Airfix 1/72 DHC-1 Chipmunk Mk.1; 444 Sqn., RCAF

444 Sqn. was formed as an Air Observation Post unit, at Rivers, Manitoba (Joint Air Training Centre), Oct. 1947, flying both DHC Chipmunk Mk.1's and Auster aircraft. The squadron only had a life span of 2 years, as they were disbanded in 1949, when their AOP mission was transferred to the 'Light Aircraft School'.

The model depicts one of the three Chipmunk Mk.1 (in this case, it was actually the prototype) that served with the squadron. It wears the RCAF tactical roundels what were briefly adopted for 'front-line' aircraft, in the very early post-World War 2 years.

The old Airfix kit of the DHC Chipmunk, actually represents the British-built Mk.10, which was used by the RAF as a trainer. Therefore, it comes as no shock, that if one intends it to represent a Canadian-built version, there are a few mods that should be made to the kit. The decision to depict the early Chipmunk Mk.1, meant that the extent of required modifications, was kept at a minimum.

Overall, the model is finnished in Floquil's Old Silver, then coated with Testor's Acrylic clear gloss in prep for decaling. Following decaling, the model was hand-brushed with the Testor's Acrylic clear gloss on the metal skinned areas, while the fabric skinned areas, prop, antiglare panel and walkways, were brushed with Testor's Acrylic clear flat.

As for the decals, the wing roundels are remanents of the old Stoppel sheet that featured RCAF/CAF flags and roundels. Arrow Graphics generic (R)CAF sheets, supplied the fuselage roundels, codes for the fuselage and lower wing, serial number and fin flash. The upperwing codes are from 'NAVY', in the typical US chipped-corner style of lettering, suitably altered to depict 'rounded lettering style' of RCAF codes.

Model by Scott Hemsley
Photos by Brian MacNamara.

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