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Giorgio N

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Giorgio N last won the day on January 2

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About Giorgio N

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    Blabber Mouth
  • Birthday 07/22/1969

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  1. Not from the beginning: the ventral catamaran for sidewinders was introduced on the C in 1961 as part of an upgrade named Project Grindstone. The catamaran was however not popular in USAF use
  2. By the time camouflage was introduced, most F-104 missions were ground attack, so the armament was usually one bomb under each wing with tip tanks. Previously the type operated as a fighter in Vietnam and in this case the armament was Sidewinders on the wingtips and a tank under each wing. I can't remember any picture of a 104 in Vietnam with launchers under the fuselage
  3. Very sorry to hear such news, I never had the chance to meet him in person but I remember well his posts in the forum and was a great guy here. My heartfelt condolences to his family and friends. RIP
  4. I'm with Andre, this kit is not really state of the art but could have been a quick easy build if only HB had copied the Italeri windscreen correctly instead of offering one that is seriously short. I can see why Doyusha would offer this kit in Japan, afterall it gives them a popular subject that they can sell in their home market for little money, for European modellers it's not the best option. I can get the HB kit for £11 delivered here.. and I'm not going to do it with that windscreen
  5. The Ba.65 was an evolution of the previous Ba.64 design (the two are very similar) and was in theory a very modern aircraft when first presented in 1935, with an all-metallic construction. It was supposed to be one of the best aircraft around and in reality the type did attract a lot of interest from several countries, being bought by Chile, Iraq and Portugal. It was the first really operational type of the so called "assalto" (assault) cathegory, an aircraft supposed to attack enemy targets at high speed and low level both in the vicinity of the frontline and beyond, with a speed that would have allowed them to evade and if required fight back against the enemy fighters. If required the type had to operate as fighter and a recce capability was included, in this case with a second crewman. The problem is that when the time came for the type to operate in a combat zone the performance was much inferior to what everybody hoped for and the aircraft proved very troublesome.In Spain it was clear that the speed was not sufficient as a fighter (although there were some victories) while twin-seater recce aircraft suffered from stability issues. As a dive bomber the results were ok but the lack of dive brakes was a problem. In the proposed straight level attack missions the results were poor with a severe lack in bombing accuracy. On the pros side the aircraft was very robust and could take a lot of hits. More in general. the aircraft ended being too heavy for the power available and the various systems were unreliable. Already by 1938 the type was assessed as almost dangerous to fly if used at full warload, so much that the standard load became a ridiculous 100 lbs. of small bombs. The Ba.65 was being withdrawn by early 1940 but the total failure of its replacement, the Breda Ba.88, led the air force to bring back in service as many aircraft as possible durign the first stages of the war in North Africa, where the type did its job, although not spectacularly. Part of the Ba-65 problems were due to the fact that while it may have been a modern design in 1935, those were years of incredibly fast advancements in aeronautics, so that within only a couple years the type was becoming obsolete. Other problems were common to other Italian aircraft of the era, in particular the lack of power and excessive weight. Other problems were all of Breda's own making, as the aircraft had a few design flaws. It should also be mentioned that the whole concept of the "assalto" aircraft did not work out too well, although in a sense this was very close to what types like the Typhoon ended up doing... The failure of the Ba.65 made a lot of noise and had an effect on the air force top echelons, and the commander of the air force Gen. Valle was replaced in November 1939 also because of this. With hindsight it is of course now easy to understand why the type was probably a bad idea from the start, in fairness however we should remember that many drew the wrong conclusions about air warfare in the mid '30s and proposed aircraft types that proved to be the wrong answer. The Ba.65 was one of them
  6. Only glad to help Richard ! I'd have liked to help you more, while on other Italian types I have found more concrete evidence of the most likely used cockpit paints, for the Ba.65 I have never found anything conclusive. I'll keep an eye on this build, this is a kit that I have always wanted to buy but for some reason never did. It's an interesting subject too, if only because it was one of the most controversial aircraft in Italian service in WW2
  7. Thanks guys ! Now, how to manage the engine cowl... it wasn't easy... the cowl itself fits decently in reality, it should only be a bit taller but I sorted this by aligning at the top and then sanding the lower fuselage slightly, nothing major. The real problem with this kind of assembly is that the cuts on the two fuselage sides often are not perfectly aligned and this happened in my case. My fault maybe, but I'd have preferred to have the cowling in two halves. In this way I could have attached the cowling parts to the each fuselage part separately, using the fuselage from the second kit to help the alignement. Anyway, in the end thanks to a combination of CA glue and 2-component epozxy I got the cowling in place, hopefully it's aligned correctly Couple of comments: the dark "line" where the cowling meets the rest of the fuselage is not a shadow or a recessed line, it's a different 2-component resin that I use for filling wider gaps. I use it because it sets quite hard, so works better than the usual filler in these situations. To get the cowling properly aligned, I inserted a plasticard spacer, of which part can still be seen, fixed the cowling with CA first, followed by clear epoxy and then I filled using the dark one. This should make the assembly pretty strong. Some may notice that unfortunately one of the exhaust sections (moulded together with the cowling) is damaged. I had noticed this before gluing the part in place and for a while I considered replacing it with the part from the other kit. However I don't know yet what to do with this, I'm considering using it to build a standard production aircraft but I may sell it and in this case I'd rather keep all the right parts in their bag. I'm also considering building one of the prototypes as they wore a very nice camo scheme and a couple were also used operationally. So I'm keeping the damaged exhaust, let's say that my aircraft that day had this small problem. As the pictures show, I also glued the resin vertical tailplane in place. This still requires some filling and sanding to be blended into the fuselage, this will be the next job, followed by the horizontal tailplanes.
  8. Hope you don't mind me chiming in about the cockpit... There are pictures of the Breda 65 cockpit at this link: http://www.cmpr.it/MN - Manuale Ba. 65 A.80/man.ba.65 A.80.htm Youn can see from the picture that the colour used is quite light,. And there's more.... The Ba.65 had a mixed construction with a frame of steel tubes over which the aluminum sking was attached. Not very modern really but this aircraft was designed at a time when other construction techniques were not common. The maintenance manual of the aircraft states that the frame elements had to be painted in anti-corrosion primer first and then covered by an enamel coat. No mention is made of the colours unfortunately, however it is known that the approved primer for steel elements was grey. Similar indications are given in the manual for the aluminum skin: a coat of anti-corrosion primer followed by a coat of enamel paint. No area was supposed to be left uncoated. The primers for aluminum were of various colours: grey, light green and even light yellow. Again nothing is written in the manual about the final enamel coat. AZ's indication of using interior green likely comes from the view that the cockpit of all Italian aircraft was left in the so-called Verde Anticorrosione (anti-corrosion green), that however was a primer for aluminum surfaces (the light green primer mentioned above). Today we know that other colours were used for sure, partly due to the analysis of wrecks and partly because the maintenance manuals of other aircraft clearly stated the use of different colours, for example grey and even silver. So what colour would be more likely on the Ba.65 ? Since only B/W pictures exist, it's hard to tell. The seat was generally painted aluminum, so at least that's a start from which trying to understand how dark the other paints were. The pictures in the linked page (that all come from the maintenance manual) seem to show the frame in a lighter colour compared to the rest of the cockpit, they may be in grey. The skin panels look darker.. a different grey or a green ? Unfortunately there's no answer to these questions yet and each modeller has to make a choice. Personally, considering that Breda later used grey on other types, I would go for grey, maybe using two different shades for the frame and the panels, but it it only a somewhat educated guess. The only sure thing is that the seat was in aluminum and the instrument panel in black...
  9. We could say that most authors write with an agenda, or maybe even all of them. Where for agenda I mean each writer's own personal views. This is even more evident when considering books on WW2, an event that not only is still pretty close to us in time but also affected the way the world is today to a wide extent. And an event that still imbues the society and culture in many countries, the UK in particular. It is true that "military historians" generally tend to be more "objective" as things like production figures or weapon characteristics tend to be things with which there is less that can be played about, but it is very common to see such even such things described in the way that best suits the author views. When it then comes to the men that shaped the events of WW2, objective views get even harder to come by. There are names that have for long been untouchable and any criticism has been for decades considered un-patriotic and at the same seen as a good way to make noise and get noticed. And then there's the serious matter that, with the exception of a few monks, the vast majority of characters in History could easily be described as both heroes and villains and in the end it is natural for most people to take a side. Sure in theory today we should be able to write in a more objective way about say Montgomery or McArthur or Rommel but the conclusion of any book on such characters will most likely be biased by the author view, be it because of political views or national pride.. or simply because after having studied a certain person for a while, this becomes closer to the writer heart. Not that in other areas where in theory our emotions should have less of an effect things are always different: even in papers submitted or published in engineering journals it is often clear how the opinions of the writer influence the conclusions, even after what is apparently a perfectly objective analysis of the data included in the paper itself. Yet it only takes the right choice of words to highlight the aspects of interest to the writer while downplaying other issues that may have been mentioned in the paper. One of the reason for peer reviewing is to remove any unjustified bias but when this is sometimes difficult in a paper discussing an experiment with a laser, imagine how impossible it would be when discussing the impact of a historical character
  10. Really I can't see what you can do, the thesis was submitted, discussed and approved and it's unlikely that anyone at the University will listen to you. And I would also not worry that much about it: the guy has done his research, got several things wrong, twisted others and "proved" his thesis. As a result he got his Ph.D., something that in the bigger scheme of things matters very little to the advancement of the knowledge of History. His work will most likely disappear in the anonimity that surrounds 99% of all Ph.D. theses. In the end a Ph.D. thesis is a start, not an achievement, a Ph.D. is a title from which a researcher can start his career and do some proper reseach work, work that will be subject to much deeper and wider scrutiny compared to his thesis. Or he may just leave the academic world and seek other jobs, as many with a Ph.D. do... And if someone feels that I may sound offensive towards those who have a Ph.D., I should mention that I have one myself and I have worked in an academic institution for a few years. And over these years I've seen some pretty lousy theses...
  11. Aircraft modified to the 3P standard seem to have included both single and two-seaters, so the presence of a rear cockpit is not an indication. I'll see if I can find a way to show the camera doors position
  12. You are too kind Dennis ! The truth is that I am not an expert, however as a Italian speaker I have access to information that in the English-speaking modelling community does not seem to be too widespread, with some exceptions (I'm thinking of some real Italian experts that are present on international discussion groups). Some of this information come from primary sources (like wartime manuals), other from information that other modellers and researchers have disseminated in the local modelling community. Anyway I'll take the chance to spread some more information here on the subject, that may be useful to other modellers interested in the MC-202 as a modelling subject. First of all I'd like to share this picture of a crashed aircraft taken by US photographers: This is an aircraft that had a wing replaced, notice the fuselage in a "small worms" scheme and the wing with smoke rings. It is not easy to identify all interior colours and the picture may well not represent all colours correctly, however some things are visible and are interesting. For example the flaps interior, that to me look in Grigio Azzurro Chiaro 1, same colour of the lower surfaces. This makes sense as the interior of flaps and wheel wells were often treated as part of the undersides Another interesting bit of colour is the engine bearing frame: this to me looks in aluminum and this has been seen on other types. The same kind of structure however has also been seen in green in earlier aircraft. The interior of the rear fuselage is a bit more tricky: could be in the same Grigio Azzurro Chiaro or in another light grey but could it also be in light grey/green ? I would probably go for grey again. I know that G.55s built after the Armistice had no paint in these areas while the tail section of a Re.2005 showed a green primer. This aircraft may have been in a grey primer... or GAC. Unfortunately not much is visible of the cockpit, the only areas that is decently visible is the windscreen frame area and this again seems to be in grey. I'd say GAC as per Tavola 10. Now this machine should be a Breda built aircraft, with the wing from a Macchi built aircraft. How do I know ? The camo on the fuselage is typical of Breda production while only Macchi used the smoke rings scheme. So information on the fuselage colours would apply to a Breda built aircraft. Said that, I still believe that the same could apply to a Macchi built aircraft. With the exception of the canopy frames, that as said in a previous post were known to be in black in Macchi built 202s (simply as a glare prevention measure). And there's potentially more ! I have read about the possibility of a variation in the colour of Nocciola Chiaro 4 during the war, with a darker colour being used towards the end of the war and a lighter one used when the Tavola 10 was first introduced. In any case, the colour on the fuselage and wing IMHO look pretty much the same, meaning that both aircraft had, at least initially, the same colour. Most likely they simply were aircraft built around the same time but what is interesting is the tone of the wing, that does not look that different from the colour that comes to my mind when I think Nocciola Chiaro. This colour is very worn at the wing root, that is the area where pilots and specialists had to walk on to access the cockpit. The rest of the finish shows signs of the effects of the Mediterranean sun, however is still in decent conditions. And speaking of paint conditions... look at the panel lines on the fuselage, they look like they have received a very thin wash...
  13. The -3P had all cameras hidden under opening doors, so it is quite easy to modify the kit, just scribe these. In addition some aircraft had an ADF antenna within a fairing on the top fuselage. Location and shape of the camera doors can be found in the Squadron Signal in Action volume dedicated to the Tigercat: 2 on the port rear fuselage, 1 on the starboard rear fuselage and 2 under the rear fuselage. I don't know of any online reference for this detail, although as there is one fying -3P in the US maybe pictures of this can show them (if they have not been removed over the years
  14. Regarding adding decals for other users, we should keep in mind that not only the Japanese market is very large but Fine Molds is also a company that is not really well distributed outside Japan. We often discuss here how their home market is important for Japanese companies, the same is even more true for FM. Said that, they may well decide to add other decals in a future box, we can only wait and see.. or just use aftermarket decals
  15. I'm not sure if I understand correctly the matter of the wing fold lines: my box of the Seafire III had wings with the fold wing lines well visible. The Seafire IIc box of course should not have these, however a picture I've seen of box Nr. 72084 shows the same wingfold lines as my box (that is 72055). In any case modifying the III into a IIc is easy enough and the III box should include all the parts required (like the different intake and the clipped wingtips for those aircraft so equipped, plus a selection of wide and narrow gun bulges.
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