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  1. It seems to be a rare bird nowadays, but I have pm'd you with a possible UK source of the high wing red and gold John Player version. It may be affordable with current currency exchange rates! John
  2. I must agree with all of the above, magazines and websites have revolutionised the hobby in so many ways. This applies to many of the authors who have been willing to share their hard-won knowledge of not only how to do things, but equally important, how to not do things. Not only can you see what others have been proud to publish, but also read their hints and tips about the kits they used and how they modified/ tolerated inaccuracies. Also hard-won advice on the joys/perils of painting, finishing, markings and actually displaying something. As to books, they can be very helpful and informative, but may also be counter-productive. The following tale is true, the folly of a man who began with Airfix in the 1950s and probably has never properly grown up. Personally I began to be interested in a theme of building kits of Swedish aviation in the late 1960s/early 1970s. Before that it was random Airfix/Matchbox/Frog etc. In Britain I was a minority of a minority of a minority. Magazines sometimes covered the Draken. Lansen and later the Viggen but little else. Correspondence with Swedish people was by post and I used something called 'International Reply Coupons' to pay for their return postage so they would write back to me. I rarely ever got a response, not even to polite requests for information from the Air attache of the Swedish Embassy in London. This was along time ago.... Heller made kits of four SAAB aircraft but that was about it. An Airfix Draken that was rather crude. A Matchbox J29. Malformed Canberras, Catalinas, C-47s., the odd Junkers and a vacform or two. It was only through IPMS UK and Ted Burnett that we later formed the Swedish Airforce Special Interest Group and gained both a membership and a degree of respectability. I write this as a warning. When you know little, you have fewer options to attain authenticity or realism or whatever you seek by making a decent replica. The quest for making the best can become self defeating. Over the years my hobby switched from making a few models, mainly fairly mediocre but some were good enough for a club stand, to amassing a collection of kits and books. Before the internet and websites it was just magazines and a limited range of books that were our main sources of information. As publishers sought authors who could plough the soil of history to turn up the stories that were unknown to us, we enjoyed discovering the range of things that we could replicate expand beyond our wildest dreams. There were books with decent illustrations, better paper and much more information, histories of airfields, squadrons, aircraft in their many versions, colour schemes and markings and covering a huge range of aviation. Suddenly my obsession (which it was in many ways) with things Swedish was diluted with learning about Air-Sea Rescue from Hawkinge in Kent, then 500 (County of Kent) Squadron, then the test/development aircraft flown at Farnborough/ Boscombe Down and so it went on.....the development of the Spitfire, captured aircraft in enemy markings, personal aircraft flown by senior officers, aviation oddities. I had a large and expanding library, a loft full of kits to match and neither the time nor inclination to build anything because I wasn't that good anymore. My standards were reduced by cataracts, dodgy vision in general, a chronic lack of time and a fear of having a lot more knowledge than skill. Even retirement increased my book collection but local community stuff replaced my meagre attempts at finishing builds. This is a confessional, really. And not a proud one either. My lungs are seriously damaged by ciggies and pneumonia and my life expectancy is now very short. So in the last year I have sold it all. There is no way I could leave that lot for my wife to sort and get rid of. Books, kits, decals, resin and white metal, the whole lot. I sold it all (well, there are a few kits stashed away, either part-built or just of interest to me, less than 20.....honest). Had I built all that I had stashed away then we would have had to live in the garden shed. It was ridiculous. So books are a useful addition to your knowledge, but they can become a diversion, an opportunity to vastly expand your knowledge but possibly at the expense of actually building models. Like everything in this life, you have to control what you do and 'moderation in all things' is perhaps the maxim to follow. Had I stayed with just the Swedish stuff, I could have binned all of my model collection a few years back and started again on more modern (but not always better) Swedish kits that have appeared and probably spent more money on beer and family and friends. This confessional may have bored many of you, amused a few and perhaps reflected something of the obsession that we have all had in differing degrees but it is how my relaxing hobby turned into something more. It may be that for some of us a surfeit of knowledge is a dangerous thing. No matter what, just try and enjoy your model making. And remember, not everything in life looks as good as the book illustration..... John
  3. If you do a search on 'AFV Churchill' on this site you will find a lot of information. This link will be very useful: In general the AFV kits are excellent. Take your time, don't rush and you should end up with a nice model. The process with most modern kits of military vehicles is to work slowly and methodically and look at as many 'work in progress' sites as you can for the kit you are building. Those who have gone before are usually helpful in pointing out pitfalls and problems and usually how to avoid or work around them. Good luck, John
  4. I sold Volumes 1 and 2 of Cold War Shield to The Aviation Bookshop a few weeks ago, along with all of my other aircraft tomes. Both books were in 'Very Good' condition and my Vol 2 was signed by Roger when it arrived from him, an unexpected surprise. I had bought Vol 1 from the Aviation Bookshop a few years ago, second hand but in very good condition. It was not cheap then! However both were well worth the money and invaluable references. I must say that £20 for Vol 2 is less than I would have expected but it may not have been the copy I sold them. Then again it is a weighty tome to lug around at Telford... Currently their website is down for rebuild/restoration but as they were selling Vol 2 at Telford it may be worth giving them a call re. Vol 1. They either still have it or they had a buyer within days of them getting it from me. John
  5. He appears to be wearing sheepskin or similar leggings/trousers. Would this possibly indicate that he flies in some way in an aircraft or balloon or even an airship of some kind? Or were enlisted men in the Aviation Service granted the privilege of warmer legs than the ordinary U.S. soldiers? John
  6. Which scale? Airfix produced their own kit in 1/72 and one from ESCI in 1/48. That might help; as far as I'm aware the 1/48 kit has not been part of the Airfix list for some years. John
  7. Yeet, I don't know if you have looked at Scalemates, a site which gives you a lot of information about the history of different model kit mouldings. I searched for 'Revell 1/48 JU 52' and this came up: https://www.scalemates.com/kits/revell-03918-junkers-ju52-3mg4e--1119704 Have a look and it will give you details of the various boxings of the same plastic issued over the years but with different markings. A very helpful source of information for all of us; the difficult bit is trying to find a stockist who the issue that has the markings you want! Th Ju 52 had a number of variants, as Gooney Fan has indicated. Let Wikipedia and Google be your friend. However, in general most JU 52s were broadly very similar in appearance apart from the dorsal gun positions on some of the military versions. Good Luck. John
  8. Perfect, thank you very much, Paul. So much for my P-51D theory..... Now I only have to work out why I have that canopy when I can't recall buying/making a single seat Vampire/Venom. I can usually recall the stuff from years ago, it's what happened yesterday that causes the domestic ire. John
  9. Rummaging through some boxes this afternoon I found two Aeroclub canopies that I must have bought many years back. According to 'Joes Models' website, the one coded 'C023' is for a Hunter, which looks feasible. The other is coded 'C025' which is missing from the list that Joe has. 023 is a Hunter, 024 is a Hunter T7 and 026 is allegedly a Lightning T4. This might indicate that C025 is a single seat Lightning but it looks nothing like that. At a guess I would think it is for a P-51D Mustang or similar, sleek bubble top with deep sides beneath the windscreen. Can anybody tell me what the canopy is actually for, please? Thanks, John
  10. Well, wherever the army stores the silver from laid-up regiments there is a silver model of an Abbot. My father was with 25 Regiment Royal Artillery and his mess bill included an automatic deduction to add a silver replica of their 'new equipment' to the Regimental collection. He suspected that as he was on the strength for a few years he probably owned more than 10% of the thing. If you ever get aa chance to look closely at the vehicle and equipment models made for regiments please take up the offer and savour the craftsmanship. Amazing work. The ones I have seen seemed to be 1/40th to 1/50th scale, usually on a very nice wooden base to adorn the tables on Dinner Nights. Also I think S&S made an Abbott kit from resin and white metal some years ago, probably 1/72 scale. If any exist they too must be collectors items. No help to us nowadays, of course. John
  11. That looks very good, Chris. I'm pleased the old Pavla kit has gone to a good home, I know you will make a much better job of it than I could have done. It is always a pleasure to see so many 'older' kits that need very careful building or at least a degree of heavy fettling that turn out so well. Keep it up and one day perhaps the old Williams Seversky may slide onto your bench to challenge and demonstrate your skills! All the best, enjoy the beetle! John
  12. Boyd, it is a question that many of us have asked! Another link to confirm the replies the others have given: https://forum.keypublishing.com/forum/historic-aviation/115663-navy-wessex-paint The blue-greys all seem to look similar depending upon the lighting, the film, the exposure and the printing. And that is just in books and magazines. On a computer screen ....who knows? John
  13. Somewhere in the darker recesses of the loft I have a kit of the Mi-8, manufacturer unknown until I find it. However there are some pictures that may help you, I just did a search on Mi-8 Hip images and a few show the underside that may help you. Try: https://www.e-pic.se/Aircraft/Aircraft-sorted-by-type/Mil/Mil-Mi-8-Hip/i-vF5hxqd/ That has a few underside shots that may sort you out. I have also looked without success for various kit instruction sheets. There are a lot of 'Hip' kits, but most seem to be from the same original (and inaccurate, I'm afraid) KP moulds. I have not yet found instructions that show what you want, but that was only after a quick look on line. I will look in the loft later and see if my kit sheet is more helpful, but I am not optimistic! John
  14. Google will reveal a lot of images, but in general very few seem to show the details you seek. There is one book: Gray Ghost: The RMS Queen Mary At War by Steve Harding but even that is light on detail. Probably the most obvious external features other than the paint job are the degaussing loop around the hull within a steel duct and extra carley floats/rafts on decks. Unlike the WW1 hospital ships it seems that the QM retained her exisitng lifeboats (or possibly larger ones later in the war but using the existing davits) and relied more on floats, rafts and some smaller boats on the foredeck for emergencies. Guns were fitted, but they are either airbrushed out by the censor or lost behind the mass of soldiery on the decks for departure or arrival photographs. Allegedly these were primarily 40mm Bofors type anti aircraft weapons but when these were removed late in the war a 6" gun was left as the sole offensive weapon. Other than that it was grey paint,usually pale grey although the tops of the funnels were restored to black later in the war. I have no information about the decks, most aerial views have them covered in troops so nothing is visible. This may not be of much help but there may be others more learned than me out there who know more. Now if you want to do the Queen Elizabeth in her war service, a lot more information seems to be around. All the best, John
  15. Oh, and while your at it Mr decal producer, can you try and tack a few white 'Qinetic' labels on the sheet as well, please? The ETPS/RAE badges are few and far between on exisitng sheets so thanks for including them, Truro. John
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