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Navy Bird

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Everything posted by Navy Bird

  1. No Obsession, their 15" ultra-light was still too heavy for me. The new scope is from Hubble Optics from Hong Kong by way of Texas: http://hubbleoptics.com/UL16.html The mirror "test report" that came with the scope was a document that simply stated the results of their testing, it did not have any interferograms like the leading mirror guys. It says P-V 1/15 wave, RMS 1/50 wave, and a 0.98 Strehl ratio. I'll believe that when I see it! Those are some pretty crazy numbers. I'll be happy if it's diffraction limited. Fingers crossed. I selected this scope almost entirely based on the weight, but not until I had talked to a few folks who own one. They were all pretty happy. There is a bit of "tweaking" one has to do in order to get the scope the way you like it, so it's certainly not like an Obsession which is sweet right out of the box. After assembling the new scope, it seems to be pretty good and solid mechanically, but its motions could be a bit smoother. Push to, for sure. That's what I'm used to. I can use a tablet to connect via Bluetooth (so they say, haven't tried it yet), and do my alignment and target selection on the tablet. I'll probably use Ski Safari Pro. Gotta get a sheet of red film to put over the screen though... Cheers, Bill
  2. You leave the ailerons alone, because you are going to fold the wings. It;s more fun than just posing an aileron or two. Cheers, Bill
  3. Bombard away! A little thread drift never hurt anyone. I had to sell my old scope (which I built myself - 12.5" f/5) because I'm old. The heaviest part was the mirror box (with mirror) and it weighed 65 lb. That's too much for me and my bad back. I almost always take my scope to a "dark sky" site, so portability is important. On the new scope, even though it's a larger diameter mirror, the mirror box is only 35 lb. Much easier for me to handle. Cheers, Bill
  4. A man of great taste? You should hear what my friends and relatives say about that! I think the most common epithet is "weird." How did you get access to my recent endoscopic ultrasound? There are privacy laws in this country governor! I know all about Aki. Did you miss my build of their Sea Fury? I made the same comments as you just did! I tried to find their Firebrand kit but didn't have any luck, so I settled for the CMR kit. Aki also made kits of the Kawanishi E15K1 Shiun and the Nakajima Ki-12, in addition to a couple of small aircraft carriers. Their method of having the parts on runners requires, as I understand it, high-pressure casting which in turn means more expensive equipment and tooling. This is the reason why most resin kits are made with low-pressure casting. Who makes that? I was only aware of the Magna vacuform. Cheers, Bill
  5. Well done! It's been a very informative and delightful journey. Plus I learned a lot, like how to sell all the Fly kits in my stash immediately. Speaking of Fly, you should send them some photos so they can put them on their website as an example of what can be done using a few bits of their product. Cheers, Bill PS. I vote for the Sea Venom because, well, Navy is my first name.
  6. OK, let's get on with actually building this baby. For some reason the instructions have you start with the cockpit - crazy, I know. I don't normally follow the instructions but I figured I'd give it a try this time. So here we go. First, the instrument panel. Very nice pre-painted photoetch (with backing) is included with the kit. The fret says Eduard on it, so you get an idea of the quality. I think it looks pretty good. I like how Eduard printed the instrument faces in black, and the panel itself in a dark grey. That works quite nicely, I think, in making the instruments stand out. The overall panel is not flat, having symmetric folds on each side for a minor wraparound effect. CMR cast a lot of detail into the fuselage sides, which can be further detailed with microscopic photoetch. This is 1:72 after all. Those of you who voted black for the cockpit, please avert your vision now. I painted the interior of the fuselage and the cockpit itself with Gunze C364 from their Aircraft Interior Color (sic) Set, which I had to travel all the way to Old Blighty to purchase. I picked out some details with a 3/0 paintbrush, a silver prismatic pencil, and a light Future wash. Everything was then covered with Alclad Flat. Finally, the cockpit itself received photoetch harnesses and headrest support. The armoured panel is resin, and is part of the cockpit casting although it is very thin and delicate. The harnesses go through tiny slots in the headrest support. The rudder pedals and control column are resin - I don't normally add the control column until I'm just about finished as I'm afraid I'll knock it off when masking off the pit. Maybe this time I'll be careful. The seat adjuster controls on the starboard side of the seat are PE, as is the hydraulic hand pump handle (which should be attached to the floor, but the seat was much more convenient). Before closing up the fuselage, I need to make a mount for the compass (there was one as part of the compass, but I broke it off) and also for the gunsight. CMR actually cast the gunsight with its mounting bar, but it also was broken during shipment (I didn't do it this time!). I've built a few CMR resin kits, and this is the first where I've seen this much damage. And there's more to come (flap rails on the wings, for instance). But somewhere on my CV it says I'm a modeller... I've also been spending a LOT of time getting my new telescope ready to go. She's an ultra-light 16" f/4.5 Newtonian/Dobsonian with a sandwich mirror. I'm installing Bluetooth encoders on the azimuth and altitude axes at present. In-between spurts of modelling, of course! Cheers, Bill
  7. Yes, my output was pathetic but I think it was mostly due to some part time work I did for my former employer. That took up a lot of hours that were reserved for modelling. And, of course I'm doing another project for them right now, but that has to be finished by June. So the second half of 2020 should see me rocking and rolling again. Cheers, Bill
  8. Nice pit! No, not your arms - that stuff inside the Lizzie. Well done - if you can reach, pat yourself on the back and have a beverage. Cheers, Bill
  9. Great opportunity for a cutaway: Now you just need to find a 1:72 snowmobile engine. Cheers, Bill
  10. Nicely done, Paul! And don't feel too bad about the quantity of your output - I only finished three! Cheers, Bill
  11. Great stuff, Giorgio! You managed to finish a lot more than I did! Cheers, Bill
  12. A quiet year eh? I would give what's left of my sanity to have such a quiet year. Outstanding work, my friend. Cheers, Bill
  13. Brilliant work! So many targets, er, I mean, armour! Cheers, Bill
  14. Hi mates, Last year I made a pledge to build more models than 2018 (when I only finished four kits). Yet again I was unable to deliver on my promise, and I actually built fewer models! Just three lousy models left Chateau Oiseau de la Marine in 2019. Is it my age that is preventing me from building more? Too many grandkids? Losing time by traipsing across Old Blighty with @CedB, @Procopius, and @Cookenbacher? Losing more time by singing in the rain with Wifey in Scotland? Maybe it was working part time for my old employer on top secret special projects. In any event, I failed. But I will again boldly predict that in 2020, I will build more models! Can I do it? Or is this again just the wistful wanderings of a wrinkled old man? Here is the pitiful output from 2019: 1:32 Supermarine Spitfire Mk.IXc (completed July 2019) Tamiya During the height (depth?) of my chemotherapy back in 2015, a very fine gentleman from Australia sent me the fantastic 1:32 scale kit from Tamiya of the Supermarine Spitfire Mk.IXc. The generosity of this man was unbelievable and at the same time a beautiful gesture to someone going through a difficult time. I will forever be grateful to him. It took me a long time to start and finish the model, but at last she was finished. Although the Tamiya kit is amazing right out of the box, old Navy Bird never misses an opportunity to spend some of his children's inheritance on aftermarket goodies. These are detailed in RFI post below. Click here for the RFI post with complete details of improvements and modifications. I was fortunate to have the model win the Best Aircraft and Best In Show award at ROCON 2019 in September. 1:72 Hawker Sea Fury FB.11 (completed April 2019) Aki Products In the midst of my build of the Tamiya 1:32 Spitfire, I decided to tackle a small side project, and one I've been wanting to do for some time. This is the 1:72 resin kit from Aki Products in Japan of the Hawker Sea Fury FB.11. There are a few articles and reviews on-line about this kit, and I can say one thing - believe what you read. This is an outstanding kit, and the best replica of the Sea Fury that can be had in 1:72 scale as of this writing. In fact, this kit surpasses many injection moulded kits in detail, quality, and fit. It's that good. Unfortunately, I don't think this kit is still in production, so the price (when you can find it) is a bit crazy. OK, a lot crazy. But I'm stupid, so I bought it. I chose the Royal Australian Navy display aircraft circa 1961 for the markings, and I made sure to go by actual period photographs and not from the restored warbirds that have worn this scheme at one time or another. The overall Oxford Blue scheme was too hard to pass up. As you look at the photos, you may notice that the flaps are down in some, up in others. This is because the flaps are hinged on the model, and can be posed where you like. The metal rods used as the axle of the flap hinges are actually cast into the resin - a clever bit of engineering and some nice quality control to pull it off. Special thanks to @NAVY870 and @Paul Bradley for their help in this build. Without their sage advice, old Navy Bird would have been naughty and done something silly on more than one occasion. Click here for the RFI post with complete details of improvements and modifications. 1:72 Gloseter Javelin T.3 (completed December 2019) Heller Like most of you 1:72 folks, I've been waiting for Airfix to scale their beautiful 1:48 Gloster Javelin kit down to the gentleman's scale. Waiting...a long time. As it seems Airfix is busy with other projects, I decided to force the issue by building the OLD Heller 1:72 Javelin, and along the way to try and make it a wee bit more modern, starting with a complete re-scribing and converting the kit to pose the airbrakes open. Surely this will cause the gears of fate to start meshing, and Airfix will get the idea. So you can thank me then! Since I have little common sense, I also thought it would be a good idea to build two of these old kits, one a T.3 (the Heller offering) and the other an FAW.9 (the Airfix re-tool). I also played with the idea of using either the ZTS Plastyk or Frog kits for the FAW.9, but upon inspection I donated those instead to my 3-year old grandson so he could practice using an entire tube of glue to add the seats to the pit. The T.3 is finished, and I duly present it here. The FAW.9 will appear sometime in 2020, unless those gears of fate turn too quickly and thermally disintegrate. Click here for the RFI post with complete details of improvements and modifications. Well, I told you it was a pathetic output. Perhaps I should make a resolution to build fewer models in 2020 - since the opposite of my pledges always seem to come true! Cheers, Bill
  15. Wow! You've kicked it up yet another notch. But I think you put the tail rotor on backwards. Cheers, Bill
  16. Epic. Thanks for letting us follow along. Cheers, Bill
  17. I usually end up painting over it, but that is VERY tedious. I suspect these pre-"painted" colours are inks, but I could be wrong. I usually am! Cheers, Bill
  18. You know, I think you're right. Let's see, I have the 1:72 Tamiya Skyray that's already been built, but it could be sacrificed. And I still have three FAW.9 Javelins (Airfix, Frog, and ZTS). One of those last two could become a Pukin' Dog. Ah, if there were more hours in the day! Cheers, Bill
  19. The two cockpit photos came from Air Publication 2208 (and amendments). I don't have the entire book, just some of the photos and drawings. Are you looking for anything in particular? Cheers, Bill
  20. No. 6 maybe? Preparation of the resin parts continues - removing parts from the casting blocks, cleaning up edges, etc. As I proceed with this, it's becoming apparent that a LOT of the little fiddly resin bits have suffered some damage. I've built a few CMR kits, and I've not before noticed this much damage. I've lost 2 of the 4 actuator rails that the flaps attach to, and 2 of the 4 cannons have barrel damage. I think I can repair the actuators, and I imagine Master has cannon barrels that will work for the Firebrand (although Master may have them for a different aircraft). I'll check their website. I also noticed that the main gear have pegs that go into holes in the gear well (shades of injection moulding!) but one of the holes has gone missing. I counted them all - did John Lennon write a lyric about that? I'll figure out something. Other than all this silly nonsense, things are indeed moving forward, even though it looks like no modelling has actually occurred yet. Cheers, Bill
  21. That the sidewalls are lighter than the black switch plates and placards in the photo really jumped out at me when I first saw it. But, of course, you cannot determine a specific color from a B&W photo, as much as we'd all like to. I think it's more than an assumption. We know that cockpits changed from grey-green to black during the period in question. I don't know of any other colors the cockpits could. For comparison, here is a photo from the Seafire 47 Pilot's Notes where I believe a black cockpit is shown. There is not as high of a contrast between the placards and sidewalls as we see in the Firebrand photo. I think grey-green, for the specific aircraft I'm building (which is from 1947) is reasonable. I'm going to trust CMR and the folks who helped with their research, and go with grey-green. Of course, as soon as I paint it someone will come along with the original painting documentation and show me the error of my ways! Interestingly, I've looked at as many Firebrand models on the net that I can find, and other builders seem to have the same dilemma. About half of them are grey-green, the other half black. If there is any rhyme or reason to it, the early Temperate Sea Scheme models are more likely to be grey-green, whilst the later EDSG over Sky models tend to be black. @72modeler - you mentioned that you have the version of this kit that has the later marking schemes. What colour is called out for the cockpit? Cheers, Bill PS. Still not sure about the color of the seat though....
  22. Wow, thanks for all the comments and advice. Despite urging from my fellow wizards, and my own intuition that the cockpit should be black, the 1948 pilot's notes photos clearly show a pit that is not black. I say this because the switch plates in the photo are black, and the cockpit walls are certainly much lighter. I'm going to go with Grey-Green, just like CMR say to. Note that the seat looks even lighter in this photo. CMR say to paint the seat red-brown, a la WWII Spitfires. Hmm. Maybe it's just a lighting effect, and the seat should also be green. I would expect a red-brown seat to look darker than the sidewalls. I'll pull up some B&W Spitfire seat photos and see if that's the case. Note also #25 in this photo, the handle. Not included with the kit, so I'll have to MacGyver one. Cheers, Bill
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