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Sabrejet

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Everything posted by Sabrejet

  1. I need an army of trained gnomes to find all the stuff in the carpet. And remove the cat hairs from most of my paintwork!
  2. Got the Airfix intake assembly joined up to the Academy fuselage. After a lot of profiling on the upper area joint, the Airfix part was paper-thin, so I cut out the plastic, filled the hole with Milliput and re-profiled the whole area. It looks good in terms of overall shape now. Then I also filled that large void aft of the wing section where there are missing parts from both kits. Also arrowed are a couple of blocks of plastic, which will be sanded back in order to fill a gap between the two kits' parts. And a first pass has been made to fair it all in, along with a dry-fit of the wing section:
  3. Just one digit out! Fingers crossed...
  4. And I thought I was alone in my affliction...
  5. There has been a lot of negative (and uninformed) comment on the Infinity Vampire which seems to have stuck. First that the wings on the aircraft were made of wood (!) and thus devoid of rivets. Secondly that (for those who agree on the wing being constructed of aluminium alloy) the rivet detail is overdone. The first statement is incorrect; the second a matter of choice. Many kits have overdone rivet and/or panel line detail when being 100% faithful to the original but receive no negative comment on the subject. But for some reason Infinity has drawn a disproportionately large amount of attention to what is something that for many won't be an issue, and in any case could be easily rectified by a light sanding or a sensible coat of primer and paint. So I hope they do issue a Marauder kit because I'm sure it will look the part and be all there is in 1/48 for many a year.
  6. Great job of a nice kit Too late I know, but in case they are of interest:
  7. This is Model Factory Hiro's 1974 Porsche 911 RSR in 1/43 scale. It's a mainly white metal kit, and as with all the other MFH products I've made, is an absolute doozy. These are just some of the parts in the kit, and don't include the photo-etched parts, decals, vac form screens and sundry tube, rod etc.
  8. Me too! The US Department of State operates/operated the related Ayres S2R-T34 for many years and it's a type I have a soft spot for.
  9. Nice job! I love Profil24 kits, but they do need a bit of work. I hope my Howmet looks anywhere near as good as yours!
  10. What an unexpected and welcome choice! Well done Roden for showing imagination
  11. Good question. Certainly similar, but that's as far as I'd go.
  12. What a lovely idea. I do hope it's correct - an AOP.6 would make sense, but I'd also really like to see a civil version - PLENTY of colour scheme options there!
  13. 52-6500 was assigned to the 405th straight from production (8 July 1954), and the photo dates from around that time period, when it would not have had the drag chute. Circa 1955, the 'U.S. AIR FORCE' script was painted on the fuselage, as seen in the second photo. Aircraft built to this standard were often retrofitted (at Farmingdale, IIRC) and so you will often find these machines fitted with drag chutes later in service.
  14. It's all a bit black, but I'll dry-brush a bit to relieve that. Seat belts are from the Eduard 'Look' set.
  15. Lovely job! I've liked the looks of the Wicko since way back when 'FJB used to sit in a garden (down south somewhere?) and was often illustrated in Wrecks and Relics. Saw it at Goodwood a while ago
  16. The Airfix intake ring is larger than the Academy version, so in order to 'encourage' the Academy fuselage into shape, I glued some narrow gussets around the intake rim. The Airfix nose gear bay is a tad shorter than the Academy aperture, so I have extended the gear bay aft to meet the extra length (white plastic): The effect of all of this is that there is a tapered gap on top of the nose, which will need to be filled. I've also started scratch-building the cockpit section (the Airfix and Academy items were donated to the respective TF-86 and CAC Sabre conversions). The main instrument panel is an Eduard "Look" item.
  17. I've seen Howmets a couple of times and I know that at one point one of the cars ran with a different engine (in recent times). I've looked into them a bit but didn't realise that the two cars were different lengths.
  18. Nice work: I bought this one when it was issued but have yet to build it. Watching with interest!
  19. Things we do know: Arma do not have accurate data. Yes it is too soon. And yes, it seems the B-21 will forever be considered a version of the B-2 because they look similar. ESCI did it years ago when they thought the FJ Fury looked a bit like the F-86, so we've been here before...
  20. Test fit of the Academy fuselage and Airfix wings: the fuselage needed a bit of trimming in the area shown by the dotted line, but the fit is way beyond what I expected. Underneath it's good too, but complicated somewhat by the removal of parts at the front and rear (circled on an intact version). The forward bit needed to be removed anyway, but at the centre section/trailing edge area there is a bit gap to be filled, as well as a further gap where the Academy kit had an insert (which was used on the CAC conversion).
  21. Lovely job! I never liked the look of the BT8 (give me a Lotus 19 any day), but let's face it - those sports racers all looked good!
  22. This will be a 1/48 Sabre in USAF colours, but first I need to explain why… Back in August 2020 I was contacted by an old acquaintance who’d rescued a battered F-86F forward fuselage and wanted my advice on trying to identify it. I assumed it would be either an ex-USN F-86F drone, or possibly even a mis-identified US Army QF-86E. But photos told a very different story: this aircraft was no recent recovery but something obviously much older in terms of the period it had spent as a wreck. Rumour had it that the aircraft had, “…bellied-in to an airbase in the Midwest, somewhere like Ohio or Illinois, in the 1950s”. A collector had then bought it as scrap from the base sometime in the 1960s. There were no data plates apparent, and nothing visible in terms of paint or markings. But I could see it was definitely an F-86F, and tantalisingly the new owner said he could just make out “Air Force F-86F-25-NH” and “51-133…” stencilled beneath the cockpit. So those years of transcribing record cards came to the fore, and straight away I managed to get a shortlist of maybe 15 F-86F-25s in the 51-133xx block which had been written off; and from that, five which had been lost outside of the west coast. And of those five, just one had crashed in the Midwest – in Illinois in fact. This aircraft had landed and caught fire, the pilot escaping. The owner later told me he deliberately hadn’t mentioned evidence of fire damage to anyone and so my Illinois candidate appeared to match the damage he’d found on his fuselage. Evidence of squadron markings sealed the deal and the Sabre was positively identified as s/n 51-13395, which had suffered a landing accident on 14 July 1953. The story of its survival is quite a tale. The 479th Fighter Bomber Wing (FBW) had been activated on 1 December 1952 at George AFB in California, assuming the personnel and assets of the 131st FBW, an Air National Guard (ANG) unit. The 131st had been called to active duty in March 1951 and with its three attached F-51D Mustang Squadrons (the 110th Fighter Bomber Squadron (FBS), Missouri ANG; 170th FBS, Illinois ANG; and the 192nd FBS, Nevada ANG), had moved from the Midwest via Bergstrom AFB in Texas for assignment to Tactical Air Command (TAC) and set up home at George AFB in California. When the 479th FBW was activated, it was assigned to Ninth Air Force and commanded by Col Virgil L Zoller; Col Woodrow W Ramsey took command of the tactical Group, which comprised three fighter bomber squadrons (FBS), the 434th, 435th and 436th; the 435th FBS took over the aircraft and assets of the 192nd FBS (deployed in Iceland) and would continue to operate the F-51D there. Each of the flying squadrons was assigned an individual colour: red for 434th FBS; green for 435th FBS and blue for the 436th. Conversion from the F-51D to modern F-86F equipment began in early 1953, with 436th FBS the first to do so. All of the Group’s new aircraft would be the F-86F-25 version, with the ‘dual-store’ wing and ‘6-3’ leading edge. The transition from propeller-driven Mustang to jet-powered Sabre was largely complete by 30 June, when all but two of the new type had been received. 51-13395 had been received on 3 June and assigned to 435th FBS. 434th FBS: 435th FBS: 436th FBS (with Arctic conspicuity markings applied during Alaska deployment) Newly-converted to the Sabre, one of the first tasks for the 435th FBS was to deploy a number of aircraft to Detroit-Wayne Major Airport in support of the International Aviation Exposition. The event, which would run from 9 thru 12 July 1953, was open to the public, with tickets priced at $1.50 for general admission and $2.50 for reserved seating; children under 12 would be admitted free. July 9 was promoted as Ladies Day, with successive days being titled Aviation Industry Day; Aviation Pioneer Day and Salute to Armed Forces. The squadron deployed eight F-86Fs from George AFB so that they could position one (51-13361) in the static display at Detroit and the remaining aircraft to Selfridge AFB, 40 miles to the northeast. The mission was led by squadron commander Maj William Nacy in F-86F 51-13361 and his crews included Korean War ace Capt Joseph McConnell, who had just returned from the Far East and been assigned as a flight commander with the 435th FBS for just a month. The Sabres arrived at their Selfridge and Detroit destinations on or before Wednesday 8 July. The static machine at Wayne Major was placed in a row of USAF aircraft while the Selfridge group had their drop tanks removed and would be flown across to Detroit so that they could be in place there each day. The “Salute to Armed Forces” display on Sunday 12 July kicked off with the arrival of a Navy F9F Cougar and a 435th FBS Sabre, both of which had just completed a symbolic flight from Kitty Hawk, NC – the site of the Wright Brother’s first powered flight just half a century earlier. But undoubtedly the highlight of the day was the appearance of seven Korean War aces, who each arrived over the display area at high speed in the F-86Fs previously positioned at Selfridge by the 435th. At the conclusion of their segment, the aces landed at Wayne Major to meet their adoring public. Aside from Joseph McConnell, the other MiG-killers comprised Col Royal N Baker, Lt Col Richard D Creighton, Maj Frederick C Blesse, Capt Emanuel Fernandez, Jr, Capt Ralph Gibson and 1/Lt James F Low. With the show complete, the task of ferrying 51-13395 back to George AFB fell to 1/Lt Charles Eichbaum, who had previously flown it at Selfridge and probably also from California. The first leg was from Detroit to Selfridge, where ground crews refitted the drop tanks and serviced the aircraft with 835 gallons of fuel and 8 quarts of oil, probably on Monday 13 July. The following day, Eichbaum and two other Sabres led by Maj Nacy departed Selfridge at 8am and set course for George AFB via their first refuelling stop at Scott AFB, Illinois. Lieutenant Eichbaum later stated of this flight, “After flying approximately 20 or 25 minutes [at 25,000 ft] I noticed my drop tank amber light come on. This light when lit, indicates that the drop tanks are empty under normal conditions. The fuel quantity gauge for internal fuel was indicating that fuel was now being used from the internal tanks. I called my flight leader and told him my drop tanks were empty, as I thought that they were. At 1750 pounds of fuel [approximately 265 gallons] as read by my fuel quantity gauge I called him again and gave him my fuel reading. He told me to land at Chanute which was about 30 or 35 miles to the right of our course. I broke out of formation and contacted Chanute Tower and told them of my trouble". This is Lt Eichbaum pictured whilst in jet training at Bryan AFB: He continued, “Since I had lined up on Runway 18 I asked for that runway and proceeded to make a normal approach with my base leg out slightly so that I could set down on the end of the runway. I came in over the fence at about 155 or 160 knots with power about 75%. When I saw I was going to land on the end of the runway I cut the power. I started my round-out and as I was rounding out close to the ground my left wing dropped. I started to add power and right aileron, but it was too late as I had hit on the left gear. I cut power and kept the plane going straight down the runway. The plane was leaning to the left and I thought I had a low gear or a soft tire. The Tower told me my left wing-tank was on fire. Immediately I stopped the plane, stop-cocked the throttle, shut off the engine master switch and battery switch, released myself from the safety belt and shoulder harness, and got out of the plane as soon as possible.” The base fire department deployed three appliances to the scene of the accident but by the time the fire had been contained, the aft section of the fuselage had burned through and the left wing was badly damaged. Investigation later revealed that a fuel connection to the left-hand drop tank was loose, which had interrupted the flow of fuel and resulted in an out-of-balance fuel load. The damage is shown below, and highlighted in red, the evidence of squadron markings applied on the vertical tail. Following its accident, the Sabre was transferred to the 3345th Technical Training Wing at Chanute AFB and recommended for salvage. It would appear that 51-13395’s burned carcass was parted out shortly after the accident and the heavily-damaged aft fuselage section scrapped immediately. The proximity to Chanute’s Technical Training school would make it probable that the Sabre’s J47 engine made its way there, to be used as an instructional aid. But the forward fuselage survived largely intact, along with a section of wing; its condition would have made it suitable as a fire/rescue training aid at Chanute, and evidence on the surviving airframe supports this theory. Circa 1960 the forward fuselage of ‘395 was disposed of, to Earl Reinert, an Illinois-based pioneer of the post-war warbird movement. A few years after Reinert had started collecting old aircraft, a young carpenter in Newbury, Ohio also caught the bug, frustrated at seeing the nation’s aviation heritage ending up in the smelter. His name was Walter Soplata, and he would arguably become more well-known than Earl. In early 1966, Walter became the new owner of the mortal remains of F-86F 51-13395 and its forward fuselage and wing section were loaded onto Walt’s trailer and towed by a very rickety Chevrolet Suburban, back to Ohio. Walt had paid Reinert $100; at the time of its accident, ‘395 had been valued at $159,377 (airframe) and $58,505 (engine). But being so badly damaged, Walt wasn’t particularly interested in displaying the Sabre, and it is likely that he saw it as a possible source of parts or even as a future trade. So it sat, unloved for many years in the back garden and gradually faded into anonymity. In the mid-1990s it passed to a collector in Oklahoma, and then in 2020 to its new owner in Alabama. The photo below shows the forward fuselage whilst at Walter Soplata's property: To the model. At the start of 2022 I used two Airfix 1/48 Sabre 4 kits to make a TF-86 trainer - WIP and RFI here: I had lots of parts left over from the trainer conversion, and wanted to use them if possible. Going even further back, several decades ago I used the 1/48 Academy F-86F as the basis of a CAC Sabre 32 conversion, using the High Planes fuselage. So as a result I have had an Academy fuselage spare also. With these in mind, I aim to depict F-86F s/n 51-13395 in 435th FBS colours by kit-bashing these bits together plus a few other parts. The basics of the kit-bash will be: Airfix wings, glazing, tailplane, drop tanks, cockpit and landing gear Academy fuselage and intake Eduard F-86F kit markings (modified) and Caracal serial numbers Eduard PE for cockpit details Scratch-built ejection seat The cockpit will be black throughout, since the Interior Grey scheme was introduced just after ‘our’ Sabre at Columbus, from s/n 51-13398. Several misconceptions also need to be mentioned here. First of all the notion (stated in a number of F-86 publications) that Korean War ace James Jabara flew with the 435th FBS. This is likely due to fellow ace Joe McConnell being assigned to the squadron and causing confusion. Either way, the ‘Jabara’ story seems to have gained erroneous credence, despite him being in Korea and then assigned to an F-86D training unit (4750th TW at Yuma AFB from 1 September 1953) for the entire period that the 435th operated the F-86F. He also wasn’t one of the aces who flew the squadron aircraft in 1953. Here are a few incorrectly-annotated images for example: Secondly, and more widespread is the belief that 435th FBS Sabres were trimmed in red rather than green. Not only has this error been perpetuated in at least one publication, but Eduard also got it wrong with their version of the Hasegawa F-86F kit and there’s even an airworthy Sabre painted in the incorrect red colours! These renditions (bar Eduard) even go so far as to apply Jabara’s name to the canopy rail! To clarify, 435th FBS Sabres had green trim, which is corroborated by the colour photographs above and at the bottom of this post. Not only this, but red has been independently confirmed as the colour allotted to 434th FBS (and via the really poor-quality shot I obtained from a 434th FBS crew chief many years ago above). The origin of green for 435th FBS seems related to it being known as “the shamrock squadron” within the Group, with many of the 435th Sabres wearing a green trefoil leaf on their right-hand gun door. Furthermore, there are small areas of green-coloured trim remaining on the less vulnerable areas of 51-13395. This is one of the green-painted areas: And this is the "Jabara" aircraft, with the canopy rail not showing his name, but apparently that of "Pilot Capt Jones R. A". So quite a story and hopefully putting all those disparate parts together in model form will somehow serve to correct the various bits of physical and historical damage from the past. These are the main bits I'm using. Academy fuselage halves and intake ring. I now think that the other parts are Revell F-86D and I'm not sure if I'll be using those. And the remaining Airfix bits - note that the fore and aft sections of the lower wing are missing from their donation to the TF-86 conversion: And this one made me laugh: I was so convinced that I had a wingtip/aileron part missing that I even annotated the 'only' one I had (arrow). No prizes if you can spot the other one (I spotted it but only after emptying the bin where I'd just thrown some sprues)... And some invaluable Caracal serial numbers in the correct NAA font: So I have a bit of work to do but it's only plastic. What's the worst that can happen?
  23. Further, none of these F-86As went through overhaul prior to going to Korea. The shot above was taken early in 1951 before some passed through FEAMCOM overhaul at Kisarazu. All wear the rounded NAA font here. Or try the Matchbox sheet? I dare say you'd find one on a well-known auction site?
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