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Ben Brown

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About Ben Brown

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    North Carolina, USA
  1. Cockpit colour of early US Navy jets?

    Hi All, The FJ-1 cockpit appears to have been black, which was in line with North American painting it's F-86 cockpits black until around 1952 (IIRC), when they switched to Dark Gull Gray. FJ-1 NASM This 1952 video of the FJ-2 seems to show a Dark Gull Gray cockpit: YouTube FJ-2 video The jets in the film are actually the XFJ-2 prototypes, but one would think that production FJ-2s would have had gray pits, too. Cheers! Ben
  2. Whacked -Out Wild Weasel 1/72 F-100F

    Hi All, Ed, I just discovered your build thread, and your Wild Weasel turned out great! In the spirit of your statement that you like to post research information for the next person, I hope you don't mind if I pitch in a few things I've learned while researching Wild Weasel F-100Fs. I annotated that photo pointing out the antennae for a post I made on Hyperscale several years ago. The link to it died in the Great Photobucket Meltdown. I'm glad you were still able to post it here! I've since learned that that "unknown" antenna ahead of the ARC-34 comm antenna was installed on F-100Ds and Fs equipped to launch the Bullpup missile; it was part of the missile datalink system. You're correct about the shape of the antenna fairing on the tail. It was scabbed-onto the original fairing on the Weasel jets, but the later installations on RHAWS-equipped F-100s had the larger fairing, like what you've posted in the close-up photos of the fairing. The 1/48 Monogram F-100D has the RHAWS fairing, and the Trumpeter, Revell, and ESCI F-100D kits all have the original, narrow fairing. I have yet to find any photos, drawings, or even descriptions of the rear cockpit of the Weasel F-100Fs. I even asked a couple of Weasel pilots if they could recall what it looked like, and got 2 different answers, neither of which jibed with what little you can make out in photos. The front pit was supposed to be very similar to the front pit of a RHAWS-equipped F-100D or F. Finally, there was a film called "First In, Last Out" that was made about the Wild Weasels in Vietnam. You can find it on YouTube. There is a very good in-flight view of a Weasel F-100F with 2 rocket pods on the outboard pylons, and a single Shrike missile on the port inboard. It's the only photo I've found of a Weasel Hun with the Shrike. Cheers! Ben
  3. Tamiya alternative for Boeing Gray?

    The Tamiya primer i used was their Surface Primer in the 180 mL rattle can. It turned out a lot darker than the cap, which is pretty close to the Mr Color 338 and Mr Surfacer (not that the plastic cap is that good an indicator of the paint color ). Ben
  4. Tamiya alternative for Boeing Gray?

    Hi Andrew, I agree, the Voodoo Gray, as well as Xtracolor's Boeing Gray, has a slight tan tint. Many years ago, I compared the Xtracolor to a factory-fresh 737-700 that had been on our ramp for just a few days, and it was so close, I couldn't tell the difference. The Voodoo Gray is very close to the Xtracolor. I read somewhere that the gray Boeing used on the 737NGs was slightly different than the original Boeing Gray, and our 737-700s definitely had that hint of tan in the gray. Perhaps someone who knows more about Boeing Gray can comment on this. I think for my own purposes, since I'm fairly lazy, I'll just stick with Mr Color 338 or Model Master 36495, since I can get them fairly easily. I think I will leave the Tamiya primer to primer duty, since it is quite a bit darker than the others. Cheers! Ben
  5. Tamiya alternative for Boeing Gray?

    Ooooo, nice build! I need to pick up a couple of those, myself. I don't have XF-80 to test. It does look pretty close in your photos. Cheers! Ben
  6. Tamiya alternative for Boeing Gray?

    Hi All, An unscientific update to the Boeing Grey search: I primed my PAS 717 with Tamiya grey primer, intending for it to do double duty as both primer and Boeing Grey for the model. It turned out considerably darker than Model Master Canadian Voodoo Grey, Mr Color 338, and Xtracolor Boeing Grey. I wouldn't call it "very close." I went back to fill some gaps and pinholes with Mr Surfacer, and that color is a closer match to the Voodoo Grey and Mr Color 338. The Mr Surfacer 1000 can be thinned and airbrushed, so there's another possible option for Boeing Grey. Sorry I'm not posting pictures. I haven't set up a replacement for Photobucket, yet. Ben
  7. 1/144 Allegiant Air MD-83

    Looking good, John! I have several friends who went to Allegiant after our company shut down. Ben
  8. F-86 Sabre Drop Tanks: Type Review

    Once again, thank you for taking the time to post all of this excellent information! Those 200-gal tanks in your last photos are the same ones that were carried by the F-100 on the inboard pylons, correct? If so, they are included in the very old Hasegawa 1/72 F-100D kit, resin ones are available in 1/48 from Fox 3 Studios, and they are included in the old Hasegawa 1/32 F-86F kit, in case anyone wants to put a set on their Sabre. I'm not aware of any other 1/48 sources besides Fox 3. Ben (no affiliation with Fox 3 Studios)
  9. Best 1/48 T-38

    I just finished the Wolfpack kit. It doesn't click together like a Tamiya kit, but it went together pretty well. Be sure to do a lot of test-fitting. I only had to use Mr Surfacer 500 for filler. I ended up removing the mounting tabs for the cockpit so the front would sit low enough that the instrument panel fit under the glare shield. The seats look pretty good, but I replaced mine with some resin ones. The canopies are hard to fit in the open position, just because the canopy lift mechanisms are pretty fiddly. Like every other T-38 kit ever produced, this one has F-5 wheels, but Hypersonic produces some excellent resin ones. HTH. Ben
  10. Airliner building projects

    I'm in the process of building all types operated by Piedmont Airlines and Midway Airlines (Version 2.0, with the yellow tails), including commuters. I guess my other theme is "Wow, that airliner looks great in that livery." Unfortunately, this leads to purchases of models for which decals are not made for that particular livery, so I end up with a closet full of unbuilt airliners. Ben
  11. Tamiya alternative for Boeing Gray?

    Here are some possible alternatives that I've picked up from various forums. I've switched to the Tamiya primer, now that I've used up the last of my Canadian Voodoo Gray. Mr. Hobby/Mr. Color light gray #338 (exact match to sample from USAir paint shop) DACO Airliner Wing Grey (PA40) Tamiya Light Gray Primer (very close to Mr Color #338) EDIT: Turns out darker than the others. I'm not switching after all. Model Master gloss white (6 to 8 parts) and Testor's 1138 gray (small bottle)(1 part). Model Master 36495 Light Gray HTH. Ben
  12. What's the best kit for an F86A Sabre (1/72)?

    Sabrejet, Thank you for posting all of this fantastic information! Ben
  13. Welsh models resin kits

    Hi Mike, The Welsh Q400 is all resin. I recently built their Dash-8-100, and found it to be a fun build. On the -100, the wing-to-fuselage fit wasn't very good, but it was easily fixed. The resin was a little softer than what they used to cast the CRJ I bought from them several years ago. It didn't seem to affect the structure at all, and it made it easier to fix the droop in the kit's wings. The landing gear struts are probably the same on both kits, and the mains are scary-flimsy, until you build them and attach them to the model. Then they make a much stronger structure. Compare the shape of the nacelles forward of the wing with pics of the real thing. I think Welsh's are too "squarish," for lack of a better word, don't taper down to the prop spinners enough, so the spinners appear undersized. Like others have said, Welsh's newer kits are a lot of fun. Even their vac kits are very good. The only reason I don't own more of them is they put a large dent in my modeling budget. Cheers! Ben
  14. F-100C main gear doors

    Hi All, I'm happy to help! Mike, I used to fly into Myrtle Beach pretty often and spent some time walking around the closed Air Force base. It was sad to see the base turned into a ghost town. They had several gate guard aircraft still on the property. Hopefully, they all went to a good home. Ben
  15. F-100C main gear doors

    Hi All, The top photo (one of mine! ) of 72modeler's post is an F-100D. The second one is an early D, and the third looks like an A or a C, because I don't see a break in the wing for the D's trailing edge flap. The F-100A, C, and early D all had the same single-piece inboard main gear doors that hung down vertically when opened. At some point (don't have the block # handy), they added the ability to carry a centerline store to the D. The inboard doors couldn't open all the way, because of the store, so they added a small, second door to the larger door, so the main gear tire would clear the door on retraction. Compare how far the doors are opened in this photo of a later F-100D with those in 72modeler's second F-100D photo. At the same time, the speed brake was modified with a wider cutout. All F-100Fs, except the F prototype, had the later type of inboard main gear doors and speed brake. I can't recall if any early Ds were retrofitted with the later-style door and speed brake. I'd have to check my notes. I think most, if not all, F-100Ds that went to the French AF still had the early gear doors. Going back to the original question, the Trumpeter F-100C inboard doors are the correct one-piece style, but they got the interior details of the doors wrong. They just molded the later D-style doors with the small doors closed. If that bothers you, you can always glue the doors closed. That would be a perfectly legitimate pose for an F-100. The inboard main gear doors doors, as well as the aft nose gear door, had to be manually opened, which was often done for for maintenance. They didn't start to droop under their own weight, as hydraulic pressure dropped, like you see on some aircraft. HTH. Ben (the F-100 nut)