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What are Best Kits for Urbanowitz

April 21 2017 at 9:28 AM
John  (Login high510)
HyperScale Forums
from IP address

Hurricane (BOB), Spit and Mustang? 1/32 or 1/48 (assuming there are decals for the planes)? I searched and only found some fairly old links. TIA

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(Login RZP)
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A few things about Witold Urbanowicz and his aircraft.

April 21 2017, 10:18 AM 

Off the top of my head, references are at home:

In 1/32:

For his Hurricane, Techmod has markings for one of his aircraft on one of their sheets. As for a kit, there is the Pacific Coast Models Hurricane I (which is unfortunately out of stock) and I believe Fly Models is releasing (or has released) a Hurricane Mk. I. Neither one is "shake and bake", but I have built the PCM kit and it looks the part. The old Revell kit is still around and can be had for not too steep a price. I've seen it made up into some very nice results too.

For his Spitfire IIa (he was taken off operations in July 1941) RF-W P8038, one of the Spits he flew at that time, I don't think there are decals for it in 1/32. As far as I remember it didn't have any special markings apart from the Kosciuszko Squadron badge under the windscreen (no Polish chessboard on the nose yet at this point in the war). It should not be too difficult to put those markings together from generic sheets. As for a kit the choice is yours, Revell has a new tool kit out which needs some upgrades to make it a true Spit IIa (lots of reviews online). Hasegawa also had a hybrid kit out which had nicely engraved wings with a fuselage that had raised panel lines. With a little bit of work the Hasegawa still builds up into a very nice replica.

Urbanowicz never flew Mustangs on operations. He did however fly P-40s with the USAAF 75th Fighter Squadron of the 23rd Fighter Group in China, the Flying Tigers. He was sent on attachment, having previously acted as Polish Air Force liaison in Washington. He was credited with two kills while there, although one journalist mentioned as a source on Wikipedia, who wrote a book on the Polish Forces, says he shot down 11 aircraft while in China. That is doubtful, and Urbanowicz had a remarkable enough career without needing embellishment. The author is not a historian and it shows; the book is full of errors and misleading theories.

1/48 is not my scale so I will leave that up to someone else...


This message has been edited by RZP from IP address on Apr 21, 2017 12:16 PM

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(Login kaczusia)
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In 48 you have plenty more pick from

April 21 2017, 8:45 PM 

Do a search under Galleries and Pulawski's fighers and you should find my old PZL P7a and an PZL P11a. He flew the 11a in 1936 while on detachment to Polish Frontier Protection Corps ( Korpus Ochrony Pogranicza ) in Sarny, today's Lithuania. At the time the Polish forces were construction border fortifications and the Russians would send over their R5 machines to photograph. Urbanowicz charged one of those in his fighter and when they opened fire he was free to defend himself and shoot him down. So he actually got his first victory in 1936. To hush up the incident he was removed from first line fighter squadrons and send into training command and that is where he flew the P7a. His lectures always referred to the fighter pilot's as the actions of the "attacking cobra" and in his memoirs he mentions that a cobra was actually painted on his PZL P7a but there are no pictures of it anywhere. Since his memoirs were first published in communist Poland under censorship he could not refer to any of those incidents and we have nothing about his P11a.
In Britain he flew first with 145 squadron and got his first victories over the English Channel in that squadron. Only at the end of August he transferred to 303 where his machines are very well documented.
I had the pleasure to exchange a few letters with him when he was living in New York and the interesting fact is that his letterhead contained a silhouette of a Hurricane with the inscription "we do not beg for freeedom, we fight for freedom", although photographic evidence of that plane has always eluded me.
In China he flew a P40N. In his book there is a picture of a P40 with a number 188 and and inscription "my fighter" and that became a base for countless modeling projects but who knows if that was really his machine.
After returning back to London after his Chinese adventure he flew some missions in a Spitfire with the "warsaw mermaid" on the cowling but we do not even have any references as to which squadron that was in, most likely one of the numerous Polish ones.
Whichever model or models you build it would do him honor. Happy modeling!

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