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raafbloke

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    Hobart, Tasmania, Australia

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  1. G'day Chris, I'm really hoping you or one of the great folk on this board can help me with a problem I've had for 4 years now. I was given a beautiful 1/48 Liberator model and for some reason, while dusting, the entire nose turret assembly detached itself and was, unnoticed, stepped on and reduced to 'plastic rubble'. Search as I may, I can't find a replacement nose turret assembly to restore my gift. Part of the problem is I don't know what the original kit was so, I can't contact the manufacturer and ask for spare parts. I do know it was a 'Ford' nose and it wasn't until just now that I read your reference to bill @ koster Could you please let me have bills full email address, better still the contact details for Koster would be great? I've not heard of Koster before, one hopes they are still in business. There are a few people that sell the canopies of a 1/48 Liberator but they aren't much good to me without the plastic kit parts that make up the rest of the turret. This is very important to me as the friend who gave me the Liberator is no longer with us. I can't stand seeing his beautiful work ruined. I now have enough skill to repair this Liberator but first I need the parts. I would be very happy to pay a 'Finder's Fee' or donate to anyone's favourite charity if they can put me onto a conversion kit that will allow me to repair my beautiful Liberator. Contact me at any time at: Bill Halliwell HalliwellMedia@southernphone.com.au PO Box 162 Lindisfarne Tasmania 7015 Australia
  2. G'day Twelve Birds, Just got to say what a fantastic job you've done with this model. I did this kit about a year ago. It was one of the most enjoyable builds I've done. I'm ex-RAAF (Australian airforce) and I've been a military historian for many years after that. One of the things we do is collect real period photographs of various wars from WW1 through to both the Gulf wars. One of the things most people don't realise is how knocked around military equipment can get after it's been in the sky or on the field in combat. Your weathering and ageing is spot on. I particularly like the superficial scratches on the left side panel of the turret front. 'Something' has made a significant scratch but it hasn't gone through to the metal, like you'd get after an encounter with a tree branch or bursting through razor wire etc. Very realistic. I've got film of the Australian Army's first Abrams going through a total factory refurbishment before they were delivered to Australia. The tanks were taken apart, completely. Each hull piece was extensively sand blasted and soaked in an anti-corrosion 'bath' to allow this solution to penetrate the first microscopic layers of the bare metal. Then they applied several coats of anti-rust primers and paints before laying down multiple coats of the US Army's 'sand' coloured paint. These pieces are 'baked' in huge ovens to make the undercoats and topcoats extremely resistant to corrosion from water and a long list of chemicals that can be found on a modern battlefield. A serious scratch would expose a deep red anti-rust layer before getting down to bare metal. Only heavy ordinance fire from, say, .50 cal MGs or larger would instantly expose bare metal. Sometimes, repeated traffic of army boots, or screwdrivers and wrenches etc. will gradually wear away the surface coats and, eventually, get through to metal but this would take a long time. That's why I think you've done such a good job on the weathering. These modern tanks are extremely well made. They can look very dirty but hardly anything effects their operation, except of course fire from another tank or anti-tank weapons system. As was shown in the Gulf wars, as good as some of Saddam's Russian tanks were, the Abrams could destroy them long before they came into range of the enemy's own tanks. So, correctly, you've shown your Abrams with only heavy battlefield wear and tear. My next tank project will be a 1/16 scale M1A1 Abrams. It came in a huge box with a carry handle like a suitcase! The pictures of your model will be really helpful when I get to the painting phase of that build. Thank you very much for sharing your build with us. All the best from Hobart, Tasmania. Cheers, Bill Halliwell RAAFbloke
  3. G'day Vincent, I'm a modeller from Hobart, Tasmania (a small island south of the Australian mainland). I'm really impressed by your build. It's excellent. I wish I could paint figures that well. I did this kit about a year ago. Doing armour was totally new to me. I was in the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) and I've specialised in WW2 and Cold War Allied aircraft builds. I'm a semi-retired military historian these days and there was just something about the Abrams I've always liked. I started to follow Nicholas Moran (The Chieftain's Hatch) on YouTube. He is originally from the Irish Army who immigrated to the US and ended up as an officer Tank Commander of an Abrams during this conflict. He is an interesting bloke and really got me into armour for the first time. I did my Abrams after the Australian Army purchased fully factory refurbished M1A1 Abrams from the US. Now, they have decided to buy new M1A2 Abrams as they suit the Australian outback terrain so well. A few weeks back I got a good deal on a 1/16 scale M1A1 Abrams and I was shocked when it arrived. It actually comes in a huge cardboard box with a carrying handle just like a suitcase! I hope I haven't bitten off more than I can chew, as they say. I hope you enjoyed building your Abrams as much as I did mine. I think yours looks better than mine but I'm treating the 1/35 as a practice run for the bigger model. The Army has developed a new Australian camo pattern for their new Abrams, it's black, light desert tan and a mid-range, almost faded green colour. It looks quite good. When they operate in desert locations they go back to the all 'sand' colour. Anyway, I just thought I'd make contact to tell you what a good job you did on your Abrams. Thanks for all the great photos. All the best and take care. Cheers, Bill Halliwell RAAFbloke
  4. G'day Dromia, Foghorn, Dogsbody, Little Cars and anyone I may have missed. I might seem like an ungrateful so and so, but I promise I'm not. I'm very late with this response and for that I apologise. It turned out the renovation on my modeling room took a lot longer than I estimated. I didn't account for money, drinking time, grocery shopping and odd jobs for my Better Half. I explored all of your suggestions and I decided to go with a 3M half face respirator in the 7500 range, the 7503 for a 'fathead' like me. The fit is fantastic and after I got used to it I hardly know it's there. So, thanks very much Dromia for the tip. And, I managed to get my order in before all the respirators started flying off the shelves on account of the dreaded 'youknowwhat'. I have been using your other blokes' tips for adapting my one window pane for an exhaust fan, however, the space in there is limited by my ever growing stash which has definitely gone 'SABLE' on me. I got the term SABLE from an elderly modeller in the US who's wife came up with this acronym, it stands for: Stash Acquisitions Beyond Life Expectancy. I thought it was an absolute hoot so, I asked permission to use it. I can't afford a purpose built spray booth but I've got an old cooktop filtered extraction fan assembly. I'm not handy with gear like that so, now I'm waiting on a mate to try and fix up a fibreboard 'shell' that will take the extractor fan thingy. Right now I take my model bits that need paint out on to our decking and when the wind is dead calm I spray in the direction of a small, crappy bit of the garden which has builders' rubble underneath it. Thanks to the respirator, I can do tiny paint applications on the sprue trees in my room into the framework where the extractor thing will go. The excess, spill, paint is too small to worry about as long as I'm wearing the respirator. That's probably way too much info, but you have to forgive me if I waffle on, I used to write for a living and get paid by the paragraph, so I can't help it. If my comments get too long or boring just tell me to 'shut it' and I will I really will have to get on to this chat board more often. It was really encouraging for so many folk give good advice to a complete stranger, and to me, an Antipodean at that! Before I sign off, I just want to mention that I've posted on another part of this board about my desperate search for a conversion set for a 1/72 DHC Mk 7 Caribou kit to make it into a Mk 4 as flown by the RAAF. Also, I'm after a plastic 1/72 Vickers Viscount 800 series or a conversion set to make a 700 series Viscount into an 800 series, specifically, an 816 and an 836 model Viscount as flown by the RAAF from 1964. They were to be a part of our RAAF 100th anniversary multiple build, last year, but we just couldn't find either. I don't know this site well enough to tell you where, exactly, I've posted but the requests are in here somewhere. There's a modest 'finders fee' that might get you a few pints or, once I get all my stash on the ScaleMates site, I'm open to a swap of a kit for the conversion sets I'm after. Most of my stash is WW2 military, Allied mostly, concentrating on aircraft but now I'm getting into a bit of armour and, oddly, some submarines which, I've discovered are a relatively simple build but the trick is the weathering. There I go banging on again. I'll get out of your way now. Cheers, and all the best you blokes. Take care and I'll get back here when I can. By the way, I love doing historical research so if anyone needs a hand with that sort of thing, drop me a message or an email to: HalliwellMedia@southernphone.com.au Bill Halliwell RAAFbloke
  5. G'day Wally, AGW and all, The voting for this is probably long over. However, I'd like to put out a desperate call for help for any 800 series conversion set for a 1/72 Vickers Viscount, if such a thing exists. For the past couple of years a small group of other ex-RAAF mates and I have worked on a multiple build to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the formation of the RAAF, in 1921. My mates did a sterling job and as well as modelling, I got stuck with the procurement as, for a time, I was in logistics in the RAAF. Well, this is 2022 and I must say it all went well but for a few big holes in our collection of significant aircraft that stood out over the 100 years of our service. Although the RAAF only had two 800 series Viscounts; one was an 816 model, the other an 836 model; both were used in our No. 34 VIP Sqn, quickly becoming popular with the PM and other politicians plus Governors General etc. Both had a unique small porthole window on the port side, aft of the rear loading door that gave users natural light and a good view from the aircraft's toilet! The two used Viscounts were sourced from private US corporations. One was built in 1960, the other in 1961. The Australian government paid £2.1 million pounds (1960s £s) for both aircraft which, after a costly interior refit, went into full time service with 34 Sqn in 1964. Both had low air miles prior to purchase and it was considered a good buy at the time. They were the 'stretched' variant with the higher number of main windows. I could be wrong but I seem to recall the maintenance types saying the 800s had longer wings. Perhaps, Wally, that's why your excellent model didn't look completely 'right' to you. Murphy's Law was in full application when I, just this week, found an available Mach 2 kit of the 1/72 Viscount 700 series, after our anniversary build was over. I liked the Viscounts when I flew on them, domestically so, I decided to do the conversion build, if I can. Before I spend an arm and a leg in 'hard earned' pension money, I would like some of you good chaps to let me know if it is actually worth the bother of doing a conversion to the 800 series. It would be great if there were wing extensions but I reckon that’s hoping for too much. A fuselage extension with the extra windows would be great. I’m really bad a scratch building so, I’m hoping there is some kind of conversion set out there. Our other big hole in our multiple build was an example of our DHC Mk 4 Caribou. There is a kit from the US, I think, that has the Mk 7 US Army Caribou with the little, ‘pimple’ radome up front. I’m told if one just leaves this off, you have the right nose shape for a Mk 4. I don’t know if you chaps are aware of this but the US Postal Service, thanks to Mr Trump, is in melt down. Their postal charges have more than tripled in the last year or so. I used to get old kits from a mate in the States who runs OldModelKits. To give you an example of the price hikes, I asked him for a postage quote on an old 1/72 Aussie Boomerang WW2 fighter, which was a small fighter in reality and it comes in a really small box. The kit was around USD $13.50 but the shipping charge was a whopping USD $78 and change! (About 57 UK pounds, I think.) So, if any of you know where I might get a 1/72 plastic DHC Mk 7 or 4 Caribou kit I’ll be extremely grateful and I’ll send you a ‘modest’ finder’s fee to buy a few pints etc. Same with the Viscount conversion set if you can point me towards anyone who has them in stock in the UK, the American based kits are just impossible on my model budget. I’m in the process of putting the rest of my extensive stash onto the ScaleMates web site so, if any of you are after a hard to get kit, drop me a line and we could do a swap on one of my kits for the Caribou and/or the Viscount requirements. I’ve got around 35 kits on there at the moment but there will be more as soon as I can get ‘round to it. I’m waffling on way to long... apologies for that. And, every time I’ve posted here, I’ve been asking for something. Any of you are more than welcome to get in touch with me and if I can help you with anything, I’d be pleased to do so. I’ve been a military historian for many years now, specialising in WW2 aircraft, Aussie Generals, other Staff Officers etc. and Allied air forces. I have a bit of time on my hands every week and I love doing historical research on any wartime topic. So, ask me if you need a hand. I get a lot of emails every day but I’ll get back to you ASAP. My ‘work’ email is: HalliwellMedia@southernphone.com.au Cheers, and all the best for now. Take care in this crazy world and I hope to be in touch again soon. Bill
  6. Apologies, I first posted this in 'Airbrushes'. Then realised it was probably the wrong spot, so it copied here where I hope it reaches more members. Cheers, raafbloke. G'day folks, I've just finished setting up a new modelling room in a converted shed near my house. It would be a 'granny flat' if it had running water, but then, I don't have a granny! My concern is I've just discovered there is no physical way for me to install a fume cabinet/extractor. The shed was lined on the outside with brick and a builder has told me that fitting an extractor would be difficult and cost ten arms and legs! So, chaps, I need some advice on respirators. I can set up a paint booth but it won't have any kind of extraction. I haven't got a clue about respirators, apart from the ones we used to use in the RAAF, many years ago and they were terrible, plus expensive, I guess. Even though I try to use only water based paints, like Vallejo, I reckon it's best to avoid breathing in any kind of paint or dust particles. Like I do some resin work and I've heard that's problematic. So, using your collective wisdom, could I get the lowdown on what kind of respirator best suits modellers? Bearing in mind I'm in the colonies, Australia... I guess it should be a well known 'name' brand that's widely available. Also, I have a beard, does this present a problem? Any advice or examples for me to look at would be greatly appreciated. Cheers, raafbloke Bill Halliwell Tasmania
  7. G'day folks, I've just finished setting up a new modelling room in a converted shed near my house. It would be a 'granny flat' if it had running water, but then, I don't have a granny! My concern is I've just discovered there is no physical way for me to install a fume cabinet/extractor. The shed was lined on the outside with brick and a builder has told me that fitting an extractor would be difficult and cost ten arms and legs! So, chaps, I need some advice on respirators. I can set up a paint booth but it won't have any kind of extraction. I haven't got a clue about respirators, apart from the ones we used to use in the RAAF, many years ago and they were terrible, plus expensive, I guess. Even though I try to use only water based paints, like Vallejo, I reckon it's best to avoid breathing in any kind of paint or dust particles. Like I do some resin work and I've heard that's problematic. So, using your collective wisdom, could I get the lowdown on what kind of respirator best suits modellers? Bearing in mind I'm in the colonies, Australia... I guess it should be a well known 'name' brand that's widely available. Also, I have a beard, does this present a problem? Any advice or examples for me to look at would be greatly appreciated. Cheers, raafbloke Bill Halliwell Tasmania
  8. G'day Modellers, raafbloke from the down under colony of Tasmania here. As some of you may know this 31st of March was the 100th birthday of the RAAF, of which I had the honour to serve in over 40 years ago. Some mates and I are doing a multiple build of significant RAAF aircraft to celebrate and there are just two kits we have failed to source anywhere, so far. The main one we're after is a 1/48 Bristol Beaufort (the other is a 1/72 DHC Caribou but they are as rare as chook's teeth! And they were never made in 1/48, except for a ''crazy' resin kit that is even rarer now). I have a new Airfix 1/72 Bristol Beaufort coming in the mail to me now; sadly, all our builds have to be 1/48+ unless they were really big aircraft in reality. It's a bit like sending coal to Newcastle but I would be happy to send my Airfix 1/72 Beaufort gratis and free postage, to anyone who can help us get our hands on an ICM 1/48 Beaufort, or any 1/48 Beaufort kit for that matter. If the deal needs to be sweetened, I could let someone who leads us to a 1/48 Beaufort kit have the pick of my aircraft stash. Why, you might ask. A big part of our multiple build is historically important, specific, aircraft. When we got the licence to build Beauforts in Australia, we souped them up a bit and In the RAAF's hands, during WW2 in the Pacific, they turned out be quite effective where the Russians, and others, had several problems with them. It turns out one of our relatives skippered an Aussie Beaufort and had two kills with his 'fish'. That's the aircraft we want to build. When all the models are done and we've photographed them we'll donate the best of them to the RAAF Museum at Point Cook RAAF base. Then, if any of you good folk actually know where we can get a 1/72 DHC Caribou kit, intact, then I guess we'll have to come up with an even better incentive to get our mitts on that one. But we're not holding our breath. We've been searching for a 'Boo' for 4 years! Anyway, I wish I had more time to post on here but, as you might guess, we're a bit busy right now. I'm the poor sod that got elected to source kits and aftermarket gear, that'll teach me to have got into the Equipment mustering! My mates still think I can do an urgent AOG request no such luck. Thanks if you got this far into my long post. Cheers, Bill Halliwell PO Box 162 Lindisfarne TAS 7015 Australia
  9. G'day All, I've just added this AFV U-2C kit to my stash. In an old book I have in my reference library, I have a pic that is close to the No. 5 decal/stencil guide for the CIA U-2, only the aircraft in my book is all matt black with only a small matt yellow tail number instead of the larger, white tail number on the decal set's CIA versions, which both appear to be painted dark blue. There are no walkways marked on the wings in my reference photo; the only thing the caption tells me is that this was an early C model U-2 used by the CIA. It has no 'bumps' (a technical term) along the topside of the fuselage. Before I commit to doing an all matt black U-2C, is there any kind member out there that could corroborate the livery details that appear in my book? And, if anyone knows, could you please tell me, roughly, the time frame for an "early C model"?. I thought of emailing the CIA to ask... of course I didn't! If anyone could give me a ballpark year when the first C model conversions were done that would be great. My book doesn't mention this time frame. This is one of the last of a multi-model build me and some ex-RAAF members are doing to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the forming of the RAAF, which falls on the 31st of March this year. We set out to do all the aircraft that were about when we all served. Of course, most of them are RAAF aircraft, apart from 2 very odd RAF B-29s that appeared in the Brits' nuclear test area in the outback near Maralinga. Then we all heard the same rumour that at least on one night during our period of service; a lone U-2 made a stop over at a certain RAAF base. On the face of it, and the fact that it takes a lot of work and special equipment to get a U-2 off the ground, to say nothing of re-suiting a U-2 pilot, we don't really think this happened. Although, there is a pic of a U-2 that has a small bit of nose-art that says, "The City of Sale". There is a RAAF base at East Sale, Victoria. We've dug around for more details but we can't find facts to back this up. It's just strange. Probably a coincidence but none of us can find a city called 'Sale' in the US or the UK... we could be wrong. If anyone knows the answer to this riddle we'd really appreciate some more details. Cheers, Bill H.
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