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Everything posted by stever219

  1. Graham, there was another thread on the site a while ago dealing with Harriers and reference was made there to fuselage and wing serial numbers not matching. This could occur when the engine was changed and the wing had to come off: if the wing also required work and wasn't ready to go back on once the engine was in the first available serviceable wing "won" and went on instead in order to maintain aircraft availability. Once the air test had been successfully completed the correct serial was applied to the wing, something which I suspect might have taken a lower priority if the squadron was on exercise, TACEVAL or APC.
  2. This kit is a modification of the late-sixties(?) FROG kit, so it's about 1/10" short in the nose. It also lacks the undercut on the lower rear fuselage between the tailpipes and the tailpipes themselves are [quite a large] bit of a figment of someone's imagination. That apart the overall shape isn't too bad but detail, or rather the lack of it, is very much of the kit's era, so you're going to be doing some scratch building. I'm beginning to wish that I had picked up the example that our local kit purveyor had in recently but I've already got too many projects on the go.
  3. I've seen one photo of a GR. 3 in wrap-round camouflage with 330-gallon underwing tanks, AAR probe and extended wingtips; it's in the colour section of the Ian Allan "Modern Combat Aircraft" volume on the type and I've never seen it reproduced elsewhere. I wonder if it was a pre-Belize trial fit.
  4. The radome is the area that you've correctly painted black and forms the lower half of the nose. The radome for the TFR, which you've also painted black, is the small nipple on the extreme nose and does need to come off for any B. Mk. 1 or 1A. The early jets were in High Speed Silver, not natural metal so exhibited very little, if any, tonal variation between panels. Your poor little refueller would have a hell of a time filling a Vulcan: four of the bigger Leyland Hippo bowsers would be needed for that job, but each could service five Jet Provosts to "tanks full" from empty.
  5. I think you have misunderstood me: the GR. 5 only ever had one type of nose. The old Airfix kit had optional noses for GR. 5, GR. 7, AV-8B and T. 10 on one of the "common parts" sprues.
  6. The original Airfix GR. 5 kit contained four separate noses for early versions of the second-generation Harrier, so no cutting needed. I was not aware of the Quickboost conversion.
  7. Stuart by "hanging stuff" do you mean external stores? if so the new Airfix kits come reasonably well equipped, including AAR probes. The current GR. 7/7A/9/9a kit has some kit used in Afghanistan, including one version of the CRV-7 rocket pods. The final iteration of the earlier GR. 7 kit included an additional sprue of weapons parts including some US-supplied AGMs. Unfortunately mine's buried in the loft so I can't check what it contained. Freightdog Models, IIRC, do a "Blue Eric" gun pod for Falklands War jets. AFAIK only the Heller/Bobcat kit included the extended "ferry" wingtips which were integral to the main wing structure but which could be used as patterns for scratch-built examples.
  8. I've always liked the Vigilante since my late grandparents bought me the Airfix kit one Christmas (Roy Cross simple but beautiful box art helped too). You've chosen a beautifully simple colour scheme there and who cares if the tanks have more drag than Danny la Rue? The jet simply looks like it really means business.
  9. Unusual to see a Mk. 6 with Firestreaks on; I assume from the colour that they're ex-RAF Germany stock. The low strong sun and white cloth make for a very wintry look to your photos, very nice but makes me want to get back to the Line hut.
  10. Can I turn my previous comment about black lines on its head please? Having seen black panel lines on white models I've never seen white panel lines on black or US Sea Blue models to"enhance hours of someone's CAD design & tooling". That said I have discussed this topic on a number of occasions with friends, one of whom is an airframe fitter, over nothing more incendiary than a large coffee and consensus has been reached that a very slightly darkened shade of the base colour is closest to reality (other realities are available). I appreciate that this is great on a monotone scheme like overall anti-flash White, but a screaming nightmare (other nightmares are available) on one of the Italian or German mottle schemes for instance. if you're still at the experimental stage try using pencils to delineate, for example, frequently removed panels or joints where dirt does collect, despite the best efforts of people like my friend and bzn20 to reduce or prevent it. I think Tony O'Toole used this technique very effectively on a 1/72nd Halifax IIRC. Good quality pencils with sharp points and applied lightly to an engraved panel line can be very subtle and can be built up in a number of passes; I prefer H or HB grades, with an occasional foray into B or 2B. Mistakes can also be easier to deal with than if using paint for this. I'm sorry that some at least of my original post appears to have been misinterpreted; it's probably my fault for having composed it at the end of a long day and without a thinking head installed as opposed to the usual cabbage, but hopefully I've now added something constructive. Go have a play, like we all have, and see what works best for you. Sorry, this has crossed with Tony Oliver's post above.
  11. Alternatively don't do it. It is incredibly rare to see real aircraft with dark lines round just about every panel. I cat still remember seeing a perfectly good TSR2 in anti-flash white with every panel outlined in black: it looked like a 3-D general arrangement drawing. I was lucky enough to get close under XH672 at RAF Cosford and the panels under the wing, for example, looked like they'd been drawn on lightly with an H or, at most, HB pencil from a distance of around six feet. At a realistic viewing distance on a 1/72nd model they'd be practically invisible. Similarly it is very, very rare to see the centre of a panel on a full-sized aircraft faded more than its edges: the whole panel is, generally, painted at the same time and will, therefore, experience the same type and degree of weathering. I know that there are exceptions and I have seen pictures of a Buccaneer where part of one panel had been spray painted and the remainder of the panel brush or roller painted. I know it's your model but pre-shading and panel line washes and so forth don't do it for me. Too often the results look like refugees from the station fire dump. I'll get back under my rock now.....
  12. Expanding on Richard's post the GR. 1 entered service with Dark Green and Dark Sea Grey upper surfaces with Light Aircraft Grey undersides, all colours being gloss. National markings in eight positions, upper and lower wing surfaces, air intake walls and fin, were the post-war standard 1:2:3-proportioned red, white and blue respectively in bright colours. Please note that the blue is not BS381C:105 Roundel Blue but is darker and richer, around BS381c:110 IIRC. In the early mid-seventies the paint finish changed to matt and the white element was removed from national markings. Again IIRC roundel proportions changed to 3:5 red:blue, fin flashes were divided equally between read and blue. Subsequently the Light AIrcraft Grey undersides were replaced by Dark Green and Dark Sea Grey disruptive camouflage. The change in designation from GR. 1 to GR. 3 relates to a revised engine rather than the fitment of the LRMTS nose ant RWR installation on fin and tailcone. The 3 began appearing at about the time that the toned down camouflage was introduced, so a pointy-nosed GR. 3 with Light Aircraft Grey undersides is a possibility. Towards the end of the GR. 3's career up to 4 aircraft in RAF Germany took part in trials for the paint scheme for the new GR. 5 fleet. Two were painted Dark Sea Grey on top with Light Aircraft Grey undersides: the top/bottom division being as per the new jets. The other two were finished in NATO Green on top with Lichen Green undersides. National markings were reduced in size (12" diameter roundels and 12" slanted fin flashes IIRC) still in red and blue. This latter iteration was the one adopted for the GR. 5, 5A and early GR. 7 airframes. After the end of the Cold War GR. 7s appeared n an overall Dark Camouflage Grey scheme with Dark Sea Grey upper surfaces with the demarcation high on the fuselage sides. National Markings could be in the red/blue as above or pale red and pale blue low visibility colours. Near the end of their days RAF Harriers could be seen sporting various bits of airframe finished in various greys: a scheme to repainting the fleet in overall Medium Sea Grey had made some progress but some jets looked like patchwork quilts with wings. Barley Grey/Camouflage Grey was also encountered here. FAA Sea Harriers started out overall Extra Dark Sea Grey on top with White undersides and national markings as per the early GR. 1s. During the Falklands War undersides were hastily reprinted Extra Dard Sea Grey and the White areas of roundels with Blue. IIRC the aircraft of Air Group were Barley Grey overall but with Light Aircraft Grey under wings and tailplanes. Roundels for this scheme were pale red and pale blue. Neither of the Airfix Sea Harriers is a good representation of the types, nor is the Xtrakit version. The nose from the old Airfix GR. 5 can be grafted onto the new GR. 7/9 kit and will produce a better rendition than the Hasegawa kit (reboxed by Revell) which lacks ventral air dam, air brake and weapons. i think I've got most of it here, and there may be some bloopers as I don't have my references to hand, but if anyone can correct me I'll be internally grateful.
  13. The top of the nose is a bit flat in section but the plastic's thick enough to put some curve into it, but then you'll need a new windscreen...... The main undercarriage can be "challenging" to install, possibly due to the wheels being a bit on the wide side. Apart from these minor issues it's a good kit, even at 40-plus years old. Like others here I prefer the original Roy Cross artwork, much more inspiring and less-PC than its rather insipid successor.
  14. They were probably brass (easier to obtain from the works stores than gold I suspect), but I don't think there is such a colour in the Humbrol paint range. As for the overall colour, being something to do with the railways, I'd suggest overall Grot with a liberal over-daubing of Filth (sorry, I don't have BS381C, RAL or FS595B references or Tamiya, Revell or Gunze mixes for those). I remember building one of these when it was nearly new and it had the motorising option which I did get to work, eventually and briefly.
  15. I've never seen pictures of a twin-boom Do17 before; good find! (Dives bravely for very, extremely deep cover.) You're quite right about the dual role design: for the rest of the world it was a high-performance mail and passenger transport (up to six passengers IIRC) , but for the German audience definitely a schnellbomber.
  16. Looking at those two photos alone I'd say that you're right and there is a difference: look at the rims. That on the 5 appears thicker n relation to overall diameter (wheel and tyre together) and wheel diameter alone. I'd suggest that both are period photos and not more recent images of restored and/or modified airframes so should be authentic. Bear in mind though that at least one of the 7s was used for wet runway braking and anti-skid braking trials so probably had different wheels for that reason alone, so you may need to tie down the particular airframe in your photo. The tyre on the 7 does appear to have a creep mark painted on it at about the 5 o'clock position in your photo but image quality on my screen (and my eyes) isn't brilliant.
  17. To be honest I'd not even noticed a difference in the nose wheels on the Mks. 5 & 7; you may well have to do some image trawling at least, or see if you can find a copy of "Swift Justice" by Nigel Walpole or the Guideline Publications "Warpaint" on the Swift. How are you finding the conversion kit? I have those for the Mks. 2 and 4 but haven't started either yet. If you've not already found out the nose wheel bay needs some trimming or sanding to fit properly (mine on the FR. 5 certainly did!).
  18. Where do you want to start? The Mk. 7 had a longer nose to accommodate radar for the Fairey Fireflash AAM and extended wingtips for the same reason. Fireflash was a beam-rider, powered by two rocket motors which accelerated the warhead "dart" until they burned out and were discarded. It required the parent aircraft's radar to illuminate the target until the unpowered "dart" containing the warhead was close enough to the target to allow the proximity fuse to do its thing. My Swift references aren't handy at the moment but try googling it and you should be able to get some more info. A2Zee do a 1/72nd conversion to turn the Airfix FR. 5 into an F. 7 if you're interested.
  19. Thanks Dennis: it's good to know that some of what passes for a memory here still works. I'd wondered about that blue patch under the probe too. Am I right in thinking that the small dark circle behind the co-pilot's escape hatch is the signal pistol port? Steve.
  20. IIRC there are floodlights at the base of the probe but I can't find a good enough photo just now.
  21. I've wanted to model XT287 in those colours since seeing her depicted in a colour photograph with the underside of the starboard aileron in Dark Sea Grey: which decals did you use? Interestingly the mods appear to be in reverse order: 1553 for deletion and 1396 for re-instatement of the VGs. Do you have any additional documentation on these? Very smart looking Buccaneer there.
  22. "013" is what the Navy call a side number, it's not the aircraft's serial number. Side numbers change, but the serial number of an aircraft remains the same throughout its life with certan exceptions, for example the ill-fated Nimrod MRA. 4s that all had ZJ-serial numbers, e.g. ZJ517, but all had started life in the mid-sixties as XV-serialled MR. 1s, e.g. XV241. None of the RAF or RN Phantoms were re-serialled. Airfix were caught out by side numbers when they produced the decal sheet for the most recent incarnation of their venerable 1/72nd Buccaneer. Although the side number was the same, 033(?), on both sides the serial was different; XV344(?) on one side and XV865(?) on the other. They'd worked from photos of two different airframes wearing he same side number. Try looking for photos of 892 Squadron's Phantoms on t'net and see if you can get a positive connection that way (that's what I'm off to do now, but WHY did the Navy paint their fuselage side serial numbers in such tidgy characters?
  23. I always enjoyed Brian Matthew's programme and, having heard only a few snatches of his, I wish I'd listened to more of Desmond Carrington's. Both men are emblematic of their era, and both will be greatly missed. Brian Matthew made my daughter's 11th birthday by playing "Return to Sender" for her and for that alone I am grateful to him. God bless you sir. There's anecdotal evidence that keeping active keeps mind and body going: I know of a number of people who've [been] retired and who have died shortly afterwards, possibly because they have perceived that they have lost their purpose.
  24. I remember reading Capt. Blair's book before I reached my teens. The accounts of record flights in the Mustang and a transfer-Atlantic deployment in F-84Fs that nearly came to grief because one of the jets' AAR receptacles wouldn't play at the appointed time and place were compelling reading. Thank you for bringing back the memories (wish I could remember the title of the book).
  25. Thanks Mike. Fairey Rotodyne, Bv141, Do17 (recently kitted), Do217, Hs126, Hs129, Bristol Superfreighter, RMS Queen Elizabeth, MV Free Enterprise II (OK, I know the last two aren't wingy thingies but I couldn't resist). Steve.