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Found 333 results

  1. I thought I'd tuck this in as a mark of intent for the next build, although I don't intend any serious work commencing on it for at least a week or so yet: Italeri's Fairchild C-119 G Boxcar from 1985. I think this is going to be fun, and slakes two of my particular thirsts - cameras in the sky and in orbit - so let me explain.... Backstory 'When Harmon touched the capsule, he jerked his hand back because it was hot. Then he touched the capsule again and it wasn't really hot, but it was quite warm...Harmon was the first person on Earth to feel the heat of reentry.' Corona Star Catchers, p.88 As the Cold War developed throughout the 1950s, the increasing vulnerability of aircraft to interception led the US to foster 'national technical means' in order to conduct surveillance of the USSR (amongst other targets) from orbit. This led to the inception of the Corona program. This first generation of US spy satellites - more accurately referred to by their 'Keyhole' security designation eg. KH-4 - were film-based (this was long before any digital downlink capability for imagery remember) and faced the non-trivial problem of returning the exposed film back to Earth from orbit for development and analysis. Think the beginning of the film Ice Sation Zebra and you get the idea. After a succession of problems, the first operational 'take' was returned to Earth in August of 1960. Initial resolution was in the range of 35-40 feet (depending on atmospheric conditions) but over the course of the decade this resolution drastically improved with each successive generation of KH imagery. The Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum has some quite exceptional KH-4 images in high resolution here:[set_name]=Corona Program Exhibit Posters Collection These will let you see both the improvement over time in resolution, as well as the scale of the context images in relation to enlarged sections. There's an evocative contemporary USAF film here that gives an example mission profile: What I'm going to do here is turn the 'G' kit version into a 'J' version that was used to collect the returned film buckets in mid-air. You can see this terminal part of the mission illustrated here: Although this is a later graphic showing the C-130, the procedure for the C-119 was effectively identical. The aircraft I intend building is 'Pelican 9' (s/n 51-8037), flown by Capt. Harold E. Mitchell, responsible for the first successful Corona film bucket collection. The National Reconaissance Office maintains a decent online Corona archive here: which includes an excellent oral history of the recovery crews who flew these missions: The best book in print currently on the Corona missions is Eye in the Sky: The Story of the Corona Spy Satellites, ed. Dwayne A. Day Although thoroughly researched it is a typical aerospace history in being drily technocratic and lacking any real critical perspectives on events. William Burrows' Deep Black provides a useful (and more readable) historical account of the transition from aircraft to orbital reconnaissance systems. For basic information on 'Pelican 9' I'm relying on the excellent Aerofax volume Fairchild C-82 Packet and C-119 Flying Boxcar, by Alwyn T. Lloyd, as well as the Starcatchers publication listed above, this latter volume has some superb interior shots of the rear of the recovery planes, showing details of the recovery gear that I've not seen anywhere else. The aircraft itself is currently preserved at the National Museum of the US Air Force: Now a little about the kit: I bought this second-hand off a gentleman online who had packed it immaculately between layers of Co-op paper: A gert big instruction booklet and canary yellow decal sheet (which I probably won't use anything from): The runners: Notice anything missing in the above shot btw? No wings! I just had a mild coronary until I dashed back to the box and found them under the bottom layer of paper which I hadn't turned over. Not an auspicious start! I'm not sure yet how accurate some of that interior is, so the jury's open on how much will still be there by the end. Same for what's up inside the front end (along with some tasty sink marks...) Is that a bullwhip on the port side behind those fire extinguishers? The engines are less than over-whelming however. As the kit is a 'G variant that would make these Wright R-3350s, which would also be suitable for the version I intend building I think. I'm not happy with the way these look here however - I'm wanting to replace one of them with one of these from Aerolines for a reveal possibly: However, I'm throwing this open to the floor for any eagle-eyed engine experts to correct me if that's wrong in relation to this: It's kind of hard to tell... This is also going to be a lot bigger than I imagined! A glimpse down the dance hall: There's going to be some fun kitting this out for sure. Look at all those bloody windows though... Gawd...lots to pop out later. Aside from doing something about the engines if I can, the biggest tasks are to built a new 'J' ahem beaver-tail instead of the 'G' ahemahemclam-shell rear door, build new aerial arrays for the nose, and do up the interior with all the various booms, winches, platforms, collection drum etc. I had toyed with some kind of 'capture' scenario with the aircraft it in flight dramatically snagging the parachute in the trailing wires: but it would just be too big to store anywhere with the chute dangling backwards from the booms. I'll need to go through the kit in greater detail now and start comparing it to references shots in order to do up a job list. Thanks for reading! Tony
  2. Introduction This thread was started intending to unite those interested in building the Fiat 806 based on thorough research and photogrammetry. See also the great Fiat 806 Gangshow build album. In the current thread there will be (at least I hope people will post) extensive research on the original car, photographs, drawings, literature and archives. Beside that the thread will feature scratchbuilding progress based on the findings. Perhaps in the future there could be exchanges of resin molded scratch parts, just like Vontrips kindly did with the tyres (for example: body panels / grille?) Index To start off I have gone through all of the Gangshow topic and I indexed all knowhow. Best way to use it: click a link, go back and click the next link etc. Or open the links in a separate browser tab. Each link represents one post only, so it's better to only read that post, come back to the index and click the next link. The index was created having in mind those who are about to work on a certain subject, such as the steering wheel. For the index, see end of this opening post. Visual reference material First a legal disclaimer. All images are used for educational and referential purposes. Copyrights lie with the copyright holders. Centro Storico Fiat is probably the original copyright holder of many of these images. Centro Storico's website can be accessed here and here. It has a Facebook page here. Be sure to have a look at their great collection of photos of classic Fiat and Lancia cars. Centro Storico also has frequent Twitter updates featuring photographs, see here. Drawing 6 was found here. All copyrights of the photos / screenshots 10-19 lie with Cinecitta Luce. My presentation of the low-definition photos on this forum is just for reference and educational purposes, for the purpose of a hobby. I do not have a corporate license for the use of these images. If at any point in time Cinecitta Luce wishes these pictures removed I will remove them upon first request. The pictures are not to be reproduced on another website or another written work. Please, all, respect Cinecitta Luce's copyrights. Their website is to be found here. All rights to Photo 9 lie with Fotogeca Gilardi, see here. There you can inquire about the cost to purchase a license of a full-scale version of Photo 9. Some pictures of the Fiat 806, such as Photo 1, Photo 2, Drawing 2, Drawing 3 and Drawing 6, are larger than shown here. To enlarge, right-click on the picture and choose 'open new tab', then click on the picture on the new tab. Photo 1A Photo 1AA Photo 1B Photo 2 Photo 3 Photo 4A Photo 4B Photo 5 Photo 6A Photo 6B Photo 7A Photo 7B Photo 7C Photo 7D Photo 7E Photo 7F Photo 8A Photo 8B Photo 9 Photo 10 Photo 11 Photo 12 Photo 13 Photo 14 Photo 15 Photo 16 Photo 17 Photo 18 Photo 19 Photo 20 Photo 21 Photo 22 Photo 23A Photo 23B Photo 23C Photo 24 Photo 25 Photo 26 Photo 27 Photo 28A Photo 28B Documentary These are the contents of the documentary (references in this overview), insofar most relevant for the Fiat 806. A full transcription, with correct chronology, is to be found here. 01:01 - Fiat 806 (#15), front view, being cleaned. Grille shape, car width, front wheel camber, steer linkage, tyre width, manual crank opening position, suspension position, metal wind shield are shown. No number '15' visible on radiator or bonnets. No dent (compare photo 9) visible. There is symmetry in bonnet bulges. 03:14 - Fiat 806 (#15) is pushed toward the start line, for the start of heat 2. All numbers '15' have been applied. There is no dent in the radiator housing. Moments after this video was filmed, Photos 4 and 10 were taken. 03:22 - Fiat 806 (#15) is seen from the left, close-up. The 'rear wheel louvres', exhaust pipe-to-body connector, steering wheel, seat (with rain cover?), gas cap, left hand body lining, glass window, mechanical windshield and rear number '15' are seen up close. 05:12 - Close-up of the Fiat 806 (#15). The left bonnet and part of the '5' is seen. There is a rain cover over the glass window. 05:15 - Low side view of the Fiat 806 (#15). This is the lowest view we have of this car to date, which makes it very valuable to assess the height of the wheels in comparison to that of the body. This is final proof that the body was indeed significantly lower than Drawing 1 and the kit would imply. Left to the Fiat, there is the Bugatti 35C (#24) driven by Aymo Maggi. Only one umbrella is up so there can't be too much rain at this point. 05:22 - The start of the final heat. The Fiat 806 is gloriously captured spurting away. Two days ago someone said in this thread 'what I'd give to have seen this care race'... probably this is as close as we're going to get at that. It is great to be able to witness this wonderful day in September 1927. For our research this scene is relevant mainly because Bordino steers his car a bit, so that it is seen from different views - in ONE camera shot. That is very fortunate. 05:41 - At Curva Sud, the Fiat 806 is seen in first position. 07:07 - Fiat 806 is seen up-close, from the right side this time. The glass screen is now very well seen. Also the tyre pattern, for example. The metallic windscreen is seen as well. Drawing 1A Drawing 1B Drawing 2A Drawing 2B Drawing 2C (Next is the straightened, rotated and rescaled version; one of the original versions can be found here and the Gimp file of the upgrade can be found here) Amended Drawing 2 v9. The Gimp file can be downloaded here. Drawing 2D To use this Drawing 2C for scratchbuilding (or comparing) the frame, see here. Drawing 2E This Drawing is only to be used for researching and checking details that are not to be found on Drawing 2A, Drawing 2B or Drawing 2C. I strongly advise against using it for measurement purposes because it consists of several photos of the blueprint 'glued' together. Drawing 3 Drawing 4 Drawing 5 Drawing 6 Drawing 7 Drawing 8 Engine Drawing 1 Engine Drawing 2 Engine Drawing 3 Engine Drawing 4 Engine Drawing 5 Engine Drawing 6 Photogrammetry 1 Photogrammetry 2 Photogrammetry 3 Photogrammetry 4 Photogrammetry 5 Photogrammetry 6 Model 1: Model 2 The hereunder index is updated up to & including: November 10 2016 BODY AND GRILLE - Hood hinges, see also here and here and here and here and here - Replacing the louvres, see also here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here - Grille color, see also here - Body color, see also here CAR GENERAL SHAPE RESEARCH, INCLUDING PHOTOGRAMMETRY - General body shape photogrammetry, see also here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here - Comparing two photos, see also here - Body should be lower (and other changes), see also here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here - Grille changes, see also here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here - Cutaway drawing accuracy, see also here and here[ and here CHASSIS, FRAME AND SUSPENSION - Amending springs, see also here and here and here - Turning dampers, see also here and here GENERAL KNOWLEDGE ON CAR AND TECHNIQUES - Colors, steering wheel, windscreen - Engine, radiator, grille - Color of rails, see also here - Photos of pre-war race cars details, see also here - Article about vintage car paint, wired wheels et cetera - 3D-printing, see also here and here - Upcoming 1:1 Fiat 806 replica? ENGINE - General engine corrections, steering idler arm correction, see also here and here and here - New filler cap - Engine sump, see also here - Casting engine covers, see also here and here - Spark plugs, see also here and here and here and here - Plug leads and wiring, see also here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here - Fill certain gaps?, see also here and here and here and here - Correcting cylinder head ends - Correcting PVC tubes, see also here - Collector tubes?, see also here and here and here and here and here - Correct stand 121D - Valve springs EXHAUST - Exhaust issues - Color of exhaust INTERIOR, EXCEPT STEERING WHEEL - Gear shift - Instrument panel: turning gauge bezels, see also here and here and here STEERING WHEEL - Steering wheel boss replacement, 12 or 16 holes in wheel, see also here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here - New spokes - Transparent part, see also here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here - General steering wheel amendments, see also here Ignition timing lever and brodie knob, see also here and here and here and here and here and here - Steering column, see also here WHEELS AND DRUM BRAKES - Spoke count, see also here and here and here - Respoking and nipples, see also here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here - Spoke color - Drum size photogrammetry - Comparison Protar and Italeri wheels - Color of drum brakes and wheels - Creating a mold - Newly cast tyre, see also here and here - Replacement drums, see also here and here and here and here and here - Adding cooling vents to drums and here Things to do 1. Visit Centro Storico Fiat (after approval, hopefully January 2017). Roy. 2. Check with Fiat Powertrain Technologies regarding blueprints (reminder). Roy 3. Check with Cinecitta Luce regarding Photos 10 and 11 and possibly survived original film reel (reminder). Roy. 4. Check with Museum of Speed, Monza (reminder). Roy. 5. Try to get a flatter version of Photo 21 (Olivier could you follow this up, or could you tell me the contact that sent you?) Olivier. 6. Try to get a larger version of Photo 22 Olivier. 7. Ask if there is more to Literature Excerpt 1 (A. Tito Anselmi's book) which I'm almost 100% sure there is. Try to get the remainder Olivier. 8. Ask who is the author of Literature Excerpt 2 and if there were no more than two pages. If there is more, to try getting the remainder Olivier. 9. Contact author of Literature Excerpt 1, asking him about sources. Yet unknown. 10. Contact author of Literature Excerpt 2, asking him about his sources. Yet unknown. 11. Please feel free to add to this list (=tell me) the loose ends you guys are waiting for. All.
  3. Italeri is to release a 1/32nd Lockheed-Martin F-35A Lightning II kit in 2017- ref.2506 Sources: V.P.
  4. In 2017 Italeri will reissue the North American XB-70 Valkyrie kit Source: The kit lineage: V.P.
  5. The M13/40 entered service in 1940 to replace the M.11/39 as the standard Italian medium tank. It was a definite improvement over the M.11/39 it replaced but during the Western Desert campaigns of 1940 the M.13/40 was found lacking in firepower and armour protection. The Italian 47mm gun compared favourably with the British 2 pounder and the M.13/40 was able to hold its own against the British "cruiser" tanks; however against the heavily armoured Matilda "infantry" tanks it was practically helpless, the Matilda being nearly immune to the 47mm gun at all but close range. 799 were built, but they were phased out of service in 1942 when replaced by the M14/41. Mine carries the markings of the Royal Australian Army, 6th Australian Cavalry, Libya, June 1942, having been captured at Tobruk.
  6. After the LRDG raided Kufra in 1941 the Italians set in motion a plan for dealing with allied incursions behind their lines, calling on their "colonial" experience of 30 years in Libya they formed a specialist group of desert veterans to hunt down the British raiders. They had extensively detailed maps and training in desert navigation. In 1941 a special vehicle designed for this task was requested. It was required to be fast, well armed and able to operate over long distances. Viberti of Turin (a division of SPA, of the FIAT motor group) produced the Sahariana AS-42 from this brief and the first vehicles were delivered in late 1942 and went into action from November 29. This one is of Regio Esercito, Raggruppamento Sahariano, Tunisia, early 1943, and is manned by Wee Friends WWII Axis Sahariana Crew with Alternative Heads (WFM76003).
  7. 2nd Company, 3rd Platoon, Regio Esercito, Libya, 1942.
  8. Italeri is to release a new tool 1/32nd MRCA Tornado GR.4 kit in 2017-2018 - ref. 2513 Source: V.P.
  9. This has been on the back-burner for a while, and I have decided that this also needs to be completed. I have had the kit for a considerable while. The box: I have read a couple of builds and they reported that it's an easy to put together kit, bit it has some minor issues. The rear wheels, for example tend to extend beyond the wheel arches. So, being forewarned, I will tackle that when I get nearer to completion. So for the present, here is where I have got: The body has already been painted, and is not too bad. The engine is partially assembled. None of the turbos or inter-coolers are attached yet. The rear sub-frame is primed and ready to get the top coat. I'm going to paint the wish-bones either aluminium or gold. I have the Tamiya Titanium Gold, so I may use that. The lump: The drive belt on the original was poorly moulded on the front. So, I carefully routed out the moulded on drive belt, then put a slightly more realistic belt and pulleys on. The belt is made from a strip of 5 thou evergreen styrene. Shame it'll all be hidden when installed! The body shell: and the floor-pan: I'm hoping to move this along at a slightly faster pace. Thanks for looking, Alan.
  10. Hello Chaps, Two days ago, I completed my latest "Hairy Stick" build- the Italeri 1/72 scale F-16 A/B NATO Falcon. This kit is discontinued and was tooled new in 1980, and in between was repackaged a few times with new box art, new parts and decals, but never new tooling. So, the tooling is 37 yrs old, but I have to say that it was pretty decent. The parts had nice fine recessed panel lines, a reasonably detailed cockpit that included two plain seats each within their own tub that had side consoles. Two instrument panels were included, but nothing else. I decided to dress up the cockpit a little, by adding 35 scratch-built parts (crude as they may be), plus adding 14 pieces of decals to the 4 side consoles and 1 to each instrument panel from my spares box. Scratch-built parts included the following: 4 pedals, 4 pedal mount brackets, 8 sections of seat-belt (4 to each seat), 2 ejector pull handles, 2 oxygen bottles (1 to each seat), 2 HUD side bracket mounts, 2 HUD lenses, 1 canopy actuator cylinder and 1 canopy actuator swing brace, 4 ejector seat guide rails (2 to each seat), 1 rear and 2 front wall sections around the Pilots seat and 1 upper wall section behind the Pilot's seat to locate the canopy actuator mechanism, and, 1 rear wall section behind the second seat. Decals were included for the two instrument panels but not for the 4 side consoles. The decals were very good- Cartograf, printed in Italy, with markings for 4 options- 2 single seat "A" version Falcons and 2 Two Seat "B" version Falcons. I chose to model a two seat version in the markings of a Royal Dutch Air Force 313th Sqn aircraft # J270. The kit went together pretty well with just small amounts of filler at wing to fuselage joints, nose to fuselage joint and vertical fin to fuselage joint. The undercarriage was rock solid for this scale of kit, so no concerns about it flexing and/or breaking. The kit also included some nice under-wing stores: 2 extra long range fuel tanks, 1 center-line fuselage fuel tank, 2 AIM 9 Sidewinder Missiles, 2 AIM-120 AMRAAM missiles (1 on each wing-tip) and 4 WCMD 420kg bombs. Overall, I had a lot of fun with this kit and it looks like a pretty decent representation of a F-16B. After building and brush painting 7 models since November 2016, it's time for a break to make a start on a man-cave at my new house so that I can begin to build larger kits and airbrush them again! I hope you enjoy the following photos, wherein the last one includes a US Quarter coin to give an idea of scale..... If you'd like to watch any or all of my build and "Final Reveal" videos for this build, then here are the links to those: "Build Update #1" "Build Update #" video: "Build Update #3" video: "Final Reveal" video: Thanks in advance for taking a look and leaving any comments, greatly appreciated! In the meantime, happy modeling guys and have fun doing it! Cheers, Martin
  11. A close inspection from the soon to be released 1/32nd Italeri's Mirage IIIC sprues pics ( show clearly the typical MIIIE wheel brakes as an option. A new variant in view? Time will tell. V.P.
  12. Altough I have BigE on the table i decided to start another model during holidays. This time I moved away from ships and straships and chosed Italeri F-35A Lightning II in 1/72 scale. Here's few pictures of box and it's content Box Two bigger sprues ( A & B )and little one (C) with clear parts. Decals Instructions Model will be out of the box without any aftermarket. I choosed Gunze aqua colors and I am not really a modern aircraft expert (or any aircraft ) so i decided to trust Italeri's color hints I hope you will like it, more pictures soon
  13. Something a bit different this time, it is the Italeri re-pop of the Kinetic Thunderstreak, with a Quickboost nose intake. The underside is so colourful I wanted to display it so this is my attempt. I need to find a way to get the plane level on the stand but other than that it is finished.
  14. Hi,here's the latest build. Had some difficulty with the canopy to nose section which I think can be quite typical of Italeri helicopter kits! Added a little scratch building in the cockpit - the kit cries out for some etched brass and resin updates. Painted in a mix of Tamiya greens, weathered with some pigments, a little paint chipping and some random gloss black spots on top to represent oil drips. Anyway it was a challenging but enjoyable (in the end) build of something that's not often built from what I can see. Cheers Italeri 1/48 OH-58D Kiowa by bryn robinson, on Flickr Italeri 1/48 OH-58D Kiowa by bryn robinson, on Flickr Italeri 1/48 OH-58D Kiowa by bryn robinson, on Flickr Italeri 1/48 OH-58D Kiowa by bryn robinson, on Flickr Italeri 1/48 OH-58D Kiowa by bryn robinson, on Flickr Italeri 1/48 Bell OH-58D Kiowa by bryn robinson, on Flickr Italeri 1/48 Bell OH-58D Kiowa by bryn robinson, on Flickr
  15. Hi there, this is my old 1/72 F-5A from Italeri. I opened the gun bay and scratched build the M39 from hypodermic needles and small pieces of plastic. I also used a resin seat to add realism to the cockpit. Base is from Coastal Kits. Many thanks for looking.
  16. Thanks Andrew : Italeri is to release in 2014 (2015?) a new tool 1/48 Piasecki H-21 Shawnee "Flying Banana" kit - ref.2733 Source: V.P.
  17. I'll join in with this. italeri 1/72 kit and S&M decals. Will be building a Wessex 60, operated by Bristow but not the one on the decal sheet - instead it will be "G-ATSC" placed an order for some PE & some reference books. Already started fettling the nose intake area; would like to finish my S-61N before focussing on this but will see how things go... cheers Aaron
  18. Hi Pals, I finish working with this model. I have seen that it is a fairly simple kit, without major problems for assembly, with acceptable instructions. As a bonus, you can make several versions, just before the Paladin appears. Although this is an old kit, modestly I think that you could still get a good result, (I am reasonably happy with it), the only thing that gave me headaches were the main pieces of the turret and helmet, as they were crooked , I imagine that by the passage of time, and the worst, the tracks, which when they were already in place, split, where the hardest (in the curve), although I was able to rectify it quite well. I have chosen to make a version in Vietnam, because although the kit does not bring that option, I saw some photos (which I include) about this, I liked it a lot. Thanks to my box of spare parts, it was not a problem. I thank as always all fellows of the forum who have accompanied me in the assembly process and encouraged me with their comments to improve / continue. I include a link to the WIP section, in case someone is interested in seeing the post. I wish you all a Merry Christmas! (If possible ... lol) Some shots in detail.... And some pictures of real model in Vietman (ALL PHOTOS ARE ONLY FOR INFORMATIVE PURPOSES, AND ALL LEGAL RIGHTS BELONG TO YOUR LEGITIMATE OWNERS)
  19. Here we are - this is a fun build I started to have a go at some weathering on. My Lightning wasn't going well at the time, so I decided to do something simple and fun, and get something finished. I chose a spitfire, and was delighted that a beer keg carrying spitfire was available. Now - I know Spitfires are a VERY popular subject, and that I have a number of errors here.Sorry about that for the major enthusiasts, feel free to point out inaccuracies, I don't mind, but even so I am quite happy with this model. I did a little bit of weathering using Flory washes, and a small amount of humbrol aluminum to represent paint chips. Overall, pretty happy with the result. It's the Italeri Beer Truck Spitfire, which I believe is a rebox of a Hasegawa mould. Painted with Hataka paints, except for black, white and yellow which were Vallejo. Nothing too fancy - I used aftermarket wheels because the kit ones really didn't look right to me, otherwise strictly out of the box. I masked and painted the invasion stripes rather than attempting to use the kit decals. Build thread here: Piccies:
  20. Is this too many blades?
  21. This could a good be reason to finish several Mig29 I started some years ago to add a soviet twist to my collection of aerobatic fighters... Now they are all superseded by the excellent Trumpeter and Zvezda kits so this could be the last occasion!
  22. Italeri is to release in 2017-2018 a 1/48th Agusta-Bell AB-2016B-1 kit - ref. 2778S Source: V.P.
  23. A 100% new moulds 1/48th Sikorsky UH-34 Seabat/Sea Horse with photo-etched parts (ref.2712) is announced by Italeri. Source: V.P. ]
  24. Italeri is to release in 2017-2018 a 1/48th Agusta-Bell AB-212 ASW (Anti-Submarine Warfare) kit - ref. 2775S Source: V.P.
  25. My build is a Royal Australian Navy Mk 31A in 1/72 scale from the Italeri HAS.3 kit. The 31A was an export version of the HAS.1. First task, as always, is to decant the contents into a top-opening box in place of Italeri's end opener. I've chosen to model an aircraft from February 1965 when the Wessex were an integral part of the part of the rescue and transportation of RAN personnel following the HMAS Melbourne / HMAS Voyager collision off Jervis Bay - Australia's worst peace-time naval disaster. The photo below from the Australian War Memorial (copyright expired) was taken on the deck of the carrier Melbourne the morning after the collision. The early airframes appeared somewhat different from the latter 31A's and had no floatation devices attached to the front wheel hubs, a bare metal grill over the front intake rather than mesh, a different arrangement of serial numbers and markings, no winch (although a framework appears in the photo above) and of course no horse collar over the transmission cowling that came with the 31B upgrade. The photo below, also copyright expired from the AWM, shows an early N7-215 (825) above HMAS Melbourne. You can see the Doppler radar heads and what looks like sonar underneath the foreword fuselage. And this time no winch at all. I'll be supplementing the Italeri kit with some Eduard etch and the Rotorcraft fuselage extension plug. Other bits and pieces will be scratch-built or scavenged as required. The Australian boxing of the kit includes a small sheet of RAN decals (with proper kangaroos this time, not the usual Italeri skinny rat-like creatures) with markings for N7-221, 831. For reference I have the well-regarded 4+ book, numerous photos from the ADF-Serials and Australian War Museum websites and my own photos of the last remaining RAN 31A (N7-217, 827) at the Queensland Air Museum in Caloundra. Only minor progress to date - I've roughly cut out the front grill, and re-modelled the underbody conduits based on the 4+ plans. The Doppler radar head is made from small resin decorative beads sanded to the correct diameter. Really looking forward to this build. Andrew