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Steve McArthur

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Everything posted by Steve McArthur

  1. Here's a pretty interesting article on Chinese ejection seat development. https://inf.news/en/military/69ddafb4c6386ab229d8102948dc5a7a.html
  2. I went and looked at some of the pics of the Valiant at Cosford and it looks like at least some of the panel lines from the Airfix kit are there, but size and condition of the plane hide them pretty well. On a V-bomber you tend to naturally stand further away than you would from a Gnat to get an overall view of the plane. The real world gaps for panel lines don't really scale with the size of the plane, so taking several steps back will make them harder to see. On a clean glossy white plane stored indoors you also won't notice many panel lines. It's dirt and crud that stick in recesses that make it easy to pick out the the panel lines. Roll the plane outside and let it rain on it a few times with just dust blowing in the air and it's like applying a panel line wash. The heavy emphasis many modelers put on accenting panel lines is really more of an artistic style than having anything to do with reality. I've worked around aircraft most my life and am convinced many modelers have never seen an airplane any closer than waiting at a boarding gate at the airport. You have to evaluate why you see some lines and not others on real aircraft. Control surfaces, doors and access panels that are opened frequently do stand out more than edges between skin panels. Aircraft paint can be sprayed fairly thick and it does help mask panel edges, especially glossy white. But, any break in the paint makes these more obvious. Removable panels have larger gaps and sometimes gaskets or seals that are just visible enough to accentuate those lines. Handling these panels with grubby fingers will also leave behind smudges that will tend to help these panels stand out. Most gaps between riveted skin panels would be features too small to mold in 1/72 scale or even 1/48, but modelers nowadays expect all panels to be accentuated, so you get panel lines grossly overscale due to the limits of molding technology when you really shouldn't be able to see them at all on a model. Flush rivets can be nearly invisible under paint on real aircraft even when looking for them. Accentuating these on models always looks odd to me. Raised rivets will still stand out no matter what the paint. Rarely opened access panel that are screwed down will blend in just as seamlessly, until you have to get in there. These panels are often painted with all the screws in place and from a distance are nearly invisible after a repaint. Many will blend in as well as riveted panels. Once you open them up it becomes another story, you end up cracking the paint around the panel and it's easier to make out. I've often had to use a pick to scrape paint out of screw heads just to be able to get a good bite with the a screwdriver. You also tend to knock all the paint off the screws so these stand out even more until the finish is touched up.
  3. @exdraken I read on another site that the F-15 it didn't need slats because the wing loading is very low for a jet fighter and thrust to weight is high, both of which contribute to maneuverability. Slats actually hurt the Eagle at one of it's design points which was a sustained turn rate at altitude. This is would be caused by the deployed drag. The increased drag makes a sustained maneuvering fight a problem because you are bleeding more energy than the clean wing that gives you the same lift. The Phantom has relatively high wing loading and not so great thrust to weight ratio, it's a brick. Slats don't really add drag unless deployed and you really only need them at high angle of attack. At top speed (low angle of attack) they would be retracted and have negligible drag penalty if integrated into the design from the beginning like the Skyhawk. On the Phantom I have read they did affect top speed since there are fairings associated with them and the outboard sections aren't fully streamlined into the wing, but it must have been considered an acceptable trade off. I don't think you could maintain a sustained turning fight with them deployed, but maybe they give you a brief boost in maneuverability before you've bleed off your speed and you need to disengage. On the Skyhawk I would guess they were added to the design to reduce carrier approach speed as maneuverability isn't usually a top priority for attack planes. Also on carrier approach added drag from deployed slats would not be much of an issue. You probably want a little extra drag so you can keep the engine RPM up.
  4. I think the point was that the idea of adding slats to the F-4 were a fallout of the F-15 design studies at McDonnell-Douglas. Slats had been around since around the end of WWI. The F-15 was designed to out maneuver anything then flying or expected to be fielded in the near future and slats had been evaluated as part of this. So the MDD engineers looked at the work they did on the F-15 and called the USAF and said, "Hey, this older plane that's still in production, but outmatched in dogfights can be more maneuverable if we add slats".
  5. The "hard wing" F-4E has leading edge flaps like every earlier variant of the Phantom. All early Phantoms (B,C,D) had the flaps all the way to the wing root, but the inner section was changed to fixed on with the introduction of the the leading edge slat on the tail (F-4J, F-4E and retrofitted to F-4B&N). The photo below is from Vietnam shows the flaps deployed for landing. I don't remember exactly when slats were introduced, but it was in the early '70s. Really, you need to go read a history of the Phantom, it's long and complicated. This will get you started http://www.airvectors.net/avf4.html Google will answer most of your questions.
  6. They probably skimped and use the same gear legs. Really you can get by with just different doors and wheels. If this boxing really can do Blocks 25 and 42, you get 32 and 52 from the same box. I'm curious to see how they handle the Falcon STAR reinforcements and do they include things like PIDS pylons or targeting pods.
  7. I'm not getting one (wrong scale), but I would be curious what the actual sales figures are like. I just don't see how this is a strong seller. What's the real overlap between those that have the money, like the subject and have the space? If it meets Kinetics expectations maybe they would be willing to pony up for some other large kits. A 1/48 P-8 Poseidon would be about the same wingspan Most people in a plane, I think
  8. It's Mod Eagle. The switchover started in the early '90s just after Desert Storm. I don't think Japan ever switched and is still using Compass Ghost.
  9. Wolfpack made some ejections seats, but I've never seen a cockpit. There really isn't much for this plane. Nozzles, tires, seats are about it.
  10. A Fin Base Correction (Paragon/Xtraparts) was really the only thing that was considered "essential" to fix flaws in the Italeri kit back when it was the only game in town. Everything else was dressing up the base kit. Xtraparts which rebranded as Paragon Designs shutdown around 20 years ago, so their parts are going to be nearly impossible to track down after all this time. Neomega's site lists their cockpit as available, I placed an order with them earlier this year that was filled quickly. They relocated to Hinckley from Moscow at some point so no need to work around sanctions. The recent engine sets that are widely available (Aires and Reskit) look like they would take quite a bit of effort to adapt. Hobbyboss, Revell and Italeri all build up the aft fuselage around the thrust reversers differently with the Aires and Reskit nozzles incorporating part of the thrust reverser. I have a set of Xtraparts nozzles in the stash and they just replace the Italeri parts leaving the reverser area alone. Aires wheel bays may be adaptable, they do have different ones for Hobbyboss and Revell. I've used Aires parts before and the fit was atrocious, so adapting them to the Italeri kit can't be much worse than getting them into their intended kit. Wheels and things under the wings are generic enough they should be easy enough to use. Eduard should have any of the pods available in their Brassin line and they came out with JP233 dispensers that used to be only available from Paragon.
  11. So, is your problem that you ordered somethings and are still waiting? Did you try contacting Dora Wings directly to ask them? Or, try their Facebook page (which still seems active). I've ordered multiple packages from Ukraine since the war started, but not from Dora Wings. One took a several months longer than expected, to the point I was surprised it showed up at all, but usually it's been closer to a month.
  12. Does he do his own COVID research, too? It wouldn't be the cataclysm that losing Model Master was. Tamiya paint has never appealed to me due to the lack of FS595 matches out of the jar. I've got a lot of it because it was available locally, but I don't see ever buying more. Over the last year I've started using AK-RC and have some Hataka Orange due in this week. MRP is my spray of choice.
  13. I guess it depends on how you feel about accuracy and fit. If you search for reviews of Italeri F-16s most are not kind on either category. I looked at the sprues to see what the ADF tail looked like and the ADF unique bulges on the tail look like they just scabbed on lumps, so you will have to blend those in to look right. The only thing I see going for it is some of them have pretty good decal sheets. From this site, the thread boils down to everyone saying get a Hasegawa: You can also check out habu2's old site: http://web.archive.org/web/20080115065437/www.habu2.net/vipers/
  14. Try Exito in Poland, I've ordered from them a couple times this year, shipping to Kansas was really not much different than what I've paid for shipping within the USA. €26.50 https://exito.site/en_GB/p/HASEGAWA-PT33-148-A-4M-Skyhawk/36634
  15. The problem with the ESCI A-4M/N kit is that the canopy is incorrect for that variant or planes based on the A-4M, including Kuwait or Brazil (ex-Kuwaiti planes) The A-4KU was based on the A-4M and not the earlier A-4E/F, so should have an A-4M canopy. Note the difference in the canopy sill in this image vs the kit you have.
  16. A lot of us that grew up with these so have fond memories and don't think the skills needed are that big a deal. Until the Chinese companies started putting out kits in the mid 2000s a lot of these were the only game in town for a lot of planes in 1/48th scale. It's worth getting familiar with Scalemates and doing some research on kits that pique your interest to know what you are in for. If what you are used to is Tamiya fit and finish lower your expectations. Monogram wasn't really known for their fit, but their level of detail means they can still hold their own against much newer releases if you can get through the assembly. Most of these older kits will require much more effort to finish than new releases from someone like Tamiya. Putty and sanding is required on a lot of these. And then do you rescribe or restore raised details? On a lot of these, the wheel bays and cockpits are basic with decals for panels common. Ejection seats look more like something from your living room than the real thing. Scratch building or aftermarket part can fix this, but aftermarket parts are more money. If money is your top concern, really my best advice is follow a one-in one-out rule. Don't build up a stash in the first place or work through what you already have before adding to it. Where it becomes an expensive hobby is just acquiring kits for the stash, even if they are cheap kits to start with.
  17. Lots should still be available in that price range, in addition to the kits already mentioned I'd add: Airfix: Canberras still seem to be cheap. Maybe a Lightning. After Airfix releases their new Buccaneer I'd expect the original release to hit e-bay at reasonable prices. Airfix/Heller: Jaguars, Mirages, Etendards and Super Etendards aren't too bad, but the cockpits are basic. Italeri: Tornado, helicopters and ESCI re-releases Hasegawa F-16, A-7, F-104 and F-4s can often be found pretty cheap maybe a Harrier. Academy AH-64A isn't bad, but their Longbow was more of a prototype than production version.
  18. I don't think that second missile is EDSG. It looks bluer on your image than the Phantom. Blue body makes sense as a training round. But I wouldn't think they would load a mix of live and inert training ordnance. I'd do all four the same.
  19. Two different companies Arma Hobby (Polish) & Arma Models (Russian)
  20. @Robert Stuart I think I figured out the "Plus". It looks like Hasegawa changed their basic F-16A #06101 a couple times without changing the kit number. The later releases got the "Plus" on the box. A couple of the changes were the Plus releases got tinted and clear canopies and the centerline tank wasn't in the original release. There were also changes to the gun fairing, ESC vent and ammo door to make these swappable between A & C kits. https://modelingmadness.com/splfeat/kr/has48d.htm If you can't find a Hasegawa kit another option may be the Academy kit. Academy's F-16 kind of gets dismissed as a Hasegawa knock-off, but it has A and C tails in the box. Reviews seem to put it a notch below Hasegawa due to panel lines being a little inconsistent and heavier, but overall it has about the same level of detail. I've never built it, or even seen one, but on the sprues it looks a lot like a Hasegawa kit and ones I've seen built look pretty good. Aftermarket for the Hasegawa might fit it, but I don't really know. The one thing it has going for it is that it should be easier to find than a Hasegawa and you can do a F-16A or early C out of the box.
  21. Portugal has two groups of Block 15 F-16As. One purchase was new build airframes that are close to the ADF variant with the ID light in the side of the nose, Sparrow capability and the distinctive ADF vertical tail, but no bird slicers. The second group were a transfer of used Block 15 USAF F-16A/Bs. https://www.f-16.net/f-16_users_article16.html I don't think anyone makes a good ADF out of the box. Revell has one, but most people just scavenge the tail for use on a Hasegawa or Tamiya kit. For a standard Block 15 you have really have 4 choices. There are more F-16 kits, but these are considered the best. Hasegawa has had several F-16A Block 15 releases over the years. I think it's still a decent kit, if a little lacking on detail compared to modern kits. You can still find their basic "F-16A Plus" kit relatively cheaply on e-bay from time to time. Tamiya+conversion. Tamiya is currently the "best" 1/48 F-16, but they only make "C" models. Conversions for "A"s are available but add to the cost. Very distant 3rd place, Kinetic out of the box (maybe, I don't really know). I consider Kinetic's F-16 garbage due to the misshapen nose and generally poor fit. Personally I've never wasted my money on one, but have read enough build articles to never want one. Wait - Kinetic and Minibase(?) announced new tool F-16MLU kits last month, it should be possible to backdate one of them. I'm currently working on a Hasegawa F-16A in Indonesian colors with an Aires wheel well and Quinta cockpit decals. I can't recommend the Aires wheel well. I did my research and reviews indicated the main wheel well was a drop fit or even oversized. Not in my case. I've bought 2 sets and the main wheel well from either was seriously undersized by several millimeters in all dimensions. I had to build up all four sides to even mount it. I got a Quinta set for the cockpit (my first time with 3D decals). For some reason they don't make a A set, so I bought their set for a B kit and am just using the front cockpit. It's a little oversized for the Hasegawa parts, so trimming was necessary, and the gray they use is way too light for FS36231.
  22. It would be unusual to have the AOA probe mounted so near the refueling probe. I looked at a couple of photos for Brazilian F-5Es and it looks like the AOA probe may have been moved to the opposite side.
  23. I know at least one of the Hasegawa weapons sets with pods include F-16 pylons and I've seen the occasional pod including the pylon even if it isn't meantioned.
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