Corgi's timely tribute to Belfast's publicly funded warbirds
Corgi Supermarine Spitfire Mk.IIa P7823 / TM-F, 'Down Belfast Telegraph Spitfire Fund', RAF No.504 Squadron, Ballyhalbert, Northern Ireland, March 1941
REF NO: AA39213
One of the most fascinating aspects of aerial conflict during World War Two was the subject of ‘Presentation Spitfires’. Although other aircraft were certainly procured in this manner, the Spitfire was seen as being the fighter of the moment and the one which would bring deliverance against its enemies. Desperate to do their bit and support the war effort, communities throughout Britain and the entire Commonwealth put aside the hardships of their wartime existence and enthusiastically gave what they could to their local Spitfire fund.
The aircraft themselves were simply taken from the current production lines, but were allowed to bear the names of the individuals, companies and communities who had bought them, whilst being careful not to compromise the standard camouflage scheme.
The Belfast Telegraph’s Spitfire Fund captured the local public’s imagination like no other and raised enough money to buy 17 Spitfires. Launched a day before the German Luftwaffe began its bombardment in 1940, the fund generated an impressive £88,633,16s.5d.
In recognition of the contribution from the Belfast Telegraph readers the aircraft were all given Ulster names – Antrim, Armagh, Down, Fermanagh, Londonderry, Tyrone, Larne, Ballymena, Bangor, Aldergrove, Mountains O’Mourne, Enniskillen, Mid-Ulster, Belfast, Portadown, City of Derry and Harlandic.
This latest release of Corgi's sublime 1/72 scale tooling is a fitting tribute to such an incredible campaign and is packaged as part of its '100 Years of the RAF' series, complete with an outstanding box and a matching Collector Card. The upper camouflage is beautifully applied and contrasts nicely with the single-coloured underbelly, as was standard. The decals are equally worthy of praise and whether mounted on the supplied stand or displayed with the optional parts to show the undercarriage down, it is a truly lovely model, especially when you know the heartwarming story behind it.