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mirageiv last won the day on January 18

mirageiv had the most liked content!

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About mirageiv

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  1. mirageiv

    mark 1 guide gripen decals

    Thank you for your help Chris, thankfully a fellow BM member is helping me out here!
  2. Thank you guys, I'm glad you like it. Yes Penguins are not often seen on a model of a Norwegian F-16 but for me probably the most interesting mission task they ever had. Cheers, David.
  3. mirageiv

    mark 1 guide gripen decals

    Hi guys, Does anybody know of a place to purchase the above decal sheet? I see they were released back in 2011, so quite a long time ago now, I can only find the 1/72 or 1/144 sets available. I've got a want add for a particular airframe from the multiple options in the 'trade' section but I'm trying to cover all bases and if I can purchase a new set I'd go that route too, if someone knows where. Thanks for any help or suggestions, David
  4. Thank you chaps, the blue tint photos are natural light, simply a late winter evening gave a nice lighting for these. Cheers, David.
  5. Whoa if I'm honest I didn't expect this reaction for a grey F-16! Thank you all for your nice comments, I'm glad you guys like it! To answer some of the questions: The kit is the Tamiya 1/72 F-16C converted to an F-16B using donor parts from the Revell 1/72 F-16B kit. I didn't plan on doing it this rather long winded way but I made an irreversible balls up on the Revell B kit during construction, then couldn't find another kit since it is long OOP and therefore decided to have a bash at converting the nice Tamiya kit using salvaged Revell B parts. Due to the amount of modification needed (pretty much every part of the Tamiya kit needs some sort of modification) I don't think I'd attempt it again in this scale but for sure I'm happy with the final result. If the the old modelling saying rings true maybe we will see Tamiya release an F-16B/D soon? The base was a very spontaneous thing (it only took a few hours) to give the model a bit more life on the shelf after seeing some snowy pictures of F-16s operating at Bodø Airbase, simply baking soda fixed with hairspray over a painted apron made from card. From what I've read here on BM this isn't a great idea because baking soda isn't overly durable but it is ok for now as I'd like to build a larger, more permeant base using Precision snow when I find the time to display larger 1/48 and 1/32 models also. I have plenty more model plans that could use a snowy base in the future, Gripens, Viggens, more F-16s, F/A-18s etc.... Thank you all again, cheers, David.
  6. mirageiv

    RNoAF F-16s Part 1-- A and B

    Thank you Cookie for your (too!) kind words again, always happy if you like the models! I finished the B here: Thank you to those who commented/liked the thread and I hope you like the F-16B. I'm going to take a break for a bit before finishing the other F-16s, I think I need to do something different tbh as the motivation has temporarily worn off a tad for these. Cheers, David.
  7. Hi guys. I stumbled upon this snippet of an article in Aviation Week and Space Technology of The Royal Norwegian Air Force's F-16 anti-ship capability and quite fancied replicating an F-16B equipped with some Penguin Mk.3s. Quite an interesting and unique capability among the four initial European Air Forces operating the F-16A/B models. (Pinterest linked image-I do not own this image) After a lot of work I finished it these last few days. F-16B '691' in 1989 when the Penguin Mk.3 missile became operational on 334th Squadron at Bodø just before the end of the Cold War. This one has a filter from iPhoto that took my fancy, The pictures are a mix of indoor and outdoor, the cold evening's low light level gave this iridescent look to the canopy, not so appropriate for this early B (more MLU/D) but I liked the way it looked! Thanks for looking and any input! Cheers, David.
  8. Just brilliant work Serkan, I look forward to more! David
  9. mirageiv

    RNoAF F-16s Part 1-- A and B

    Thank you for your help Cookie and the kind words! Indeed, I forgot I had made a topic on this and came across it shortly after the post, should have searched better first ! I tried the suggestions, using both Aqua Gloss and Tamiya Clear, but could not really make it work 100% tbh. I found before I fully eliminated the 'step' of the decal film edge, I began sanding through the decal artwork itself. I sprayed some rather heavy clear layers (I thought too heavy at the time) to provide enough of a barrier, but I guess still not enough. The main problem I found was that the panel lines are so fine on this Tamiya kit, too much clear just swallows up the panel lines and they will not take a wash so I couldn't go heavy enough I guess. I think in larger scales or a kit with more pronounced surface details I think I could manage this technique with some work. In the end I sanded the decal film as much as I dared before I started damaging the decal artwork itself then stopped there, luckily after the weathering and flat/satin varnish the film is now mostly hidden unless viewed super close like the tail pic in the prior post. I will test out the enamel thinner method on future builds if the required decals play ball, it looks quite interesting if I can make it work. I've made good progress on the F-16B after focusing solely on one model (my build rate is glacial doing two simultaneously) and it is nearly complete, I'm finishing off adding the small details and assembling all the parts. I decided to close the canopy after all to preserve the distinctive lines the big bubble canopy gives the 'B' model. This involved filling, sanding, repainting and new decals (spares to the rescue) of the forward fuselage but I'm glad I did it in the end. (Sorry for the not so great photos and that front pitot needs repainting a better colour-not gold!) The landing gear required modification to backdate also. I had planned on using the Revell nose gear as I'd used the intake and front bay but after test fitting I found quite a discrepancy with the Tamiya main legs in height, in fact the whole Revell kit's gear set up is maybe 2mm lower in height than Tamiya's. This may not sound much but in 1/72 the whole 'sit' of the model looked wrong, so new mounting points among other things were made to fully adapt all the Tamiya landing gear, some hydraulic lines were added also. The wheels come from Reskit as no kit bar Hasegawa or Esci contains the original type, they are very nice for the scale. If you go back to the first few posts of the thread I mentioned how I had to sand the Revell canopy to remove small scratches, bubbles and other defects (Revell's older 1/72 kit clear canopies do seem very hit and miss). I also did it to remove distortion and thinned the clear plastic quite a lot, but still at certain angles a little distortion is present as shown in the photo above. In this scale though I'm more than happy it is just nice and clear to show the details inside. There is an aftermarket F-16B Vacform canopy out there but it is designed for the Hasegawa kit, however the Revell canopy is roughly 3-4mm longer than Hasegawa's so I had no choice to improve the Revell one. After the decals (which came from 5-6 different sources) a highly thinned layer of the base colour was sprayed over some of the brighter decals to tone them down and then a light oil panel wash was done with a final satin-matt varnish. After this, further specific weathering (looking at lots of photos) with very thinned oils was completed around various panels to convey not so obvious grime accumulation on the surface. A few oil dots also helped here in the aim to bring a bit of life without overdoing it, these two post varnish weathering steps additionally broke up the overall satin varnish for a bit more realism making some areas more matt and others a tad glossier. I wouldn't pick a Norwegian F-16 for a fun weathering project but there are a few out there that did get quite a bit dirtier than what I've done here for '691' here. The rivets on the canopy frames were helpfully supplied by one of the DACO decal sheets but the black canopy seal was masked, a tad difficult in this scale! I'll get some proper photos soon of the completed model (it is proving surprising difficult to assemble without knocking bits off!), thank you for looking in. David
  10. mirageiv

    RNoAF F-16s Part 1-- A and B

    Thank you for the kind words Stuart, glad you are enjoying the thread! Well just a quick update today folks, I've been putting the decals on between Christmas madness from about 7 different sources to get as close as I can to the dedicated long OOP Vingtor sheet. As pointed out the F-16A I'm building is '293' during an exercise held at Karup, June 1985. The only two photos I have of this particular aircraft at this time are linked below from F-16.net: 1- http://www.f-16.net/g3/f-16-photos/album37/album09/293_001 2- http://www.f-16.net/g3/f-16-photos/album37/album09/agk A noticeable feature about this aircraft that I haven't seen on any other RNoAF F-16 is the heavy wear on the 332 Skv flash on the tail. I'm not sure whether is was a poor quality marking or this aircraft went really fast on a sortie to strip it off. I've tried to replicate it by cutting up the decal, I thought about painting it but proceeding with such precise chipping would be pretty difficult in this scale. Given I've never seen this on any other RNoAF I think it is more of an anomaly than anything else and even particular to the starboard side so I just applied a straight decal for the port side. I cannot confirm this as I've not been able to find a port side picture so I just hope it is right, the asymmetry at least makes it a bit more interesting imho. Now I do have a bit of a problem here and could use some advice which is why I really posted this. Some of the decals I'm using are on the thick and very old side and have a noticeable carrier film when viewed at certain angles or up close. On the extreme close up above are the old Modeldecal numbers, I've cut most of the film off but as you can see it is still pretty apparent (likewise for several others). I've read about polishing decal film edges away with sanding sticks and I will try this for the first time here, just I don't know which clear layer is the best for this. I have Aqua Gloss, original Klear/Future and Mr. Color Gloss Clear in the jar from my shelf (also Tamiya X-22 but it can take weeks to dry before polishing so that is out). If someone has done this before could you recommend which one is the best to use here from the three listed? I ask because I only have one set of decals and no spares (the Modeldecal sheet is long OOP) and cannot afford to mess it up really. My thoughts are maybe the Mr. Color being the best bet because it will cure and take sanding pretty quick being Lacquer based, though over acrylic Tamiya X-22 gloss layer, which is over an enamel Testors paint, maybe I might get a nasty reaction as I spray a heavy layer on. Aqua gloss is the safest best probably but any help or advice here would be much appreciated! Thanks for looking, David. edit-I could do some tests on old decals which is plan B but if someone has already done the leg work and knows the best varnish for this it will save some time !
  11. Fantastic build, you have done the Mirage justice for sure!
  12. Hi guys. I have some specific questions on Norwegian F-16s that I've not been able to find conclusive information on, maybe someone with expertise could help me out? 1- Was 331 Skv still operating Block 1-10 models when the Aim-9L sidewinder became operational? Also, when did the Aim-9L become operational on RNoAF F-16s? I'd like to do a mixed load of Aim-9P and Aim-9L but so far I've only found very early photos (circa 82') of 331 Skv F-16s armed with AIm-9P only. According to the 'F-16.net aircraft database' most 331 Skv F-16s were transferred to 332 Skv quite early on but some remained after Block 15 F-16s were delivered to 331 Skv, so I assume during the mid-80's 331 Skv operated a mix of Blocks 5,10 and 15 F-16s? Though, I have yet to find a photo of a Block 1-10 331 Skv after 1982. 2-Would ACMI pods be used at this time (mid 80's)? 3- Just to check, what is the offical purpose of the blue and white Aim-9L rounds? Like in this photo: http://www.f-16.net/g3/f-16-photos/album37/album09/679_001 . I assume they have an active seeker but are inert and only for training. I've also seen the dayglo orange rounds which look to be again used for training (though the body looks different to the normal Aim-9L) but I guess help for visibility in formation flying in poor weather. Thank you for reading and thanks for any help anyone can offer! Best regards, David
  13. mirageiv

    RNoAF F-16s Part 1-- A and B

    Thank you Cookie, glad you like the progress! Well, the F-16B has received some paint. I ditched using Testors enamel Fs26270 as I did for the F-16A because of how poor I found the paint to spray, constant blockages and fine stuff was nearly impossible through a 0.2mm. After reading a little online it seems Testors enamels can go off much like Alclads and become rather troublesome to spray. Considering when I purchased the paint from my local shop it was covered in dust, it's probably safe say that was quite an old bottle I'd got! So instead I used my own mix of Tamiya and Gunze acrylics with the ratio something like: XF-19-65%, XF-53-20%, H306-10%, X-2-5%, + plus a few drops of H317. I'm usually absolutely hopeless at mixing my own colours up but this time I got lucky and was really pleased with the match. The recipe is a guideline as I slightly lost track instead of an absolute exact mix and maybe I added some more white. In the future I will use it again for Norwegian F-16s I think, or try MRP and make life easier! Some more preshading of various greys was done with Tamiya acrylics and Levelling Thinner. To be honest after painting a few thin layers of the main grey I wasn't overly pleased with the result (too much mottle for a Norwegian F-16) so I covered it up quite a lot and made it more subtle with numerous thin layers and then mostly post shaded the paint for a faded look using a pic of the aircraft I'm building as a guide. I sprayed the intake RAM lip paint first then masked in prep for the main paint, it would have been much more difficult to do the other way. So the paint fading is quite subtle overall but it looks correct to my eye when comparing it with pictures of the real thing. Further post shading and weathering will be done after the decals go on before the oil wash. The two little holes drilled either side on the nose are for the Master AOA probes, unbelievably tiny in 1/72! Some replaced panels sprayed with fresher paint were masked off, I went a little too stark here due to the guessing game of how the varnish and weathering layers will tone down and blend colours. Most of the fading is post shaded but the original mottle does come through in places albeit it is very subtle. The contrast between the tank and the airframe is a good check to see if the colour mix was in the ballpark though this pictures does exaggerate it a tad. The wings, tails and fin leading edge's were painted with a dirty yellow-grey (Tamiya dark yellow/medium grey mix) to replicate the yellowish protective tape that was beginning to be applied at this time. Some photos it looks more yellow, others quite weathered in so I went with a subtle shade so it isn't overly obvious on a 1/72 model. Some minor details were also added to the fin tip, which reminds me I still have to make the little clear lights that go here and on the wing tips after cutting off the solid plastic ones. Then two thin layers of Tamiya X-22 Clear with Levelling thinner gave a decent enough gloss that doesn't distort the subtle shading so much, I'm conscious of multiple varnish layers hiding it so they are all going on quite thin. I had hoped to show some of the ordinance painted up because they will be quite colourful and will bring some life to these models but unfortunatley I need to repaint them after deciding the colours were a bit off really, anyways in the next update I hope . Thanks for looking, David
  14. mirageiv

    Bentwaters F-16s

    Hi The 512th AS used stock Block 30 examples, small NSI intake but with the F110-GE engine. The best kit to use is the Tamiya F-16N boxing as it contains both these parts and is the most accurate. Maybe you can use the Tamiya Block 25 and an aftermarket exhaust if it comes with the appropriate rear adaptor 'doughnut' for the GE engine as this differs to the Pratt & Whitney F100. You could also use Hasegawa and Kinetic kits but I'm not sure what comes in these boxings, there are so many different ones with variable sprue combinations, someone else will hopefully chip in for exact box contents concerning these. In general IIRC the main specific things to get right for a 512th Block 30 are: -Small mouth NSI intake -F110-GE engine -Early style wheels (Tamiya N has these, Brassin also do them if a little undersized-can be fixed and I think they are in some Hasegawa boxings) -16S210 early wingtip and underwing launch rails-like on F-16A/B pre MLU (not AMRAAM compatible and also in the Tamiya N and Block 25/32 kits) -Early gear set up with lights on the MLG gear legs and not on the front nose leg door - Non bulged main gear bay doors. I think those are all the main ones, basically just build the Tamiya N kit from the box with the appropriate bits and you should have the best Block 30 in 1/48. I also have an early Ramstein based Block 30 F-16C planned and will go the Tamiya F-16N route. I hope that helps a bit, I think that covers it. Cheers, David.
  15. mirageiv

    B-2 Stealth TESTORS 1/72

    I think maybe the best 1/72 model I have seen yet, seriously well done.