Tamiya 1/32 Seafire FRIII: 718 Sqn FAA - Denis Malone - Aukland, New Zealand

This model is a conversion of Tamiya's 1/32 Spitfire Mk IX.

It represents one of the Seafires flown by my father (Sub-Lieutenant Edmond (Ted) Malone RNZNVR) when he was serving in 718 Squadron in the Fleet Air Arm at Henstridge, Somerset in the UK in 1945. He and his squadron mates were training for fighter-reconnaissance duties and would have been posted to the British Pacific Fleet for the invasion of Japan if the war had not ended when it did.

I had been planning to model this airplane for some time. When the Tamiya kit came along I could resist no longer...

Key parts of the conversion were:
· Camera ports: Scribed for the lateral cameras, and port with camera inside for underside (Seafire FRIIIs only carried one camera at a time).
· Arrestor hook fitted to underside.
· Wing fold: Lines scribed, wheel well shape altered and details fitted.
·Extra aerial fitted under starboard wing.
· Short barrels for Hispano Mk V cannon fitted.
· Port side Mk IX radiator and surrounding panels replaced with Mk V style oil cooler.
· Slinging point and fuselage strengthening plates added.
· Camera control box and arrestor hook release installed in cockpit.
· Tamiya engine 2-stage supercharger and intercooler replaced with single stage supercharger (this makes the FRIII shorter than the Mk IX).
· Kit engine cowling parts shortened- this was the most difficult part of the conversion.

The FAA squadron/individual airplane codes (G3B) placed ahead of the roundel, the late-war upper wing roundels and the rather angular camouflage pattern on the wings might look unusual but they are based on photographs that I have of the actual airplane.

Parts used were:
· Airwaves Seafire III conversion kit, tail hook, metal fuselage strengthening parts.
· Master MR32020 Supermarine Spitfire E wing late - Hispano 20mm and .50cal in fairings
· Hobby Boss Spitfire MkV Oil cooler, single stage engine supercharger,
· Paints: Aeromaster UK Interior Green, Aeromaster UK Sky Gray, Aeromaster UK Slate Gray, Gunze Sangyo H333 (modified with a little white and blue).
· Xtradecal X32020 (for roundels)
· Xtradecal X32021 RAF Serial Letters and Numbers and Royal Navy and Army. 8" and 4" Black

Barracuda Studios products used:
· Barracuda BR32001 Spitfire Seat with Leather Backpad
· Barracuda BR32003 Spitfire Cockpit Upgrade Set
· Barracuda BR32008 Spitfire Starboard Cockpit Sidewall
· Barracuda BR32011 Spitfire Cockpit Upgrade Part II

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