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  1. I had in mind a scratch build but with several GBs colliding I settled for something simpler. This will be my starting point: I bought it as it contained, as far as I could tell, the only Nieuport RFC markings readily available. I was mildly disappointed finding this inside today: No trace of Albert Ball. They must’ve put the wrong sheet in the box. No matter, it makes it fit this GB even better. The sheet has French cockades and enough serial numbers to allow puzzling together the serials of the Nieuports of the first official French ace, Jean Navarre, la sentinelle de Verdun. Navarre’s story has been told elsewhere - let’s just say it is the opposite of boring. He was young, aggressive, daring, even reckless, and made an impression on the air service and army and society at large - and on the Germans. When he didn’t get in trouble with the gendarmerie or borrow a plane to impress the ladies, he made his mark over the skies over Verdun. Donning ladies’ nylon undergarments instead of a flier’s cap, he painted his Nieuports in stark colours and performed aerobatics over the trenches. He figured, that he could at least cheer up the men below even of there were no foes to intimidate. Navarre flew several flashy Nieuport 11 and 16. I haven’t decided yet, but right now the plan is to built Navarre’s last Nieuport 16, N1130, in which he crashed and effectively ended his career as a fighter pilot. This plane was stark red, with a linen upper wing and camoflagued lower wing. Kit contents: In summary, the wings and fuselage are very nicely detailed, and the Prieur rockets are considerably better than Airfix’s take. Other parts are less refined, especially the crude landing gear which looks like 1960s Airfix. The cockpit is rudimentary - a seat and pedals, not even a stick. The Rhone 9J (9C for a Nieuport 12 - from a modelling perspective the only difference between the types is the engine and cowling) engine I will replace with a Roden spare. The Nieuport 11/16 is *small*, as illustrated with this wing comparison with an Eduard Nieuport 17/21. The 17 is not big to start with: The fuselage contains some details I’ll get rid off, especially the wind screen which I shall replace:
  2. Over the years I have built quite a few Emils - 2 Revell ones in I suppose the 1960's and at least 5 of the Airfix 1970's moulding but as I have my RLM78/79/80 paint out from my HobbyBoss G-2/Trop I though I would build another. This is a reboxing of the latest Airfix attempt which I believe dates back to around 2010 and I will be building it as a plane of 8/JG 27 in April 1941, hopefully OOB. I always thought the old 1970's version did not look too bad but I suppose this could be even better though no doubt there are going to be some errors somewhere as with most kits? Cheers Pete
  3. Hi Everyone, this is my latest build in my 1/72 Royal Australian Navy aircraft theme - a GAF Jindivik pilotless target aircraft. There's some good background information on the Jindivik on the RAN website here: https://www.navy.gov.au/aircraft/gaf-jindivik-pilotless-target-aircraft. The aircraft I'm looking to represent can be seen in the photo at the bottom of the page being shadowed by a Skyhawk. The model itself comes from High Planes Models https://www.hpmhobbies.com/high-planes-gaf-jindivik-drone-kit-1-72/ It's a mixed media kit, mostly injection moulded with some resin and white metal parts. I've made quite quick progress (compared to my usual builds) and so this first post covers a fait bit of the build. The plastic is a low-pressure mould and takes a fair bit of cleaning up But they do come up quite nicely after a bit of careful trimming and sanding. Here is a fuselage half mated with a wing. I chose to attach the wings before joining the fuselage due to the unusual moulded wing mount. You can see in the previous photo that the wing mount is recessed into the fuselage and I found it best to hollow out the mount, insert the wing and then reinforce it with some plastic strip. There's a bit of lead shot added in order to avoid being a tail sitter when on the launch trolley. Here's the wings, fuselage and tailplanes all assembled. I still need to fettle the air intake at the nose of the drone. There's a little bit of filling and sanding required but the fit is still pretty good. The version I intend to make has shortened wings with fuel tanks mounted outboard and so I needed to trim the wings with a razor saw. The fuel tanks required a little bit of thought. Each half of the fuel tanks has a cut out to allow them to be mounted fully over the wings. I chose to fill the outermost cut-out so that the tanks could simply slide over the wing tips. Here's a view of the fuel tank cutouts. I filled them with plastic strip followed by a bit of putty. And here's a look of current progress sitting atop the launch trolley. The intake still needs to be mounted and sanded. And lastly for today a close up of the completed launch trolley. The wheels and mount points are white metal and the main body plastic. I added a bit of "wiring" between boxes to add a little bit of interest. The Humbrol tinlet gives some idea of how tiny this kit is. Hopefully I'll finish construction and get some paint on soon.
  4. This Group Build, like most, has snuck up on me and left me the pleasant task of gathering a kit. I decided to try out Cyberhobby's 1/72 F6F-3. I think it debuted about the same time as the Eduard kit, and has gotten lost in its shadow. I've built two of the Eduard kits, and I'm curious about this one. The kit comes with the option to fold the wings, and I think I'll take advantage. I'm considering an early F6F-3 in tri-color scheme based on open source pics of James Flatley's 1943 Yorktown Air Group. I've decided to go with a 'Grumman Grey' facsimile, Vallejo FS 36300 Light Grey, as the main interior colour and Interior Green for the cockpit. The Cyberhobby engine is very nice and comes with a complex exhaust system and auxiliaries. I went to a lot of trouble to paint this tank (extinguisher?) only to realize it's going to be hidden by the seat, so this is its debut and its goodbye: Seat in place It's almost certainly the wrong colour, but adds a little variety anyway.
  5. "There is no other help for us, no stronger wall to ward off disaster, no city with its ramparts to hide inside, no other army to turn the flow of battle. Here on the plains of Troy are we, our backs to the sea facing the mail-clad Trojans, far from our native land. So in the strength of our own hands is our salvation, and there can be no surrender in this fight." -- Homer, The Iliad, XV (trans. A S Kline) "Only fully experienced pilots must come here. It is no place for beginners." --Hugh Pughe Lloyd, AOC Malta, to Arthur Tedder, 25 April 1942 "I thought my last minute had come and decided to sell my life dearly. I flew straight at the nearest machine with the intention of ramming it. I did not fire a shot, but the Macchi pilot, suddenly realising that his number might be up too, took violent evasive action, stalled, and crashed into the sea." -- Ioannis Agorastos "John" Plagis, on 11 May 1942 Born to Greek parents in Hartley in what was then Southern Rhodesia in 1919, Johnny Plagis was still a Greek citizen at the start of the Second World War, though he had lived in Rhodesia all his life, and it was under the birth nationality of his parents that he served in the RAF. Plagis went to Malta on 6 March 1942 off HMS Eagle with the first sixteen Spitfires sent to that beleaguered island. On 20 March 1942, Plagis's close friend and fellow Rhodesian, Pilot Officer "Douggie" Leggo, was shot down and killed by either the experte Hermann Neuhoff (who would himself be shot down by Canadian Hurricane pilot F/Sgt Garth Horricks DFM of 185 Squadron and taken captive on 10 May 1942), or Ernst Klager (taken prisoner on 3 July 1942 at El Alamein after being shot down on a frie jagd by a SAAF Kittyhawk Ia flown by Lt Sydney "Moose" Reinders). It appears that a 109 then either fired into Leggo as he dangled in his parachute, or deliberately or by accident (the attack took place at only 50 yards range) collapsed his parachute as it flew past him. Regardless of what had transpired, the results for the Luftwaffe were very nearly as catastrophic as the killing of Patroclus had been for the Trojans. In his diary that night, Plagis wrote "Swear to shoot down ten for Doug -- I will, too, if it takes me a lifetime." In fact, it took him only until 7 June, a little less than three months. Among those he shot down was the 13-claim ace Fw Hans Schade on 1 April, one of four aircraft he brought down that day. Plagis went on to be a Wing Commander in northwest Europe and flew Meteors with the RAF postwar, before returning to Rhodesia, where he involved himself in several deeply regrettable ventures, including a business partnership with Scientologist huckster L Ron Hubbard which ended when the latter was expelled from Rhodesia, and more seriously, Ian Smith's Rhodesian Front. In 1974, apparently unable to adjust to civilian life, Plagis died by suicide. He was married and had four children, but in the tumult of Rhodesia's subsequent collapse and reformation as Zimbabwe, they seem to have not surfaced anywhere to provide a more comprehensive biography of his life. In what is now Harare, a street is still named John Plagis Avenue after him. So not a very happy story behind the model we'll be building today, which is why my leading quote for this build, is perhaps apropos: Telamonian Ajax defended the Greek ships from the assault of Hector and the Trojans almost single-handedly, but was bested by Odysseus in a contest of skill with the armour of Great Achilles as a prize. Ovid writes in Metamorphoses that Ajax, "who so often when alone, stood firm against great Hector and the sword, and flames and Jove, stood not against a single passion, wrath. The unconquerable was conquered by his grief. He drew his sword, and said...'I must use this against myself...lest any man but Ajax vanquish Ajax.'" As for the kit, it's of course the new Airfix Spitfire Vc, which I'm pretty excited about. I'm planning on using the DK Decals Aces of Malta sheet, which has markings for GL-J/BR321, which Plagis apparently flew after transferring to 249 Squadron in June of 1942. Naturally I can't find any photos of it in Cauchi's Malta Spitfire Vs, so if you have or know of one, I'd appreciate it!
  6. Next up I will have a shot at this. I believe this is a re-boxing of the old Heller kit released in about 1990. I will be doing it as a "Defence of the Reich" machine in late war colours I suspect - still researching that. When the Heller kit(s) came out - I say kit(s) as Graham Boak mentioned 2 versions as I recall - it was considered pretty good though by now there may be some question as to how accurate it is and I have seen suggestions that either Hartmann never flew a K, or if he did it was not in the kit scheme. Cheers Pete
  7. Joining you with the recent Airfix Beaufighter. A 2015 purchase direct from Airfix. Parts, to which a lot of interior green has just been applied. Planning to build this option. And my only previous Beaufighter, this Matchbox model, built 1987.
  8. Joining you with the recent Airfix Beaufort. A lockdown purchase from my local model shop. Parts, to which a lot of interior green has just been applied. Planning to build this option. And my only previous Beaufort, this Encore model, built 1994.
  9. I am in the middle of a project I am calling "Hawker Hurricanes around the world." I've divided this project into three phases. In phase one I modeled one Hawker Hurricane in markings from each of Australia, North America, South America, Europe, Africa, and Asia. I am now into phase two, which is to model Hurricanes in the markings of every other Allied nation that flew them, except for the RAF and those that wore RAF markings (e.g., Canada and New Zealand). Here is the WIP: As part of phase two I am modeling a Free French Hawker Hurricane, and I put off starting it until this week so that I could join my first Group Build! I went back and forth between whether this would be an Mk I or an Mk IIb, but have settled on BG707, an Mk IIb. I will be using this Fly kit. There is some controversy over the camo scheme and markings this Hurc is wearing, but I intend to use the standard dark earth/middle stone over azure blue, and will figure out the markings later!
  10. Good evening everyone. The de Havilland Sea Vixen is an aircraft of singular appearance is it not? You notice it. The sweep and curve of its geometry. Formed not only from the requirements of naval aviation but (covertly, one suspects) from those1950s fantasies about how fast and silver a technological future would look. It was the kind of aircraft Captain Scarlet would have trained on and was capable, if required, of protecting the Earth from UFO invasion. At least I think so. I'm going to build two of them partly for the aforementioned reasons, and partly as a way of celebrating the friendship and generosity to be found on this forum. (More on that in a bit.) For now though, posting this in full view means there's no bottling out. Choice of Subject Having wanted to build one these for a long while, I'd been collecting various bits and pieces and images without (as often happens) a definite subject in mind. Always liking a build to be rooted in a meaningful narrative of some kind, I was leafing through some of the entries in the Dorset Crashes site and noted that a FAW.1 (XN708, from 890 Sqn) had gone down in Lyme Bay on the night of 25th November, 1964, killing both crew: Lt Michael J.W. Durrant RN. & Lt Basil A.Last RN. We can sometimes be guilty of building things only to celebrate the notable or the heroic in conflict; in this case it seemed fitting to build something to note those who end uncelebrated in the footnotes of history as peacetime or training casualties. This is the only clearly identifiable shot I've found so far of XN708/R244, original date of photo unknown: Image credit: Imgaylard Brian Patterson has an excellent colour gallery of a sister aircraft here though that will doubtless prove highly useful as references. For the second choice, I'm (as frequently the case in matters of naval aviation) indebted to @Ex-FAAWAFU for drawing to my attention the powerful, nay provocative, black & white diagonal scheme of XJ481 when undertaking Martel trials: Image credit: Roger Winser This has not only the challenge of building a replacement nose to incorporate that camera housing and a Martel to scratch up (I knows there's a 1/72 resin one out there but think the fins are too thick) but a snazzy 'dazzle paint' work to do also, for which @Terry1954 has also kindly supplied some colour references. The Kits I'm going to modify both the venerable 1/72 Frog offering and use the High Planes kit, which has a FAW.1 option. I'd mentioned above that this build was in part a celebration of the generosity no be found on this forum. Let me start by detailing such matters here: The High Planes kit was sent to me some time ago by @Procopius. How gracious is that? Thank-you Edward for this kindness. As a young shaver on the forum, not long after joining I'd mused aloud in a thread about the absence of FAW.1s in 1/72 and been overwhelmed by a (characteristically) generous influx of references and diagrams from both @71chally and @canberra kid regarding the feasibility of modifying the Frog kit. The fruits of these discussions are posted here and I must reread them myself prior to commencing any work in this direction! If you've had a look at Brian Patterson's colour shots above you'll notice prominent in one of them is a Palouste starter. I never used to know about these until seeing @perdu resinate superb examples in his Buccaneer build. Not only that but again without saying anything he'd tucked some of his output away in a package he sent and so I'll be proud to use one of his Paloustes in this project. Thanks Bill! The High Planes kit first: As it says on the box: In fairness I see 'adjustment of parts required' on every kit I buy.... I haven't looked closely-enough at the canopy yet to make any decisions regarding suitablility: Some replacement Aries wheels (I'd forgotten I'd bought them) to replace the originals: The Frog File: Check out the crazy patterning all over the plastic. Weird.... That nose: Subject of much discussion with John and James on the original thread, as might be imagined.... How to '1 a '2: Picked this up dirt cheap of 5thletter bay many moons ago. Think that resin is the 'Final Touch' set (?) but no idea about the white metal provenance. Wheels and legs don't impress: The Airwaves stuff was in the Frog box when I bought it, honest guv: Vaguely possible one or two of those bits may prove of use but certainly not the grotty wingfold. Here's what's really going to offset a diorama - a beautifully perduced Palouste: The markings on both aircraft will be painted rather than decals, but thankfully I've the Model Alliance decal set for the Ark's air wing that I can snaffle the moonlit witches from for the 890 Sqn Vixen: I'm aware of multiple issues with correcting the Frog to a FAW.1, but the High Planes I believe is to be generally trusted in shape terms? (Please correct me if wrong on the latter point). There will of course need to be a wingfold involved somewhere but this has given me a pause for thought: the colour scheme of the Martel-tester is so good that the wings on that one will have to be fully extended to display this handsome plumage, so XN708 will be the one to get the folding treatment, though which kit do do which with (if you see what I mean)? The Frog is moulded with the break in the wings where the fold is so a natural candidate, yet one with such problems in its nose area that this really makes it a better candidate for (the unfolded) XJ481 viz. a totally new and angular schnozz. I'm sure that the High Planes kit can be 'persuaded' to fold so: High Planes = XN708/Palouste (wingfolded) Frog = XJ481/Martel (non-folded) Nearly forgot. XN708 will have the RR Avons visible. So I'll be building 1/72 Avons as well.... References As standard for me, along with contemporary photographs, will be working from original technical documentation, namely several thousand pages of these: I've all 4 volumes of the above, plus: - for the engine build. As the technical manuals are obviously for the FAW.2, help with that handful of specific differences such as canopy etc comes in the form of relevant sections from the FAW.1 manuals generously provided previously by John (@canberra kid). Who else? I'm hoping to have the current Anson build finished by the Autumn so if you've nothing planned for those long winter evenings you'd be very welcome to pull up a Palouste and keep me company here. Thanks for reading, as always. Tony
  11. Sometime in the 1990's I think, I acquired this kit of the Mitsubishi A5M "Claude". It could be by Nichimo but I suspect it is the Fujimi version. I had read that the JNAF put a coat of protective laquer on their carrier aircraft which turned the light grey a brownish colour and the "metal finish" a sort of gold/bronze, though I gather this is now a bit suspect but I tried to replicate it, though smoke from my pipe over the years has also darkened and yellowed it a bit too. At the time I wanted to get a Ki-27 to go with it but the only one available was from Hasegawa and therefore a bit expensive so I did not bother. However ICM released one in about 2007 and I did buy that. I cannot be sure exactly how much I paid but even now they are selling for only £10.80 and I suspect that like my I-16 purchased a few years later it probably cost around £7 so is eligible for this GB. I was hesitant to build it before because like the I-16 it looked a bit complicated up front and the instructions were rather vague, but having just managed the I-16 without major problems I thought I would give it a go. It comes with 4 optional colour schemes/markings, three in light grey overall and one in the camo used in China - 2 greens and a brown on the uppers, but more of that later. It looks to be a fairly quick build except for the considerable amount of detail in and around the engine compartment and like the I-16 little of any of that will be visible so I may cheat this time - we will see. Cheers Pete
  12. Given my current workload I might be pushing my luck but I may be able to slip in one or two more builds. I guess I first started building aircraft kits in around 1956 and for the next few years I built virtually everything Airfix released including their Yak-9D in 1963 and their Il-2 in 1964. By about that time Revell had started issuing some interesting kits also, so I built their I-16 too, but at that point my WWII Russian aircraft building ground to a halt as there was nothing else about for several years unless you count the Airfix P-39Q with optional Russian markings - I built it with US Stars and Bars. Much later, probably about 15 years ago in fact, I picked up the Emhar Lagg-3, Mig -3 and Yak-3, and about 3 or 4 years ago I finally got round to building them together with a replacement Airfix Yak-9D, all my originals having been scrapped I think. 12 years ago I picked up a few more Russian aircraft, the Airfix Pe-2 and another Il-2, the HobbyBoss P-39N with Russian markings which I built earlier in this GB, the AModel La-5FN and this. I have looked up the invoice and it seems it cost me £6.50 in September 2010 from Hannants! It can be built as the type 18, 24 or 28, the main differences being the armament of which more another day. The I-16 first seems to have come to the notice of the Western airforces during the Spanish Civil War when it acquired the nickname of "Rata" or Rat, and although rather small and crude it was perhaps the first low wing monoplane fighter wih a retractable undercarriage anywhere in the world when it first flew at the end of 1933. It was of course obsolete by the start of Operation Barbarossa but still made up the bulk of the fighter force in Russia, and large numbers were either shot down or destroyed on the ground. As you can see there are not many parts and I intend to build it pretty much OOB (how many times have I said that before) - the only complicated part seems to be the front end where ICM have gone somewhat overboard on the engine detail and the cowling looks like it could be problematic - we will see in due course! I have one of their Ki-29 Nate kits and it looks just as complicated if not more so as the MG were apparently inside the lower half of the cowling, so perhaps they expect you to leave at least part of the cowling off which could spell trouble - fortunately I have plenty of filler! Looks like I almost made a start on it several years ago as I have painted the lower centre section in AII blue, but that is as far as I got. In spite of the fact it can in theory be bult in one of 3 versions, the only scheme shown is for a plane of the 72 SAP - Northern Fleet Air Force in summer 1941 though for some reason the decal sheet includes no less than 14 red stars in 2 different types - with and without black outlines - most odd! However I note Hannants are still selling 3 ICM I-16 kits - a type 18, type 24 (this kit) and a type 28 and it is still just under a tenner. I would guess that the sprues are identical and just the decs are different. More if and when I start. Pete
  13. So...as I really wish to complete something in this group build, I have decided to have a crack at a 1/72 Tamiya build. What could possibly be a better mojo restorer? Started the build with the cockpit. All goes together very well in a slightly unusual fashion. Gunze Aqueous RLM66 used for cockpit colour Mr Softner used to settle down the nice (but thickish) instrument panel decal. Fuselage closed up. Cowling panels added, with a small amount of smoothing require where the machine gun piece meets the side cowling pieces. The floor/seat assembly gets fitted later in the construction, so I have time to decide whether to use the decal harness provided or find an aftermarket substitution. I am yet to decide on an open or closed canopy ( I usually opt for closed for general aesthetic reasons ), nor have I settled on a scheme as the Hungarian markings that I have don't have the correct size upper wing crosses. I don't fancy the two schemes available in the boxing so have scoured the stash to find another option. Some that I could do are of the Trop variety so I sourced the filter from an AZ Joypack that is in the stash. It will fit okay if required. I am already motivated to press on, which is a good thing. Thanks for looking.
  14. Hello forum, About to start on my next 1/72 Airfix Dogfight Double Midway F4F-4 following my Fw-190/Hawker Typhoon build linked below. Given Johnny's @The Spadgent's build of the same kit, along with Detail and Scale's review, I am looking forward to a straight forward where effort will be spent on the engine, wheel well intercoolers, Photo etch cockpit & working on getting the colors correct. @giemme's builds always inspire me to push on some of the overlooked details on excellent kits like Airfix's F4F-4. Unlike Johnny, I am going to do this with the wing's extended. For reference, I am using @Dana Bell's F4F Wildcat, Aircraft Pictorial #4 book, Detail and Scale's F4F Wildcat (E-Book), Detail and Scale's US Navy Carrier Based Aircraft of WW2 (e-book), WW2 In Review No 30 Wildcat (e-book), F4F Wildcat vs Zero Sen (Edward M Young-e-book) and this website I found useful https://www.angelfire.com/dc/jinxx1/Wildcat/F4F_pt1.html . Given the overall quality of Airfix's decals and research on previous Dogfight Double's I have built, I decided to build LCDR Thatch's aircraft with their markings. Additionally, I noted in Airfix's instructions that Starfighter decals assisted with developing the markings so I feel good about their accuracy--I have always been impressed with their products. About the only error I can find, and it seems to be common with all Airfix Wildcats, is most F4F-4's carried Curtiss Electric propellors and not Hamilton Standards, so the propellor stencils will need to be modified. In this scale I have decided to just use the technical stencils on the cuff & cut off the red Hamilton Standard oval--I purchased Yellow Wing's 1/72 manufacturer propellor logos so I might use the Curtiss Electric Seal--that said, I think photographic evidence in @Dana Bell's book points to no manufacturer seals on Midway Wildcat propellors. I have read that Thatch's aircraft is pictured below prior to the Battle of Midway--a great resource that I will use on the build. My 1st order of business is to figure out what colors to use for the project. I initially purchased Colorcoates as I trust their research and have heard nothing but good things about them. However, since I plan on thinning the paints I like to use the manufacturer's proprietary so I can save unused paints/avoid complications--it has been next to impossible for me to get their thinner, so I decided to use the lids as paint chips to compare other manufactures against. (I am very impressed with the research put into Colorcoates and will use them in the future when I get thinner--I also understand they paint the lids with the actual color in the tin). I decided to give AK Real Colors a try based off one of @billn53's builds, Gunze, AK Acrylic (Bronze Green) and Tamiya (experiment with XF-5 for cockpit bronze green only) and Vallejo (cockpit bronze green). A quick eyeball check against Colorcoats and @Dana Bell's book convinced me to use AK Real Colors Bronze green for the cockpit. I am thinking that AK's Blue Grey and Light Grey will work for the exterior, but I am still going back and forth with Gunze's near matches--I know this is very unscientific eyeballing, but I think it will hit the mark. For the elusive Grumman Grey Primer, I am going to trust at Eduard's Hellcat instructions juxtaposed with Detail and Scale's Hellcat book and go with Mission Model's Light Gull Grey. Paint swatches I created against light grey are pictured below: All comments are welcome--including those that think my color interpretation needs improvement. Also, please do not hesitate to add to my Wildcat knowledge if my research is off--I am always amazed at the bench of historical and craftsman knowledge on this site. Best to all, Erwin
  15. So hopefully this will be a fairly short KUTA build. I originally started it back in the "Journey's End" GB - build thread can be found here. Since it's last outing the window masks went on and it got a coat of Alclad II Black Primer (or maybe it was Vallejo, it's a long time since I did it). At that point she was left to gather dust for some time. So after rescue it's been given a coat of Alclad II Gloss Black Base, but unfortunately this didn't come out as expected... As can hopefully be seen - there's a lot of texturing, now I'm not entirely sure what went on there - failure to clean the surface and it being dust and crud? The primer being textured (and the gloss just highlighting it)? Bad airbrushing technique/paint - I've, as always, been having issues with my airbrush and I wonder if it's being 'splatty' rather than a fine mist? Or an issue with the paint being a bit thick (maybe I could have thinned with self levelling thinner)? It's probably a combination of issues though. Once it dried - I tried in spots to remove the texture by giving it a going over with some fine sanding sponge (2000 grit) but it didn't seem to work well (just dulled the paint). I'll dull coat it once finished, so I'm hopeful that will hide a multitude of sins! Anyhow on with the decals - which seemed to conform well (both the aftermarket nose art and numbers and kit ones), though the aftermarket ones had red stripes to go around the engine cowlings but they weren't long enough to go all the way around (I'm not sure if there should be a break somewhere, there was scant info), so I've painted those on - need a little tidy up. I used the kit supplied USAF identification and walkway(?) markings - though these did rip a few times but I managed to get them pretty much lined back together. I have to say though they appear somewhat out of scale - I can't imagine they'd be painted about a foot wide on the actual aircraft! Once the decals were conformed with decal solvent, I've given them a quick going over with some heavily thinned Vallejo gloss varnish with a brush (to hopefully stop them silvering with the flat clear coat which will be next).
  16. I'm embarking on a project with the goal of representing a Hawker Hurricane in the markings of each Allied country that did not use more-or-less standard UK markings. First stage of this goal will be to represent a Hurricane with markings from every continent. Probably as follows: Africa: Egypt; Asia: Iran; Australia; Europe: Yugoslavia; North America: USA (actually RN plane, but US markings in Operation Torch); South America: Argentina. Second stage will be to complete the rest (mostly other European markings--e.g., Soviet Union, Finland, Belgium, Netherlands, Portugal, Romania, Turkey, Poland, Ireland). I am excluding the UK, Canada, South Africa, India, New Zealand, and even Greece and Norway (which seem to have only flown aircraft with RAF markings, but I would love to be corrected); as well as Germany, Italy, and Japan (which did fly captured versions). Along the way, I will be building most types and many different kit brands, although I have no particular goals in this regard. I will post a photo of all my kits once I get them. Since this is an ambitious goal given the pace at which I build models, they will almost all be OOB and there will be minimal weathering and other detailing. The point will be have fun and produce interesting Hurricanes!
  17. Hi! I've been idle for months now, but I'd love to get back to our hobby.... I'd like to join with this entry; Thanks for looking
  18. I bought these two ”Limited edition” (if 500 is limited I wonder how many the unlimited editions are) on a whim as I liked the boxart: I built one AZ Messerschmitt previously and having found that they come together so easily I decided to build both in parallel to save some on airbrush cleaning. One of the kits is an all Marseille boxing, containing decals for four aircraft - I believe I’ll go with the bottom one: The other contains some interesting schemes but I don’t feel like doing mottles right now and will go with the shown splinter scheme. I also found some AM toys I must’ve bought at some point: That’s it. I know very little about these machines and will build them as the instructions tell me. Hopefully they’re good. My only issue is that the instructions don’t tell me which colours to use - they give RLM codes for the internals and common colours, but not the camo colours
  19. I came across an interesting paper project in a book I was reading last week on German supersonic research. Apparently In 1943 the RLM asked Messerschmitt if a single jet engined me 109 was feasible, some discussion must have taken place but Messerschmitt chose not to pursue it favouring the P1101 instead. Focke Wulf pursued the idea as the Project I but it was eventually canned as the Technisce Amt didn’t think the concept was practical, ironically the Soviets used it in the Yak 15. So basically a 109G6 with a 262 nacelle ( I happen to have two in the spares box) a new nose and wing centre section. As it would have been a 1943/44 project I’ll base it in a Hasegaea G6. More to follow.
  20. I'm planning on building an in-flight model of G-AHFL "Boojum", one of two Walruses that were operated from the S.S. Balaena as whale-spotters during the 1946-7 southern whaling season. I was inspired to this build by a set of JBOT decals I bought, with the original intention of modelling G-AJNO of Scottish Airlines. But the sheet included markings for G-AHFL, which introduced me to the "whaling Walruses" G-AHFL "Boojum", G-AHFM "Moby Dick" and G-AHFO "Snark", which seemed like more interesting subjects for a model. Only Boojum and Snark sailed on the Balaena--Moby Dick was left in South Africa. (One can see why, with a name like that, they decided they didn't want to take it on a whaling voyage.) A sister aircraft, G-AHFN, ended up flying in the Folkstone Trophy Race. There are a reasonable number of reference photographs of the four aircraft. As a flying model, I need a rotating prop, so I printed up two propeller discs to depict the Walrus's "four blades in two planes" propeller, and mocked up the propeller boss from styrene tubing. I moved some of the kits interior detail around and did some scratch building to depict a pilot and navigator/observer. I didn't spend a lot of time on this, since the interior will be minimally visible. I also opened up the two side windows in the kit fuselage and "glazed" them with some slivers of overhead projector transparency. There's also a neodymium magnet strategically placed to allow the final model to lift off and on a stand without any sort of visible slot in the underside. I've made the necessary magnetic support out of another magnet surrounded by plastic card and epoxy, but haven't yet decided on the detail of the stand itself. Here's the rather unedifying underside of that object: The main scratch-building challenge for this one is the grab-rail around the nose. I drilled out the fuselage halves and inserted lengths of 0.5mm brass rod as the rail supports, in positions judged from photos and diagrams. The bulge on the side of the nose (a thermometer housing, apparently) needs to be removed--it was only present on the port side of this aircraft. I'll also fashion a little fairing in front of the side window, which the kit depicts on the port side but for some reason omits on the starboard. Here's the finished grab-rail, and some styrene strip added to the rear fuselage for the rails on which the rear hatch slides: The kit depicts the rear hatch in the retracted, open position. I want it closed, so I split the kit part and flattened it out, and added a little styrene sheet to its forward edge to suggest its real shape. I also opened up the small windows in the hatch cover, replacing the frames with styrene strip. And you'll see that starboard thermometer housing has gone, though I still need to make the fairing in front of the window. So far so good, then. But I will need to scratch build a rear wheel and extended oleo, because the kit includes only a version with a compressed oleo and the standard rudder fairing around the wheel. This is also my first venture into rigging a biplane, so there's that to look forward to, too. And I'm going to need to do some work on JBOT's decals. Despite being my inspiration for this build, they have a few shortcomings. There's only one set of large letters, and the aircraft needs two, for the upper and lower surfaces of the wings. The decal sheet gives a choice of black or a strange dark green for the fuselage letters. This aircraft is often depicted with (rather brighter) green lettering on its yellow surfaces, but I don't know the origin of that--I've only ever seen black-and-white photographs--so I need to come to a decision about what colour of lettering I want. And there's a problem with the lettering on the nose of the aircraft, which should (among other things) read "Ex S.S. Balaena" in flowing script. The JBOT decal sheet looks awfully like it reads "F.F. Balarna". The writing is almost certainly too small for anyone to notice ... except now I've noticed it, dammit.
  21. So the second of my bookends a G series converted to a Buchon the last 109 variant to be manufactured as late as 1954. Haven’t decided on my intended victim yet, it’ll either be an italeri or a Hasegawa G-6 or possibly a mistercraft G2 or if they turn up a KP S199 which are in the post. More to follow.
  22. Many years ago I built a couple of the Airfix 109 G-6 kits which were released in the mid 1960's and thought they were not bad. When I saw that they had released a new mould in I think 2009 I bought a couple but they are strange. In some respects they look like upgraded versions of the old mould though the detailing and panel lines are better. They have included a modified pilot seat, but there is no other cockpit detail which is most odd given the date of release - even the old Emil had a cockpit floor, stick and IP! Oh, well, not hard to improve that but you have to wonder what they were thinking. There are two canopies - "Standard" and "Erma/Galland" and decs for Luftwaffe, Italian and Finnish versions. I have "borrowed" the underwing rocket launchers for other builds so these will either be clean or have gondola mounted cannon. I don't know if I will build both of them, but at the very least I will probably go for a late "Defence of the Reich" version. Cheers Pete
  23. I've wanted to build Bf 109 G-2, W.Nr 10639 - Black 6 since I read Russ Snadden's book in 1993. Naturally I'm re-reading it again ! Captured by the Australians in 1942 (yes, I agree it should be in 'the Land Down Under') and generally test flown, displayed and mistreated by the RAF until Russ Snadden and his team took it in hand in 1972 and restored it. If you want to know more about the fascinating back story, read: I'm lucky to be old enough (?) to have seen it flying in 1997 at Duxford, (Flying Legends in July I think, I didn't write the date on the photo packet); (diorama idea?) I also count myself lucky not to have been there on Sunday October 12th 1997 when it last flew! So, to work! Another FineMolds offering, which should make life easy; Sprues, and some add ons; The fuselage will need some tiny alterations as Black 6 was built as a G-2 from an F-3 fuselage. More aftermarket, AND the all important Dave's Decals; (Oops, included the Yahu i/p and Rob Taurus canopy again). Hope to make a start this weekend. Cheers,
  24. Hello Here are a couple of 1/72 Grumman Hellcats from Italeri. This is not the best kit of this aircraft but I bought some of them when the price was very cheap. First is the F6F-5 of VBF-20 CO's aircraft in 1946. The decals came from the Blackbird BMD72012 sheet. Next is an F6F-5K from VU-1 with many colours on. When the decals were in place I discovered a nice picture of this aircraft and I saw that the wing tips were deeper. I could not modified the kit. Decals came from an old Hasegawa box. I started building both kits last year and this is the reason why I did not insert them in the Hellcat GB. Patrick
  25. The Curtiss Hawk 75 saw wider use than just about any other fighter in World War Two, various models of the Hawk 75 being flown in a dozen air forces, and employed on both sides of the conflict. The type was still in service with one squadron of England's Royal Air Force in Burma throughout 1943. During the 1930s the Curtiss company had sold many of its Hawk biplane fighters overseas, and managed to do the same with its new modern Hawk 75 all-metal monoplane fighter. When the U. S. Army Air Corps had taken up the Hawk 75 as the P-36 in 1937, the Army required Curtiss to deliver machines powered by fourteen cylinder Pratt-Whitney Twin Wasp radial engines. When France placed substantial contracts with Curtiss for the Hawk 75 in 1938, machines powered by the Twin-Wasp were delivered, though this engine, which seldom could be made to deliver its designed horsepower, had proved far from satisfactory in U.S.A.A.C. service. On later Hawk 75 export contracts, Curtiss replaced the Twin-Wasp with its own radial, the nine cylinder Curtiss-Wright Cyclone. While this engine had its own problems, mostly involving lubrication, it developed more horsepower than the Twin Wasp, and so offered improved performance. Hawk 75s with Cyclone engines built to fill later French orders were, after the fall of France in May, 1940, delivered to England and the Royal Air Force, along with some tag-end examples of the earlier Twin Wasp models. The Hawk 75 was dubbed 'Mohawk' in English service, and the Cyclone powered version was known as the Mohawk Mk IV. This was armed with six .30" machine-guns, two synchronized and four carried in the wings, in contrast to the original armament of the U.S. Army P-36, which mounted only two synchronized machine-guns, one .30" and one .50". The Royal Air Force considered its Mohawks unsuitable for first line squadrons, but soon decided they were adequate to replace or supplement obsolescent equipment overseas. In the summer of 1941, about 80 Mohawk IVs were sent to the South African Air Force, for use against Italian forces still in Ethiopia. With the growing possibility hostilities might break out in the Far East, a similar number of crated Mohawk IVs were shipped to India, where the RAF had practically no modern equipment at all. These arrived in October of 1941, and once the Japanese had attacked Pearl Harbor and Malaya, and invaded Burma, getting Mohawk IVs in India into service took on critical importance. No. 5 Squadron, an old 'India' unit that had operated biplanes on the Northwest Frontier since the end of World War One, became operational with the Mohawk IV in March of 1942, and was for some months the only squadron flying modern fighters in India. A new squadron, No. 155, was formed in April at Peshewar, but not until late July did this unit begin receiving the newly assembled Mohawk IVs it was to fly. No. 155 squadron was fully equipped and trained by October, and went into action at the end of that month, flying from Calcutta to attack a Japanese airfield at Shwebo, on the Irrawadi River in Burma. In November, both Mohawk squadrons were brigaded together in 167 Wing, based initially at Argatala in Bengal, to fly in support of Gen. Irwin's December offensive into the Arakan coastal region of Burma. By now the Hawker Hurricane had reached India in some quantity, and the two Mohawk squadrons were mostly employed as fighter bombers and bomber escorts, though on occassion they were pressed into service as interceptors to defend their own airfields, and sometimes even flew together as a Wing on offensive patrols. In the course of these duties, pilots found the Mohawk IV was able to match turns in a dogfight with the Japanese Army's especially nimble Type 1 'Oscar' fighter, something the Hurricane could not do. When employed as a fighter bomber to attack airfields and troops and transport, the Mohawk IV usually carried only a light fragmentation bombs beneath their wings. The Curtiss engineers had not anticipated the Hawk 75 being used on such duties, and the wings of the lightly constructed airframe were doing about all they could to bear the weight of their machine-guns and ammunition. At the end of January, 1943, the two Mohawk squadrons separated. No. 5 remained engaged over the Arakan, meeting little aerial opposition, and was re-equipped with the Hurricane Mk IID fighter-bomber in May. No. 155 was dispatched north to Imphal to support the first offensive of Gen. Wingate's 'Chindit' columns, which depended on air support for both 'artillery' and supplies. As the 'Chindit' columns began retiring in April, the squadron had to defend its airfield against heavy attack by Japanese Army twin-engined bombers. In June, No. 155 Sqdn, now the sole unit flying the Mohawk IV, returned to Argatala. The Arakan offensive had been repulsed by the Japanese, but a renewal was intended. 155 Sqdn frequently flew south to attack Japanese troops and transport on the Chindwin River, a major artery for Japanese supplies. In September, the squadron returned north to Imphal, where it was similarly employed against more northerly stretches of the Chindwin, while English preparations for the second drive into the Arakan region continued. 155 Sqdn met very little opposition in the air from the Japanese Army while conducting these operations. Early in January, 1944, 155 Squadron relenquished its Mohawk IVs, and was re-equipped with Mk VIII Spitfires. This model represents a late service Mohawk IV of 155 Squadron, serial BS798, with the identity letter 'B'. It was photographed in flight during August, 1943, while 155 Sqdn operated from Argatala. Very likely it remained in service with the squadron till the end of the Mohawk's service career. Mohawk IV BS798 'B' certainly was still in service with 155 Sqdn during November, for it took part in the last aerial engagement in which the Mohawk IV fought Japanese Army aircraft. When a Japanese Army Type 0 reconnaissance plane flew over the airstrip at Imphal on November 9, 1943, it was the first time in some weeks 155 Squadron pilots had seen Japanese aircraft aloft. Two Mohawks took off to engage, but were easily outpaced by the speedy twin-engine Japanese machine. Around noon, seventeen twin-engine Type 97 bombers, with a half dozen Type 1 fighters escorting, attacked the Imphal strip. Flying Officer Harry Bishop clambered into the cockpit of BS798 'B', and with several others took off in the wake of the destructive raid. The 155 Sqdn pilots caught up to the Japanese formation on its way back home. The escort, from 50th Sentai, held the Mohawks off from the bombers, and in the melee, a Type 1 fighter fastened onto Fl/Of Bishop's tail. Fl/Of Tony Dunford, in another Mohawk, saw Bishop's plight, and shot the Japanese fighter down. Bishop observed it to crash and explode, killing its pilot, Cpl Kitaoka. The Mohawk IV in India offers several choices of interest to a modeller. I was initially drawn to doing a Mohawk IV of No. 5 Squadron, because of its long association with India (among my 'get to it someday' projects is a No. 5 Sqdn Bristol Fighter operating in 1925 against the Mahsuds in 'Pink's War'). That the Mohawk IVs of 5 Sqdn were for a time the only modern fighters in India made an early service example an attractive prospect. Learning the Mohawk IV had soldiered on so long as it had, long enough to bear the 'no red' SEAC national markings, drew my interest to a later service example, and tipped the balance towards a 155 Squadron Mohawk IV for a subject. The photographic evidence for 155 Sqdn is better, and shows a photograph is necessary. The picture which shows BS798 'B' so clearly among several other Mohawks shows variation in their roundels and even in their camouflage patterns. An additional factor favoring 155 Sqdn over 5 Sqdn for a late service subject is that in the latter unit, personal markings were common, and not all are recorded usefully, while this does not seem the case in 155 Sqdn. So BS798 'B' of 155 Sqdn, circa August 1943, got the nod. The kit was the old Azur Hawk 75 plastic, boxed as a Cyclone powered Mohawk IV. While this boxing includes a nice resin nine-cylinder motor, the fuselage halves present the long-chord cowling of the twin-row Wasp. Even for this smaller diameter motor, the 'mouth' of the cowling is far too deep and oval, which seems to be a common failing in model kits of this Curtiss type. I am curious to get ahold of one of the newer AZ Models kits to see how they handled this. The cowling front on the Cyclone particularly should look round enough it takes a moment to see it isn't. I did not go whole hog to correct the cowling (it is still not wide enough) but by shimming a bit at top and bottom, and trimming at the sides, I got the opening to strike the eye well enough that it looks about right. Sanding away the surface detail for the 'long-chord' cowling allowed me to make the slope out from fuselage sides to cowling look a bit steeper, and I scribed and scored in the proper appearance for the short-chord Cyclone cowling. This is the only improvement I made, though since the vacu-form clear pieces had aged yellow, I used a Falcon canopy, and made my own side-panels from 10 thou clear sheet. In doing 'little bits' at the end, I made my own exhaust stubs and tailwheel doors. I had fumbled away one of the former, and the latter just were too thick for scale, and too tiny to thin down readily. The bomb load is four Cooper fragmentation bombs under each wing, and these come from spare Roden sprues for Great War subjects. I don't usually show machines 'loaded', but it was that or scratch a pair of light service carrier racks. RAF bombs were supposed to have been painted green well before this, but operations in India were under the India Office, a notoriously penurious officialdom. Even before I saw a picture of yellow bombs being loaded on a Mohawk there, I felt sure the India Office would see mere orders to do so as no reason to repaint bombs which already had a good coat of paint on them that had lasted for years, at a cost of lord knows how many shillings per bomb. Mohawk IVs of 155 Sqdn late in 1943 are often depicted in profiles with the Dark Green and Ocean Grey uppersurfaces of the Fighter Command scheme. I suspect it comes from some photographs which show great contrast in uppersurface grey tones. Others do not show such contrasts, however, and Mohawks were delivered in Temperate Land scheme, as close as Curtiss could match, anyway. One more reminder that, though we all do like to try our hand at it, estimating color from grey tones is a mug's game. As far as the undersurface color goes, I got it lodged in my head a while back Azure Blue, or something like it, was used, and though Medium Grey is often called out instead, the Osprey number on 'Hawk Aces' shows blue undersurfaces in its Burma Mohawk profiles. Which is good enough for me. The Sky band and yellow identifiers are not masked but done freehand, guided by a technique of use only when employing a brush. A very shallow line is scribed in on the color boundary. As long as you have your brush sufficiently loaded with paint that can flow a little, and move along the line at a little distance from it, the 'trench' will stop the paint, and once both sides of the boundary have been painted, they will have filled the guideline. A bit of a rub with a 3000 grit pad removes any trace of unevenness. Just as with masking, you might get a little bleed across the boundary, but these are easily touched up with a definite line established. A wide, flat edged brush touched towards the boundary does very well for this. National and identity markings were scrounged, contrived, or home-made. An old Revell Swordfish decal sheet provided the 'C' proportion roundel, sans red center (to be separately applied), and an old Airfix Spitfire kit provided a 'B' in Sky. Having these ready to hand helped me decide on my subject. The 'B' decal color providentially matched exactly the paint in an old PollyScale 'Sky Type S' bottle. Most of the roundels are doubled, either to cover a red center or get the proper proportions. The fin flash is put together from the rudder stripes on an Airfix R.E. 8 sheet. Wife made the serial number decals for me. A note to the eagle-eyed. Ye, there i something askew with the starboard landing gear 'doors'. I didn't notice till reviewing the picture, and the model is already packed for the move. I wasn't trying for any wear-and-tear effect.... By the way, the oft circulated photo three 155 Sqdn Mohawk IVs including BS798 'B' is a detail of a larger picture, showing other squadron machines in 'vic' array.
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