Two Tempest VIs of a Czech pilot - in Special Hobby's 1/32 SH32055 kit

   Special Hobby's  SH32055 Tempest Mk.VI  kit offers in all four marking and colour schemes. Two of the airframes wear camouflage scheme, the other two were painted in aluminium. Three of the airframes depicted were operated by No.6 Sqn RAF. Before the release of the kit, by sheer coincidence were found out the names of the pilots who had been flying at the controls of the two aluminium painted Mk.VI Tempests. The airframe no. NX135/V had the history of taking part in the combat that ensued between British Tempests and Spitfires and another Spitfires of the ISraeli air force. At the time, the cockpit of the machine was occupied by F/L Brian Spragg, as also mentioned in our colour schemes.
   What is not mentioned there though, as we simply did not know it then, is that the both "our" aluminium-painted Tempests had been at the same time also flown by Czechoslovak pilot Frantisek Bartos. This very interesting fact we learned only later and only because of the excellent book "Pod kridly RAF ve druhem exilu - Under the RAF wings in the second exile" by authors Zdenek Hurt and J.Rail. (and we cannot but hugely recommend this achievement!) 
   Frantisek Bartos, along with his brother Antonin and their father left Czechoslovakia to take part in fighting th nazis, all three of them becoming soldiers, Antonin became paratrooper and was dropped in already occupied Czechoslovakia as the commanding officer of group called Clay, while Frantisek became a pilot and served with No.312Sqn. In 1948 following the communist coup, they both fled their homeland once again as they faced imprisonment here. (Antonin was also a MP for a democratic party disliked by the communists). Frantisek rejoined the RAF and flew with quite a many various planes, including the Tempest VI or Vampire. He eventually met his fate in Meteor Mk.7 WL454 on 17 September 1952.


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