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Giorgio N

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Everything posted by Giorgio N

  1. Giorgio N

    Fiat/CMASA G.50B

    I know, when I first expressed interest in this Group Build I had a different Fiat trainer in mind, that was the G.91T. Later I started thinking about a lesser known aircraft from the same company, the G.59. Then yesterday I noticed in the stash an even earleri example from Fiat, the G.50B. It was a matter of minutes, I grabbed the box, opened it and decided to build this one ! I may still build one of the other two, at least if this build is quick enough. The G.50B was of course the two-seat variant of Fiat's G.50 fighter. This was designed by the same Gabrielli but was actually not built by Fiat but by CMASA. This company was initially established as a shipyard but during WW1 they realised that there was a good need for flying boats and they started building types under license. After WW1 the company made very good money by building a large number of Dornier's J Wal, as Dornier could not build these in Germany due to the Versailles Treaty. The Wal production ended in 1932 and in 1934 the company was bought by Fiat, eager to expand their production capabilities. It was as part of the Fiat empire that CMASA ended up building a large number of G.50s and all the two-seaters. Around 100 G.50B were built and these were used both by schools and by units converting to monoplanes from older biplanes like the CR.32 and 42. After the armistice a small number remained in service with the ANR in the North, wearing Luftwaffe crosses, and one remained in the South. This aircraft was used for a few years after the war, wearing the postwar roundels over an overall aluminum finish. Said about the real aircraft, let's see the kit... AML a few years ago issued a series of G.50s, covering all important variants. Actually AML did two slightly different series of moulds, and the two-seater comes from the later improved series. I bought this with another 5 from a fellow modeller and this is the first I'm building The terms "Biposto bicomando" mean two-seater dual controls". This refers to the fact that this was the two-seater used for training while another variant had been proposed that retained the two-seater configuration only had controls in one of the cockpits as was meant for observation and recce purposes. This variant did not raise interest and was shelved. Inside the sturdy carboard box we find two sprues in dark green plastic I believe that all AML G-50 kits from the later series had identical sprues, with the differences between variants covered by resin parts and different canopies. The sprues show the different tail and fuselage of the Bis and the cockpit area of the single seaters... This is a short-run kit, so we can't expect the finesse of a Japanese mainstream offering. The parts are however quite nicely moulded, surface detail is not bad and even the smaller parts look useable. The trailing edges of the wings are moulded as part of the upper wing halves, so avoiding the overly thick edges typical of many short run kits. If I have to criticise a part that would be the engine, doesn't look that good but at least the spinner used on the G-50B will hide it somewhat,. As said above other parts are supplied in resin. The small bag also contains a very small PE fret (not visible in the picture), with some parts so small that I have doubts about my ability to use them.... Canopies are vacformed, AML offers two sets that is a nice thing. Decals are given for the prototype, the machine on the box art (from a fighter school but detached to a fighter unit for conversion duties) and a German marked machine. The latter is in green over light grey while the other two are in one of those typical Italian mottled schemes... Italian WW2 trainers had wide white bands around the fuselage and wings, and these sure add some colour to the scheme. For this reason I'm tempted by one of these aircraft, but the only postwar G.50B in overall aluminum is also tempting.
  2. What would a Canadian of US origin coming from Britain have been doing in Tuscany in the late '50s? Most likely enjoying the beauty of the countriside, travelling from town to town, maybe on one of those exquisite Italian built convertibles, exploring the historic cities and finally having a great dinner accompanied by a few glasses of Chianti or Brunello. Unless of course said Canadian etc. was a Sabre, as in that case she'd have been serving in the air defence role with what is maybe still today the most famous unit of the Italian Air Force: 4th Stormo based at Grosseto, in Southern Tuscany. I realise that the introduction may sound a bit convoluted, what about the Canadian/US/Brit and so on ? Well, this is simply what Italian Sabre day fighters were: Canadian built aircraft of US design that reached the country after passing from Britain. The Sabre is afterall a US designed aircraft, and one of the most famous. Italian aircraft were however not US built but were Canadair manufactured Sabre Mk.4. What does Britain have to do with them ? Simply all Italian Mk.4s were former RAF aircraft. The history of the Sabre Mk.4 should be pretty well known on this forum: they were the result of the RAF realising that with the advent of the MiG-15 their current fighters (mainly the Meteor F-8) were suddently obsolete while the Hunter was still far from reaching service. For this reason over 400 Sabre Mk.4 were ordered, from Canadair, all paid by the USAF under the MDAP scheme. Being US funded, the RAF Sabres remained US properties and once these were retired with the arrival of the Hunter in 1955-56 they were returned to the USAF. None of the aircraft however made it to the US as in the meantime the American government had decided to supply these machines to other countries. The Mk.4s were so refurbished in the UK by Airwork at Dunsfold and delivered to Italy and Yugoslavia under the US designation F-86E(M) The Italian Air Force received their 179 Sabres between 1956 and 1957 and these equipped 2 wings: 4th and 2th Aerobrigata (earlier Stormo and later Stormo again... the Aerobrigata name for a wing sized unit was relatively short lived). It is one of the aircraft from 4 Stormo that I'll be building here. Some may remember that I mentioned the Italian Sabre Mk.4 in the build thread for my Vampire in the Brits Abroad GB. Some of the history related to the Vampire is closely related to the history of the Sabres, that replaced the Vampire in both 2nd and 4th Aerobrigata. If interested, you may find this history here: Let's focus on this build though, starting from the kit I'll be using: the 1/72 F-86F from the set Italeri issued to celebrate the Frecce Tricolori aerobatic team 50th Anniversary. I bought this as a second hand item and for this reason the box was not in great shape, hence I don't have it anymore. It would have looked like this: (Picture from the Web, I'll take it down if it's not allowed) Italeri F-86F??? Guess most have never heard of any Sabre from Italeri, and they are right. Of the kits in this set actually none was an Italerimould ! The MB.339 would be the closest, as was made by Supermodel and Italeri now owns all Supermodel tools after having bought the company. The G.91R was from Revell while the Sabre was the pretty nice Academy offering. Academy and Italeri have collaborated quite a lot in recent years with several kits exchanged between the two companies. That the kit came from Korea is also quite evident when looking at the sprues, that are in sealed bags: I will show details of the sprues in future posts, in any case this kit is very sharply moulded in hard grey plastic and features very nice detail. The Academy Sabres IIRC are from the same tools made for Hobbycraft and are somewhat inspired by Fujimi's Sabres. There are a couple of issues that I will sort during the build. Italeri only added instructions and decals to these kits, decals that will not be useful for my build but are actually pretty nice: As nice as the Frecce Sabres were, I've always wanted to build a camouflaged 4th Stormo aircraft since I saw a Frog Sabre with Microscale decals representing one of these aircraft when I was 13 or 14. Now it's the time to do it ! The Microscale sheet may have included these markings but today I have a better source. The Airfix kit ! When first issued the Airfix Sabre in a box with markings for one USAF aircraft in Korea and one for a camouflaged 4th Stormo machine. Brilliant ! I may build the machine from the Airfix box or build a different one using the numbers from a Tauromodel sheet. I actually have two Tauro sheets with numbers for camouflaged Sabres: one has the square style used by 4th Stormo aircraft while the other includes rounded numbers as used by 2nd Stormo. The former also includes both square and rounded numbers in black for a natural metal aircraft. I also have a sheet with a full set of stencils for both camouflaged and natural metal Sabres. Here below are the stencils sheet and the one with the square numbers No picture of the Airfix decals yet as I have to dig in the stash first to get to the box. For this reason my last picture for today is of the Eduard Zoom set that I may use to add some more detail to the Academy kit: Now the Eduard set is designed for the Fujimi kit but most parts should also fit the Academy one. I love these old Zoom sets as they gave enough parts to add detail to the cockpit and some other areas while at the same time not being overly complex. Their price was also great, look at the original tag: € 2.50 ! Two Euro and Fifty Cents ! Granted, they were not precoloured, they were not self adhesive, they only gave a small number of parts, but they were IMHO a good compromise between detail, complexity and cost. Today Zoom sets may be nicer from other aspects, but I miss the old ones like this... I've already wrote too much, so thanks for everyone for reading til the end. One more point though: some may ask why I simply didn't build the Airfix kit.. one reason only: I find the Academy kit nicer to build, mainly due to the sharper parts and details. I will build the Airfix kit with different markings at some point anyway.
  3. Italeri have followed a debatable pricing policy for a good few years, with some of their kits constantly available at very good prices and others priced at the top end of the market. Personally I considered the money asked for the CR.32 as crazy while their SM.79 has always been a good deal. No idea how they choose the price for one or the other, I have a feeling that they may look at a certain subject and decide that it's the kind of kit that appeals to enthusiasts and then price it accordingly (we all know that enthusiasts sometime spend crazy money on plastic kits, right ?). Regarding price increases across the range, I may add that taxation on businesses in Italy in the last years have kept increasing and really if a company want to make a profit they have to charge more and more... of courser the relative values of the Pound Sterling vs Euro also affects prices in the UK.
  4. Giorgio N

    Best 1/72 F-16 kit/s

    I have an Esci kit in the stash, at a cursory glance I noticed that the rear airbrakes area is not that accurate, with a strange shape. Nothing that can't be corrected though. I would have to check other areas. Detail is similar to the Hasegawa offering, that is pretty sparse. Surface detail is recessed and pretty nice
  5. With the fuselage halves closed I decided to correct one of the errors of this kit: the shape of the airbrakes. These are too square on the Academy Sabres (and on the Fujimi ones) while they have a better shape on the Airfix kit. As the aibrakes will be glued open (a common configuration for Sabres on the ground), I decided to use the Airfix parts as templates to cut a slice of plastic from the lower end of each of the Academy brakes, This slice was then glued on the corresponding brake well and sanded flush with the fuselage. The final result is not too bad With this done, I glued the wing parts together. At that point I couldn't resist trying to dry-fit these to the fuselage Fit is pretty good here, but the main wheel wells will need some plasticard to close the gaps with the inner fuselage sides. Notice how I also glued the instrument panel coming in place. And that gap at the rear of the decking...
  6. With the cockpit tub in place, it was time to close the fuselage. The front ring had already been glued when I added the cockpit as this part was used to align the tub/intake duct to the fuselage. The kit would benefit from a better alignment than what Academy gives and the modeller is left guessing how to properly fit the tub in place. My advice is to use the front wheel well and the intake ring... although as you now know the cockpit will end up too far forward. Or at least this is what happened on my kit, others may differ. One thing I didn't like was the exhaust. Academy correctly represents the rear end of the J47 engine, this however is too close to the end of the fuselage, in the real aircraft this would be much more forward. I considered reworking the area but then gave up, to give the impression that the part is further inside the fuselage I painted the whole part black with the detail only slightly drybrushed in a metallik dark grey. At least fit of the fuselage halves was very good, with only a light sanding and a touch of filler needed in some areas.
  7. Finally some pictures ! I have actually started this model a while ago but I wanted to post pictures when I had something to show, particularly in the cockpit. And let's say that that the cockpit gave me problems, a lot of problems ! This is what Academy supplies: Raised details on the panel and consolles are not bad, but the instrument panel is a bit too small compared to pictures of the real cockpit, so I decided to use the panel from the Eduard set. I also took the pedals and the seat footrests from there, and here I had the first problems as no matter what glue I tried to use these parts didn't stay in place. Weird ! In the end I managed to glue everything in place.. and then the real problems started ! The tub didn't want to fit. I had to sand the sides in several places to make the part fit in the fuselage halves and during this work I lost the pedals... brilliant ! Then another problem became evident: the tub is integral with the upper intake duct, the lower being integral with the front wheel well. When I finally managed to glue everything in place, aligning the wheel well, the instrument panel ended being too far forward... it's not much, but can be noticed. This also means that a gap is now present between the rear cockpit decking and the fuselage. This will not be visible once the canopy is in place but clearly I'm not happy. For this reason I decided to limit other works on this model, I'll keep it a bit more OOB than planned. Anyway, here's the tub with the panel in place You can see that a sliver of plasticard was inserted between upper and lower intake duct. This was needed to keep the wheel well closer to the fuselage profile while aligning the upper side to the front intake part. You can also notices that the black cockpit means that a lot of the detail of the Eduard parts is now not much visible... oh well... Speaking of cockpit colours, as Wez said this was originally black as in the original RAF service and at some point the cockpits were painted in grey. A few years ago I tried to find when this happened, logic suggested that this could have been during the same works that resulted in the Sabres being stripped to natural metal, but I found a few exceptions. In any case I'd go for black for a camo aircraft abd grey for an unpainted one... yes, there were exceptions but life is too short to follow all exceptions.
  8. Hi Tony I have indeed started building this same aircraft in the GB, unfortunately though I got stuck with other things and the model is still just primed... yet another GB fail I agree with your research, in particular I don't know why 159611 as serial number kept being mentioned ! It was first used by Superscale on one of their decal sheets and nobody seems to have checked... Fujimi got their research right in their "black tails" box (the one I', using for my build). Well, ok, not completely right.. for example they mention black for everything that was dark blue on the real aircraft, so not only they want the modeller to paint the radome motif and tail in black, numbers and migs are also in black. The execution of the decals is also not great, the font used for the "Swordmen" titles on the tail for example is pretty bad and there are other similar issues.
  9. I know, it may sound a bit boring. What, another Tomcat ? There's already plenty in this GB, don't you have a Guardian in the stash ? Or an Albatross ? Yes, it's true, the problem is that the Tomcat is more than an aircraft, the Tomcat is a religion ! And I admit I am a faithful follower ! Anything coming from Bethpage before the Tomcat is important as paved the way for the mighty cat, but once this took to the air all the previous types were just like prophets preparing the coming of the only true Messiah.. and after this came, was the last to come til the end of the world, reason why Grumman ceased to exist as an independent aircraft manufacturer. Hope I have not offended anyone with an introduction that may sound blasphemous, but really the Tomcat is still today followed by an aura that very few types have. For this reason I may add a few more religious references along the thread... As a devoted follower of this sect, I realised that I could not avoid building a Tomcat for a GB dedicated to Grumman ! And for this I chose to build a kit coming from the location of the Japanese chapter of the Tomcat cult: Shizuoka ! Here in this city, that may not be Holy but is really one of the world capitals of our hobby, in the year 1988 AD, or 18th year of the Tomcat era, two group of men, all no doubt devoted followers of the Tomcat, competed to give other followers a proper plastic kit of the Mighty Cat in 1/72 scale. So it was that these 2 kits were both issued and presented to the modelling community, thirsty for a new Tomcat kit. These 2 kits were from then on known as the Hasegawa new tool and the Fujimi Tomcat. The work of both was praised by all, and the 2 kits both suddenly made any previous kit obsolete, if not ancient. In the longer run the men working for Hasegawa got more praise and their Tomcat kit was bought by most but the one made by Fujimi also continued with a smaller following and is still available today. In more recent years others have added their work in praise of the Tomcat and all followers can now choose from many good kits and books. I have in my stash several Tomcats in various scales but when it comes to 1/72 scale my favourite are the 3 Japanese ones: Hasegawa, Fujimi and Fine Molds. The reason is simple, these are the best around. They are not just better than the competition, they are in a league of their own ! The Hasegawa and Fujimi kit are 30 year old and yet they are today much better than most other kits issued in 1/72 in the last few years. This gives an idea of what these kits meant when they were first issued. None is an easy kit to build but with care and patience they can be built into great models without any aftermarket. Of the two I decided to build the Fujimi kit, for the simple reason that it's less common on these pages and I think it may be good to show this kit for once. The box I choose is a relatively rare one from the mid '90s, that focuses on CAG aircraft with black tail The box is not in great conditions but the artwork is IMHO great ! Shows one of the aircraft included in the decal sheet, the CAG for VF-32. The other option is for VF-21s CAG aircraft around the Gulf War era. My plan is to build a VF-32 aircraft, maybe this one or maybe the CO aircraft during the Gulf War, for which I have a Superscale decal sheet. A lot will depend on the decals... I don't know if the Fujimi decals are still Ok after all these years and I don't know if the Superscale decals will fit on this kit (they may have been designed for the hasegawa offering). Now I've said black tail, but IIRC the two VF-32 birds had dark blue tails... anyway, this will be sorted later. Although the model was preowned, all parts came in their original bags: The kit includes parts not only for the Tomcat but also for two complete TF-30 engines and the relevant dollies. Options include deployed flaps and slats and the front landing gear in the position taken when ready to launch from the catapult, with the oleo compressed and the connection bars attached to the catapult shuttle. Also included are an AN/AWG-9 radar antenna in an opened radom and the extended ladder and steps. Personally I will not use any of these parts, my model will be built on the ground with wings at maximum sweep and closed canopy. Plastic is typical Japanese style, hard with very well moulded details. This kit is a bit less detailed than the Hasegawa offering but is still very good even today.Contrary to the Hasegawa kit, missiles are supplied in the kit. I don't think I'll use any but I may change my mind.
  10. Giorgio N

    USMC AV-8C two-tone green camouflage.

    Look like a very bad museum repaint, Wonder if they even bothered using fs paints. USMC AV-8Cs had lower surfaces in grey, iirc 36440
  11. Giorgio N

    Giorgio's 2018

    A relatively decent output for this 2018, although the number of models started and not completed is still way too high.. Still, for what has been a troublesome year from many aspects, I can't complain about the models I completed. In particular I'm happy to see that my models are improving, let's say that this year I've not achieved much quantity but at least I've had some quality.. First is a model that shows little of that quality, the old Matchbox 1/72 Gnat, here finished using decals from the Airfix new mould starter set. The model features Aeroclub seats, a scratchbuilt cockpit and modified intakes. Then I had a few very unproductive months, when I started several kits but didn't complete one, until I managed to finish this Vampire for the Brits Abroad GB. This is the Special Hobby kit, this time in the Azur box. My model is finished in the livery of the Italian Air Force 4th Stormo. Decals came from various sources, including home printed unit markings and codes. A jump of a month in 2018 and roughly 15 years in history with an F-104 in Dutch KLu markings. Kit from Revell with some parts from Hasegawa. Main markings are from the Italeri rebox of the Esci kit while most stencils are home printed. Last but not least, a proper classic to celebrate the RAF 100th anniversary and pay homage to the too often forgotten men who fought in South East Asia during WW2: a Spitfire Mk.VIII of 152 Sqn from the Eduard kit with Kagero decals. That's it for this year, hopefully the next year will be more productive
  12. Giorgio N

    Spitfire Mk XII

    Using the XIX fuselage would not work as this is longer than the XII and the canopy are is quite different because of pressurisation. From the kits listed above my plan would be using the nose from the spare Mk.22 fuselage in the AZ Mk,21 kit (at least mine came with two fuselages) on either the Eduard or AZ Mk.IX. Must be a IXc and an early one, that is with the short intake. The AZ kit is not as accurate as the Eduard one but allows the modeller to build an early Mk.IXc easier. I would probably use this one. So chop the spare griffon engined fuselage to the length of the single stage Griffon cowl (the Mk.22 cowling is longer), chop the Mk.ix engine cowling and replace with the Griffon one. Fill the area on the wing below the oil cooler and add one from a Mk.V or aftermarket. Then add the various parts required for your build from Eduard or AZ parts (elevators, tailwheels etc.). Of course the magneto fairing on the top of the cowling must be added. In my old KP/Fujimi Mk.XII I made this from a small bomb. Since you have a Jay Seafire XV,. you may also cut the cowling from this one, or see if you can adapt the whole Jay's fuselage to the AZ or Eduard wings. From the Jay's kit you can also take the propeller, that otherwise has to be made modifying parts from the other kits. If using the Jay's parts you'll have to rework the lower cowling area a bit as these kits have part of the longer carburetor intake moulded with the fuselage while the Mk.XII had a Mk.V style short intake
  13. Giorgio N

    What if WW2 never happened?

    We may say in a sense that tension started even earlier, like 1918 The number of small and less small conflicts that afflicted for example Eastern Europe and other areas of the world since the end of WW1 are generally very little known in the West but several of them played a part in the events that led to WW2. Sometime I feel that WW1 and WW2 were just the first and second half of the same game..
  14. Giorgio N

    F-16XL-1 Arrives at Edwards

    Great pictures once again, thanks for sharing !
  15. Now that is something really out of the ordinary ! In any case, another great model, really impressed !
  16. Giorgio N

    F-4J (UK) more questions

    Luigi, maybe I misunderstood the locaton of the navigation light... on the F-4J(UK) the only white navigation light I can see on the tail is at the very top. Then there's a red light on the fin leading edge. I see that on the FG.1 and FGR.2, but on the J ?
  17. Giorgio N

    Available kits of the Hampden?

    I have the Valom kit that is the one today sold by AZ with a few differences. Plastic parts look very nice in the box with good interior and exterior detail. Fit may not necessarily be the best side of this kit though... The original Valom kit was known for having ill fitting transparencies as they were a tad wider than the fuselage. The AZ kit corrected these parts and they now seem to fit fine. IIRC AZ removed the various photoetch parts included in the Valom kit but today I'd probably buy the AZ box even without PE rather than the original Valom. I've been often tempted to start this kit but I've never done so, maybe it's time to give it a go
  18. Giorgio N

    Trainers GB, We're on! - Chat

    So if I read correctly a single seater aircraft would be eligible as long as served in a training unit... I recently managed to buy a G.55 for cheap, that itself was not a training aircraft but was the basis for the Merlin engined G.59, for which I have an old resin conversion... all single seater G.59s in Italian service were used for advanced training only, so one of these would be eligible, right ?
  19. Giorgio N

    Pilatus PC-21

    Inteesting subject ! I have the same kit so will sure watch this with interest.
  20. Very nice cockpit ! I'd say that you've already answered the question "was it worthy" ! The cockpit looks very nice and in jets the ejection seat is a detail that draws a lot of attention when the model is completed. Some other details like pedals may not be that important but a nicely detailed seat IMHO makes a lot of difference, so much that today I very often replace the seat in my models if the original part is not good enough, even if I then leave the rest of the cockpit OOB
  21. Giorgio N

    Italian Stallion

    Nice choice ! Will watch with interest. I started a similar project for a previous GB here, unfortunately never managed to finish... The Airfix kit is a nice one, but has a few features that I hate, removing some parts takes care but detail is pretty good and a nice result can be had looking forward to your build !
  22. Giorgio N

    Vietnam Combat-SAR SH-3A

    Having a very old Airfix Sea King kit in my stash, I'm toying with the idea of building one of the machines used for combat-SAR operations in the Vietnam war. Now there seem to have been two types used: - Simple SH-3A, likely stripped of the ASW gear - The more specialised HH-3A, with door mounted gun and the capability of carrying two miniguns in pods on the rear weapon stations Staying with the former for a while, I've seen pictures of machines from HS-2, for example 2 pictures appear in Squadron Signal's In Action title on the Sea King. Personally I would say these aircrafts were in overall Engine Gray, that was the standard scheme of the era for USN ASW helicopters. The various titles, originally in white, seem to have been overpainted in black. There's a Corgi die-cast however that shows one of these machines as overall green machine... personally I'm not convinced, I believe that the overall green scheme was used on the HH-3A after the war only (it sure was as pictures taken in the '80s show green machines). The presence of what look like overpainted stencils in the In Action pictures are IMHO confirmation that the helicopters were overall Engine Gray. Any thought from anyone who has studied the subject before ? Now the HH-3A... I've not seen any carrying the minigun pods apart from the Sikorsky prototype. In any case there are some interesting colours in the few pictures dating from the Vietnam war that I've seen. One seems to be in SEA scheme, another in several tones of green. More interesting seem to be a couple of machines in overall grey. Question is, which grey ? Anyone knows more ?
  23. Giorgio N

    Weapons Loadout Question - Vietnam Era A-6

    The vision of Connery/Hammond making one of his jokes with the cathegory name sprung immediately to my mind reading this...
  24. Did they stop including the basic Silhouette Studio software with the Portrait 2 ? This can be used to draw any shape, although my cutter is an original Portait. I've seen the software for free download on the Silhouette Italy website, may be worth thrying it. Personally I only use the Silhouette software for simple shapes as I have more experience on other softwares to draw more complext stuff. I generally use Corel Draw to draw the shapes, then export them to DXF format. With Silhouette Studio I import the DXF file, resize if needed (unfortunately it's always needed) and save as Silhouette proprietary format. If the software you have allows to import and modify DXF or other formats, then any drawing software that can export to such formats can be used.
  25. Giorgio N

    What am I not getting about Acrylic paint?

    Pity that Model Master have been hit and miss lately, in the past their line of FS matched enamels was the best in terms of colour accuracy. What I found in the days was that the bottle was impossible to seal properly once open, so I knew that many times I had to use a bottle for one model. Since Model Master paints are not imported in Italy anymore, I have lost track of any development of the range