After withdrawing from Poland in late September 1939 and the Fall of France in June 1940, the Polish Air Forces once again started to form, this time in Great Britain. The welcome of Polish soldiers by the British commanding officers in June 1940 was a bit chilly as the Poles were considered as constant losers, soldiers who can't fight. Less than three months later, at the and of August and during very hot days of September 1940, Polish fighter pilots from 302nd and 303rd Squadrons together with their fellows detached to regular RAF squadrons, proved how strongly some British commanders misjudged their skills. As the war progressed further fighter squadrons were organized resulting in nine fighter or fighter-reconnaissance squadrons and a Polish Fighting Team in North Africa (also known as “The Skalski Circus”, attached as “C” flight to 145 Sqn). The fighter squadrons initially flew the Hurricanes but as other RAF units switched to Spitfires. This is just a very short historical background of one of the latest books from Kagero Publishing: “Polish Spitfires” in the miniTopcolors series.
Topcolors books is a series of publications which includes painting and markings schemes together with sheet of decals for the depicted machines. As this time the topic of the book is “Polish Spitfires” inside we will find the painting diagrams of the following Spit's:
Spitfire IIa (P8387), „PK-H” from 315 Squadron „Dębliński”, Northolt, August 1941. Spitfire I (X4828), „RF-K” from 303 Squadron „Kościuszkowski”, Speke, September 1941. Spitfire Vb (AA853), „WX-C” from 302 Squadron „Poznański”, Croydon, July 1942. Spitfire F.IX (BS456), „UZ-Ż”, from 306 Squadron „Toruński”, Northolt, autumn 1942. Spitfire F.IX (EN179), „SZ-J”, from 316 Squadron „Warszawski”, Northolt, spring 1943. Spitfire F.IX (MH353), „WX-K”, from 302 Squadron „Poznański”, Northolt, late 1943. Spitfire LF.IX (TA864), „LW-L”, from 318 Squadron „Gdański”, Risano near Udine, June1945. Spitfire LF.XVI (TB898), „JH-L”, from 317 Squadron „Wileński”, Alhorn, late 1945.
As usual the planes are shown in four side views, but the lower surfaces are reduced just to the wings. Drawings of the particular planes are printed on two neighbouring pages in a type of fold-out. The drawings are very detailed and shows the actual condition of the plane in a particular moment of time. Even the state of weathering is represented as well as different shades of camouflage colours after repainting, paint chippings and gun smoke traces or fuel stains. This require careful study of the drawings before starting the painting of our kits as the airbrushing sequence must be very well chosen. Depicted planes were carefully chosen depending on something attractive in the plane's appearance: individual names, different RAF roundels, camouflage repaintings or personal emblems.
The decal sheet was printed by the well known in this business producer from Italy – Cartograf. Need any more comment about the expected quality? I guess no... Decals are made in three most popular scales: 1/72, 1/48 and 1/32. We will find there all of the individual markings for each plane shown in the book: serial numbers, squadron and plane code letters, unit and pilot's personal badges and polish chequerboards. RAF Roundels must be provided on your own, however this shouldn't be any problem as many other decal producers have them in offer. Some stencils or letters may look crooked or oblique but this just the recreation of a free-hand painting of the original plane. Kagero have also provided a small errata to no.15 of the series with the code letters for Spitfire IX MH712 and individual letter D.
The biggest problem I have with the latest Kagero publications is that when you get them you instantly want to build all the machines depicted in the book. Right here and right now, no matter what. The problem is even bigger when you have the proper kit in the stash. As many of us probably have more than just one Spitfire waiting in the stash we can easily assume that even this is not the problem. So, what you're waiting for. Go get it!
Michal wanted to write something more in this review but he dug out his Spitfires from the stash and now he even doesn't care for food, he just whispers something like “So many Spitfires, so many Spitfires”...
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Highs: Great quality of Cartograf decals, great and careful choice of depicted Spitfires, wide spread of types – from Mk.I to XVI.Lows: None of noteVerdict: Highly recommended to everyone interested in Spitfires and a “must have” for enthusiasts of Polish Air Forces in Great Britain
Our Thanks to Kagero Publishing! This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.