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    Leamington Spa, UK
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    Besides modelling? - Photography, Cars, Gaming

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  1. Well well well, now I know why red paint is never in stock The Lightning (and the Phantom) both look excellent - I can't imagine it was easy to get a single colour finish down smooth and make it look interesting but you've definitely succeeded here. So what's next in terms of fictional Red Arrows? A Tornado, A Eurofighter?
  2. Thanks Martin. I was hoping it would stay in the UK long enough to make an appearance at RIAT but that didn't happen sadly. I saw your build as well in the GB thread and it looks amazing. I didn't even realise it was 1/72 until I read it - fantastic work especially in such a small scale! Unfortunately, because of the canopy shape I don't think the mould seams are avoidable, but I hear you, it's one of the most nervewracking parts of the build, especially knowing it's not that easy to get a spare out of GWH. Thank you so much! That's really cool to hear! Thank you Houston! Very very kind of you to say and glad you like it so much! Thanks mate!
  3. Thanks Eng! I didn't do the best job of this on my first GWH F-15 so I was really trying with this one. I scrape cleaned the seam line, then used sanding/polishing cloths/sponges followed by the 3 Novus polishing compounds before dipping the canopy in future to get the finish seen here. Thanks! I only used the nozzles themselves not the whole set with the afterburner. I personally do think they are worth the cost given the detail and the fact that they are ready to install and paint immediately. There is no clean up of resin casting blocks, no removing brittle resin pieces, no CA glue required to assemble tiny pieces - all of which I'm not the biggest fan of Yes they are pricier than some other offerings but the time and effort saved makes it worth while to me and the detail is as good as any resin piece I've seen. The Twobobs decals were as ever excellent - I've used their decals on 3 projects so far and they've all gone down perfectly with the help of Mr Mark Softer Neo and some cotton buds. Their decals are thin enough to settle into and around fine detail but can also withstand being moved around the model surface. I have a few more of their sheets for A-10s, F-22s, another F-15c, another EA-6B and some E/A-18Gs in the stash for when I get round to those projects.
  4. Thank you Gerard! I had a look through the 2023 proposals and there are a few that look very tempting for sure!
  5. Thank you Bill Thanks mate! Yup, VF-101 and the 493rd FS are both nicknamed the Grim Reapers but I think VF-101 have been deactivated which is a shame. My F-14 is in VF-101 markings so now I have representatives from both squadrons. Thanks Mark! Yeah it was a pretty tasteful scheme (as tasteful as big skulls could be ), especially compared to the recent Eagle scheme in the US to celebrate a flight hours milestone. Thank you Luke!
  6. Evening All, Here's my latest build I completed for the F-15 50th Anniversary GB this week. This is the 1/48 GWH kit that has been out for a while now and it is built as 86-0172 of the 493rd Fighter Squadron, RAF Lakenheath. This year the Grim Reapers retired their F-15C/Ds and with that ended 45 years of the F-15A/B/C/D variants in Europe, and to commemorate both the anniversary and the end of regular Eagle operations they painted 86-0172 in this scheme. Sadly, this jet has now been flown back to the US and has been transferred over to an Air National Guard unit (can't recall which one) and is no longer wearing this scheme, and the 493rd have moved over to the F-35A which will probably not have any special schemes any time soon. Kit: Great Wall Hobby F-15C MSIP II L4817 - the new boxing with the white/blue borders, but is unchanged I think from the original Scale: 1/48 Type: F-15C AM sets: KA Models 3D printed resin exhausts, Aires ACES II resin ejector seats, Quinta Studios 3D printed cockpit decals, Eduard Wheels, exterior PE and masks, QMT resin intake covers (modified to fit), LP Models 3D printed boarding ladder, Twobobs "Grim Reapers End of an Era" decals and an ACMI pod from the Tamiya 1/48 F-16 Paints: MRP 093 Dark Mod Grey, 094 Medium Mod Grey, 040 Gunship Grey for the primary scheme and then various MRP shades (Titanium, Steel, White, Night Camo Black), some Tamiya (LP-11 Silver, Clear Red, Blue and Smoke), Vallejo Model Colour/Air for hand painted details and Molotow liquid chrome for the Oleos. Others: Weathering was done with some enamel washes for the cockpit/panel lines, oils for some staining and fading and a pencil for some chipping near the cockpit I've built the GWH kit once before but the E version as another Lakenheath based aircraft from the 494th FS so I was familiar with it's construction and the problems so this build went together pretty quickly and I paid extra attention to some areas that require it, like the join of the nose to the fuselage and the join of the two fuselage halves near the horizontal stabilisers. It amazes me that how in certain places this kit is state of the art (like the one piece ordinance) but in others it's quite poor. Another gripe is that the lights on the wings are not separate clear pieces and instead they are moulded on, which makes it difficult to make them look convincing. If I were to do this again, I would replace them with coloured acrylic sanded to shape - maybe this is something to try on the F-15E I still have in the stash. I think the kit could benefit from a re-tool now that it's been out for a while and GWH have hopefully received some feedback on how it goes together. In the GB completion thread, I used a grey background for the photos but I feel that washes out the model somewhat given that it is mostly grey so I've retaken some photos on a white background and also tried focus stacking here. With a special patch showing this very jet 86-0172 looked pretty clean when it had this scheme so I kept weathering to a minimum The KA models 3D printed resin one piece exhausts are incredibly detailed and were pretty much a drop in replacement for the kit parts - I would highly recommend them to anyone The Quinta cockpit decals are superb and in an Eagle, especially with the canopy up you can actually see the detail. I'm also very happy the HUD stayed attached and clear as I'm not the best at working with PE. I "glued" the frame and glass pieces with Tamiya X-22 and once the front canopy was in place masked over the whole canopy section. It was then that I heard a rattling noise from under the tape and was quite worried that it had come loose but it was actually some plastic from a whole I drilled, which was a relief And a look at the underside, which again has had minimum weathering, mainly on the JFS exhaust and tanks. Thanks for looking!
  7. Thanks Dennis, much appreciated, and thank you for running the GB. I'm glad that I managed to participate and actually finish this kit in time as it means my total of completed builds for the year is now 2 which isn't much but it's much better than 1
  8. Hi All Despite starting 2 months later than planned, and only leaving myself a month, I've finished my first GB entry here - the GWH 1/48 F-15C depicting the special scheme jet to commemorate 45 years of F-15A/B/C/Ds in Europe and the end of the Grim Reapers flying F-15s. I used the recent Twobobs decals for the markings, Quinta cockpit decals, Eduard wheels and masks, and LD models 3d printed ladder and modified QMT resin intake covers, and various MRP and Tamiya paints. Cheers, Anirudh
  9. Thanks Arthur It's very appropriate for this GB and that's the only reason I chose it (I definitely didn't chicken out of my original plan of doing an Aggressor scheme because of all that masking ) I'm surprised I haven't seen a 50th anniversary scheme though - you'd think with Boeing still making new ones for the USAF they would be keen to publicise the milestone. Speaking of milestones, the original completion date for this GB has come and gone, but would I have finished in time? Before I confirm, here's what's happened since the last update The speedbrake looked good! TBH I thought it fits better the other way around since the marking matches the speedbrake shape but this way around is the right way up when it is deployed. But....there's a mistake here. Here is the Twobobs inst The whole speedbrake wasn't actually black like I'd assumed! So I had to correct that but only had one decal so I gave it a couple of clear coats to seal it in and then masked over it with some de-tacked Tamiya tape before correcting the mistake And here is the corrected part, and what it will look like once fitted - crisis averted More progress on the decals - I promise the various no step and other stencil decals are there, but the colour combination means they aren't very visible at all, which matches my references but does make them a little pointless to apply. Still, this meant I didn't need to apply every underside decal! Rather than worry about the fiddly no step border decals on the horizontal stabilisers, I masked and painted those, and whilst I had the airbrush out, it was time to paint a few other areas Behind/under the speedbrake received a coat of the base grey colour And the various lights received Tamiya clears over MRP super silver - Nowhere near as good as actual clear parts but they'll have to do. This kit could definitely benefit from a re-tool to improve some of it's deficiencies. And while the clears were in the airbrush, I added some heat staining to the bare metal sections using Smoke and Clear Blue including around the JFS exhaust Whilst the plane was drying from another clear coat to seal in the decals, I started work on the ordinance - these are the kit weapons + a Tamiya ACMI pod from the F-16 Aggressor kit. Decals were from the spares box courtesy of Tamiya and Hasegawa. - all the missiles had the exhaust nozzles filled to represent CATM training missiles And that was pretty much the last thing to do before bringing all the various loose pieces together, and adding all the delicate stuff like antennas and pitots.... which brought me to here: This was an hour ago so, as it turns out I would have missed the GB deadline, but only just Anyway, since I have the time now, here are some better pictures Not sure the ladder angle is correct but the LD part doesn't have any instructions to show how it should sit. Note the intake covers (modified parts from QMT with Twobobs decals for the 493rd FS and 48th FW. During this build, I purchased this print: https://www.dynamicvectors.co.uk/shop/reapersreturnprint which arrived a few days ago and complements the build well: And 86-0172 is now in the display cabinet: With this done, that is my first GB entry complete! I think it would've been a lot smoother if I'd started on time! Hope you like it and thanks for all the comments and likes!
  10. Thanks! If only it made the same money as an action movie Thank you John - very kind, and glad you like it! I'm very pleased with how it all turned out and although there are details I couldn't add due to time or not finding a satisfactory way to build them (definitely need a 3D printer), the overall look is what I had in mind. Thanks Pete - I didn't base the building on any particular building but really just took inspiration from various buildings I saw in references of Syria/Iraq.
  11. Yeah it's a really strange reaction since neither X-22 or Mr Color SLT go yellow on their own, and they don't yellow once sprayed so no idea why they do it when mixed - I guess the solution is to build more than one plane every year and I won't have this problem. With the gloss coat dry completely, not just to the touch, I've started on the decals - most of them are still drying so I'll take more photos tomorrow, but here's a sneak peak: The registration, printing and clarity of the Twobobs decals are excellent as they should be since Cartograf have printed them. With the help of some Mr Mark Softer Neo they have settled into the surface detail perfectly - even the finest rivets are visible through them so when it comes to applying a panel line wash there shouldn't be any odd gaps. On to the home stretch now I hope!
  12. Thank you! I'm pleased with painting so far - really captures the Mod Eagle look on the Lakenheath birds. Today I've completed the remainder of the painting, starting with the Dark Mod leading edges on the tails - the Twobobs diagrams suggest that the edges are this colour so I went with that. Then it was time to mask off the metal areas. I used LP-1 thinned with Tamiya lacquer thinner with retarder to get the ideal glossy surface for metallics Over this I sprayed MRP Steel & Titanium with the aim of achieving the burnt metal look later with weathering With the basic painting done, my next step was a gloss coat - I've tried a lot of different gloss coats on models, but for the last few I've stuck with Tamiya X-22 mixed 50:50 with Mr Color SLT, and sprayed through through a larger airbrush (0.3mm) at 15-20 psi. This was a method written up by another modeller on LSP and the results he showed were far and away the best I'd ever seen. So, I've used this mix regularly on my last few aircraft builds to prep for decals. I even pre-mixed when I was building my P-38 but I guess the mixture doesn't last That's not Clear Orange or a sign I should drink more water either But thankfully I haven't seen this yellowing once on the model - in fact once fully dry, it's probably the most durable gloss finish I've used So I mixed up a new batch and sprayed the top, sides of the nose and tails. The key to a good finish and minimising dust is to spray perpendicular to the surface. I'm going to set it aside for a day or so now while I work on the gear doors, speedbrake and other parts. Cheers
  13. Me too Arthur! I'm making decent progress so far so fingers crossed. Glad you liked the photos - it wasn't the easiest show to shoot at because of the sun, but I got enough to be happy with. The show itself, in isolation, was decent but combined with the location, access and stuff we saw in the surrounding area it was excellent! I'm pleased with the panel shading, which I usually do in some form or another but am not always careful to leave enough showing, but this time I was: Airbrush time! No point to this photo tbh. I use a PS-770 with a 0.18mm needle. Great for detail work, well built etc but not the best to spray a whole F-15 with Started with the bottom to get a feel for the paint and work out how much I need to spray to get the shading I wanted. I think the MRP colour is good representation of new Medium Mod Grey (which is ok for this plane which was repainted) but would need lightening for other F-15Cs IMO With some practice in, I moved to the top and I'm happy with the finish, even though the camo patches will cover a lot of it Close up of the visible shading - I also realised here I didn't extend the colour back far enough on the top, so I corrected that. And then, it was time to mask off the camo. I used Mig masking putty which is also sold as science or smart putty in non modelling circles. It's an elastic, fluid like putty that can be places and will stick without a residue (on most paints) and without peeling off paint. Because it's somewhat fluid it will spread once placed so the lines will change somewhat. I used the Twobobs decal info sheets to work out the pattern. Some tape to minimise overspray from my shaky hands Dark Mod Grey sprayed and ready to remove the tape and putty Not bad, but not an exact representation of the Mod Eagle scheme - The biggest problem is the two thinner areas either side of the speedbrake which need correcting, but I'm not going to go around trying to exactly match the scheme. Corrected! Tails/rear masked off for the black - looking at references the tails are a little patchy depending on angle so rather than the recommended FS37038 (which I don't have anyway) I used a few different MRP shades like ANA and Night Camo black Tails and radome done - the radome was done with FS36118 which is the F-15E colour and is an ok match for references but not exact. And that's where I'll stop for tonight. Tomorrow I will paint the leading edges of the tails which are Dark Mod Grey, then mask off the rear again for the metal areas. Cheers
  14. Time for another update! - Early last week, I received the Eduard PE set to improve some of the grilles/vents around the fuselage. The set comes with PE to improve a lot of areas but I'm not really one for PE - too fiddly and I don't like using CA as it's hard to keep it neat so I tuck with the largest pieces: I primed the pieces to see where the CA hadn't been removed, and start the slow process of cleaning up and making the surface smooth. Once I was happy, I gave the plane a black primer coat, sanded any rough areas smooth and I had to leave it at that because, last Thursday I flew out to California for Aerospace Valley Airshow held at Edwards AFB. I spent 4 ish days out there at the show and spotting/visiting some famous aircraft themed sites and it was incredible! I've uploaded just some of the many photos from the trip here - https://anirudharun.photos/ava22 And here's a sample of what was out there: Any chopper fans out there? The local federal fire fighters were happy for us to come up to the ramp and photograph their birds Making her first, only and last airshow appearance was SOFIA, a modified 747 SP operated by NASA and DLR (German Aerospace Centre) carrying a 20 tonne telescope. She was retired at the end of September, but graced us with a flypast on both show days One for the Top Gun fans - sunrise at Edwards over the Darkstar mock up from the second film And sticking to the GB theme, an F-15B/D operated by NASA which participated in a sonic boom demonstration. It was a really packed trip so I didn't have any time to get over the jet lag on the way out so it all hit me once I got back so all I've managed since is the start of the panel shading I applied a tighter pattern up top with a looser one below, partly since it won't be seen and partly because sun fading would be less pronounced underneath. Unfortunately I've spotted a couple of rough areas I need to take care of now before committing to paint, but I'm hoping to have the base colours on during this weekend - wish me luck! Cheers
  15. Thank you Matt! I didn't originally plan to do anything this big, but I liked the poses of these figures ever since I saw them so I got them, and things spiralled from there Thank you! Thanks @nimrod484 - I always struggle with composition with a diorama so I'm glad you like it Thanks speedy! Thanks Steve - appreciate the kind words!
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