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    • Mike

      Switched Identities   18/06/17

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Navy Bird

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Everything posted by Navy Bird

  1. 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
  2. Now that sounds like a plan! Good show, Martian! Cheers, Bill
  3. Finally! I am home from the hospital - nine days is long enough. The x-rays show that the right side pleural effusion is gone, no sign of any fluid. After they got as much fluid as they could with the chest tube, they used an ultrasound machine and a centesis needle to drain the remaining isolated pockets. They had about a centimeter margin from puncturing my lung. No fun at all. I can't believe how much fluid they took out, and nasty looking stuff at that, like bloody mucus. Twice each day I went through this routine where they would put anti-blood clotting medicine into the chest tube, and then I would lay on my left side for half an hour, then on my right side for half an hour. Problem is when laying on my right side, I’m laying right on the chest tube/stopcock – and it hurt! When the sinus infection was diagnosed, they identified the bacteria as some form of strep. Since I was on antibiotics prior to going to the hospital, the tests they ran on the fluid from the effusion showed multiple infections ("clusters"), but none of the cultures grew. They don’t know whether it was the same bacteria or something different. So I remain on wide-spectrum antibiotics, nothing targeted. In the hospital, someone has to do something to you about every two hours. So I had no meaningful sleep for nine days. And then I didn’t sleep well last night – in my own bed. Kept waking up. About every two hours. Anyway, I am extremely fatigued. It hurts when I breathe. And we have a family holiday planned starting next Saturday. This may be OK - we rented a beach house in Delaware, and we have the whole family plus a bunch of in-laws coming down. We'll be driving to Delaware, and I just have to sit in the passenger seat. Once we're there, I don't have to do anything other than sit on the beach or sit by the pool. It should be quite relaxing. Everyone else can do all the work. Wifey won't allow me not to go, so I'll milk it for what it's worth. I hope to do some work on the F-111B this coming week as I start to feel better. I do breathing exercises with a spirometer every hour, and I can see some slight progress in the inspired volume of air already. Not close to my target yet, but I'll get there! Cheers, Bill
  4. Hi mates, More difficult news on the health front. Last Thursday, June 1, I had the follow-up scans for my cancer checkup. Good news is all my lymph nodes are normal size. However, the chest scan showed a pleural effusion in my right chest cavity with my lung compressed to about half size due to the fluid. I was admitted to the hospital, and had a chest tube installed. Pneumonia was present in both lungs. I'm still in the hospital, and we keep flushing and draining the fluid. So far about 6 litres have been drained. What a mess. Several infections have been seen and I'm on a ton of different antibiotics. But I'm slowly feeling better. No energy, major fatigue, difficulty breathing...it will just take time. No modelling in the meantime. Cheers, Bill
  5. My entry in this group build is the Curtiss-Wright XF15C-1 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. One of the prototypes has survived, and is at the Quonset Air Museum in Rhode Island. 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 (aka 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. The kit is made by Olimp Models in the Ukraine, and sold under their Pro Resin brand. I picked this up at a hobby shop in Germany for an incredible $13 USD. How can you pass up such a deal? This is a simple kit, and there are not that many parts. However, what is here is very nicely cast. Two schemes are provided, both from the Naval Air Test Center (NATC) in 1945. These represent the second and third prototype. The first prototype was lost in a crash, and featured a different tail design. That aircraft is provided by Olimp Pro Resin in a separate kit. The inclusion of a small photoetch fret provides some nice detail touches. You can have any colour you like, as long as it's Dark Sea Blue. This should be a fun project. Can't wait to start in a couple of days! I'm not entirely sure about the nickname "Stingaree" on the box. I haven't been able to find any references that allude to that particular name. In fact, everything I've seen so far simply refers to the aircraft as the XF15C. Most likely, it didn't get far enough along in development to actually get a name. But if someone knows different, I'd be curious to learn about it. Cheers, Bill
  6. Hey, how about this - some Dark Sea Blue on this baby: You can just about see where I've added the chin scoop inside the cowling. And the required "rear view" - Since this was a glossy paint out of the bottle (Model Master) I'm going to let it cure for a couple of days. My signal is when it stops smelling like paint, then it's dry. The we'll paint the gear legs, wheel wells and turtle deck Interior Green. There are large metallic areas at the indentations for the exhausts, as well as around the jet pipe. As you can see, she sets up nice on her gear, so I must have lucked out with the weight up front. 25 grams if I recall. Well, there she is - progress! Cheers, Bill
  7. Your photography is getting much better since the beginning of the build! Cheers, Bill
  8. Cor blimey - that's the dog's danglies, that is! Cheers, Bill
  9. The more bits of white styrene and fishing wire that get added to this project, the more I like it! Cheers, Bill
  10. Dear Mr. Muddle, Thanks for stopping by! I'm fine, other than the normal medical crises that seem to following me all the time. But I'm having a lot of fun with this build - there are so many little detail changes that have to be made to build a replica of 151972. Right up my alley, as we say over here. Do you say that over there? I've always had a great interest in the F-111B, and remember being very downhearted when the program was cancelled in 1968(?) even though I was just a young teenager. I've loved carrier aviation ever since watching "Victory at Sea" on the telly, and I was devastated that the Navy wouldn't get their version of the latest and greatest. I couldn't wait to look at the newspapers and magazines to see some photos of the F-111, because it was just so cool - and pointy. Pointy is good. Cheers, Bill Buffoonery
  11. This was a surprise: http://imodeler.com/2015/11/product-news-alclad-ii/ Looks like RAF and possibly US (is that Interior Green on the right side?) WWII colours on display. Plus, the label says Made In England! Humbrol in a different bottle? Nothing on their web site yet... Cheers, Bill
  12. Really nice work in the cockpit, glad I stopped by! Cheers, Bill
  13. Some progress today. First, the bad news. I need to have sinus surgery, as it seems the sinuses behind my cheeks and behind my eyes are pretty much closed up due to bone and tissue growth to the point where they cannot drain; the resulting “junk” (as the doc called it) has become hardened and can’t be removed without a knife. Plus, the sinuses have to be opened back up, re-shaped and re-structured. Oh, and they’ll fix my deviated septum while they’re at it. They do this by going in through my nose, and also through incisions they make in the rear upper gum. It’s very rare that they have to make any externals cuts, so I should not look like the loser of a boxing match when it’s over. They tell me I won’t believe how much better I can breathe (once they take the three foot long tampons out of my nostrils the day after the surgery). Sounds like fun. That is scheduled for July 7. In the meantime I'm on a regime of Prednisone and actually feel much better. The good news is that I've made some progress on the F-111B. I've used Perfect Plastic Putty (thanks @Martian Hale) to smooth the seam inside the intakes so it won't be seen when the translating cowl is open. Here is what we're shooting for: The inner lip that you see at the back edge of the translating cowl is what seals with the fixed portion. @Tailspin Turtle has informed me that the shape of this surface is a classic bell mouth shape, and I'll try to make this with styrene behind the cowl, and faired in at the back edge with a slight radius. 151972 did not have the "kink" in the intake ramp, so I previously made new ones from sheet styrene using drawings provided by @Tailspin Turtle and put them in place. I'm not sure whether this early intake design had the vortex generators inside. Maybe Tommy will drop by and let me know. I've also added the ventral strakes at the back, and smoothed them in with Perfect Plastic Putty. The shock cone and the translating cowl will be added much later in the build because I think it will be better to paint them when they are not attached. Next, 151972 had one of the early designs for the arresting hook, with the hook exposed and attached to a structure that also held the tail bumper: I used Tommy's drawings again, and reshaped the resin piece provided in the Pete's Hangar conversion set to match the size and shape shown in the drawings. The tail bumper was modified from the one that came with the kit. This will be smoothed into the fuselage. The arresting hook itself will be scratch built and come along much later in the build. Everything looks pretty rough to me right now, especially when magnified by photography, but they always do. In the end, I think she'll look purty good. 151972 did not have the large triangular vents on top of the fuselage wing glove section, a feature that is really prominent on other F-111 variants. I'm going to fill these in shortly. What 151972 used instead were four smaller, rectangular vents in addition to three on each side of the upper fixed portion of the intake. This is 151971, and it's a bit different than 151972, but you get the idea. I'm going to spend about a month and go through my box containing the Island of Misfit Stickers, and see if I can replicate them with decal scraps. These are the three vents under the wing on 151970: Again, these might be a bit different than 151972 during the Phoenix missile testing at Hughes. At one point, the first two were covered (this is 151972): I'm not sure if these were on 151972 at Hughes, but if they were they'll have to be made from card stock. The pictures I have of 151972 in the scrapyard show the covers quire clearly. The louvers themselves will need to be sourced from decals, and probably won't match exactly. But it should have the "aroma" of an F-111B. I had a good time at the IMPS USA Region 1 contest last weekend, with my Blackburn Buccaneer S.1 winning category and the overall Best Aircraft award. My FAA collection also won its category and the overall Best Collection award. I also got some hardware for my Canberra, Beaufort, and RAAF Buffalo. British subjects can do well in the USA, we're not all just P-51 and F-4 nuts! And I think folks enjoyed the "Joy of Photoetch" as only one gentleman fell asleep. Cheers, Bill
  14. Perfectly Rob. It's called an autonomous stem cell transplant, where you donate the stem cells to yourself. (The other type is called an allogenic stem cell transplant when the donor cells come from someone who has good results on the tissue typing, preferrably 6/6). When I first went into remission in 2002, I was prepared for this procedure because the hematologist/oncologist was quite sure it was going to come back quickly so I had my stem cells harvested. After some high strength chemo, I also went in every day for an injection that would stimulate the growth of new stem cells in my bone marrow, which then begin circulating in the blood. (These can eventually turn into all sorts of different things - red/white blood cells, bone marrow, etc. Amazing.) Every day there was also a blood test checking for a protein that is a good marker of how many new stem cells are circulating. Once the protein reached a certain level it was time to harvest, a procedure called apherisis. To me, this was very similar to a dialysis machine - blood out of one arm, into the machine, and then back into the other arm. I went for apherisis for three days in a row, each session was maybe three hours. The centrifuge separates the stem cells which are collected in a bag, and once a bag is full I had to sign and date the bag since they were going to be stored. I thought the contents of the bag looked rather like tomato soup. The bags of stem cells are then irradiated to do everything possible to make sure there is nothing malignant in there - which is always a chance. The stem cells are then frozen, and I believe are good for ten years or so. They collected my brother's as well, since he was a perfect match on the tissue typing. His cells were considered for a last-resort effort. As it turned out, my remission lasted for 12 years, way beyond expectations, and we never used the cells. Transplanting the harvested cells back into the patient is as you describe, and it's quite nasty. The extra chemo and radiation are again necessary to make sure all malignant cells in the patient are gone - plus your current immune system has to be killed off. The transplant gives you a new one. The big risk is something called graft vs. host disease, kind of like organ rejection but much worse. The risk of this is MUCH higher if the stem cells come from someone else, this is why autonomous stem cell transplants are much preferred. It's a long recovery period after the transplant. It sounds like your friend is in good hands, and I wish her much success. She'll need courage to proceed, but she sounds like the type that will take the bull by the horn and get on with it. Please extend my best wishes to her. As for you modelling types, sorry for the off-topic conversation. Certainly it's good for Rob and myself to compare notes, whereby we both can learn something, but I like putting it out in the open so others may learn something that might be of benefit to them later on. Thanks. Cheers, Bill PS. Her ex-husband sounds like a real cad.
  15. Cheers, Bill
  16. Those seats are the definition of sweetness. Mind if I steal all of your ideas for a Future Hawk project? Cheers, Bill
  17. Great news on the new treatment regime for your friend, Rob. Do you recall what it is specifically? I like to stay up to date on what's happening around the world with new therapies, and since leukemia is closely related to my lymphoma it would be great to learn more about it. Great landscape photos! What a beautiful land. Cheers, Bill
  18. I think that was discussed during my build of Ginger Lacey's XIV RN135. Many photos of 17 Squadron SEAC Spit XIVs with those ports covered with red tape, even though we think the guns themselves weren't present. Cheers, Bill
  19. Sorry for the lack of progress mates. I've been suffering from the worst sinus infection I've ever had (literally have to breathe through my mouth most of the time). I haven't been getting much sleep - plus I've been trying to prepare for Noreastcon (IPMS Northeast United States Regional Convention) this weekend. Someone volunteered me to do a presentation on the joys of photoetch, which is quite a chore since I never use the stuff. But I can probably purloin enough stuff from the web to make it look respectable. Since I haven't been responding to the sinus treatments, I'll be having a CT scan of my head tomorrow. They suspect I have polyps in my sinuses or something. I had a dream about it the other night - "Well, we have some good news and some bad news. The good news is we've found nothing of consequence in your head. The bad news is we've found nothing of consequence in your head." That would explain a lot! Anyway, I feel rather lousy, and haven't had much time for modelling. The only progress on the 111B has been the construction of the front landing gear, and I hope I have the nose gear strut leaning forward at the right angle. Even if it's off a bit, I'll just add the red stripe on the nose gear doors to match. Cheers, Bill the Stuffed (Up) PS. My oncologist is having me do a PET scan, and if all looks well I can stop the chemo. Woo hoo! Those lymph nodes better be the right size on that scan...
  20. Sweet little kitbash! Excellent job, John. Cheers, Bill
  21. Hi mates, For my latest project I wanted to do justice to the amazing English Electric Canberra, one of the most versatile and long-lived military aircraft ever built. I chose XH134, a Canberra PR.9 chosen to wear the retirement scheme that truly marked the "End of an Era." Ashley Keates, who designed the stunning scheme, even stopped by the WIP thread for a visit. I decided to use the much-maligned "new tool" Airfix PR.9 kit and correct the major deficiencies along the way. I thought at first that I might do a bit of a kitbash with the Xtrakit model, but eventually I decided to save that kit for another day. Here is my usual executive summary: Project: English Electric Canberra PR.9 "End of an Era" Kit: Airfix (kit number A05039) Scale: 1:72 (you know me by now!) Decals: Model Alliance 729032 representing XH134, 39 PRU, RAF Marham 2006; Model Alliance 72146 PR.9 Canberras Part II, and Model Alliance 729018 Canberra Stencil Set (thanks John!), even a few stickers from the kit! Photoetch: Eduard SS352 primarily for the cockpit consoles and controls, ejection seat details, mirror Resin: Pavla cockpit C72087; Pavla wheel bays and gear doors U72-113; CMK 7181 PR.9 Landing Flaps 72118; CMK Q72121 PR.9 Wheels; SBS 72005 Canberra Correct Rudder Scratchbuilt: not much, just the navigator's desk and the pilot's reading pleasure Paint: Gunze H339 Engine Grey, H336 Hemp, H332 Light Aircraft Grey, H311 FS36622, H417 RLM76, H11 Flat White, H12 Flat Black, H77 Tyre Black, H335 Medium Sea Grey, H309 FS34079, H28 Metal Black, H95 Smoke Grey, H90 Clear Red, H94 Clear Green, H17 Cocoa Brown, H37 Wood Brown; Alclad 101 Aluminum, 111 Magnesium, 314 Klear Kote Flat Weathering: Post shading, some panel line work with pencil. Improvements/Corrections Fixed the fillet radius at the bottom of the vertical fin leading edge Filled and re-scribed most of the fuselage panel lines All that aftermarket stuff Shortened the landing gear struts to achieve a more proper "set" of the aircraft Removed the incorrect tailplane roots and extended the inner edge of the tailplanes to meet the fuselage correctly Added all of the crash strips to the lower fuselage Added the bomb bay rain channels Added a copy of Zoo magazine to the cockpit, as seen at Fairford 2006 Opened up both intake exhaust vents and added mesh guards 26 g of ballast to prevent tail setting Filled incorrect strengthening plate engraved lines; added separate strengthening plates from 0.005" styrene sheet Added forward fuel tank hold-down straps and brackets Added the SEM/CAN/232 RWR wingtip modifications Made new wing leading edge landing lights from clear plastic, sanded and polished to shape Added vent to forward edge of windscreen on port side Added small satellite antennae on fuselage spine Added wingtip formation lights Added aerial wire Added air conditioning exhaust vents on the underside of the inner wing Fixed a bunch of other stuff I can't remember! Build thread: Link Pictures! To give you a better idea of what's inside the cockpit/navigator's area, here is an in-process picture (note that the periscope eye guard hasn't been opened up yet): And a better shot of the navigator's fold-up desk: How long would you stay in there? Hard to see, but the pilot has left his reading material on the seat: All told, a fun build and a great time was had by everyone. Special thanks to @canberra kid and @71chally for their expertise and guidance as I navigated the Canberra landscape. I know I learned a lot! Cheers, Bill
  22. Thanks for that, Tommy. That should have been quite obvious to me! I've been playing around with the intakes, and now I wish I had taken the time to make them more "seamless." If I model the intake with the translating cowl forward, as it seems to have been when on the ground, a seam is going to be nicely visible through the gap. So, I either fix the seam or close the cowl. Guess I'll fix the seam. Cheers, Bill
  23. Following the diagrams at Tommy's website, I built a rudimentary mechanism for the aft main gear door. For variety, I used square styrene for the door actuator bellcrank, T-channel styrene for the brackets on the door that the bellcranks attach to, and round styrene rod for the door leading edge idler. Now, this is one of the things that is so great about modelling. I was not familiar with the term bellcrank before, at least not in connection with an aircraft landing gear door. I looked it up in an engineering dictionary, and now I've learned something new. At my age! Here is what I came up with: In addition to the mechanism, you'll notice that I've filled some nasty sink marks on the bottom of the landing gear cross-beam, and since 972 did not have the rotating glove slats, that area is also being filled in. When the aft main gear door is added, she looks like this: Fortunately, my lousy scratch building will be hidden underneath the door, and behind the main tyres. In real life, the door leading edge idlers were an interesting curved affair that went from leading edge of the door to an attachment point deep in the main gear bay on the sides near the rear bulkhead (I believe). They were curved in order to navigate within and around the complex nature of the landing gear components. I've only built the part that is visible underneath the fuselage. When I attached the main landing gear assembly to the rear of the bay, it seemed to me that it wasn't right for the F-111B. The cross-beam (which connects the two axles) when viewed from the side was essentially parallel to the bottom of the fuselage. I believe this was a change that was put in place after the prototypes - on 972, the cross-beam should look angled up at the front when viewed from the side. So, I shimmed a little bit until I was satisfied with it. If I can remember, I'll take a photo of it to show you what I mean. Cheers, Bill
  24. Hi Rob, I'll approach this from the other side - as you may know, I've been fighting a blood cancer (lymphoma) since 2002. I had a nice 12 year remission after the first go, but it came back (as they said it would) in early 2015. Back on the chemo, which I will finish up in July of this year. One of the lovely elixirs that they pump into my veins is made from the same stuff that mustard gas is made from. Nasty stuff. Strange how things that kill people can also save people. I know that throughout my "journey" I never wanted people to feel sorry for me. Everyone's different, of course, but I always wanted it out in the open, I wanted people to talk about it, heck, I even joke about it. I suppose this is my coping mechanism. When I was first diagnosed (stage IV at that), the wife and kids were crying, it was a bloody awful thing. And it put real fear in me - and I didn't like that one bit, so I did (and do) everything I can to make sure the fear doesn't come back. Keep positive, look forward, and do what needs to be done. Your friend may not feel this way, but I'm willing to bet she doesn't like the fear either. Do what you can to keep it away from her. For what it's worth... Cheers, Bill
  25. Nicely done! Cheers, Bill