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Brian J

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About Brian J

  • Birthday 05/27/1944

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  1. I have given thought to the various responses to my initial question on this topic. I tried to e-mail ARMA for clarification on their part but failed after trying to contact them. After reading the various posts that members were kind enough to include I can't help but agree with the opinion of Troy Smith that, "...never trust a profile without a photo." One of the reasons is that the ARMA profile suggests a yellow or red half spinner while other profiles suggests it was all black or all red. The size of the fuselage roundel also comes into question. I have the Xtradecal sheet X72-113 and two b&w photos of BD867/QO-Y from 3 Sqdn and may end up doing a model with markings I can verify using photographs. I seems like a modeler can have too many references that often contradict each other and can't make up their mind. Being wishy-washy is terrible burden! Brian
  2. I recently picked up the new Hurricane Mk. II B/C from ARMA HOBBY and am very impressed with the tooling compared to earlier 1/72 Hurricane kits from other companies. My posting has to do with the markings of BE581/JX-E flown by F/L Karel Kuttelwasher. Back in February of 2015 I started a long thread on the markings of this aircraft and received numerous comments which included comments by Nick Millman. It appears to me that the markings of this aircraft that are included in the ARMA kit are based on Nicks comments about the 1942 artwork of J H Striebel, a small coloured imaage of which was included in his comments. In other words, what do you think of the ARMA markings/decals? Would any interested members concur with my conclusion or are the ARMA markings new findings? There have been so many interpretations of these markings over the decades it is difficult to draw any positive conclusions...ain't that the truth about so many WWII markings/paint schemes! Brian James
  3. Many thanks to the members who took the time to clarify the topic. I will proceed with confidence...I'm pretty sure! I came across a decal company a while back and was very impressed with their product line in all three major scales. Most subjects deal with the South Pacific Theatre. I include the following example, 48023/P-40K Warhawk, 48042/Kittyhawk Mk IV and 48048/P-40N. I'd be interested to hear comments if anyone checks out the site. They can be reached at www.dkdecals.cz
  4. Thanks for that additional comment. After I forwarded my last comment I referred to those Three Guys Replicas decal instructions you referred to. The two modeling subjects in question apparently were early -5 versions which would suggest, according to Three Guys Replicas, they would have had the green disruptive pattern. The art work illustrates 'yellow 51' with a white bar and red surround to the cocarde while 'white 20' has the white bar but lacks the red surround. This clarifies somewhat the time period. While there are b&w photos that show both sides of the nose art of 'white 20' Keystone Kathlene I would love to know what the other markings of both aircraft are based on. Remember when we were kids and all we had was the box art for reference and we had to use left over kitchen paint to complete our models? And they were beauties...as I recall!
  5. Thanks for your comments, Buz. Your comments on that b&w photo are well made as that aircraft is very weather beaten. From what I can gather there was no standard application of the Medium Green "fringe" as you call them (gee, I never heard that term before!). The two aircraft I am focused on are 'Keystone Kathlene' White 20 and Yellow 51 flown by Lt Don Meuten. One of the reasons I questioned the coloured artist drawings on pages 152-3 is that the nose art on 'Keystone Kathlene' shows the 'keystone' as yellow while the photo on page 234 shows it as white, the same shade as the number 20. What did the artist base his artwork on? I'll be using the Meteor Productions Pyn-Up decal sheet 48025 as one of my references. I'm not aware of many photos that show the flying surfaces of 49th FG P-40s. One of my main reasons for wanting to delete the green 'fringe' is that, to me, they take away from the classic lines of the P-40!
  6. I'm currently working on a couple of 49th FG P-40Ns and would enjoy reading opinions if these aircraft, operating in early to mid-1944 would have the Medium Green blotches applied on the upper wing/tail surfaces. There is an often reproduced colour photo showing P-40s at Adak, Alaska (Aircraft Painting Guide, Vol. 1, page 27 by Dana Bell). One of these aircraft shows the use of Medium Green very distinctly while the aircraft to the right does not. Other references suggest that this scheme was not universal and one source goes so far as to suggest that the 49th FG aircraft did not have Medium Green blotches on their flying surfaces. To add to my uncertainty, while reading through Protect and Avenge: The 49 Fighter Group in World War II by Steve Ferguson I came across a b&w photo on page 203 that shows a 3/4 overhead view of a P-40N without the green blotches. However, on pages 152-3 there are two colour artist illustrations showing 'white 20' and 'yellow 51' (the two subjects I am modeling) with these blotches. Comments would be welcomed.
  7. I apologize if I appear to be beating the subject into the ground but I'd like to make a further comment. I went to the Troy Smith post (above) and read the eight earlier posts that somewhat clarified my question. The one by Graham Boak struck a chord..."Strictly, there (sic) were added during the war and can be seen on (usually) LF MkVB aircraft still in service in 1944." His observation may explain why AE*A EP120 which has clipped wings and is still flying has the strakes and most likely the other Canadian Mk Vbs on the Watermark decal sheets with clipped wings would have strakes. While thumbing through my copy of the Wingleader Number 6, Supermarine Spitfire Mk V I noticed the following: -page 49, "A clipped wing Mk Vb, EP644, RY-S photographed at Church Stanton in May 1943" no strakes. -page 50. "Port and starboard views of a No 349 Sqn Spitfir Mk Vb, GE-U...which was the second Belgian squadron in the RAF, received Mk Vbs in September 1943..." Again, no strakes. -page 51. "From March 1st to 12th, 1943, the largest operational exercise ever carried out in Britain...421 (Canadian) Squadron's Spitfire Mk Vbs were part of the Eastland force..." Again, no strakes. -page 58. "...and Mk Vb, ER220, QJ-R...porbabaly photographed at Ben Gardane, Tunisia, in March 1943." Again, no strakes. My point is at what point in time were strakes retro-fitted to Mk Vbs at the unit level or where ever. Much like Battle of Britain Mk Is didn't all receive Sky camouflage at the same time I think it may have taken several months, or more for operational Mk Vbs to be retro-fitted with strakes. With so few photos that show upper wing surfaces it is difficult to know if the subject we are modelling has strakes. Phew...thanks for reading! Any clarifications?
  8. I have kits of both the Airfix Mk Vb (with wing strakes) and the recently released Eduard Mk Vb/Vc 'Eagle's Call' kit which provides wings for both versions neither of which has the wing strakes. I realize that the Mk Vc had a strengthened wing. On page 32 of the Wingleader Supermarine Spitfire Mk V in Europe and North Africa it states, "To temporarily solve the problem, bracing strips were applied internally from February 1941 before more robust external strips were introduced in July 1942. These strips were retro-fitted to as many Mk I, Mk II and Mk Va and Vbs as possible. There are not many photos of Spitfire Mk Vbs that show the upper wing surface. The photos I have seen usually do not have this external bracing/strakes. Is there any rule of thumb or a way of making an educated guess as to which unit, time period or theatre would indicate when a Spitfire Mk V would have this wing bracing? I have the complete let of Watermark decals which provides several markings for Canadian Mk V squadrons. I would think that W/C John A. Kent's J*AK in June of 1941 would not have had the strakes while S/L Geoffrey Northcott's Mk V in November 1943 would have them (this aircraft has been restored and flying in Duxford, England, several photos of which can be found in Spitfires and Polished Metal: Restoring the Classic Fighter.
  9. Many thanks for the comments provided so far. I heartily agree with Michael in that I will seldom, if ever, build a kit without photo evidence as there have been untold misinterpretations of markings over the years. I would like to see more artists/decal makers list/provide references as to their interpretation of provided artwork. The folks at Aviaeology come to mind with their detailed references on their decal sheets. I have been building models and collecting reference material since the late 1950s and am amazed how research has uncovered and clarified 'facts' over the years. I am also humbled when I read about subjects that so many members of this site (and others) provide. It's a pleasure being a member!
  10. That is a reasonable explanation, Jure. I am unaware that some early D-5s may have had a dorsal fin added although it may have happened. References indicate that dorsal fins were added to some P-51B/C.s As I understand it these were modified at the unit level e.g. 325th FG. I have access to four or five photos of nose art of 'Louisiania Heat Wave' and one taken from a distance but not showing the tail area. I guess my question would be are there any members who know of any photo verification that shows the tail area? I have never seen references, always in artwork form, that illustrate this new interpretation.
  11. I recently purchased the Eduard Profipack #82101 'P-51D-5 Mustang' kit. These early Mustangs lacked a dorsal fin. One of the markings is for Claude J. Crenshaw's 'Louisiana Heat Wave' from the 359th FG. The serial number is 44-13606. Every reference source I've checked suggests this aircraft had a dorsal fin. Did Eduard mess up by indicating this was an 'early' Mustang? While on a recent Mustang research kick I found another piece of information that I forgot about that others might find interesting. Over the years I've collected as much material as I can on the 506th FG stationed on Iwo Jima in 1945. The colours of the three squadrons were Green-457th, Dark Blue-458th and Yellow-462nd. Tom Cleaver wrote a short article a while back concerning the colours used when the P-51D at the Planes of Fame air museum was repainted in the colours of the 462nd squadron. He stated, "Those who might wonder about the shade of yellow in the tail, one of the guys from the 506th informed me that it is Yellow Zinc Chromate! The other squadron with "green tails" used Interior Green. There weren't any other paints available on Iwo Jima...Also that insignia blue was used for the third squadron since there were cans of it from the other groups on the island. Tom continues, "Modelers frequently confuse YZC with colors like what Tamiya presents as YZC, which is actually too green. YZC is in fact *yellow* and seems to have a touch (I believe, since when I have done this with a bottle of flat yellow, I get the shade) of black. YZC would in fact be available for repairs to airplanes, since the salt water marine environment of Iwo Jima, combined with the methane of the volcano, would harm unpainted aluminum (look at how flat the aluminum surfaces of the aircraft are in photos) in interior repairs." Coincidently I just watched a few minutes of the video Planes of Fame from an earlier posting and it had a few seconds of inflight Mustangs from one of the other groups on Iwo Jima and it showed a rather pale yellow, not a bright shiny yellow that most modelers use on their VLR (Very Long Range) Mustang models. Comments and updates would be welcomed.
  12. Many thanks, Mark, for taking the time to respond. Besides the different nose art on either side, the 49th appears to have painted the tail surfaces in various patterns relative to the under surfaces. Various art work shows patterns all over the place. So far I haven't seen too many photos of well known (nose art work) P-40Ns that show the entire aircraft. Maybe that's the reason there aren't more decals for that group.
  13. I'm presently getting ready to apply kit decals for the 1/48 Hasegawa P-40N 'Kansas City Kittie III'. I am using several publications that cover the 49th FG including Protect & Avenge as reference as I've become skeptical about the accuracy of decals regardless of the source. In the case of this subject the port nose markings appear accurate. My question has to do with the starboard markings as it appears that when 49th FG P-40s had personal nose art they usually had different markings on the starboard side. I've never seen photos of the starboard nose of 'Kansas City Kittie III'. Can any one verify if the kit decals are accurate as the nose art is the same on both sides. Were there any markings? Were they different on the starboard side? On the topic of 49th FG nose art, the P-40N flown by Joel Paris has long fascinated me. There are several photos available showing the port nose art. What were the markings on the starboard side, if any? Any opinions or advice would be appreciated. Brian J
  14. The following comments may finally put this topic to bed as I don't think there is much more to add after Jack's last post. I pulled out several photo references over the weekend that pertain to the subject at hand and have come to the same conclusion Jack made. I think the colour 'grey' and it's limitless variations are very difficult to pin down as to an exact FS or RLM number, especially when one considers weathering and fading under operational conditions plus touch ups and repairs on the real aircraft using whatever was at hand. Many Luftwaffe model subjects are finished as though they were just off the production line with a little bit of exhaust stain. RLM 70/71 surfaces on operational aircraft sure don't look like the colour chips, let alone faded RLM 02. RLM 66, etc. I'm going to take Jack's advice, and mix my own greys using 02 and 66 and maybe try some 70 or 71, creating a faded, washed out effect. Thanks to all the members who took the time to add to the discussion. Great to know there are so many folks who know more than me who are willing to help clarify things!
  15. Is it possible the spine of the fuselage wasn't painted with the 'grey' that is confirmed to have been applied to the flying surfaces? It appears somewhat 'clean' with a distinctive colour contrast. Don't tell me I'm going to have to put my build-up back on the shelf of doom!
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