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Mike V

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About Mike V

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    Scale Parts Incorporated
  • Birthday 16/02/1969

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    High Desert CA

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  1. Mike V

    Skunkworks (was Kinetic) F-16xl 1/48

    Dangerous kit; first time I've heard that; lol It looks like the resin nose has some added/exaggerated detail, though they inaccurately scribed in the AOA probe cover smudge outline. That will need to be carefully filled in. The probe is wrong and it doesn't come with the AOA vanes. This is a pitot that would be much better represented in turned brass. For my purposes; this set is not practical or worth it. Mike V
  2. Mike V

    How is the 1/48 SW F-16XL nose ?

    The Zone-5 link is is regards to the "original" Kinetic F-16 releases, which had the inaccurate forward fuselage profile; otherwise known as the Kinetic F-16 "nose droop". Kinetic later corrected this to include the radome, but overall it was still (and sill is) a little bit off; though you have to know what to look for to see it. The Kinetic/Skunkworks F-16XL not only has an accurate forward fuselage, but a more accurate "radome" than their F-16 kits. The Kin/SWs F-16XL was developed with the approach to use the existing Kinetic F-16 detail or "gut parts", as in real scale they was a 80% cross over. Kinetic had to provide an accurate XL Fuselage, Wings, and radome tooling wise as the rest was essentially already made. Also note they tooled new exterior NSI Intake halves (not as heavy recessed detail as original), the cockpit tube, and the pylons as well. Mike V
  3. Mike V

    Skunkworks (was Kinetic) F-16xl 1/48

    For reference and proper nomenclature; it's not a nose it's a Radome and there's nothing wrong shape wise with the F-16XL radome. This resin replacement radome comes in one piece and does offer the High AOA extended Pitot, but it's not all that accurate. Mike V
  4. Mike V

    Help needed re. Italeri vs. Airfix 1/48 Hawk

    Italeri looks to be the choice 48th Hawk between the two (discussed a few years ago here), though not without its problems like the nose and poor detailing. http://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/234967185-148-bae-hawk-italeri-or-airfix/ I have both and while Italeri is a little better overall, they both need a some AM help and the Airfix canopy is terrible with that heavy DET chord molded in. Both cockpits are poorly done. I've yet to find accurate AM wheels either. I used the Neomega cockpit in an Airfix Hawk which was better than the CMK at the time and still better than WP's; in addition to an unknown VAC canopy. I had started the Italeri kit and shelved it (when I moved) only after I got a Neomega cockpit installed, which took some work. Not sure about the seat changes, so you'll have to do some research.
  5. Mike V

    Marines' F/A-18A+ Hornet - weapon and engine

    There are some 48th GBU-38s; though Shawn Hull's were the best by far, but are currently OOP. https://www.scalemates.com/kits/228038-shull24-20-gbu-38-jdam-usaf Mike
  6. Mike V

    Best 1/48 F-15J or DJ kit,Hasegawa or GWH?

    The main issues with the Hasegawa kit are the cockpit and Intakes. While the IP and consoles are well detailed, the same can't be said for the rest of the cockpit. The ACES Seats are not all that well done. The cockpit also rides too high, rendering practically no sidewalls. While the kit comes with full run intakes, fairing the intake ducts (once built up) to the forward integrated intake walls is a major PITA! The secondary and diffuser ramps are partially extended, when they should be fully up. You should be able to see the entire Engine Fan when looking directly down the intake. The area around the speed brake is slightly raised, though not to the extent as the Academy kit. The wheels are quite inaccurate and the main gear generic in detail. Note that in the Hasegawa High Grade F-15 kits, they come with super detailed metal gear which is the best in this scale. Early kits came with feathered Exhaust Nozzles, but these were void of internal Divergent/Convergent segment detail and the turkey feather count is too much. The Exhaust ducting is also too short. Later and all current Hasegawa kit have detailed featherless Exhaust nozzles, but still retains the short Exhaust ducting. The Exhaust, cockpit, and soon the wheels and intakes can be replaced with AM. That covers the major issues. Mike V
  7. Mike V

    Best 1/48 F-15J or DJ kit,Hasegawa or GWH?

    Understand that the major shape errors with the forward fuselage and radome/nose cross sections have been fixed, so all current releases should be fine. However, the over scaled Ejection Seats, too narrow intakes, inaccurate Engine Fan/IGVs, and too long Exhaust Nozzles still remain. Despite that, yes overall the GW kit is now better than Hasegawa F-15; taking into account the Hasegawa F-15 kit shortcomings.
  8. Great story behind this. Ironic though; a Typhoon with Hurricane colors
  9. Mike V

    Best 1/48 F-15J or DJ kit,Hasegawa or GWH?

    That depends. While most of the surface detail and cockpit (minus the seats of course) is better than Hasegawa and come with nice box stock missiles, it still has a few major issues with the Intakes, Exhaust, Engine FAN/IGVs, and seats that justifying the $100+ price tag may not be enough for most modelers. I have the later F-15C kit, but really can't justify buying another one as I'll end up having to fix or replace the Exhaust, Intakes, Engine Fans, and Seats (probably the wheels too as I'm not sold on their accuracy or pudgy tires), when I can get second hand Hasegawa kits with AM for about the same price. It all depends on your budget and quality standards. The GW is indeed a nice kit, but not without its major issues, but overall better than Hasegawa. The Hasegawa is still a contender, especially since they can be had for less than half the price of the GW kit if one looks around. Mike V
  10. Mike V

    Best 1/48 F-15J or DJ kit,Hasegawa or GWH?

    The GW F-15 is the overall best F-15A-D, since they made their forward fuselage and radome fixes. Beware of the first issue F-15B/D kits as they had the terribly inaccurate forward fuselage cross sections. There are still some areas to be addressed or fixed; like the over scaled Ejection Seats, too long exhaust, and way too narrow intake ducting. Hasegawa is a solid 2nd runner. Mike V
  11. Mike V

    Marines' F/A-18A+ Hornet - weapon and engine

    Actually, the basic GE 404 Engine remained the same from the A-C Hornets, aside from the AFT-Control to DEC upgrades during the 90s; though nothing notable modeling wise. Externally, the original 404 had straight turkey feathers while later (now current) GE 404 Exhaust Nozzles went to a "notched" turkey feather.The first photo shows the straight/original F-18 Turkey feathers and the second; notched type. If you look closely, you will note that this Hornet has both types nozzles installed.
  12. Mike V

    Italeri 1/48 F-16 kits

    Recent Italeri 48th F-16s (aside from the F-16ADF kits) have been Kinetic reboxings. Here's my reviews on the on the original Italeri F-16s: Italeri F-16D Brakeet: Note that the "Brakeet" name is not a Hebrew word and a common name misconception Israeli F-16s. The correct Hebrew name for all IAF F-16C/D's is Barak for Block 30s or Barak II's Block 40. Note that the IAF F-16D isn’t anything close to an F-16D, much less a Block 40 or 30 Israeli D: - Cockpit detail is weak and what little detail that is there represents the A/B cockpit. - The spine is terribly misshapen. - The parabrake extension is even worse than the spine as its way too small in cross section and has nothing but erroneous surface detail. - Bulged MLG doors & larger retract beam not included to represent the Israeli F-16 Block 30 and 40 Heavy Weight gear. - Proper Heavy Weight Gear is no included. - Block 40 wheels (Barak Block 40) or Block 50 wheels (Barak Block 30) are not included. - Missing NLG TAXI/LAND light assy & LEF RWR for IAF Block 40. - No MCID (Barak Block 40 all/ Barak Block 30 “D” Models) intake. - No NLG door LAND/TAXI light assembly (Block 40 only). - No LEF RWR Antennas (Block 40 only). - Missing the EW/RW Plates on the doughnut panel (Block 40 only, but most have since been removed with a base plate left behind). At best, you can make an ok standard F-16B from the kit, as the spine and parabrake are practically useless for any D model; as is the cockpit. Standard issue Italeri F-16A/C kits;: -The panel lines are on the soft side and the surface has a grainy finish. -Radome is a bit short and too pointed -The cockpit detail is generic at best and represents an A or B model. -The glare shield is offset to the left side. -Canopy is not blown and frame (real bad on the B/D models) base is too thick in height. -The NSI intake mouth profile is way off; not to mention the seam clean up (both interior and exterior) is a nightmare. -The upper fuselage plug (which allows for the option of 1 or 2 seater) does not line up well and makes for allot of filling and rescribing to get it right. - Both Gun muzzles are poorly executed and the A model type (8 slotted) suffers from molding defects. - Wheel wells are typical Italeri; all guess work with “diode like” detailing that’s nothing close to the real thing. - The main wheels are awful and are nothing close to anything the F-16 ever used. - Though the Light Weight Landing Gear itself is actually fairly decent and in some respects better than Hasegawa, but unfortunately it’s set low which results in an inherent "bottom End" squat when the kit is built up. It looks like the NLG may set a bit tall and the mains were set to low in the design of the kit. - The P&W nozzle has some strange ribbing or scalloping on the doughnut panel. I have no idea what that is suppose to be or represent, but it’s completely wrong. Also, it is molded in the "puckered/closed” position (SEC mode) and the turkey feather ends are way too thick. - The GE nozzle is totally wrong as it has 14 turkey feathers, as opposed to the 12 feathers of the real thing. Hasegawa’s F-16Cs & Revell F-16C/F-14D got it right BTW. - The upper & lower wing root panels (the cover panel where the wing meets the fuselage) are sunken in for some odd reason??? The trailing sides of the wing root panels also have an elongated step. - The vertical tail base for the C/D model is too rounded in shape, the LE scoop is poorly done, and the vertical tail cap is that of an A model. - Trailing edges of the speed brakes are overly thick and should be thinned down about 75% of the existing thickness. - The wingtip 210 launchers are totally wrong and the fastener detail is way over done, as are the rest of the weapons/stores. - Both 370 wing tanks are off in shape; being way to blunt and rounded at the nose. - Key C/D model details are missing as follows; larger ECS Exhaust shroud (forward lwr. Lt. Wheel well), High profile the Ammo load door, and most of the basic airframe lights and Landing, Taxi, and intake lights lenses Updates: Italeri F-16 ADF Italeri released an ADF variant which is the same basic F-16A kit, but with ADF vertical tail base and AIFF antennas. The ADF bulge is poorly done; the shape and cross section of the bulges are way off. The AIFF antennas are ok, but are on the small side and the base is over scaled. The rest of the kit is as the above description Italeri F-16DG Block 40 This is the Kinetic kit reboxed. See my Kinetic review for more detail. Mike V
  13. Mike V

    Skunkworks (was Kinetic) F-16xl 1/48

    We're already on that. I'm hoping they implemented that relief cut to the inside of the forward upper fuselage I requested. If so, it will make the 2 seat conversion that much practical. The cockpit and intake will be the other obstacles to contend with. That would be the laminar flow wing; quite an extensive mod. It looks quite ugly on the jet and it's only been partially de-modded and is currently dry rotting at NASA'S bone yard. Mike V
  14. Mike V

    Skunkworks (was Kinetic) F-16xl 1/48

    You're thinking standard IAF F-16 single seaters. The IAF proposal F-16XL had both a single and two seat spine arrangement.
  15. Mike V

    Skunkworks (was Kinetic) F-16xl 1/48

    Interesting alternative "fictional" markings; though the Nellis jet would have been more practical with "OT" tail codes. The IAF version was suppose to have the spine, more ECM, and extra CHAFF/Flare modules. Can't wait to see this first hand.