The Spitfire - a plane we have a big soft spot for. Our first Spitfire tag has been long sold out and we get many inquiries about future Spitfire tags. We were able to secure just a little bit more skin from our friends in the UK and are pleased to present one more Spitfire tag - done up the JET EYES way.
Since our first Spitfire run we’ve drastically changed how we cut our tags, and these new techniques/equipment allowed us to cut a few more tags from the original NH523 material. Those few tags, coupled with this “new” skin have allowed us to release this second, better, and final NH523 Spitfire tag. Like the first run, these tags were cut from wing skin and fuel tank skin. Between tags cut from the new skin and the tags cut from the old skin, were we able to get together 153 tags for this release. In general, this material had less original paint than the previous run.
A quick note about NH523:
Supermarine Spitfire NH523, a Mk IX, was built in 1944. Upon completion, it was allocated to 132 Squadron where it saw active service. After supporting D-Day operations, 132 Squadron was moved on 25 June 1944 to Amblie, Normandy to support the invasion of Europe.
On 2 July 1944, while based in Amblie, Spitfire NH523 was engaged in a dog fight with a Focke Wolfe 190 and was shot up. The pilot managed to fly the damaged aircraft back to Amblie where he crash-landed. The pilot sustained only minor injuries.
NH523 was returned to 33 Maintenance Unit in England on 26 December 1944 where it was repaired. With repairs complete, the aircraft took off for a ferry flight on 20 January 1945. The ATA ferry pilot encountered a snowstorm over Stonton Wood in Leicestershire and was forced to abandon the aircraft. The unpiloted aircraft crashed at 1445 and was destroyed.
These 153 tags will be offered in 8 variants, as follows:
- Painted (tags that feature original paint over most of the tag. Some may have rivet holes. These tags have the MOST paint of any variant)
- Partially Painted (tags that feature portions of original paint)
- Fastener Painted (tags that feature intact rivets or screws and multiple layers of material AND original exterior paint in areas)
- Fastener Raw (tags that feature intact rivets or screws and multiple layers of material that do not have any exterior paint)
- Rivet Hole Painted (tags that feature portions of exterior paint AND a rivet hole/holes
- Rivet Hole Raw (tags that feature a rivet hole/holes that do not have any exterior paint)
- Raw (tags that have little or no exterior paint and are solid - no rivet holes or fasteners)
- Fuel Tank (tags cut from the fuel tank. These tags are a tad bit thicker than the fuselage tags and do not have any paint on them)
There are also a couple of combos offered with this release. They are:
- Spitfire Set - Painted and a Raw tag
- Merlin Set - Partially Painted and a Rivet Hole Painted
The Painted tags have the most original paint of any variant. The Fastener Painted and Rivet Hole Painted tags all have original paint, but some to a lesser degree than the Painted variant. Tags chosen as Painted tags have the most paint of any variant.
The Painted and Fastener Painted tags feature a fiber laser etched design (silver). All other variants feature a black Co2 laser etch/mark.
For the Partial Painted and Rivet Hole painted tags, we used a marking technique that resulted in tags with different marks depending on the paint coverage. We hand applied a special compound onto the raw elements of these tags and left the painted areas alone. The laser then marked the areas that had the compound, leaving behind a black mark. The laser removed the original paint where we did not apply the compound, leaving behind a very neat patina’d mark. What that means is that these tags have a combination of black and raw marks and no 2 are alike.
Many variants are very limited (<10) and only 153 tags are available. We do not have any more material from this aircraft. When these are gone, this is it.
All tags come on a card featuring art by Ryan Quickfall. The cards themselves are so good and do a perfect job capturing the vibes of the Spitfire. This card will also be available as a poster to those who purchase a tag.
We’re honored to preserve the history of this great plane once more and are over the moon that we were able to offer a final NH523 Spitfire tag. These tags will go quick so act quick.