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Navy Bird

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Everything posted by Navy Bird

  1. 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
  2. 1:72 Pro Resin Curtiss XF15C-1 Part 2

    I think I dated her sister! Cheers, Bill
  3. Firefly 5, SH 1.72

    Nice job! The Special Hobby kits are quite nice, and I really enjoyed building my two. Typical short run kits, but the resin cockpits are nicely detailed and the rest provides a great canvas for making a nice replica. Wouldn't mind a thoroughly modern kit though... Cheers, Bill
  4. 1:72 Pro Resin Curtiss XF15C-1 Part 2

    Some progress! Even using liquid Future as a base for the decal didn't work - that's never happened to me before. Just Crazy. Since the kit decals were no good, I sourced everything from the Box of Misfit Stickers. Some work was done on the landing gear and tyres, along with scratching the actuation mechanism for the inside main gear doors. There is not a lot of work left - windscreen and canopy are ready to go on, and I'm in the process of modifying the photoetch cooling flaps as it turns out they are too long. It seems I've also forgotten the yellow tips on the prop blades, and I'll also have to find some logos for the blades. Getting pretty close though! Apologies for the crummy looking finish (pretty dusty too!), but things should look much better once the final coat of semi-gloss clear goes on, along with clear flat for the tyres. The kit instructions show the word NAVY in white in front of the fuselage insignias, but I can find no period photographs that show this. So I guess I'll leave it off, unless one of you guys has such a photo. Now would be a good time to show it to me! Cheers, Bill
  5. 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
  6. 1:72 Lockheed F-104N Joe Walker Tribute

    Thanks, Giorgio. My LHS seems to have both of these Testors colours (FS28913 and FS28915) in stock. They're labeled as "fluorescent" which I think is what the 8 in the FS number means. I'll give them a try - although some folks I know claim to have had some pretty bad experiences with these specific formulas. As with most paints, the secret is no doubt making sure the right thinner is used. Some experimentation is in order, since I think I'll only have one chance to put the colour onto the actual model. Speaking of experimentation, I found an ancient, and I mean ancient, bottle of Metalizer Day-Glo Orange at the back of my paint drawer. Never been opened, and I'm guessing I bought it in the late 70s or early 80s. It was before Testors bought Metalizer. The paint mixed up well, and required no thinner as it was only for airbrush use. So I sprayed a test piece of plastic several days ago. Great colour, and really looks day-glo. Man, it pops! Unfortunately, I still can't touch it because it hasn't started drying yet! After several days! I'm going to give it a coat of Metalizer sealer and see what happens. The sealer always dried super fast. Most of the Metalizer colours required the sealer, but I don't know if that's the case with the day-glo paint. Too much fun. Cheers, Bill
  7. Pacific Pair - 1/72 Corsairs

    Very nice work indeed. Suitably scruffy for the Pacific War. I love Corsairs - why don't I have on in my collection? I even made wifey watch re-runs of Baa Baa Black Sheep. Cheers, Bill
  8. Fantastic work, Tony! I remain in awe of your ability to achieve such results with a brush. Just incredible - and it's not often that you see a South African Marauder! Great choice of subject. Cheers, Bill
  9. Sword FJ-2 Fury

    I think @Sabrejet has an incredible eye for detail and knows this subject inside and out. This is an amazing project and I can't wait to see how it turns out. I've been waiting for someone to do a nice modern kit of the Fury, and I have to say I'm a tad disappointed with some of the issues with the Sword kits. But no matter, they are the best we have today and this thread has been duly bookmarked for future reference. It's looking great, and I really appreciate the level of documentation here. Thank you, @Sabrejet! Cheers, Bill
  10. 1:72 Lockheed F-104N Joe Walker Tribute

    Hi mates, I've primed the Starfighter with a glossy grey, and I can see a couple of small spots that still need some attention before any Alclad goes on. Especially since these natural metal finished tend to highlight everything you messed up. Here she is after the primer: I then spent a lot of time trying to come up with a way to duplicate the "day-glo" orange on the Rocketeer decal sheet. There is a photo of the decal sheet that I posted earlier, so you can have a look at that and see what I am trying to do. My best effort was Gunze H98 Fluorescent Orange (which is very translucent) over Gunze H329 Insignia Yellow. I wish this next photo showed it better, but it really does have a bit of that day-glo "pop" when you see it with your Mk. I Eyeballs: It's a reasonably good match for the decal sheet. However...(there's always a however isn't there?)... Were these NASA chase planes really painted with fluorescent orange? Or was it more of a reddish-orange colour? The decal sheet and this profile artwork look quite orange: But the photos seem to tend more towards a red-orange: Does anyone know what paint was actually used on these babies? I think Testors (gasp!) make fluorescent red and orange enamels - I may have to make a trip to the LHS and pick some up. Anyway, I'm thinking the plan goes like this. Mask the bottom of the wings and the nose cone as they'll be staying Aircraft Grey (which is what I used for a primer). Paint the bird overall gloss white. This will be a good base for the Alclad colours. Once the white is cured, the top of the wings and the areas on the tail and forward fuselage that will be orange and yellow are masked off. Spray all the Alclad stuff I want. Let the Alclad cure, and then mask off and paint the orange and yellow areas. Finally mask off and paint the intake lip and shock cone, along with the anti-glare panel. Black decal striping will hopefully cover all the edges as in the original design. Or something like that. Or...I could actually try the Rocketeer decals using their boiling water trick. I think I would still paint the white rather than use their white decals as a base. I don't know... I wonder if this will be fun? Cheers, Bill
  11. 1:72 Pro Resin Curtiss XF15C-1 Part 2

    Tiny bit of an update... I sprayed the aluminum panels aft of the exhausts (both for the piston and jet engines), added the jet exhaust, painted the gear bays and legs with Gunze H58 Interior Green, and started applying the stickers. Worst stickers I've used in years. Ugh - they are extremely matte, and the first three silvered like crazy. I used my typical setting solutions and solvents, too. I honestly can't remember having decals silver like this. I just now added the "2" on the starboard side of the tail using liquid Future as a "setting solution" and I hope this does the trick. Not sure the first three can be saved, but I'll give it a try. I love modelling. It helps me relax. Cheers, Bill
  12. Kamov 28 Helix, Hobby Boss 1/48

    Dave Davies moonlighting on vocals? Cheers, Bill
  13. 1/72 Academy SB2C-4 Helldiver

    Very nice work, Cookie! Cheers, Bill
  14. Wow, that's a beauty. I really like how you've done the NMF, it's exquisite. Cheers, Bill
  15. Superb workmanship! I have this kit in my stash, and if I am able to achieve a result half as good as this I'd be a happy man. I loved following your WIP, which I've duly bookmarked for the inevitable moment when I begin working on mine. Bravo! Cheers, Bill
  16. 1:72 Lockheed F-104N Joe Walker Tribute

    Thanks for the info, @Giorgio N and @Andrew. One of the things I like best about Britmodeller is the depth of knowledge that its members have. I haven't found the question yet that you guys can't answer. @Martian Hale even answers questions concerning the ritual use of white plastic gussets on other planets. So, this little Hasegawa kit - what an RB! Usually when I use that term, it means "real b***h," but in this case it means "rare beauty." The fuselage just fell together, and everything fits and aligns superbly. This may require a wee bit of Mr. Surfacer somewhere (cannon fairing perhaps), but I honestly think that it may not need any at all. Now, about this paint job. What attracted me to this scheme is the day-glo orange and natural metal combination. The Rocketeer decal sheet provides the orange sections, but it always pays to read the fine print. Here is what I just read in their instructions: "Some parts which is printed in fluorescence color have harder layers than those of normal-printed parts. It may crack being fit to curved surface. The best way to avoid this problem is to warm the decal with hot-boiled water (unfortunately, decal softener does not effective, since the nature of the ink causes this problem not the film). Be careful not to do not harm to your model itself, or to yourself! Using hot steam may be more effective, but its higher temperature may deform plastic parts of your model. Please take your best care." Oh boy. I think this means - decal solvents won't work, the decal might crack on a curved surface, you can get around the problem by burning yourself with boiling water, or by using hot steam which will melt the styrene. I think I'll just paint everything. Cheers, Bill
  17. Academy 1/48 F8F Bearcat

    Nicely done! Gotta like that little hot rod. Cheers, Bill
  18. Kamov 28 Helix, Hobby Boss 1/48

    Indeed. Although not well known in Albion, or the Antipodes for that matter, I also have a strange fascination with gussets. And when the gussets are made from white plastic...well, let's just leave it at that. Cheers, Bill
  19. 1:72 Lockheed F-104N Joe Walker Tribute

    Would you guys agree that these three NASA F-104Ns have the short afterburner nozzle? I figured if Hasegawa went to the trouble of giving me both nozzles in the kit, I should at least give them the courtesy of using the right one! Cheers, Bill
  20. 1:72 Lockheed F-104N Joe Walker Tribute

    OK, as threatened I've switched to the 1:72 Hasegawa F-104G kit. In my opinion, both the Italeri and the Hasegawa kits are quite nice, but Hasegawa is a tad bit more detailed at the expense of having some unusual engineering features due to a mould design which accommodates many different marks of the Starfighter. So let's build this thing! Apparently the inside of the F-104G exhaust pipe is a light green colour. I've seen it described as also having a bit of blue in it. (Is this some special thermal coating?) The instructions provided by Hasegawa with this kit say to paint the interior of the pipe with Gunze H76 Burnt Iron. Ah, nope. Here is a nice shot looking up the hot end of an F-104G: My go-to paint for this type of exhaust colour is Gunze Mr. Metal Color MC216 Bronze. This is the old formula of Gunze's metallic colours and can be buffed, so you can get some nice effects. I'm happy with the finish achieved, and not too concerned about it since it will be very difficult to see once the model is together. If not impossible! Next I wanted to see if the resin cockpit designed for the Revell kit would fit Hasegawa. It's close, but there is significant interference between the bottom rear of the tub and the forward top of the nose gear bay. One or the other would need to be hacked up pretty good. I decided not to try and make it work. Instead, I decided to use the photoetched and pre-painted instrument panel and the resin bang seat to add some splash to the kit cockpit. Here is the Hasegawa tub (with their console decals snuggled down over the moulded-in detail with several gallons of solvent), the CMK instrument panel, and the CMK Lockheed (Stanley) C-2 ejection seat with photoetched details: After taking the photos, I realised that I don't recall seeing Martin-Baker style face curtain handles above the headrest on these early F-104 seats. I wonder if CMK got this detail mixed up with the later M-B seat used on the German and Italian Starfighters? Since the Luftwaffe was using the F-104 down on the deck, they needed to have improved ejection performance and switched to the M-B seat, and the Italian F-104S was equipped the same way. I have a feeling those handles will need to come off my seat. I may tart up the cockpit tub a bit more, but the main attraction of this build is going to be the wild natural metal and day-glo orange paint job. I hope I can pull that off without swearing encountering any difficulties. Cheers, Bill
  21. 1:72 Lockheed F-104N Joe Walker Tribute

    Excellent stuff, @JeffreyK! Thanks for posting those period shots, especially the video (which is the actual aircraft I'm building). That certainly clinches it for me - faired over it is. I had seen the modern "gate guard" photos of 812 - I think the aircraft is at Lockheed. I didn't want to use this for my decision since it's been highly modified. At one point, Lockheed converted it into a pseudo-replica of the XF-104 which is why there are no intake cones on it today. When it was re-painted into the colourful NASA scheme, the intake cones were painted onto the fuselage (the black triangles that look like they're sticking out of the intake). That's the first thing that jumped out at me, as I thought it looked really strange. Cheers, Bill
  22. 1:72 Lockheed F-104N Joe Walker Tribute

    OK, here is the best photo I could find. It sure looks to me like there is an opening in the cannon access panel. Otherwise, what is the dark spot? Look for the dark spot below the front tip of the port wing tank, and slightly below the day-glo orange paint on the nose. This spot is also right at the front of the bulge in the cannon access panel. What else could it be other than the cannon is not faired over? Cheers, Bill
  23. 1:72 Lockheed F-104N Joe Walker Tribute

    Thanks, Mark. I would expect it to be faired over on 013 (why would NASA chase planes need a cannon?) but I have yet to find any period photos of 011, 012, or 013 that clearly show this part of the port forward fuselage. I have some later photos (in the blue & white scheme) that show the cannon faired over, but that's not what I'm building. Ugh. If anyone knows of any good photos, please let me know. Meanwhile, I'll keep looking as I work on the cockpit. Cheers, Bill
  24. 1:72 Lockheed F-104N Joe Walker Tribute

    First question - is the cannon on 813NA faired over or not? Certainly the later NASA F-104 chase planes have the cannon faired over, and this is quite obvious in photos. However, in the two photos that I posted above, both when the aircraft was 013 and when it was 813, there appears to be an opening where the cannon port would be. It looks like a small dark smudge, but it's there in both photos. If I build the model with the cannon port open, I think I'll be the first modeller of 813NA to do this - all other models I've seen have the port faired over. What do you guys think? Cheers, Bill
  25. Kamov 28 Helix, Hobby Boss 1/48

    You really don't want to know. Really. Trust me on this one. Cheers, Bill