Spitfire Mk. XVI
Item category: painting masks
Spitfire is always a popular topic for modelers around the word. Montex Masks, a Polish company, have prepared a set of painting masks supported by small sheet of decals, dedicated to Polish Spitfire Mk. XVI's. The set is dedicated to the ICM plastic model kit.
Montex provides two painting options of the machines used in Polish Air Force.
1. Spitfire Mk. XVI, 308 (Polish) Squadron RAF, S/Ldr Karol Pniak, April 1945
Plane has the serial number TD317, code letters ZF-P. It was delivered to the 308 Sqn on 20 April 1945 . It was the first low-back Spitfire delivered to the squadron. This plane is very well documented on the archive photographs. Comparison of the photos with Montex painting scheme reveals one interesting difference. On the starboard side unit emblem and small polish chequer on the engine cowling are level to the ground when the plane is standing on its three wheels. On the port side these emblems are level to the plane's in-flight position. Photos taken in 1946 shows also that the 308 Sqn emblem is rather faded, in contrary to its look in April 1945. On the starboard side digit 7 in the serial number looks as if it was slightly overpainted with green. When you compare the painting scheme from the Montex instruction with the photos and colour drawing published in Wojtek Matusiak book you can notice a slight difference in the shape of Dark Green blot on the starboard side near the serial number – it should be a bit bigger so that the whole serial number was placed on Dark Green colour.
2. Spitfire Mk. XVI, 302 (Polish) Squadron RAF, S/Ldr Bolesław Kaczmarek, Germany, Summer 1945
Serial number TD240, code letters WX-V. Delivered to 131 Wing in mid-May 1945. As a personal plane of G/Cpt. Aleksander Gabszewicz it was decorated with the fighting dog cartoon drawing on the engine hood and his standard code letters SZ-G. In mid-June this plane become a personal machine of S/Ldr Bolesław Kaczmarek and was re-coded to WX-V. Boxing dog remained on his place but the plane got 302 Sqn emblem under the windscreen. Some time later the plane got a girl's name Janetka
The set provides three “types” of markings, depending on the material used for making these markings. First of all we get a small sheet of black masks for protecting the canopy plus windscreen (both inside and outside) and wheel hubs/tires. Second type is a much larger sheet of masks made of grey vinyl. This one is much thinner and soft in comparison to the black masks which is good as these markings will be placed on curves, bulges and panel lines. On this sheet we will find British roundels and fin-flashes, serial numbers and planes code letters. Third medium used in the Montex product are the decals, used for the most complicated and tiniest details and emblems. Decal sheet contains one again serial numbers, both units badges, two polish chequers and personal emblems. One of the 308 Sqn badge and a boxing dog are printed with errors but producers provides a correction (an additional sheet) with correct emblems. I have a strange feeling that original decals and corrections are printed on two different types of paper.
Review of Polish Wings No. 16 “Supermarine Spitfire XVI ” by Wojtek Matusiak
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