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Linescriber

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  1. The Indian Air Force ferried its first MiG 21, an F-13 (Izdeliya-74) on 23 May 1963 . Since then it has operated roughly 750 Migs of nearly nine variants. In 1969 an aerobatic team of five Mig 21 FL (Izdeliya 77) was set up at Hindon. Drawing aircraft and crew from Nos 29 and 47 Sqns (the Scorpions and Black Archers respectively) the team became the “Scorchers”. Many western publications have shown these aircraft to be painted pink; however, they were painted orange in the typical pattern of contemporary Soviet MiG 21 and MiG 19 aerobatic teams. Flt Lt KS “Kukke” Suresh Flt Cdr of 47 sqn was tasked for solo aerobatics on the MiG 21. His was the last ‘act’ at fire power demos over the Tilpat air to ground range after the “Scorchers’ and his display is still considered ‘legendary’. Kukke had just received the VrC (equivalent to the DFC) for his actions in the war with Pakistan in Dec 71. Then, assigned as an instructor on Hunters with the Operational Conversion Unit (OCU) Kukke’s unit with only four Hunters was thrown against an entire Pakistani Armoured regiment trying to sneak into India’s weak underbelly in the Rajasthan desert. In two and a half days the unit decimated the Pakistani Armour in a unique aircraft versus tank battle at Longewalla. On one occasion Kukke stunned by a tank’s main gun firing head on at him whilst in the dive, impacted the desert floor but limped back with a crushed jet pipe whilst getting only 180 Kts at full throttle. Kukke went on to command a MiG 21 sqn and retired from the IAF due medical reasons. He sadly succumbed to cancer in 2004. Kukke’s MiG was painted much like the Scorcher’s aircraft but with additional highlights to enhance the overall effect. A black and white chequerboard-like scheme was painted on the wings and tail and the IAF roundel on the nose was painted up as an eye. One anecdotal reference suggests that the port side was painted with a closed eye so that when the aircraft rolled past the crowd it would appear to wink at them. However I was chary to attempt that and kept the same eye on both sides. The model is Academy’s PF a reasonable rendition of a MiG 21 . I used Vallejo acrylics and the ‘eyes’ are hand painted around Bright Spark IAF decals. The pilot is modified Italeri USAF F-5 B figure. We miss you Kukke!!
  2. In October-December/41 the 145 IAP of the Soviet Air Force was moved from the Murmansk front and reorganized into 609 IAP at Kandalaksha; this unit was equipped with I-16, LaGG-3(Lavochkin-Gorbunov-Gudkov-3) and MiG-3s. Major Leonid Galchenko was made commander of the new unit. By 6th Jun 42 Galchenko was made a Hero of the Soviet Union. The famous white cat was painted in Semptember 1941. Galchenko decided to paint a cat in answer to the "Tigers head" he saw on a Me-109 that he tangled with several times on the Karelian front. He considered this as a sort of talisman, and it looks to have functioned well, because he was never shot down. (This aircraft with a later black cat was shot down once, but that time the pilot was not Galchenko but his wingman- Mironov. The red stars on the tail and fuselage were overpainted with camo colors; the addition of a red star on the spinner was probably painted at the time, because the whole fuselage was left without any national marking. Large splotches of white distemper were applied during the winter and probably to clean up the aircraft for a PRO shoot the scuffing on the wing walks were painted over with black. This is my rendition of that aircraft using the excellent ICM example. Completely OOB, I used Tamiya acrylics and artists water colours for the white distemper. Galchenko became deputy commander of 324 IAD (Fighter Aviation Division), and he received an La-5F, on whose tail he painted the cat emblem again. He continued to fly combat over the Arctic and on Karelia till the end of the war, totalling 24 individual victories, plus 12 shared, in 310 sorties. (Thanx to Massimo Tessitori)
  3. test fit after joining the fuselage and cutting out the canopy, No balls up yet!!
  4. So, I've had this kit from the 90s, a kind Englishman was involved I think!!. Lots of flash, so here are some initial shots.
  5. Wow!! So it must have had an emerald green upper decking!!
  6. Oh, My sainted Aunts!! what craftmanship!!
  7. Ah, a different level altogether!! An Iraqi campaign one at that!! One day I'll try that level of modelling!!
  8. Thanx gentlemen!! Your words spur me on too the next model!!
  9. So, before the CMR Wapiti was released the only way to build the Wapiti, The Indian Air forces first mount was to modify the Frog/Novo Wallace or the merlin models plastic and White metal Wapiti. The less said about both the better!! I used the Merlin fuselage and undercarriage, Wallace wings and empennage, Aeroclub white metal Jupiter engine, a paper clip for the Lewis mount and a small brass Russian cottage lewis gun. Vallejo paints and sprue rigging with spare decals. A basic no-nonsense build with no bells and whistles that ill keep for the CMR kit!! The aircraft is from the IAF's No 1 Sqn the Tigers at Miranshah when operating against Afridi tribesmen on the NWFP circa 1933. . .
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