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Found 12 results

  1. Hello Kits Lovers! Here is the second Shooting Star I built to complement my USAF saga: The F-80C from Sword. Not a bad kit, overall accurate when compared to the Squadron Signal drawings. I just improved the wheel wells, cockpit details which are a little bit scarce and put the gun camera pods in each wing as showed in the photos of the real bird (ref. Osprey Frontline color 5). NMF was done using different shades of ALCALD II, markings show a F-80C from the 36th FBS and come from the XTRA decal sheet 72120. I painted in red the air intakes and add each tooth of the sharkmouth, for a better result. The only caveat is the blue color of the national insignia, not dark enough to my opinion... Here are the photos: The real bird: Mine: And to compare with the Airfix kit which was Bare Metal foiled: ... FT-748 is more realistic to my opinion... And to finish a little diorama: I spent a lot of time (much much more time than on the aircraft!) to modify a Heller CCKW-353 GMC truck into a M-27 Bomb carrier. Based on pictures, I scratch built with some difficulties the rear part of that truck, not being a car/truck/armor modeler. Respecting the overall aspect and dimensions of the M-27 was quite challenging, given the few documents I found on Internet...the little guys are uglily painted, not being specialist! That it for this post! Hope you will enjoy it!
  2. Hello Everybody! I start a series of three blackbirds with the SR-71 Italeri kit. I always wanted to build this wonder but the choice was pretty poor on the market: Hasegawa, Academy and Revell made some but they are all wrong in shape and details so the less-worst is, my opinion the Italeri kit. However, if you want to have an "accurate" rendition of this iconic aircraft, a lot of work needs to be done. The Italeri kit comes with a D-21 drone, and I was surprised by the size of the bird! To simplify on the work to be done, I completely reshape the nose fuselage section which is too close to a A-12 "double seater" (!), way too thin and too flat. This is a big surgery and you need a good drawing to capture the right nose shape, add the navigation device "hump" in the rear of the navigator position etc... The other challenge is to add some "fat" to the fuselage section, not easy. For the rest, the kit needs to be engraved carefully, I used some PE for the auxiliary intakes doors etc.. The cockpit needs some extra work also but you will not see that much once finished... The landing gears required some detailing, I have separated the middle wheel from the main undercarriage (it is molded in a single piece) and detailed the three wheel wells which are pretty empty. Painting the kit is another challenge, as black is not necessarily black so I used various shades of blueish, brownish blacks sprayed randomly to some panels. For the marking, I selected a/c 1967 in the late 70 style based at Kadena in 1978. The decal sheet is from Rocketeer Decals "Ichi Ban". Highly recommended! Unfortunately I have only one photo of the aircraft. A slight weathering was also made. So the Photos: The real stuff: mine: ...and a little dio: the Ford tractor comes from the Hasegawa kit but needs to be enhanced. The SR-71 AG-330 starting group is from the British supplier 'AIM-ground equipment' but unfortunately the wheels are in white metal and are useless. Two groups were made, one type equipped with Chevy engines and the other one with Buick engines. The ladder is scratch built. As a conclusion, a disappointing kit and I am not satisfied with the result... When a definitive kit of this beauty at the 72eme scale will be on the market ???
  3. Good Morning Everybody! Here is my second and last USAF Skyraider build, the very nice Hasegawa kit, enhanced with some resin extras. The only challenge was changing the seat, which is a "bang seat" and needs to be completely scratch built. For the rest, no hassles. As I wanted to show an aircraft ready for some Sandy Ops, I put a full ordnance, some from the surplus box and others scratch built. The wing tank comes from the aftermarket, it is an A-4 Skyhawk one used by A-1H/J. As a marking, I chose the famous "Blood Sweat and Tears" because I had a couple of photos of it and also because this beast has been overspread with black paint on the belly. Enough talks, the photos: The real Sky: My BS&T: ...and a little diorama: As I had a A-1J extra fuselage coming from a A-1E "Fat Face" build, I decided to represent it as a wreck, used for spare parts and dumped in a corner of the airfield. After consulting the A-1 serial number, i found a good candidate and I did some easy surgery on the front end, scratch built the inner fuselage (unfortunately hidden in the dio) and finally a good strong layer of weathering "SEA style" to finish. That's it for the USAF Skyraider, hope you will enjoy the topic! Critics most welcomed...
  4. Hello everybody! A little deviation from my USAF jets series: two Skyraiders, all in Vietnam war style. The first one is the A-1E Skyraider, RVHP conversion kit. Of course, not a cheap built as you need to buy the superb A-1H/J from Hasegawa to recover most of the parts except the fuselage and canopy. But this is unfortunately the only option to get a decent "fat face" as the Revel kit is completely wrong. RVHP gives a fuselage, a very nice vacform canopy, some parts to create the "tub", a little decal sheet and that's it. So a good documentation is needed if you want a nice result from this investment and to master all the differences between a "E/ fat face" from its cousin, the H/J...and their are many! The surgery of the fuselage to the Hasegawa wings was done without any hassles, the fit is quite OK. What I did, to make it short: The full cockpit has been scratch built. The trickiest part was to make the unique ejection seats which are quite complicated to scratch built (However these seats were not present in all fat faces, a photo check is necessary). Thanks God, the rest of the "tub" has not that much amount of equipment, as in the real aircraft the seats and extra boxes were removed to save weight. Opening the nice canopy needs extra extra caution because you have only one. The engine: I selected a resin one (forgot the brand) and added wires; the typical front doors were removed; the undercarriage: Again the A-1E has some unique feature in this area such as an asymmetric front U/C doors with one including a landing light but not the other. Also, the wheel wells are different in shape from the H/J and the doors were removed; On the fuselage all the plates (cowling, antiglare) were made from aluminium can, much thinner. All the armament com from the surplus box, of cours not provided by RVHP. Camouflage: typical SEA, tired with some weathering. I chose an aircraft sporting a little shamrock on the left side seen in page 155 of the excellent "A-1 Skyraider in Vietnam, the last Spad war" which provides a good collection of pictures "in action". All decals are coming from the surplus box. So the pix: The real Spad: Mine: ...and the little dio: That's it for the Fat Face, hope you will enjoy it!
  5. Hello Everybody! This the last HUN of my series, the Italeri F-100F. From the experience of the Revell/Esci builds, this one went smoother but I applied the same amount of modifications to it. The challenge was to detail the large vacform canopy from inside. I add the same resin and PE aftermarket pieces as for the single seaters also. I wanted first to choose a NMF aircraft for the colors & markings but I found on Internet a series of pictures taken of an F-100F Misty FAC being refueled over the Mekong river that immediately captured my attention. So I decided to do that one because of the "war weary" aspect of that particular bird: a partially painted stabilizer, the other one painted not matching the SEA standards and above all the general tired aspect of the SEA camouflage: Luckily I found the right side of the bird but the photo was of poor quality. Here is the result at the 1/72eme scale: I tried to stick as much as I could to the real thing. The ladder and "willy pete" rocket pods are scratch built. ...and, of course the little dio: the bomb loader is from an Hasegawa set but modified and, exception to my rule, I added two pilots (painting little men is NOT MY CUP OF TEA!) Voila, this build was good occasion for me to discover the frightening world of the Misty FAC courageous pilots, I hotly recommend the book "bury us upside down" (Rick Newman & Don Sheppred) for those who are interested in this subject and more generally in the Vietnam Air War... Hope you will enjoy this "Double Hun", comments and critics most welcomed!
  6. Hi Everybody! Another Century icon from the bench: the F-100D "Hun". To pay tribute to the Super Sabre, I built two of them, an ESCI and the Revell (ignoring tha their are the same!), being really disappointed by the Trumpeter kit. So, first the Revell: As said, the Revell kit is a re-boxing of the old Esci/Italeri kit but, at least, it seems more accurate than the Trumpeter. Dimensions and proportions are overall OK, depending on the drawing you select: For Details & Scale, the fuselage is too long by 3mm and the vertical fin too high by 2mm but if you do the same comparison on the Burindo or Warpaint no4 , this mistake disappears! So, being lazy and not fond of a heavy surgery, I went on the easy way - ignoring D&S! However, far for being easy to build due to its age, a lot work awaited me, from front to end: - As usual, riveting, good news the engraved panels are OK; - Cockpit replaced by the AIRES one, needing a lot of adjustments to be fitted correctly inside the fuselage. The front shroud is scratch built. - Front wheel well, re-done with wiring and tubing; - Inner air intake "tunnel" made from scratch. Not easy because it has a shape of a crushed pipe. On the upper intake lip, a small bump is added for the prehistoric "radar"; - Airbrake well, some tubing is needed here even if you don't see that much when the airbrake itself is fitted; - The wings: Here, big problem: Revell gives a wing with the leading edge slats retracted, which is not the case when the aircraft is parked and not powered. So, I decided to buy the Obscureco resin wing (very expensive with the shipping) offering this option. What a waste of money! these wings are too short, badly moulded with a too thick trailing edge and a lot of bubbles, and finally completely twisted . Frustrated, I decided to cut the inner part of the leading edge slats from Obscureco, and graft to the Revell wing. The slats were glued later...This done, the AIRES resin main wheel well was put in place. Long, not easy but the result is OK. This photo shows the final result with the Obscureco pieces put to the Revell wing and the AIRES WW. - I did a lot of work also on the landing gears, wheels and doors which are too simplistic and wrong. (Too long to explain) - Horizontal stabilizers: a thin evergreen plate needs to be added top/below their root. - Exhaust: From AIRES, simply... - Canopy: Vacform, all details inside reproduced (thanks to a picture of a real canopy found by a US aviation "archeologist" in the Nevada desert searching for a Super Sabre crash). -External tanks: I tweaked the long banana-shape to make a 275Gal tank, not given as an option in the box. Painting was made with a lot of Alclad II shade of NMF. Exceptionally, I chose the marking given by Revell, very attractive to me. It seems that the blue of the fin marking is not dark enough it appears to me after the model was finished. (may be one day I will have the guts to change it). The USAF and "US AIR FORCE" letters should be dark blue rather than black. I did a little bit of weathering as the only photo I found of the bird shows a "old warrior" at the end of its operational time. Definitively not an easy build, but despite its age, this kit deserves the work and time spent on it to have a reasonable version of the Hun. The photos: The real Hun: My Hun: Next to come is the ESCI and a F-100F... Hope you have enjoyed reading this post!
  7. Hello Happy Modelers! I am almost of the end of my USAF Phantom saga with this the F-4C. For this version I chose the well known Hasegawa kit I had in stock since years but, quite disappointed by the level of details, I modified it quite a lot with PE, resin and other aftermarket goodies. So what I did: - Cockpit entirely reshaped with PE and some scratch build; - Resin ejection seats (forgot the brand); - Canopy from Taurus; - Resin wheel wells (AIRES), very difficult, needing heavy surgery! Quite a challenge to respect the correct thickness of the wing, the resin parts need to be sanded A LOT to be correctly inserted. - dropped airbrakes ; Shame on Hasegawa not providing this option! - dropped auxiliary belly doors; Shame on Hasegawa..... - Rear "hot area" reshaped to show extra metal sheets, riveting etc... - Resin wheels with the correct threads; - ...and obviously, a hard work to reshape the inner air intakes tunnels and front end of the engine... The whole kit was riveted slightly, I engraved the AAR receptacle and added/corrected some panels. I wanted to do a Vietnam-era F-4 and I found on the web a jaw-dropping series of F-4C/D color photos taken in Thailand and Vietnam airbases here: http://www.piccianiaircraftphotos.com/f-4c_phantom_page_one (highly recommended for Phantom Phanatics) and my choice was obviously this one, an old warrior/mig killer well worn from the 497th TFS: The old CONUS camouflage shows below the SEA scheme, which has been patched with different shade of green. Quite a challenge! After some investigations, it appears that the aircraft were ferried from US in their ADC camouflage then painted SEA "on the spot" with a disparate stock of poor quality paints, not necessarily the FS. Some sources said that the underside was kept white, but to my opinion, it is more on a case by case basis. Painting the model was time consuming as I wanted to reproduce as best as possible at the 72 scale the weathered effect depicted on the photo. I used various technics and I hope its OK! Markings are home made from surplus and Microscale sheets for letters, numbering and the owl emblem. For the ordnance, the bird is heavily loaded with bombs, missiles and ECM pods obviously not included in the Hasegawa kit So I used aftermarket for that. the ECM pod comes from the Monogram kit and was also tweaked. It seems unrealistic or exagerated that the beast can haul such a large amount of stuff but the photo is the proof! Enough blabla, here are the pix, made by a poor photographer (me): I made a little and simple dio to put the beast in situation with two elements: a bomb trailer, coming from the Hasegawa Weapon set but heavily modified because it is too basic and a MC-1a High pressure compressor, also from Hasegawa but entirely modified because completely false! Hope you will enjoy that build, critics most welcome!
  8. Good Evening All! Here is my second (and last) Starfighter at the 1/72eme scale, the Revell one. I must admit that this kit was difficult nut to crack as I found a major flaw in its design, not expected when I opened the box: At first glance, the kit seems great, nice engraved panels, a fair amount of details including the cockpit etc so I thought it would be an easy OOB built, even if Revell (or Monogram as it seems that Revell reboxed it) decided to separate the front end from the rear end of the fuselage, making an uneasy adjustment of both part . Alas! When I put the left part fuselage on some 1/72eme drawings, I found out that the general length of the fuselage is short by a good 5mm, affecting the elegance of this iconic fighter. . This photo shows the missing 5mm. If you compare the Esci/Italeri 104 to the Revell one, you will see that the second one is OK. So stupidly I started the surgery simply by elongating the fuselage by adding a 5mm evergreen section were the kit was already cut, thinking that it will do the trick. Another stupid error! This put the WW bay now too de-centered to the rear, so I have to revise my tactic and insert first a 5mm section rear of the intakes and another one at the rear of the WW bay, respecting the fuselage shape with Tamiya putty and sanding: This pix show the upper part evergreen 5mm insert just behind the air intakes. WWB modification. Also, the arrester hook is obstructed on early F-104 version. So I don't go into all the pain of this surgery (re-engraving, riveting, sanding...) but at the end of the day, I got a correct fuselage length. Hurray! As I love complications, I decided to add a resin exhaust, resin wings, flaps, aileron and slats down (very very fragile), to open some panels to show what is inside the beast using both the Verlinden kit (lower electronic bay and rear gun bay) and the CMK 7008 details resin kit (radar, upper electronic bay cockpit and ejection seat) and finally some PE. Another bad surprise welcomed me as the CMK kit, given and sold for a "C" version is in fact a "G" one, with a different radar and electronic bay! re ...if modifying the inner electronic bay and cover was not so difficult, modifying the small radar electronic black boxes and the dish was another story because first the photos are not legion and second the scale doesn't help. red arrows show what to modify from the original CMK piece for having a AN/ASG14T1 radar For the rest, the canopy is too flat and inaccurate so I vac-formed one, putting the heating system tubing which is showing up quite well on the real aircraft, the WW bay rear and front need some tubing an wiring even if you don't see that much after completing the model and I scratch built the front part of the 20mm cannon (strongly not given by Verlinden). I decided to show a Zipper in an interception configuration with two wingtip mounted AIM-9B and a pair of underwing drop tanks. All fins are made from aluminium can to respect the scale. I added the IFR probe, even if not showed on the photos; Painting the model was a classical use of Alclad II to reflect he shiny and well-maintained conditions of the aircraft. For the markings, I chose the 479th TFW Boss bird, quite colorful and I fortunately found two B&W photos of this aircraft in the Starfighter aficionados well known http://www.916-starfighter.de/ website. Decals are coming from the surplus box and the kit. Now the photos: The true Starfighter: The model: That's it for the Revell Zipper, ...and, as usual a little dio: the radome trolley is scratch built (from a Lockheed factory photo), the ladder, MA-1 and fuel browser are aftermarket product: That's it for the moment for my Starfigher saga, next to come will the D but still in the box. Enjoy the photos, thank you for watching and critics are always welcomed!
  9. Hello Happy Phantom Phanatics (and others!)! Here is my last Phantom from my USAF Phantom saga (for the time being) : the Hasegawa RF-4C. Another Hasegawa classic, well known, built with the same amount of modifications to the base: Complete refurbished cockpit, resin wheel wells , belly louvres, airbrakes, ailerons, riveting, etc as already mentioned in my previous builds. routine... What was not routine was stuffing the camera bay accordingly to the version depending on the aircraft mission. To simulate the KY camera lenses, I used the tiny iPhone or mobile phone lenses, that gives a realistic effect, especially when you replace the too thick kit transparencies by thinner windows. For the markings and version I chose a Desert Storm warrior from the Alabama ANG, the "Boss Bird", thinking that the Carpena decal sheet will add more value than the Hasegawa one. I will come later on this subject ; The choice was also made based on the good iconographie about that particular aircraft. Camouflage pattern is fairly simple, the Hill Grey, but "toned downed" to respect the scale effect. I weathered it quite a bit because of the harsh Middle East conditions. Decals: I started to use the Carpena sheet 7270 (desert storm part 2) but it turned to be disastrous: most of the decals started to break into small pieces when wet, some markings were not accurate (e.g. white shading of the Code Letters, shark mouth...), so finally I had to use a mix of self-made decals, paints and use some Hasegawa ones which are, unfortunately, too thick (well known default). No armament, the configuration is max range with an AN/ALQ 131 ECM pod (aftermarket), as seen on some pix. The result is that this beast is not on the top of my F-4 list, but i am too lazy to start another one. maybe one day... Here are the pix: The true flying camera: The fake one: ... and the little dio: I scratch built the ladder, the sound generator comes from the Hasegawa but, as the other pieces, is completely wrong so rebuilt: That's it for that saga, hope you enjoy the poor-quality photos, critics happily accepted, may be I will be tempted by the FM F-4 one day!
  10. Hello Everybody! After the "E", the "F" and the "G`" already presented, now its is the turn of the "D" version to continue my Phantom saga. For that Rhino I used the old Monogram kit, which was - and even after the Hasegawa relates - to my opinion, one of the best Phantom ever produced at that scale before the arrival of the FM series. The overall level of details is very good and impressive for such an ancestor, the cockpit is just stunning, you can even find the electric connectors on the AIM-9B of the kit! Shape and size obviously fit the plan, Monogram masters its subject but the downside is unfortunately the raised panel lines. Unlike Hasegawa, the kit comes with a full load of missiles and ECM pods and the little pilots are very convincing! Last but not least, the kit comes with the airbrakes and the belly louvres opened, which is not the case in the vast majority of recents kits at that scale, needing a painful surgery. This kit has a particular story as I bought it long time ago with the idea to do a "C" but, under the express order of my son, I built it OOB for him without too much work. Then - and after his permission - I decided to de-construct it completely, remove the old paint and start again with the surviving remains, not wanted to spend money in another pricey Hasegawa. I spent a lot of time engraving the panels, riveting the surface again and adding some extra works when it was needed (tail hot area with extra metal plates, dropped ailerons and obviously the intakes inner tunnels). For the cockpit, I used the original one enriched with some PE and wiring. In order to complicate a little bit the built, I opened the nose section to show the radar and the one upper panel on the left wing, using an old Verlinden kit. However, doing so I had to scratch build the whole radar blackboxes behind which were omitted by Verlinden (the radar is given in its stowed position). It took me quite a while to modify the radar antenna by adding the tiny IFF interrogator dipoles and the mechanism to extract the whole stuff from the inner fuselage. Adding details inside the radome was also an interesting challenge at that scale! I added an SUU-23 gun pod, but I modified the gun muzzle and fairing, as the kit and the Hasegawa ones are too simplistic. The missiles's fins are made from an aluminium can sheet. Color and markings: To please our British Modelers friends I chose a Phantom based at Lakenheath during the "good old days in East Anglia", belonging to the 48th TFW before the Aadvark era because I found few photos of some of their birds with an interesting variation of the traditional SEA scheme, the original FS 30219 Matt US Tan being replaced by a lighter color. XTRA Decals instruct to use FS 34201 (SAC Bomber Tan) but I was really not convinced by that tint at that scale, so I made my own mix (forgot the reference). Some patches of FS 30219 were still there, especially on the fin. I used the XTRA Decals X72072 sheet for some parts of the markings, the rest is home made as I wanted to represent 66-504, having a left and right photo profile. To finish, I made simple dio inspired by a photo but without figures (I'm far from being a pro in modeling figures) to put the model in situation. I used aftermarkets products (ladders and tool box from Brengun) and scratch built the rest for the accessories. Here are the photos, which quality is not tip top (sorry for that): The real Phantom: My model: the little dio: To conclude, if you have this kit, you can build it easily OOB and slightly sand the raised panels if you wish (not a concern at that scale) to have a fairly nice Phantom. Thank you for your patience reading this topic and enjoy the photos!
  11. Hello Everybody! Before the F and the G already showcased in the forum, now comes the "E"/Late. I built this Fujimi model I had it in my stock for quite a long time and I know that now far better kits of the beast have been released. However, I struggled finding at that time I started to "produce" USAF Phantoms (even the Hasegawa one was OOS), so I decided to go for only one I got (Fujimi), hoping I have good basis at hand to do a nice model. Alas! I spent so much time and efforts to improve it that, at the end of the day, I was completely disappointed by the result. Here is the list of what I did: - The fuselage is way too short at that scale, and the verdict of the 1/72eme drawings is there: it misses 4 mm. I put resin intakes (forgot the brand) to fill the empty original one and the adaptation was quite disastrous. I had to cut the fuselage aft and forward), added slices of evergreen to have the right dimension and fitting and then finally reshaped the whole stuff. This pix shows the resin intakes, the "plastic surgery" added at the rear portion of the cockpit ("pieces rajoutée" added part in English) For the rest, quite normal modifications for a F-4 kit of that era: - ailerons separated, flats modified, belly straps added, vent doors opened, airbrakes lowered, exhaust "hot area" modified, exhausts, cockpit, canopy, L/G wells and wheels aftermarket, etc... A lot of work! Translation: L/G wheel wells modified, "holes" after intake fitting filled-in, ailerons and slats removed For the marking my preference went to a Texas AFRES machine from the 924th TFG because they had a quite unique variation of the Hill Grey pattern, which I found very attractive: Not difficult to do. All decals are from extra stocks or home made and just little bit of weathering, these birds were kept in pretty nice conditions. I didn't put any armament, just a travel pod and a modified TER (from Hasegawa set but reshaped because they are wrong) and that it! Here are the pix: The real beast: My interpretation: A simple Dio: Definitively not my best Phantom, another good occasion to try the new ones! Enjoy!
  12. Hello! After the F, the last Phantom of my collection closed by the Hasegawa kit. The Hasegawa Wild Weasel version is well known, but not far from being perfect: This is what I did (almost) to put this kit my "personal acceptable standard": - inner part of both air intakes reshaped. Hasegawa completely forgot this portion of the kit: - Underside additional louvres opened: at rest, these hatches are down with a RBF tag attached to them; - Wheel wells changed by aftermarket resin kits (AIRES if I remember well); - Resin wheels; - Airbrakes lowered; - flaps lowered; - AIRES cockpit set. - Taurus canopy; - Wing slats cut-off and re-glued; - resin exhausts; - I added some extra plates to the rear fuselage "hot area" which is too simplistic on the original kit; ...and most important, adding the belly straps underside, retrofitted to all WW Phantoms and some "E" . Strange that Hasegawa has omitted this detail but I think that this is for money saving, as all Hasegawa kits are molded similarly. These modifications are time consuming and not easy but add to the model another realistic touch. Missiles are aftermarket (Brassin, Hasegawa doesn't offer any weapon load) they are absolutely stunning and the ECM pod (AN/ALQ 101) is homemade, the Hasegawa one sold separately in a set in very difficult to find now. I decided to go for a classic European 1 wraparound scheme, colors are faded to reflect the scale effect. On the aircraft I chose, some extra patches of paints (OD???) were added on top of the basic camouflage in the nose/right air intake. Decals come partially from the MILSPEC 72-007 sheet, which is really disappointing (e.g. the white shadowing on the "SP" letters are wrongly oriented, etc...). I kept only some stencils, squadron emblem and national roundels, the rest is home made. Here are the pix: The real thing: My interpretation: Critics most welcome, enjoy!
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