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Found 9 results

  1. A-72 Péronne Airfield on December 23, 1944 0715h - Checks completed ... starting engines It was in 2000 when I stumbled over this Monogram kit in my stash which I had long put off because I had no idea of how to make the rather big model more exciting. And to be exciting it deserved. I have liked the Marauder since my early days because it looks very smart, probably the smartest of all US medium and heavy bombers. Somehow I had the inspiration that this model would lend itself to electrification. The spacious bomb bay, the large engine nacelles and the easy access to the various points of illumination made it an ideal object for such an experiment. 0740h - Awaiting take-off clearance ... Target: Rail bridge at Eller, Germany I installed two electric circuits (1.5V for the engines - 3V for the lights) which are fed by two batteries in the bomb bay. The navigation lights, landing lights and both engines can be activated separately or in unison by the dorsal turret turning a switch in the rear fuselage. The model was built with only a few accessories like landing flaps, wheels, machine gun barrels, canopies and metal Pratt & Whitneys from Hi-Tech. These with the electric motors behind them - their shafts reaching through the engines - are heavy enough to hold the nose firmly down on the ground. In the end I was delighted that everything matched so well. 0850h - Passing over the Ardennes ... trying to avoid trouble Missouri Mule II was a B-26B-55-MA of the 9th Air Force's 596th BS, 397th BG ('Bridge Busters'), assigned to 1/Lt George W. Parker and crew. After relocating from Rivenhall to the continent X2-M completed at least 93 missions before it was lost in a take-off accident with a different crew on April 6, 1945. 1/Lt Parker is second from right I hope my pictures live up to the perfect shape of this plane. Cheers, Michael 1105h - Mission accomplished - we were lucky ... 10 group aircraft lost (3 to AA - 7 to fighters) REFERENCES MARTIN B-26B & C MARAUDER, PROFILE PUBLICATIONS NO.112, RAY WAGNER, LEATHERHEAD THE 9TH AIR FORCE IN WORLD WAR II, KENN C. RUST, FALLBROOK, 1970 B-26 MARAUDER AT WAR, ROGER A. FREEMAN, NEW YORK, 1977 B-26 MARAUDER, AIRCRAFT IN ACTION NO.50, STEVE BIRDSALL, CARROLLTON, 1981 B-26 MARAUDER UNITS OF THE EIGHTH AND NINTH AIR FORCES, OSPREY COMBAT AIRCRAFT 2, JERRY SCUTTS, LONDON, 1997 THE MARTIN B-26 MARAUDER, J.K. HAVENER, ST. PETERSBURG, 1998
  2. The final example of this year-long modelling journey is again a recent refurbishment of an old Monogram model which I built in 1984. It's the most radical upgrade that I have undertaken on any of my P-51 classics so far. U'VE HAD IT! P-51B-10-NA G4-H 42-106462 Capt John B. England 357th FG 362nd FS F-373 Leiston June 1944 "Hey dude, can't we move the cart any closer?" - A close-up of the fuel trailer here This was Johnny England's second P-51B in which he scored at least three of his impressive 17.5 confirmed victories making him the second-ranking ace in the 357th FG. He served two tours with the group, became 362nd Squadron CO and survived the war. When England received a P-51D in July 1944, G4-H was re-assigned as G4-Y and participated in the shuttle mission to Russia flown by Flt Lt Eric Wooley, an RAF exchange pilot. On 4th October the fighter's life ended when its tail broke off during a training flight with Lt Richard I. Potter. The tale of his hair-raising escape from the plunging wreck is told in Merle Olmsted's excellent history of the 357th FG. This source, however, offers a different cause for the demise of 42-106462 according to which it was salvaged from battle damage (and thus not involved in the accident?). Whatever the fate, one more distinguished Mustang disappeared from the roster. In order to restore and upgrade my original model I replaced many parts with aftermarket items, such as exhausts (Ultracast), windshield (Squadron), tailwheel (Tamiya) and housing (Quickboost), landing gear (SAC), wheels (Brassin), bomb racks (Tamiya) and 108 gal tanks (Monogram P-51D). In addition several PE parts were used for internal and external improvement. The biggest modification was to disembowel the fuselage, cut off the molded section behind the headrest and open the radiator exit in order to insert a revised cockpit left over from my group build Tamiya P-51C (see here). To my relief it slid in perfectly. Comparing the fuselage shapes of Monogram and Tamiya (in this case the Loon Models replica) underlines the remarkable workmanship of the Monogram kit released in 1967! U'VE HAD IT! during restoration compared with the finished fuselage of LUCKY LEAKY II (Tamiya / Loon Models) The half-painted Mustangs of the 357th FG sported one of the most attractive finishes in the Eighth Air Force, more so in combination with full invasion stripes*. As principal colours I took Tamiya TS-17 Gloss Aluminium and Tamiya XF-81 RAF Green with some pre-shading and lightly oversprayed with TS-2 Dark Green under a clear coat. The decals are A48-003 from AMDG which needed only very small corrections but due to the extremely thin carrier film demanded full concentration to avoid crumpling. A 'zebra-stripe' perspective... I hope you enjoyed this topic which now concludes my venture into P-51 modelling for a while. I will soon add these latest creations to my Eighth Air Force collection here. Thanks for visiting, Michael * A couple of considerations for the 357th FG aficionado: There have been different opinions about the origin of the half-paint scheme and the type of green used. Reference (2) claims that those Mustangs had been OD/NG before the colour was removed from the lower half. I don't think this is true. Serial numbers 42-106... were allocated to P-51B-10-NA's delivered in bare metal. The upper surfaces would have been painted upon arrival at the 357th FG (probably with RAF Dark Green). The picture w/o invasion stripes (as displayed above) supports my assumption: The demarcations running along the fuselage and wing roots are too sharp to be the result of stripping; the green colour is wrapped around the leading edge of the wing; and the tip of the code 'G4' that reaches into the camouflage has a silver background from masking, i.e. the black letters had been there before. It wouldn't make sense to first strip the B-models and then give D-models a full camouflage two months later. The half-paint job apparently was an interim solution for silver birds. The nose chequers, besides being a challenge to apply, present the bean (-er- square) counter with a puzzle that I haven't found discussed before. All my decal sheets for the 357th provided 20 squares all-around. A close look at photos however reveals that there were only 18 squares (16 in a few cases), in symmetrical or asymmetrical order. The latter separated the rows along the centreline of the nose resulting in a reversed sequence of colours on the opposite side. After some research I concluded that G4-H was chequered asymmetrically. Firstly, this is what ensued when I applied the squares according to the picture using a 6x6" standard and secondly, it is reflected by photos of G4-P JOAN, a contemporary P-51B, for which pictures of both sides exist. REFERENCES (1) TO WAR WITH THE YOXFORD BOYS, MERLE C. OLMSTED, HAMILTON, 2004 (2) MUSTANG ACES OF THE 357th FIGHTER GROUP, AIRCRAFT OF THE ACES 96, CHRIS BUCHOLTZ, OXFORD, 2010 (3) WWW.CEBUDANDERSON.COM/357FG.HTM (4) WWW.LITTLEFRIENDS.CO.UK
  3. While working on LUCKY LEAKY II for the P-51 group build here I used the opportunity to renovate some of the Mustang models that I built in the 1980s and 1990s. Now I'm delighted to present Capt Duane W. Beeson's 'BEE' in her new dress - P-51B-5-NA 4th FG 334th FS F-356 Debden April 1944 The Monogram kit was first released in 1967 I built BEE in 1988 and had been satisfied with my work for 15 years when, during a major P-51D restoration project, I decided to do something about her too. After a little while I realised that there was not much synergy between versions so I put her to rest, stripped of all accessories and markings. Now, a further 16 years later, the improvement act was completed. Retrieving the blank airframe I upgraded the cockpit and installed a canopy, wheels, exhausts and wing pylons from my aftermarket spares box. The propeller, landing gear and 75 gal drop tanks are enhanced original parts. The gun ports and radiator ramp have also been modified. Finally, markings from the AMD 48-213 decal sheet were applied on an entirely new camouflage. Duane Beeson achieved all of his Mustang victories in this aircraft and was eventually shot down in it by flak on April 5th, 1944 to become a POW. The shiny red nose had replaced the former white one just about a week earlier. I hope you enjoy this bit of nostalgia. Cheers, Michael REFERENCES (1) MUSTANG AT WAR, ROGER A. FREEMAN, LONDON, 1974 (2) NORTH AMERICAN P-51 & F-6 MUSTANG, CAMOUFLAGE & MARKINGS NO.16, ROGER A. FREEMAN, LONDON, 1974 (3) ACES OF THE EIGHTH, GENE B. STAFFORD / WILLIAM N. HESS, WARREN, 1977 (4) MUSTANG ACES OF THE EIGHTH AIR FORCE, AIRCRAFT OF THE ACES 1, JERRY SCUTTS, LONDON, 1994 (5) VIII FIGHTER COMMAND AT WAR, AIRCRAFT OF THE ACES 31, MICHAEL O'LEARY, BOTLEY, 2000 (6) P-51 MUSTANG UNITS OF THE EIGHTH AIR FORCE, USAAF COLOURS 4, ROGER FREEMAN, HERSHAM, 2003 (7) P-51 MUSTANG – DEVELOPMENT OF THE LONG-RANGE ESCORT FIGHTER, PAUL A. LUDWIG, HERSHAM, 2003 (8) 4TH FIGHTER GROUP IN WORLD WAR II, LARRY DAVIS, CARROLLTON, 20 (9) THE NORTH AMERICAN P-51 EARLY MUSTANG, AIRFRAMES & MINIATURE NO.6, RICHARD A. FRANKS, BEDFORD, 2013 (10) WWW.AMERICANAIRMUSEUM.COM/AIRCRAFT/13716
  4. February 16, 1945 marked the combat initiation of yet another Hellcat formation in the air war over Japan. USS Randolph had joined Task Force 58 with VF-12 and VBF-12 on board. Sixteen F6F-5s, led by VBF-12 CO Lt Cdr Pawka, attacked Chōshi Airfield. When they entered hostile airspace the approaching Hellcats were awaited... (read the opposition's account here). I first built this 1963 Monogram kit in the nineties more or less OOB with a few scratch upgrades. It is one of those toy-like Monogram creations that had a number of workable parts but lacked accuracy and detail. In 2015 it returned to the bench for a complete overhaul. The general dimensions are OK and the raised rivet detail looks more realistic than on later products - so why not try it? The most substantial modification is a Quickboost replacement cowling of which I used only the nose ring and the lower half to trim the width to the fuselage. Inside works a Verlinden P&W R-2800-10W that I had in storage. The propeller is a surplus Corsair unit the origin of which I forgot, and the gun barrels are from Quickboost again. Another area of major improvement is the undercarriage assembly. A wheel bay consisting of Aires resin and Eduard PE parts was inserted into the big Monogram emptiness after the outer wings had been removed. The undercarriage legs and tailwheel are white metal parts from Scale Aircraft Conversions, completed with wheels from CMK. The bomb racks are scratch-built. After reassembly of the wing I re-scribed the folding joint, the landing flaps and the gun access doors because Monogram's panel lines were 'a bit' off. The decals except stars-and-bars are home-made. The external tank was provided once more by Quickboost, and the 5 in. HVARs were taken from the Accurate Miniatures 9900 Armament Set. The cockpit, finally, is embellished with parts from an early Reheat PE set, which was one of the first I ever used when I built the original model in 1994, and is topped with a new Squadron vacuform canopy. The gunsight - you guessed it! - comes from Quickboost. Well, I suspect I used aftermarket parts of nearly all suppliers in the modelling universe to bring this model up to date. I hope my venture was not in vain. To finish the story, VBF-12 returned to their carrier also recording a success when LT Lou Menard destroyed a Ki-61 'Tony' which crashed in the water after he had fired a rocket at it. Thanks for your interest, Michael REFERENCES GRUMMAN F6F HELLCAT, FAMOUS AIRCRAFT OF THE WORLD NO.22, TOKYO, 1972 F6F HELLCAT, AIRCRAFT IN ACTION NO.36, JIM SULLIVAN, CARROLLTON, 1979 HELLCAT, DAVID A. ANDERTON, JANE'S, LONDON, 1981 U.S.NAVY CARRIER FIGHTERS OF WORLD WAR II, AERODATA INTERNATIONAL, CARROLLTON, 1987 F6F HELLCAT WALK AROUND, RICHARD DANN, CARROLLTON, 1996 HELLCAT ACES OF WORLD WAR 2, OSPREY AIRCRAFT OF THE ACES 10, BARRETT TILLMAN, LONDON, 1996 F6F HELLCAT AT WAR, CORY GRAFT, MINNEAPOLIS, 2009 GRUMMAN F6F HELLCAT, NAVAL FIGHTERS NO.92, CORWIN MEYER / STEVE GINTER, SIMI VALLEY, 2012 GRUMMAN F6F HELLCAT, WARPAINT SERIES NO.84, CHARLES STAFRACE, DENBIGH EAST More naval fighters? Visit my Corsair here
  5. Hi All, With the Gracious assent of our GB Host, I would like enter this kit This has been sitting in my stash since I started it for the carrier GB last year, but did not finish (barely started), so these Group builds are a Chance at redemption to finish a kit I plan to build mostly OOB with the addition of some resin seats. The markings will be as my topic post says, a F4J for VF-31, with the squadrons only MIG kill in Vietnam with the type - Markings by Superscale Decal Instructions Ever since my Dad had the older Revell model of a Brewster Buffalo with the "Felix the Cat' emblem, whether it be VF3 or VF 6 or VF 31, I have always wanted to build Aircraft with the Felix emblem - so here we go Sprue/parts shots The fuselage is still quite big for 1/48 scale Instructions Kit Decals - not used From Wiki - photo of a Tomcatters F4J USN F4J VF-31 Tomcatters Story (one of them) behind the MIG kill VF-31 Mig Kill More Soon, thanks for looking in Regards Alan
  6. Hi All, Had a look through all the Awesome Builds ready to start here on this Group Build, and I had been Umming and Argging about my Build Choice when the penny dropped There's no (yet) F4 Phantom build!! So it was decided I plan to build an F4J Phantom of VF 31 Tomcatters which (AFAIK) was the only F4 in VF 31 to score a MIG Kill in the Vietnam War. I Plan to build mostly OOB (no AMS on this one) but with Aftermarket Decals. The Kit It's old, but is really nice (to me any way) , some flash but nothing a sharp #11 blade won't handle. Box Art Sprues (She's a big kit even in 1/48) Instructions - Well laid out, typical of Monogram Kits I have built previous Kit Decals Aftermarket - SuperScale - I cannot verify the true accuracy, but in looking a a Colour Photo of a VF 31 Phantom in the link below, they look good IMHO Link to a VF 31 Phantom (Possibly the CAG's Bird) VF 31 Phantom Thanks for looking in, and looking forward to "Launching" this GB off the bow Regards Alan
  7. Here's my monogram Skyraider, purchased at the SMW kitswap in November and started pretty much straight away. Oob except for QB cannon barrels. I also hand painted the green trim. Far from my best build, but I quite like it. It certainly has presence... Regards Martin
  8. This is a 1/48 scale Monogram model of the sleek and missile-like F-104 Starfighter. Back in the mid to late 1950's when this astonishing interceptor-fighter first appeared, it certainly looked like a spacecraft from the future, ready to blast off to defend the planet from Ming the Merciless or anyone. It most definitely was my favorite jet fighter when I was a small kid ! Here, it's in a bit later F-104C form with a camo finish which generally succeeded it's initial gleaming silver form. Of course, the Starfighter also served with several air forces and had great capabilities at low-level as a powerful strike fighter. Edited to add a P.S. : After I accidentally broke off the Starfighter's nose pitot tube when taking some snapshots, I painstakingly fabricated a detailed custom one from specially-alloyed aluminum. Ummm, in other words, I cut a length from a paper clip and super-glued it on to act as a stand-in !
  9. Hi all, Not the best light here in the UK for photos... The model depicts an aircraft belonging to the 57th Fighter Weapons Wing, Detachment I, Luke AFB (circa 1975). The detachment was responsible for operational test and evaluation of F-15 weapons at both Luke and Nellis AFB (hence the LA tail code and 57th FWW markings). This aircraft, 73-0085, is typical of an early F-15A / B, in that it wears the short lived Air Superiority Blue scheme. Monogram F-15A Eagle (released in 1979)· Scratch work cockpit details, including Bay 5 ‘boxes’· Aires ESCAPAC seat· Re-scribed panel lines· Scratch built jet pipe interior· Eduard remove before flag tags· Scratch built intake covers · Xtracolour paint NOTE- Air Superiority Blue (X601 – Flanker Medium Blue)· Decals were from various sources – Microscale, Two Bobs, Afterburner… I decided to keep weathering to a minimum. I'll save that for the Ghost grey & Mod Eagle ones I have planned. Andrew
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