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Tiger331 last won the day on March 28 2013

Tiger331 had the most liked content!

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About Tiger331

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  • Birthday 01/11/1960

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    Aviation & Military History, Rugby, hill walking

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  1. Many apologies for the lack of progress with this project but work and a minor health issue (now thankfully eased) put paid to any progress during the first three weeks of September. Anyway, here are some photos of the latest progress. I have done a basic paint job with the engines since I wanted to experiment with some new paints and washes and there is a small possibility that they can be seen through the lower fuselage vent doors. Do make sure that the air intake tunnels are securely attached to the engines (leaving the glue to set overnight) before attaching them to the lower fuselage. There is no 'bridging' part to hold the rather long structure up in the middle (though I notice Z-M have now included one of these parts in their forthcoming F-4E 'family'). To be fair, Z-M do point this issue out in the instructions and I was perhaps too keen in trying to move on with assembly. A dry fit of my Mark 1 resin exhaust nozzles demonstrates that they should fit with absolutely no problem when the time comes. This photo shows some of the filler applied to the inside surfaces of the forward missile bays (referred to in an earlier post). I have also done some dry fitting with the upper to lower fuselage components. One issue to potentially watch out for is some minor 'snagging' between the leading edge of the flap guide vanes on the Hypersonic fuselage correction parts and the trailing edge of the lower wing section. The vane on the Hypersonic part is approximately 1mm too long and needs to be trimmed back in order for the whole assembly to sit nicely with the Z-M wing parts. I've highlighted the area of concern with the tip of a needle file in the photo above. I have to say, that given the complexity of shapes on this section of the rear fuselage, I think Jefferey at Hypersonic has done a superb job with the fuselage correction set which fits extremely well along the lower section of the Z-M fuselage and aligns perfectly with the trailing edge of the fuselage, adjacent to the exhaust nozzles. More to follow and. hopefully, at an accelerated pace !
  2. I'm using a set of the Aerobonus USN Crew/Ejection Seat combo in my latest Z-M F-4 build and they fit without any problem. I have measured the Aerobonus seat against the Quickboost Mk.7H seats I have for another build and they are almost identical in width/height so they should fit. You may need to trim down the rails that are moulded into the Z-M cockpit floor (that cannot be seen once you install the seats anyway) to give you a bit more clearance but that should be about all.
  3. Interesting first release, which would seem to indicate that Japan, unlike other kit manufacturers, is not their primary market. I would have put money on a JASDF F-4EJ or F-4EJ Kai as the first release given the huge amount of interest in the recent JASDF retirements although I note one of these variants is due to be their second release of the long nose Phantom. There is obviously still a lot of interest in Vietnam-era material since, again, I would have thought they would have opted for the 'late gun', slatted F-4E variant which has far more many worldwide applications. The early model F-4E is really quite limited and squarely aimed primarily at the US Market, I would suggest. Personally, I wait for the aforementioned F-4EJ Kai, F-4G Wild Weasel and the late model F-4E so I can finally reproduce a really nice Hellenic Air Force machine !.
  4. So why was the AUW (Basic Weight without freight/role equipment) for the C-130K more than that for the C-130E/H. We always had to factor this in one calculating marginal weight loads for items such as a full ammunition load. I cannot think of any other element of the airframe that differed markedly from the C-130E/H (unlike, for example, the F-4K/M with the much heavier Spey engine)
  5. I was specifically referring to Little Rock. The first time I went to LV, I absolutely hated it.......everyone's opening line was "how much have you won/lost ?"....on the assumption that you only went to LV to gamble. I went back twice more and then got a new assignment only to find I had not 'escaped'.....in fact, instead of going for 7-10 days at a time, I was going to be there for 3-4 months straight. The good thing was they put us in a modest motel off the strip and we socialised with the 'real people' of LV so it was a totally different experience....as you say, we got far more healthy socialization. Anyway, we are getting a bit 'off topic' here.....we need to swing this back to a discussion about the merits of the new Zvedza C-130 kit which has to be one of the most anticipated kits of recent years. I'm really looking forward to the prospect of no longer wrestling with the Airfix, Esci or Italeri kits (although I did enjoy them at the time).
  6. No.....we had our own 'Operational Conversion Unit' as it was called........which IIRC 'borrowed' aircraft from the 4 x Squadrons based at RAF Lyneham when I was there in the 1980s.....you were right though. We probably had no more than 45-50 frames at Lyneham at any one time, what with majors or C.3 (stretched) conversions going on at Marshalls of Cambridge (the UK sub contractor). We did go through Little Rock a lot though, especially on the 'southern' route to Nellis to support RED/GREEN FLAG exercises.....nice place.
  7. Sorry, Although I personally hate the phrase, I'm going to quote it here (before anyone else does)........"Because the Panda and Meng kits of the ZSU-23-4 Shilka do not make any money for Zvedza". Personally, I will look forward to this one and see how it compares with the Meng kit that I recently acquired.
  8. Rich, Thanks for posting the video....brought back some happy memories. As you can see, the RAF C-130 had a truly flat cargo floor with a series of apertures into which one inserted the 'mooring points' (right now I cannot remember what we called these). This was the heavy duty metal 'loop' used to secure the hook end of the cargo strop or chain tensioner (depending on the nature/weight of the load). These loops were proud of the floor and would today be described as 'trip hazards' by the HSE but back in the day we just got on with it !. Any other role equipment (roller conveyor for example) had to be fitted on top of the floor and used standard fittings exactly the same as those used for the mooring points. The floor was truly solid...no flexing sensation as you walked across it which was in contrast to the standard US floor. The US floor had recesses which housed the permanently fitted mooring points which simply folded down when not in use, rather like those you find in the back of some SUVs. Very practical in one way because you never risked the danger of going down route only to discover that someone from the role equipment bay had forgotten to load the box of loose mooring points for your role change (yes, it happened from time to time) but it was a little more difficult to keep the floor clean and they could be a potential foreign object damage (FOD) hazard (its amazing what one relatively small bolt or nut can do if accidentally kicked off an aircraft onto the pan). IIRC (although it is now over 25 years since I was last involved in the practical loading of a C-130, the US floor housed the roller conveyor which was 'flipped over' if needed for a pallet load (although I may be getting confused with the C-17). In any case, the USAF in particular hardly ever operated the aircraft with 'flat floors' (i.e. no pallets) since they never really worried about running out of cargo space - they just called up another of their 800+ C-130s to take up the slack unlike us who filled every aircraft to the gunwhales !. Anyway, a bit off topic but I hope Flightpath look to revisit their C-130 detail set to fit the new kit or some other enterprising manufacturer comes up with a brand new one.
  9. The introduction to service of the C-130K is slightly before my time (!) but, as I understand it, we (the UK) determined that the standard Lockheed supplied floor and the compatible load restraint equipment (floor points etc) was insufficient for our needs. As a result we had them install a much more solid (and therefore heavier) floor which IIRC used the same type of floor restraint equipment as that used on the VC-10, Britannia etc. As a result, we were unable to exchange pallets etc with our US colleagues (or indeed other NATO or Commonwealth) countries that all used the US 463L system on joint exercises/operations etc. Shortly after I started with the ATF we decided to buy adapter kits so we could use the 463L pallets but the 'logistics' of ensuring we had the right pallets in the right locations around the world then became a bit of a challenge for the Air Ops and Load Planners. On more than one occasion we turned up 'down route' (normally somewhere like Gander, Dakar, Bora Bora, Guam etc) with the 463L adapters in place (which also resulted in a minor loss of clearance heights for the pallets) only to find the 'standard' RAF pallet (which was wider) presented for loading !. Most loads 'bulked out' rather than were 'weight out' which could also be a game changer with the loss of height clearances. Cargo floors and pallets appears to be a rather simple concept but, in reality, it can be quite complicated. One consolation with our load system for the ATF was that if a load was secured properly it would never move. So the story goes, an Argosy (I think) conducting a low pass in the Middle East sometime in the sixties hit an object on the ground and cartwheeled before being almost totally destroyed. Once the dust had literally settled those that went out to the crash site found and almost complete floor section with a Land Rover still securely tied in place.
  10. I feel sure that some enterprising aftermarket supplier will come up with the standard RAF floor/ramp surface in P/E and then your RAF C-130 will be even more accurate since it will have a floor heavier than that found in any other 'standard' C-130E/H of the time with a concomitant reduction in payload !
  11. The Hawker Hunter is, without doubt, one of my favourite aircraft of all time. I was never really sure about the Swedish Air Force scheme until I saw this particular example perform during the Sola-Stavanger Airshow in 2012. Operated by the Swedish Air Force Historic Flight it is, of course, a ex-Swiss Air Force Mk.58 but the pilot produced, without doubt, the best Hunter display I have ever seen.......and I have seen plenty over the years. The weather on the day certainly helped and since I was actually working at the show, I was able to congratulate him after the routine which was good. Now having seen your excellent rendition of an accurate Flygvapnet F.50 I'm totally sold on adding one of these to my ever increasing list of Hunter projects !. Truly superb model. Well Done, Sir !
  12. Sven, Thanks for a GREAT set of photos of this NF-4D. I have a Zoukei-Mura kit earmarked for very same aircraft, using the old Cutting Edge sheet (CED48-013) that includes this airframe. I will be swopping out the crest decals on the Cutting Edge sheet for better examples from Hypersonic Models though. Again, many thanks for sharing
  13. A little more progress overnight. The main wings go together very nicely, sandwiching well fitting undercarriage bays in the process. I remembered to drill the holes for the stores pylons this time !. The one area, so far, where I have discovered a less than optimal fit is with the 'blanking plate' at the rear end of the forward AIM-7 missile bays. According to the instructions you only fit this component if you are NOT going to fit the AIM-7s. As you can see the area needed a bit of filler to ensure they were faired in properly. I tried to minimize the amount on the outer surfaces by using filler on the inner (unseen) surfaces, with limited success. Take care with the alignment of the outer wing section. There is a step but DO NOT be tempted to align or sand it flush. The step is meant to be there in order to help align the outer, upturned, wing sections. That said, I was a bit concerned with the gap towards the rear of this section so I have used a small plasticard shim (sorry for the quality of the photo). I also took time to address one of my pet 'hates' with some jet fighters - joining, sanding and applying gloss white paint to engine intakes !. In fairness the Z-M parts go together pretty well and are 'buried' quite far within the fuselage so any blemishes with ejector pin marks, badly applied paint etc are quite well hidden.
  14. In the meantime, here are a couple of shots of the two fuselage halves temporarily mated to check the overall fit and alignment of the two Hypersonic resin parts. The single piece Zoukei-Mura fuselage spine also helps with this check....the quality of Jeffrey's (of Hypersonic) resin parts really shines through here with the spine part fitting as well as it does with the original Z-M fuselage parts.
  15. I must admit that when these kits were first announced, I was in the 'why another 1:48 F-4 Phantom ?' category of modellers, especially after Academy had brought out a very nice family of F-4B/N, C/D and J variants shortly before the first Zoukei-Mura F-4J kit hit the streets. Since then I have been somewhat swayed by the ease with which these kits purportedly go together and the slightly more accurate canopy outline. I will readily admit that the Hypersonic correction parts are probably in the 'nice to have' category for the majority of builders since the kit does look good out of the box but I wanted to hone my skills on some fairly easy resin correction parts before tackling a more complex build. I am sold on the Hypersonic parts though and will use them on all of my future Z-M short nose F-4 builds - I understand the fuselage contours have been corrected on the first of the forthcoming long nose F-4E kits though. Glad you are following but I should warn you that my builds can be somewhat 'glacial' in speed although I will try my best with this one. I will not be able to help with tips on the Mk.7H ejection seats though since I am looking to fit a pair of the Aerobonus seats with crew figures during this build. Cheers for now
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