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Ventsislav Gramatski

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About Ventsislav Gramatski

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  • Birthday 10/10/1988

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    Sofia, Bulgaria

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  1. As someone who is a fan of the Lavochkin fighters, I am in the same boat. Currently building the Eduard La-7. In fact, if you want to have the complete La- family wartime line, get both the ClearProp and KP kits. The CP is an early series (1 through 5) La-5. One of the most distinctive features in scale would be the rounded front windscreen, same as on the Lagg-3. The KP La-5s are from series 5 onwards. They have the flat, armored front windscreen. This kit can also be used to represent the early series La-5F, which were regular razorback La-5s with the M-82F engine with continous boost mode. Then you get the bubble canopy La-5F version, which was very widespread and served for quite a while, yet hasn't been made into a kit before. The air scoop on top of the cowling in the La-5F is shorter than that of the La-FN. Now, lastly, La-5FNs. Early series built in 1943 and later 1944 series would have small differences, such as the small air scoops on the cowling sides (those just aft of the armored cowl flaps) and, most notably, different aerial mast configuration. Plenty of options if you go with either or both kits.
  2. One more confirmation for the dual tone camo on the upper wing and horizontal stabilizer surfaces of Bulgarian Avias. RLM 70/71 Dark Green and Black Green. For the best English (even Bulgarian) language source, I highly recommend the two volumes Bulgarian Fighter Colours published by MPM. There's a review here on the site, these books are pure gold!
  3. Ah... sadly, Eduard's 1/72 La-7 is a good kit but nowhere near excellent. It has some geometry and detail issues, errenous colour profiles. I would describe it as something like Academy's Spitfire XIV - great kit but not a great scale model. 35 litre and 1300hp actually. Probably because it was one of the best if not the best frontline dogfighter of the war. The fascination with raw speed isn't a great way to judge a fighter. I recently read an interview with a Soviet fighter pilot and they asked him the same thing, why the relatively slow Yak-3 was so successfull. He said that max level and combat speeds are very different things. The Yak-3 had a relatively low Vmax but a very fast acceleration in the entire diapason of 300 to 640km/h, and excellent climb up to 4000 metres. Doesn't matter if you can go really fast, you won't have time to get to that speed with the small fighter locked behind you. Sorry to derail the thread! Great collection and great finish on all of them! Really interesting to see how they stack up against one another. I knew the Yak-3 was diminutive but I am surprised the FW-190 is really compact too, and I am very surprised at how big the Mustang is! I'd throw a Bf 109K, Yak-9U and La-7 in there to round up the collection. Although finding good kits the latter would be difficult...
  4. Build progress rather slow thanks to a bad case of food poisoning on Friday evening, and general lack of motivation at the moment. I assembled the fuselage and it turned out that I had glued seat position wrongly - it should be flush with the armored rear plate and fuselage sides. So it went from this.. ... back to separate parts, and again to this: To boot, I the location of the starboard PE part for the trim wheels given in the instruction is wrong! It should be right next to the pilot's right leg rather than behind the the seat. The instructions also provide for one trim wheel PE part to be used, when the real thing had two - one for the elevator trim tab, one for the rudder trim tab. So, with careful tweezers work and steady hands I managed to glue two PE parts in the proper position - also note the corrected seat and armor plate : I had some fitting issues and you can see the obvious results of using putty. I used diluted Mr. Colour putty that was than sanded down with 500, 1000 and 1200 sandpaper. I am thinking of ways to add raised detail back to the cowling support rings, as much as I tried, some was lost during sanding. Suggestions? Also started work on the second La-7. Having acquired some knowledge using PE and the deficiencies of the of the kit with the first plane in the kit, this second a lot better and cleaner. Cockpit details, all finished and varnished, only an enamel wash to go and cowling exhaust PE attached, and I can start assembling it.
  5. That thing is tiny! Looks pretty good, painting the canopy framing must have been fun!
  6. Looks great to me, nice chipping effects there! I would only suggest to have chipping also affect stencils, such as the red rectangles marking safe-to-step zones on the wings. Looks like you also have desk shared as computer and hobby workstation - it's really a chore to cleanup after each build session!..
  7. Lovely La-7 build there, Djordje! Colours lok great - how difficult did you find the Hataka acryllic paints to work with? Any issues spraying them? I got the late-war VVS set but the blue line (for brushes) as the red line was not available.
  8. I have to add my voice to the others who already said it, the paint job on your 109G is lovely! The decals also look fantastic, as if they've been painted, no sheen or film at all. And a nice markings choice - I always enjoy seeing those "unknown warriors of the sky" more than some of the prominent aces. Shame about the nose shape issue of the kit, as everything aft of the MG131 fairing bulges looks spot on, but the nose does look a bit.. off. I was seriously considering getting the AZ 109G6 pack, even as a donor for Tamiya conversions (would love to build a late G6 with Erla Haube and the short tail in service in the Bulgarian VnVV) but that plus 2x Tamiya kits is quite expensive, and I'm already struggling to accurise two kits. There's a huge number of 109s that AZ offer - do the all suffer from the same issue? I've read through a number of topics here and I get that all F and early G marks do - what of the latter Gs, G-14AS, G-10s, the K-4… they also have a wrong nose shape? I can't find any of the Fine Molds kits anymore, price aside.
  9. Tamiya and Mr. Color seem to use similar formulas for paint and glue. I've thinned Tamiya cement with Mr. Color Leveling Thinner, which is the same as regular thinner but with added retarder. If I am not mistaking, Mr. Color's Thinner is coded 400 (110 being acrylic and also works for Tamiya paints). If you apply over cement, it starts to slowly dissolve it, as it would paint. I've recently disassembled my La-7 a few days ago (will update my build thread tomorrow) using this exact method - applying small quantities of thinner using a fine brush along the joints. Wait about a minute and it should become loose. The trick is to allow enough time for the thinner to dissolve the cement but not enough so it can dry again. It does not damage the plastic if you work carefully, although excessive amount of thinner or mechanical friction will cause damage, as the plastic becomes softer. If you have Tamiya's own thinner, or Mr. Color's, you can try it out.
  10. Great models! Nice to see LZ-BUR, I have a couple of flights in it - as a passenger only, unfortunately. Balkan used to be a great carrier, shame they went "bust"... Especially due to being able to seat in the cockpit of a Tu-144 during landing!
  11. Amazing Stuka and absolute joy to see it in VnVV colours at that!
  12. Looks very good, Jan, can't wait to see builds! You mentioned plans for a Bulgarian markings boxing, mind me asking if you have sources for the camouflage schemes/subversions the VnVV operated? Unfortunately, lots of incorrect ones on the Internet... Would be happy to provide info.
  13. @CedB sad to say the seat is wrong both on your and my builds... I saw your update and something irked me that seat on mine is sticking above the fuselage line. It should be flush with the armor plate backing and the fuselage sidewall edge - notice the thin blue line on the instruction leaflet (I hadn't too)! The result is that is should be slightly angled due to the spacers below. I just had to disassemble mine to fix it, after gluing everything together last night... You still have a chance to spare yourself the trouble.
  14. The late instrument panel is a sort of an oddball. Certainly used in post-war, late production La-7s, some of the 2x20mm and most of the 3x20mm wartime production batches. You can recognize the "late" schemes by the 3 fairings for the Berezin B-20 guns on the cowling. Two are post war, the Czechoslovak camo and the overall green Soviet one, these likely had the late panel too. Hope that helps! Is it me, or are the rudder panels installed backwards?
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