This is a Supermarine Spitfire LF Mk VIII, A58-534 R, of 452
Squadron, 80 Fighter Wing RAAF. 452 Squadron was based, among other
locations, on Tarakan Island in the Netherlands East Indies
(Indonesia) in early July 1945.
Whilst part of the RAAFs 1st Tactical Air Force they supported
the Australian landings on Borneo, conducting both strafing and
bombing missions. For the latter, locally designed bomb racks were
fitted to the wing hardpoints allowing the carriage of two 250lb
A photograph in the AWM database confirms the presence of this
particular aircraft on Tarakan during the July 1945 operations.
The model is the 1/48 Hasegawa Spitfire Mk VIII. It was
constructed pretty much straight from the box except for the
addition of an Ultracast seat, propeller and spinner and block tread
wheels. Examination of many photos of RAAF Mk VIIIs in the
South-West Pacific show they were fitted with block tread tyres, not
the smooth treaded style provided in the kit. It is a small and
subtle detail that is often missed but adds to the accuracy of the
Painting and Markings
The aircraft was finished with Polly Scale acrylic RAAF Foliage
Green and RAAF Sky Blue. This is one of the simpler schemes that a
Spitfire can be finished in and speeds up the finishing process.
The excellent Aero Imageworks "Shark Attack" decal set (A014801)
was used for the markings. I was attracted to this option thanks to
the small nose art applied ahead of the entry door. Nose art is rare
on RAAF Spitfires (except of course 457 Sqn's sharks' mouths) so it
makes for something different.
These screen-printed decals were in excellent register and
performed flawlessly, responding well to the standard Micro Sol/Set
combination. While I elected not to make them, instructions are also
included for the locally designed underwing bomb racks.