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About MDriskill

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    Obsessed Member
  • Birthday 08/28/1954

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    Knoxville Tennessee USA
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    1/72 WW2 aircraft

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  1. MDriskill

    Hawker Typhoon

    In spite of my minor dimensional complaints in the linked thread above, IMHO the Airfix Typhoon kit is far superior to the Academy one. More accurate, more detail, and a really fun build. If I made one change, it might be to shave the fin leading edge down a bit to match the Bentley drawings - easy to do and improves the overall proportions of the rear fuselage. But hey, I'm weird that way...normal folk would not notice the difference. The "tip-toe" landing gear stance and cartoonishly over-sized canopy in the Academy kit are deal-breakers to my eye, and as already mentioned is only correctly depicts the early "bubbletop" with small tail and 3-blade prop. The Brengun kits are the most accurate of all, and offer every version of the aircraft as well, but are rather pricey, and as with most limited-run kits require more time and swear words to construct. I find the engineering of the Airfix kit particularly ingenious. The wheel well/radiator bay/cockpit floor insert looks great and guarantees the correct dihedral angles; and the option to do one or both gun bays opened is a wonderful bonus in such a simple and inexpensive kit.
  2. Thanks for this link, what a fascinating shot. These are definitely Fw 190 wings (BTW, the pic made more sense when I figured out that the indicated areas belong to another wing sitting just behind it!). The wings have the wheel well "roofs" which would indicate they were intended for radial-engined 190's (the D omitted these). BUT...I don't see the "flat bulge" over the outer gun bay upper skin openings, which was standard for late A and F variants (replaced by a small plate directly covering the opening on the D). Another interesting detail is that the wing underside in the background appears to be fully painted.
  3. Thanks! Late-war 190 camo is one my many minor modeling side obsessions, LOL. Here is another image, from Jerry Crandall's outstanding "Focke-Wulf Fw 190 Dora," vol. 1. Although a little faded, the painting actually looks quite similar to the F-8 image in some ways. Note especially how the inner rear section of the wing looks to be a darker color than the (obviously bare metal) outer section. You can also see similar pale 76 "touch-up" spots, which are the pivot points for the aileron and flap control linkages, I believe. The 500 series machines noted in the caption were built by Mimetall (abbreviated MME), and the 600 series by Gerhard Fieseler Werke (GFW). The other two D-9 manufacturers were Focke-Wulf (FW, 210 series) and Arbeitgemeinschaft Weserflug (WFG, 400 series; also known as Arb. "Roland"). So - pure speculation here - the F-8 photo may be more relevant than you think; maybe the wing sub-contractor was the same.
  4. Kari, this is a really outstanding discussion! Many thanks for posting the link, very interesting and duly added to my Fw 190 reference file. I've often had the very same thought - that this paint may have been applied for much the same reason that we modelers use a primer coat - to check for smoothness of the finish, and then correct as necessary. For typical WW2 wings, smooth airflow over the front 1/3 was critical. A follow-on thought - here are well-known but interesting photos of a WFG-built JG 2 machine, taken from Jerry Crandall's "Focke Wulf Fw 190 Dora," vol. 1. Note the span-wise dark streak on top of the wing. I might speculate the painting sequence here was: 1. Dark camouflage color applied to the entire upper wing, and wrapped around under the leading edge (both JaPo's and Mr. Crandall's books make very convincing arguments that the darker camo color was applied first. The opposite of what a modeler would typically do!). 2. A second application of putty and/or paint - addressing faults revealed by in the initial painting? - was applied, creating the dark streak. 3. The lighter camo color was applied last. Note how the dark streak appears to go OVER the darker camo color, but UNDER the lighter one.
  5. Veering a bit off-topic, but thanks for posting this photo! It's probably the best picture of late-war Fw 190's undersides I've ever seen (I opened this thread with the notion of posting it myself, LOL). The detail clarity is amazing (taken with a Leica camera I'd wager), and if you look closely there is really quite an astonishing number of different things going on with the finish. "Yellow 14" is not a Focke Wulf-built A-8, but an Arado-built F-8, serial 584592, thought to have been attached to SG 2 or SG 10. As noted, well-documented elsewhere, and one source of decals is the Eduard 1/72 F-8 Profipack kit. Arado did not contribute to the Fw 190D program so I won't obsess further over details here...
  6. Good point! Since he later tossed the Zvezda "F" into the fray, I assumed we were discussing G's. But I've been wrong before...
  7. I used exactly the same "measure off a closed canopy" approach on this 1/72 scale Eduard A-8. I ended up with a similar amount of slack, but might have my lead-in wire a bit too "springy!" By the way, some late-build 190's, like this JG 1 bird from autumn '44, retained the early-style canopy, but similarly dispensed with the complex tensioning system.
  8. Let me start with the caveat that I'm not really a "1/48 guy," but as Troy pointed out, many of the detail parts in the current Eduard 109G kits are carried over from their disastrous "1/46 scale" original release. I've noticed in the online builds I've looked at, that the newer kit - whilst vastly improved overall - does have an odd "tip-toes" stance. To my eye the struts are slightly too long, and could stand tiny bits more rake and splay as well. I believe that Tamiya absolutely nailed this detail correctly. I generally like the Eduard F's and G's though: good overall accuracy, superb molding, loads of detail, many optional parts, and multiple variants. I've seen some great-looking builds (including some where the gear has obviously been adjusted). But I think most 109 aficionados consider both Tamiya and Zvezda better in the fine points of out-of-the-box accuracy.
  9. This may not be of any help at all (and I confess I've not looked thoroughly through all those nice threads linked above). But I see one of them mentions the 2008 book "Fleet Air Arm Camouflage and Markings, Atlantic and Mediterranean Theatres 1937-1941," by Stuart Lloyd. This book has the following summary of carrier-based Gladiators in that general area and period. The "S.1.E." scheme is the 4-color uppersurface/Sky Grey undersurface/high demarcation camo that you mention.
  10. Your final rendition of the colors looks convincing enough to me! My pastor likes to say, "Every Lutheran sermon should end with the phrase, '...but I could be wrong about that!'" IMHO, much the same should follow any post on late Luftwaffe colors, LOL.
  11. OK, one last little thing here. This photo shows an early AZ 109 fuselage half (a G-14, on top), taped to their 109F fuselage half; with the top edges of the pieces aligned precisely. You can see the extra depth at the firewall the F has. A millimeter variance in overall length may not make a big visual difference...but at a spot like this, it very much does. This small dimensional change alters the "look" of the fuselage profile and wing incidence to a remarkable degree, really improving the overall appearance of the kit. Oh by the way, if you belong to the "72nd Aircraft" Facebook group, a really nice build of the AZ 109F was posted today.
  12. Can't add too much to what has already been said! The big Tamiya kits are complex and expensive, but are truly amazing, some of the best plastic aircraft kits in existence at this time. The Hasegawa 1/32 kits give great quality at a much lower price point, with simpler construction. For the aircraft on your list, my top pick for a great-looking build that requires little or no aftermarket help to achieve accuracy and convincing detail, is their Fw 190A kits.
  13. This remarkable thread appeared on a Czech forum after the AZ kits first came out: https://www.modelforum.cz/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=80889&hilit=kitir Too bad I can't read it! Obviously a heated debate about the issues in those kits, with notes on other kits, and some pretty amazing graphics (how is that "drawing over a photo" thing done!). And I was struck not only by the great variances between kits - but also between the published drawings they referenced. One would think there are enough real 109's and factory info out there, to have created a consensus definitive late-109 drawing set. But that does not seem to be the case, and must surely cloud any discussion on the subject. Anyway, one valuable graphic in the thread is a dimensioned "factory" side view...see below. I used this to make an old-fashioned, hand-drafted diagram to measure fuselage length at major structural bulkheads. And that confirmed what was stated above: the Zvezda F and Tamiya G are right on the money from nose to tail; but the FM's are a bit short, and the AZ's a bit long, In both cases, the discrepancy falls in the small bay between the windscreen and firewall; everything fore and aft is very close viewed in isolation. All that being said, to my eye these length variations are not too significant. To many folks, other things will catch the eye more when studying them in 3-dimensions. But all these kits look very much like Bf 109's to me when you take the micrometer away, and I've seen convincing models made from each. The Zvezda F benefits from the research done for their remarkable 1/48 F kits. It's highly accurate, but a "snap kit" has its limits. Some have had issues with the odd type of plastic used for the canopy, which apparently can react badly to some types of masking materials, and some examples have significant sink marks on the wings. The FM kits were the standard for years. Crisply molded, pay close attention to differences between variants, and the bits like props and wheels that can add so much to a small model's appearance (and are so often poor in 1/72 kits) are very convincing. US modeler Barry Numerick has built many world-class replicas from them - check out this recent tribute on "Falke Eins:" http://falkeeins.blogspot.com/2020/06/building-bf-109-with-award-winning.html The AZ F is, in the box at least, IMHO the best of that company's 109's so far. It fixes the firewall height issue of their initial G series (to my eye, worse than the length glitch), has pretty crisp surface detail and convincing wheel wells and cockpit, and as noted above comes with a lot of very useful spare parts.
  14. I don't know boo about Wellingtons or kits thereof, but this line made my morning!
  15. This is my understanding as well. I haven't seen any of the old kits re-released. Just my opinion, but it seems to me that AZ reserves the KP label for subjects which are of particular Czech interest, and/or kits that are of their top quality level. Perhaps mostly coincidence, but some of the "new" KP kits duplicate subjects in the "old" line - La-5, MiG-21, Siebel 204, Asia S-199.
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