During the Second World War, both Germany and the UK courted Turkey, seeking to draw the country into their respective spheres of influence. One result of this diplomatic manoeuvring was the sale of current inventory front-line fighter aircraft to the Turkish Air Force, despite the pressing need for them at home. Turkey ended up with FW-190 Aa3 and Spitfire Vb aircraft serving side by side during the war, and Spitfire IXs from the end of the war until 1948. The Focke-Wulfs were slightly downgraded from the German standard, lacking the wing root guns and having a different radio installation. They were painted in either RLM 02/71/65 or 74/75/76. Spinners were painted in the regimental colours of either black (Karabaş), red (Albaş) or yellow (Saribaş). At least one and possibly more were painted an overall dark green towards the end of the war but not much is known of these particular machines' history. The Spitfire Vs were clapped-out ex Desert Air Force machines, still fitted with their Volkes filters and desert camouflage. The Spitfire IXs seem to have been drawn from regular RAF inventories, and were delivered in the Temperate Day Fighter scheme. At least two were painted in overall aluminium, most likely the high speed silver lacquer post war RAF fighters wore.
Turkish National Markings during the time these aircraft were in service consisted of red squares with a thick white border in the underwing position only, a red rudder with a white crescent and star centred vertically just above the midpoint, and a white or black tactical number on the rear fuselage. With the Spitfire IX, the National marking was added to the upper wings and rear fuselage, and the tail marking changed to a Turkish flag, painted on the fin rather than the rudder.
This decal was produced to fit the Tamiya Spitfire Vb (tropical), Hasegawa (or other) Spitfire IX and the Tamiya FW-190A3.
This is a very thorough decal sheet, which supplies sufficient markings to do no less than ten different aircraft: 4 Spitfire IXs, 2 Spitfire Vbs, and 4 FW-190s. They are broken down as follows:
Spitfire IX in overall high speed silver:
Black 64, with rounded rudder, red spinner;
Black 75 with later pointed rudder, black and red spinner;
Spitfire IX in Temperate Day Fighter camouflage of Dark Green and Ocean Grey over Medium Grey:
Black YV.85 with later pointed rudder, black and white spinner;
MK183, with rounded rudder, white spinner, white rear fuselage band;
The Spitfire IX's units are not provided.
Spitfire Vb, in desert camouflage of Dark Earth and Middle Stone over Azure:
White 5531 with red spinner 6th Fighter Regiment, 3rd Company;
Black 5514 with black spinner 4th Fighter Regiment 3rd Company;
These two aircraft appear to have been fitted with DeHavilland airscrews, which are not present in the Tamiya kit. They will have to be sourced separately. Quickboost offers one in set QB48268
. Alternatively, they could be robbed from an Airfix Mk. I if it is built with the two blade airscrew option (or the Tamiya Mk. I if an aftermarket airscrew is used).
FW-190Aa3 in RLM02/71/65:
Black 12 with black spinner 5th Fighter Regiment Karabaş Company;
Black 11 with red spinner 5th Fighter Regiment Albaş Company;
FW-190Aa3 in RLM 74/75/76:
Black 45 with yellow spinner 5th Fighter Regiment Saribaş Company;
Black 41 with black spinner 5th Fighter Regiment Karabaş Company.
Mottling is not shown on the fuselage side profiles. Pictures in private collections show that there was light mottling on at least some of the aircraft. I have access to photos of Black 11 and Black 41 which clearly show mottling. It is reasonable to suppose that it was done at the Focke-Wulf factory in accordance with standard Luftwaffe practise at the time the aircraft were built.
the decal sheet
The sheet is crammed with markings. All National markings and tactical numbers for all 10 aircraft have been squeezed onto the standard sized decal paper. All markings are in perfect register, with no blurring or smudging. The fine letters and numbers are crisply printed. The printing was done by Microscale, so we can depend on the decals to be thin and behave perfectly with Set and Sol. There are two small supplemental sheets holding crescent and star markings for YV.85 and MK183, whose tail flashes were printed without them.
The instructions come in a full colour 8 page booklet which provides 3 view drawings of each type, with right side views of each decal option. The Spitfire IX and FW-190 have full underside drawings, while the Spitfire Vb drawings have only scrap views of the undersides of the wings. The drawings provide sufficient detail to clearly position all the decals.
The instruction booklet appears to have been drawn before the decal was printed. Each National Marking is called out in two parts (eg: H3 H3a), but the corresponding marking is printed as one piece on the decal (there is no H3a, only H3). The FW-190 from the Saribaş Company is supposed to have a yellow spinner. This is clearly printed on the cover page, but its side profile has the spinner printed white. These small errors are easy to reason out, and should not be too confusing. Colour swatches are printed on the bottom of each page with the names of each colour used in that particular scheme.
The real thing
Turkish FW-190s and a Spitfire Vb
in formation together.
This decal was kindly provided for review by Hobbytime
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