Spitfire: Thinking of a Dear Friend

Written by: Glyn Dewis

Published: April 23, 2020

Category: General | Photography

I think it’s fair to say that the hardest thing about Lockdown is not being able to spend time with and be close to family and friends. Thankfully because of technology we have the ability to do video calls with each other using Zoom, Facetime, Skype and such but nothing will ever replace being with that person.

If you follow this blog and / or maybe follow me on social media you’ll know that my Lockdown Project is making, painting, photographing and creating scenes in Photohop of World War 2 Model Aircraft. I’ve created a few now and have a goal to create a minimum of 20, but to this point, my most recent one is inspired by my friend, Squadron Leader Allan Scott DFM (Spitfire Ace) whom I met and became friends with because of my 39-45 Portraits Project.

Up until Lockdown, I’d meet up with Allan every single week and we’d go out to a local cafe, sit at what seemed to become ‘our table’ and have tea and a lardy cake each and just chat. Unfortunately for the time being we’re unable to meet up but are speaking every other day on the phone.

I’ve been thinking about Allan a lot lately and more so now that I’m doing my Airfix Model Lockdown project and I guess that’s why I’ve created a few Spitfire pictures.

I’ll share these in a future post but for now just wanted to share one I made that actually depicts a true event from when Allan was flying Spitfires during World War 2 in the Battle for Malta…

I had got down to sea level and, as usual, after a dogfight, was returning to Malta on my own with my ammunition exhausted. I had previously engaged with and shot down a Ju88. Again, a dogfight, this time with two 109s, only this time I was sitting on the tail of one of them and unable to shoot. The German Pilots realised this. All I could do was to use the Spitfire in its defensive role and keep out-turning them as they came down. After several tight turns of getting nowhere, they decided it was stalemate. To my utter amazement they came in and, at a reasonable distance, formatted on me, waggled their wings and turned for home.


Squadron Leader Allan Scott DFM (Spitfire Ace)

To recreate this scene I already had the Spitfire model built from having made earlier pictures but in Photoshop just had to change the markings and also the colouring to add in the blue.

I photographed it on my table top tripod but positioned so that it was to the far left of the frame to give the right sort of angle had it really been flying alongside and slightly back…

I had a model 109 delivered by Amazon and so to give the Pilot’s Eye View from the cockpit set about putting together and painting just the one wing (for now)…

To photograph the wing I again attached it to the top of my tabletop tripod using a ball of BluTac and positioned it so that the Pilot’s view from the cockpit of such an aircraft wasn’t directly along it’s length but slightly back as the wings were further forward on the body…

Then it was simply a matter of cutting both aircraft out using the Pen Tool in Photoshop and combining each of the pieces together against a cloud filled sky background. Then some cleaning up, enhancing some of the lighting such as highlights on the cockpit and along the leading edge of the German Aircraft wing. The highlights on the Spitfire were there during the photo shoot from having used my video light as explained in a previous post LINK.

I then added the colouring and my painterly effect…

All that remains now is for this current situation to end so that Allan and I can resume our weekly get-together and I can surprise him with the picture; a story and picture that relays humanity.

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