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Giorgio N

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Everything posted by Giorgio N

  1. Blue over white ????? That's a new one... FAA aircraft at that point in the war were required to carry the Temperate Sea Scheme of Extra Dark Sea Grey and Dark Slate Grey over Sky undersurfaces. Some maybe still carried the previous S.1.E scheme, with same uppersurfaces but lower surfaces in Sky Grey (carried higher on the fuselage). There were a small number of Fulmars that at some point received lower surfaces in Sky while retaining the sides in Sky Grey, but this was just a short lived interpretation of how to add the new scheme to existing machines. I named the paints used in capital letters, as these were the official names. Regarding which model paints can be used to reproduce the various colours in the official scheme, we all have out favourites... of the brands you have available, I use Vallejo Model Color 867 for Extra Dark Sea Grey and Vallejo Model Air 71.302 for Sky. However I tend to prefer Xtracrylics' Sky, My favourite Dark Slate Grey is also Xtracrilics
  2. I see you're off to a good start ! Hope it's not too late, here's a list of things to check for in this kit, totally off my mind so I may have forgotten something. In this case, I'll hopefully find it in time before you approach the relevant build step. The kit is, as you've seen, quite nice. However having been in production for such a long time, the moulds can suffer from flash. Assembly is generally easy, with a few trouble spots... The cockpit: it's not always easy to get this in the right place ! I also believe that overall should be slightly higher... this is due to the simple fact that the instrument coaming is thicker than should be. Not really Hasegawa's fault, as the thickness of the plastic is what it is, it's just a compromise due to the injection moulding process. Personally I'veoften struggled to glue the cockpit in place but the parts are so nice that I just consider this as part of the job. The air intakes: these can be tricky to align correctly. The only recipe I know is... patience ! One alternative strategy is this: glue the intakes outer parts to the rear fuselage to get this assembly right. Then add the inner part (the plates with the cones) so that they are correcly located. Then dryfit the forward fuselage halves and if required add a slice of plasticard in between to slightly increase the widt of the fuselage so that correctly touches the intakes. This approach also helps in bringing the rear and forward sections of the fuselage spine to the same width. The lower rear fuselage: here the plastic is quite thin and it's not easy to get a good seam. In every and each one of my builds I've had troubles here and I've built 4 of these kits. Filling and sanding can of course sort the matter but this often results in the obliteration of the rivets in the area... that may not necessarily be a bad thing ! The rivets on the rear area in this kit are a bit too deep and too noticeable. Personally I left them in place in all my models, apart from those that I lost while sanding... in this case my choice was to remove all the ones in that specific panel. Main landing gear actuators: these are IMHO not designed correctly and it's not easy to get all parts to touch where they should. Personally I would consider replacing them with brass tubing of various diameter- To be honest the whole main landing gear is tricky. The main part is supposed to be glue in place early in the build, I personally prefer to add this at the end. The problem is that the legs attachment point is covered by a part painted in the lower fuselage colour, that makes adding this at the end a bit troublesome. While the kit is nice, there are a few things that should be added or modified. Minor things that however IMHO improve the look of the model. The wings are not as detailed as they could be. Replacing them with Esci wings would be the best option but some details can be rescribed on the original parts. The shape of the panels is simplified and there are a few small panels missing. Not too hard to fill and rescribe if you're so inclined. Moving to the fuselage, totally lacking are the vents in the gun area, both on the side of the gun bay and on the lower fuselage. In the build I linked I represented these with black decals, in my future models I'd like to scribe these into the plastic. Moving forward, the F-104 features a panel under the cockpit, that you can see painted as bare fibreglass in my build. This in the kit is of the wrong shape and as it's generally left in fibreglass, it shows quite a lot. I did not correct this in my build as I had totally forgotten about it but I did in my later builds. Hasegawa represented this as a rectangle but it's actually rounded at the edges and the size is a bit different. Speaking of fibreglass areas, the one on the top fuselage just behind the canopy is also not defined by a panel line on the left side. You may want to scribe the line or simply mask accordingly when painting. Then there's the problem of which antenna stays and which must go... check your pictures here ! What must sure be removed are the small teardrop fairings on the sides of the rear fuselage as these were part of the Sparrow guidance system installed on the F-104S. Same for the conical antennas, these are also only used on the S. Another antenna to remove is the one at the rear end of the horizontal tailplanes. And then there's the light moulded on the top rear fuselage, that can or not be present depending on variant and user (can't remember if the Norwegian CF had this or not). If you're adding weapons, it's worth checking what variant of ventral rails were used on these aircraft. Hasegawa oversimplified the NATO standard rails used on the G, can't remember if the ones in the J/CF box are more correct, IIRC they are but are for the Japanese variant. If using the wingtip rails, these should have the rear part in coloured clear plastic but are moulded as a single piece. The best reference for the kind of rails and catamaran used on the G is the Eduard 1/48 resin set, check on their pages the instructions in pdf format: https://www.eduard.com/eduard/f-104-pylons-1-48.html?listtype=search&searchparam=f-104 A very nice picture of the Aero 3B rails can be seen here, and points to the fact that the Norwegian CF-104s used this tyoe and not the Japanese Red Dog belly launchers http://starfighter.no/cf-104/801/pages/104801.Gardermoen.2006b.html This should be it for the moment... there is however one very important thing that I should mention, not related to the Hasegawa kit... in the link to the Norwegian website I posted above, I noticed that not all links to pictures seem to work in the English language version. However they do work in the Norwegian pages ! Check here all the aircraft that served with 334 Sqn. and click on the tail numbers to see plenty of pictures, some showing very minute details http://starfighter.no/sq334.html
  3. What, £ 17.99 for the OV-10? The academy kit in my part of the world sells for €10-12...
  4. Special Hobby recently issued a new 1/72 kit but there's no plastic 1/48 out yet. Collect-Aire in the US had a resin kit a few years ago but after that I can't remember any other 1/48 FH-1 on the market. Someone may do one someday...
  5. Mind, they may or not have them, I believe the PR.XI has been OOP for a while. Worth a shot anyway
  6. The Special Hobby Mk.X and MPM Mk.XI only differ in the canopy, decals and the resin intake for the Mk.X. As you noticed, the difficult part would be to change the canopy. Not only this is unarmoured, it is also non pressurised so features a different rear section. The Airfix part could be used, assuming that fits the kit, but you would have to modify slightly the rear section (really just painting the sills higher should be enough). The only other complete injection moulded option I can think of is asking Special Hobby if they have the clear parta for the XI available for sale. There are some vacuform alternatives. The Falcon set mentioned by @alt-92 includes a complete Mk.XI canopy. If you don't want to buy a full set for a single canopy, Pavla offers a set of canopies for the Airfix PR.XIX that includes both the pressurised and non-pressurised variant. The latter is the one to use on the XI
  7. I have found reference to a scientific paper dated 1938 describing some tests conducted by the same Luftfahrtforschung to determine the performance of the FW.56 with propeller removed. Wonder if these are related ? In any case the FW.56 seems to have been used for a large number of tests in those years. One of them was even used as "upper part" in the early Mistel tests
  8. Then yesterday evening it was time to remove all the masking.. and I was not too happy ! Now you may think, what's not to like here ? It's a decent metallic finish, with some variations in some areas. Yes, it's true and the areas that are supposed to be in natural metal are indeed nice. However I don't like the wings ! The paint I used is really semigloss and as such gives the idea of being painted rather than in metal, but it's too dark for my taste.. Meaning that looks too dark compared to the finish I see on wartime Mustang pictures... The same can be said for the rudder: this was painted in Vallejo's Dull Aluminum, but again it's a bit on the dark side. This and the wings need a respray ! What I will probably do is to paint them with Vallejo Model Air Aluminum. This is another great paint, not as shiny as the Metal Color though. The wingtips in the picture have been painted with this colour, see how they differe from the ailerons (that are in Metal Color Aluminum). I may then apply on top of this a clear coat to slightly dull down the shine. At that point I will also spray the gun hatches as I believe that these were in natural metal
  9. Thanks Alan ! Yes, these aircraft seem to have retained the painted wings with the fuselage in NM. I had a plan to represent this but I'll have to change it... Let's see where we are now ! It took me a couple of steps to fully prime the model. I generally just apply a single coat of Vallejo primer but this time I decided to smooth down the first coat with a sanding sponge and then apply a thinned second coat. The result was quite good, very smooth Then I started painting... I generally use the Vallejo Metal Color series for metallic finishes, they are very good and dry very quickly. They are also very robust so can be masked easily without paint lifting. Very important when dealing with metallic finishes as spraying the various panel needs a lot of masking ! The first coat to go on was with Satin Aluminum on the wings. This was supposed to represent the painted wing surfaces. I unfortunately forgot to take a picture of this so the next picture is of the model during the application of a different shade.m I like using cling film to mask large areas as in this way I don't have to apply tape everywhere. There is of course still plenty of tape used...
  10. Thanks a lot Ash, hope I can do justice to the scheme and put the decals to good use...
  11. The weight indicated for the FW type is consistent with either the FW.44 or the FW.56
  12. Yes, that's the one ! And you're right, no mainstream kit after the Airfix one but recently Mikromir and S&M issued a short run kit. I don't know if this kit is actually that rare, as they seem to show quite regularly at swap meets and similar, however I had to immediately grab them , just in case they are harder to find than I think.. one will likely be built as one of the many Canberra used by the RAE and similar establishments while the second may end in RAAF markings
  13. Visited the local flea market on Saturday after a couple months and it was a lucky day for a modeller ! Got not one but two old Airfix Canberras, early 80's boxes with parts still in original sealed bags. I know it's a kit with a couple of inaccuracies but it's a 1/72 fishbowl Canberra and I'm sure that with the right advice from the forum Canberra experts I can build them into decent models. A few stalls later I saw a kit that I had wanted for quite some time: the Revell Snark missile ! It's an old kit in whatever scale would fit the box, but I've always been fascinated by these missile designs and I'm glad to have found this one.
  14. That's very annoying, although unfortunately not too surprising.. Xtradecal have made some great decals but also some quite inaccurate ones... Of course the best solution would be to get a Vingtor sheet.. but is the CF-104 sheet still available today ?
  15. I will check if for some reason this aircraft carried 331 Sqn. markings. 870 was a CF-104 and served for sure with 334 Sqn.... actually I should say that she is a CF-104, as this aircraft has been preserved. Speaking of unit markings, 331 had the tricolour flash in red white and blue while 334 carried a flash in red and white only. If the Xtradecal sheet is not correct, I feel that it could be possible to modify the markings to the red/white of 334. This unit for a while took over air defence duties from 331 Sqn. while the latter was converting to the F-16, so it's still possible to arm one of their Starfighters for this kind of mission
  16. Always good to see a Norwegian Starfighter ! The 331 Sqn. machines are one of my favourite subjects and I built one a few years ago. Here's a link to this build, you may find some information there Another very useful kink is this one, where you will find a lot of information on the Norwegian Starfighters: http://starfighter.no/indeng.html Reading your introduction I noticed one detail that may bw worth sorting from the start; the variant you want to build. Norway used two different variants of the single-seat Starfighters: 331 Sqn used F-104Gs.. or better, they used the RF-104G ! However these were generally configured as fighters and not for recce so they were pretty much identical to the F-104G. A number of these were built by Canadair but they were not CF-104s as they were built to Lockheed's G standard. The Canadian CF-104 did serve in Norway but with 334 Sqn. These aircraft were former RCAF CF-104s that were modified by Scottish Aviation Ltd. to the F-104G standard. I have to check if the modifications also included the wider wheels and bulged wheel well doors, I have an article in a magazine that explained all the work carried out on these aircraft, will have to dig it off the magazine pile. It is easy to tell which are F-104Gs and which are CF-104 in pictures: apart from the unit markings, the Gs were initially in natural metal (with upper wing surfaces in white and lower in grey) and then in overall light grey. The CFs were in dark green over light grey. 331 Sqn was tasked with air defence while 334 Sqn, did more ground attack work but they also did some air defence. Now what does this all mean ? Mainly that you sure need builged doors for a 331 Sqn. machine while I'm not sure about a 334 Sqn. one (but I have vague memories that you will also need them for these). The wheels in the resin set you have should be the wider wheels of the G, so correct for a 331 Sqn. aircraft and maybe the others too. The narrow CF-104 wheels (that were also used on the F-104J and very early F-104Gs) have a different rim, similar but different. All these details are of importance only if you want to go for accuracy in your build. I tend to be quite fastidious when it comes to Starfighters but not all modellers are like me (and I'm much less dedicated to these details myself when it comes to other subjects), so your call on what to do with the bulges and wheels. If you're interested, I will go in another post through some modifications that improve the look of the Hasegawa kit and some areas that I've found need some care when I built my previous models from this kit. IMHO this is a very nice kit, quite easy to build, but an be improved with some little work.
  17. Thanks to all, natural metal will be then ! I now have no excuse to delay the build, will start a WIP soon, either in the general section or in the "they also served" group build.
  18. Folks, some more great stuff posted here, thanks for sharing ! Those pictures will be very useful to superdetail the area.
  19. Italeri has been around for quite a long time now and the fact that it's the only "old" mainstream European manufacturer that is still around in the hands of the original owners means that they must be doing something good ! Having been around for over 50 years, Italeri's production has seen different phases and really it's impossible to give a single answer to a question like "what are Italeri kits like". Kits from the '70s to the early '80s were mainly good kits for the time, although they didn't have that many aircraft in their catalogue and most were WW2 types (some of which have not been done by others). In the mid '80s Italeri then started to issue a lot of new kits every year, mainly of modern US aircraft. These were again quite good for the times but the Japanese competition was showing that much more could have been done. with some exceptions (F-16 and Tornado, that are '70s mould) it was at the start of the following decade that Italeri started offering recessed panel lines but these were often wide and on the "soft" side compared to the kind of kits offered by the Japanese in those same years. Still some kits of the era were quite good, and IMHO the A-6 is one of these. As Italeri parts were not as sharply moulded as some of the competitors, this means that fit can suffer and most Italeri kits of the era need some attention... and the A-6 is one of these. Later they slowed down their output considerably, they tried to make kits more oriented towards more demanding modellers while retaining in their catalogue plenty of simpler kits. These later kits can vary a lot in quality, personally most of the times I meet an Italeri kit my feeling is "not bad but they could have done so much better by giving some attention to this or that...". Too many of their recent kits feel like half-hearted attempts. Then there are the reboxes... Italeri have reboxed a lot of kits in the last 10-15 years. Many of them are former Esci moulds, that are now owned by Italeri. The A-7 is one of these, the F-100 is a modified Esci. Esci 1/72 aircraft kits could be brilliant (first generation Harriers, F-100, F-5A/B) or less so (later kits). The A-7 is not as good as Fujimi's but not bad. Decals in today Italeri kits can be a problem... the print quality is generally good, usually everything is in register and the decals go on the model very easily with no silvering. Accuracy however is not always good and Italeri have made plenty of mistakes. A common problem is in the stencils, that are often too large and don't look good when applied on the model. Colour call-outs... don't follow them ! Italeri is notorious for giving wrong information on the paints to use on their kits. They have their own line of paints (that are actually pretty good) and for this reason they will suggest whatever paint from this line they think will best approximate the real colour. And sometime they get it very, very wrong ! If you don't know what paint is best to use, ask here ! If the information is available, someone here will know what is the best paint to use
  20. Some great info Tony, love this build ! Those ejection pins are very annoying but the rest of the kit looks overall very nice
  21. Some great info Tony, love this build ! Those ejection pins are very annoying but the rest of the kit looks overall very nice
  22. Dennis, the presence of reinforcement plates on the upper surfaces of grey Phantoms is confirmed by many pictures of such aircraft. A very good detail picture is in Aeroguide 13 (published in 1986), that shows the same shape of those in the Fujimi kit. Now this of course raises one more question: were these plates part of Modification 28 or were added at a later stage ? As you say the drawings posted by John do not seem to show such plates. Speaking of other variants, I've seen the same plates on the upper wings panels of USN Phantoms too
  23. That's great stuff Dennis, thanks for sharing all these pictures and your useful comments ! Pictures that interestingly show. as you mention, slightly different "patterns" of plates used. I compared the Fujimi parts with all the pictures and they look to be the same as seen on XV591. In any case, on my model I will not probably bother changing the shape of the plates. What however I may do is to paint the areas where the crack checks were carried out ! Now would they have been left in natural metal or would they have been repainted after the inspection ? I should also mention that the kit I'm using is the "old" Fujimi tool, that was later replaced by a modified and improved version. I have the later tool kit in the current Italeri box, will check to see if Fujmi retained the same plates or changed something here.
  24. I find quite funny the fact that while the nth complaint about the how the F-35 is useless and unreliable appears, in these same days there have been a couple of threads on types of the past that we all love and some rate as the best ever and so on... In one it was mentioned how the Hunter really did not reach the desired capabilities until the F.6 variant appeared. By that time other countries had in service types that could pass M1 in horizontal flight and some M2 types were already flying. In another thread there was a list of modifications to the Phantom that included among the others the addition of reinforcements on all aircraft already in service... Yet nobody here would say that the Phantom was a disaster and if someone tried to criticize the Hunter as a flawed design he would probably be sentenced to walk on his knees from Kingston to Dunsfold while singing the praise of Sydeny Camm and his creations. Still the truth is that the RAF in the '50s accepted into service an aircraft that could not fire its guns while over 5,000 Phantoms were built and at some point most if not all of them required the addition of plates here and there to cure structural problems... What does this mean in the context of a discussion on the F-35 ? Two things... First: no aircraft type is 100% right from the start ! All aircraft designs encounter problems of some kind during their flight test phase, their initial entry into service and then throughout their life. Some of these problems are of easy solution, some are less easy to sort. Some of these problems are minor and some require serious redesign actions. Some of these problems are sometime never even sorted during the career of an aircraft type but the user in the end adapts to them. In this the F-35 is no different from most other types from the past. This does not apply to aircraft designs only but to most if not all complex products. Of course what is different today is that we have the Internet ! And with this we have the immediate circulation of a lot of information that is then immediately commented upon by every kind of people, often more with the intention of creating a buzz rather than helping to get a proper understanding of the situation. In the past there was no internet so nobody could comment on the troubles of the aircraft of the past. Imagine if we have the Web in the '50s, what would have people said if they had known that the brand new fighter of the RAF had an engine that would switch off when the guns were fired ? Second point: there is one other very important difference between the types of today and of the past: the "metrics" used by the same manufacturers and users of the aircraft to assess how this meet the requirements have changed a lot compared to the past ! The acceptance parameters today are much more stringent and many of the issues that have been identified are things that in previous generations of fighters would have been considered less important. The F-35 customers today request levels of safety and reliability that many aircraft types of the past never managed to achieve even at the peak of their maturity. Today many here chant on how great the Lightning or some other type was, but we should keep in mind that most of these types featured issues during their career that today would be considered unacceptable. The many software problems of the F-35 have made the news several times, but they are nothing compared to the reliablity issues that the systems installed on many important types of the past had during their career. The USAF and the other users want from the F-35 much more than they had in previous types and this is also reflected in the testing and assessment procedures. And in the end the USAF will most likely have to relax some specification if they want to have the type in service, just like every air force did in the past with pretty much every aircraft....
  25. Yes, the A-10 has been upgraded so can finally use certain weapons that will allow the type to conduct missions from higher altitudes. This means that now the A-10 can also be used in situations where until the upgrade the much loved Warthog had to stay at the base because the risk of losses was too high...
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