Spitfire MK Vb F/Sgt. K. Basset, RAAF 1941 (Tamiya 1941)

Spitfire MK Vb F/Sgt. K. Basset, RAAF 1941 (Tamiya 1941)

The motivation to built this model came from an informal Group Build organised in my modelling club SAPMA. The idea was to build a Spitfire used by an Aussie during WWII.

I've choose to build a plane flown by Flight Sargent Kenneth "Kenny" Dudley Basset when he was attached to RAAF 452 Squadron based at Redhill, England, October 1941.

Kenneth was born on the 16th of July 1916 in Roma, Queensland. In September 1940, he joined the RAAF and commenced training as a pilot at Narrandra, NSW. In 1941, he left for further training in Ottawa, Canada, and was then posted to England in the same year.
After Kenny arrived in England, he was posted to Heston, South London, and joined a Spitfire Squadron. He then had an immediate posting to RAAF 452 Squadron. Tours of duty consisted of sweeps over France and convoy patrols over the English Channel. 452 Squadron was then posted to the Isle of Man and there, Kenny trained other pilots.
The following edited report is of typical day for Kenny:
P/O Lamerton took off with Sgt Bassett (Kenny) for a defensive patrol at 25,000 feet over Mull of Galloway. While climbing and when at 20,000 feet they saw a Ju88 about 5,000 ft above and the E/A (Enemy Aircraft) was flying on a South Easterly course towards the coast. They manoeuvred to get into the sun. P/O Lamberton’s attack was from astern and above. He gave a long burst of 3-4 seconds and silenced the top rear gunner using cannon at a range of 300 yards. However P/O Lamerton’s aircraft was hit by return fire and flames and smoke from the exhaust and cowling soon appeared. He could see ahead and called up saying that he was baling out, which he did from an altitude of 12,000 feet. He was picked up six hours later. Meanwhile Sgt Basset continued to attack the Ju88, but was unable to close to a short range, and was recalled to base after he expended all his ammo, landing at 07:55. He claimed a damaged aircraft shared with P/O Lamerton. It was the last claim of the Squadron while stationed in England. P/O Lamerton was from South Australia and had joined the Squadron three months before from OTU. He was later killed with the Squadron.

Kenny eventually returned to Australia to the defend Darwin in the very dangerous skies over Australia and the Pacific against a determined and resourceful enemy.
Kenny married Eddie in 1942, and was posted to Tasmania mostly training pilots for the remainder of the war. He was discharged from the Air Force in 1945, and after War’s end, he returned to Roma with his family. In 1963 the family moved to Brisbane finally settling St Lucia, where he lived for the rest of his life. He passed away on the 31st May 2006. (Text above extracted from the Spitfire Association website: https://spitfireassociation.com.au/bassett-kenneth-kenny/ )
Here is Sgt Basset by his Spitfire (AD537 UD-R) in Redhill, October 1941 (image from Australian War Museum archives)

I used the excellent kit from Tamiya to model his MK-Vb. Despite it being an exceptional kit I still did some improvements to the kit as follow:
  • Cut the canopy to display it open;
  • Open the cockpit access door on the fuselage port side;
  • Added Eduard Photo-Etched pre-painted seat belts;
  • Open the exhaust ends; and
  • Added the IFF wire antennas to the sides using MIG aerial line super fine (0.01mm).

Painting guide:

I used basically Tamiya and Gunze acrylics overall on the kit as follow:
  • Supermarine Interior Green: mix of Tamiya XF5:1 + XF21:3 + XF65:1;
  • Seat: XF9 for the seat and XF1 for the leather back rest;
  • Instruments panel: Supermarine Interior Green for the lower half and XF1 for the instruments board. I did use the kit decals for the gauges;
  • Exhaust: XF52;
  • Spinner and fuselage band SKY: Gunze H74
  • Propeller blades: XF1 and XF3 for the blade tips;
  • Underside surfaces and undercarriage: XF83;
  • Tyres: XF85;
  • Upper surfaces camouflage OCEAN GREY: XF82;
  • Upper surfaces camouflage DARK GREEN: XF81;
  • Wings yellow band: XF3;
  • Clear coat before applying decals: X22;
  • Clear Flat final coat: XF86.


I've used DK decals #72037 No.452 (RAAF) Sqn. and I was really impressed by the quality and easy to use. I would recommend it without hesitation.

The finished photos:

Here are the finished model. It was a pleasure to build this kit and finish it in an Aussie markings.


FOKKER EINDECKER E.II "69/15", Baron Kurt von Crailsheim, Monthois France 1915 (AIRFIX 1/72)

26th September, 2018

Hi all

This is my next project: FOKKER EINDECKER E.II "69/15", Baron Kurt von Crailsheim, FFA 53, Monthois, France, October 1915.

Baron von Crailsheim scored the first (and his only) air victory for FFA 53 Eindeckers
I'll be using the Airfix kit 01086 in 1/72nd scale.

The art work(as for most recent Airfix releases) is very appealing

Two grey sprue, very crisp details, no sink marks or flash

The box back with the painting and decalling instructions 
Since this will be my first ever WWI project, I'll keep it basically straight from the box. However, I'll add a few things that I've noticed are missing (the windscreen in front of the cockpit, harness and the rigging).

Oddly, I decided to start this building by the propellers. The kit brings two propellers types to chose from. One from Garuda Propellers (wider paddles) and one from Germania Propellers (slim paddles). I used the following technique to paint the wood laminated propellers:

For the Germania propeller (lighter in colour on the photos below);
  • Paint the part with XF-02 Flat White
  • Watercolour pencil Brown and Ochre to make the wood veins
  • 20% Gunze H91 Clear Yellow + 80% thinner
  • 20% Gunze H92 Clear Orange + 80% thinner
  • Mr Color C218 Aluminium for the metal centre.

For the Garuda propeller (darker colour on the photos below);
  • Paint the part with XF-02 Flat White
  • Watercolour pencil Brown and Ochre to make the wood veins
  • 20% Gunze H91 Clear Yellow + 80% thinner
  • 10% Gunze H92 Clear Orange + 10% Gunze H93 Clear Blue + 80% thinner
  • Mr Color C218 Aluminium for the metal centre.
After painting with XF-02, use various browns shades using a pointed brush to create wood grain in the Germania propeller

You can either draw it on the piece or use the brush to paint it, blende it with some water if desired

Next steps is to add colours with the various clear shades

Front view: Left the Garuda propeller and on the right side the Germania propeller

Back view: Left the Garuda propeller and Germania on the right side
I'm still undecided which one to use.

Next I started on the cockpit.

The first thing I've done was to close some annoying release marks.

Only the one on the front of the cockpit would be visible and required to putty
I've used the same technique used to paint the propellers to paint the floor board and back of the seat. In this case I've used the lighter wood colour.

After the XF-02, watercolour pencils were used to simulate wood

For the first time I decided to try the Mr Metal Color lacquer paints. I don't ever use Alclad due it's extreme smell and I'm allergic to it. Therefore it seems to be a viable option.

Used for the first time and I was really impressed with the results and quality of the paint
Airbrushed MrColors 211 - Chrome Silver on the "metal" parts using the following settings: 1 paint : 2 Mr Levelling Thinner (MLT) @ 15psi. The result was outstanding and I became a fan to it.

Metal parts sprayed with MrColors 211 with any prior preparation on the plastic.

Fuselages halves ready to be glued together

I've added some synthetic fibre harnesses from my spare parts box. Maybe not the correct one but will do the job on this scale. I also did improve the handle on the control stick. The part is hallowed but comes as a single flat piece of plastic in the kit
Cockpit masked and ready for the next painting task

The Fokker Eindecker had a very distinctive metal characteristic. All Aluminium panels  and cowls remained unpainted and were given a "squiggly turned" finish.

Please observe the squiggly turned finish on the cowl

Since the beginning of this project I was trying to figure it out how to represent it in this small scale. I came up with this technique that I was happy with the result.

  • First airbrush the metal parts with Chrome Silver (211)
  • Spray a coat of Tamiya X-19 Clear Smoke (40% paint : 60% Thinner)
  • Brush paint MrColor C218 Aluminium in format of the squiggly marks
  • Airbrush a final coat with MrColor C159 Super Silver (40% paint : 60% MLT)

Next in my list was to add some detail to the engine. The Eindecker E.II was powered by a 100hp Oberursel U.1 (which was a license built 100hp Gnome Monosoupape).

I added the ignition wirings to the cylinders using EZLine fine.

After a first base with X-01 Black I sprayed it with MrColor C159 Super Silver (50% paint : 50% MLT @ 15psi)

Following I did spray the cylinders only with:
  • 1st: 20% X-19 Clear Smoke + 80% thinner
  • 2nd: 20% Gunze H91 Clear Yellow + 80% thinner
  • 3rd: 20% Gunze H93 Clear Blue + 80% thinner
  • 4th and final, Tamiya Panel Accent BLACXK wash.

The Eindecker was equipped with an IMG 08 "Spandau" 7.92mm machine gun. Obviously the kit would benefit from an aftermarket representation of this machine gun. However, I have decided to build it as most out-of-the-box as possible, so I just painted the piece XF-01 Flat Black and had some graphite powder rubbed into it afterwards.

A new aftermarket machine gun would add value to kit. Note how characteristic it is

XF-01 Flat Black applied

Add caption

Graphite powder was rubbed overall

I did open the machine gun barrel to add some detail

Fuselage is now masked and ready to get painted.

Progressing with this building very steadily, mainly because I'm grounded home due to a recent knee operation. Anyway! The next step was to start with the painting.

I've read so many reviews over the internet and one thing that was common to all is in regards to the fuselage band decals. They don't match properly. So I decided to to paint those marks. Since I was about to paint it, I decided also decided to paint the big white squares on the wings and fuselage. This is because the decal would be positioned just on the top of the rigging points and I would have to use few decal solving solutions to fix it. In the end they will look nicer. However, I will cut and use the decals for the German crosses.

The first thing Ive done was to spray Tamiya XF-60 Dark Yellow overall to uncover any mistake or gaps to be corrected (had some minor ones easily fixed). I still have not decided what colour to use for the fuselage but this will give me an stating point.

Then I painted the white areas using Tamiya XF-02 Flat White with a few drops of Future (1 paint : 1 Future : 2 X-20A @15psi)

White added to the fuselage band

Wings top side with white area painted

Wings underside with white area painted
 When doing the masks I usually place the masking tape on a piece of baking paper.
I used the decal as a template. Cut with a sharp blade and metal ruler for straight cuts.

Masking tape being cut and positioned in one of the wings
 I've used the same process to cut the fuselage cross template.
I've used the 3mm tape for the upper and bottom of the fuselage band. However, for the sides I had to use 2 x 2mm stripes overlapped  since it is slightly thinner than the upper and bottom stripes.
Fuselage band and cross masked

Upper wing squares masked

Underside wings squares masked 
 Next I did apply Tamiya XF-01 Flat Black with a few drops of Future (1 paint : 1 Future : 2 X-20A @15psi). I know I'll have to spray some white or grey prior to yellow but I think this way it would be easier to mask.
Black paint applied

Yellow applied. I've used Gunze  H413 RLM04 Yellow.

After waiting overnight for paint to cure I decided to check it before moving on.

A little setback, I was not happy with the results. Some overspray/bleeding paint and some huge misalignment. I will have to start from the beginning again.

No easy way out. Sanded it with fine sandpaper and started it again with the White.

First painting the White

Since my first attempt was unsuccessful, I've decided to change the method. After applying the second stripe in Black, instead of masking it off to leave a gap for the Yellow, I decided to paint the Black stripe first.

The first Black stripe 

Following I painted the Yellow.

The Yellow painted
 Finally the last Black stripe is on and ready to be masked off.

I was so confident that I didn't remove the mask to check the results

The main colour was then applied. The instructions called for Humbrol 103 Matt Cream. Since I only use acrylic paints and mainly Tamiya, I decided to mix it.

I came up with following mix ratio:

  • 58% XF02
  • 26% XF57
  • 12% XF15
  • 4% XF03
I was pretty happy with the end result.

Main colour applied and masks removed

For the wings I have sprayed a darker version of my mix on the wings. Mask 1mm stripes on the frames and then sprayed my mix main colour.
The wing frames masked and ready to get the main paint on 

A coat of clear gloss Tamiya X-22 was applied and the model is ready for decals.

Decals had been applied and a final coat of clear gloss was applied.

The decals are very good and they conformed pretty well with a little of Micro SOL/SET solutions.

It's now time for weathering.

Definitely the Festive Season isn't a good time of the year for scale modelling here Down Under. Warmer weather and friends invitations to go out is so tempting that the bench time is happily neglected.
However, I've managed to progress with this build and here are a couple of photos just to keep this build alive.

I have added the wings to the fuselage and also started some weathering

The bottom will be a little dirtier than the upper surface 

Finally completed. Rigging made with EZLIne and glued in place with CA Glue.