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Kit of the Week: Spitfire Mk Vc Trop!

2074_Spitfire_Action_1000

The terror of the Mediterranean skies is back!  Roust the Desert Fox with your own Spitfire Mk Vc Trop.

This week only, the Spitfire Tropicalized kit is 25% off!  That’s a savings of over $65.00, it’s never been easier to bring the RAF to your desert MOCs.

The Spitfire was Britain’s premier fighter aircraft during World War II. More than 20,000 of this aircraft were built for the Royal Air Force (RAF) and those of the Commonwealth and Allies. The Spitfire appeared just in time to take part in the Battle of Britain, where its reputation as a war-winning thoroughbred greatly eclipsed the RAF’s more numerous Hurricanes. By 1941 the Spitfire became the main fighter aircraft used for air-to-air combat, with the Hurricane being mainly relegated to the ground attack role.

The Spitfire was designed by RJ Mitchell, an engineer for the Supermarine Aviation, to be a high speed interceptor fighter. Its characteristically thin, elliptical shaped wings, mated to the incredibly powerful Rolls-Royce V-12 Merlin engine, gave it an air-speed advantage over most of its contemporaries.

Spitfire VB Trop

The Supermarine Spitfire VB Trop was the predecessor to the VC.

Deficiencies, such as weak armament and performance of the Merlin engine during negative G turns, led to rapid development of improved Spitfire designs. By 1942 the negative G performance was resolved in the Spitfire Mk V.  The “C” wing configuration housed four 20mm Hispano cannons, which greatly improved the Spitfire’s offensive punch. Brickmania’s Mk Vc Trop is based on this configuration, “Tropicalised” with desert camouflage and a larger air filter used in high-dust environments.

The first Spitfire modified to carry bombs was a Malta based Vc, EP201, which was able to carry one 250 lb (110 kg) bomb under each wing. In a note to the Air Ministry Air Vice Marshal Keith Park wrote “We designed the bomb gear so that there was no loss of performance when the bombs were dropped. Unlike the Hurricane bomb gear our Spitfire throws away all external fittings with the exception of a steel rib which protrudes less than one inch from the wing.”

One VC (trop) BP985 was modified by 103 MU as a high altitude fighter capable of intercepting the Ju 86P photo reconnaissance aircraft which were overflying Allied naval bases in Egypt. This aircraft was stripped of all unnecessary weight, including all armour plating and the Hispano cannon, while the compression ratio of the Merlin 46 was increased by modifying the cylinder block. A four bladed de Havilland propeller was fitted along with an Aboukir filter, a larger 9.5 gallon oil tank and extended wingtips.

desertspits

Spitfires over the desert of North Africa.

The first Spitfire to be sent overseas in large numbers was the Mk Vc (trop). The majority of these were used by Allied squadrons in the Mediterranean theatre (including North Africa), Burma and in Australia with No. 1 Fighter Wing RAAF. The Vc initially suffered a high rate of mechanical failure in Australia, due to corrosion in engine cooling pipes that were unfilled and exposed to salt air, while being shipped from the UK.  With the advent of the Mk IX, few Mk Vc Spitfires saw combat over Europe.

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Shown with additional accessories and figures.


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This entry was posted by Mariah Lamkin.

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