Balkan Models cheered my face with their second Limited Edition set in 1:48! Since I already reviewed their MiG-21 set
, I expected nothing less than perfect; and, fortunately enough, I was not proved wrong!
Some historical background
“On 22 April 1944, the first Yugoslav fighter squadron (No. 352 Squadron RAF) was formed at Benina, Libya. At first it was equipped with Hurricanes. In June of the same year, the first of the Supermarine Spitfires were delivered. In August, the squadron moved to Italy to join the No. 281 Wing. The squadron’s main goal was to provide escort for fighter-bomber squadrons and engage in ground attack missions. For the rest of the war they were using the airport located on the island Vis.
The basic organization of 352th squadron was same as in all RAF squadrons. The first combat operation was planned and executed on 18 August 1944. Captain Mileta Protić was assigned as the first squadron commander. During the combat operations the squadron lost 10 pilots. Among them was Franjo Kluz, the first partisan pilot and later a national hero of Yugoslavia.
No. 352 Squadron RAF carried out 367 combat operations flying form Canne, Vis and Zemunik airports. The squadron was disbanded from RAF on 16 May 1945.” (Source: Balkan Models)
The set comes within Balkan Models’ standard zip-bag, and consists of one colorful instruction booklet and big decal sheet. The booklet is reminiscent of their previous set, and abundant with relevant colorful paint guides and decal placement instructions. It is neatly organized and presented, and the profiles are particularly well researched and covered in detail. Like with their previous edition, the instructions come with a comprehensive cross-reference color guide with the mainstream paint lines, as well as RAL and Federal Standard.
This is a comprehensive set which enables you to do four different profiles from the six that are presented in the set. They all belong to No. 352 Squadron RAF:
- Supermarine Spitfire Mk. Vb, No. ES257, Code X, “Slovenec”,
- Supermarine Spitfire Mk. Vb, No. EP886, Code G, “Hrvat”,
- Supermarine Spitfire Mk. Vc, No. JK831, Code M, “Slavonac”,
- Supermarine Spitfire Mk. Vc, No. JK608, Code C, “Makedonac”,
- Supermarine Spitfire Mk. Vc, No. JG948, Code J, “Goričan”,
- Supermarine Spitfire Mk. Vc, No. JK448, Code W, “Osvetnik 5. ofanzive”,
- Supermarine Spitfire Mk. Vc, No. LZ830, Code K, “Popov”, and
- Supermarine Spitfire Mk. Vc, No. JK790, Code S
Suggested kits for the Mk. Vb is Tamiya, and for the Mk. Vc is Special Hobby.
With so many options to choose from, this is probably the most comprehensive set dedicated to the 352 Squadron RAF. The quality of the decals leaves nothing to be desired. The decals, and particularly the roundels, are in perfect register, extremely sharp and consistent in color. As I always suggest, you are advised to test the decals prior to application.
With their second decal set in this scale, Balkan Models keep us warned that we should keep an eye for the future. This is well researched and well presented decal set that covers important and historically intriguing subjects, and can be of particular interest not only to modelers who are interested in the nascent Yugoslav Airforce, but also in the history of the RAF. Again, this is the set that clearly establishes Balkan Models as innovative and promising decal company, which is able to execute their finest modeling verve with passion and quality. Thumbs up!
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