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Jim Kiker

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About Jim Kiker

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    North Carolina, USA

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  1. Jim Kiker

    Vanship instructions needed

    Thanks! I remembered part of the address once I saw it, just could not find on my own. Cheers, Jim
  2. Hi all, I have spent some time on-line looking for instructions for the Hasegawa Vanship kit, to no avail. I am sure they are available somewhere, but I cannot find them. Would someone provide a "point" in the right direction, or perhaps a link to these instructions? Thanks in advance, Jim
  3. Jim Kiker

    Coastal kits

    Hi Race, That sounds interesting; can you pass along a link so folks can check it out? Thanks, Jim
  4. Gentlemen, Thank you one and all for the kind words and for the encouragement along the way. For tiking, the answer is no. The studio models were approximately 28" in length and used 1/24 scale figures for the pilots. That implies that the studio models were roughly 1/24 scale. My Y-wing is just shy of 14", making it half-studio size or about 1/48 scale. HTH, Jim
  5. Jim Kiker

    PR Mosquito

    Hi Brian, In his book "Nightfighter," Jimmy Rawnsley recounts moving from Beaufighters to Mosquitos as John Cunningham's radar operator. He wore his "goonskins" from the Beau on his first ride in the Mossie and reported sweating as if he was in a sauna. The key issue was that the crew sat right next to the radiators in the Mosquito, so it seems to me the colder temps at altitude may not have been a big factor unless one gets up pretty high. Of course the night fighters generally flew at lower altitudes than the highest of the high flyers. Food for thought... HTH, Jim
  6. Hi all, Well at long last my journey with the Y-wing has come to an end. I give thanks for the help and encouragement I got from my buddies, especially Boz and Wally; they kept me plugging along and keeping to the right path for this beast. These final pictures illustrate how she came out. Not a perfect model but I'm really happy with the results. First up is a picture of the bottom; I find it at least as interesting as the top side. Next, here is a picture of the base. It is a simple box with the power plug and a switch in the back. You can see the top of the 1/8" RCA plug that the model connects to. Here she is from the right front. The base is picking up a little reflection from behind; it really is all over black! Now from the rear, showing off the vectrals. And finally the "money shot" showing off the lighting. That's all, folks! Many thanks to those of you who have commented, I appreciate all the kind words. May the Force be with you, always. Cheers, Yoda
  7. Hi all, I have a fairly short update in store tonight, but it is a significant one. With this post, I will be finished with my Y-wing! Last time around I had completed the maneuvering vanes inside the vectrals. As you can see below, I have now painted the insides of the vectrals and glued them into position. I built up the eight piston assemblies, painted them on the outside, added a clear acrylic coat, and ran a light wash around the edges of the exterior edges of the pistons. That last part shows up a little better in person, but I may need to add a second wash for a little more "pop." Here is a close-up of the rear end of the assemblies. And here you can see the front end of the assemblies. Finally, we swap ends to see the nose blasters. They were made from nested brass tubing and painted up. The tips were given some scorching using pastels and clear coated as usual for me. The blasters were then glued into holes I drilled into the thick front bulkhead and voila! she is finito! I am just finishing the paintwork on the stand. Once that is done, I will post some pictures highlighting some of the details and some overall pictures of the model. Thanks for following along, and I have to say, I am one happy camper to have this one complete; she has been a long time in coming! Cheers, Jim
  8. Hi James, Sharp eyes you have there. I had a different picture of the vectral rings from a different filming model, then at the last changed to the one I posted. Wouldn't you know it- the piston assemblies are a bit different between the two movie models. In the other picture the pistons are in three sections. Who would have thought? :-) Good catch! Cheers, Jim
  9. Good evening all, At this stage the model is complete accept for the vectral rings and their maneuvering surfaces. The plan all along was to complete the T-bar structural pieces with a flat section at the very ends. I then bent that flat piece to match the curvature of the vectral ring, yielding four contact points for each ring. One thing I did not do well is work the stiff brass into a really snug fit on the outside of the rings; that came back to haunt me later. In any case, it became time to mount the rings and build the little “piston” sub-assemblies that sit on the rings at the end of each of the booms. I chose epoxy to provide some joint strength and to fill in gaps between the brass bits and the plastic rings. I mixed the epoxy and applied it to the underside of the struts’ ends, slid the rings in between the struts, and gently raised them into a vertical attitude and slid them into the bent strut ends. Here is the ring assembly in place. After the fact, I found that the epoxy did not “stick” so well to the rings; my assumption is that they were too smooth. But given that the rings were vacuformed and about .015” thick, there was not enough material there to do any significant sanding to rough up the mounting points. So it was Gorilla super glue to the rescue, and I’m hoping the finished pieces will be able to stand an occasional glancing blow. As shown in the picture above, the final task back here is to build “piston” sub-assemblies over the end of each strut. As you can see it consists of 10 pieces. The two vertical sides are cut from .015” sheet. The top cross bar is 3.32” rod and is glued into place first to give the sides something to hold on to. The sides are then glued in place. The main piece of the piston is 3/32” plastic tube and is added next. 1/16” rod makes the lower cross piece of the piston and is added next, and then the lower piece of the piston itself made with .060” (nearly 1/16”) half round stock is added to complete the insides of the assembly. On the outer sides of the assembly I have a strip of .030” x .030” stock to hide gaps at the bottom ends of the side pieces and lend a little support to the assembly. Finally I created a shape from .010” plastic sheet to somewhat match the look of the units found on the movie props. Here is a picture of a movie prop ( the one which was given to producer Alan Ladd) showing these rear piston assemblies for comparison. Given the half-studio scale I’m working in, I did have to simplify the assembly somewhat. Believe me, if I ever do something like this again, I will learn how to cast and reproduce bits like this in resin rather than building them up from individual, tiny pieces! So, I have now completed three of these piston sub-assemblies which means I only have five more to go. Then it is the last of the painting and a little pastels/weathering to indicate hard use. And then she will be done! Cheers, Jim
  10. Jim Kiker

    Ask all your Sea Fury questions here

    Hi Jun and Steve, Thanks Jun for the two pictures you posted showing the side oblique windows. Steve, thank you for the close-up shot; it's great to have a close-up of the window to get the shape right; much obliged! I'll take the opportunity to ask again about the under-wing camera pod; is it based on the small tank, the large tank, or perhaps both? I have seen a picture or two of Sea Furies other than WJ236 carrying a camera pod which looks like the smaller tank, but I'd like to get this detail as correct as possible. TIA, Jim
  11. Jim Kiker

    Ask all your Sea Fury questions here

    Hi all, Another reconnaissance-related question here. Does anyone have pictures showing the side oblique windows/camera installation? I have read that a side oblique camera could be mounted in the fuselage one either side just behind the wing trailing edge, but I have not found an image showing the window/camera in use. Thanks, Jim
  12. Jim Kiker

    Airfix Sea Fury

    Hi Martian, Much appreciated; thanks! Cheers, Jim
  13. Gentlemen, Thank you very much for the words of encouragement, they are much appreciated! We are on the home stretch now, I have painted the insides of the vectral ring assemblies. They will be mounted at the ends of the struts and those little assemblies on each mounting will be added a piece at a time. Meantime, here are a few shots of the current state, something of a dress rehearsal before the final curtain rises. First, an overall shot showing the nose as finished and the top of almost the entire ship. I also wanted to checkout how the lighting looks, so here is a picture of the cockpit area taken in low light. And finally, here is a shot of the engines lit up; if you look carefully you can make out the dim lighting in the cockpit as well. Sorry chaps; the cockpit lights, especially the instrument panels, are quite dim and do not show up hardly at all here. In any case, there will be more to show when I have gotten the vectral rings mounted. That's all for now! Cheers, Jim
  14. Jim Kiker

    Ask all your Sea Fury questions here

    Re: WJ236 for Navy, Referring to the photo of WJ236 I posted earlier, I have been pawing over the kit sprues and looking at various builds and descriptions. I had thought that the underwing tanks were both the smaller 45 gallon type, including the camera pod. Airfix views the camera pod conversion to be from a large tank, which means that visually there is asymmetric loading of tanks- a small fuel tank under the left wing and a large camera pod/tank under the left. Have I figured this out correctly, or is the camera pod in the picture made out of a small tank? Thanks in advance for any light you can shed! Cheers, Jim
  15. Jim Kiker

    Ask all your Sea Fury questions here

    Navy, Thank you very much for the reply. I would agree to a lightened version of Sky, I think it would have to be lightened to give the result in the photo. A close Sky match would, I think, not show much contrast at all. I appreciate the information and look forward to more if you should run across it! Thanks, Jim