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Everything posted by klr

  1. 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.
  2. 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 ...
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. From the category of "someone's got to build this". I'm sure enough of us did build it back in the day, including myself in 1982. As I recall, I completed it in line with the box artwork, or at least as best I could. Given the kit was issued in 1981, two years before the type entered service, accuracy was always going to be questionable. I am building a re-box from the late 1980s, one that has been in the stash for a very, very long time. I could have disposed of this kit on more than one occasion, but something always stayed my hand. Maybe it was because I remembered this as being a trouble-free build. I am building the USN subject from VFA-102 "Valions", with the early low-vis colour scheme. Thanks to those who confirmed in the chat thread that this was correct. The small strakes on top rear of each LERX were added early in the production run, and retro-fitted to the very earliest aircraft. Airfix did at least decide to go back and add them. Note how these parts (93 and 94) are oriented at a 90-degree angle to other parts, presumably to squeeze them onto the sprue. They also have plain part numbers, instead of the italicised part numbers used from the mid-1970s through the early 1980s.
  6. A couple of pointers for the build. I won't being straying much from what's in the box, but the interior could do with some sprucing up. I will probably replace the seats with something more realistic, and add some basic instrument panels and a control stick. I may or may not use the crew figures. I've never been a fan of Matchbox crew figures, but they might help take the bare look off the interior. Or (sacrilege!) I could use Airfix crew figures from the same era, of which I have a good supply. The one-piece canopy is crisply molded (for its time), with well-defined panel lines. I plan on building the ZG 26 A-2/U-4 subject with the 50 mm BK-5 cannon. The recommended colours for both subjects are Hu 91/30 over 65, as in RLM 70/71 over 65. Obviously, Luftwaffe colours were poorly understood in the mid-1970s, and Matchbox never bothered to check and revise them, not for this kit anyway. I will be applying the standard mid-war finish of RLM 74/75 over 76, unless my research throws up something unexpected.
  7. This is a placeholder for my first build in this GB. I hope to start it by tomorrow. I had originally planned to build jt in 2020 for the "Kit you built as a kid" GB, but COVID-19 travel restrictions prevented that. I first built this kit on Christmas Day 1978, some time in the early evening. This had the original artwork, describing how ZG 26 was "bounced" by Mustangs, suffering terminal losses. I am building a re-release from the late 1980s, with the same box-art as on an earlier re-release. I bought this in 1990, probably late in the year. I can't remember if Swastikas were included when I first built the kit, but by the late 1980s, they were definitely verboten. I will have to dig into my after market sheet.
  8. Painting was always looked to be easiest phase, for the subject I choose: Two coats of Hu 127, the decals applied straight onto the satin finish, and an overall matt varnish. Without the varnish overcoat, those 1990s decals would have never stayed on. To aid painting the dark grey (FS 26118/Hu 125 + matt varnish) area around the cockpit, Italeri very helpfully provided two "guide" decals. These extended back further than illustrated on the paint and decal guide, but I left them be. Note the dark upper fuselage panels that would be covered by the fully swept wings. According to Italeri, these should be the same colour as the rest of the airframe, but no other instructions or references seemed to agree with this. Unfortunately, when cutting up the decals, I messed up one of the decals for the pilot's name, so it's only on the starboard side ... D'oh! Stores painted and attached. I had to research the colours for the LGBs, not trusting Italeri. So there is still some work to do. All the main undercarriage doors have to be attached, and likewise the small rear sections of the nose wheel doors. The arrestor hook still has to be painted, and some other points have to be researched. before painting is completed.
  9. I spent most of Christmas evening cleaning up these engine fairing joins, which were extremely bad. The joins inside the intakes have been cleaned up some since this photo, but still aren't up the required standard. The tailplanes have the same part number, but are clearly different, being "keyed" in two different ways. As designed, the rear nose wheel doors would have prevented the nose strut from being attached. After some work, I thought I'd corrected this, but it still requires more attention. I relied on the instructions from other kits to get a better idea of the cockpit colours. Note the tell-tale signs of filler everywhere. The nose/cockpit section was joined to the main fuselage just behind the rear seat, but it was a very bad fit along the sides, inboard of the intakes. The exhaust nozzles weren't a good fit either, but I did my best. The completed airframe. The forward glove vanes were not for use, replaced by two narrow inserts to portray them in the closed position. I assume this was because the "Bombcat" was not meant to operate at high speed? Anyway, these were also a mediocre fit.
  10. Very, very late I know, but I have (many) reasons. I had originally intended to build this kit, but then mislaid the windscreen. It eventually turned up in mid-December, and when I checked, this Group Build had been extended. So in a rush of new-found enthusiasm, I decided I'd take it with me during my Christmas holidays (visiting family), and build it there. Note the extra sprue with the LGBs (just the two) and FLIR pod.
  11. I had only intended painting the wheel wells and undercarriage doors as the first step, but since they were gloss white like most of the airframe, I just kept on going, and going. Of course, it took about four coats of very slow-drying white paint: Now to the decals, which looked to be good, based on my previous experience with these 1990s Airfix decals. Oh no ... the stripe decals on the wings and fuselage were a nightmare, and even the roundels were temperamental. I also realised too late that there wasn't enough nose ballast, despite my best efforts: Last of all the undercarriage was painted and attached. The main wheel to undercarriage joins were very, very "loose". Also, the windscreen join still needed more work at all points. For the stripes, I had to cannibalise some spare walkway markings from an Italeri B-57 Canberra. Being printed by Zanccheti, these were of very good quality, but much wider than the original stripes, and I am still overpainting them down the the "correct" width. And that windscreen still doesn't look right ...
  12. I knew there wouldn't be much to see through those typically thick 1970s Airfix transparencies, so no need to go to town on the interior: The lower port wing needed a lot of work: From the top, things looked better: ..., and eventually, from the undersides as well: ... and from head-on. Dry-fitting confirmed that the propeller unit should only be attached to the shaft after the fuselage had been assembled. The windscreen was a poor fit, although quite how poor was not apparent at first. Ready for painting, which I thought would be easy.
  13. Well, this seemed like a good idea at the time. How tricky could a simple little kit like this be? I should have known better. To quote Puck from "A Midsummer Night's Dream": Lord, what fools these mortals be
  14. The completed kit, again too late for the gallery:
  15. I started to apply the first coat of Hu 145 (FS 35237): Only then did I attach the canopy and windscreen, which I had cemented together beforehand. In my experience, the canopy to windscreen join can be such a problem that I prefer to assemble it first, and only then attach it to the airframe. Naturally, that may lead to problems elsewhere, but they are generally easier to deal with. In this case, the there was considerable overhang on the port side, which took several iterations of sanding and priming to fix. One thing I forgot to mention earlier: In the instructions, the part numbers for the inboard and outboard pylons were mixed up. I didn't realise this until after I'd attached them, and had to backtrack. Some of the attachment points for the stores were quite frankly clunky. ,,,,,,
  16. Like the Airfix J30 Mosquito, this was a kit I started before Christmas, and resumed after. To put it bluntly, it was not a pleasant build. The back of the headrest needed filling in. The front looked better. I painted the seatbelts later. The completed cockpit "tub" in place. When I tried to attach the seat to the floor, it just wouldn't stay there. Clearly, the seat wouldn't lie flush against both the floor and the rear bulkhead at the same time. So I ended up attaching it to just the bulkhead, The main airframe assembly was relatively quick, although the upper port wing root to fuselage joined needed considerable cleaning up later. The air brakes were a very loose fit, requiring much effort to. You can also see the poor wing root join here. Note the difference in the splitter plates. I should have investigated this further before attaching the intake fairings, but no. Only later did I realise the port side fairing didn't line up. Cue yet more sandpaper and elbow grease. The completed airframe, minus the canopy:
  17. Well, actually no: I started it a couple of weeks before Christmas, but then didn't resume it until the end of December. Long story ... I had it "almost" finished for the gallery deadline, but the dipole radar aerials needed some more attention. Anyway, as promised, here are some more pics:
  18. There's still plenty of time for the Thunderstreak to be re-released. It was tooled in 1974. The Vintage Classics line is only just beginning to tap into the 1970s Airfix back-catalogue. As for the Yak-9 being re-tooled: I'd say there are two chances of that: Slim and none, and slim has just left the building with the new Zvezda tooling being announced.
  19. I didn't realise the Cobra had sported the 3-colour SE Asia scheme, but a quick Google reveals all. I also have this kit in my stash, and the 3-colour scheme looks very tempting, especially as I have an Italeri USMC Sea Cobra lined up for the Bomber and ground attack GB, albeit with a different 3-colour scheme. So I may yet add PK-9 to my build list, but not for a while.
  20. The artwork and the subject are so memorable that Airfix basically copied them ...
  21. I have three Revell 1/144 Hornets in the stash, and if this is not a good enough reason to build them, I don't know what is. Build them all I mean. They all look to be very good kits, and all have excellent Cartograf decal sheets, two of them designed by Daco. They are an F/A-18D, an F/A-18E, and an EA-18G. I'll still be building the aforementioned 1/72 Airfix kit, and maybe one other 1/72 kit.
  22. I bought 6 kits today, when I had intended to buy just one or two. That's why I find myself having to draw the line somewhere ...
  23. The 1/72 aircraft choices are also a hit with me. Good to see that Airfix has selected a couple of gems from the early 1970s (F-80, Beaver). Previously, I think most if not all the Vintage Classic toolings were from the 1960s and even 1950s.
  24. Thanks guys for the clarification. The pointer on the anti-glare panel is especially appreciated. I am also planning on building a Hasegawa F/A-18C, for which both subjects sport the "standard" FS 36320/36375 scheme. It would be good to have the two kits with contrasting schemes. EDIT: For some reason, I've hit my "reaction limit" for today, but I'll remember to thank your posts as soon as I can.
  25. "Lead me not into temptation ..." Thanks, I'll have a think about it, but with about a zillion kits already in the stash, I'm not sure getting yet another kit is a good idea. Of course, the flip-side of that argument is what difference would one more little kit make?
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