Author Topic: 1:72 Supermarine Seafire FR Mk. 23, Aéronavale, 1949  (Read 697 times)

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Online Dizzyfugu

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1:72 Supermarine Seafire FR Mk. 23, Aéronavale, 1949
« on: February 16, 2021, 03:28:32 am »

1:72 Supermarine “Seafire” FR Mk. 23, aircraft “44 (ES257)” of the Aéronavale (French Naval Aviation) Flottille 1.F, base d'aéronautique navale d'Hyères “Le Palyvestre”, late 1949 (What-if/modified Special Hobby kit)
by Dizzyfugu, on Flickr



Some background:
The Supermarine Seafire was a naval version of the Supermarine Spitfire adapted for operation from aircraft carriers. It was analogous in concept to the Hawker Sea Hurricane, a navalized version of the Spitfire's stablemate, the Hawker Hurricane. The name Seafire was derived from the abbreviation of the longer name Sea Spitfire.

The idea of adopting a navalized, carrier-capable version of the Supermarine Spitfire had been mooted by the Admiralty as early as May 1938. Despite a pressing need to replace various types of obsolete aircraft that were still in operation with the Fleet Air Arm (FAA), some opposed the notion, such as Winston Churchill, although these disputes were often a result of an overriding priority being placed on maximizing production of land-based Spitfires instead. During 1941 and early 1942, the concept was again pushed for by the Admiralty, culminating in an initial batch of Seafire Mk Ib fighters being provided in late 1941, which were mainly used for pilots to gain experience operating the type at sea. While there were concerns over the low strength of its undercarriage, which had not been strengthened like many naval aircraft would have been, its performance was found to be acceptable.


1:72 Supermarine “Seafire” FR Mk. 23, aircraft “44 (ES257)” of the Aéronavale (French Naval Aviation) Flottille 1.F, base d'aéronautique navale d'Hyères “Le Palyvestre”, late 1949 (What-if/modified Special Hobby kit)
by Dizzyfugu, on Flickr


1:72 Supermarine “Seafire” FR Mk. 23, aircraft “44 (ES257)” of the Aéronavale (French Naval Aviation) Flottille 1.F, base d'aéronautique navale d'Hyères “Le Palyvestre”, late 1949 (What-if/modified Special Hobby kit)
by Dizzyfugu, on Flickr


1:72 Supermarine “Seafire” FR Mk. 23, aircraft “44 (ES257)” of the Aéronavale (French Naval Aviation) Flottille 1.F, base d'aéronautique navale d'Hyères “Le Palyvestre”, late 1949 (What-if/modified Special Hobby kit)
by Dizzyfugu, on Flickr


From 1942 onwards, further Seafire models were quickly ordered, including the first operationally-viable Seafire F Mk III variant. This led to the type rapidly spreading throughout the FAA. In November 1942, the first combat use of the Seafire occurred during Operation Torch, the Allied landings in North Africa. In July 1943, the Seafire was used to provide air cover for the Allied invasion of Sicily; and reprised this role in September 1943 during the subsequent Allied invasion of Italy. During 1944, the type was again used in quantity to provide aerial support to Allied ground forces during the Normandy landings and Operation Dragoon in Southern France. During the latter half of 1944, the Seafire became a part of the aerial component of the British Pacific Fleet, where it quickly proved to be a capable interceptor against the feared kamikaze attacks by Japanese pilots which had become increasingly common during the final years of the Pacific War. Several Seafire variants were produced during WWII, more or less mirroring the development of its land-based ancestor.

The Seafire continued to be used for some time after the end of the war, and new, dedicated versions were developed and exported. The FAA opted to promptly withdraw all of its Merlin-powered Seafires and replace them with Griffon-powered counterparts. The type saw further active combat use during the Korean War, in which FAA Seafires performed hundreds of missions in the ground attack and combat air patrol roles against North Korean forces during 1950. The Seafire was withdrawn from FAA service during the 1950s and was replaced by the newer Hawker Sea Fury, the last piston engine fighter to be used by the service, along with the first generation of jet-propelled naval fighters, such as the de Havilland Vampire, Supermarine Attacker, and Hawker Sea Hawk.


1:72 Supermarine “Seafire” FR Mk. 23, aircraft “44 (ES257)” of the Aéronavale (French Naval Aviation) Flottille 1.F, base d'aéronautique navale d'Hyères “Le Palyvestre”, late 1949 (What-if/modified Special Hobby kit)
by Dizzyfugu, on Flickr


1:72 Supermarine “Seafire” FR Mk. 23, aircraft “44 (ES257)” of the Aéronavale (French Naval Aviation) Flottille 1.F, base d'aéronautique navale d'Hyères “Le Palyvestre”, late 1949 (What-if/modified Special Hobby kit)
by Dizzyfugu, on Flickr


1:72 Supermarine “Seafire” FR Mk. 23, aircraft “44 (ES257)” of the Aéronavale (French Naval Aviation) Flottille 1.F, base d'aéronautique navale d'Hyères “Le Palyvestre”, late 1949 (What-if/modified Special Hobby kit)
by Dizzyfugu, on Flickr


After WWII, the Royal Canadian Navy and French Aviation Navale also obtained Seafires to operate from ex-Royal Navy aircraft carriers. France received a total of 140 Seafires of various versions from 1946 on, including 114 Seafire Mk IIIs in two tranches (35 of them were set aside for spare part) until 1948, and these were followed in 1949 by fifteen Mk. 15 fighters and twelve FR Mk. 23 armed photo reconnaissance aircraft. Additionally, twenty land-based Mk. IXs were delivered to Naval Air Station Cuers-Pierrefeu as trainers.

The Seafire Mk. 23 was a dedicated post-war export version. It combined several old and new features and was the final “new” Spitfire variant to be powered by a Merlin engine, namely a Rolls-Royce Merlin 66M with 1,720 hp (1,283 kW) that drove a four-blade propeller. The Mk. 23 was originally built as a fighter (as Seafire F Mk. 23), but most machines were delivered or later converted with provisions for being fitted with two F24 cameras in the rear fuselage and received the service designation FR Mk. 23 (or just FR.23). Only 32 of this interim post-war version were built by Cunliffe-Owen, and all of them were sold to foreign customers.


1:72 Supermarine “Seafire” FR Mk. 23, aircraft “44 (ES257)” of the Aéronavale (French Naval Aviation) Flottille 1.F, base d'aéronautique navale d'Hyères “Le Palyvestre”, late 1949 (What-if/modified Special Hobby kit)
by Dizzyfugu, on Flickr


1:72 Supermarine “Seafire” FR Mk. 23, aircraft “44 (ES257)” of the Aéronavale (French Naval Aviation) Flottille 1.F, base d'aéronautique navale d'Hyères “Le Palyvestre”, late 1949 (What-if/modified Special Hobby kit)
by Dizzyfugu, on Flickr


Like the Seafire 17, the 23 had a cut-down rear fuselage and teardrop canopy, which afforded a better all-round field of view than the original cockpit. The windscreen was modified, too, to a rounded section, with narrow quarter windows, rather than the flat windscreen used on land-based Spitfires. As a novel feature the Seafire 23 featured a "sting" arrestor hook instead of the previous V-shaped ventral arrangement.
The fuel capacity was 120 gal (545 l) distributed in two main forward fuselage tanks: the lower tank carried 48 gal (218 l) while the upper tank carried 36 gal (163 l), plus two fuel tanks built into the leading edges of the wings with capacities of 12.5 (57 l) and 5.5 gal (25 l) respectively. It featured a reinforced main undercarriage with longer oleos and a lower rebound ratio, a measure to tame the deck behavior of the Mk. 15 and reducing the propensity of the propeller tips "pecking" the deck during an arrested landing. The softer oleos also stopped the aircraft from occasionally bouncing over the arrestor wires and into the crash barrier.
The wings were taken over from the contemporary Spitfire 21 and therefore not foldable. However, this saved weight and complexity, and the Seafire’s compact dimensions made this flaw acceptable for its operators. The wings were furthermore reinforced, with a stronger main spar necessitated by the new undercarriage, and as a bonus they were able to carry heavier underwing loads than previous Seafire variants. This made the type not only suitable for classic dogfighting (basic armament consisted of four short-barreled 20 mm Hispano V cannon in the outer wings), but also for attack missions with bombs and unguided rockets.


1:72 Supermarine “Seafire” FR Mk. 23, aircraft “44 (ES257)” of the Aéronavale (French Naval Aviation) Flottille 1.F, base d'aéronautique navale d'Hyères “Le Palyvestre”, late 1949 (What-if/modified Special Hobby kit)
by Dizzyfugu, on Flickr


1:72 Supermarine “Seafire” FR Mk. 23, aircraft “44 (ES257)” of the Aéronavale (French Naval Aviation) Flottille 1.F, base d'aéronautique navale d'Hyères “Le Palyvestre”, late 1949 (What-if/modified Special Hobby kit)
by Dizzyfugu, on Flickr


1:72 Supermarine “Seafire” FR Mk. 23, aircraft “44 (ES257)” of the Aéronavale (French Naval Aviation) Flottille 1.F, base d'aéronautique navale d'Hyères “Le Palyvestre”, late 1949 (What-if/modified Special Hobby kit)
by Dizzyfugu, on Flickr


The Seafire’s Aéronavale service was quite short, even though they saw hot battle duty. 24 Mk. IIIs were deployed on the carrier Arromanches in 1948 when it sailed for Vietnam to fight in the First Indochina War. The French Seafires operated from land bases and from Arromanches on ground attack missions against the Viet Minh before being withdrawn from combat operations in January 1949.
After returning to European waters, the Aéronavale’s Seafire frontline units were re-equipped with the more modern and capable Seafire 15s and FR 23s, but these were also quickly replaced by Grumman F6F Hellcats from American surplus stock, starting already in 1950. The fighters were retired from carrier operations and soon relegated to training and liaison duties, and eventually scrapped. However, the FR.23s were at this time the only carrier-capable photo reconnaissance aircraft in the Aéronavale’s ranks, so that these machines remained active with Flottille 1.F until 1955, but their career was rather short, too, and immediately ended when the first naval jets became available and raised the performance bar.



1:72 Supermarine “Seafire” FR Mk. 23, aircraft “44 (ES257)” of the Aéronavale (French Naval Aviation) Flottille 1.F, base d'aéronautique navale d'Hyères “Le Palyvestre”, late 1949 (What-if/modified Special Hobby kit)
by Dizzyfugu, on Flickr


1:72 Supermarine “Seafire” FR Mk. 23, aircraft “44 (ES257)” of the Aéronavale (French Naval Aviation) Flottille 1.F, base d'aéronautique navale d'Hyères “Le Palyvestre”, late 1949 (What-if/modified Special Hobby kit)
by Dizzyfugu, on Flickr



General characteristics:
    Crew: 1
    Length: 31 ft 10 in (9.70 m)
    Wingspan: 36 ft 10 in (11.23 m)
    Height: 12 ft 9 in (3.89 m) tail down with propeller blade vertical
    Wing area: 242.1 ft² (22.5 m²)
    Empty weight: 5,564 lb (2,524 kg)
    Gross weight: 7,415 lb (3,363 kg)

Powerplant:
    1× Rolls-Royce Merlin 66M V-12 liquid-cooled piston engine, delivering 1,720 hp (1,283 kW) at 11,000 ft and driving a 4-bladed constant-speed propeller

Performance:
    Maximum speed: 404 mph (650 km/h) at 21,000 ft (6,400 m)
    Cruise speed: 272 mph (438 km/h, 236 kn)
    Range: 493 mi (793 km) on internal fuel at cruising speed
            965 mi (1,553 km) with 90 gal drop tank
    Service ceiling: 42,500 ft (12,954 m)
    Rate of climb: 4,745 ft/min (24.1 m/s) at 10,000 ft (3,048 m)
    Time to altitude: 20,000 ft (6,096 m) in 8 minutes 6 seconds

Armament:
    4× 20 mm Hispano V cannon; 175 rpg inboard, 150 rpg outboard
    Hardpoints for up to 2× 250 lb (110 kg) bombs (outer wings), plus 1× 500 lb (230 kg) bomb
    (ventral hardpoint) or drop tanks, or up to 8× "60 lb" RP-3 rockets on zero-length launchers



The kit and its assembly:
This build was another attempt to reduce The Stash™. The basis is/was a Special Hobby FR Mk. 47 kit, which I had originally bought as a donor kit: the engine housing bulges of its Griffon engine were transplanted onto a racing P-51D Mustang. Most of the kit was still there, and from this basis I decided to create a fictional post-WWII Seafire/Spitfire variant.

With the Griffon fairings gone a Merlin engine was settled, and the rest developed spontaneously. The propeller was improvised, with a P-51D spinner (Academy kit) and blades from the OOB 5-blade propeller, which are slightly deeper than the blades from the Spitfire Mk. IX/XVI prop. In order to attach it to the hull and keep it movable, I implanted my standard metal axis/styrene tube arrangement.


1:72 Supermarine “Seafire” FR Mk. 23, aircraft “44 (ES257)” of the Aéronavale (French Naval Aviation) Flottille 1.F, base d'aéronautique navale d'Hyères “Le Palyvestre”, late 1949 (What-if/modified Special Hobby kit) - WiP
by Dizzyfugu, on Flickr


1:72 Supermarine “1:72 Supermarine “Seafire” FR Mk. 23, aircraft “44 (ES257)” of the Aéronavale (French Naval Aviation) Flottille 1.F, base d'aéronautique navale d'Hyères “Le Palyvestre”, late 1949 (What-if/modified Special Hobby kit) - WiPeafire” FR Mk.
by Dizzyfugu, on Flickr

With the smaller Merlin engine, I used the original, smaller Spitfire stabilizers but had to use the big, late rudder, due to the taller fin of the post-ware Spit-/Seafire models. The four-spoke wheels also belong to an earlier Seafire variant. Since it was an option in the kit, I went for a fuselage with camera openings (the kit comes with two alternative fuselages as well as a vast range of optional parts for probably ANY late Spit- and Seafire variant – and also for many fictional hybrids!), resulting in a low spine and a bubble canopy, what gives the aircraft IMHO very sleek and elegant lines. In order to maintain this impression I also used the short cannon barrels from the kit. For extended range on recce missions I furthermore gave the model the exotic underwing slipper tanks instead of the optional missile launch rail stubs under the outer wing sections. Another mod is the re-installment of the small oil cooler under the left wing root from a Spitfire Mk. V instead of the symmetrical standard radiator pair – just another subtle sign that “something’s not right” here.


1:72 Supermarine “Seafire” FR Mk. 23, aircraft “44 (ES257)” of the Aéronavale (French Naval Aviation) Flottille 1.F, base d'aéronautique navale d'Hyères “Le Palyvestre”, late 1949 (What-if/modified Special Hobby kit) - WiP
by Dizzyfugu, on Flickr


Painting and markings:
The decision to build this model as a French aircraft was inspired by a Carpena Decals set with an Aéronavale Seafire III from the Vietnam tour of duty in 1948, an aircraft with interesting roundels that still carried British FAA WWII colors (Dark Slate Grey/Dark Sea Grey, Sky). Later liveries of the type remain a little obscure, though, and information about them is contradictive. Some profiles show French Seafires in British colors, with uniform (Extra) Dark Sea Grey upper and Sky lower surfaces, combined with a high waterline – much like contemporary FAA aircraft like the Sea Fury. However, I am a bit in doubt concerning the Sky, because French naval aircraft of that era, esp. recce types like the Shorts Sunderland or PBY Catalina, were rather painted in white or very light grey, just with uniform dark grey upper surfaces, reminding of British Coastal Command WWII aircraft.

Since this model would be a whif, anyway, and for a pretty look, I adopted the latter design, backed by an undated profile of a contemporary Seafire Mk. XV from Flottille S.54, a training unit, probably from the Fifties - not any valid guarantee for authenticity, but it looks good, if not elegant!


1:72 Supermarine “Seafire” FR Mk. 23, aircraft “44 (ES257)” of the Aéronavale (French Naval Aviation) Flottille 1.F, base d'aéronautique navale d'Hyères “Le Palyvestre”, late 1949 (What-if/modified Special Hobby kit) - WiP
by Dizzyfugu, on Flickr


Another option from that era would have been an all-blue USN style livery, which should look great on a Spitfire, too. But I wanted something more elegant and odd, underpinning the bubbletop Seafire’s clean lines.

I settled for Extra Dark Sea Grey (Humbrol 123) and Light Grey (FS. 36495, Humbrol 147) as basic tones, with a very high waterline. The spinner was painted yellow, the only colorful marking. Being a post-war aircraft of British origin, the cockpit interior was painted in black (Revell 09, anthracite). The landing gear wells became RAF Cockpit Green (Humbrol 78), while the inside of the respective covers became Sky (Humbrol 90) – reflecting the RAF/FAA’s post-war practice of applying the external camouflage paint on these surfaces on Spit-/Seafires, too. On this specific aircraft the model displays, just the exterior had been painted over by the new operator. Looks weird, but it’s a nice detail.

The roundels came from the aforementioned 1948 Seafire Mk. III, and their odd design – esp. the large ones on the wings, and only the fuselage roundels carry the Aéronavale’s anchor icon and a yellow border – creates a slightly confusing look. Unfortunately, the roundels were not 100% opaque, this became only apparent after their application, and they did not adhere well, either.
The tactical code had to be improvised with single, black letters of various sizes – they come from a Hobby Boss F4F USN pre-WWII Wildcat, but were completely re-arrenged into the French format. The fin flash on the rudder had to be painted, with red and blue paint, in an attempt to match the decals’ tones, and separated by a white decal stripe. The anchor icon on the rudder had to be printed by myself, unfortunately the decal on the bow side partly disintegrated. Stencils were taken from the Special Hobby kit’s OOB sheet.


1:72 S1:72 Supermarine “Seafire” FR Mk. 23, aircraft “44 (ES257)” of the Aéronavale (French Naval Aviation) Flottille 1.F, base d'aéronautique navale d'Hyères “Le Palyvestre”, late 1949 (What-if/modified Special Hobby kit) - WiPpermarine “Seafire” FR Mk.
by Dizzyfugu, on Flickr


1:72 Supermarine “Seafire” FR Mk. 23, aircraft “44 (ES257)” of the Aéronavale (French Naval Aviation) Flottille 1.F, base d'aéronautique navale d'Hyères “Le Palyvestre”, late 1949 (What-if/modified Special Hobby kit) - WiP
by Dizzyfugu, on Flickr


The model received a light black ink washing, post-panel shading with dry-brushing and some soot stains around the exhausts, but not too much weathering, since it would be relatively new. Finally, everything was sealed with matt acrylic varnish.




1:72 Supermarine “Seafire” FR Mk. 23, aircraft “44 (ES257)” of the Aéronavale (French Naval Aviation) Flottille 1.F, base d'aéronautique navale d'Hyères “Le Palyvestre”, late 1949 (What-if/modified Special Hobby kit)
by Dizzyfugu, on Flickr


1:72 Supermarine “Seafire” FR Mk. 23, aircraft “44 (ES257)” of the Aéronavale (French Naval Aviation) Flottille 1.F, base d'aéronautique navale d'Hyères “Le Palyvestre”, late 1949 (What-if/modified Special Hobby kit)
by Dizzyfugu, on Flickr


1:72 Supermarine “Seafire” FR Mk. 23, aircraft “44 (ES257)” of the Aéronavale (French Naval Aviation) Flottille 1.F, base d'aéronautique navale d'Hyères “Le Palyvestre”, late 1949 (What-if/modified Special Hobby kit)
by Dizzyfugu, on Flickr


1:72 Supermarine “Seafire” FR Mk. 23, aircraft “44 (ES257)” of the Aéronavale (French Naval Aviation) Flottille 1.F, base d'aéronautique navale d'Hyères “Le Palyvestre”, late 1949 (What-if/modified Special Hobby kit)
by Dizzyfugu, on Flickr


A relatively quick and simple build, and the Special Hobby kit went together with little problems – a very nice and versatile offering. The mods are subtle, but I like the slender look of this late Spitfire model, coupled with the elegant Merlin engine – combined into the fictional Mk. 23. The elegant livery just underlines the aircraft’s sleek lines. Not spectacular, but a pretty result.

Offline NARSES2

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Re: 1:72 Supermarine Seafire FR Mk. 23, Aéronavale, 1949
« Reply #1 on: February 16, 2021, 06:21:56 am »
That's really nice Dizzy. The Merlin engine certainly gives it an elegant look  :thumbsup: :thumbsup:
Decals my @r$e!

Offline PR19_Kit

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Re: 1:72 Supermarine Seafire FR Mk. 23, Aéronavale, 1949
« Reply #2 on: February 16, 2021, 06:35:29 am »

That's really nice Dizzy. The Merlin engine certainly gives it an elegant look  :thumbsup: :thumbsup:


What Chris said. It doesn't look nearly as much of a 'thug' that Griffon engined Seafires do.  :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! :)

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Re: 1:72 Supermarine Seafire FR Mk. 23, Aéronavale, 1949
« Reply #3 on: February 16, 2021, 06:42:07 am »
Thank you, and I agree. :lol: The high waterline also visually stretches the fuselage, making this Spit/Seafire look even more slender and fast. I originally wanted to use a shorter rudder on the fin, but the large all-metal rudder was the only suitable piece from the kit. But it works well, too.

Offline perttime

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Re: 1:72 Supermarine Seafire FR Mk. 23, Aéronavale, 1949
« Reply #4 on: February 16, 2021, 06:43:10 am »
Love it  :wub:

First, I thought that it must be a Seafire XVII / 47 hybrid ... but the Griffon looked a bit slim  ;D

Offline chrisonord

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Re: 1:72 Supermarine Seafire FR Mk. 23, Aéronavale, 1949
« Reply #5 on: February 16, 2021, 08:08:14 am »
Very nice Thomas  :thumbsup:
Chris
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Offline DogfighterZen

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Re: 1:72 Supermarine Seafire FR Mk. 23, Aéronavale, 1949
« Reply #6 on: February 16, 2021, 08:46:04 am »
Can't disagree, that looks very good.  :thumbsup: :thumbsup:
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Offline AeroplaneDriver

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Re: 1:72 Supermarine Seafire FR Mk. 23, Aéronavale, 1949
« Reply #7 on: February 16, 2021, 10:41:04 am »
Beautiful work!!   :wub:
So I got that going for me...which is nice....

Offline Doug K

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Re: 1:72 Supermarine Seafire FR Mk. 23, Aéronavale, 1949
« Reply #8 on: February 16, 2021, 10:46:33 am »
Really nice, that scheme is very clean

Offline Rick Lowe

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Re: 1:72 Supermarine Seafire FR Mk. 23, Aéronavale, 1949
« Reply #9 on: February 16, 2021, 12:53:33 pm »
What they all said. Nicely realized. :thumbsup:

(In the top photo, is the Guy by the roundel making sure the Anchor decal is properly stuck down?  ;) Sorry, just my warped sense of humour... :rolleyes:)

Offline buzzbomb

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Re: 1:72 Supermarine Seafire FR Mk. 23, Aéronavale, 1949
« Reply #10 on: February 16, 2021, 01:49:21 pm »
very nice work on that, as usual the backstory is stellar and a work of huge proportions in itself.

To my eye the Spitfire just looks weird in French markings, but all in all a very, very good job.

Offline PR19_Kit

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Re: 1:72 Supermarine Seafire FR Mk. 23, Aéronavale, 1949
« Reply #11 on: February 16, 2021, 03:30:41 pm »

In the top photo, is the Guy by the roundel making sure the Anchor decal is properly stuck down? 


Absolutely, the Aeronavale would never trust any work done by Perfidious Albion, would they? I bet they stripped the whole airframe and rebuilt it after deliver too.
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! :)

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Offline stevehed

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Re: 1:72 Supermarine Seafire FR Mk. 23, Aéronavale, 1949
« Reply #12 on: February 16, 2021, 03:37:39 pm »
Lovely job. I was thinking that the French markings really make it stand out.

Offline Rick Lowe

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Re: 1:72 Supermarine Seafire FR Mk. 23, Aéronavale, 1949
« Reply #13 on: February 16, 2021, 07:19:43 pm »

In the top photo, is the Guy by the roundel making sure the Anchor decal is properly stuck down? 


Absolutely, the Aeronavale would never trust any work done by Perfidious Albion, would they? I bet they stripped the whole airframe and rebuilt it after deliver too.

 ;D
I wouldn't put it past them!

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Re: 1:72 Supermarine Seafire FR Mk. 23, Aéronavale, 1949
« Reply #14 on: February 16, 2021, 11:29:03 pm »
(In the top photo, is the Guy by the roundel making sure the Anchor decal is properly stuck down?  ;) Sorry, just my warped sense of humour... :rolleyes:)

Well, he'd better do so, because the Carpena decals did not stick well to the underground, despite using lots of decal softener. They'd simply roll up on the edges, I finally got them stuck with some acrylic varnish, used like glue!  :-\

However, thanks a lot for the feedback, I did not expect this Seafire to stir up so much enthusiasm!  ;D