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Mark V

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About Mark V

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  • Location
    Camas, WA USA
  • Interests
    1/48th WW2 to modern aircraft

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  1. I’m not sure if the early 1/72nd Hasegawa F-4G had Spang decals. In 1987 I built one for the squadron display case and had to hand paint the shark mouth and use generic tail codes from a Detail in Scale USAF black tail code set. For sure the 1/72 F-4E had Spang decals for Euro1. It was on the box art. Just saw one in a shop last year. I went back a month later to get it and it was gone.
  2. It really depends on the aircraft as stated previously. I was a Phantom guy so that’s what I know. Flags all over the jet when it’s put away at night. When we stepped to the jet there were only a few still attached to the explosive type things. These included the seats. Fully pinned I think there were seven, all strung together. Plus canopy uplocks on the actuator pistons. When we climbed in all seat pins were pulled and stowed in the pin bag except the initiator on the back of the headrest and the face curtain pin right on top, in case we stumbled getting into the cockpit and accidentally grabbed the face curtain handle. The crew chief pulled these after we strapped in. Other pins were in the wing tank pylons (jettison cartridges), and the gun on the E model. If we were carrying live ordnance each weapon had a pin/flag. We did an end of runway (EOR) stop and the weapons troops did a quick inspection and pulled the final pins. So, in the case of the USAFE F-4, even if your model has a crew on board, unless they’re pulling onto the runway there would almost always be a couple of RBF flags hanging off somewhere. Exceptions were cross countries where we landed at other bases. Unless we took a travel pod just for the gear downlocks and the other external safety devices we, aircrew, did not bother with them. And we only put the face curtain pin in the seat. Sorry this is so long. I’ve obviously have too much time to read these threads and reply when I actually know something about the topic. I should be building my own models.
  3. I just went through this myself a few months ago. I was building the Italeri 1/72nd F-4S in TPS with VMFA-112 out of Dallas, Texas for a friend who was a RIO there. The sun fade on the colors was pretty drastic so depending on how new the paint was it could vary quite a bit from original. Also, as stated previously, the decal grays are usually not correct. In my case the kit decals and a Superscale set I found. The grays weren’t “blue” enough. I opted to print my own decals, which I still couldn’t get quite right. Overall it’s a difficult scheme to get to look just right. I used Testors Model Master paints, but had to lighten the 35237 since it’s too dark out of the bottle. I used 36495 for the mid tone, and a lightened version of 36495 for the underside. The contrast looks a bit enhanced in the photo. My RIO friend was very appreciative and said it’s pretty close to reality. Well, the photo doesn’t show as I type this on my iPad. I will try to add it from my desktop computer later today. Added from Flickr? As you can see the tail markings and "MARINES" should be closer to the same color as the darker (35237) camo. Oh well, better luck next time... I tried to match decals to paint. Next time I'll do the decals first then work the paint to match.
  4. Been off the site for several months and was checking it out. I was at Spang from April 1984-March 87. When I first arrived we (23rd TFS) had 3 different camo schemes: SE Asia with light camo gray bottom, SEA Wraparound, and Euro1. All had subdued markings, with black outlined stars and bars. All tail codes were black, with most of the Euro1 jets sporting the white “shadowing” on the “SP”. If I remember correctly, only the Euro1 jets had the shark mouth, but I’d have to check my photo files to be certain. After I left, later in 1987, all of the E model jets were flown out, to be replaced by F-16s. I think the G models that came back from depot starting in 1987 were in the Hill Gray camo. But I wasn’t there then. Your decal sheets are really only applicable to the Hill Gray jets. Generally aftermarket decals for the green jets are harder, or near impossible, to find. I’ve been looking for the 1/48th Airdoc sets for over 10 years. So, if anyone has them available please let me know.
  5. Here are a couple of photos of my Italeri 1/48th Saab JAS-39A Gripen. I haven't been spending much time on it lately, maybe a few minutes every couple of days painting something on the seat or the cockpit. Finally got to where I could put the big parts together. I'll add a little filler along some of the seams, but overall it went together pretty well. Easier than the Revell Eurofighter Typhoon. I plan on painting it up as a Swedish line jet with kit decals. Planned on straight out of the box but the long nose pitot is broken on the sprue, so I'll replace it with a blunted needle or something. Hopefully the one on the vertical tail will survive. I'll probably tape a piece of index card folded over it to try to protect it. I really don't want to spend the money on the brass pitot tubes and the AOA probe. The intakes look like there are big seams open, but it's bleed over of the black paint at the aft of the intake under the part. It's really a good fit. In the background is my G.I. Joe Astrolocker from about 1969 or so. It's been my model supply storage box since college. That's when I put the ROTC sticker on it. The exhaust areas aft of the cockpit look uneven. I think it's a combination of paint on the inside and the angle of the photo. They are lined up closer on the model.
  6. Thanks guys. The photos do help. I see that Italeri didn’t get the throttle in the correct location, and totally missed trying to get the stick right. Rather than a small console they just gave me a grip on a pole. Oh well, with a closed canopy and black paint it will hardly be noticed.
  7. I just signed on with Flickr to try to get some pictures up here and on the other forum(s). Didn't get it to work on the other, so maybe better luck here... This is the Revell 1/48th P-47N. I chose this one over the Academy kit based on reviews, availability, and price. Not a bad kit. The metal finish is Testors spray can silver with various panels masked and brush painted with Testors small bottle gloss silver. The markings are my interpretation of photos of 36th FG P-47Ns in Panama 1946-47. I received one photo from the daughter of a former 36th FG pilot, and another was posted on Hyperscale by Mark Allen M after I posted the other one. Both showed the scalloped rudder markings and an aircraft number on the nose. During the war, the 23rd Fighter Sqd color was yellow. It seems that during the deactivation/reactivation period, and the move from Germany to Panama, that the squadron colors were changed and the 23rd became the blue squadron. They switched with the 53rd "Tigers", which makes sense. The 22nd "Stingers kept on as the red squadron. If this works, I'll try to add some more photos of my collection over the next few weeks. Mark V
  8. Thanks for the comments and welcomes. And thanks to giemme for the photo posting tutorial link. I reckon I'll have to start up a Flickr or Imgur account. I hope to do that "soon" since I do have some photos to post. To answer a couple of questions and comments: For Troy Smith, yes, I did know John Young, but not well. I sat in on a few simulator sessions with him and rode along in the sim with him a few times. His autobiography "Forever Young", co-written with James R. Hansen, is pretty good. He was famous for writing memos to the center director and other NASA officials to bring safety issues to their attention. He was flying T-38s right up until his retirement. For Scimitar, the Collings F-100F was formerly a Danish asset from what I was told. It was owned by a guy in El Paso, or at least that's where it was kept, in "Thunderbird-type" markings. Maybe it was Albuquerque? Anyway, when Collings got it, it was repainted in SEA camo as a Misty FAC jet, in honor of Col. Bud Day, medal of honor recipient. While at Spangdahlem, I did get a chance to visit the UK a few times. A couple of cross countries to Upper Heyford (airshow in 1985 or 86), Lakenheath, Bentwaters, a month deployed to Sculthorpe when the Spang runway was being repaved (Aug 1984), and an extended cross country stay at RAF Leuchars in Jan 1987. We flew in with a 2 ship and stayed for 4 days due to bad weather across Northern Europe. Leuchars was good enough to fly out of, but everywhere else was socked in. We walked all over St. Andrews and had a great time seeing the sites. No golf since there was about 6 inches of snow on the course, and I don't golf. Thanks again!
  9. Hello all! I just signed on today after browsing the site for a couple of years. For the last couple of years my models have been almost exclusively 1/48 aircraft flown by my old USAF squadron - the 23rd TFS "Fighting Hawks". Hence my avatar (also since it was one of the few photos/graphics small enough to meet the restriction). I was an F-4E backseater at Spangdahlem AB from Mar 1984 to Feb 1987. While there we had a squadron exchange with the Danish RF-35 Draken squadron at Karup and the 617 Sqd Dambusters at RAF Marham. We deployed to Zaragoza AB, Spain twice a year for bombing practice and qualification. From there I went to Mather AFB, California as an instructor at the navigation school. Our students included NATO German and Italian fast jet backseaters destined for Tornados and Phantoms. I have kept in contact with one of my German students that flew the Tornado IDS with JaboG 33 at Buchel. After the USAF started getting rid of the F-4 and F-111 the number of cockpits available to backseaters grew scarce. My options after nav school were to go to Korea as an air liaison officer with the army, or leave the service. Now, a few years prior, going to work with the army was a 1 year tour, but after that you got your choice of assignment, the classic good deal after a bad deal arrangement. But when it was my turn that deal was over. It was suck it up or get out. I chose the latter. I ended up working as a Space Shuttle simulator instructor for 16 years at the NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston, Tx. That was a fun job working with the astronauts and flying the simulator. When it was announced that the Space Shuttle program would end, I switched from being a contractor (Rockwell, then United Space Alliance) over to being a government civil service employee with NASA. Of the about 25 people in my group that I worked with as a contractor, once the dust settled from the layoffs when shuttle ended, only 4 were still working for the contractor. Three of us had previously transferred to civil service. Anyway, I worked space vehicle safety for 10 years and it was not fun. Paychecks were nice, but the job itself was boring and frustrating. Different story for a different day. While living in Houston I volunteered with the Collings Foundation and flew their F-4D Phantom II several times. I helped out with maintenance and was one of the "seat guys" that took care of the ejection seat inspections and many, many seat removals and installations. It seemed like whenever something broke on the jet the rear seat bucket had to be removed to access some box in the aft cockpit. We also had a TA-4, T-33, F-100F, Me-262B, and UH-1 Huey. But I only ever flew the F-4. I did get a ride on the B-17 and B-24 when they came through Houston a couple of times. My wife and I were also involved with a Corvette car club. I owned 5 Corvettes at various times while in Houston (in order - 1978, 1969, 2002, 2008, 2012). I sold the last one right before we moved. I currently drive a Mazda 3 hatchback. It is a surprisingly zippy little car. One benefit of being a US government employee is the fairly generous retirement system. I was able to retire early, at age 56, one year ago. My pension is reduced, but my wife, who retired from being a public school teacher at the same time, gets a pretty decent pension. And now that we've moved back to her hometown, in Washington state, she is back to work teaching full time again. This allows me to stay home and take care of the house, watch TV, and think about building models. I still have 5 or 6 23rd squadron aircraft to build to complete that series, including a couple of F-4s. But I also started collecting and building European jets. I started on the Hasegawa 1/48th RF-35 Draken and got to the painting stage when it got sidelined to start packing for the move from Texas to Washington. In the last year I did finish a Revell 1/48th P-47N and the Revell-Germany 1/72nd Me-262B in the markings of the jet operated by the Collings Foundation. I also was about 70% done with the Revell-Germany 1/48th Eurofighter Typhoon but broke the canopy in half while trying to clean up the mold line. Revell did send me a new canopy, thankfully, but I haven't gotten back to it yet. In the meantime I started the Italeri 1/48th Gripen and an old Heller 1/72nd T-33 which I'll finish as another Collings Foundation aircraft to complete the set that I did for them. After these are done I'll either finish off the Typhoon and Draken, or start on the Rafale or Tornado ADV. I have both the Revell-Germany 1/48th IDS and new ADV kit. That's my story for now. Once I figure out how to post pictures I'll start contributing more to the forums.
  10. Hello all! I have been browsing Britmodeller for a couple of years while I was gathering up my modern European jet kits. I have been building mostly 1/48th USAF kits but the European jets are so cool looking and I have some history with a couple. Got the Draken, Gripen, Typhoon, Rafale, Mirage 2000, and a couple of Tornados (IDS and ADV) lined up to build. I started with the Revell Germany 1/48th Eurofighter Typhoon and got to the painting stage when I broke the canopy in half trying to get the mold line off. Revell did send me a replacement but I did not get back to it yet. While waiting on the canopy I started the Italeri 1/48th JAS-39A Gripen. I have done several searches on this and other web sites for cockpit color info but am not finding everything. I will be doing this one as a Swedich -39A single seater. Basically keeping it out of the box with no aftermarket. Question - What color are the cockpit floor and sidewalls? I couldn't find that many photos of actual aircraft cockpits. I found a few simulator and computer graphic representations, but those can't be trusted. A couple of the photos that appear to be actual cockpits show the sidewalls to be black rather than light gray. Is this correct - black sidewalls? None of the photos show the cockpit floor clearly and it just looks dark down there. One photo hints that it may be black also. Thanks for your help. In my many searches on this and other forums many of the photos are no longer displayed due to Photobucket's policy change last year. I suspect that my questions here, and those to come, were probably answered and illustrated in the past but the photos are no longer displayed.
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