese markings on display at Sintra was originally a Mk.IX that was acquired through an exchange with the South African government.
I did a few mods on the kit like drilling cannon barrels, exhaust pipes and added some evergreen styrene to close up the landing gear bays. Glued a few small bits inside the wheels to replicate the four spoke wheels cause the kit's wheels were blank. Also had to scratch up a rear view mirror because i managed to snap off the original one and lost it.
Colors are Tamiya and the weathering was done with Humbrol weathering powder for the smoke and gun soot, chipping with Vallejo acrylic aluminum metal color. The oil stains on the belly were made using a mix of Van Gogh burnt sienna oil color and a bit of Humbrol smoke powder.

Hope you guys like it, i sure had fun and am very pleased with how it came out!  :mellow:

 :cheers:
« Last Edit: June 01, 2020, 03:20:34 pm by DogfighterZen »
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Online PR19_Kit

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That looks REALLY good, and if you hadn't have told us what really happened the backstory sounds 100% plausible.  :thumbsup:
Any aircraft can be improved by fitting longer wings, and/or a longer fuselage

...and I'm not a closeted 'Take That' fan, I'm a REAL fan! :)

Regards
Kit

Online DogfighterZen

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That looks REALLY good, and if you hadn't have told us what really happened the backstory sounds 100% plausible.  :thumbsup:

Glad you like it, Kit, thank you!   :thumbsup:
Yeah, it almost happened... and it's very sad that it didn't. Maybe if they had accepted the offer they'd still have at least one of the originals for display... but they're stupid enough to still be doing the same thing to the last T-33 airframes we have in 2020!!! They've been chopping them up for the past weeks at Beja air base... :angry: :banghead: :banghead:
They did the same to the Hurricanes, P-47s and almost every WWII warbird... they still have a couple of C-47s but the rest is gone... :banghead:
So much history lost... :-\
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Offline TomZ

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Looks very good. I love your paint work and finish.

TomZ
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Offline Dizzyfugu

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That's looking very good.  :thumbsup:

Online Old Wombat

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Nice one, DfZ! :thumbsup:
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Offline zenrat

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Good job.

 :thumbsup:
Fred

Another ill conceived, lazily thought out, crudely executed and badly painted piece of half arsed what-if modelling muppetry from zenrat industries.

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Online NARSES2

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I heartily applaud both the model and the backstory  :thumbsup:
Decals my @r$e!

Offline chrisonord

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Very nice build Rui. :thumbsup:
Chris
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Offline Glenn Gilbertson

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A "nearly was" that looks like a "really was" - good story & modelling! :thumbsup:

Online DogfighterZen

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Thank you all for your words, gentlemen! Glad you like the outcome!  :bow: :bow:
The Spitfire is one of my favorite prop fighters and this one has got me thinking of a PoAF Mk.22 with a shark mouth again...  :wub:
The story was easy to conjure up as it almost became a reality... I've read in a Portuguese aviation blog that they only declined the offer because the AMP's budget didn't allow for the investment at the time, forcing them to ask for Mk.V airframes, which were obviously cheaper.
Good thing that the only budget needed for us to turn these ideas into "reality" is the money needed for the kits and tools to build them. ;D

 :cheers:
"Sticks and stones may break some bones but a 3.57's gonna blow your damn head off!!"