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  1. A-36A | 1/72 | Condor 524th Fighter Bomber Squadron, 27th Fighter Bomber Group, Sicily 1943 Finished this on 3/28/2021. As 1/72 modelers know, there is no good A-36 (or any P-51A, really) out there. This Condor kit was rated as "adequate" in contemporary reviews. I went into it knowing it wouldn't be easy and it did not disappoint! It fought me every step of the way. Early on I abandoned sandpaper and went to using a file because I had to remove so much plastic to even get it to fit correctly, much less to look close to correct! There was a lot of scratchbuilding, raiding the spares box and even some aftermarket parts involved. There was some early concern about the shape of the fuselage, but after a careful comparison with some good side photos, it turns out that Condor's fuselage shape is very, very close! Everything forward of the exhaust stacks had to be reworked: I had to sand the underside of the fuselage to get the right shape, make an extension to the intake on top of the nose and sand the spinner so that it wasn't so bulbous. The Condor kit doesn't have the "wing kink", but the leading edge at the wing roots was thick enough that I was able to sand a reasonable impression of the wing kink using reference photos. All the details are in my WIP thread. Finishing: Scratch built cockpit, seams filled with CA, spare Hasagawa P-40 bombs. Paint: Mr Color C12 Olive Drab top / Mr. Color C306 Gray bottom / Hataka insignia yellow stripes Aftermarket: SBS P-51 wheels The kit bombs were a very strange shape and not very detailed, so I used some Hasegawa P-40 bombs I had in the spares box. That meant I had to scratch build some sway braces. Turned out fairly well. There was really no cockpit to speak of, so I had to scratch build it: I'm very happy with how this turned out and I'm pretty gratified I was able to make it look decent given how poor fitting the kit was and how inaccurate it was. I'm still hoping someone (Arma????) will do a decent P-51A/A-36 in 1/72 though! I hope you like it. Questions, comments and constructive criticism always welcome.
  2. So, what do I mean by "when adequate has to be good enough"? Well, anyone who is an Allison P-51/A-36 fan knows that there is no good 1/72 A-36 model out there. I understand that the Academy P-51A is the best bet out there for P-51As, but A-36's just don't have a kit that checks all the boxes. Now... how much of that is rivet counting? I don't know as I'm just getting into Allison engined P-51s. However, a few years ago when looking for an A-36, the Condor offering was described in some places as being "adequate". Frankly, it was the only A-36 kit I could readily find at the time anyway, so whether it was good or bad was kind of moot. (Since I bought this the Brengun A-36 has come out, but I get the feeling that it just trades one set of problems for another set). At any rate... here's the kit: This is my first foray into short run kits, and I read a build review of this kit from a few years ago, so I kind of know what to expect. Like this: There's all sorts of other curious features like this: and these pegs are... special... I took the picture after I cut the middle one down as it was sticking up about a quarter inch! Oh, yes, and the flash. You could say this is "flash-a-palooza". I spent some quality time cleaning all the flash off the parts, maybe an hour. Right at the end I remembered I should be collecting photographic evidence. This picture is a good example of what all the wings and some of the body looked like, and this was after I cut a big chunk off the top. These bombs are interesting. 🤔 I rummaged around and found the bomb from one of my P-40N builds and I raided the stash for the bomb from my Hasegawa P-40E: It looks like these will be a lot better than the kit bombs! It will take a little work to get those on, but it shouldn't be too bad. This will be a challenge too, when the time comes: I wondered about the shape and had been educating on myself on the shape differences between P-51A's and P-51B's. I got out my "Shangri-la" from when I was a kid that I stripped the paint off of a couple of months ago. It is a Monogram P-51B, which I understand is pretty accurate. I taped it to the Condor P-51A so that they matched in the front: I'm not sure if this tail is accurate. I will need to do some research to see if they changed the tail between the A and B (or if anyone knows...). This seems about right to my novice eye. The intake isn't as deep on the A as it is on the B and the fuselage behind the cockpit is not as deep on the A. Of course, there is the chin intake on the B, that is absent on the A and of course the intake on top of the A that is absent on the B So, to my novice eye, it seems like the shape might be all right. Of course there are issues with the wing shape on P-51A models that I am not knowledgeable enough to judge this kit on. The transparencies are pretty clear, so there is a decent chance of seeing inside the cockpit, so I thought I'd fab up some details using P-51B reference photos and hoping there weren't many changes between the A and B. With all the white its hard to see details, but when they get painted it will look better. That's as far as I got tonight. I will need to paint the cockpit and do the detail painting. The kit came with photo etch seatbelts, but they need to be painted too.
  3. Brengun-Hauler is to release in 2017 a 1/72nd North American A-36 Apache kit - ref. BRP72025 Source: https://www.facebook.com/HaulerBrengun/photos/a.459886544169999.1073741832.440180076140646/711185289040122/?type=3&theater V.P.
  4. Hello. I noticed over at Hannants that Italeri has just issued an A-36 Apache in 1/48. That should from an Accurate Miniature mould right?
  5. Mustang – Thoroughbred Stallion of the Air Fonthill Media The Mustang started life in response to a need for the USA to supply fighters to the RAF. Initially powered by an Allison V-1710 engine with a single stage supercharger, performance low down was good, but at higher altitudes was unsatisfactory. Early combat with the RAF was predominantly in the ground attack role making use of it’s low level capability, but there was a need for an escort fighter that could perform at high altitudes. The rest as we know is history. When the Mustang met the Merlin, a true thoroughbred was born. The Mustang became infamous for its ability to take the air offence deep into German territory when escorting the USAF bomber streams during daylight raids due to its superb range and endurance. Written by Steve Pace who has been writing aviation material for 40 years and a former Boeing employee working on the 707 & 727 production lines, this up to date record of the Mustang delivers an indepth record and understanding of the aircraft from before its conception to the current day where some still survive and partake in airshow and racing circuits. With over 200 pages and 200 images of which over 60 are in colour, the book is broken down into logical chapters. It comes in hardback form approximately A4 in size with high quality matt finish pages. Starting with a historical over view of the A-36, F-6 and P-51 leading into developmental highlights throughout its life cycle, a great amount of detail supported with good quality black and white images lays the foundation for the rest of the book. It links political and historical events around the world that drove the development of the aircraft as well as summarising the key technical progressions that allowed it to stay in the front lines for so long, indeed long after World War II. From there, the focus turns to World War II. Starting with its role within the US Army Air Force, again delving deep into it’s technical evolvement unearthing many experimental trials and prototypes to evaluate new ways of getting the most from the aircraft. Whilst the most notable event being the transition from the Allison to the Merlin powerplant, other developments included ski’s and weapons carriage. The same format follows in subsequent chapters looking at the Mustang in RAF, RAAF and other foreign service. A break in the flow of the book has 32 pages with colour images going right back to 1940 in prototype form right up to current restored aircraft. These pages are printed on gloss paper. Special dedication to each main subgroup is given, the A-36, P-51, F-6/RF-51 and of course F-82 twin Mustang with chapters on each. Mention also goes to late derivatives such as the Piper Enforcer, famously being powered by a turboprop. Service and development after the war gives particular focus on operations during the Korean War where the Mustang played a key role in ground attack operations against the North Korean troops trying to push forwards. Again, the long range and good payload of the Mustang compared to the jets of the era made it highly effective in this role which enabled it to return to front line service. A full 21 pages are dedicated to the structures and systems employed and evolved in the aircraft including drawings of fuel layouts, supercharger design, gun exploded diagrams and many more. This section is particularly valuable for modellers due to the close up photographs and diagrams to assist scratch building. In the appendices at the rear of the book are no less than 20 combat accounts from various pilots who flew on such operations. This makes for excellent reading and inspiration to get a feel for what the aircraft was like when it mattered. Conclusion This is a very detailed book, perhaps the definitive book covering the complete lifespan of the Mustang up to the present day. Due to the way the chapters are organised and written, there are however duplications of information to the point of having the same photo and text captions 3 times throughout the book referring to the XP-51G. As such, the book could probably have less pages without losing on value if one was to be critical. It provides a good mix of factual information in written form and pictorial references that makes it an ideal modelling reference book. If you’re Mustang fan and want some ideas and inspiration for your builds, you will find everything you need in this. Review sample Courtesy of
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