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Navy Bird

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Everything posted by Navy Bird

  1. That's enough stickers for now. Some things are not exactly right, but what the hey. She's still shiny, so she needs a flat varnish. There's not that much left to do, flaps, elevators, ailerons, tyres, gear doors, main canopy, a bunch of fiddly things stuck to the fuselage, aerial wire, etc. Maybe just a few more days? Cheers, Bill PS. Oh, right, the Zoo mag. How could I forget that?
  2. For my next project I've chosen the English Electric Canberra PR.9, specifically XH134 in her retirement scheme (not the operational scheme shown on the Airfix box). It's a lovely scheme designed by Ashley Keates of RAF Marham. I found a bunch of stuff in my stash that I can use for this project, and I suspect this will end up being another bit of a kitbash. Let's have a look at the inventory - first, I have the Airfix kit, one of the early new tooling efforts from Hornby. Unfortunately, it's not one of their best. In addition to the overdone panel lines, the blend of the tail into the fuselage is misshapen, and the rudder is off as well. Nevertheless, it may be the basis for this build. On the aftermarket side, I have a beautiful cockpit and open nose from Pavla, highly detailed wheel wells from Pavla, a very nice tyre set from CMK, some Eduard colour photoetch, flaps from CMK, and a proper rudder from SBS. I also have some photoetch and resin flaps from Heritage (not shown) so I'll have to figure out which set I like. The Pavla cockpit looks quite nice, but I think the detail painting might be a bit of a chore! And the Pavla wheel wells and doors are considerably more detailed than what comes with the Airfix kit. Here is XH134 in her retirement scheme, isn't she a beauty? Model Alliance provide these markings, although I was a bit flummoxed after paying full price for an aftermarket decal sheet and finding only these two small bits in the package. Stencils and other markings will need to come from the kit. Now, here is where my little dilemma comes in. I've also got this kit in the stash: Comparing the two kits, I would say that the Xtrakit model (which appears to have been moulded by Sword) has much nicer surface detail, but has no vortex generators on the wings (really - they're supplied as decals) and a suspect cockpit opening (at least it's very different than Airfix). However, the tail and rudder seem to be reasonably good. I'm going to take some time and see if the aftermarket stuff will fit the Xtrakit model. If it does, then I have to decide if I like decals instead of actual three dimensional vortex generators. I suspect I won't, but I really prefer the other surface detail on the Xtrakit offering compared to the Airfix kit. Ugh - a man who has one watch knows what time it is. A man who has two is never quite sure. To be honest, I know next to nothing about the Canberra. I'm hoping that @canberra kid will stop by and make sure I stay on the righteous path. He may be able to tell me some things about these two kits that will guide my decisions. Cheers, Bill
  3. Nice work, PC. I had a look through your stash (you could open your own hobby shop!) and I'm going out on a limb and say you should do a helicopter next. Something that flies straight up - so maybe a Harrier would be OK too. If that doesn't tickle your fancy, then do a Phantom for chrissake. Cheers, Bill
  4. I ended up going with the lemon yellow stencils, since that grouping on the decal sheet had the correct breakdown of yellow / white / pink / black stencils - in other words it best matched the photos I have of XH134. The lemon yellow stencil decals are more visible than the golden yellow decals against the Hemp. Model Alliance state that the golden yellow was used on "early RAF PR" (DG/DSG/MSG) whilst the lemon yellow were used on "modern RAF PR" (HEMP/LAG) aircraft. The yellow stencils seen in the photographs are, in reality, in-between the lemon and golden yellow decals, but favouring lemon slightly. Go figure! The golden yellow decals are quite orange. In any event, the lemon yellow decals look really good on the model. Unfortunately the walkways are not the same shade of yellow, and it's noticeable. Too late for that now, I suppose, unless I find some yellow striping of the same colour and width somewhere... Cheers, Bill
  5. Thanks for that. The stencils have arrived, and stickering has re-commenced. Cheers, Bill
  6. Thanks, Tommy. Here is a photo that shows the two intakes: This is perhaps a more clear view, prior to her re-paint: (Mr. Kistler - if you're out there and would like this photo removed, please let me know. Thanks.) And a close-up: This is another interesting part of the kit, as the shape for the intakes is cast into the wings, they are not hollowed out. Nor are the vanes provided in photoetch. You can see from the first photo in this post, that the air is directed very dramatically towards the center of the aircraft. The wings in the kit are one piece, and would present an interesting challenge to try and create the interior of the intake without messing up the wing proper. My plan at this point is to use a black decal that mimics the intake shape, and paint Sea Blue stripes to represent the vanes. Lazy way to do it, I know. Cheers, Bill PS. I'm hoping that it's just the flash used on the indoor photos, but that re-paint looks like the wrong colour. In the pictures, it looks more like Blue Angel Blue FS15050 than Dark Sea Blue FS15042. PPS. Last night, I read through a company profile published by Aeroplane Monthly in 2014 called "Curtiss 1907-1947." This purports to show nearly all of the 120 aircraft designs produced by Curtiss whether they achieved series production or not. In the cases where an aircraft had a name or nickname in addition to its designation, that is shown (like Hawk, Warhawk, Kittyhawk, etc.). The XF15C is the penultimate entry in this profile (the last being the XP-87 Blackhawk), and it is listed as simply the XF15C-1 (Model 99). This is a great company profile with 132 pages - a wonderful summary of Curtiss aircraft. Highly recommended if you can find a copy!
  7. 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
  8. In the US, Stingaree was the name of a section of San Diego (a Navy town!) that was well known as being a hangout for the city's undesirables, where all the gambling, illegal drugs, opium dens, and prostitution were based. This reputation lasted well past the time this aircraft was developed. If the US Navy wouldn't allow Grumman to call the F7F the Tomcat because it promoted female promiscuity, I find it unlikely that the name Stingaree would have been used for this aircraft. Even if Curtiss was trying to make an inside joke, the Navy wouldn't have allowed it. That, and the fact that my friend who worked at Curtiss said the people who worked on it remember the project name (no official nickname) as Stingray leaves me to believe that Stingaree is an urban legend. If someone can come up with any Curtiss or USN documents saying otherwise, I'll be happy to change my mind! I've been wrong before... Cheers, Bill
  9. Hi mates! For those that haven't been following the WIP, here is my first model of the iconic Messerschmitt Bf 109. That's right, my very first in nearly 50 years of modelling military aircraft. Why did I wait so long? I don't know - I haven't built a Fw 190 or Me 262 either! Project: Messerschmitt Bf 109E-4 Kit: Airfix Messerschmitt Bf 109E-4 (kit number A01008) Scale: 1:72 (because I don't want my thumbs to turn into sausages!) Decals: From the kit, representing the aircraft flown into a field in Love's Farm, Marden, Kent by Oberleutnant Franz von Werra, Gruppen-Adjutant I/JG 3, September 5, 1940. Also, swastikas from Techmod sheet 72101. Photoetch: Eduard Detail Set No. 73 453 Masks: Eduard Set CX 331 Resin: BarracudaCast BR72091 Messerschmitt B,C,D,E Main Wheels Paint: Gunze H70 RLM02, H67 RLM65, H64 RLM71, H65 RLM70, H416 RLM66, H90 Clear Red, H94 Clear Green; Tamiya XF-69 NATO Black, XF-2 Flat White; Testors 1180 Flat Steel,1149 Flat Black, 1790 Silver FS17178, 1795 Jet Exhaust; Floquil 110004 Crystal-Cote; Future; Alclad Klear Kote Flat Weathering: All weathering was done with pastel chalk dust, and is sealed underneath the top coat of flat varnish. No panel line wash was done externally; a light burnt umber wash was used in the cockpit. Improvements/Corrections Applied the Eduard PE set to the cockpit, including the canopy retention cable. PE hand holds on front windscreen. Eduard PE used for both main wheel wells and landing gear doors. Replaced kit wheels with resin set from Barracuda Studios. Lowered the ailerons by 11 degrees to match typical landing configuration (leading edge slats were previously stowed by der Erksters). Scratch built the starboard wing fairing attachment plate (to match the detail that Airfix forgot, even though it was properly moulded on the port side). Radio mast from kit was broken; replacement part from Academy kit was shortened and its profile altered. Added antenna and lead-in wires with 0.005" diameter Nitinol wire. Build thread: Link What a sweet little kit! I only encountered a few areas that were strange - for example I had to remove the alignment pegs from the wings in order to get the top and bottom halves to line up properly. Once I did that, the alignment was very good, and the wing assembly joined the main fuselage with the proper dihedral. I also had to remove an alignment peg from one of the tailplane struts so I could mount it in the correct position. The propeller can be mounted either way - you have to be careful to make sure that the straighter edges of the prop blades are the leading edges. Very little putty was used on this kit. Some of the small parts were quite difficult to remove from the sprues (I was using a new #11 blade to carefully cut through the sprue gate). I only broke one part, namely the aerial mast which I replaced with an altered piece from an Academy kit. All told, I really enjoyed putting this little guy together! By the way - no attempt was made to "fill" the panel lines with anything other than the normal amount of paint that I used in airbrushing the camouflage scheme. The next time you read someone saying this kit has "trenches" please direct them to this build, give them a light tap on the head, and tell them to stop believing all the nonsense you find on the Internet. Except for this thread, of course. The paint scheme and markings are of course from the famous 109 shot down over Kent. I think I represented the aircraft with the proper colours and weathering, at least based on current research. A fellow Britmodeller sent me a copy of the crash report which included descriptions of some of the colours; for instance the black and white spinner and the fact that this aircraft had no armor protection in the canopy. Enough of all this stuff - here are the pictures! Enjoy! Edit - My fellow modellers pointed out some errors in my build, which I quickly corrected. Updated pictures on further down the thread. Thanks mates! Cheers, Bill (who can never decide what to build next...)
  10. Check this out - she's starting to look like an aeroplane! Let's see, to get to this point I added about 25 grams of ballast up front to prevent her from being a tail-setter. The cockpit and nose gear well were added to the port fuselage. The wings and the tailplane were drilled out and pinned to provide a stronger bond than what I would have had with a butt join. Next, I'll work on blending the wing roots to the fuselage, and see what I can do about the cowling. You can see that there is room for the intake below the spinner - I'm still dumbfounded on why that wasn't included. I think adding this is going to be a royal pain. Ah, modelling... Cheers, Bill
  11. Nice RAT! Hey, I thought you were a Martian, not a rodent. Cheers, Bill
  12. It seems to be based on the Hasegawa FRS.1 kit, in my opinion. Many of the parts are interchangeable. I plan on using the Hasegawa wings on the Xtrakit fuselage since they have the vortex generators (although I have to remove a couple of them in addition to modifying the leading edge a bit). The intakes on the Xtrakit FA.2 are apparently an exercise in putty and sanding, if build threads are to be believed. I haven't put my finger on it yet, but the nose and radome look a bit weird. I think it's because the forward fuselage follows Hasegawa, and therefore the underside turns up too much towards the front, and is a tad short. However... I think Xtrakit can be the basis of a good model. Cheers, Bill
  13. Except for the t-tail, I suppose. But then, the XF15C didn't always have a t-tail: Cheers, Bill
  14. I haven't stopped work completely, I've been busy painting the fiddly bits - tyres/wheels, landing gear doors, canopy, etc. I've also been applying the rest of the decals other than the stencils. Once the stencils arrive, it shouldn't take too long to finish her up. Cheers, Bill
  15. Well, so much for that idea. In order to make the engine fit, I will need to remove about half of the cylinder head height all the way around. I think that's a non-starter. I don't have any other spare engines so I'm going to have to go with what's in the kit. But that may not be so bad - I wanted to do the version with the spinner, and it will cover up most of the cowl opening anyway, especially if I can figure out a way to add that intake scoop on the bottom. More things to ponder... Cheers, Bill
  16. I would say they were a very awkward fit. They also have the blow-in doors moulded shut. But at the end of the day, the Fujimi FRS.1 looks pretty good (with half the Hasegawa kit and a bit of aftermarket thrown in for good measure). Cheers, Bill
  17. And a quick shot of the cockpit. Nothing fancy here - for all I know, this is mostly fictitious, although I will say that the armour behind the headrest seems to be the approximately the right shape. That's about the only part of the cockpit that shows up in any of the photos. Now I get to fettle with that engine. Of course, it's just a tad too big to fit, plus I have to figure out a way to add that intake scoop at the bottom. The actual opening for the engine looks circular, it's only the addition of that scoop on the bottom that makes the cowling oval. So the scoop needs to be added inside the bottom of the opening, and not on the outside like I did with my Firefly V. This should be interesting! Cheers, Bill
  18. The XF15C was powered by a Pratt & Whitney R-2800 up front and a Goblin in the tail. The big radial engine installation was quite typical for piston engine fighters of the day: The kit, however, doesn't depict this very well. Instead, we get a choice of two parts that I suppose are intended to look like the engine once the fuselage is together - one with spinner and one without. I only have one word for these beauties - lame! I just happen to have a spare R-2800 in the Magic Box of Leftover Stuff, and methinks it might look a wee bit better up front. Especially when there is such a large opening in the cowl! So I think that's what we'll do. Stay tuned for some cockpit photos. Cheers, Bill
  19. Wow, very nicely done! Outstanding paint work. Cheers, Bill
  20. It's time to start the most important build of my life. Appropriately, it's the most important warplane ever flown. During the height (depth?) of my Bendamustine/Rituxan chemotherapy in 2014, a very fine gentleman from Australia sent me the fantastic 1:32 scale kit from Tamiya of the Supermarine Spitfire Mk.IXc. The generosity of this man was at once unbelievable and at the same time a beautiful gesture to someone going through a difficult and trying time. I will forever be grateful to him, but I do feel guilty for not yet starting it. Time to fix that! Whilst looking over the sprues, it became apparent to me that this was an opportunity to create as fine of a replica of the Spitfire that I could produce. Accordingly, I've been collecting aftermarket accessories over the last couple of years. What I'll show now may not be everything that is used or needed. We'll see how it goes as the build progresses. First, the amazing Tamiya kit - even the letters are gold: I don't think I need to post pictures of each sprue, these can be easily found around the web. An excellent review can be found here. I didn't see a review here on Britmodeller (how could this be?) - perhaps I missed it? A separate stroke of good fortune occurred when I started shopping around for the aftermarket accessories. Somehow I was lucky enough to be the 10,000 customer (or something like that) at the Barracuda website and won a gift certificate. I promptly cashed it in on some of these goodies: Sharing the love, some beautiful exhausts from Quickboost came my way (which may or may not be appropriate - I missed the "Mk.VIII" designation when I ordered them): And some fine turned brass from Master and canopy masks from Montex: But what scheme to do? There were more than a few Mk.IX Spitfires I dare say. Well, after some lengthy discussions with @Procopius at some Irish pub in downtown Chicago, over some delightful Scotch if I recall, the initial plan is to model EN398 - but not when Wing Commander Johnnie Johnson was flying her. Everyone does that one. Rather, since I like nose art and watched too many Saturday morning cartoons when I was lad, I was intrigued by the Popeye markings on EN398 when the pilot was Ian Keltie in March 1943. Consequently I acquired this sticker sheet from EagleCals. Those of you who have followed any of my builds know that I often change my other mind on the scheme - sometimes right in the middle of stickering! So we'll see how this plays out. I purchased the book too - and Roy Sutherland was kind enough to autograph it for me. This will be a long project. To do justice to this magnificent aircraft in 1:32 scale, it cannot be rushed. I hope to treat each sub-assembly as a separate model in and of itself, and I will take several intermissions to keep the mojo strong. I don't normally work on more than one project at a time, but even this old geezer can learn some new tricks! I don't expect this will be finished in 2017 - after all, I still have my Canberra PR.9 to finish, and I've signed up for the Prototypes, F-111, and F-104 group builds. Plus, I'll be working on some contributions for an upcoming modelling book. A busy year in Navy Birdland! Cheers, Bill
  21. Thanks, Ced. I'm sure this will get sorted out, Maybe even in the next post to this thread... PM dutifully sent! Thanks for the offer and the compliment! I'm sure she will be finished soon. Honestly, I haven't had this situation occur too often and I've built hundreds of models over the years. I can only think of a few that I didn't finish eventually. One was the 1:32 Matchbox Sea Venom - I was building that right after it came out (1981?), and got to the point of applying the decals. The next morning, for some reason, the decals had lifted free of the surface and had rolled up on them selves. If you remember the shark's mouth and the drop tank decoration, this was a BIG problem. I was so mad I just binned the entire thing. Wish I had it back, although the Revell re-box probably has better plastic (and decals!) But I'm older now, and I don't throw things anymore. All done with the airbrush. Paasche Model H, single action, external mix, with the #3 and #1 needles. My trusty companion since 1977. Well it was until Fate reared her head. But we'll put her back where she belongs. Cheers, Bill
  22. Sorry, but this build has to go on hold for a bit. I started the decals today, and the retirement scheme went on fine. However, the yellow stencils on the Airfix sheet have no white backing to them, and consequently when applied they disappear. Gone! Like I never applied them. Occasionally, one of them kinda sorta would look like something was there, but not really. Disappointing. Plus, the Airfix ejection seat triangles are 1:48 scale. Unfortunately, this is a 1:72 scale kit. The Xtrakit stencils, on the other hand, are all disintegrating. Basically, the clear film is separating so that all the little letters are free to roam around. And if you think I am going to apply the stencil letters one at a time, well, you're crazier than I am. The other Xtrakit decals, like the ejection seat triangles, seem fine. It's just the stencils. I bought Model Alliance sheet 72146 as I read that it has the proper yellow walkway decals. And it does, I guess (although they seem a bit wide and maybe a bit bright to me) but there was only one problem - there weren't enough yellow stripes. I came up about 8-10 mm short of what was needed, so I had to piece the rest together from some spares that I've been hanging onto for several decades in anticipation of this very problem. So, who makes Hemp-scheme PR.9 stencils that will show up on my model and won't disintegrate? The only thing I've seen that might work is the out-of-print Model Alliance sheet 729018. Anyone have a spare? The yellow stencils are very obvious on the real aircraft, and I'd like them to be visible on this model. Here is where we'll be leaving off until I get a solution: I'm off to my Curtiss XF15C-1 build for the Experimental and Prototype Group Build. It didn't have any stencils. Cheers, Bill
  23. Wiki says Dan Rowan was born Daniel Hale Rowan, so where does this Dan David name come from? Not that Wiki could ever be wrong, of course.... Cheers, Bill
  24. Is the spar cap on the underside of the wing unpainted as well? Some photos it looks like it's not painted (looking like the top side) but in other photos it looks like the same colour as the underside. A light wash was added to the wheel wells and flap bays. Cheers, Bill