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Navy Bird

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Navy Bird last won the day on April 8

Navy Bird had the most liked content!

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About Navy Bird

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    Completely Obsessed Member
  • Birthday 29/03/55

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    Rochester, NY USA
  • Interests
    Beat Lymphoma - Twice!

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  1. Kamov 28 Helix, Hobby Boss 1/48

    You really don't want to know. Really. Trust me on this one. Cheers, Bill
  2. Kamov 28 Helix, Hobby Boss 1/48

    Oooh baby...I'm in. Hope there is a lot of white card stock. Cheers, Bill
  3. Hi mates, While I'm waiting for some paint to dry on my current Group Build project, I remembered that I never finished my last Group Build project! The was for the Prototypes, Experimentals, World Firsts & Record Breakers GB. Part 1 of this WIP can be found here. The Curtiss-Wright XF15C-1 was a mixed-propulsion fighter that was developed for the United States Navy at the end of WWII. Only three prototypes were built, as the US Navy moved their focus to pure jet propulsion. Only one of the prototypes has survived. Similar to the Ryan FR Fireball, which actually entered service on a limited basis, the XF15C-1 had both a Pratt & Whitney R-2800 radial engine/propeller up front and an Allis-Chalmers J36 turbojet (license built de Havilland Goblin) under the tail. The mixed propulsion concept was devised to counter the slow acceleration of the early jets, a characteristic that limited their appeal for carrier use. Including the radial engine allowed for safe carrier launch and recovery. Having the turbojet in the tail would contribute to higher cruise speed, or so the theory went. The need for further development of the mixed propulsion concept for carrier fighters was negated by improvements in jet power, and the Curtiss-Wright XF15C was never ordered into production. This kit represents the T-tail design as incorporated into the second and third prototypes after the crash of the first which had a more conventional tail design. A couple of photos to bring everyone up to date with the raw materials: Here is the cockpit before it was gobbled up upon closing the fuselage: At the end of Part 1 of this WIP, the airframe had been assembled, was up on her legs, and had been given a coat of Glossy Dark Sea Blue. As it turns out, the paint I used was rather old and wasn't very glossy. I bought a couple more bottles (Testors - ugh!) and re-sprayed her and I think I now have a much better base for the stickers. I'll be letting this cure for a bit, since it still smells like paint. Once that smell goes away, then I'll mask off the gear bays and turtle deck (these areas will be Interior Green) and also the panels immediately aft of the exhaust and underneath the empennage by the exhaust. These areas will be stainless steel. So far, this has been a nice little kit. The only real downside is the engine, but with that big spinner out front it won't be easy to see. One strange thing I've noticed is that my CA adhesive (which usually bites quite fast) seems to take a long time with this resin. It eventually works, and makes a strong bond, but it takes a while. Weird. Here's the real bird then: And now (I think she's been repainted since this photo): Cheers, Bill
  4. 1:72 Lockheed F-104N Joe Walker Tribute

    Thanks, mates. I've been studying the Italeri kit, and I think I may switch to the Hasegawa F-104G kit that I also have. This is a very bad habit of mine, but at least I'm doing it at the beginning of the project and not in the middle! I believe that the aftermarket cockpit (which is designed for the Revell kit) may fit Hasegawa better than Italeri (where it really doesn't fit at all). I like the wing tanks better in the Hasegawa kit, which also has holes in the keel beam that runs through the middle of the main gear bay (Italeri doesn't). Hasegawa also a three piece canopy, so I can pose it open without having to slice my thumb with a razor saw. My Hasegawa kit also has the NASA logo stickers, and I think they are more accurate in size (Rocketeer's look a bit big). I don't know what the actual measurements are, so I'm just comparing to photos. @modelling minion - I've been discussing the Rocketeer decals with a chap over on Scalemates who used this same sheet. His experience is that the orange and yellow markings were quite thick, and did not respond to solvents. Hmm. Rocketeer have you stack the orange decal on top of a white one (so that the orange is more opaque and vibrant) so it's probably a good idea to paint the white first and not stack. Otherwise, the Rocketeer stickers are printed by Aviprint, who print most of the CMR decals, and I've had good luck with them. I guess we'll find out soon! Cheers, Bill
  5. Monogram North American X-15A-2

    I saw this over on Scalemates, and the comments I made over there still apply! This is a beautiful rendition, and I particularly like the modulation you've done in the black finish. Excellent workmanship. Thanks for sharing. Cheers, Bill
  6. I'm joining the group a little late, but hopefully I'll have enough time to finish. I've chosen to model the NASA F-104N chase plane flown by Joe Walker, who was one of my hero test pilots (along with Scott Crossfield) when I was growing up in the late 50s and early 60s. Sadly, Joe lost his life in the mid-air collision with the XB-70 bomber in 1966. He was only 45 and left a wife and four daughters. NASA originally had three F-104 chase planes with tail numbers 011, 012, and 013. These planes were characterized by a natural metal and Day-Glo orange paint. However, at the time of the accident, 013 had been designated 813 as can be seen in this photo: This is the configuration that I'll be modelling. I found this nice profile artwork on the net: And a very sad, poignant reminder of the dangers faced by men who reach for the stars: For this project, I'll use the Italeri F-104G kit (the F-104N designation was used for the F-104G aircraft delivered to NASA). It looks like a nice, simple kit, which is just what I need after my F-111B conversion. I won't restrict myself to out-of-the-box, as I have some extra goodies - a resin cockpit and photoetch from CMK (which also includes an open radome and radar gear, not sure if I'll add that), nicely done resin tyres from RESkit, and what looks like a superb decal sheet from Rocketeer: The stickers don't have specific markings for 813, but this can be made from the numbers that are there (812 & 013). So that's the project, and as soon as I get my workbench cleaned up I'll have a go at that cockpit. I plan on finishing up the Curtiss XF15C-1 that I started a while ago too, and I think that will be good to fill in the time when the paint is drying on the F-104. Cheers, Bill
  7. Next up is a much simpler tribute project - the NASA F-104N flown by Joe Walker. I'll use the Italeri F-104G kit, the CMK resin cockpit, RESkit resin tyres, and the decal sheet from Rocketeer. 1:72, of course, and the WIP will be in the current F-104 Group Build. For those who don't know, Joe Walker flew P-38s during WWII, and became a civilian research test pilot afterwards. He flew the X-1, X-1A, X-1E, D-558-I, D-558-II, X-3, X-4, X-5, and X-15. Two of his X-15 flights exceeded 100 miles altitude, making him the first US civilian in space (NASA posthumously gave him his astronaut wings in 2005). He unfortunately lost his life in 1966 in the mid-air collision between his F-104N chase plane and the XB-70 bomber. Walker and Scott Crossfield were the two test pilots that I admired most when I was growing up. The X-plane program at Edwards during the 50s & 60s seemed magical to a young lad... Cheers, Bill
  8. It's fair to say that Grumman took a lot of what they learned on the F-111B program and applied it to the F-14. The F-111B production program was terminated in mid-'68 and the F-14 contract was awarded in early '69. The F-111B monograph written by @Tailspin Turtle covers this history in depth, and I highly recommend getting a copy if you don't already have one (I think it's out of print though). Alternately, read all of his blog entries here: http://tailspintopics.blogspot.com/2015/03/the-complete-f-111b.html Phoenix missile testing, using 151972, 152714, and 152715, continued well past the F-111B program termination. I believe that 151972 also made the last flight by an F-111B sometime in late 1971. A couple of the F-111B prototypes may still survive in scrapyards, etc. but I'm not current on this. Tommy would know better. By the way, 152714 and 152715 were the first two pre-production aircraft and incorporated many changes including a longer nose. Not as long as the F-111A, but longer than the nose on 151972. Personally, I like the shorter nose myself. Here are photos of each, as I don't think they came up during my build: Actual production aircraft would have been different still. Cheers, Bill
  9. Good catch, thanks. It seems this IR pod went through some different paint schemes, not only on 151972 but also on the other F-111B prototypes. Here are some examples on 151972: Obviously, the second photo is before the aircraft had the Phoenix Missile Testing markings applied, and looks quite new in the photo. I'm pretty sure it's 151972 based on the original file name. Photos 1 & 3 above show the configuration (with one missile on-board) that I was going for. If I squint enough, I can almost make myself believe there is something on the tip of the IR pod. It looks like the bigger mistake was relying on the resin part from Pete's Hangar - the pylon that supports the IR pod does not extend back far enough, although this is partially hidden by the antenna blade in the same vicinity. Gotta love it. Cheers, Bill PS. I agree with your wife and kids.
  10. The Revell TFX kit (circa 1966) had parts for both the F-111A and the F-111B: I used the razor edge boat tail and the pointed "speed bumps" (the portion of the fuselage that the tailplanes attach to) from the Revell kit. I elected not to use their short F-111B nose as it is has some shape errors. It turns out that the Pete's Hangar resin conversion nose had similar problems. As I mentioned earlier, I'm not entirely happy with the nose as I modified it for my model, but perhaps it will grow on me! Cheers, Bill
  11. Matchbox F9F-4 Panther

    Very nicely done. Achieving this result using the Matchbox kit shows everyone just how talented you are. Beautiful job! Cheers, Bill
  12. Ha! Mine's a little smaller than the other ones, and doesn't make nearly as much noise, try as I may. Thanks, Keith. I'm still trying to improve my photography. I'm not entirely happy with the colour rendition compared to the model - I set the white balance manually using a Kodak white target and that works better than letting the camera decide for itself. But it's still not exactly right. Close enough for what we do, but it still bugs me. Thanks for the compliment. Having built this, I know where I screwed up, so I know it can be improved. We really do need a modern, accurate conversion kit. Yeah, especially when they dump the fuel and light it on fire with the afterburners - I always thought that was very impressive! Thanks, Giorgio! I had a lot of fun building it, even with all of that "life" stuff that got in the way this summer. Thanks, Giorgio! I always leave at least one mistake in each model because, well, only God is perfect. I left several boo-boos in this one - I think I got the profile of the nose pretty good from the side view, but in cross-section it's still too square. I made several copies of the resin nose, so I can get it right next time! I think as my eyesight fails with age, I'll skip right over 1:48 and go straight to 1:32. What do you think? Thanks, David. I'm not a big fan of flat spots on the tyres because I always tend to overdo it and then they look, well, flat - under inflated. I did not put the smaller F-111B wheels on since 151972 was known to be shod with F-111A wheels at times. The resin wheels that came with the Pete's Hangar conversion set are virtual duplicates of those in the Hasegawa kit - I suspect that's how they were made. I looked through my spares box, and I couldn't find any tyres that were the right size. Those in the old Revell kit are closer, but they're really lame. So I've put an item on my to-do list to find, buy, or make some that combine the right size tyre with the correct rim. Someday. Thanks everyone for their wonderful comments - I really appreciate them. You make me want to continue with this hobby! Cheers, Bill
  13. Very nice work and a very interesting subject, one I know absolutely nothing about. I bet those control cables were fun - yikes! Cheers, Bill
  14. RFI can be found here. Enjoy! Cheers, Bill
  15. 1:72 Grumman/General Dynamics F-111B "Beta Tomcat"

    RFI can be found here. Enjoy! Cheers, Bill