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Giorgio N

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Everything posted by Giorgio N

  1. Giorgio N

    Spitfire Mk XII

    Mike, if going the Eduard/Paragon route, get a Mk.IX, not the VIII. The latter has the correct wing for the Mk.VIII, so shorter ailerons, tanks in the leading edge and other details. Of course the risk that the sections don't match is very high, as the conversion was afterall designed for the Hasegawa fuselage. In any case, there's only one way to find out... someone has to try
  2. Giorgio N

    USAAF A-20G in New Guinea

    I keep saying myself that I shouldn't start new models when I already have 10 on the bench, however there are days when for some reason I feel the urge to start something. I had already planned my main build for this GB but when I read in the chat that aircraft based in New Guinea were eligible I was immediately attracted to a kit that I've been eyeing for a while: the MPM A-20G. When I realised that all 3 decal options included in the box were for New Guinea based machines I could not resist and grabbed the box from the stash The box is rather large and is adorned by what I find a very nice artwork. I'm rarely interested in the boxart however this is one I like a lot. Still, I've been building models for 35 years and I know that what matters is the plastic inside... The parts are moulded in a grey plastic that is not too hard and not too soft. Detail is good but don't expect Tamigawa mould quality here, this is afterall an MPM kit ! In a sense this kit is something in between the earlier traditional MPM/Special Hobby short runs and the latest Special Hobby metal mould kits. All parts have alignment pins and tabs where needed but the finesse is not the same of the latest kits. This ki does not enjpoy a great reputation when it comes to fit but in any case the detail is good and the accuracy is miles ahead of the old Matchbox offering. Not all parts will be used as the sprues also include all parts for th A-20J with clear nose. Clear nose that can be seen in the clear parts, here shown with the small decal sheet All 3 decal options are interesting and Miss Pam with the big red heart is tempting... however I still have fond memories of Green Hornet, as these were the markings that were included in the Matchbox kit and I remember how I loved these when I was a kid. I still have that model but it is now disassembled waiting for restoration so this will be a good replacement. It must be said that the Matchbox nose art was more accurate and detailed, but I'll live with the MPM decals. This machine was serial 43-9407 and served with 675th BS of 417th BG in New Guinea between 1944 and 1945m when she crash landed and was written off
  3. Giorgio N

    Spitfire Mk XII

    Not sure if the Hasegawa canopy would be 100% correct for a Mk.VII but can be a starting point. This is how it looked on one of my models before correcting
  4. Giorgio N

    Humbrol Acrylic Made in the UK mini review.

    Glad to hear these new paints work well, with Humbrol paints being easily available in many places and having some important colours for modellers of British subjects it's good to know that they can offer a good alternative for modellers who like acrylics like myself
  5. Giorgio N

    USAAF A-20G in New Guinea

    While it's true that I've been working mainly on the Spitfire, I have not forgotten the A-20 ! What I'll show now may seem only a small step but it took a lot of time... The way MPM designed the kit, it's very difficult if not impossible to add the landing gear after the nacelles are in place. The main landing gear legs are made of 5 parts each, and are a total nightmare to get right ! Alignment of the various parts is not easy and some of the parts don't fit well at all. It took me several attempts to get both in place and have them aligned properly. In the end I got there... well, almost, I still have to glue one part but it's not critical for the alignment (it's just a retraction strut) In the meantime I've also prepared the nacelles. I made a small modification to the intakes, adding a splitter plate that is quite visible in pictures of the real A-20. Nothing major but improves the look of these parts. I may add one comment... ok, I may sound boring by now... anyway fit was not good on these parts The next step will be painting the interior of the nacelles and wheel wells, all in Interior Green. Before this however I'll have to sand some of the nacelles-wing conctact points: the fit of these parts is absolutely atrocious, I have sanded the top of the nacelles on the rear-outer side, things are improving but I still have to sand a bit more. And then there will be a lot of filler to use. Really, I like the A-20 and I'd like to build another one, but I don't know if I could tackle another of these kits. At least not in the next 3-4 months, I need to recover my energy first !
  6. Giorgio N

    VF-21 F-14A Operation Earnest Will

    Really I feel that this is the kind of info that only someone who was there would recall, at least until all official documents are declassified. Seeing how even the USN never mentioned the events, it's unlikely that enthusiast websites will have the info. The guy who was on the carrier may be the best chance to get through the right document... assuming it's something that can be divulged
  7. Giorgio N

    new-tool F3H-2's!

    This is great news ! What to do now... keep trying to bag the 1/48 Grand Phoenix kit at a certain auction site ? Or save the money and buy this one as soon as available ? Guess that in either case the Emhar one will go in the for sale list... I just hope that the Demon will be easier to build than the Cougar I started this and I'm having a lot of fit issues
  8. Giorgio N

    Plea for help: ID on the these unit badges

    The badge on the nose is of 432th TRW. It's not the complete badge, that would have the same artwork within a shield, check the complete badge here: http://www.patches-military.com/store/p1047/432nd_Tactical_Reconnaissance_Wing_TRW_4"_Patch.html The badge under the canopy is of 837th Air Division, that controlled the Wing between 1958 and 59. You can see the badge here: http://www.wikiwand.com/en/837th_Air_Division
  9. Giorgio N

    Spitfire Mk XII

    A spacer at the transport joint will indeed restore the missing length, but keep in mind that the length error is spread all over the fuselage. Said that, I personally built a couple Hasegawa Spit VIII in the past without worrying much about the wrong fuselage, they went together so well that I just built them even knowing of the various faults. Speaking of which, one small error in the Hase kit is the depth of the rear section of the canopy: hasegawa moulded this down to the canopy line instead of keeping the lower edge higher. Practically they made it as deep as on the pressurised types like the Mk.VII and PR.XIX while the rest of the canopy is of the unpressurised type. It's a small error that can simply be sorted with some sanding or just by painting the edge higher, but worth keeping in mind (guess who completed a pretty nice USAAF Mk.VIII and forgot about it ?) With the fantastic Eduard SpitfireIX available today for a price generally well below the Hasegawa kit, using the Japanese offering as basis for a Mk.XII conversion makes no sense, at least in Europe. Maybe a Mk.XII conversion for this kit may have some market, in any case I may consider attempting this myself. I can see a few potential problems with the way the Eduard kit is moulded and filling the space for the extra radiator may not be the easiest thing to do. There's also the matter of matching the impressive surface detail of the Eduard parts, not really easy. In the meantime this thread has led me to check my Ventura Seafire XV to see if I could clone in resin the engine cowling... may not work as this has the intake mouth moulded integrally on the lower cowling. Removing this would leave a big hole...
  10. Giorgio N

    Spitfire Mk XII

    The Hasegawa fuselage is not only skinny, it's also too short between canopy and tail. This isn't immediately noticeable, maybe because it's also skinny , but try to apply decals of the correct size and they will not fit. As a basis for a conversion ideally a Vc would be the best starting point, however these aren't really that available in 1/72 scale. At that point a Mk.IX is the second best choice, but would require modifying the wing because of the different radiatos. Can it be done ? Sure can, but if I had to do this on the Eduard Mk.IX for example, it may not be easy to reproduce the surface detail on the wing to match the Eduard parts. Guess we can only hope that one of the many Czech companies will make a new XII
  11. Giorgio N

    VF-21 F-14A Operation Earnest Will

    I searched all my references and couldn't find anything on the idendity of these two Tomcats. Guess the best second choice would be trying to find the aircraft assigned to the two pilots, although it's not necessarily true that they were flying those same aircraft that day
  12. Giorgio N

    German H145M grey

    I don't have any hard evidence on this, but could be RAL 7012, a dark grey used quite a lot on German military aircraft
  13. Giorgio N

    Spitfire VIII Questions

    The ailerons, the fuel tanks and a few smaller details... that for the modeller means that a simple wing swap is not feasible but also means that Eduard has really given us a proper Mk.VIII and not a Mk.IX masquerading as an VIII. Eduard sure made a feew mistakes in the past but with the Spitfire has set the bar very high. Speaking of which, the Aussie Eight 1/72 special box is currently on sale for a good price on the Eduard website... postage is not cheap but I'm tempted myself to get one for Christmas in addition to the set I already have (that I'm currently building for the Pacific GB)
  14. Giorgio N

    Spitfire VIII Questions

    The Eduard explanation is very useful, however I still believe that the easiest way to replace the bulges is how suggested by the Wooksta and Peter earlier in the thread, that is by sanding the narrow ones and replacing them with spares from the AZ or other kits. I can see less risks of damaging the surface detail in this way rather than cutting the whole panel
  15. Giorgio N

    Spitfire VIII cannon bulges

    The 4 cannon fit was used on a small number of Mk.VIII in Australia in 1944 and these would have had to use wide bulges, regardless of how they left the factory. The subject was discussed here previously in this thread, that includes information on the specific aircraft so equipped
  16. Giorgio N

    Spitfire VIII cannon bulges

    I have read references to the fact that the narrow bulges were introduced at some point on the production line. The Late Edgar Brooks mentioned December 1943 as a date for the introduction of this modification. However I'm not sure I've ever seen a picture of a Mk.VIII with the wide bulge. Supermarine designed a specific panel with 2 narrow bulges for the 2 X 20mm armament but this was not adopted in the end. Spitfires armed with 4 cannons used of course the wide bulge
  17. Giorgio N

    Spitfire Mk XII

    A lot of interesting posts in this thread ! My Mk.XII was made by crosskitting. Well, of sort... the main airframe came from an old KP Mk.IX and the engine cowling was a shortened copy of a fujimi Mk.XIV. Back then I didn't use resin so the copy of the fujimi front fuselage halves was made by pouring a gloop of plastic melted into trichloroethylene into moulds made from sylicone sealant. Radiators and other bits came from the spare box and the propeller was an Aeroclub white metal part. Overall I was pretty happy with it and I may well use a similar approach again in the future, although this time I'd make a proper resin copy in a sylicone rubber mould for the cowling. Now that I think about it, I've got a spare Mk.22 fuselage from the AZ Mk.21, I may just chop this one...
  18. Giorgio N

    Spitfires over Burma and the Pacific

    Thanks ! I'm in the same situation myself, I'm trying to complete this one and I'm not spending the right time checking other builds in the GB... I should do it more often, it's part of the spirit of a GB I've taken a few pictures with better light, that show how far I am in the decalling stage. The most important decal was of course the leaping panther and this went on flawlessly. Really all decals worked well but they don't settle in the surface details as well I remembered. I've used both the Kagero and the Freightdog decals before and was happy with them, don't know why they now need more persuasion, I can think of 3 possible reasons: 1)the decals are getting older and stiffer. 2)The liquids I'm using are getting older and less "powerful". 3)I'm getting older and I can't remember correctly how the decals worked in the past. In any case it's a matter of age... Let's see some pictures And now a close-up of the famous 152 Sqn. panther You may see how the panther fits very well around the roundel, guess that both Kagero and Freightdog got the roundel size right (16" outer diameter and 6" inner according to SEAC orders) Another couple of things worth mentioning: the C was different on the two sides but I mistakenly inverted them. The one on the starboard side is a normal C while the one on the port side had a flat upper arm. At the moment on the model they look identical because I already modified the port one by removing the extra white bit. Bit that I've yet to add on the other side (I'll probably cut a small square of white decal paper). I should always keep in mind to check instructions ! Another thing to mention is that I've often incorrectly described the serial of this aircraft as MT892... it is not, it is MT982 !
  19. Just a placeholder at the moment as I'm not going to start these for a while. My main contribution to this GB will be in the form of two Spitfire VIIIs, one to fit in the Australia and New Zealand theme and the other to fit with the SEA theme. To make things quicker I'll build them alongside each other, if the hosts are fine with it I will post the builds in parallel in a single thread. If this is not acceptable no proble, I'll start two separate threads. Both models will be built from this fantastic box: The Eduard Aussie Eight package is a dream for every Spitfire enthusiast ! Inside the box are two kits, each with PE parts and masks. The decal sheet is incredible, giving the modeller really a lot of options. Instructions are in colour and are great but the best part is the inclusion of this book: The author alone is a guarantee of accurate and well researched information ! Peter Malone is probably my favourite source when it comes to Australian Spitfires, he really has done a lot of research on the subject. In addition every time I had a chance to discuss Spitfires with him he's showed to be a very kind and generous person. The only problem I have is to decide which Australian VIII I should build ! At the moment Gibbs' machine as shown on the cover is my favourite option. Really I'd like to build at least 3 Australian Spitfires, but for the GB I also want to build an RAF machine in Burma. The plastic will come from the Eduard box but the decals will come from here: I've yet to decide the subject but I'm really tempted by that famous leaping panther.... Can't guarantee, but should the build be quicker than expected (unlikely with me...), I may throw in another VIII from one of these boxes: A pretty large box (actually the same as the previous box, just less deep) in white cardboard that inside shows another Eduard kit ! These are the famous "overtrees", just the plastic with no decals or PE parts. A cheap option for modellers who have decals in the stash
  20. Giorgio N

    Spitfires over Burma and the Pacific

    Thanks for your kind offer ! Fortunately the panther decal went on with no problem and fit well on the Freightdog roundel. I have made a small mistake with the codes as I didn't realise that the individual letter C was different on each side and guess what ? I applied them on the wrong side... fortunately correcting them should be easy enough. Thanks ! I use this technique on most of my builds, gives me a very good control of how much variation I want on the paint.
  21. Giorgio N

    Spitfires over Burma and the Pacific

    And here she is with the first few decals applied on the upper surfaces, ready to accept the leaping panther on the port side.. fingers crossed, the panther will be the focus of attention on this model, hope the decal works well... Not too visible in the picture is the light wash I applied to the whole upper surfaces. On the camo I used a mix of dark brown and Payne's grey while on the white bands I used Vallejo's Deck Tan mixed with the glaze medium. The flash has killed the effect on the white bands and flattened the wash on the camo, I'll take a couple of pictures tomorrow in ambient light, these should show these features better. Hopefully by tomorrow I'll have a panther on my Spitfire...
  22. Giorgio N

    Spitfires over Burma and the Pacific

    Thanks, the model is indeed quite nice at the moment.. or better, it was quite nice when I took the picture... A small disaster hit the model at the decaling stage: the decals I'm using for this subject are from the Kagero booklet on the Spitfire VIII and these do not include national markings. Not a problem I thought, as I have a Modeldecal sheet with SEAC markings.. oh well, when checking properly I realised that these have a light blue center that is a bit too small. It's only a fraction but it's quite noticeable. In the decal stash I also found a couple of old Almark sheet, these were not very well printed as they circles are a bit jagged, but I found that I could punch out light blue circels of the right size from these. So the plan was simple, modeldecal roundel with superimposed a circle from the Almark sheet. However when applying the first roundel this refused to settle in the surface detail, no matter what liquid I used. At this point the only option was to remove the decals, but this damaged the underlying paint. Very annoying ! There's a reason why I always apply the first decals on the lower surfaces, sorting an area that is painted in one single colour is easier. I then had to search deeper in the stash... the Eduard sheet actually includes one set of SEAC markings for one of the options, but as this also has unit codes in light blue I'd rather not separate the roundels in case I decide to build this subject in the future. Decals from a Fujimi Spit XIV looked good in terms of colour and printing but they had a yellowed carrier film. Decals from the Hasegawa Mk.VIII looked Ok but the light blue was too light while the roundels in the AZ Spit XIV were totally wrong. Fortunately I realised that I have a few options left in the Freightdog Brits Abroad sheet, and here I found two sets of national markings, one for a Spit XIV and one for a P-47. As both were classed as fighters they both had markings of the same size, so I can use any of these. I have good memories of the Freightdog decals so I'm expecting no drama. Another problem is what to do with the stencils. "My" aircraft was repainted in India in the final colour scheme, the stencils may or not have been reapplied. I looked at many pictures of Spitfire VIIIs in SEA but none gave me a definitive answer as while no stencil was visible, the pictures around are rarely of good quality. The ones that showed details also showed no stencils, so I'm leaning toward no stencils on the top surfaces. I may however apply those on the lower surfaces. Wing walk lines are a mistery, they could be there or not...
  23. Very nice model, and glad to see that the decals worked well !
  24. Giorgio N

    Spitfires over Burma and the Pacific

    The original primer was a coat of Tamiya grey, standard grey primer in a can. On top of this I painted the white areas so the brown was sprayed over both grey and white. The first coat was heavy enough to eliminate any difference between grey and white areas, so I don't think this was a problem. I believe that the problem is that the Lifecolor paint itself is a bit on the grey side. Or better, has very little red and adding a lighter colour makes things worse, Not that it's wrong in itself, as faded paints can actually be a touch greyer... Anyway, now that the green is on, things look much better ! I've applied the green following the same principle: first a coat of the final paint (Vallejo Olive Grey) lightened with a lighter green. On top of this I sprayed pure olive grey mixed with the glaze medium on panel lines and areas where shadows are more visible, to give some depth to the finish. Fortunately the masks worked very, very well and I'm quite impressed by how smooth the transition between areas of different colour are, with no ridge at all. The paper I used is really good. Things didn't go that well when I masked the upper surfaces to spray the lowers, as the standard masking tape removed some of the green paint. I have now touched up thse areas with a small brush, they seem to have blended nicely with the rest of the paintwork. I also had a couple of spots on the undersides when the grey paint lifted when I masked the areas of the original roundels. I've yet to sort these but should not be a big problem. A couple of words on the roundels: I believe this aircraft arrived in India in the Day Fighter Scheme of Dark Green and Ocean Grey over Medium Sea Grey. The upper surfaces were repainted in India, on some aircraft the grey only was replaced with Dark Earth while others got a full repaint, at least of the upper surfaces. As there's no sign of repaints of either the fuselage roundel or the Sky band in the picture I have of MT892, my conclusions are that the whole upper surfaces were repainted. The serial number was also repainted in white, something typical of those aircraft that got a full repaint. For this reason I did not apply any sign of touch-up around the roundels. At the same time I painted this on the lower surfaces... these could have also been fully repainted, I don't know for sure and I may be wrong in assuming that they weren't. Well, enough talking, let's see the pictures: Not too bad I'd say...
  25. Giorgio N

    Spitfires over Burma and the Pacific

    The Glaze Medium is a very useful product. Personally I use this to post-shade the paint, add weathering and dirt, make washes.. I have not tried to reproduce a varnished wood finish yet, would be interesting to see if it works. Thanks Justin, glad you like it
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