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Found 16 results

  1. Model 239 Buffalo "Taivaan Helmi over Findland" 1:48 Special Hobby The Buffalo was designed by the Brewster Aeronautical Corporation in 1935 a US Navy requirement for a carrier based fighter to replace the Grumman F3F Biplane. As such it was one of the first US monoplane fighters. The prototype first flew in 1937 with deliveries commencing in 1939. Brewster had production difficulties and only 11 of the early F2A-1 aircraft were delivered to the USN with the remainder of the order being diverted to the Finnish Air Force. The US Navy and Marine Corps would order and receive the later F2A-2 and F2A-3 models although it was realised by this time that the Buffalo was no match for more modern fighters. It had been suggested that the later orders were just to keep the Brewster factories running, in fact they would later go on to produce Corsairs and other aircraft for the USN. Overseas Finland ordered the aircraft in 1939, the aircraft being assembled by SAAB in Sweden. The Finnish after initial doubts liked the aircraft. The cooler weather in Finland solved overheating problems with the engine, and the aircraft went on to become a success with 477 Soviet aircraft being destroyed for only 19 Buffalos. Belgium had ordered the aircraft but only one was delivered before the country fell to the advancing Germans. Their order was subsequently transferred to the British. The British facing a shortage of combat aircraft purchased the Buffalo. The original assessment by the RAF was not brilliant. The aircraft lacked pilot armour, was under gunned, had poor altitude performance and there were issues with overheating, maintenance and controls. The UK still ordered 170 aircraft which were sent to Australia, New Zealand and the RAF. The aircraft were initially sent out to the Far East. The aircraft were plagued with reliability problems in the hot climate, performance was poor, and the pilots did not have adequate training on the aircraft. Given all these problems and the superior numbers of Japanese aircraft the Buffalos did not fair that well. Some did escape to the Dutch East Indies where they would join those operated by the Netherlands East Indian Army. In Finnish service the aircraft arrived too late for the winter war but did take oart in the continuation war. The Finnish pilots like the Buffalo and called it Taivaan Heli "The Haven Pearl". Many pilots would become aces flying it with H Wind scoring 39 of his total 75 victories flying the Buffalo. With the arrival of Bf 109s the Buffalos were considered obselete but they fought untill the end of the continuation war, with the last battles being against their former allay of Germany. They were retired from service in 1948. The Kit Even in 1:48 this is a small aircraft. The kit is the original Classic Airframes molding and so is mixed media with injected plastic, resin and photo etched parts. In a break from tradition construction starts not with the cockpit but with the wheel wells inside the wings. The resin wells are placed inside the wings before they can be assembled. Luckily tradition resurfaces with the wings as the are conventional single part lower, and left & right uppers. A ventral pnael is also installed under the main wings at this time. The gun front gunbay/wheelbay is then made up, this sits between the cockpit and the engine. The rear bulkhead forms the front of the cockpit, and the front bulkhead the engine firewall. The top of the compartment forms the gun bay with the guns and ammo boxes, and the lower part the main gear retraction parts. Once made up it can be installed in the completed wing section. The cockpit fllor is then installed on the rear, and the engine and its mounts on the front. The cockpit floor parts are then installed on this section as well. Moving on to the main fuselage the rear cockpit bulkhead, rear shelf behind the pilot and the tail wheel area are all installed into the right fuselage. This is then installed onto the wing section. All the cockpit parts including the seat, instrument panel, controls etc are then installed onto the cockpit. The main fuselage can then be closed up. The tail cone, tail planes and engine cowl front can then be added. The framing for the area behind the cockpit is then added. The modeller can now move onto the landing gear. The tailwheel needs the moulded wheel removing from the housing and the correct wheel added on. The left & right main gear weels are added to the legs, the retraction struts added and then they can go into the fuselage. The outer doors are then added. To finish off the canopies and propeller are added along with the a few aerial and other small parts. Markings Markings for 4 aircraft are provided. The decals are by Cartograf so should post no problems. The Finnish markings are in two parts for obvious reasons. BW-393, Pilot Hans Wind, Finlands Top scoring ace with 75 victories, 39 in Buffalos, 1/LLv.24, Suulajarvi, April 1943 BW-393, Pilot Kni Eino Luukhanen, He marked his victories with Lahden Erikois beer bottle labels stuck to the fin. 1/LLv.24, Suulajarvi, Nov 1942 BW-378, Pilot Kni Per-Erik Sovellius, Otto Werde was painted under the canopy for Swedish Baron Hugo Hamilton who raised funds for the aircraft. 4/LLv.24, Lunkula, Herbst/Winter 1941 Conclusion Even though this kit is an older one now the parts are still good and the model should build up to a good looking aircraft in markings you dont see to often. Recomended. Review sample courtesy of
  2. Brewster F2A-3 Buffalo

    Hi I will be entering this little NAVY Fighter , Special Hobby 1/72nd Brester Buffalo
  3. Model 339-23 Buffalo 'In RAAF and USAAF Colors' 1:72 Special Hobby The Buffalo was designed by the Brewster Aeronautical Corporation in 1935 to a US Navy requirement for a carrier based fighter to replace the Grumman F3F Biplane. The prototype first flew in 1937, with deliveries commencing in 1939. The type won orders from a number of overseas customers such as Belgium, who had ordered the aircraft but received only one before the country fell to the advancing Wehrmacht. That order was subsequently transferred to the British, who sent them to Australia and New Zealand, as well as using them for the RAF in the Far East. The aircraft were plagued with reliability problems in the hot climate. Performance was poor and the pilots did not have adequate training on the aircraft. This kit is a re-pop over the original Special Hobby Buffalo, first released in 2006. The box states that the kit is a combination of Sword plastic parts, Special Hobby clear parts and a host of resin extras. I don't recall Sword ever producing a Buffalo of their own, so I can only presume that they tooled the kit for Special Hobby. In any case, the clear parts appear to be completely different to those included with the original boxing, which is hopefully a promising sign. Think of this, then, as a turbocharged version of the original Special Hobby kit. The parts are spread across a single sprue of grey plastic, a single clear sprue and the aforementioned bag of resin. The mouldings look fairly crisp, and feature reasonably fine sprue attachment points and refined, engraved surface detail. Construction begins with the cockpit. This is comprised mainly of resin parts, with just a few structural parts such as the firewall and rear cockpit decking rendered in plastic. The sidewalls, floor, instrument panel, control column, seat and rudder pedals are all cast from crisp, grey resin. The main landing gear bay and engine are also resin and also have to be fitted at this point. The overall effect should be a very well-detailed interior, and the only think I would really want to add would be some harnesses for the seat, either from spare photo etch or tape. Before joining the fuselage halves, you will need to cut away the very rearmost part of the fusealge and replace it with the parts appropriate for this version. Once this has been done and the fuselage halves joined, the tail planes and wing can be fixed in place. The elevators and ailerons are all moulded in place. The front part of the cowling is moulded as a seperate part, while the propeller is moulded in four piececs, with a resin hub. This is a bit of a faff if you're building one of the versions with a propellor spinner, as it will take longer to assemble, be fragile due to needing to use superglue rather than poly cement and you won't benefit from the extra detail offered by the resin part. The landing gear itself looks reasonably good, with the landing gear legs each made up of three parts and the wheels cast from resin. The canopy looks very good indeed, although the instructions only show it fitted in the closed position, which is a slight shame if you want to show off all that lovely cockpit detail to best effect. Four decal options are provided: Brewster Model 339-23 Buffalo, A-51-13 (310), RAAF; Brewster Model 339-23 Buffalo, A-51-10 (307), RAAF; Brewster Model 339-23 Buffalo, A-51-15 (312), 5th Air Force, USAAF, Essendon, Australia, June 1942; and Brewster Model 339-23 Buffalo, 313, 5th Air Force, USAAF, Essendon, Australia, 1942. The first three aircraft are finished in a medium green over olive drab, while the latter machine is a combination of aluminium and natural metal. The decal sheet is both comprehensive and nicely printed. Conclusion Although this kit is less sophisticated than the very latest offerings from Special Hobby stable, that is more a reflection of the recent advances made by that manufacturer rather than any lack of quality with this particular kit. As always with kits of this nature, a little care and attention may be required, but I reckon this kit should build into a pleasing replica of an attractive aircraft with relatively little effort. Recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  4. Special Hobby (Sword plastic) 1/72nd Brewster model 339-23 Buffalo "In RAAF and USAAF colors" boxing - ref. SH72128 - is ready Source: http://www.specialhobby.net/2017/05/privezeme-s-sebou-model-339-23-buffalo.html V.P.
  5. Here is my representation of the Brewster B-339C No.3100 as flown by Lt. August 'Guus' Diebel of 2-VLG-V of the KNIL (Royal Netherlands East Indies Air Force) based at Semplak on the island of Java in early December 1941 . This unit was later moved to Singapore where the Dutch B-339's flew alongside the RAF and RAAF Buffaloes. Lt. Diebel claimed 2 Nate fighters in a Japanese raid on Singapore on 12th January 1942, though he was subsequently wounded and forced to bail out. He survived the war with three credited kills and in 1948 was awarded the Military William Order (the highest honour awarded by the Netherlands) but died in 1951 when the Gloster Meteor he was flying crashed at Uithuizen in the Netherlands. The kit is the Hasegawa kit from the U.S. Navy/Marine combo set. It's a very nice, straightforward build, but I made several clumsy and/or sloppy errors in construction, painting and varnishing - luckily most of these are not really apparent in the pictures. I used the Eduard canopy mask set and lap-straps from their Microfabric U.S. seatbelt set. The U.S.-type tailcone and tailwheel was replaced with the Quickboost B339C/D resin tailcone set and the 'straight' pitot tube supplied with the kit was replaced with the 'cranked' type from an Airfix P-40B. Paints used for the uppersurface camouflage were Sovereign Hobbies Colourcoats ACUS20 Dark Green, ACUS19 Green Olive Drab (Vietnam) for FS34079 and FS34102 which are believed to be the closest colour match for the Oudblad and Jongblad colours used on RNEIAF aircraft. I used Alclad Semi-matt Aluminium for the undersides and Citadel Acrylic Runefang Steel for the cockpit interior. Transfers were from the Special Hobby B339C/D "Dutch & Japanese" kit and they worked very well. The build thread is here. Thanks to everyone who participated and to Jim Maas in particular who was unstinting in providing a lot of useful information and whose advice made my model considerably more faithful to the original than it would otherwise have been. Anyway; here are the pictures: Thanks for your attention again gents Cheers, Stew
  6. Here is my representation of the Brewster F2A-3 flown by U.S. Marine Corps Captain William Humberd of VMF-221 at the Battle of Midway, 4th June 1942. Captain Humberd was one of the more successful Buffalo pilots that day - here is a copy of his combat report. The kit is the Hasegawa kit from the U.S. Navy/Marine combo set. It includes a resin replacement nose section for the F2A-3 which had a 10-inch fuselage extension aft of the engine for extra fuel tankage. The kit is a very nice straightforward build, although I made several clumsy and/or sloppy errors in construction, painting and varnishing, but luckily most of these are not really apparent in the pictures. I used the Eduard canopy mask set, lap-straps from their Microfabric U.S. seatbelt set and a vacform canopy centre section from Squadron, after I failed to read the instructions and painted the canopy frames where no framing should be. Paints used were Sovereign Hobbies Colourcoats ACUS05 WW2 USN Light Gray, ACUS06 WW2 USN Blue Gray and ACUS30 Bronze Green 9 for the cockpit interior. Transfers were as provided by the kit and although there weren't many of them, they worked very well. The build thread is here. Thanks to everyone who participated and to Jim Maas in particular who was unstinting in providing a lot of useful information and whose advice made my model considerably more faithful to the original than it would otherwise have been. Anyway; pictures: Thanks for your attention gents Cheers, Stew
  7. I've had this in the stash for a little while now: Here are the main sprues, there are two sets of these: Clear parts, the resin replacement forward engine section for the F2A-3 variant, instructions and decals: I'll be using the resin nose and building the USMC aircraft shown on the box cover, MF-15 of the Marine's VMF-221 squadron which was flown by Captain William Humberd in defence of Midway Island on 4th June 1942 in the course of which he claimed a Zero and a Kate destroyed and a second Kate as damaged. VMF-221's losses were terrible as their F2A-3's were underpowered, overweight and lacking in manoeuverability compared to the Zeroes that they faced. Most of the Marine pilots had little or no combat experience, but Captain Humberd survived the day and was awarded the Navy Cross; I haven't been able to find any reference to his subsequent career or later life. I was quite tempted to build the other box-art aircraft as I believe it was flown by Jimmy Thach and I have already built an Airfix Wildcat in the markings of the aircraft he flew, but I wanted to build a Dutch ML-KNIL (Royal Netherlands East Indies Air Force) - I had originally bought the Special Hobby boxing for this purpose: ...but having read that it is something of a challenging build (this being the politest way I can think of putting it) I chickened out; Bill 'Navy Bird' built a really lovely RAAF Buffalo I from the basically same kit, but I am no Navy Bird... I shall keep the kit and perhaps one day will be man enough to take it on, but in the meantime I will use some of the transfers to complete the second Hasegawa kit as a B-339C No.3100 as flown by Lt. August 'Guus' Diebel of 2-VLG-V based in Java in early December 1941. This unit was later moved to Singapore where the Dutch B-339's flew alongside the RAF and RAAF Buffaloes. Lt. Diebel claimed 2 Nate fighters in a Japanese raid on Singapore on 12th January 1942, though he was subsequently wounded and forced to bail out. He survived the war with three credited kills and in 1948 was awarded the Military William Order (the highest honour awarded by the Netherlands) but died in 1951 when the Gloster Meteor he was flying crashed at Uithuizen in the Netherlands. The aircraft in question is the top one shown on the back of the box: To build the kit as a B-339 I will need to replace the naval tailcone with the land-based version featuring a larger tailwheel - this is not provided by the kit but at some point I had bought the Quickboost replacement along with a couple of Eduard mask sets - good work, Past Me, your foresight is appreciated: The paint scheme for the USMC F2A-3 is USN Blue Gray over USN Light Gray, the interior will be Bronze Green, all by Sovereign Hobbies Colourcoats: For the Dutch aircraft the scheme was Oudblad (old leaf) and Jongblad (young leaf) with Aluminium-painted undersides. If I understand correctly Oudblad and Jongblad were Olive Drab 41 and what would become Medium Green 42 but I can't swear to it - fortunately for me Jamie of Sovereign Hobbies is a near-neighbour of my folks up in Aberdeen and some time ago as a result of some persistent wheedling, cajoling, whining and snivelling he got me a couple of samples of the colours in question: Close to a brownish OD and Medium Green, as it happens. These colours and the European Dutch LVA colours are not currently available but I think Sovereign will get a new batch made up at some point in the future. As noted above, the F2A-3 kit has a resin extended lenght nose to represent the 10-inch extension added to this variant to include additional fuel tankage... this requires some surgery to some of the kit parts, which I shall start with as if I am given the opportunity to mess something up I will usually take it and if I am to ruin everything I would rather do so before I have invested too much time and effort into the rest of the kit... Sorry for all the blurb and congratulations if you have made it this far Cheers, Stew
  8. Just noticed this new release from Mark I Models on Modelimex- a 1/144 Buffalo kit! They've released them as 2-in-1 packs in three different boxings for different variants with US, Finnish and Far East markings: http://www.4pluspublications.com/en/scale-model-kits/mkm14444-f2a-1-buffalo-b-239 http://www.4pluspublications.com/en/scale-model-kits/mkm14445-f2a-2-buffalo-b-339-usbelgian http://www.4pluspublications.com/en/scale-model-kits/mkm14446-buffalo-mki-b-339-far-east Wonder if there are any injected 1/144 Ki-27 or Ki-43 kits for potential dogfight doubles...
  9. Buffalo C-46 crashed

    I found out recently that Buffalo Airways' C-46 C-GTXW crashed on Sept 25 2015. She is said to be a write off. Here's the accident report. http://aviation-safety.net/database/record.php?id=20150925-0 Very sad for me because I remember this plane well when she worked for Air Manitoba as "Ancient Lady" until the late '90s along with a few others, DC-3s and HS-748s. I saw her a lot back then thundering low over Winnipeg. I looked on googlemaps at Deline NWT and it looks like a C-46 shape minus wings parked off the runway next to a lodge a short distance from the runway, just very blurry since it's rural.
  10. All, After lurking for a long time with the occasional RFI post I thought I'd share my latest build as it progresses. Hopefully, there will be some shared learning along the way. Ok, the kit. I spotted this a local show for £10, being an airframe I've had my an eye on for a while it was coming home with me. The plastic within is well moulded, if a little thick and quite hard. The surface detail is good the rivets appear in scale and not too over the top. This actually causes my first concern, undoubtedly I'm going to lose some of those rivets, how to reinstate them??? Ok, what I'm aiming for.... I normally stick to military aircraft but being a fan of Ice Pilots I was instantly attracted to this aircraft. So off we go. I've decided to open up the tanks and the crew door. I've replaced the lost plastic around the crew door with some poly strips, I'll think of adding some detail later. The water tank doors are too thick so I'll build up replacements later. Close up of the doors. I'll have to think how to get the raised rivets back on the replacement doors, but otherwise they should be straight forward. Before that I need to build up the water tanks. This won't do... The actual tanks look like this.... I've done some work on the crew door, tidied the window frame and started the work on the tank. I'll be focusing on the tank for the immediate future as this needs to be done before I can close up the fuselage. The tanks are progressing and should look ok once in situ... That's all for now.... Family duty awaits!
  11. Evening folks,with the 1/72 stash reduced to the being built Halifax and Lancaster and a yet un-started Boston I was perusing the hallowed pages of King Kit,s sale items and picked up a Trumpeter Il 28 Beagle(I know) ! for the silly sum of six quid,I normally order at around the Twenty quid mark so after Airfix's Widcat build thought I would give the Hobbyboss easy kit a go in the early yellow wings scheme so to make up the rest I ordered the Little Buffalo also in a pre-war scheme.Now I know these kits get some stick but for ease of building and general quality they're not half bad and quick to go together which suit;s me as that;s the part I like! So here's the boxes and tomorrow when I get the light I will post the sprue's etc. And for six Quid the Trumpeter Beagle is a cracking kit too!
  12. And the next build begins. This is the 1/35 Buffalo by Bronco with Slat or Bar armour, the 2nd of 3 versions of this vehicle they have done. From WikipediaThe Buffalo vehicle was designed based on the successful South African Casspir mine-protected vehicle.[2] While the Casspir is a four wheeled vehicle, the Buffalo has six wheels. Buffalo is also fitted with a large articulated arm, used for ordnance disposal. Both vehicles incorporate a "V" shaped monohull chassis that directs the force of the blast away from the occupants.[3] Buffalo is also now equipped with BAE Systems' LROD cage armor for additional protection against RPG-7 anti-tank rounds.[4] Glass armor is sufficient at 6 inches thickness. Run-flat tires are present in all tires. The Buffalo combines ballistic and blast protection with infrared technology to detect the presence of dangerous ordnance and a robotic arm to disable the explosive ordnance. Personnel operate the Buffalos 30-foot robotic arm and claw from within the armoured hull via a mounted camera and sensory equipment, to safely dispose of mines and IEDs. Inside the box are 13 tan sprues, 4 clear sprues, a large PE fret, 8 wheels, 2 halves of the hull and decals and twine for cables etc. It's also a very big vehicle. A lot longer than the RG-31 and that's not counting the arm! Started on the suspension. This will be a very slow build as there are a lot of tiny parts and while fit is good I think they have over-complicated the construction. The parts are all nicely molded with no flash and minimal seam lines but there are hundreds of parts....even just cleaning off the sprue joins is going to be a slow, delicate and laborious process. So if you're interested in following this build be prepared for a long haul!
  13. Hi mates, Time for a new project. My New Year's resolution, besides killing my cancer, is to NOT take five months to build a model (like my recent PB4Y-1 and DAP Beaufort builds)! So I figured that a smaller model won't take as long - enter the Brewster Buffalo. The Buffalo is a dichotomy in many ways. The earlier versions were superior to the latter, "improved" versions, and the kill ratio was actually quite good even though it had a reputation as a "flying coffin." In the hands of the Finns, the Brewster proved to be a formidable opponent indeed. The legacy that the Brewster was responsible for the loss of Singapore had more to do with it being vastly outnumbered by the Japanese, and it being flown by relatively inexperienced pilots, unlike its opponents. And like many of the early war aeroplanes, it was essentially obsolete by the time the war really got going. Further evolution of the Buffalo was not possible, as its manufacturer was caught in an export scandal, taken over by the US Navy, and relinquished to building sub-assemblies for Grumman, etc. The successes of the Buffalo in combat says a lot about the courage and tenacity of the youngsters tasked with strapping into it every day. So let's build one of these tubby little buggers, eh? The Special Hobby kit consists of short-run injection moulded plastic, beautiful resin cast parts, but strangely no photoetch like most of their kits. No matter, I had enough photoetch for a while on my Beaufort build! First, the scene of the crime (Memsahib has cleaned up the workbench since the finish of the Beaufort!): Here are the "traditional" raw materials: And the resin - this, in my opinion, is where this kit really shines. The resin is superb, very nicely cast, and will add a huge amount of detail. Since this is a short run kit, it will have some characteristics that, quite frankly, prevent it from being built the same way a mainstream kit would be. For instance, the resin sidewalls can't be attached until you remove this rather large pour lug (I think that's what these are, due to the low pressure injection moulding technique used.) You could say this is poor design, but I wouldn't because I'm not a plastic moulding engineer. I have no idea why the lug needed to be right there. In any event, it's easily removed, in my case with a Dremel tool. Another thing you notice right away is that there are no alignment pegs. When this is of biggest concern is when you're assembling all the pieces of the cockpit and the area where the landing gear retract, which also contains the engine bearers. The instructions do not do a very good job of telling you what goes where. But that is why we are modellers, right? It's like a puzzle with no picture on the box! To solve this equation with multiple unknowns, I look for a part that I consider to be the "keystone." In other words, a part that can only go in one spot, and then build out from there. In the case of the Buffalo, I chose the forward cockpit bulkhead/firewall (we'll call it a firewall) because it has the scalloped recesses for the tyres when the gear is retracted, and these have to align with the cut-outs in the lower forward fuselage. Here is the firewall, this being the side that faces the engine: Uh-oh! Welcome to another fun part of the short-run world - notice any difference between the scalloped area on the left and the one on the right? Me too - the mould has been damaged, and it looks like a big piece of crud is now obscuring the scalloped area on the right. Again, easily solved with a ball-end grinding tool on your Dremel. You need to be on the lookout for this kind of stuff. Special Hobby have released the Buffalo in several different variants. I'll be building the Model B339E, or the Buffalo Mk.I. The 339E had a different fuselage structure right at the very end, and you have to cut away the one that's there (which is correct for a US Navy F2A-1) and add the 339E appendage, which is more like a tail cone. All cuts are along existing panel lines: Now let's add the keystone (you'll notice that I removed the crud): Next, I glued the rudder pedals onto the bottom of the instrument panel, and in doing so Mr. Fumble Thumbs managed to break off the coaming, which was more delicate than I expected. I got out my usual superglue, Zap-A-Gap (gotta love that name) and something quite odd happened. It didn't work. No stick. (I tested the Zap-A-Gap on some plastic to see if maybe the glue was bad, and it worked fine.) For some reason, this particular resin is impervious to Zap-A-Gap. Much strangeness, I think. I then tried one of the new "alpha" cyanoacrylate adhesives, in this case Max 1 from Germany, and it worked fine. A little putty and all is well. The forward bulkhead (we'll call it that) will have the resin engine on the front, and the supercharger on the back. In-between the firewall and the forward bulkhead are the engine bearers, or mounts, as well as some components for the retractable landing gear. Here the instructions are quite nebulous. A clue, and an important one at that, are the four small indentations on the back side of the forward bulkhead, for this is where all those engine bearers should attach: I don't believe there was a solid bulkhead in the actual aeroplane. The raised ring around the outside of this piece is meant to represent the exhaust collector (the Buffalo had two exhaust outlets, one on each side of the lower cowling). The resin supercharger chamber will mount to the center of the smaller embossed ring. The lower area with the mesh screen effect moulded in is the oil cooler. Assembling the engine bearers so that they will attach to the four small holes leaves us with this: Welcome to short run modelling, part three. The two lower engine bearers are considerably too long, and protrude in the front beyond where the forward bulkhead should be. Notice the pencil line that I drew in the fuselage? This is where the forward bulkhead goes. For some reason, there is a raised edge on the port fuselage half to indicate this, but Special Hobby neglected to continue that edge on this half. No matter, my pencil worked just fine! A quick snip of the side cutters and the lower bearers are now the correct length. Next, I added the fuselage side panels using the Max 1 superglue (this stuff bites almost immediately so be very careful in your placement!): I aligned the top edge of the sidewall with the top of the fuselage. I'm pretty sure this is the correct way - we'll find out soon! At this stage, I did a dry run of the two fuselage halves, and the front of the cowling. I wanted to know if the firewall was going to need some sanding in order for the two halves to close. The answer is yes, if you want the fuselage halves to close. But thank goodness I also taped on the front of the cowling, because I found something REALLY strange. The bottom seam is closed, as is the top seam back by the tail. The circumference of the front cowling is aligned with the fuselage all the way around. What on earth is on top of the forward fuselage?? It's a gap. A big gap. The mother-in-law of all gaps. Gaposis Extremis. The "It's Bigger Than The Fulda Gap" Gap. This can't be right. If I sand the firewall so that the fuselage halves close all around, then the front of the cowling will be too large. Let's try another test, and see how the canopy parts fit (since it's almost always easier to make the fuselage fit the canopies than the other way around). Guess what? With everything as shown in the above picture, the canopies fit quite nicely indeed. The width seem just right, for the windscreen, the sliding portion, and the rear fixed portion. If I closed up the Gap, the canopies will be too wide. Pardon my French, but WTF? I compared to some 1:72 scale drawings I have (of unknown providence and accuracy) and the above configuration lined up well. In other words, the size of the front cowling matched the width of the drawings. The port fuselage half lined up well with the side view drawing. I test fit the instrument panel, and for it to be in its proper position, the Gap must be present. If I closed up the Gap, I would have to remove an equal amount of material from the sides of the instrument panel. Uh, no, don't really want to do that. Same goes for the seat support. And the forward bulkhead fits fine, with the Gap as shown. I pulled my Hasegawa Finnish Model 239 Buffalo out of my stash (and it was on the bottom!). I measured the width of the front cowling - 18.9mm. I measured the width of the Special Hobby front cowling - 19.0mm. A difference of 0.1mm (.004"). This is negligible - for all intents and purposes, the two kits are the same. (The Hasegawa and Special Hobby fuselage halves line up well, too. The lower window is about 0.5mm farther forward on the Hasegawa kit, though.) I can only conclude one thing. Somebody at Special Hobby had an "Oops" moment. OK, so be it, we can fix it! I have styrene, putty, and Max 1 superglue! I can conquer the Buffalo! Stayed tuned for another exciting episode of "Short Run Modelling - Your Pathway to Going Postal with Plastic!" Cheers, Bill PS. Ah, I forgot about the markings. What colour the RAF Buffaloes were painted seems to be endlessly controversial. Not wanting to initiate yet another five or six pages of debate, I want to say that my choices for the camouflage colours will be chosen according to this theory: The RAF Buffaloes were painted in DuPont equivalents of MAP Dark Green and Dark Earth, with the undersides in DuPont equivalents of MAP Night and MAP Sky. The fuselage band and spinner will be in MAP Sky Blue, assuming these were applied in theatre. The cockpit was painted in DuPont equivalent of British Cockpit Grey Green, from the firewall to the aft end of the cockpit. Beyond those areas the inside of the fuselage was aluminum lacquer. The main landing gear legs, as well as the scalloped recesses for the tyres, were painted in the underside colour (although the legs may have been in the camouflage colour, there is much debate about this). The engine bearers, retraction struts, etc. were aluminum lacquer. That's it, that's my decision relative to the colours. Is this scheme accurate? I have no clue. But, I think it will look nice and it's a reasonable theory, at least as reasonable as any other theory.
  14. This is one of my earlier builds finished as early as 1999. The level of painting and weathering leaves something to be desired being obviously below that of my more recent models presented here and the colours might be somewhat controversial in the light of new information, which became available since then. Nevertheless, as it seems not to be really a lot of NL-KNIL B-339 builds around and I was pretty busy doing all that extra detail, I still dare to present it to your attention: Brewster Model 339C B-3110, 2-VLG-V, ML-KNIL, Singapore, January 1942, flown by Kapt. J.P. Van Helsdingen Kit: 1/72 Hasegawa F2A-2 Buffalo "U.S. Navy"Afermarket sets : Eduard #72-233 photo-etched detail set Hobby Plus navigation lights, wire Decals: Aeromaster # 72- 146 "Buffalo Collection Part II" Modifications to convert F2A-2 to a Dutch B-339C: the tail fuselage cone with arresting hook was replaced with the longer and more pointed one (without a hook ) featured on land-based a/c; a fixed tailwheel mounting with a larger wheel was installed instead of the retractable one with a small wheel; cuffs were removed from the Curtiss Electric propeller blades (although the kit does provide the uncuffed blades as well, but these are Hamilton Standard referred to be used with a B-239 and therefore don’t fit to the Dutch version, being first of all just too short); the area behind the cockpit under the canopy was simplified as the navy equipment (liferaft, RDF loop etc.) used on F2A-2 wasn’t installed on B-339 the straight pitot tube on the starboard wing was replaced by an ‘L’ shaped pitot tube. Other corrections/additions/replacements: wing panel lines were not very accurate and were so filled in with superglue and then rescribed according to the available photos; only one landing light (on the port wing undersurface) is required on this version of Buffalo, so the second one provided in the kit was just mounted in place, the seam was filled and then everything was sanded and polished to be later just painted off; wing, rudder and elevator trailing edges were thinned the wheel wells were corrected and extra detailed as they should look like on the real a/c; the fuselage interior seen through the wheel wells was almost totally empty in the kit, so a lot of details were added there; air intakes at the top and bottom of the engine cowling were represented as just holes und had therefore to be deepened by cementing plastic pieces behind that holes followed by drilling them and scribing the correct tunnels. navigation&formation lights were replaced with transparent ones. the machine gun barrels were made of hypodermic needles.
  15. I am now in with this little fella:- Purchased for 1 euro last November, which is about 82 pence. So well within the tenner allowance.... It is one of Matchbox's familiar creations, and gives two options for markings - a RNZAF bird in Singapore in October 1941, and a Dutch plane from the Militaire Luchvaat in the Dutch East Indies in December 1941. I plan to do the RNZAF version, as it is more interesting, especially with the dual colour underside.... It's a fairly simple kit, with only two sprues and a clear canopy:- As with many of the Matchbox kits, the plastic comes in two colours, but luckily in this case the two colours are dark green and brown, and not bright green like the Spitfire! The decals look to be usable too, which is nice given the age of the kit (the box says 1974 - so it's about 40 years old). If not, then I should be able to cobble together something from the spares tray (another reason not to opt for the Dutch version, as I have none of those....) However, I plan to paint the sky fuselage band, rather than risk it with that decal. I'll make a start next week. Thanks for looking! Philip
  16. Good day, gentlemen. Let me present to you my latest work. F2A-3 Buffalo (BN01553), pilot Capt.William C.Humberd, VMF-221, Midway, June 1942
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