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JMChladek last won the day on November 11 2012

JMChladek had the most liked content!

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About JMChladek

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  • Birthday 11/18/1970

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    Bellevue, NE (USA)

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  1. I may just have to take part in this. I recently found an example of the very first kit I did, a Revell 1/72 F4U Corsair kit. Baa Baa Blacksheep was on at the time and my brother "helped" me to build this one when I was 6 years old (i.e. he did most of the work, I helped, but I learned a lot). Runner up will be the box scale B-24 kit Revell did and Atlantis just reissued. While I had help with the paint, that one I did most of the building on.
  2. I think you did a great job. Gunsights on T-38s are such a rare thing I doubt anyone would notice a lack of one.
  3. Hey there guys. I just picked up the new 1/48 scale Spit Mk 1 kit (#61119) today and it has some very nice features for interwar years Spit birds. If you plan to do a 1938-39 model Spitfire, here are some features which I think will be a nice surprise for you.: Pre-war ring and bead gun sight- Using a combination of some styrene and included photoetch, this is the first 1/48 Spitfire I have seen which includes the ring and bead sight. When I did my Interwar 19 Squadron bird years ago, I had to cobble something together. Two pronged fork pitot tube- Again, it wasn't around when I did my build. Granted Tamiya isn't the first to do this style of tube as the Hornby Airfix 2015 Spit Mk I kit (A05126) also included it. But it is nice to see Tamiya noticed it as well. Gun heater exhaust vents in the wings- This is something I have never seen on a 1/48 Spit kit. Early Spitfires tried to use exhaust gas heating to keep the .303s from freezing in flight. Heating ducts were installed along with an exhaust port in each wing. Tamiya put those into this kit! The wing mount holes are flashed over for those who want to do BoB aircraft. But, it is nice to have that option in this kit! Unarmored glass windscreen- Tamiya did the windscreen un-armored with the simple frame. Two versions of armored glass can be installed over the top of this for WW2 birds. The shape of the windscreen looks beautiful and at a nice petite thickness for pre-war birds. The pre-war marking option is for K9906 of 65 Squadron, FZ-L from 1939. It has the later more traditional style bubble canopy and the 3 bladed Jablo prop. There is some debate about whether the Munich Crisis camoed topside aircraft had an all aluminium underside as the kit depicts of whether it had gone with the black/white wing paint (making sure to leave the control surface undersides aluminium if you go that route). Early square spine antenna- The antenna mounting for the early and late style antennas is very robust and designed to help eliminate a glue stain. The square antenna mount looks great and is less prone to flexing than the Hornby Airfix one. So, you can do the kit out of the box for a pre-war Spitfire easily. Now if you want to do one of the earliest birds, such as the 19 Squadron Duxford Spits from 38-39 you are on your own for the Watts two-bladed prop and the flat canopy. But the 2015 Airfix Spit Mk 1 and the earlier Humbrol Airfix Spit kits provide the prop to scrounge. The Hornby Airfix Mk I also includes the flat top canopy, but it is a bit too thick to use properly if you intend to pose it open. So I recommend acquiring a Falcon Spitfire vac canopy set for the sliding portion if you wish to go that route.
  4. Very nice! Did the Fujimi F-14A kit come with the early style wide beaver tail? You don't often see builds of that style in 1/72. I know Airfix did that tail in the original issue, but it got altered to the late style in the 80s and Matchbox's is closer in shape to the first batch of FSD airframes.
  5. It's a good kit and you'll have some fun with it. Monogram kits may not be the flashiest of the models seen today, but for what you get, they are excellent models for their time as long as you know you need to use a little filler and TLC with them when building.
  6. That camoed T-38 I believe is an AT-38B. Only way to know for sure is to look at the base of the tail and see if it has a small reinforcement spine down there. As for the NASA jet, if you plan to do one with the color weather radar nose, the Trumpeter NASA kit is the only option as there is more to it than painting the nose black. There are subtle bulges on top and bottom of the nose to make room for the radar antenna inside.
  7. Just be aware when researching F-5s used in dissimilar air combat training is technically the Navy called them "Adversaries" while they were known as "Aggressors" in the US Air Force. Yes, they do close to the same mission, although they approach it a little different. The F-5F is going to limit you primarily to doing USN aircraft if you wish to do an American bird since the USAF Aggressor units as far as I know were only equipped with F-5E single seaters. During times when an F-5F would be used in that role (such as for flying a VIP in the back seat), one would be borrowed from a training unit. Also, during the early 1990s, a few adversary jets started getting modified with F-20 style "duckbill" noses and extended LERX on the wings. Revell of Germany's VFC-111 Sundowners markings for the F-5F kit are/were accurate for the original configuration.
  8. Man those look GORGEOUS! They are certainly museum quality and I only wish I could cross the pond to see both these beauties in person. Building a single four engined heavy is one thing, but two at the same time... I think "slog" is a bit of an understatement.
  9. I didn't mention France. I only mentioned China and the USSR. Okay, yes France left NATO in 1963, but it still kept independent mutual defense commitments with Germany and other European countries, so your country was still a western ally, even if the decision was made to leave NATO in order for France to maintain absolute control over its nuclear arsenal. As to why such overflights were carried out... I'm guessing there were multiple reasons from testing of new recon "equipment" to getting an idea of what France's nuclear production might be projected to be and the like. One thing is for sure though, interception by a Mirage of a U-2 in French airspace is one thing, but it is highly doubtful there would have been an attempt to shoot it down so that is likely why the decision was made to do such an overflight. If such a flight had been attempted by a USAF jet over a Soviet Allied country, the results would have been a lot different. Just to be clear as well, SR-71s have done overflights over some "threat countries" at times, such as during the Yom Kippur war and over Libya for El Dorado Canyon Bomb Damage assessment. But even then the flight paths were carefully planned to keep it out of the range of known SAM batteries. The USAF knew they had a good unique capability, but they weren't willing to make too many assumptions as that is what got Powers shot down a couple decades earlier. Steadily evolving recon satellites pretty much made the need for deep penetration of a Soviet or Chinese airspace with a USAF recon aircraft no longer necessary.
  10. I have a Matchbox F.3 in my stash and I have been reluctant to start it due to not knowing too much about what needs to be fixed on it. This provides nice inspiration for what is possible.
  11. Just chalk it up to "scale effect" if it isn't quite right. Primer color can also effect how the final color looks when painted. In 1/144 you likely want to go with a little lighter shade anyway given how tiny the model is going to be when done.
  12. Everything I have read says it took place, just not the exact dates due to British secrecy policies. It was discussed in Curtis Peebles' book "Shadow Flights," Dick van der Aart's "Aerial Espionage" and I think it may have been mentioned briefly in one of Chris Pocock's books. But the clincher to me that it was flown is in a book called "Big Safari" by Colonel Bill Grimes. Big Safari is a USAF procurement program and partnership between the military (mostly USAF) and private contractors. It is dedicated exclusively to the management of reconnaissance assets (mostly USAF, but not all) and it operates outside of the typical USAF acquisitions so it doesn't have to worry about the bureaucratic red tape and political wrangling as is typically seen with other programs. Grimes worked in that office for decades first for the Air Force and later as a civilian program manager. The book covers the history of the projects the program managed from the 1950s to 2002 (Big Safari continues to this day, but a lot of that work remains classified). Typically Big Safari would get a tasking, draw up the specs for the aircraft and/or system needed and give the specs to one of their Detachments at the contractor offices who would build and/or modify the hardware in quick fashion, delivering it on time and on (or below) budget with no problems. Some of their more famous projects are the RC-135V/W Rivet Joint, The Cobra Ball and Cobra Eye RC-135s, the C-130 Combat Talon, The IAF's F-4E "Peace Jack" recon system, the RQ-1/MQ-1 Predator system (which transferred to a different management in 2005 when the drones were considered to be fully operational in 2005) and a system called Rover, which allowed boots on the ground to see the overhead feed that a Predator was seeing. Rover eventually evolved into the Rover 3 system that allowed ground troops to see the LANTIRN imagery feed from F-14 Bombcats during Operation Iraqi Freedom. The Big Safari book mentions an RB-57A program called SHARP CUT which utilized a unique and specially developed 240 inch oblique camera mounted in the bomb bay of the aircraft. Prior to its use in SHARP CUT in 1957, the camera was loaned to the RAF for use in a Canberra in a program known as Project ROBIN (although the overflight may not necessarily have been connected directly to Robin as those sorties were flown in 1954). According to Bill (who would have had the ability to research this when he worked for Big Safari), this camera was used for the Kapustin Yar overflight mission in 1953. Other books and articles mention that the camera used for Robin was a K-30 100 inch focal length camera. This is the first book to say with certainty it was the 240" unit, which was apparently one of a kind (although perhaps the K-30 formed the basis of this special camera). The main reason why Robin was discontinued is the U-2 made the RAF periphery flights obsolete, but the camera itself was too big to fit inside a U-2 and the USAF made the decision to mount it in one of their own RB-57s.
  13. Now THAT is what I call creativity in action. Everything just seems to work together so well and I can understand the challenges you encountered trying to make it look plausable. Excellent work!
  14. Hitting a satellite in orbit is an entirely different animal. The target in question was in a well predicted and tracked orbit and the SM3 had modifications done to get to that altitude. Even then, the satellite was in a decaying orbit anyway and had no active jamming capability. Once the final stage of the SM3 had burned out, it became just a kinetic kill weapon at that point with no ability to maneuver and its impact was down to how well the flight path and timing were for the launch (the ship that fired it had two orbits to get the attempt right). By comparison an SR-71 can maneuver and its flight path wouldn't be all that predictable. The closest any SR-71 ever got to aircraft interception was an incident in the late 1980s when one blew out an engine not too far from Murmansk. When the bird had the problem, the Soviets did try to scramble an intercept flight with orders to try and force the plane to land, but they couldn't get there in time and the 71 ducked into neutral Swedish territory since they knew the Soviets weren't going to chance an international incident and while the Swedes officially "protested" they did provide coverage of the bird for the brief time it skirted through their airspace at sub-sonic speed. The plane ended up landing in Bodo Norway. The North Koreans made an attempt to take a shot at one in 1981, but weren't even close. After that incident, Reagan authorized the deployment of Wild Weasel jets in the area and an SR-71 flew the same recon flight path on the next mission, daring the North Koreans to try again as if they did, they were going to get a massive case of ARM poisoning to their SAM sites. They never took the bait though. Only documented damage ever to occur to a Blackbird was to a CIA A-12 on a direct overflight of Hanoi in 1968. SAMs were fired and one detonated close to the jet, but didn't disrupt the mission. However, when the plane landed after the mission a piece of SAM shrapnel was pulled out of the fuselage. It got stuck in one of the panel seams, but didn't do any damage. The USAF NEVER attempted to do an overflight of China or the USSR with an SR-71 because that is not their mission tasking. Even during the time of U-2 operations, the USAF's U-2 fleet only did flights along the border. Once in awhile a U-2 might stray over Soviet airspace, but not intentionally and otherwise they kept to the 12 mile international border limit. Direct assigned USAF overflights of Soviet airspace hadn't taken place since the early 1950s and Eisenhower shut that operation down. The RAF on the otherhand did some overflights with RB-45s which were loaned from the USAF and a Canberra equipped with a borrowed camera to get imagery of the Kapustin Yar launch complex. The A-12 was originally designed for the overflight mission, but it never did due to the change of attitude towards such things and it only a flew a handful of missions over Vietnam (and its last operational sortie to locate the USS Pueblo in a North Korean harbor after that ship was seized). In the late 1960s, CIA backed U-2R overflights of China did take place with Nationalist Chinese pilots flying out of Taiwan. So technically, the US never "violated" Chinese airspace with any military assets or pilots. That was nothing new as Taiwan based big winged B-57 Canberras had been doing those penetrations since the 1950s. Indeed it was a Nationalist Chinese B-57 that got brought down by an SA-2 missile battery that the Soviets loaned to the Chinese a few short weeks before Powers got tagged. But nobody in the CIA or the NSA realized at the time what had downed the airplane.
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