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klr last won the day on August 9 2021

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  1. Now onto 2022. In one of the Matchbox GB threads, I bemoaned the fact that I already had far more kits than what I knew to do with. Exhibit A: I went into my local shop to pick up a Hobby Boss Hoplite, and ended up walking out with three Arma Hobby Wildcats, with the two Hurricanes following later that day. In my defence, the only other FM-2/Wildcat VI kit I ever had was the ancient Airfix kit, which I built around 1980. Arma Hobby Hurricanes surely need no explaining. I now have 5, and more could follow. Exhibit B. A couple of days ago, I got a text from the shop owner to say he'd bought up a small collection that I might be interested in. He had helpfully set aside four kits he (correctly) thought I might be interested in. I was only thinking about the Hasegawa Mitsubishi F-1 the other day. I originally built this about 30 years ago. I never got the T-2 before. The collective wisdom of Scalemates doesn't seem to yet realise that these Hasegawa F-1 and T-2 kits share the same basic mold. The AMK L-29 Delfin I had got before, also second-hand. I also decided to get the Revell (ex-Italeri) F/A-18 and Academy (ex-Hobbycraft) F2H, especially as both have excellent Cartograf decal sheets with options for Canadian subjects, which might come in very handy later in the year.
  2. I haven't posted any new purchases for a long while, so this first post is all about kits I bought during the second half of 2021. It seems I was busy. To start, my first Arma Hobby kits, bought in two or three batches. Next, a real mixed bag. The Special Hobby Fouga Magisters were the pick of this bunch, which was also bough over a couple of instalments: Some more goodies. Not shown is another Hobby 2000 (ex-Fujimi) A-4C, in a much smaller box than the A-4M. The Zvezda Hind-A is predictably very complex. Naturally, I bought some Airfix kits, and then more Airfix kits ... ... and then yet more. I didn't have either of these particular boxings before. Another batch of goodies I picked up whilst visiting family. The two AFV kits are both quite new. I think the BM-21 is from 2021, the Type 10 from 2020. I couldn't resist the CMC Leopard-1 as a possible (nay likely) entry for the Protoypes, etc. GB later this year. The late-war Revell ELCO PT boat was also too tempting, being quite different in terms of armament to the early war version. Then I was lucky enough to get a second Eduard MiG-21MF. Finally for 2021, while I was again visiting family, I got myself these Christmas presents:
  3. Catching up. First, a quick note on the main undercarriage doors. Some of them - especially the larger parts 61 and 63 - don't easily fit in the open position. So I had to "straighten" the edges where they meet the fuselage. Next, the drop tanks. These are longer, thinner and more tapered than the tanks supplied with other "legacy" Hornet kits. In this first picture, the tanks from Academy are across the top, those from Italeri (actually a Revell rebox) lower left, and an Airfix tank lower right. In this second picture, the Airfix tank is compared with those from a Hasegawa kit, and it's the same story. Apparently, during development, tanks with an elliptical cross-section were used, before giving way to tanks with the regular circular cross-section. But the Airfix tanks are circular as far as I can see, having assembled them. I've not found any pictures of Airfix-like tanks, so the most likely explanation is that Airfix just got them wrong. This is a bit of a problem. There is one spare tank in the Academy kit, which generously includes four. The Hasegawa kit has the normal three, the Italeri kits (I have both an original and the Revell rebox) have just two each. Were I to fit the spare Academy tank under the fuselage of the Airfix kit, I'm not sure what might replace the under-wing tanks on the inner pylons, to go with the pairs of Mk. 83 bombs on the outer pylons. Anyway, back to the airframe. This is all but complete, apart from the arrestor hook, and the LERX strakes. On closer inspection, the windscreen and canopy parts were not quite as good fits as I first thought. Humbrol 147 (FS 36495) takes several coats, or at least my current tin does. I still have to paint the red edges of the various undercarriage doors. As well as missing the anti-glare panel (see next picture), the Airfix paint guide also misses how FS 36375 "wraps around" the front of the LEXXs and the nose, at least in all the pictures I've seen of this early lo-vis scheme. Three of the US insignia decals are dark and one light, as three go over the darker FS 36375, and just one over the lighter FS 36495. But that was based on the specified paint scheme. My adjustment now means the darker fuselage insignia are going over this darker grey. Unless I look for replacements. The FS 35237 anti-glare panel seems to extend as far as the gun port. Beyond that, it seems that FS 36375 should wrap around the entire radome, apart from the cream-coloured tip.
  4. ... and mine as well. So that makes three of us. Spooky
  5. "Fun" is not a word I'd use, given the various fit problems. But I'd still hope to finish it in another week or so. I have several other kits on the go. Did I mention that I had to transport the almost built kit on a long train journey (actually several trains) squeezed into an old cardboard box that seemed way too small to contain it? And that said box also contained several other kits, including the now completed J30 Mosquito (Nordic GB)? And that they all somehow survived the experience intact ...
  6. My sentiments exactly. BTW, have you decided the camouflage scheme yet?
  7. The Italeri kit has the same problem, only it's considerably worse. The bases of the wing struts should be level with the tops of the undercarriage legs. AFAIK, only the Airfix kit gets this correct. I am also planning to build this kit, and I will probably just live with this, given how the base strut attachment points are molded. I certainly won't be able to compete with that cockpit though. Anything I do would have to be completely scratchbuilt, and/or involve repurposed parts from the spare box.
  8. Ah yes, I forgot to mention: I've decided to leave those until I've painted and decalled the upper surfaces of the LERXs. The big black decals (walkway panels?) will determine the precise placement of the LERX fences.
  9. As I like to do, I am building the interior, etc. on just one side, and checking that it is aligned properly by-dry fitting the opposing fuselage half as I go. There is a small gap at the top of the nose transparency, which I confirmed by dry-fitting the canopy. However, as the nose glazing is painted over in this version, there will be no sign of this gap that had to be filled in. When dry-fitting the canopy, I noticed a slight "overhang" at the front. So I sanded down the upper fuselage where it meets the rear of the canopy. Problem solved. Many of the other parts are being painted on the sprue, mostly the garish blue one. The Matchbox paint guide specifies the defunct Hu 92 Iron Grey for the tires. I used Hu 32 instead. Hu 92 is also specified for the cockpit, implying RLM 66. Looking at instructions from the likes of Eduard (1/72) and Meng (1/48), the cockpit could be either RLM 02 or RLM 66. I haven't decided which way I will go yet, but it will probably be RLM 02 (Hu 31). I am also using this for the wheels, rather than painting them black as Matxchbox would have me. I have also applied a couple of coats of white to the spinners, obliterating any sign of that blue plastic. The propeller blades are RLM 70 (Hu 91), but there will need to be a small metallic section visible at the base of each blade once the spinner has been attached.
  10. Joining the fuselage halves was unlikely to be completely straightforward. It rarely is, given the sheer amount of plastic that has to be lined up and kept in place. But it wasn't that bad at all. I also put the first coat of paint on the upper wings, and attached the nose wheel leg. I also started to paint the undersurfaces as this point, noting that the lower starboard insignia should be applied before attaching the outer pylon. I had to cut down the clear HUD part, which seemed far too tall. I also tried to highlight the display screens in blue, having consulted my references on early F/A-18 instrument panel layouts. The assembled LERX units were not perfect fits, but the gaps were almost all on the underside, and easy to fill in. I had to check other instructions and references to confirm their precise orientation. It would have been very easy to position them too low at the front end. The canopy is only dry-fitted for now, but it is an extremely good fit. The tail pipes were also attached. They are very slightly too small. but this is barely noticeable. The stores being painted. The Sparrow colours are as per "recent" instructions from the likes of Academy for "legacy" Hornets. The attachment holes on the fuel tanks are keyed, along with the pins on the pylons, to ensure correct orientation. I am currently cleaning up a couple of areas on the underside of the airframe, specifically where the intakes meet the fuselage, and those joins between the wings and the tail planes. But it's straightforward work compared to certain other jets I've built recently (I'm looking at you Italeri ...).
  11. Progress has been rapid. I started this a little over 72 hours ago. I will break this down into two posts. One of the very few glitches in the kit engineering is that the cockpit floor is positioned too far back, but you might only realise this when trying to join the upper and lower fuselage halves together. I spotted this when dry-fitting the halves, and quickly removed the floor. A quick bit of surgery - change the front alignment hole to a notch - and I re-attached it: Another dry-fit confirmed this position was good at both ends: ... but behind the wings, where the rudders were to be attached, the fit would prove to be less than perfect. Because I could, I next attached the wings and fins to the upper fuselage, and the all-moving tailplanes to the lower fuselage. These are supposed to be moveable, but I wanted them in a fixed and predictable position. These sub-assemblies look like what you would get in a "quick-build" Hornet kit. At this stage, I also added the one-piece roof of the main undercarriage bays, and the main undercarriage legs, which fitted tightly. Maybe I should have left these off until later though, as they interfered with some clean-up work.
  12. For some reason, I've always liked the contours of the wing tips on this kit. Of course, on the production aircraft, these were spoiled by a couple of fairings. I had a mind to build this kit in ferry configuration, using a couple of spare external tanks from the Italeri kit. I have a photo somewhere of a prototype with just such a loadout. Maybe some other time.
  13. My recollection from 40 years ago that it was an easy build seems to have been correct, as I've already made rapid progress. Pics later this evening ...
  14. Interesting that the artwork shows a drop tank, because the kit only came with a bomb. Anyway, I liked this kit. It may have been the first ever P-40 (Curtis Model 81 or 87 Hawk) I ever built, either that or the old Airfix Kittyhawk Ia*. *Which Airfix erroneously insisted on referring to as a P-40, even though it was never issued in USAAF markings.
  15. Revisiting the colours: For the B-1 of KG 51 Edelweiss, RLM 70/71 over 65 would be correct. This remained the standard bomber camouflage for most of the war. But that would be just too easy, especially as it's a bog-standard scheme with no mottling. For the ZG 26 A-2/U-4, it is RLM 74/75 over 76 (as expected), but with RLM 02 included in the mottle along with RLM 74 and RLM 75. At least, that's according to the instructions for one of the Eduard kits. Also: Contrary to what is implied by the narrative on the cover of the original boxing, ZG 26 remained active after being bounced by Mustangs. However, it was relocated to Konigsberg, presumably taking time to work back up to something approaching full strength.
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