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Navy Bird

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Everything posted by Navy Bird

  1. I'm joining the group a little late, but hopefully I'll have enough time to finish. I've chosen to model the NASA F-104N chase plane flown by Joe Walker, who was one of my hero test pilots (along with Scott Crossfield) when I was growing up in the late 50s and early 60s. Sadly, Joe lost his life in the mid-air collision with the XB-70 bomber in 1966. He was only 45 and left a wife and four daughters. NASA originally had three F-104 chase planes with tail numbers 011, 012, and 013. These planes were characterized by a natural metal and Day-Glo orange paint. However, at the time of the accident, 013 had been designated 813 as can be seen in this photo: This is the configuration that I'll be modelling. I found this nice profile artwork on the net: And a very sad, poignant reminder of the dangers faced by men who reach for the stars: For this project, I'll use the Italeri F-104G kit (the F-104N designation was used for the F-104G aircraft delivered to NASA). It looks like a nice, simple kit, which is just what I need after my F-111B conversion. I won't restrict myself to out-of-the-box, as I have some extra goodies - a resin cockpit and photoetch from CMK (which also includes an open radome and radar gear, not sure if I'll add that), nicely done resin tyres from RESkit, and what looks like a superb decal sheet from Rocketeer: The stickers don't have specific markings for 813, but this can be made from the numbers that are there (812 & 013). So that's the project, and as soon as I get my workbench cleaned up I'll have a go at that cockpit. I plan on finishing up the Curtiss XF15C-1 that I started a while ago too, and I think that will be good to fill in the time when the paint is drying on the F-104. Cheers, Bill
  2. Navy Bird

    1:72 Special Hobby Avro Anson Mk.I

    Thanks guys. The obscenities have been put back in their box, but I didn't seal it. I figured they might come in handy for my Javelin kitbash project. Now, about those birds. Ever since they've been reclassified as dinosaurs, I try to keep my distance and not upset them. You never know what kind of memories might be encoded in their genes. My grandson, when he's not flying my Anson, likes his dinosaurs, so I tried explaining the whole avian and non-avian dinosaur thing. I only succeeded in making him deathly scared of birds. He calls the big crows "T-Rex." Uh, my mistake. Cheers, Bill
  3. Hi mates, For my next trick, I'm going to build something that doesn't have an overall white scheme. I walked into my warehouse stepped into the closet opened the cabinet fell over a pile of kits on the floor, and came up with the 1:72 Avro Anson made by Special Hobby. I don't recall if this is one of the box full of Czech kits I acquired from @occa or if I bought this elsewhere, but it's a short run, multi-media kit from several years ago. There are just a couple of injection moulded sprues, containing the fuselage, wings, cockpit floor, greenhouse, and sundries: It looks like at some point I also bought the masking set from Eduard. Inside the decal envelope are the photoetch fret, with the instrument panel, seat belts, trim tab linkages, etc., and a small piece of film with the instruments for the panel. The kit also has a lot of resin parts, most notably the engines (with individual cylinder heads), cowlings, seats, gear struts, exhausts, gun, wing lights, etc. If I understand correctly, the Anson was powered by two Armstrong Siddeley Cheetah engines, each with 7 cylinders. That's a total of 14. Not sure why Special Hobby give us 32 cylinders - I might drop one or two but I think it would be hard even for me to lose so many that I'd need that many extras. Speaking of resin, here's where the kit gets "interesting." This, of course, is one of the more recognizable features of the Anson - the tubular framework visible through the greenhouse. As you can see, in addition to the cleanup required, these pieces are warped. Hmm. I can always count on Special Hobby to be looking out for my modelling skills development. They're so kind. I did a bit of cleanup and got this: The sidewalls will eventual mount to the cockpit floor (the teardrop shaped piece at top left of the second photos) so they will need to be curved in order to conform to the shape of the floor. The tubular portions of these parts (let's just call it the roll cage), are not round in cross-section, they're flat on the side that is visible through the windows. This is due to the casting method and cleanup. The top portion of the roll cage is warped, too. Here's what I'm going to do. First, I'm going to pour libations and make sacrifices to Zeus (remembering, of course, to wrap fat around the thigh bones). Then, I'm going to construct my own roll cage using styrene rod. Let's try an experiment first. I measured the diameter of the tubes, and they're all somewhere around 0.030 inches. Great, I have some Evergreen rod of that size. Using the above piece as a template, a short while later I have this: OK, why not? This should work. I think the best way to do this is to cut off the tubular section from each sidewall, attach the sidewalls to the floor, close up the fuselage and add the roll cage later. As with most short run kits, there are no alignment pegs to show you exactly where any of the cockpit pieces go. There is usually quite a lot of dry fitting involved before any glue is, well, glued. You have to find the "keystone" - the one part that can only go in one spot, and then build out from there. For this kit, I think the keystone is the forward bulkhead for the turret compartment. That needs to align with the rear windows, so I'm confident that's where we'll start. Luckily, there are quite a few on-line photos and references that will help with this build. I'm not sure what markings I'll use, probably the ones shown on the box top. This is a famous Anson that actually shot down two Bf 109s (one for the pilot, one for the gunner). Imagine that. Although I also like the trainer schemes with the yellow undersides. We'll see. Stay tuned for another exciting episode as Uncle Navy Bird gets paint under his fingernails again. Cheers, Bill
  4. Navy Bird

    1:72 Special Hobby Avro Anson Mk.I

    Nice! I'm in a flight path too and have Chinooks pass over pretty much every day. Oh, and those stupid grackles that dive bomb their droppings all over my car. I'd really love to see those on the extinct list. Cheers, Bill
  5. Navy Bird

    1:72 Special Hobby Avro Anson Mk.I

    And then there are times when you pay the piper... I was just about finished blending in the new fuselage piece when I managed to pop off the canopy. I guess I was holding it just a bit too tightly. Looking on the bright side of things, I at least had another opportunity to view all that cool framework inside. That's what I keep telling myself anyway. The canopy is back on and I've begun the work to re-blend it into the fuselage. I leave for the UK this Friday, and I have quite a lot of other silly stuff to get done before then. I don't know how much modelling I'll get done. But we shall try! Cheers, Bill PS. At the exact moment the canopy popped off, a previously unknown string of obscenities issued forth. I have no idea where they came from, as I'd never heard them before.
  6. Navy Bird

    1:72 Special Hobby Avro Anson Mk.I

    Sometimes the piper pays you. A few small paint chips on top, but otherwise the cuts were successful. I think I was right on top of the original seams, and a few swipes with the saw weakened the bond and it popped off. The part for the turret-less version seems to fit reasonably well, so I think we just have some seam filling and repainting to do. The fun part will be getting the subtle representation of the canvas over the structural ribs to line up. But I think we'll be OK. It could have been a lot worse! Oh course, it's not finished yet. Cheers, Bill
  7. Hi mates, I managed to acquire the above items from a vendor at a model show for a pretty nice price (I think). He only wanted $5, so I figured what the heck, even though I know nothing about this kit or the resin conversion. I suspect, though, that there are some Britmodellers here who know all about these items. So... Good kit or not? The resin (cockpit/nose and tail/exhaust section) looks pretty basic but will probably get the job done. There is a vacuform canopy as well. Let me know the good, bad, and the ugly. I'd love to have a 1:72 Javelin in the collection, and I figure building this kit/conversion will be the fastest way to ensure that Airfix scale down their exquisite 1:48 Javelin. Cheers, Bill
  8. Navy Bird

    1:72 Special Hobby Avro Anson Mk.I

    Beautiful! Thanks for showing these, it is most certainly not a thread hijack. This is the kind of inspiration I need to take that razor saw to my Annie. I've carefully marked out the area where I think it needs to be cut...my issue here is that I seem to have hidden the seams from the turret covering too well - I really can't see where it attached. I don't want to try and break it off (obviously) so I measured about fifteen different ways in order to scientifically determine the proper location for the cuts. In other words, I eyeballed it and drew some lines on the fuselage with a pencil. However, I am delaying the first cut until a couple of days from now, as I'm off to watch my son in a bicycle race at Watkins Glen. See you soon! Cheers, Bill
  9. Navy Bird

    1:72 Special Hobby Avro Anson Mk.I

    True, but I really don't need to add to my stash! It's like my waistline, growing uncontrollably. This would be my choice, but I haven't found any examples configured that way. There's got to be one somewhere. I just need to know the numbers to see if I can cobble together the markings from The Island of Misfit Stickers. N9570 is one of the options with the kit, and it's marked just as you describe N9765, so it's a strong possibility. I do like those stripes though...let's see if I can find the razor saw. It's around here somewhere. Oh, and some courage too. That will come in handy. Cheers, Bill
  10. Navy Bird

    Sea Vixen

    Hmm, kind of like the MPM/Xtrakit monstrosity. Gawd, I hope they didn't use that as a reference. Cheers, Bill
  11. Navy Bird

    1:72 Special Hobby Avro Anson Mk.I

    Easy for you guys to say! Cheers, Bill
  12. Navy Bird

    1:72 Special Hobby Avro Anson Mk.I

    Hmm, I've painted myself into a corner on this one. When I started building the fuselage, my plan was to do one of the markings that came with the box, and they all have the turret. Then, I saw these interesting RCAF markings with DG/DE on top, silver on the bottom, and rectangles of trainer yellow on top of the wings and the spine (I think Tony O'T even posted a photo of that one). It also had the turret. So I went out and bought the decal sheet, and discovered it also included a cool striped plane. I decided to do that one, because, as you all admitted, I'm insane. To back that up with action, I forgot that it doesn't have the turret. Oh boy. So I can either find another scheme that uses a lot of yellow and has a turret, or I can cut out the section of fuselage where the turret goes, and replace it with the section with no turret (Special Hobby provide this in the kit). Any ideas? Cheers, Bill
  13. Navy Bird

    1:72 Special Hobby Avro Anson Mk.I

    Another question (or two) - look to the center of the red circle: What is it? And is it applicable to my RCAF Mk.I W2531 of No. 8 Service Flying Training School in 1941? Special Hobby provide this as a resin part. Cheers, Bill
  14. Navy Bird

    1:72 Special Hobby Avro Anson Mk.I

    I melted down some Crayola crayons and applied with a spatula. Cheers, Bill PS. Or was it Gunze H329? I can't remember.
  15. Navy Bird

    1:72 Special Hobby Avro Anson Mk.I

    Did someone say yellow? We got yellow! We'll let this cure for a bit before I go crazy with the Kabuki tape. No, wait, I'm already crazy according to you blokes. So let me tell you about this yellow - you may recall that I intended to use Testors Model Master RAF Trainer Yellow. That was until I opened the bottle and stirred it up. Now I'm not entirely sure, but I don't have any photos of RAF (or in this case RCAF) training aircraft or target tugs where the yellow has the sickly brown-green tinge to it. And this wasn't an old bottle of paint either, I just bought it and it wasn't dusty, so I don't think it was sitting in the rack at my LHS for eons. But then, Testors has always been my go-to "Paint That Never Fails To Disappoint." I'm working on the landing gear and wheels/tyres now as I'd like to get her standing up. I have a question for the Annie subject matter experts - should the side walls of the turret opening be interior grey green or yellow? I sprayed them yellow, but afterwards thought that perhaps they should be the interior colour. But thinking has not been my forte lately, so I figured I'd better ask. Cheers, Bill
  16. Navy Bird

    Sea Vixen

    Did Trumpeter include the NACA ducts on the side of the booms? I couldn't see them on the pictures of the test shots, but it could have just been the photo. Cheers, Bill
  17. Navy Bird

    1:72 Special Hobby Avro Anson Mk.I

    Wow, it's been a bit since I last updated this thread! Sorry about that, but I had an unexpected delay. It seems that two-year old boys, who gaze into my display case chanting "Plane!" all the time, also like to fondle these objects, especially when their grandfather leaves one in a location they can reach. Let's just say that Annie can fly! And, thanks to Mr. Newton, she can also land. As is sometimes the case with these landings, the plane exceeds its design limits and there you go. Thankfully, the pilot was not injured and the aircraft did not need to be stricken from the fleet. Just a little trip to the maintenance depot... After she came out of the hangar, it was time to give her some nice shiny new paint. I've chosen the following scheme because: I really like the looks of target tugs and trainers -or- I'm insane Which is it, I wonder? Accordingly, she's in the process of getting a coat of white primer to serve as a nice base for the yellow. I'm going to use Testors Model Master RAF Trainer Yellow as that seems to be the right shade. I'm thinking I might have to stock up on Kabuki tape... Cheers, Bill
  18. Hi mates, The conversion set is on its way to its new owner. I hope to see his build in the WIP forum soon! Cheers, Bill
  19. Navy Bird

    Sea Vixen

    +1 Cheers, Bill
  20. I still have the Maintrack FAW.7 conversion set, and I most likely won't be using it. If anyone is still looking for that, send me a PM and we can make a deal. I think I'll build my Heller kit as a T.3, and if I ever get around to building my Airfix FAW.9, I'll look for the Frog kit as a donor for the rear fuselage. Cheers, Bill
  21. Hi mates, I'm normally a "serial" guy, but while I wait for the fairy dust to settle on my Avro Anson build I thought I'd put on my "parallel" hat and start another kit. I'm currently working my way through Martin's @occa stash, and the little Northrop XP-56 came to the top. For those unfamiliar with this little guy, the US Army Air Corps released a specification in 1939 or 40 to encourage the development of unconventional technology. I think the reasoning was that a new, innovative design might emerge which would revolutionize air combat. Alas, that didn't happen but the three aircraft built to this specification were unconventional indeed. In addition to Jack Northrop's XP-56, there was the Vultee XP-54 "Swoose Goose" and the Curtiss XP-55 "Ascender." About the only thing the three had in common was that they were all pushers. The XP-56, or Black Bullet as it was nicknamed, was a tailless design (of course, this is Northrop we're talking about) made of welded magnesium. To build these guys, Northrop developed a new technique called TIG (tungsten inert gas) welding, not knowing that GE had invented roughly the same thing. Today this is often referred to as Heliarc welding and is used to weld aluminum among other metals. Now, magnesium burns like crazy once it's ignited, and it's said that Northrop would throw sand onto the airframe if it caught fire during welding. Only two aircraft were built - the first was destroyed in a crash and the second was deemed too unsafe to continue the testing. Today it lies in a warehouse somewhere, right next to the Ark of the Covenant. The Black Bullet, like a lot of Northrop's designs, was ahead of its time and would most likely not have been successful without the technology we use today to keep flying wings and other tailless designs stable. Special Hobby made a nice little kit of the XP-56, including short run injection moulded parts, cast resin parts, photoetched parts, and decals. Let's have a look - first the box, with a nice painting of the second prototype (the first prototype did not have the large dorsal fin): Buried in that diminutive fuselage is a Pratt & Whitney R-2800 Double Wasp. Right, I didn't believe it either. Next up are the styrene sprues: The kit still has all the parts to build the first prototype with the much smaller dorsal fin. The resin parts are mainly for the cockpit, but also include the wing leading edge cooling inlets. Remember, the Double Wasp engine was air-cooled. And, of course, the instructions in the older Special Hobby style, the small sheet of transfers, and the photoetch fret which is in the envelope underneath the transfers. I believe the first version of this kit had a vacuform canopy, but that's been replaced by two injection moulded copies. As far as I can tell, these two canopies are identical - I can't see any differences. Not sure why we get two. Here is a nice shot of the first prototype: And a not-so-nice shot of the first prototype's crash, the result of a blown tyre. The pilot, John Myers, survived with minor injuries. He's said to have credited his survival to the fact that he was wearing a polo helmet. The second prototype had several modifications made as a result of testing with the first ship. I found a web page with some nice photos of the second prototype in storage many years ago. Here is a link to that page. And, of course, a short video from YouTube: Cheers, Bill
  22. Yikes, have I really been away for two weeks? Sorry about that, but we went to Maryland to visit my son and grandkids. I'm finally back, though, and managed a little time at the workbench today both with the Annie and the Black Bullet. First, let's see if I've accomplished anything worthwhile on the stubby little fella... I added the wheel wells to the bottom of each wing - this was interesting in one respect. You know how Special Hobby occasionally always have those tall ejection gates or whatever they're called? Well, they managed to put on right where one of the wheel wells had to go, so a bit of careful Dremel tooling was necessary. The resin inserts for the cooling intakes are also added at this stage. I've read a few articles, and seen some drawings, where these are labelled "radiators" - which I find somewhat unlikely as the engine was air cooled. But it does make me think how they could get enough air through the intakes to cool that big radial engine buried in the fuselage. I then spent some time on the cockpit. The Special Hobby version of the kit includes some really nice resin parts for the cockpit floor/bulkhead, sidewalls, and seat. The earlier MPM boxings only have resin for the cooling intakes, I believe. The detail moulded on the sidewall looks reasonably accurate compared to some walkaround photos of the remaining prototype. Due to the shape of the Black Bullet's fuselage (rather like a bullet, actually) the sidewalls "lean in" at the top, and it would be difficult to photograph the entire cockpit with both in place. So I taped each sidewall onto the cockpit floor and snapped individual photos. The control column will be added at the end, when the risk of me breaking it off is at a minimum. The instrument panel consists of film that is sandwiched between a photoetch piece and an injection moulded backing. Pretty typical of Special Hobby kits of this vintage. I'm working on that now. And speaking of Special Hobby, who are probably my favourite kit maker due to the subjects they produce, I managed to get the 1:72 Bristol Beaufort Mk.Ia/II at a recent show. I've been looking for this one, as I'd like to do one from the Malta campaign. Besides, my DAP Beaufort Mk.VIII is lonely. Hopefully, the updates will come more quickly in the future! Ta for now. Cheers, Bill
  23. Navy Bird

    Photobucket Eradication

    Hi mates, It's taken me quite a while, but I have gone through every one of my WIP and RFI threads, editing out all links to photos hosted by Photobucket. All pictures have been replaced with links to my Flickr account. I didn't keep track, but this was literally thousands of pictures. No wonder my modelling output has been lame lately! So that's good, I think. However, any Photobucket links that were in posts I made outside of my WIP and RFI threads have not been updated, because I really don't know where they all are. If anyone stumbles across any posts of mine with that big ugly Photobucket extortion graphic, please let me know and I'll update the photo link (assuming it's of any interest). I've recovered all the photos that were in my Photobucket account and they are safe with me. The Photobucket account, however, was terminated with extreme prejudice. Cheers, Bill
  24. "Interesting" is what Jack Northrop was all about. I think I need a parallel universe to work on two models at once! Well, I mentioned Jack Northrop right? Jack Northrop. 'Nuff said. Ain't that the truth! Those guys were amazing. I have a Moonbat kit in the stash - it's resin and from Anigrand so there is probably more wrong than right with it. It looks particularly bad in the canopy. But I'll build it someday. Cheers, Bill
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