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thorfinn last won the day on November 11 2019

thorfinn had the most liked content!

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About thorfinn

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    Obsessed Member
  • Birthday 05/18/1956

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    Towson, MD

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  1. Love your work so far on this old favorite. (Nearly as old as me, so that's saying something! ) One major thing to be wary of, with this kit: if you peruse photos of the kit builds online, you'll see that most show the upper wing pretty seriously bowed downward at the wingtips. This isn't mere photo distortion: in many (most?) kits dating back to the original release, that heavy slab of wing is quite warped; it also seems that, way back when, the Revell designers either got the cabane struts too long, or the wing struts too short, resulting in that ever-present 'bow.' (As seen in photos, the real thing had little or no dihedral on the upper wing.) On my last build (after gingerly 'straightening' the wing with hot water and a hair dryer) I took a little off from the cabane strut bottoms, until the wing could set straight. It makes a world of difference. Good luck with your build, and I look forward to seeing your progress! Cheers.
  2. Purely in the spirit of polite inquiry...is there a place one may find statutory evidence of this? It seems to have the whif of the 'improbable' about it.
  3. I fell hard for the gorgeous Zotz 'Nordic Tiger' decals the first time I saw them. I used what I had on hand -- Academy's old 1/48 Fighting Falcon release -- and grafted on the more-accurate F-16AM fin (with parachute housing) from the equally-elderly Esci/Ertl 'Dogfighter' kit. I used an Eduard color 'Zoom' p-e set in the cockpit, and scratchbuilt the actual braking chute and the characteristic ECM pylon on the stbd. intake. The Norwegian Air Force's F-16AM sn 80-3671 (a.k.a. '#671') was equivalent to the USAF's F-16A/Block 15 as built, and was updated ca. 2000 to Block 20MLU standard. The 338 'Tigers' Skvadron dramatic Nordic Tiger scheme was a special one created for a 2004 Air Show at Payerne AB in Switzerland; it seems to have been retained through at least 2010.
  4. thorfinn

    2019 output

    Excellent stable there, Dave!
  5. thorfinn

    JBs 2019

    Very appealing collection and color schemes!
  6. Too lovely! That color job is really a show-stopper!
  7. Funnily enough...though never widespread on ordinary aircraft...one occasionally sees photos of Luftwaffe nightfighters with what looks like white- or grey-painted prop tips. Possibly a field mod, but it would certainly make sense.
  8. That's an impressive year's work there, Dennis! Enjoy your holidays, and have a great New Year!
  9. I prefer to think of myself as a 'visionary'...(though quite possibly in need of some clinical supervision....)
  10. Another pretty good year, with a typically-short-attention-span variety of subjects, scales and manufacturers. Please enjoy...and Happy New Year to All!
  11. Brilliantly concise little dio, with the half-buried truck 'downslope' as the perfect punch-line! My one humble observation is that the tracks and tires look awfully clean for all that dusty sand being about. But that's just a minor 'nit' to pick; great job overall!
  12. A little 'alternative history'.... Following the decisive success of the U.S. Coast Guard's once-classified armed interdiction helicopter program, the Guard's Office of Aviation Forces (CG-711) was directed to formulate a proposal to expand that interdiction capability to the possible use of fixed-wing aircraft. Tasked with an ever-larger share of Homeland Security responsibilities...and facing increasingly-sophisticated threats from narco-traffickers equipped with high-tech gear (including armored fast-boats, high-powered weapons and even submarines)...the Guard's planners studied a wide range of existing fixed-wing platforms as an economical basis to upgrade that airborne capability. The ideal candidate would be a proven and reliable twin-engine aircraft with a large and adaptable payload capacity (sufficient for more 'enhanced' offensive options), excellent low-speed and low-altitude functionality, and acceptable range and loiter-time to undertake both interdiction and the Guard's ever-present search and rescue missions. A more indefinable (but highly desirable) quality would be the ability to get 'down and dirty': to go toe-to-toe with potential and ever-expanding threats, to maintain the enforcement mission with which the Coast Guard has always been proudly tasked. The new concept -- labeled the 'Augmented Interdiction Asset' (AIA) Program -- was given a fast-track and a tentative priority funding, and high-level discussions were initiated between the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Defense. Options were studied, resource-allocations fiercely debated -- and perhaps a few arms twisted -- and at length a deal was struck...with a truly 'outside the box' solution having been found. In an all-too-rare example of inter-service procurement, ten of the Air Force's perennially-unloved A-10C Thunderbolt II aircraft -- fresh from the fleet-wide Enhanced Wing Assembly upgrade (designed to potentially extend service life to 2040 and beyond) -- were flown directly from Hill AF Base's Ogden Air Logistics Complex, to the sprawling Grumman Aerospace Systems facility at Palmdale, California. There, they would be modified to the Coast Guard's newly-created 'MA-10J' standard. Structural changes needed for the new mark were purposely kept to a minimum. Because the Guard's aircraft don't typically operate in a 'battlefield' combat-threat environment, the spaces occupied by the Air Force Warthog's many active radar-warning and counter-measure systems could effectively be re-purposed for integrated sensors more suited to the new marine search and interdiction roles. To increase range over water, the A-10's original single 'wet' centerline pylon (designed mainly for ferry flights) was augmented with two fully-plumbed wing pylons, capable of mounting standard external fuel tanks. A minor computer software upgrade would maximize the already-existing A-10C all-glass cockpit to the new USCG mission profile. The longer 'view' required for those missions would be supplied by what came, during development, to be somewhat whimsically referred to as the 'Three Magic Beans': three self-contained, pod-mounted systems --specially 'hardened' against the challenging marine environment -- chosen to provide long-range search/reconnaissance, targeting, and communications functions. 'Bean 1' would equip the radar-lacking A-10 with the An/ASQ-236 'Dragon's Eye' synthetic aperture radar pod -- already field-tested and optimized for use on the Air Force's fleet of combat-capable 'Hogs. 'Bean 2' would supply enhanced mission-specific search and targeting capabilities through a pod containing the groundbreaking new ViDAR™ Optical Radar system -- providing up to 80x greater ocean search coverage than existing EO/IR sensor suites, with enhanced small-object-at-sea-surface resolution. [This pod -- only slightly larger than the A-10's original 'Pave Penny' pod -- was adapted to fit on the same pylon as that now-redundant sensor, with only a slight modification needed to the existing mount structure.] 'Bean 3' would house the critical communications link: a purpose-developed full-spectrum 'Communication and Navigation Integrated System' (CaNIS) pod, with datalinks to tie the aircraft's systems to standard marine, civil and military nets, as well as the Coast Guard's own C41SR 'Rescue 21' advanced command, control and communications system. The offensive 'one-two punch' for the newly-designated MA-10J 'Seabolt' -- known, perhaps inevitably, to her affectionate crews as the JayHawg -- would be provided by ordnance already tried and tested as primary weapons throughout the Air Force Warthog's long and distinguished career. The signature GAU-8 rotary cannon would be retained without modification, for its decisive stopping power against fast-moving narcotics smugglers and potential terrorist threats. Further offensive capability would come in the form of the familiar Maverick EO/IR guided missile...specifically the AGM-65F, the Navy's version specially-optimized for the anti-shipping role. No need for air-to-air missile armament was anticipated. To support the Coast Guard's other fundamental role -- their core search-and-rescue mission -- the A-10's generous load-carrying ability and numerous pylons would be utilized for rescue-specific stores: air-droppable life rafts for at-risk mariners, and similar droppable modular CSS (Containerized Survival Store) canisters carrying medical supplies, rations and communications equipment which might be needed in critical rescue and survival situations. The (10) MA-10J JayHawgs were commissioned into service in June 2018 to great acclaim...and an already-heavy waiting workload. They are organized as the provisional FITRON (Fixed-wing Interdiction Tactical Squadron) 10, with administrative H.Q. -- shared with the armed-helicopter HITRON interdiction squadron -- at Jacksonville, Florida. In practice, small numbers of the aircraft are regularly deployed on a rotating basis as needed, with principle operating sites being the Coast Guard Air Stations at Clearwater Florida, Corpus Christi Texas, and the joint-services Naval Base Ventura County (formerly NAS Point Mugu) in Port Hueneme, California. Postscript: While the technology mentioned above is (mostly) very real, the rest is...quite obviously...insanely untrue. (But it makes a grand excuse to dress up the old 'Hog in striking Coast Guard colors...and to use up but a few of a large cache of suitable decals in my vast 'spares' collection.) Kit is the solid 1/72 Academy A-10A, built mostly OOB with 'pods' and stores scratched up from spare drop tanks, styrene stock and bits of sprue. Decals from assorted commercial sheets, with nose art homemade. Hope you enjoy the 'What if.' And on a very personal note: this build is fondly dedicated to the memory of my childhood friend John Chindblom, who went on to serve proudly and with great distinction as a Chief Petty Officer in the United States Coast Guard. John passed away in 2001, at the all-too-tender age of 44, after a valiant battle with cancer. Johnny...I hope this would bring you a grin.
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