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Jim Kiker

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About Jim Kiker

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  1. Hi all, Well somehow I do not think that "B-S T-X" would be the best way to advertise any product... Cheers, Jim
  2. Hi all, And lest we forget, an episode of "As Time Goes By" featured Lionel having a go at an Airfix HMS Victory (I believe). He gave up on it however, but Judi and Sandy finished it off. A grand series! Cheers, Jim
  3. Hi all, I am gathering various bits of Gen to do a Mosquito BIV; actually I will be making the Tamiya 1/48 scale kit into DZ414 O- Orange from the Film Production Unit (FPU). I'll be doing for her markings from the summer of 1944 with full D-Day invasion stripes. One build thread I've found elsewhere mentions the T-1154 radio being in use. I am not sure if that is correct or not, so I am looking for enlightenment. And in addition to the radios, am I correct in thinking that there should be a GEE box located beside the navigator's seat? Also, if anyone happens to have information on the camera(s) in use during that time frame on the FPU's that will help as well; looking for details on both the hand-held Eyemo and the 2709 movie cameras. FYI, thanks to Google I have seen the pictures of these cameras from the Large Scale Planes site, just interested in anything else that may be available. Thanks in advance, Jim
  4. Hi Simon, Regarding markings, I am away from my references just now but the red/blue roundels I used on my FRIX were approximately 40" diameter for the upper wings and 30" for the fuselage. Xtra Decals (and others) used to have a dedicated Type B roundel sheet with various sizes which would work. As for the camera openings, most of the airborne cameras in use had (again, approximately) a 6" diameter lens; on my PR builds,I use a 1/8" tube for the camera lens, and I use a 3/16 drill bit for the clear lens cover on the airframe. That works out to about 9" in real life. I generally start with a smaller bit so I can adjust the opening as I enlarge it if I didn't get it quite centered to begin with. Having done several Spitfire PR conversions without the accessories around today, I will also note that you can sand the inside surfaces of the hole for the two fuselage cameras pointing down, and add clear sheet on the inside of those two holes. This works for me since those two openings are slightly recessed into the lower fuselage to keep the glass clear of oil and dirt from leaking engine fluids. Good luck and I hope we will see pictures in the near future! Cheers, Jim
  5. Hi Marvel and all, Having looked at many a picture of 109's, as many here have done, I have some observations to pass along in the interests of doing authentic-looking models. The basic paint finish used will not fade very much since it is not exposed to direct sunlight most of the time. Also, the undersides generally will not have darkish, soft stains along all of the panel lines. I see this on a lot of airplane models and for the most part it does not reflect reality. What then would you see underneath? A degree of staining caused by leaking oil, which picks up and holds dirt and dust, as seen in the pictures already posted. You will also occasionally see dust, drops of mud, and chips from stones thrown up by the main wheels during takeoffs and landings, especially on the flaps and sometimes on the bottoms of the elevators since they hand down below the undersides of the airplane. You may also see minor chipping of the paint along the panels regularly removed for maintenance, such as that large panel underneath the engine. I commend you on asking about this rather than copying what other modelers are doing, and I look forward to seeing pictures of what you create! HTH, Jim
  6. Hi Angels, You can start a Google image search using this search string: de havilland mosquito cockpit. bunches of interior pics come up, and a few of them do show the pilot's and nav's seats. If you are looking for specific dimensions, more digging would be required. Hope this helps! Cheers, Jim
  7. Hi GP, Really nice work you've done with those side panels. On the second picture you posted in the grey primer series above, I noticed what looks like an open gap at the front end of your detailed side panel, between the front edge of the panel and the edge of the kit opening. Is there something else to be placed there, or is the gap itself correct? I'm not a student of the Falcon so I'm not sure what I'm seeing. In any case, keep up the fine work! Cheers, Jim
  8. Hi SP, If you are in luck, Nick will weigh in at some point; he is an expert in the science of paints and can provide some great technical background. Meantime, the first thing I will do is caution you about following what other modelers do instead of trying to figure out how to do it for yourself. Why? Because some modelers go for current fads rather than attempting to replicate an effect based on pictures of actual aircraft. For example, pre-shading panel lines and then using extremely thin layers of color is very fashionable just now. It's tough to pull off, but looks great when done well. The problem is, when you look at pictures of most aircraft, you will not see darker hazy areas around each and every panel with lighter centers; that sort of effect has its place, but it doesn't occur very often in real life in my experience. "Breaking up the broad surfaces of color" is, in my view, an artistic choice much more often than an attempt to replicate the real world. Others will disagree, and that's fine for them; a lot of what you get out of the attempt to weather a model is based on what you want to get to. The next thing I would recommend is to look at lots of pictures of your chosen subject, being careful to look for pictures of specific aircraft, in specific locations, at specific time frames, for clues about how that plane would have looked. For example, Corsairs in the Pacific theater in 1943 had significantly different fading and wear patterns from an RAF Spitfire based in England in 1944. Despite this, some modelers tend to apply the same weathering techniques to everything they build to the point that every model they complete looks as if it has sat in the tropical sun for six months. Not, in my opinion, very realistic. Third, when you think about weathering you should think about how the whole aircraft weathered; I've seen plenty of models with a heavily weathered airframe, yet the markings appear pristine and the canopy has all the shine of a well-maintained modern warbird. The best effects strive to create a sense of realism, where you can almost smell the gasoline and oil. So, how to get there? To paraphrase the old joke, practice on some scrap model pieces and see what works for you. The joke was: "How do I get to Carnegie Hall (or Royal Albert Hall)?" "Practice!" For example, you might paint a wing in basic paint, add a national marking with a decal, seal that with some gloss clear, and then try using a very thin tan-gray paint mix to lighten the colors and gray them out a bit. The first time you may wind up with a tan-tinted mess, but the next round you will begin to figure out HOW thin an over-covering of paint needs to be for your paints and airbrush in order to make the finish look bleached out. One fairly simple technique is to lay down you base paint and let it cure, then slightly lighten that base color, thin it a bit more than normal, and spray that over the model in streaks. The idea is be somewhat random, so you get areas of lighter and darker color. In general, the top of the fuselage and the upper wings will fade more that the sides of the fuselage, and certainly the lower surface paint will hardly fade at all. This type of streaking should be done from front to back on the wings (due to air flow), which will simulate dust and dirt being blown over the surfaces as well as simple fading. And note that you're trying to make broad strokes, so try this from further back than normal to give you softer edges; this works best then the eye doesn't really see the "edges" between the lighter/darker areas, just that the tone of the paint surface has variations in it. also note that when you airbrush, you can easily get too far from the surface and the paint starts to dry before it lands; so again, some experimentation is required on scrap pieces before trying it on your latest project. This is a complex subject to understand but not really difficult; paint varies from one batch to the next, how well it was applied varies, different pigments will "chalk" (develop a lighter, washed-out appearance) more than others, and aircraft sit and move through different environments. For these reasons a cookie-cutter, one-size-fits-all approach to weathering rarely produces realistic effects. So experimenting and practice will be your best teachers. Look for models that strike you as really looking the part and ask the builder how he/she did it, and be prepared to listen to a hundred different ways to get to ten different results; it's just the nature of the beast! While most of what I've written is general rather than specific, I hope this helps, and remember your results will vary from almost everybody else's, especially while you are figuring out how to do it with your paint and equipment. Good luck, Jim
  9. Hi Andy, Clean and crisp work as usual here; very nice! Any chance that you might consider modifying the cockpit canopy and add splitter plates to the intakes, to get closer to the original design? Hint, hint... :-) Cheers, Jim
  10. Hi Andy, If anyone asks what that striped handle in the front pit is, just tell them it's the canopy jettison handle; I can't see either seat actually being ejection capable given the front to back arrangement, but that may be too "real world" for sci fi. Take a bad hit? Climb up to perhaps 1,000 ft, unfasten your harness, jettison the canopy, and step over the side (much like the Mustang/Spitfire drivers used to do). You could even add the same style handle in the back and give the GIB (guy in back) the same capability! I really like the maintenance cradle, but for those musing over the landing gear, I had thought at one time that you could have pads/skids on the ends of the wings, but the bottom of the rear end looks like it would scrape. I think that putting fixed skids under the outside front edge of the radiator piece and then having a single short retractable strut at the front end would be the simplest combination. Since the vehicle has repulsor lift, setting down vertically should be handled automatically so there is no problem with scraping the wingtips. This is all made up, but absent any hard data one could fake this. If it were me, I'd add a centerline hump in the front cockpit as well and pretend it provides clearance for the nose gear strut. Just sayin'. Looking forward to more! Cheers, Jim
  11. Hi Andy, I gotta say wow! That cockpit is super sharp, and once you get the canopy on it will look great in the shadows! Cheers, Jim
  12. Hi Andy, I like where you're headed with this kit. I wonder, since you're not using the pilots would you consider selling them off? I can guarantee they would be coming to a good home. Thanks, Jim
  13. Hi all, I take note of what Airfix has been doing in recent years and also how disappointed I was with the Trumpeter P-40B. Putting those two items together, I am really pleased to hear about the new P-40B for next year. I think there are many modelers who crave this kit in 1/48 if done well. +1 to Airfix! Cheers, Jim
  14. Deleted - not the wanted area
  15. Hi all, Just thought I'd let you know, I've put all the good advice to work. I poured some of the paint into a mixing bottle, added the leveling thinner to get the consistency of skim milk, and shot it at 14 psi. Perfect! Many thanks, Jim