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Everything posted by CT7567

  1. I can confirm 2008 as the correct year of the change to the large white "Royal Air Force" titles on the fuselage sides vs the nose (the "fluttering flag" tail change came sometime later though). I first saw the new scheme at Farnborough in 2008 then picked up Xtradecal's 2008 Hawk sheet when they were brand new (literally just back from the printer and still being packaged with instruction sheets at Lowestoft!) Agree with previous suggestions that finding spares for the pre-2008 Revell or Airfix kit decals is probably your best approach, but if time or cost make this prohibitive you could also try printing the graphics you need on white decal film and painting the primary stripes (which may be easier and give better results anyway). The badge appearing on the forward fuselage can be found online.
  2. To expand a bit for reference: Other than the F-4J(UK) operated uniquely by 74 Sqn and made up of refurbished USN F-4J airframes, all RAF (F-4M, aka FGR.2) and RN (F-4K, aka FG.1) Phantoms were purpose-built UK variants which featured Rolls Royce Spey engines in place of the usual J79s. This change involved slightly enlarged intakes and deeper exhausts, so the bulk of the airframe is subtly but noticeably different from any other variants. The Tamiya F-4B is closer to an F-4J, but the later production model features a different wing ("thick" vs the early "thin" version), different exhausts ("long" burner cans vs the "short" early version), and other detail differences depending on timeframe. So to accurately depict any RAF variant, you'd need a moderate or major conversion (that does not yet exist). 1:48 isn't my scale of preference but at last check Hasegawa's Spey variants were the best available, and there are several quality F-4J kits that could get you to the J(UK) with suitable decals and other minor updates.
  3. I'd be curious to see these photos of K's with the turkey feathers if you're suggesting the P&W exhausts were used by the RoKAF with "feathers" installed - to the best of my knowledge all the F100s were delivered "featherless" (as with most current Eagle variants with P&W powerplants). The GE F110s used on the initial batch do have a "feathered" exhaust, since AFAIK there's no such thing as a "featherless" F110. In addition to the engines on the first batch, the RoKAF Eagles also have an IRST mounted integral with the port LANTIRN pylon (under the intake). Otherwise for modeling purposes the Slam Eagle airframes are identical to late USAF versions.
  4. Happy to be corrected by more informed sources, but I believe all Buccaneer cockpits were Dark Admiralty Grey BS381C: 632. Assuming you're referring to the recent 1:48 Roysl Navy S.2C/D kit, all four decal options wore overall Extra Dark Sea Gray BS381C:640. Both of the above colors are available in several paint lines so your preferred brand(s) would be needed to narrow down specific recommendations.
  5. It may take a while to access photos I have archived to verify, but with that timeframe in mind I looked back at some photos online and *may* be seeing Have Glass on Spanghdalem SEAD-roled F-16Cs as early as the 2000 RIAT. I remember they looked "grubby" compared to their brethren from the 31st at Aviano, but can't confirm if they have the special coating or are just due for depot repaint (post-Allied Force). Terrible quality photo here, but the vertical tail and forward fuselage seem like a possibility. https://www.f-16.net/g3/f-16-photos/album38/album70/aga For the 20th FW at Shaw, SC (another SEAD unit) their freshly painted airframes didn't seem to show any signs of the coating when I saw them up close circa 2001, but again I'll have to dig up the files to confirm as back then it wasn't something I knew to look for.
  6. The change from three-tone to two-tone grays was unrelated to the Have Glass RAM coatings (at least as far as any visible characteristics and publicly available information is concerned, anyway). AFAIK the deletion of FS36375 from USAF F-16s was strictly to simplify painting, as the visual difference between the lighter two grays in the Hill Gray scheme is neglible in practice due to the shade and shadows of the airframe. Hill Gray II using only FS 36118 over FS 36270 was first adopted on Phantoms when still in USAF service, but started on new-build and depot repaints for F-16s around the mid-1990s. It's notable that other countries continued to use the 3-tone scheme, even after some also began using Have Glass finishes. "Have Glass" is actually a multi-stage program that has involved several widely varied subsets for different means of reducing the F-16's signature on radar (and possibly IR as well). The earliest phase, testing for which would have occurred circa mid-80s at Nellis per @Slater's observation, included the "tinted" canopies, which are a metallic film specially composed to shield certain EM wavelengths that would otherwise give strong returns from components inside the cockpit. I would speculate that the "Have Glass" inert loads were probably labeled as such so the test program could ensure their test airframe(s) had the same payloads in each test hop and didn't give a different radar return because one Mk 82 training round had a rougher coat of paint than another. To Mr. Mooney's original question, per most open-source material indicates the Have Glass "coating" was introduced as one of several elements under Have Glass II, starting at least as early as 2005-2006. The paint treatment was not immediately visible on newly repainted airframes the way "Raptor Sheen" is visible on a brand new F-22, so it took some time and weathering before it started to be noticeable in photos/by modelers. It was noticeably used on SEAD tasked F-16 units such as the 52nd Wing at Spangdahlem, but has also been observed on other NATO Vipers including Denmark's F-16AMs and Italy's secondhand F-16ADFs. It was never adopted fleetwide even by USAF active-duty units, so there have continued to be F-16s of all current-service blocks wearing standard Hill II grays. As noted above by @Richard E circa 2012 the USAF started adopting a new darker gray finish (apparently matching FS36170, as used on the F-35) that has been publicly identified as Have Glass V (I don't know what Have Glass IIi or IV were, and probably don't want to ask too loudly). The HGV finish doesn't seem to have any obvious metallic sheen or unusual weathering properties. Good summary article on Have Glass history which includes details that could probably yield much more information with some Google-fu here: https://www.key.aero/article/have-glass-making-f-16-less-observable
  7. Authentic Decals did a sheet for the Tu-22M that includes a Ukrainian Tu-22M3 (national markings would be the same as for the M2). https://www.scalemates.com/kits/authentic-decals-72-22-tu-22m2-m3-backfire--611523 Not sure of current sources - I'd love to see these reprinted and/or scaled down to 1:144, as I had the chance to sit in the actual aircraft's cockpit at the 2000 RIAT.
  8. Sets of 1:72 sway braces have been done in photoetch - True Details (Squadron) was one supplier, I seem to recall Reheat may also have done them (their PE and other products catered heavily toward generic detail components). Probably at least one or two others I'm not aware of. The difficulties with a "generic" pylon detail are compounded to such a degree that I would be very surprised if you could find such a product in 1:72. First, although the lug spacing for weapons is standardized, the details of each pylon - in many cases even different pylons on the same aircraft - are often unique. Add to that the fact that each kit manufacturer maintains varying degrees of accuracy and scale fidelity for their representations of those pylons in each kit. Couple all of the above with the very small actual size of these details in 1:72, and a useful generic set quickly trends toward practical impossibility. Your best bet is probably looking for kit/airframe-specific PE detail sets that do include these sorts of details. Absent that you might be able to adapt PE details designed for small-scale (1:700 or under) ships - portholes, watertight doors, etc. - to find sets of basic shapes in PE that could be repurposed as a reasonable approximation. You might also look into "option parts" for Gundam-type kits. Those product lines include some fairly extensive generic PE and injection molded sets designed for added detailing/customization of the base kits. It might require trimming the parts you want from a larger detail/pattern but worth looking into. Wave and Kotobukiya are two companies with extensive offerings of this type.
  9. Far too many re-releases of the 1988 tooling to say definitively, but I believe at least "most" boxings do include the early and late beaver tail parts - I can't verify whether "parts not for use" may have been gated off for some issues, but the base tooling has both versions on sprue 'K.' Also worth noting, the "early" tooling has been re-released at least as recently as 2008. Aside from parts count, the immediately obvious differences between the early and late toolings include: '77 Tooling: - Raised panel lines - Full missile load - No PE parts '88 Tooling: - Scribed panel lines - No missiles included - Small PE fret
  10. Just to clear up potential confusion, the Hasegawa 1:72 F-14 kits that offer the early or late beaver tail as separate parts are the "new" tooling (2nd generation, originally issued circa 1988). The "old tool" Hasegawa Tomcat first issued c. 1977 has always, to the best of my knowledge, had the "late" beaver tail design molded integral with the rest of the rear fuselage upper and lower halves. https://www.scalemates.com/kits/hasegawa-00544-f-14a-tomcat-atlantic-fleet-squadrons--120633/timeline More detail on the variations can be found at the M.A.T.S. site (a vast wealth of Tomcat resources): http://www.anft.net/f-14/f14-detail-beavertail.htm
  11. Strangely considering how iconic the bomb bay footage of the X-1 from directly overhead seems to be, on quivk review of several Youtube segments there doesn't seem to be any similar film of the X-2 that would provide a definitive plan view. Closest I spotted was a wind tunnel model at 2:13 in this video: https://youtu.be/9SejT0cJFIs
  12. I did note the price, and while I agree that it is unquestionably expensive, it's worth considering in perspective: This is the first injection molded kit of this subject in this scale - as your original post noted, the most widely used (and I would say historically significant) SPAAG in history. If you put enough faith in longstanding rumors of the Toxso/Revell project, or the other most likely sources of Modelcollect, Zvezda, or Trumpeter/HobbyBoss, to wait on a less expensive alternative, you'll also have to be ready to accept not only a wait of a decade or two more, but also the likelihood of simplified running gear, accuracy issues, and no guarantee of an MSRP any lower than this one. Also consider this kit includes a full photoetch fret, and extensive decal options in the base package. In today's marketplace those could easily cost as much as $15-20 USD as standalone items. Yes, $40 is a lot for a 1:72 AFV. But personally I don't think it's unreasonable, though it will definitely limit the quantity I buy. I've grown increasingly convinced that "sticker shock" over the retail pricing of kits today has more to do with the rapidly diminishing market share our hobby occupies (coupled with simple realities of inflation) than manufacturers or distributors trying to gouge their customers. When I first started "seriously" pursuing this hobby circa 1989, the brand new Hasegawa and Fujimi 1:72 F-14s carried what then seemed like an astronomical MSRP of $23.00 each. In the 33 years since $23 has obviously come a lot closer to what the average consumer could call "disposable" income, but keep in mind that nowadays while the same kits probably retail for 2-3 times the original asking price, they are also not being sold in nearly as many "casual" sales outlets - far fewer hobby shops, and virtually zero "big box" retailers still carrying model kits at all. Factor in the added competition from 3D printing that will increasingly allow people to have their choice of subjects & scales literally made to order, and it's not so difficult to justify a $40 retail price for a well-detailed injection-molded kit with multimedia detail parts.
  13. This much-needed kit seems to now be available: https://armorymodels.com/product/1-72-zsu-23-4v1-shilka-mod-1970-soviet-modern-aa-gpg/
  14. Watching this thread with great interest, as I have the same Caracal sheet and long-term plans for a similar project (possibly using the Matchbox kit as a starting point as it retains some of the prototype features not present on any other kits I'm aware of). Having one of the Hobbycraft and a couple of the "old tool" Hasegawa in my Tomcat stash, I can confirm the two are not directly related. Hobbycraft's kit may have used the 1st generation Hasegawa as a starting point, but if so it is a crude (at best) copy. Sure anything you need to revise or replace to match the prototype airframe will be a vast improvement!
  15. TS-48 is a pretty close equivalent for FS36118 but a touch darker than the official color. Tamiya has since released AS-27 ("Gunship Gray 2" in Tamiya's nomenclature) which is a more exact match to the FS 595 standard. Small correction, the cockpit color is officially FS36231 (informally known as "dark gull gray"). No disagreement on XF-54 being a much better match than XF-19.
  16. Actually for the "high visibility" era markings of his Blackbird the T-38s would still be in the classic white scheme: http://www.habu.org/sr-71/17974.html Wolfpak (RIP) did a 9th SRW Talon from the correct era on sheet 72-064, still available from Fantasy Printshop: https://www.fantasyprintshop.co.uk/product/wolfpak-72-064-stars-in-their-courses/ If you prefer the ACC-era red-on-black scheme, those were done by TwoBobs - OOP for some time, but possibly available on the secondary market: https://www.scalemates.com/kits/twobobs-aviation-graphics-72-053-t-38a--208738
  17. If by pylons you mean the wing gloves (stations 1A & 8A), and you're depicting an F-14A or F-14B, note that for AIM-54s to be operable on those stations the forward Phoenix fairings had to be present on stations 3 & 6 because they carried coolant systems required for some of the missile's electronics. There was an "umbilical bridge" that connected the system in the forward fairings to the rear Phoenix rails (4 & 5) in the tunnel, if those were carried, and/or to the glove pylons. Without the belly fairings AIM-54s could technically be carried on the glove stations but they wouldn't be launchable. Note all of the above applies to the A/B with AIM-54As only - I'm not sure if the issue was addressed by the upgrades to the AIM-54C or to the D-model Tomcat (or some combination of the two), but my understanding is that the D-model did not have to have the fairings loaded to carry Phoenix on the glove pylon(s).
  18. Pretty certain this was the type that originally inspired the old joke about an aircraft that doesn't actually fly, it's just so ugly the earth is repelled by it!
  19. Can't answer your first question, but the nose antenna you're referring to is part of an improved IFF (Identification of Friend or Foe) system. I believe the antenna itself is the same for upgraded "Legacy" Hornets used by several nations (several F-16 variants have had similar mods added over the past couple of decades). As for aftermarket, not my scale but this showed up on a quick search - you may find more options with some Google-fu. https://www.scalemates.com/kits/maw-decals-48-r004-f-a-18c-and-d-late-lot-nose-with-iff-antenna--136034
  20. Couple of suggestions in addition to those already mentioned: Wolfpak Decals (RIP, but with old stock still available from Fantasy Printshop) did several sets for US guided missiles that included some text and insignia that might be useful. 72-068, 72-069, and 72-070 were the initial releases, there was also a later sheet for cruise missiles (AGM-86, AGM-129, and AGM-109 IIRC) that may be your best option. https://www.fantasyprintshop.co.uk/product/wolfpak-72-068-yipes-stripes/ For *really* small insignia, you might look into decals for 1:350 or even 1:700 aircraft. Skywave has done a few dedicated sheets. You can probably also find spare insignia for sets like Trumpeter's carrier aircraft from builders that either used more elaborate aftermarket or disregarded decals entirely.
  21. Funny to think of the first 30 years or so of the B-52H's service life as its "very early" years! (For anyone not already aware, the last H-models rolled off the assembly line circa 1962 - the Vulcan tail guns were removed shortly after the changeover from SAC to ACC in 1992). I've yet to see what I would call outstanding plans of the B-52 family, but the best overall, albeit rather small and not perfect, are in the Japanese Famous Aircraft of the World volume on the BUFF. These include profiles for several variants up through what I'd call the "middle aged" H-model, with EVS and OAS blisters on the chin and nose but before the tail guns were removed. For modeling purposes the D is pretty similar to most early variants with the obvious exception of the tandem-cockpit prototypes.
  22. Just a couple of observations on the underside color (only my £0.02, it's your model): Although the Greek F-5 fleet was indeed sourced from a mix of new-build deliveries and a variety of secondhand sources with the range of camouflage schemes (and typically heavy weathering) this entailed, the 'Aegean Blue' scheme was borrowed from the French-built Mirage F.1CG fleet and only adopted on Hellenic F-5s (and F-4Es) well after their original entry into Greek service - thus a previous operator's colors would be highly unlikely to appear on the underside of what would have by definition been a new repaint of the upper blue-gray color. Also, while the actual underside color used in the Aegean Blue scheme is the same 'silver/aluminum' for Freedom Fighters, Phantoms, and Mirages, in reality it is not a bright natural metal but rather a metallic finish that can often appear light gray similar to anodized aluminum. Poor lighting (being the underside), weathering, and all the usual issues with digital or physical image reproductions combine to create frequent confusion (and in the case of museum airframes we all understand those may not be finished accurately). If you do a search for "Mirage F.1 underside color" I'm sure you'll find similar debate, another example being the Italian F-104 camouflage schemes that used a similar underside finish. I'm personally confident that all of these had some variation of silver bellies while in service.
  23. Sorry about the decal mishap but glad you're making a recovery! As @Corsairfoxfouruncle noted, Caracal 72-063 should be your choice for Strike Eagles but with the change in units you're also representing a change in era that comes with several detail differences. The 48th Wing at Lakenheath was still the 48th TFW flying F-111Fs during Desert Storm, they converted to Strike Eagles shortly afterward (circa 1992). The Caracal sheet is for much more recent operations, circa 2015 or later. As such some of the modeler's notes would include: - Remember those small intakes on the CFTs under the wings? Hope you saved the parts, as those are applicable for this era - The leading blade antenna under the forward fuselage was changed from the original rectangular shape to a swept design (referred to at least by some hobbyists as the "sharkfin" style). - GPS dome added on the upper fuselage/wing root area (apologies as going from memory I don't recall if it's port or starboard side). Easy scratchbuild from the tip of a spare AIM-9 or similar shape. - LANTIRN targeting pod was superseded by Sniper (the navigation pod should remain). This is available from Hasegawa in one of their more recent weapons sets, probably other aftermarket options. - Armament differences: AIM-9L/M was at least supplemented by AIM-9X by this timeframe, and AIM-120s were also usually part of the mix; All the AAMs were mounted on the later LAU rails (128/129 - can't recall the exact designation but they're effectively identical for modelers at this scale). You'd also see pretty much exclusively PGMs loaded, JDAM family including the SDB Small Diameter Bomb, and most likely only the smaller Paveway series (GBU-12 500 pounders) if LGBs were carried. Sure there are some other small detail updates but that covers the major items. Also be aware that the Lakenheath Strike squadrons used pretty much identical markings from the time they first stood up on the type, so you could probably use most of the Caracal set to represent an older 48FW Mudhen from when some of those updates didn't yet apply (notably Sniper and AIM-9X are relatively recent changes)
  24. Just to avoid confusion, these are the colors for the F-4 version of Euro I (only), per the OP's original question. As noted above the A-10 wore another version using 34092/34102/36081 (as the official scheme - there were variations before this was standardized as a replacement for the MASK gray scheme). The official Euro I scheme for transport and utility types substituted 36118, a lighter gray, for 36081, using the same greens as the A-10 - though the darker green was also subject to some odd variations, most notably on a number of the C-5 fleet.
  25. I wonder how that ranks on the scale of offenses relative to posting a rhetorical question. On the topic of the original post, there is widespread consensus the 1:72 AMK kit is a far superior tooling to Italeri or Hasegawa, but for several years now the AMK kit seems to have been out of production and virtually impossible to find. Anyone have any insight on current availability?
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