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Navy Bird

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Navy Bird last won the day on April 8

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About Navy Bird

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  • Birthday 29/03/55

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    Rochester, NY USA
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    Defeating conditions that end with "oma."

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  1. Well, it ain't perfect but I think it's close enough. The instrument panel was built from the kit parts, kit decals, and Eduard photoetch for the F-111D/F and the F-14A. A little bit here, a little bit there... The AWG-9 radar display is a bit too large, and I probably should add some more buttons to the right of it. It certainly doesn't look like any other F-111 panel, though, that's for sure. The F-111B has flight controls only for the pilot, and the Missile Systems Officer has a radar controller joystick either on the right console or on the right sidewall. There is a mock-up photo that shows it folding out of the sidewall in Tommy's monograph, but I don't know what was actually used in the prototypes. I installed the two pair of photoetch rudder pedals in the cockpit before I realised that they should only be on the left side. Let's just assume those on the right are footrests! There is a raised channel that runs between the Missile Systems Officer's legs, in place of where the flight control joystick would normally have been. This will need to be added. I'm off to Maryland tomorrow to catch an Orioles game on Sunday. Oh, yeah, to see the grandkids too. Gotta remember not to forget about that. It's an easy drive through central Pennsylvania, and if I time it right I can stop at the Turkey Ranch for lunch and have a nice big turkey waffle. With gravy! Cheers, Bill
  2. Looking forward to this one - love that scheme! Cheers, Bill
  3. I never realised the HB kit had so many problems. Bummer. Great work fixing the splitter plates, though. I have the exact opposite problem on my F-111B conversion. The 1:72 scale Hasegawa F-111C has kinked splitters, but I need straight ones! Gotta love it...at least I have some straight splitters in the ancient Revell kit that might be able to be used. Cheers, Bill
  4. Thanks, I'll keep that in mind. I need to get the CAD part down first - my days of being a mechanical engineer were back when the tools of the trade were lettering templates, mechanical (not electronic) calculators, french curves, log & trig tables, and a drawing board. Oh, and vellum, too. Gotta put those lines on something! Cheers, Bill
  5. It's highly unlike me to have any more than one kit going at a time - having three four pokers in the fire has me head spinning. Cheers, Bill PS. That one is really going to take forever, as I have to master the art of 3D printing. Arghh.
  6. I've been spending some time on the cockpit, as I want to have the forward fuselage all buttoned up before I slice off the Aardvark's nose. Since my plan is to model 151972, I started with a photo of her cockpit. This has some significant differences from the USAF versions, notably in the missile control officer's instrument panel. The large radar targeting screen used with the Phoenix missile system is quite obvious. The pilot's instrument panel is more similar to that in the F-111A. The Hasegawa kit includes those wonderful flat surfaces for the instrument panel and consoles, upon which you are directed to apply stickers representing the dials and controls. I prefer these to be more three-dimensional, and the Eduard photoetch will help here. If you recall, my photoetch set is for the F-111D/F, so there is no way it will look like the B. Eduard provide two instrument panels, one for the D (left) and one for the F (right) - this is an earlier Eduard set, before they got all fancy with pre-painting: Eduard provide paper backing for these panels, instead of film, with the large screen displays printed in some really garish colours. Not sure what they were thinking on this one. Needless to say, there are bits and pieces (apologies to the Dave Clark Five) that I can use, but I'm going to have to cut up these photoetch panels. I don't use any fancy "photoetch shears" or other high price tool, just a nice pair of Fiskars scissors I picked up at Walgreens for $3.99. Here is the first slice: The left is from the D, and the right is from the F. Now here is where it will get a little tricky. To duplicate the instrument panel in 151972 (in a reasonable but not exact fashion) I'll have to cut these into smaller pieces, which will be re-arranged and glued to the Hasegawa instrument panel backing. The instrument panel stickers on the Hasegawa sheet will also be cut up and applied to the re-arranged photoetch. What's missing from this jigsaw puzzle, of course, is that big honking display for the AWG-9 radar. My plan here is to purloin an Eduard pre-painted photoetch piece made for an F-14A model. It won't be exactly right, but it will sure be better than nothing! Stop back sometime in the next day or so and I should have the instrument panel ready - maybe even the entire cockpit. The resin Escapac 1C ejection seats needed to have a bit of material removed from the bottom and back sides, in order to set properly in the cockpit. They've been painted and are being detailed. Based on colour photos of the 1C seat used in other aircraft, and on the grey-scale cockpit photo above as well as others in Tommy's monograph, I think it's safe to assume that the cushions were a grey-green colour, with grey harnesses. This will definitely look better than the typical F-111 with red cushions! Cheers, Bill
  7. Nothing on the Spit I'm afraid, due to the Canberra completion, but I'm just about to put some Dark Sea Blue on the XF15C. Plus, I've managed to trim the vacuform canopy so that it matches the fuselage, and open it up to boot. Without cursing, which I rank as the major accomplishment for 2017. I've also started an F-111B conversion over in the F-111 STGB, so I suspect that and this build here will take up my time until they're finished. It's highly unlike me to have any more than one kit going at a time - having three pokers in the fire has me head spinning. I'll probably end up doing something stupid like spray the Dark Sea Blue on the F-111B, and the Light Gull Grey on the Spit. I guess that leaves Ocean Grey/Dark Green for the Curtiss. Cheers, Bill
  8. Me mum always said "Practice!" Cheers, Bill PS. Your work is exquisite. Seriously exquisite.
  9. Thank you! Cheers, Bill
  10. Some thoughts on the nose job... @Tailspin Turtle has provided some great drawings on his web site, and I decided to print out the forward fuselage drawing at the proper scale. This picture shows Tommy's drawing, the port fuselage half of the Hasegawa F-111C kit, and the resin nose from the Pete's Hangar conversion set: I have the Hasegawa part aligned to the drawing using the canopy edges, although that's hard to see on the photo. You can see a short pencil line that I've drawn on the side of the fuselage - this line is 6 mm from the front edge of the ejection capsule panel line, which I believe is where Pete's Hangar would have you cut the Hasegawa fuselage. Their instruction sheet simply says "6 mm from front of canopy." I measured the resin nose at its join line with the fuselage using a digital caliper - it's 21.5 mm wide by 18.5 mm tall. Next, I taped the Hasegawa forward fuselage together like so: I then measured the fuselage at a position represented by the line that is 6 mm from the front of the ejection capsule panel line - surprisingly, the dimensions are very close to those of the resin nose. At most, there is a tenth of a millimetre difference. But I'm not entirely happy. It looks like if I simply join the resin nose at that point, the slope along the top won't be right. If you look at Tommy's drawing (and at photos of the real thing) the slope along the canopy windscreen continuing onto the nose is almost a straight line. There is tiny bit of a kink at the transition from windscreen to nose, but it's very small. This almost constant slope of the forward fuselage is so important to get right - it's part of what makes the F-111B look so unique. This is the "top slope" I'm referring to: I think (but I have to study it some more) that I'll have to cut the fuselage at an angle in order to get this top slope correct. I also think that the top of the fuselage right in front of the windscreen will have to be modified as it doesn't follow this top slope. You can see the difference on the F-111C here: As noted on Tommy's website, the actual transition line (where the real F-111B nose attached) is along the front edge of the crew capsule. Unfortunately, that is not how the resin conversion is designed - in order to have the proper overall length, the nose needs to be attached 6 mm in front of the front edge of the crew capsule. And that small 6 mm of top fuselage surface is at the wrong angle and won't match the "top slope." I hope I've explained this issue so you can understand. Measure thrice, cut twice, and then fill it with putty, that's my motto! Cheers, Bill
  11. Nice work, Tommy! Would you happen to have a drawing and dimensions for the F-111B Phoenix pylon? Cheers, Bill
  12. That's correct. The first five prototype aircraft (151970, 151971, 151972, 151973, and 151974) had the original "short" nose, and the two pre-production aircraft (152714 and 152715) had the "long nose." The latter was not as long as the nose on the F-111A and the other models however. Here is a comparison: Original nose: Long nose: You can also see the different intakes here also. The top photo of 151972 has the original F-111A style translating cowl intake with the non-kinked splitter plate, and the lower photo of 152714 has the Triple Plow II intake (I think). The pre-production nose was two feet longer, and added to help prevent the problem of the aircraft tipping back, like seen in this photo: I'll probably set myself up for some interesting rejoinders by saying this, but I think the short nose F-111B is the best looking of all F-111 models. There - I've said it! Cheers, Bill
  13. All right then, time to get started! My project for this group build is the Grumman/General Dynamics F-111B. I suspect that everyone knows the story of this aircraft and its development, but if not I'll direct you to the mother-lode of F-111B information later on in this post. My initial idea is to model one of the Phoenix missile test aircraft, and BuNo 151972 seems a good candidate. This, of course, will be a conversion and my base kit will be the Hasegawa 1:72 RAAF F-111C/G. This is a great kit, and contains all necessary parts to build either the C or G model. The G is essentially the same as the FB-111 as you know. Let's see what we get (and it's so much that it's difficult to close the box without squeezing the contents). First, the specific kit I'm using: Inside we find a lot of styrene! This next photo may look like two copies of the same sprue, but they are different - one is sprue C and the other sprue D. The difference is primarily with respect to the intakes as the F-111C and G had variations in this area (Triple Plow I vs. Triple Plow II). Since 151972 did not have either of these intakes, I will be modifying the Triple Plow I. And the rest: And finally two of these babies: I've acquired several bits of aftermarket goodies to help with this conversion, starting with the set from Pete's Hangar which unfortunately is no longer available. My understanding is that this set has a few problems, but they don't look to be insurmountable. Apparently, the shape of the nose, and its demarcation with the fuselage, is not quite right, but that's why they call it modelling. Some additional decal sheets that may be of help - the sheet from Pete's Hangar is also pictured here, but the other two sheets are from Microscale and are quite old. 72-132 includes the markings for 151972, and 72-452 includes stenciling for the early models of the F-111. Also shown here is the sheet from the kit, not sure if any of this will be used. The Phoenix testing logo is different between the Microscale and Pete's sheets, and based on photographs it looks like Microscale is better (for instance, Pete's omits the fire that the Phoenix bird is emerging from, the USMC globe and USN anchor). I hope those old Microscale sheets are still good! Some additional aftermarket that may be used. Obviously, not all of the photoetch for the F-111D/F is appropriate, but some of it may be useful. We'll see. The masks are fine, but what's this with the ejection seats for a B-57 Canberra? The F-111 had a ejection capsule! Well, yes it did, after a fashion. However, the first three F-111B prototypes, including 151972, did not have the capsule, and were instead fitted with Douglas Escapac ejection seats. According to the Ejection Site, they were model 1C. The resin seats from Pavla are models 1C-6, and have the right basic shape. But I suspect they will need some alteration or enhancement before the end of the day. Finally, the old Revell kit from 1966 will also be used, as it contains a lot of parts that will help, like the knife edge boat tail, aft fuselage bullet fairings (speed bumps as they were called), etc. I picked this up at a model show, and although it's been started (the B/C/FB long wing tips have been glued to the wings) that won't be a problem as I won't be using them. This is one of the few kits produced which claimed to be a B model. Like a lot of kits from the 60s, this one came out while the aircraft was still being developed, and contains several issues. But I think it will come in handy nonetheless. The loose parts, rolling around in the box: And the ones still clinging to the runners: Also in the box were these four pylons, which I suspect are from an F/A-18. But they have a shape resemblance (kind of) to the pylons used by 151972 for the Phoenix missiles. I will be checking if they are close to being the right size, and might work for the model. Again, we'll see. Perhaps they can be modified, maybe not. But it was nice of the chap who sold this to me to include them! The Phoenix missiles will probably be sourced from a Hasegawa F-14A kit, but will need some mods to represent the missiles used in the F-111B test program. Now, about that mother-lode. If you're going to build an F-111B, you simply have to have this monograph: Tommy is the F-111B subject matter expert, and he contributes regularly to Britmodeller. I expect he will show up here to keep me on the straight and moral path. If you follow this link, you'll go to Tommy's blog where he has posted several links to articles that concern the F-111B. There are also instructions for how to obtain the amendments and errata for the F-111B monograph. All of this material taken together remains the prime reference for this much-maligned bird. Cheers, Bill
  14. OK, as long as you weren't the guy who was pointing out that the fourteenth fastener on the station 16 panel line should be missing, as they were typically blown out of their receptacle by the cartridge start. You know that guy...we all know that guy! I'm with you, but I guess technology doesn't stop for romance, if you know what I mean. There must be some Cranberries still flying somewhere though, correct? In civilian hands maybe? It amazes me what aircraft civilians have nowadays. There is a retired USMC pilot here in the states who has a Sea Harrier FA.2, and is a big hit on the airshow circuit. How, exactly, do you buy a Sea Harrier? Especially on a USMC pension? Yeah, I know, his wife bought it for him. True fact, by the way, I had a chat with her a couple of years ago at Geneseo. Cheers, Bill
  15. Well done! And Matchbox at that...that makes it extra special. We Bucc fans really need an accurate new tool kit in 1:72. This seems like such a natural fit for Airfix, I'm surprised they haven't done it yet as they fix up their back catalogue. Cheers, Bill