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    • Mike

      Switched Identities   18/06/17

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About Zaggy

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    Newcastle, Australia
  1. Damn... Well I scored then didn't I! If you guys are paying £50 for just the kit, I paid AU$55 for the F-15J (Plus AU$12 postage); despite being the Pit-Road F-15J Boxing, all F-15C MSIP-II bits are present!... The GWH F-15C would have been nice for the AIM-9X's and AIM-120's, but since this will be a 65th AGRS jet, all I really need in another Elta 8222 pod and TACTS. And the price was just too good, once I confirmed all the MSIP-II bits I need are in the box! It looks MILES ahead of the even the later Hasegawa F-15C's (which I liked a lot BTW), so kinda looking fwd to this one.... After I finish these Bf 109G-10's! D
  2. Kinetic

    Having a quick look at this thing (having just gotten one yesterday, regarding the options for RAAF jets: the Lightening AT Pod as supplied is a Right-hand Pod - RAAF jets fly the Left-hand pod. If you go get a Wolfpack resin pod, mounting on Centreline (Stn5) is on option, and the Left Shoulder (Stn4 - with appropriate adapter) is the other. You'll also often see an an ELTA 8222 pod on the Right Shoulder (Stn6 - also with a custom adapter), and Pylon mounted BOL dispensers on the outboard side of the Stn2 and Stn8 pylons - even if the actually dispenser isn't there, the fairings are. Neither of these are present for the RAAF option too. The A/B fins are suspect too - for some reason they're shorter than the C/D fins and the sweep angle is more severe, which isn't quite right; the 'curvy' join between the fin and the fuselage is questionable too. But it still looks like a Hornet! In the plastic, you have a very early config, with just the fin-top reinforcing there - etched 'knife blades' are provided, which were added to the jets later, but there are no provisions for the butterfly patches (counterweights) that are below the fuel dump fairings. There are also those weird raised formation strip light 'things', which in no way reflect the very flush mounted lights on the real jet - nothing some sanding can not remove. RAAF Hornets (for the most part) also have very noticeable doublers beneath the rear fuselage formation strip lights, which you'll need to add. If you're going to do a really up to date jet, the GPS dome needs to go, and a new 'disc' antennae will need to be created (this appears in decal form, but would probably benefit from being cut from 5 thou plastic card, as it is raised and slightly domed). If you plan on doing an early jet (to avoid having to use the fin knife blades or worry about the butterfly patches or etc), you'll need to source some different exhausts, as only the later style of nozzle is included. Oh and you only get NACES Seats too (which are fine for a later Canadian jet, but the RAAF jets fly SJU9/A and 10/A seats - you should be able to find a suitable variant of MB Mk 10 seat, just be warned; these things come in MANY configurations.) Be warned as well, the instructions seem to have you opening up holes for some of the C/D-unique fairings - one may presume this is just a left over from changing the instructions from the C kit to the A/B. RAAF Markings - the 77SQN stuff is useless; everything looks to be black, where it should be Brunswick Green. The 30th Anniversary of RAAF Hornets scheme is ok, despite the anaemic 75SQN Spine markings, but the best of the bunch seems to be the 3SQN Low-viz jet. The paint guide simplifies things quite a lot (as by this stage, the jets are VERY patchy, and -57 has had 'upside down' elevons for a while now - ie, faded FS35237 on the BOTTOM and FS36375 on the top. The jet was also flying with light grey ailerons for a while too), but a quick search will sort you out for what you need to know. BUT I am looking forward to the full length intakes, the bird slicers are so much better than the Hasegawa attempt. The way the lower nose goes together (and the four options) I feel should work better than how Hasegawa has you do theirs, and the wing fold is good for those of use with limited display space (plus, part of one of my outer wings was snapped, so the folded option (which complete extra outboard sections to use) is probably my best option). I also really like the optional LERX grills - the RAAF jets (as far as I have noticed) only use the early type of grill, but for other applications, the option to go Early-Early, Early-Late, Late-Early or Late-Late (as you'll find across the various fleets) is pretty cool! So it looks promising - yup for a modern RAAF jet, you have to add a bunch or plates and etc, sand those raised Formation Strip Lights off, fabricate up bits and pieces - and if you want to run an 8222 with a Lightening AT, you need to go find some a/m pods, then try to make adapters....but isn't this what we're modellers for? It would be no fun if everything was easy! My main decision right now is why jet to do - A or B, should I try the kit decals, or use some of the EPIC good Ronin Decals releases (or wait for the Op OKRA set?) Decisions, Decisions! D
  3. Eduard are retooling the Fw 190A's? Really? I must say, I didn't find them THAT tough (though I almost wrecked a D-11 when the wing spar slide abut 1mm after clamping - which wasn't noticed until after painting and decaling, when the gear was going on!) Interesting though, because I have always buttoned them up, which is a minor pain! D
  4. Yup, the newer Hasegawa is the King (A, B and D), closely followed by the Fujimi kit (recently reissued by KA models - A). Dan
  5. F-22A - Hasegawa. Some say the raised RAM is too raised, but to be honest, to my eye its not as bad as many ppl like to suggest. Its a pretty epic build (far more complex than Italeri) and a pretty epic price, but the thing looks incredible! The only 'flaw' for me, is the exhaust can't be posed in the typical shutdown position - but this is what a/m is for. YF-23 - HobbyBoss. But be prepared to WORK for it, if you want it to look right. I've been chipping away at mine now for almost 2 years and haven't joined the top and bottom yet! "WTF Dan? Are you bonkers?" I hear you say - perhaps, but the 'high-level' overview of corrections that are needed to make the thing look right (PAV-2 focused) are: - lengthen the MLG bays - add the refuel point in front of the MLG legs, and reposition the bays about 7mm (off the top of my head?) rear wards, to put the gear where it should be. Replace the kit wheels with some nice a/c FA-18A wheels. The MLG Bays are still not quite in the right position, but they're close enough. (Done) - re-engrave the Weapons bays and the lower rear fuselage - the weapons bay doors aren't even close! In hindsight, because the weapons bay was essentially an empty box, it may have been easier to box the thing in, but such is! (In Progress) - exhausts need to be completely redone. Doing the GE-engined PAV-2, I liberated some parts from some 20 year old Hasegawa F-16's, etched YF-120 pattern flame holders, and jigged up a system to allow me to build the 'round-to-square' transition. Decals have been made for the sides, corrugated sheets fitted to parts and now just need to finish the deceptively complex 'exhaust paddle' (that has been torturing me, that shape!). Oh and of course, creating locating lugs inside for these things... (Done, except for the paddles) - exhaust troughs are just awful, these need to be re-engraved into square tiles - the plan is to then paint it all metal and decal over the top to introduce the subtle variations and distinctive edges of the tiles. (Not Started) - intakes... The worst part of this kit - the intakes bare no real resemblance to the YF-23, so you need to re-align all the leading edge surfaces (when viewed directly from the bottom, so they share the same angle ans the leading edge of the wing). This actually makes a HUGE difference to how the thing looks (especially once the MLG has ben moved backwards); the issue then becomes the intake trunks. So much card and putty and etc - and at the end of each, a compressor lifted from the aforementioned F-16's again. You should be able to JUST see the compressor face of the donks from certain angles. (In Progress) - upper fuselage shape; not sure where the 'bumps at the front' of the engine fairings came from, nor the 'hollows' just outboard either, but its another case of re-shape and re-scribe. In the grand scheme of things, this isnt a hard problem to fix, it just takes time. (Done, all bar a polishing) The rear lower fuselage has minor shape issues, but nothing that you're really see if you put the vents and antennae and panel lines in the right place! - cockpit is ok, but if you have gone this far, well you're going all the way - new seat, new canopy sills, structure on the insides of the fuselage, box in the avionics bay behind the seat and put the bits and pieces in there like the ECS and etc... Most of this work ends up being generally obscured, but its there! Hahaha. The BRUTAL part about this is building the inner frame for the canopy - that an the intakes have been the real soul crushers; the problem is, both are so visible. Even if you close the canopy, you'll need to build a good portion of the canopy frame internals (like the deck behind the seat). (Cockpit done, Avionics done, Canopy Frame in progress) Yes, that's a BIG list, but a. its the only game in town, and b. there are positives - the wheel wells are surprisingly nice; even the MLG Bay which needs to be lengthened and slid back. All they need (beyond the MLG stuff mentioned) is a good painting and the odd piece of wire. They're really good. The cockpit Panels are quite good too (they're surprisingly close). And then the shape overall - its far from perfect (which considering full drawings and cross sections were available at the time they did the kits, its hard to know why they ignored them), is actually a decent basis (ie, the angles are pretty close and the plan outline is rather close to the engineering drawings). Plus the aftermarket Caracal decals are quite good too. You could take an easier route too - move the MLG bay (easy), replace wheels with FA-18 wheels, put exhaust covers in place, correct the very front of the intakes, then put covers over it, close the canopy and do the minimum of frame work, while just fixing the major upper surface contours - and you'll have a very good looking YF-23. But either way, be prepared to suffer a bit for the YF-23, hahahaha Dan
  6. Oh one thing I should add, was talking to a certain friend who is decal manufacturer and a/m part manufacturer/master-maker today - of all the people he speaks with, he reckons ZM are the most often 'unfinished projects' he hears about. Modern CAD engineering is a double edged sword - you may end up with an AMAZINGLY well fitted kit, BUT the tolerances are so tight that even a coat of paint can throw things out, so if you mis-align something (or even too much pre-painting), you're doomed (apparently that happens to the 1/32 Revell Mirage III if you screw up the intake trunking a little, for example)... This happened to me on my first Eduard Fw 190D build - brilliant kit, just you REALLY need to be careful around the firewall and getting that wing spar perfectly central). AND, in my experience, if you make one alignment error, thing snow balls the firther down the track you get, until you have the whole thing together or even in paint and that "WHA?!?!? Oh... Crap...." feeling sets in (personally - Eduard Fw 190D wing spar, when I went to attach the gear; other people, Revell Mirage III wings don't attach 'level', if you screw the intake trunking). Still, if you're a careful 'test fit - test fit - test fit - glue' modeller, the ZM shouldn't be a problem... D
  7. Big "DEPENDS"... Tamiya you can be pretty sure will just fit together, is cheaper and will be well supported by the aftermarket industries. ZM are brilliant, but (a bit like Eduard) if you screw up even slightly in construction, the problem quickly snowballs (as the engineering tolerances are SO small) - they look amazing done tho! And like has been said above, most of the ZM detail ends up hidden (so its a bit like an adventure in seeing what you end up with); but if you're looking for the basis of a workshop or crash dio, could be worth the pain! There are obviously times when ZM wins out though - Ta 152 and Ho 229 and Do 335 and Shinden, which I don't think anyone else does in 1/32 (well, PCM does a fair 1/32 Ta 152H and C, but it's a short run kit, and old now, so we'll ignore it); same goes if you want a 1/32 Spad - the Trumpeter kit appears to be typical of Trumpeter (but in fairness, not even close to some of the BAD Trumpter stuff). And owning a few of the aforementioned ZM kits (I WANT the Do 335 too), they are challenging but look AMAZING. But really, depends mostly on what you want - the only real 'side by side' race I can think of is Mustangs and He 219. He 219 - Revell vs ZM: for me, the ZM wins on detail alone; but at about 1/3rd the cost the Revell is awesome value. And those savings help pay for some a/m Radiators, Gills, Wheels, PE, etc, which are notable short comings of the kit. The other short coming is the lack of Rear Transparency in the Revell (all operational He 219 A-0's, A-2's and A-7's had this) and the notable glass/perspex insulators in the rear upper too. Mustang - Tamiya vs Dragon vs Hasegawa vs ZM: I'm not really a Mustang person, so can't really comment, except the Price Point on the ZM is about 5-6 times that of the Dragon and old Hasegawa kit. This doesnt really help you at all, does it! Damn it, I keep coming back to 'IT DEPENDS'.... But if it was me, that Do 335 would be on the top of the List! Dan
  8. Even for gloss jets, I finish in a Satin as it helps the scale appearance... A 72nd scale phantom for example, with a finish like a new Bugatti just doesn't look right; add some satin into the mix and voila! Looks so much better! D
  9. Ye gods man! How'd you manage to accomplish that? Kept on sanding WELL after the backing sheet was free? Wow.... Tongue in cheek here, you deserve some sort of reward for that effort! Now I want to see pics of the step by step rescue of that! SOOOOOOO Many Thin Wedges of white plastic - but at least the backing sheet will be able to provide most of that plastic - then some unabashed use of filler? Dan
  10. A good vac kit is strangely fun... Even more so these days with resin and etch to add detail far more easily. Dan
  11. If you're suspect on the colours, do what I do - strip of white plastic card (about 10mm wide) and brush paint some samples onto the strip... See what you get when it dries. also allows you to tune the colours to that of the decals... Dan
  12. I managed to dodge that Marriage Bullet... Was engaged, but damn; this one was f@*#ing mental (more mental than average!) - no idea what I was thinking. Then I came to my senses... But to follow through, and to do it TWICE; jeez Mark.... You're one brave or crazy soul! Dan
  13. The problem we'll see with the F-35 is that the surface finish contributes to its LO capabilities. Go splashing paint all over them and you compromise that underlying LO finish... D
  14. Tamiya - with some Eduard extra's and resin wheels is probably top choice (easier to build), followed closely by the incredible ZM kit... D
  15. I kind of have to agree with Fernando - your typical factory 'feathered' edge on Lw camo, excluding mottles and the like, was no more than 2 inches (50mm) at best. In 1/48 that translates to 0.1mm. To put that into context, 0.1mm is less than the width of the stroke from the pen that you write your shopping list with! So a hard edge mask is a pretty good place to start; if you REALLY need the feathered 'feel', just lift the mask edges a little (or a Floating Mask as Fernando says) or spray from 45deg over the mask, to create that fine feather-edge. Next issue is that there were other things painted by BRUSH in camo patterns (Bf 109G/K and Me 262 Tail Units immediately come to mind) - they're instantly going to have a hard edge... D