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Ghostbase

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    Guildford UK
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    1/48th military aviation

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  1. At last, started! Out with brushing a first coat of Humbrol Acrylic 226 Interior Green in the cockpit and the main gear wheel wells. Humbrol 11 Silver via aerosol can for the jet air intake and the nose gear wheel well. 20210727_204125 by Ghostbase, on Flickr I am quite impressed with this kit which was originally released in 1984. The surface detail is good although it does have raised panel lines. These don't bother me but it might deter other modellers. This is a detail shot of the lower wing and main gear wells:- 20210727_204151 by Ghostbase, on Flickr A nice straightforward build, the jet air intake and nose gear well consists of two parts which are cemented together as shown here, I really should have spotted that large ejection pin mark on the inside of the fuselage however it won't be obviously visible. The cockpit consists here of the tub and the ejection seat is made up of three parts plus a red head rest. The kit instructions stipulate Olive Green as seen here, I have checked with photos on the internet and they appear to be largely correct. 20210727_204137 by Ghostbase, on Flickr More to come. Michael
  2. I would like to take part in this Group Build please, I still have memories of my attempting to complete an F-4C in 111 FIS markings in the last Phantom GB years ago. Somewhere in the stash I have the Revell 1/32nd F-4E kit of the early 90's, I got it from a liquidation store in the USA for about $10 USD! It has decals for the New Jersey ANG with the Rhino markings on the nose and I would love to build it as a QF-4E target drone with the glossy red tail and panels over a very weathered Hill Gray camouflage scheme. The downside is that I would be building OOB and don't have the QF-4E modifications available. Still, four weeks to go which is enough time for me to change my mind at least 28 times Michael
  3. A quick update today, I have applied the remaining two TPS colour scheme paints, being FS36320 Dark Ghost Grey, and FS35237 Medium Grey. Again applied with my H&S Ultra airbrush using medium nozzle and acrylic paints from the Vallejo 'Air War' color series "US Navy and USMC Colors From 70's to Present". This took a lot of masking however I am happy with the final results:- 20210718_182806 by Ghostbase, on Flickr I kept to the mixing ratio of 10 parts paint / 1 part retarder medium / 2 parts airbrush flow improver / 2 parts thinner. 20210718_182819 by Ghostbase, on Flickr The Vallejo acrylics have gone on really well and should look good once I apply the decals and some weathering. The masking went well though I can see a couple of areas that need attention. I outlined the pattern that I wanted using a very thin "Artist Curves" vinyl tape and then masked around that using scotch poster tape. I had left 24 hours between coats and I had no problems with paint lifting under the tape. 20210718_182959 by Ghostbase, on Flickr So, I am a happy scale modeller Eighteen months ago I was ready to give up with all the problems that I was having with airbrushing acrylics paints, now I think I have overcome them. Onwards! Michael.
  4. Ron, I love the F-4E / F-4J combination, an 'MG' coded F-4 is high on my 'want to do' list one day. Thanks for the motivational comments I broke out the airbrush yesterday and experimented with the paints. I started with AK Interactive AK 2057 Light Ghost Grey on one of the underwing drop tanks. Maybe I got the thinning wrong but the paint settled on the primed plastic like an aerosol and stayed like that; I thought "been here before" and cleaned it off with running water and returned the bottle to the pack. I then tried Vallejo AV70615 which is marked as USN L Ghost Grey (as well as 'Surface Primer'). I am using a H&S Ultra airbrush with medium needle and head and a relatively weak portable air pump. I settled upon a mix of 15 drops of paint, 1 drop of vallejo retarder, 2 drops of flow improver, and 3 drops of thinner and I am happy with the application which can be seen in this photo: 20210716_180925 by Ghostbase, on Flickr I have decided to load her with four AIM-7 Sparrows and four AIM-9 Sidewinders. I understand that the TPS painted F-14 Tomcats of the same era as this Phantom carried toned down weapons and these were painted in FS36375 Light Ghost Grey. The AIM-9 Sidewinders that I using here came from the spares box and look like either the AIM-9L or M variant however I have no idea whether a line unit like VF-103 used these versions of the Sidewinder in the early 80's or not. Next colour to be applied will be FS36320 Dark Ghost Grey. Fingers crossed! Michael
  5. One year and eight months later! What happened? The F-4S has been sitting on the shelf of shame (in fact it is a wallpaper pasting table) along with several other kits in varoius stages of completion; an F-14B, an F-105G, an F-8E, an F-84F, an FJ-4 and a P-40B. I make no secret that I encountered huge problems with learning to airbrush acylic paints around 18 months ago and this F-4S was the worst affected of my builds. 20210714_102056 by Ghostbase, on Flickr I still want to complete this F-4S as BuNo 153872 in the low visibility TPS colours of FS35237 Medium Grey, FS36320 Dark Ghost Grey, and FS36375 Light Ghost Grey, operated by VF-103. I originally used AK Interactive paints from their 'US Modern Aircraft 1' Air Series and these are the colours that can be seen on the model. To my mind there was very little colour difference between the Medium Grey and the Dark Ghost Grey. I have since acquired the Vallejo 'US Navy and USMC Colors From 70's to Present' Air War Color Series set so I am going to give that a try. It feels like I have done most of the hard work on this build already. More to come. Michael 20210714_102412 by Ghostbase, on Flickr
  6. That is a very nice result indeed and good to see an early British jet. I found that the kit went together very well but the join of the two tail booms to the main aircraft was a challenge, you did much better than I did! Michael
  7. Hi Orion, The problem that I had was the acrylics paints were drying inside my H&S Ultra and also clogging up the spray tip. I used too much thinner to overcome this and the paint consistency was like water, it literally ran as soon as it touched the plastic (despite using a primer first). I looked at several scale modelling forums and found that a fine nozzle airbrush can be very susceptible to blocking/clogging so I bought a new medium nozzle and needle for the Ultra and that seemed to work better. I also read that a "retarder" helps stop the acrylic paint drying inside the airbrush, I use Vallejo Retarder Medium and the mix ratio is no more than 5%. It is a bit like a silicon gel! I have also bought some Vallejo Flow Improver but I have not tried that yet. I also made the mistake of forgetting that the Hataka acrylics were mixed for the airbrush so I was over-thinning them as opposed to the standard Vallejo Colour paints that I am used to. I use a portable low pressure diaphragm air compressor and that didn't help either. I mix the standard Vallejo Colour acrylic paints at 10 x paint / 8 x thinner / 1 x retarder. I mix "airbrush ready" paints at about half that ratio. I have found that there are no hard rules, it really depends upon the airbrush, the brand of paint, and the air compressor. There are a lot of posts on this subject on several scale modelling discussion boards. Caracal Decals have sold out of CD48143 USAF F-105F/G "Wild Weasels" however Hannants do still have them in stock. All the best "Ghost" aka Michael
  8. Thanks I think initially I just got lucky with the main landing gear however the model is definitely wobbly on it's gear now, have to be very careful with picking it up and setting down. Superb read! Have you got to the chapter where Court flies with Major Ted Frederick in the F-105F out of Tahkli yet? Michael
  9. The last operator of the Republic F-105G Thunderchief was the Georgia Air National Guard 128th TFS / 116th TFW based at Dobbins AFB in Marietta, GA. They took on the 'Wild Weasel' SAM killing mission that had originally started during the Vietnam War and kept the F-105G until the summer of 1983 when the venerable 'Thuds' were traded in for the F-4D Phantom. Several of the aircraft were painted in a wrap-around SEA camouflage scheme and I decided to take an old 1/48th Revell / Monogram F-105G kit out of the stash and finish it in this colour scheme, courtesy of a recently released Caracal Models decal sheet. It wasn't an easy build (more later) however the end result looks like this:- 20210620_133806 by Ghostbase, on Flickr The kit itself is excellent, way up there with the other Monogram 'Century Series' aircraft kits, and I was surprised with how well it went together. Very little filler was needed and in fact I was able to attach the complete wing sections to the fuselage after they had been painted. The Thunderchief was a huge aircraft and that really shows in this kit which measures 44cm x 22cm. 20210620_132826 by Ghostbase, on Flickr I used the weapons supplied with the kit, these being a pair of AGM-45 Shrike air-to-ground anti-radiation missiles that locked on and homed onto ground based tracking and fire-control radars, as well as a single AGM_78 Standard which is a passive anti-radiation missile with a range of 24 km. 20210620_132928 by Ghostbase, on Flickr The challenge lay in the painting of this huge kit. I used the Hataka Hobby USAF Paint Set (Vietnam War Era) #AS-09 and initially I started with applying the tan paint, it applied very well and the colour looked correct as well as the satin finish. However the two greens consistently clogged up my H&S Ultra airbrush and when they did spray the finish was splotchy and uneven. When I oversprayed a previously applied coat the paint would sort of atomise into its constituent parts! To cut a long story short I found that a replacement medium nozzle and needle on my airbrush worked wonders as did using a retarder as well as less thinner. The end result turned out ok anyway. 20210620_132556 by Ghostbase, on Flickr The decals come from the recent Caracal Models CD48143 F-105F/G "Wild Weasels" sheet which is well-researched and the decals are of a very high quality. As soon as I saw this sheet I knew I wanted to make this aircraft. 20210620_133106 by Ghostbase, on Flickr I am reasonably happy with the final result. It is a very large and impressive model and despite the painting heartache it looks good. Next time I might just add some wash to the major panel lines, also use a darker exhaust colour on the afterburner petals. Michael 20210620_132614 by Ghostbase, on Flickr 20210620_133219 by Ghostbase, on Flickr
  10. I was just curious how much work it would take to convert the early 80's vintage 1/48th scale Hasegawa U.S. Navy F-4J Phantom II to a U.S. Air Force F-4C using the contents of the spares box. The end result was this:- 20210620_171217 by Ghostbase, on Flickr Now an F-4 Phantom expert will immediately spot some omissions however I think I managed to factor in the main differences. Most of the donor parts came from an Academy F-4B kit which contains a lot of parts for different versions. I started by taking the Hasegawa slotted tailplane and sanding it down to eradicate the slots and that worked well. Keeping with the rear end I also replaced the longer jet pipes of the F-4J with a set of shorter pipes from the Academy kit. I had to cut the Hasegawa jet pipes and graft the Academy burner cans onto them, to my eye they protrude just a little bit too much. 20210620_171416 by Ghostbase, on Flickr Looking at the front of the Phantom I have removed the F-4J antenna from under the nose cone and have added the large IR sensor that applied to most F-4C and D models, again sourced from the Academy kit. From the same source, the nosewheel forward facing gear door. The sharp-eyed will spot that I forgot to remove the antenna from beneath the air intakes! 20210620_171233 by Ghostbase, on Flickr Although not visible in this photo I replaced the F-4J main wheels with those from the Academy kit. The weapons pylons also had to be replaced with the 'rounded' USAF types, I think I had these left over from an old Italeri or ESCI kit and they look a little bit skinny. The Hasegawa missile rails didn't quite fit to them and I would have to do this better next time. Also note that my masking for the gloss black nose cone was just slightly off! 20210620_171449 by Ghostbase, on Flickr In the cockpit I replaced the USN RIO's front panel with that from the Academy kit. That is one thing that I really like about the Hasegawa F-4 kits, the ejection seats look 'proper' chunky and they do fill the cockpit space nicely. 20210620_171509 by Ghostbase, on Flickr I have had a nightmare the last year with learning how to apply acrylic paints by airbrush. for this build I used paints from the Vallejo 'Air War Color Series' set 'USAF Colors "Gray Schemes" from 70's to Present' set and they went on really well; I got the mixing right, found the correct air pressure for my Harder and Steenbeck Ultra airbrush, used a retarder and I am really pleased with the result. 20210620_171353 by Ghostbase, on Flickr Finally, the decals which depict F-4C 64-0748 which was a Vietnam era Mig Killer, operated in 1989 by the Arkansas ANG 188th TFG / 184th TFS and wearing special artwork by Don Spering. These were sourced from the Speed Hunter Graphics 'USAF Phantom MiG Killers - Part II' decal sheet. 20210620_171311 by Ghostbase, on Flickr Overall I enjoyed this build, especially the research beforehand of differences between the F-4C and F-4J models, and it was nice for the painting and decalling stages to go well for once! The Hasegawa kit is very dated now but it still goes together well and I appreciate that. Not my best build, I know I can do better, however it has been a morale booster and just every now and then I need one of those Michael
  11. That is a very nice result! I have this kit in my stash and it gets taken out from time to time and then gets put back again - too difficult! You have proved otherwise, thank you. Michael
  12. Good to see a completed C-124 "Old Shaky", another classic USAF plane which I was too young to ever see in flight. Nice build and finish as well. Did you use the Caracal decals sheet for the markings? Michael
  13. Have taken the sprues out of the plastic bag and applied Halfords grey primer. I love this stage of model building 20210515_163105 by Ghostbase, on Flickr
  14. The 'Lead Sled', 'Super Hog', and 'Mechanic's Nightmare' were all rather unflattering nicknames for the Republic F-84F Thunderstreak which was notorious for using a LOT of runway to get airborne when fully loaded! The Thunderstreak was quite advanced for her time being of the first generation of swept-wing fighter-bombers and able to carry 'special' weapons. Over 3000 were built and it could be described as the original NATO fighter preceding the F-104G Starfighter in many European NATO countries. This is the 1984 initial issue of the Monogram 1/48th Republic F-84F Thunderstreak kit and although several other companies have since released their versions of the F-84F in this scale the Monogram offering is still regarded as having the most accurate shape. Less than a Tenner? I purchased it on eBay in 2005 and paid £7.50 for the kit plus £2.00 P&P so it meets the criteria of this GB. I need to practice applying the SEA colour scheme using my airbrush so I will be building her as a New York ANG aircraft as per the box lid art. I did make the Airfix 1/72nd kit many years ago, this will be my first build of the F-84F in 1/48th scale. Michael 20210515_124525 by Ghostbase, on Flickr 20210515_124901 by Ghostbase, on Flickr
  15. I have been waiting for this GB, am sure that I have a few kits hiding in the stash which would qualify (and be fun to build). Just a question; several of the old kits that I would like to build have very poor decals and the effort in building and painting them would be negated by the very poor quality of those decals. I do have a decals spares box so can I use some decals from that box eg national insignia, air force titles, generic stuff like that to give a better presentation? Would the 20% spares box apply here too? Thanks Michael
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