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Everything posted by 11bravo

  1. I have nothing to back this up but I have to believe that there was zero interest in restoring these lines, given the circumstances at the time. On a related note, I have to shake my head when I see models of Luftwaffe aircraft with temporary snow camouflage and the builder then adds the missing stencils on top of the white.
  2. You do realize that simply quoting manufacturer's performance numbers doesn't really even come close to the full story about how "capable" an aircraft is? How critical is max speed for a typical mission profile these helos will fly? Any idea? How well are the Russian helos networked (which in today's world is absolutely critical)? Do they have the ability to sync information from and control UAV's? How well do the sensors perform, especially in night/adverse weather? Again, do you have even a clue or do you just believe that the only way to determine which aircraft is "better and more capable" are top speed, range and rate of climb? Even just looking at your cherished performance numbers - Are those figures you quoted in an operational configuration or "clean"? How much fuel did they have onboard? The Tiger has better performance numbers so therefore it must be "better" than the -64? LOL, you may want to have a quick chat with the Aussies. They apparently came to a different conclusion than you did. I'm afraid all you have done so far is demonstrate your unfamiliarity with the subject.
  3. The RAF loss was due to human error. Can't blame the aircraft for stupid humans. The book is still out on the recent USN loss at sea but there is a good chance that one may be pilot error. Keep in mind, at this stage there are a large number of F-35's flying. I wouldn't get too spun up about the mishap rates at this point.
  4. Thanks for the great feedback! I'm now starting to work on the wheel wells. First up is nose gear bay. The Tamiya part is pretty basic. I added a bunch of hydraulic lines and the red avionics cooling air cover (along with 4 tiny little wingnuts). Once the nose gear is installed, I'll add more lines and it should look pretty "busy". Also have some touchup painting to do, to clean up a few smudges that happened during the weathering process. Thanks for checking in!
  5. I currently work in the environmental remediation industry and trust me, I know all about the short and long term effects of exposure to lead and how to mitigate them. It's just that in 1945, occupational health and safety just wasn't a priority in Germany. No one cared if a panzer crewmember might get sick from exposure to lead 10 years after the war. And yes, cleaning up operable tanks that had taken crew casualties was (and still is) somewhat common. However, that had nothing to do with the reason why Elfenbein was re-introduced.
  6. Unfortunately, you are mistaken on both counts. Lead is a inhalation / ingestion hazard that takes a very long time to cause damage. I promise you that there was no Nazi equivalent to the US's OSHA that shut down the painting of these tanks due to potential long-term health hazards with the tank crews. I think Germany had much more pressing concerns. Same for the inability to remove blood from the interior. By late in the war, if a Germany tank was hit and had crewmembers killed, it was more than likely simply abandoned. No one cared about how it was going to be cleaned out. The reason for the switching of interior colors is very straightforward - They eliminated the white color to save production time/money. However, this resulted in multiple complaints from the crew that they couldn't see well inside the vehicle when it was buttoned up (which was the original purpose in selecting this color). As this was impacting combat efficiency, the original interior paint was quickly re-introduced.
  7. Just adding some additional details to the aft areas of both cockpits. Couldn't start this work until I had the cockpit installed into the upper fuselage. Still have much to do in this area, will also be adjusting some of the weathering on the canopy sills. Popped the WSO's seat in just to see how everything fits. Never realized how cramped the WSO's cockpit was and how low he sat. The canopy sill looks like it comes up above his shoulders. Also completed the inner wing pylons. Just added a few access openings and some missing rivets. Also added a bit of grime to them as these typically got pretty dirty. Much more to do in this area. That's it for now, thanks for checking in.
  8. Looks amazing but I really wish they would have included an option for the tall tail, which the vast majority of -14's had fitted.
  9. They are all idiots. The only ones who understand the issue in detail are the experts who reside on modeling forums.
  10. Thanks very much for the kind words guys, your interest means a great deal. I've been keeping myself occupied on some painting work. Some of it is touchups to the camo scheme, some of it is replicating the weird paintwork on those early Phantoms. For those that haven't been following from the beginning, keep in mind that these early F-4C's were originally deployed in their navy style Gull Grey uppers over gloss white undersides. When the order came down to camouflage these jets, they painted the upper surfaces but left the lowers in gloss white. These jets also came with Corroguard metalic coatings on the wing leading edges. For whatever reason, the AF decided to wrap the top colors on the wings around the bottom to cover up the silverish Corroguard. According to the Fundekals instructions, sometimes this was a soft edge spray, other times it was a hard edge. I went for the latter. Does make for an unusual looking underside. You will also note some of my pre-shading on the aft fuselage. These jets were filthy, I'm going to have my work cut out to accurately replicate all the crap that had stained the bottom of these planes. You may ask what's up with the tape on the wings? While reading through an epic 1/32nd Tamiya F-4E build over on ARC, I noted that the builder discovered the mounting points for the outboard pylons / wing tanks were too far outboard. He determined that the locating holes for the pylons needed to be 6mm in from their existing location and 7mm forward. Having a roll of 6mm Tamiya tape, it made it pretty easy to get my measurements. Next step will be to drill holes for the new mounts and then fill and repaint the incorrect ones. Wish I had caught this before painting the underside but it really isn't that big of a deal. Also note - the grey squares are simply unpainted plastic, they replace the parts with the catapult hooks for the Naval versions. Missed painting them originally, I'll get to them further down the road. That's what happens when you rush! Thanks for checking in lads.
  11. I opted for the Barracuda cylinder heads with the RR logo. The Barracuda bits are fantastic. Highly detailed and very reasonably priced. I think they added quite a bit to the finished engines. Oh, forgot to mention, I also used an aftermarket set of 100 gal slipper tanks (AIMS perhaps?).
  12. I built this kit last year, in the colors of a Banff-based Norwegian aircraft. It's an amazing kit, the only extras I added to mine, aside from the Aviology decals, were seatbelts, Barracuda cockpit placards (these really bring that big cockpit to life) and Barracuda resin ammo feed chutes. I hope you enjoy your build.
  13. So I'm back. Lost a couple of weeks of modeling due to a business trip down to SC. Decided to take a break from the big tasks and work on something smaller. So next up are the drop tanks. The kit tanks are pretty decent. They are moulded with integral pylons (as were the real things). Only thing I added to the tanks themselves were a couple of Eduard PE filler caps and some rivets. On the pylons, I drilled out the ejector cartridges and a few other openings, plus added some missing rivets. One thing I like about my subject is that during this stage of the war, all paintwork was in flux. The original tanks were overall gloss white. When the jets were camouflaged, you also saw a wide variation of painting to get the tanks somewhat more subdued. This includes a quick green overspray (the green on these tanks seemed to mostly be a darker shade compared to what was used on the jets themselves) with a wide variety of demarcations between the colors, from simple straight lines, to wavy, irregular patterns. Most of the work was pretty sloppy but for a tank that typically would only last a mission or two, I don't think neatness / uniformity was a concern. Some tanks also had mix and matched parts to add even more bizarre schemes. I opted for two different schemes to add a bit more visual interest to this already weirdly painted jet. Note on the lower tank that the overspray was intentional (as was the very thin strip of white at the border between the front and rear sections. Not a lot of weathering added, with the exception of a light wash on the pylons to represent a bit of grime and to highlight a few of the panel lines. Regarding the overall dark OD tank - a few months after the famous Operation Bolo, the 497th TFS was assigned the night attack mission (it still fly daylight sorties as well). Only reason I can think that they painted the tanks overall dark OD was to tone them down for night ops. Not sure what the point was since the rest of the underside was still gloss white but if anyone else has a better idea, feel free to chime in. By late '67, these OD tanks were actually pretty common in this squadron (later in the war, when the 497th started flying the F-4D in this role, you started to see the undersides of the jets painted black). Here's a good example of a "Night Owls" jet with the subdued tanks (note the jet behind it has a tank with the original dark green uppers and just the underside was painted OD): Also note that this jet is another great example of the multiple shades of paint seen on the upper surfaces. That's going to do it for today, thanks for looking in!
  14. I am a bit apprehensive about fitting the lower fuselage. Some people who have built the kit said it's a bear, others say that it goes fine. I'm going to do a test fit shortly. I've accepted that I'll have to do some sanding / repainting, just hoping it won't be too much.
  15. A quick update. Painting continues. After that, additional work is required to correct overspray, adjust the borders that may not exactly match the original, etc, etc. Time consuming but still enjoyable. I'm struggling with matching the colors. As mentioned in my last post, the color picture of the real 589 above isn't a good guide as many of the colors on the film have "shifted". Best resource I'm using are the drawing provided by Jennings / Fundekals. Here is where I'm currently at, the fin looks especially stark but once I complete the paintwork, add decals and tie it all together with a matt clearcoat, I think it will look OK. That's it for now, thanks for checking in.
  16. Thanks very much. Colors are all Model Master enamels (rapidly disappearing from shelves). Standard SEA colors, Dark Tan, Dark Green, Medium Green. The Dark Tan was too dark, I lighted it a bit. The other colors are all versions of these basic paints with additional colors added to replicated faded or weathered paint. The exception are the light green blotches which are Model Master SAC Bomber Green and the dark OD on the fin, which was a mix of black, dark green and Leather. Regards, John
  17. Thanks very much for the compliments but - I cheated and used Quinta "decals" for the IP and consoles. These things are game changers. I don't know any other way to describe them. The minor mods I added to the IP's were limited. A base and cable attached to the drag chute handle in the pilot's left foot well, some wires hanging under the IP barely visible, an AirScale placard and some weathering. The real work was all the details added to the side panels and bulkheads. Between the avionics boxes, structural items and wires, I've probably got around 100 bits and pieces added. The oxygen hoses were just a section of thin plastic rod, held in a pin vise and then rotated while I wrapped a spiral of thin lead wire around it. The styrene was flexible enough so I could gently bend it. After painting, I loosely wrapped another strand of lead wire around the hose to represent the communications wire. So I've made some progress since the last update. Cockpit tub is now installed in the upper fuselage section (a massive chunk of plastic for sure). I couldn't resist placing the seats into the pit so I could get a feel for how she looked. Not bad I guess. I have a lot of details to add to the upper sections of both aft bulkheads now that they are installed. Also looking forward to the rats nest of wires behind the WSO's upper instrument panel. Should be great fun! I've also started painting. As I mentioned above "589" has some serious color issues going on. Due to the early non-spec SEA paintjob, heavy weathering from the harsh Thai climate and touchup work done with whatever paint could be scrounged up in the motor pool, she probably has at least 10 unique colors on her. I posted it above but for handy reference, here is the real 589 (note also the grey serial numbers on the tail): Just note - the tones in this picture aren't very accurate, one of the drawbacks of wet film back in the day, regardless, they still give you an idea of how ratty she looked by the late summer of 67. Using Blue-Tack and paper towels for masking, I was able to get satisfactory borders between the colors. Like any paint job at this stage, I still have multiple touchups required. Right now I'd say the paintwork is about 80% complete. Also note the colors in these pictures (especially the tans) are a bit lighter than how they look in RL. Anyway, that's it for now. As always thanks for looking and any / all comments, critiques and suggestions are most welcome. John
  18. Always found the different approacha to EW between the USN and USAF to be surprising.
  19. Might be because: 1) The newer pods were much larger /heavier so maybe the performance hit was too much for the underpowered Jag? 2) I'm guessing the newer pods had greater electrical demand, maybe the Jag couldn't meet requirements? 3) Maybe the RAF simply didn't want to spend the money on modern ECM pods so the Jags went to war with the older 101's? For the internal vrs external installation of countermeasure dispensers, I have no idea why the Brits opted for pods. Just took up a valuable weapons station and impacted performance. Doesn't seem to be a logical answer except maybe shortsighted engineering and by the time it was realized that these were critical to staying alive, there was no more room in the aircraft?
  20. Quick update. I added a very nice resin interior set to the aux intakes. Also have the cockpit tub pretty much done. I'll be adding more details to upper part of the aft bulkheads but I need to have the tub installed beforehand. Lot of work invested in the cockpits, we'll see how much is visible when they are installed in the fuselage.
  21. Just a few pics to show some progress on the cockpits. Lots more work to do here. Thanks for looking and by the way - if anyone has some pictures that show the aft bulkhead areas of both pilot and WSO's cockpits, please feel free to post them. Good pictures of these areas are surprisingly hard to locate.
  22. Yes, they made the change a couple of years ago. All newer jets have RAM tape (or whatever you want to call it) matched to the overall color. That being said, from certain angles, this stuff still shows a slightly different tint.
  23. Just a quick update. Made some progress on the cockpits. Added the fabric covers on the console sides, some avionics boxes / map holder in the aft cockpit and a few minor mods to the instrument panels. Weathering is still a work in progress. Some areas need to be toned down, some need to be enhanced. Much more work to do as far as adding details to this area. Also a few other random bits: Thanks for looking!
  24. During a very heavy winter storm a few weeks ago (a Noreaster to those of us in New England), I happened to be looking at Flight Aware to see who was up and flying in these horrible conditions. The answer was pretty much everyone was grounded except for a very unusual aircraft of the coast of MA - A NASA P-3 (I didn't know NASA even flew these). It seemed to be doing circuits in the worst of the storm. I checked an hour later and the P-3 was now over western-MA and had been joined by a NASA U-2 (flying above it at FL600)! Very interesting combo.
  25. What an amazing set of pictures. Thanks very much for taking the time to post them. John
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