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  1. This group build seemed like the perfect time to get round to building this one. Been hankering after one for years, finally bit the bullet a few years ago and bought it, but hadn't summoned up the courage to try a non-injection kit.... until now. I mean, So, the kit - unstarted, still the plastic bag: Looks like there aren't too many major pieces....fingers crossed.
  2. This is my 3rd in a series of lifting bodies, the Northrop M2-F3. As many of you are probably aware the M2-F2 famously crashed after 16 flights as seen in the intro to the "Six Million Dollar Man". After the crash, using some creative accounting, they were able to rebuild it as the M2-F3 which went on to 27 more successful flight. Differences in appearance between to 2 are; a third vertical fin added, The main gear reversed so the wheels face outward rather then inward, a bigger engine, and a re-enforced nose which split the front window in to 2 pieces. There were also internal changes. These changes turned what R. Dale Reed called an "angry" machine into a much more pleasant one to fly. More information can be found at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northrop_M2-F3, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northrop_M2-F2, and in Reed's book "Wingless Flight" https://www.amazon.com/Wingless-Flight-Lifting-Story-2002-06-28/dp/B01MT30UGD/ref=sr_1_5?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1502472205&sr=1-5&keywords=wingless+flight The Anigrand kit is of the M2-F2, but they give instructions on how to modify it to the M2-F3. I chose to make the -F3 because it was more successful and made more flights. I am not inclined to also make the M2-F2, but never say never. Like my previous Anigrand kit, with the exception of the "transperancies" the casting were excellent with no visible pin holes, short shots and crisp edges. It did have an issue with the fuselage top being slightly shorter than the bottom, but this was fairly easy to the. The transparencies were translucent at best with internal air bubbles. The decals were a bit stiff, but worked. So on to the pictures; Next up is the Mach 2 X-24B which will be my last lifting body, at least for a while.
  3. Here's my Anigrand 1/144 Convair R3Y-1 Tradewind, just finished in the Flying Boats and Floatplanes II group build. My first resin kit and I enjoyed it - won't be my last. Build thread is here. thanks for looking Julian
  4. Dear fellow modellers, I would like to show you my latest finished model. I had been working on it for a long time and was reluctant to do some of the necessary additions, like the stabilizers on the elevator, the triangular part and the strake at the rear of the aircraft and of course ALL the antennas. I also added the windshield wipers, because they are very distinctive on the original. But two days ago I just started doing it and everything went very smooth and quickly. I was surprised to find fotos showing that the Nimrod has a more glossy finish. I used Revell Aqua Colours as usual. Only two were used. RAF Hemp was mixed using 4 parts 371 Light grey and one part or so of Africa brown. The lower side is painted with 371 Light grey. The model is a tailsitter which is unusual for Anigrand. Normally they are constructed so that no weight is necessary. I added chocks at the rear of the main wheels and that did the trick. More chocks on the front side are also needed, I know. The first try to do the dirt and oil traces of the Avon engines was a little overdone. So I resprayed the area and with some oil paint and soft pencil it looks a bit cleaner now. The panel lines are created very deep by Anigrand. I did not like that and tried to fill them but of no avail. Neither super glue nor Mr. surfacer would fill the deep lines. So I just accepted them. They are like you can see them now, I did not emphasize them. I also tried to take some pictures using a background picture, but I think the neutral dark grey background looks the best. I hope you like the model of this iconic airplane. Thanks for looking! Greetings from Germany!
  5. I recently finished the second of two 1/144 models of somewhat obscure Sikorsky flying boats which I thought might be of wider interest here. The silvery one is the XPBS-1 and the camouflaged one is the VS-44A 'Excambian'. Both were build from the Anigrand kits and I used the absolute excellent reference book reviewed on BM here. Invaluable, even in the age of the internet (does that make me sound old?). Background These are both pretty niche but fascinating aircraft, forgive a bit of context... The XPBS design emerged first from a 1935 US Navy request for a new long range patrol bomber larger than the Catalina, with better performance and more bombs and guns. Both Consolidated and Sikorsky submitted proposals, and the XPBS-1 (dubbed 'The Flying Dreadnought' seemingly by nobody other than Sikorsky's marketing department) first flew in 1937. The Navy accepted the Sikorsky aircraft, even though the contract went to Consolidated for what became the Coronado. But the Sikorsky prototype was retained by the US Navy and between 1939 and 1942 it was assigned to a Naval Transport Unit flying staff between San Diego and Hawaii. It crashed when it hit a submerged log in 1942, sank and was lost. Admiral Nimitz was lucky to escape from the wreckage with his life. It's a funny-looking thing. Quite aggressive, with that jutting jaw. As my brother said when I showed it to him - "it's like an ugly Sunderland". Apt. From the XPBS, Sikorsky developed a civilian version, the VS-44A. Basically, when the Navy rejected the Flying Dreadnought, Sikorsky pitched it as a civilian airliner. It secured a contract from American Export Airlines (the air subsidiary of a major shipping company, American Export Lines... see what they did there. Golly branding was uncomplicated in those days). The three VS-44s were delivered to AEA after Pearl Harbour and were rapidly repainted into US Navy colours and designated, as far as the Navy was concerned, the JR2S-1, though AEA retained each aircraft's official name: Excalibur, Excambian, Exeter (also the names of AEA's flagship sea vessels). I love that that bit of the 'Golden Era' of air travel lived on amid all the drab camouflagery. The VS-44 exceeded all of its design expectations - being faster and with greater range even than the larger, more famous Boeing Clippers. During the war, Excambian - as I've built here - flew back and forth across the Atlantic and was the only aircraft in US service capable of doing so non-stop, establishing some notable records at the time for the fastest crossing. It ferried VIPs, cargo and mail, both on the main New York to Ireland route, but also from Bathurst (now Banjul, The Gambia) to the Caribbean, and around Latin America. Humphrey Bogart hitched a lift in one, as did Eleanor Roosevelt, Admiral Andrew Cunningham and General Omar Bradley, along with Dutch Queen Wilhelmina (incidentally, one of the few monarchs to reign during two world wars - quite a character). Many of the pilots for AEA were also former AVG Flying Tigers, which I didn't know. So a pretty hot airline in its day - somehow also crying out to be the setting for an Agatha Christie novel. Very 'Orient Express'. It was helpful for the Navy to be able to contract out some of this transport duty to AEA, both to free up Navy planes to do war stuff but also because, technically operating as a private company, AEA could land in neutral ports (like Foynes, Ireland). But by 1944, this was less essential and the Navy had enough long range aircraft to operate its own air routes, so AEA's contract was cancelled in early-1945. In June 1945, AEA merged with American Overseas Airlines (what is now American Airlines) which saw little future in flying boats given the vast increase in the number of landing strips across the globe during the war. Probably quite sensibly, it put its dollars into a fleet of DC-4s. In late 1945, Excambian and Exeter were put up for sale. Postwar they were operated by a hotchpotch handful of owners before Exeter crashed gun running for South American rebels, and Excambian essentially became derelict. The sole survivor of the 'Flying Aces' as the three were known, Excambian has since been restored and is now at the Connecticut Air Museum. Which I shall visit some day and bore all of the museum staff rigid. Builds Both are built from the Anigrand kits released in the last five years. Anigrand also produces a 1:72 version but 1:144 is my poison. Neither were complicated or particularly challenging, and I enjoyed both building them and learning about something new. First the Flying Dreadnought And it's younger, sleeker cousin. Both builds were fairly straightforwards (though there is one flaw on the VS-44 that I failed to correct to do with the inboard nacelle shapes) but happy to answer any questions. Full build threads for both are here and here for any that are interested. Hope that might be interesting or helpful for someone. Thanks very much for looking! Angus
  6. Here is one of my latest kits, a Horten H XIIIa, one of the bonus kits with the Anigrand Craftswork 1:144 resin Fw 200 Condor kit. This unusual glider was a private venture built for research for the Horten H X (later H XIIIb) supersonic jet fighter project. It first flew on 27 November, 1944 from Göttingen, Germany. It flew over 10 times and was destroyed towards the end of the war by liberated Soviet prisoners. This kit was built on impulse while inspecting the Fw 200, which I will start building soon, due to the low part count: two solid and one clear resin parts. Had it not been a bonus kit, I wouldn't have bought it. Gliders are not really my thing but being a Horten design and actually used for research, it ticked a couple of boxes. The only modification I made was to add a spoiler on the top surface as mentioned in what little I have found on this type and as I spotted in one of the few clear photos of the type. Needless to say, this was an educated guess as I didn't find any clear references of it. The colours I used are also guesswork. I painted the upper surfaces RLM82 and 83 with the undersurfaces in RLM76 based on another build I found of this kit and the fact that the tones gave the contrast that you can see on the major photo of the type (although RLM74 and 75, or RLM02 and some other green could have worked too). Although it was a private venture, the photo shows a camouflage pattern which made sense due to the war going on. The pattern is wrong in the kit's instructions and I used the photo and an illustration I found on internet as a guide. Since I depicted the plane as it was on it's first flight, I kept it unweathered. I only highlighted the moving surfaces with thinned black grey paint. As it doesn't stand on its undercarriage and I didn't want it resting on one wing tip, I made a simple narrow base with printed grass and glued the kit to it as if it were starting to be tugged for take off. Thanks for looking Miguel
  7. Hi folks, Well I mentioned in the Revell C-17 thread that I was working on the 1/72 Anigrand kit. I have a thread running over at ARC but since a lot of you don't frequent that forum I thought I would run a thread here as well. Since the issue of the 1/144 Anigrand kit and now the Revell kit the short comings of Anigrand's monster are becoming well known (to me at least). So a summary of the work so far. Cockpit/Nose. The kit's nose is too bulbous, so I fill the inside of the cockpit area with 5-minute epoxy and started sanding. This shot shows the modified side on the left after this shot was taken I sanded it a bit more to flatten it a little more. This also shows the left side wind root moved back, more on that later. No picture thanks to Photobucket ...C-17/wingrootcomparisonsm.jpg The windscreen panels are the wrong size and shape, took 3 goes to get the position and proportions about right. The nose profile also needs reshaping. The clear piece on the kit was deceiving as the rear window actually should be about 10mm forward of where the kit has it. It looks a mess at the moment but I hope after a primer it will be better (I hope). You can also see how much resin I have removed, the cockpit walls were about 2mm thick! No picture thanks to Photobucket ..C-17/windscreenrework2sm.jpg Wing Root The wings are about 25mm too far forward on the fuselage so the root was removed and shifted back 25mm. This shot shows the move in progress, I cut a section out, removed 25mm from the back end of it, moved the root forward and glued the 25mm slab to the front. It needed to be reshaped to fit as well (I used an orbital sander to take the excess off ). No picture thanks to Photobucket ...C-17/RootmovedbackSM.jpg This shot shows the root moved and compared to the Revell kit. No picture thanks to Photobucket ...C-17/cutting.jpg Tail Fin Started with this (below) shape is out, who would have guessed? No picture thanks to Photobucket ...C-17/TailbeforeSM.jpg After some putty, cutting and sanding... the rudders will be posed offset. No picture thanks to Photobucket ...C-17/rudder3sm.jpg Sponsons/Wheel wells This is where I am up to now, Where do I start? Well let's see... the main well is short by 10mm and too far forward my 3mm. As a result, the paratroop door behind the sponson is also out by about 3mm, the auxiliary gear doors also need moving and I had previously noted the shape was out as well. Which means that the locating holes for the main gear legs are too far forward by about 5mm... are we having fun yet? So the Aux door I cut out on the other side is wrong and will need filling and moving to the correct location. I also found another issue with the height of the well opening on the sponson (outboard side), it seems to be too tall, At this point I am not going to change it, all it may need is some card to fill the top edge of the opening and removing some material for the outboard gear doors. I may revisit it later. On the picture below you can see my scribbling, the dotted lines show the current scribed positions of the aux and para doors, I have also drawn in the sponson extension. The hatched areas are what I need to cut out/off. No picture thanks to Photobucket ...C-17/RHSponsonSM.jpg Rear Ramp I decided to open it up and used the kits panel lines as a guide, turns out they are wrong, so I have remarked the lines and will have to cut more (hatched area). No picture thanks to Photobucket ...C-17/RampmodsSM.jpg So there you go, that is where I am at, I have a day at a model show do a building demo tomorrow so I will be updating the other side cockpit windows, modding the sponsons and openning up the ramp area. Wish me luck!
  8. Hi to all of you.I had great trouble building this one.Such a challenging kit to work on.But it is to be expected from a resin kit.Otherwise I really like this airframe.reminds me of james bond goldfinger.
  9. Hi folks, well I am calling this done, I ordered some replacement shield generator towers from Shapeways, as the kit resin items were a bit fragile and crude in details compared to 3D printed ones. I also ordered a Rebel Blockade Runner and some TIE fighters that were about the size of a grain of rice! The tiny Imperial Shuttle did come with the kit, I wasn't too sure how the final display would be presented, in the end I opted for the traditional captured Blockade Runner from the original movie opening scene. But I had a bit of fun photographing the various options. Happy modelling and may the Force be with you! Finally, if you want to see the work in progress of this build, click the link below. I've also created some videos to compliment the model.
  10. Hi all, this kit has been in my stash since 2016 when I bought it from a guy in Texas USA. I have only now plucked up the courage to tackle this beast of a kit! My kit is good condition; however it will still have warp issues and fit problems, it has got sharp panel lines and crisp details, which leads me to think that this was one of the first examples to be pulled from the original moulds. Obviously, I plan to light it, but I am not after a film accurate replica, I plan to just build it as a nice looking model with modern lighting added. So, I will be using a few dozen 0.5mm drills to get the windows opened up, and then I will be adding 100 metres of 0.25 fibre optic strands. I think this should give a nice scale lighting effect. I fully expect to spend about a week just getting all of the parts to fit together, also I plan to have a pole mounted through the bottom reactor dome, this will involve some tubular structure in the hull of the ship to support the model and stop any possible future warpage and sag issues. Let's hope the modelling force is with me for this build, I look forward to receiving your comments as always.
  11. The Great Lakes XSG-1 needs no introduction is about as obscure as you can get and exactly the sort of thing that fascinates me. A single prototype scout seaplane from the early-1930s (designed to spot the fall of shot for the big battleships and cruisers), it is surely one of the ugliest flying machines ever designed - and a total, dismal failure. Its history actually reads like an elaborate practical joke - or the long-lost plot to a Laurel and Hardy film. It is partly its looks - as if the designers tried really, really very hard indeed to think of all the possible ways to introduce drag on an airframe. To me it looks One measure Grumman Duck, One measure Republic Seabee, both shaken and stirred, then mangled a tad - and finally served tepid, with a fresh slice of Heath Robinson. But it's definitely one of those instances where you actually can judge a book by its cover - performance was feeble: it was underpowered, heavy on the controls, aerodynamically unstable and, to cap it all, slower than its contractual guaranteed speed. But spare a thought for the gunner too - if this had ever been attacked by an enemy fighter he would have had to reach outside the aircraft to lift the machine gun from its stowage point in order to fit it to the cumbersome rack mounting in his compartment. IF he managed all this without dropping the gun into the slipstream or being whipped overboard himself, he had virtually no field of fire so could do precious little to actually defend against the enemy! At least his bailout (by the looks of things he'd just have to let go and gravity would do the rest) was easier than the pilot, who would have had to negotiate a thicket of cabane struts before leaping into the slipstream while attempting to clear the colossal tailplane mitt bracing wires. Then there's its first water handling tests where, among other things, the spray was so appalling that it nearly blinded the pilot, the observer/gunner compartment started filling up with water and nearly drowned him (but with no intercom or link to the upper cockpit, the poor man couldn't alert the pilot to his plight - though I imagine he banged wanly on the cabin walls - he did survive) and finally the engine drowned. All in all, the whole testing experience seems to have been about as relaxing as trying to give a Bengal tiger a vasectomy with a pair of nail clippers. And all this from the company that produced just the year prior one of the prettiest and sweet-handling US biplanes ever designed (in my meagre opinion)... If the XSG-1 was a prank, it was a ruddy marvellous one if you ask me. Sadly, I can find no evidence that it was. The kit comes with the Anigrand Sikorsky XPBS-1 (which I finished last year). It's fantastic to have a kit of something as bizarre and unusual, especially in 1:144 - one of the many reasons I love this scale. The build itself provided no major challenges - there's a build thread here if you're interested. I replaced most of the kit struts with plasticard which had a better scale fitness (I also removed one of the inner struts which should not have been there and added a handful more that Anigrand omitted). I added some other bits like the .30 cal gun and thinned down a few other bits to give them a better scale look. Paints were Hataka. I replaced the insignia with some thinner ones from the spares box (the Anigrand ones are very thick). Rigging was with Uschi VanderRosten thread. There are definitely compromises in here in the name of structural integrity. Given infinite time and patience I would have replaced the W strut on the forward fuselage with something daintier - I feared doing so would jeopardise whatever it was that was holding the upper wing on. Same deal with the floats - the rear struts I left alone as they provided the strength, the forward struts are prettier stretched sprue but merely decorative. I would also have filled the exaggerated rib lines scored into the wings. Inevitably all these things are much more evident in photos than in the flesh. But anyway. I am basically really happy with this. Anigrand also do a 1:72 kit of this aircraft if you find yourself with a sudden passion to build one yourself. Not a great deal more to say. A fun build and a good challenge. And with a somewhat more successful water bird that first flew just a couple of years after this - incidentally the same year that Great Lakes Aircraft Company went bust. Thanks very much for looking. Angus
  12. I don't know about you but I don't particularly associate mild mannered old Kansas-based Beech Aircraft Inc. with ground attack aircraft. No more than I associate Piper with rocket powered interceptors or Cessna with four engined nuclear bombers. But here you have it... Perhaps that's what attracted me to this, Beech's XA-38 Grizzly. Perhaps it is the name Grizzly - surely the coolest and most appropriate name for this aircraft (step aside Airbus A400M). Perhaps it is its eye watering performance. Perhaps it's that ridiculous punch-in-the-face artillery piece in the nose. Everything about this aircraft is impressive. And very un-Beech - a far fling from the Bonanza, Expeditor, Mentor at any rate. This was designed as a bomber-killer, but when fears of long-range German raids abated it found its groove as a replacement for the Douglas A-20 Havoc. It first flew in mid-1944 and is one of the handful of aircraft in history which have actually exceeded their anticipated design potential in initial testing. But herein lay its achilles heel: the key ingredient to its superb performance were the two colossal Wright R-3350s (a ferocious 2,300hp apiece if you must know - same as the Tigercat). This gave it a blistering top speed in level flight of 320kts - compared to the Marauder's 249kts, Havoc's 275kts or the Mitchell's 236kts. The A-26 Invader came closer, at 312kts. The 75mm cannon (which you may or may not have noticed on the nose of the aircraft - it's rather bashful and discreet) was also fitted to the B-25H with success. In fact, had the Mitchell not been so successful at doing its thing, the Grizzly would have been employed flying in and out of the coastal inlets of the Philippines, Taiwan and Japan, knocking out shipping and bunkers. This is the Anigrand kit. Mr. Anigrand produced a 1:72 kit of this which I drooled over for a few years and was overjoyed when they released a 1:144 bonus kit with their Sikorsky VS-44. I started this in the first lockdown over a year ago. It goes together very nicely indeed - very little seam cleanup. I don't quite know why I set it aside actually. I made only a couple of modifications - I replaced all the cannons and machine guns with metal tubing; I used a dremel to make two more gun ports in the forward nose that were not cast on; I replaced the plain kit wheels with some from the spares box; I added some 500lb bombs to the moulded pylons (thank you Platz P-47); I put a few stencil decals on from the spares box. But that was it. There's not much more to add. The kit is pretty accurate I think - shapewise it looks right. Two minor things that could be improved: I had to shorten the main undercarriage legs or this sits too snout-high. The exhaust panels aren't quite right - it should have recessed scoops like on the A-26 but is moulded flat. I painted this AKI Xtreme Aluminium as usual. There are lots of very good reference photos of this aircraft and its sistership. This was fairly plain overall natural metal (so plain that I wondered whether it was painted an aluminium lacquer). I did a bit of weathering on the upper wing which was very exhaust stained on the real thing... ...but after an abortive attempt in which I applied far too much staining and the whole thing looked faintly ridiculous, I scrubbed it back and had another go with a dollop more restraint. I'm happy with the look now. Overall these were pretty clean. The Jeep is a Brengun number by the way (improperly painted for this scene in post-war guise but forgive me). Finally with another twin engined bomber that's approaching completion. Next I'm going to build Slingsby's jet-powered anti-submarine warfare seaplane. Thanks very much for looking. Angus
  13. Here is my latest kit: the MiG-31 Firefox of the 1982 Clint Eastwood film. It's the Anigrand 1:144 resin kit. Keeping in mind the discrepancies between the full-scale film prop and the "flying models", the kit has some inaccuracies, namely around the undercarriage. The nosewheel should have twin wheels and the bays and doors are wrong but I left well alone and only cut the nose bay door in a way that made it closer to what we see in the film. My only other modifications were replacing the WW2-type seat with one from a Revell/Mark I F-104 kit (chopped down a bit in height to fit) and adding a landing light to the nose u/c leg. One of the major discrepancies is the finish. The full scale prop was a dark grey colour whereas the flying models had a highly glossy or metallic) blue-grey tone. I found a comment of the prop designer in internet that stated that Clint Eastwood wanted the plane to be very shiny and that the plane was a dark blue-grey colour. I tried to get somewhere in between. I made some mixes and the final one was Tamiya Gun Metal with Medium Blue and Gloss Black (+ Vallejo Black when the latter ran out). I got a nice pearly dark blue-grey colour. The kit was fully painted by brush. The kit's painting instructions were fictitious so I tried to follow what I could make out from the film. The leading edge panels were painted Vallejo Natural Steel. The kit's decals were oversized so I used some from a Mark I red stars sheet and I placed them according to what I could make out in the ice floe scene. I applied a slightly gloss satin varnish (mixed from Vallejo varnishes) since a high-gloss sheen would look awful. Thanks for looking and all comments are welcome as usual. Miguel
  14. Hi there Here is my recently completed Thunderscreech. The shiny finish was done using Alcad Airframe Aluminium misted over a coat of Polished Aluminium. The stars and bars came from Fantasy Printshop and the rest of the decals from the kit. The wingtip pitot tubes came fra Albion Alloys slide fit tubing. Regards Toby
  15. Hi there Here is something a bit different for me, a resin kit. On first inspection there are not many parts. Unfortunately there are some ugly marks on the the leading edges of the wings and the risen surface is quite rough. After filling this damage with Milliput for the first time the external surfaces were piloshed down until they shone using finer grades of Micromesh and ending up with 12,000 grade. Some very small imperfections were still present, but these disappeared under a coat of Tamiya gey primer. This was sprayed on and left to dry in the shed at about freezing point so I guess that expalins the un-even coverage. Test fitting has shown that the fuselage needs packing at the top for both the spinner and the vac form canopy. Weight was added and the fuselage glused together using Araldite. Here is the state of play today. regards Toby
  16. I hope this is the right place to post this - I cannot see a What If section, and weird though this is it is not Sci-Fi! Please do move it if not. I don't post many of my builds on here but this is a bit of a rare kit and aircraft so I thought I'd share it (apart from anything else, despite searching the ends of the internet I can find no images of completed models of this aircraft in any scale so this might help the one other human on this planet who might want to build this kit!). This was a genuine but unbuilt anti-submarine patrol seaplane from Convair. It kind of looks like a Martin Marlin on acid, I think. Either way - it's damned ugly. If this had entered service, I think there's good money on it being called the pelican (in fact, half way through this build I realised what it reminded me of - Nigel from Finding Nemo!). Info on this design is very scarce but I managed to track down some decent three view drawings (Secret Projects Forum has a lot of helpful info if anyone is looking for it). The history of this aircraft is intriguing. In 1957 Mother Russia decided to fit SCUD missiles to their Zulu class submarines, giving the Soviets their first ballistic missile subs. This caused great alarm in the US, and a strong fear that the existing sub picket lines on the Atlantic and Pacific needed upgrading. So an aircraft was sought to replace the Martin Marlin and Lockheed Neptune - the designs of both were nearing ten years old. Both Convair and Martin submitted proposals (XP6Y-1 and XP7M-1 respectively), with two prototypes of the Convair aircraft ordered before budget cuts forced the navy to see sense and decide on a long range land-based aircraft which ably fulfilled this role until only a few years ago - the Lockheed P3 Orion, of course. The idea was this would fly along, land - dunk its sonar and sit for a few hours waiting for a Russian sub to amble past. Spare a thought for the unbelievably seasick sonar operators in the back! It would then take off and repeat the exercise somewhere else. To actually hunt the sub, it would have flown a similar pattern as the Orion subsequently did and use its extendable MAD boom at the rear to fix the sub's position before dropping depth charges or homing torpedoes. Here's the small scale model that was built in 1958: It's only as I put this together that I've really appreciated what a whacky thing this was. The whole design was centred on reducing the stall speed in order to enable this to land and take off in short distances in any sea state the Atlantic or Pacific might throw at it. So it had absolutely massive 'blown' flaps suspended from a flying wing - like a Catalina in a way, just less aircraft and more scaffolding. The height of the wing would presumably have kept the flaps out of the spray on takeoff. To power it off the water, the aircraft was designed with five (5) engines - and a rocket. The three massive Wright R-3350s in the nacelles are obvious, but the central nacelle also housed two jet engines which could be angled over 150 degrees up or down (although quite why you'd want to angle it up I don't know). There was also a JATO rocket in the rear just in case none of this was really enough oomph for you. This would have been able to carry a colossal array of weapons - I was puzzling over what looked like two massive cargo doors in the side of the model amidships (I feel very nautical when I say words like amidships - after this, I must go and don some chunky knitwear and gaze thoughtfully at the middle distance). Actually these were bomb and torpedo bays which rotated through 180' when needed. Similar to the Canberra bomb bay arrangement. The Navy actually liked the design quite a lot - more so than its competitor the Martin Submaster (of which a partial, full-scale mockup was actually built). It ordered two prototypes built before budget cuts led to these being cancelled. Anyway - history aside, there's a WIP in a thread here on Kampfgruppe144 if you're interested. This was largely built out of the box, but I had to source beaching gear from the spares box (these came from a Constellation) and a few other bits and bobs were scratch built like the searchlight. The paint scheme is entirely speculative but I have gone for how I imagined the first prototype (147206) might possibly have looked when it rolled out of Convair's San Diego factory for the top brass - painted in the contemporary white over seaplane grey that Marlins wore, complete with dummy depth charges. I borrowed quite a lot of paint ideas from pictures of the Marlin - especially the props. I don't usually love What If aircraft but there was something fairly liberating doing this knowing there was no prototype let alone production aircraft to base this on. It is surprisingly large. It's not often in modelling in 1:144 that you can fit the entirety of your smartphone camera underneath the wing of the aircraft you're photographing! I say surprisingly, because it was only when I finally put the wing and fuselage assemblies together properly last night that I really appreciated this properly. Quite noticeable next to the Sikorsky Dreadnought I built last year... And particularly so next to what would have been a contemporary naval fighter (even if the Cougar was fairly petite). thank you very much for looking and for reading if you made it this far! Angus p.s. I'd be very surprised if another one of these appears on this forum anytime soon. If one does, I promise to eat my airbrush!
  17. While the XP-91 Thundercepter V-Tail model works it's way through the paint shop, I've decided to while away the waiting hours by starting another resin airplane, the Bell XP-83, by Anigrand. This model has a certain interest to me, because I originally started working on it piece-meal a few years ago, and then when I got to that point, I discovered that my kit had two right side intake nacelles, but no left side. I emailed Arnold at Anigrand to ask whether he might supply the correct part I needed. He soon replied that during a move, the molds for his original XP-83 had been lost or damaged, and that he would like to find one of those older kits, to remaster some molds. I volunteered what I had (forgetting to enclose the wings) and sent it off to him. After several months of not hearing back, I sent a couple of emails, but got no response. About a year or more later, I was browsing his website, and saw that the XP-83 was for sale again. I figured he had forgotten his promise, so I just ordered another kit, paying with Paypal. Soon, I got an email from Arnold saying that he had lost my email address, but remembered my name, and he refunded the price of the new model plus shipping, so he did, in the end, honor his promise. A very nice gentleman! After seeing the remastered kit, I compared it to the old one I had started. First off, unlike the old kit, the newer one had only 1 teeny tiny pinhole, and virtually no flash at all. In addition, this time the kit had a clear cast resin canopy, rather than the usual vacuform, which the old kit had. Anyway, here is the kit box, and the instructions: As you can see from the parts explosion, there aren't many parts to this kit, which meets my simple model desires at this time! I started off the build by prepping the interior of the fuselage and intake/engine nacelles (one of each persuasion this time!): The cockpit area and front wheel well were given a shot of Interior Green, while the nacelles had a shot of black primer at either end. When dry, the cockpit interior was given a coat of clear gloss, to attach some cockpit decals, which are fine for the very tiny cockpit on this model, and won't really be seen much later on. The decals for the side console will be cut from portions of this old IPMS sheet which I found on line, and used for these situations. This sheet happens to be one I recently acquired on E-bay: Above right, After the nacelle primer had dried, I shot the interiors where needed, with some Alclad II Aluminum, and the engine faces with some Alclad II Polished Aluminum. The photo shows that the background area of the engine face on the right side has been painted flat black, while the one on the left has not been thusly painted yet. Next, the engine fan blades were given a wash of black to pop out the blade detail a little: Above right, they are then glued into the nacelles with CA. The whole point of all this is to make the engine fronts stand out a little, while giving the illusion of depth. Next up, the cockpit "detail" is done, with the kit supplied decal added to the instrument panel. In retrospect, I probably should have used some from the IPMS sheet, but you can't see much of it when done, anyway. The two areas on the sides of the decal shows where the edges of the panel need to be sanded to fit the cockpit. The simple seat gets some tiny strips of aluminum foil, painted a light grey on the dull side, and the the tips of the strip on one end are bent over to the grey side, to represent tiny buckles. They are shown here attached with white glue, and when dry, will be bent down into their needed shapes with a toothpick: Next, the decals were added to the side consoles, and when dry the cockpit wash given a coat of matt clear. Then, the fuselage halves are CA'd together and when dry, the I.P., control stick and seat are inserted into the cockpit. Also shown is the spiffy new cast resin canopy: The canopy pour block needs to be sawn very carefully from the canopy. Resin tends to be brittle, so I wouldn't attempt to snip it nor snap it off! Above right, After sanding the fuselage seam a little, the canopy has been attached with G-S watch cement, and the tail attached with CA. Masking tape has been added to keep the tape off of gluing surface, and "X" marks where each side of the fuselage will also be black primed and then painted Aluminum, as were the nacelles, earlier. Well, that's enough for the first install. If you'd like one of these kits, I can certainly recommend the new tooling. Get 'em before they're gone, HERE. Ed
  18. I'm a bit fascinated by jet and turboprop-powered flying boats. I think it's because the heyday of the flying boat was very much the piston engine era, so there's a combination of the modern and the anachronistic about them. So of course I'm interested in Beriev's aircraft. I'm planning to build three of them - the A-40 Mermaid (which I've wanted to build ever since I saw one at Fairford in '96), its smaller civilian sibling the Be-200, and their ancestor the R-1, Beriev's first jet flying boat. The A-40 and R-1 are from Anigrand - the R-1 is one of the bonus kits in the A-40 box: And the Be-200 is from Eastern Express. In theory the injection moulded kit should be the easier one, but I have a feeling it might be the other way round! cheers Julian
  19. I'm going to have a go at the Anigrand 1/144 Convair R3Y-1 Tradewind. A fascinating aeroplane - conceived initially for maritime patrol, it was redesigned for transport and ended up with a brief service life as a tanker. From the sounds of things it could have been a very good aircraft, but was beset with engine problems, and it only lasted 2 years in service. The Anigrand kit looks quite nice. This and the Beriev will be my first go at resin kits, and it looks like a good place to start. Here's what you get for the Tradewind - the box also contains 1/144 kits of the Beaver, Seasprite (both tiny!) and North American XA2J Super Savage. Hopefully I'll make a start at the weekend cheers Julian
  20. The North American XF-108 Rapier was a proposed long-range, high-speed interceptor aircraft designed by North American Aviation intended to defend the United States from supersonic Soviet strategic bombers. The aircraft would have cruised at speeds around Mach 3 (3,200 km/h; 2,000 mph) with an unrefueled combat radius over 1,000 nautical miles (1,900 km; 1,200 mi), and was equipped with radar and missiles offering engagement ranges up to 100 miles (160 km) against bomber-sized targets. To limit development costs, the program shared engine development with the North American XB-70 Valkyrie strategic bomber program, and used a number of elements of earlier interceptor projects. The program had progressed only as far as the construction of a single wooden mockup when it was cancelled in 1959, due to a shortage of funds and the Soviets' adoption of ballistic missiles as their primary means of nuclear attack. Had it flown, the F-108 would have been the heaviest fighter of its era. This is the Wikipedia abstract, full story here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_American_XF-108_Rapier I recently completed this build from the Anigrand resin kit: since both incarnations of the mock-up (overall metal or white) were quite bland and uninspiring I chose to depict a fictitious evaluation a/c from Edwards, as imagined by the artist on the front cover of this Airpower Magazine issue: The build thread can be found here for those interested. As you will read it was truly a collaborative effort with great inputs from BM members, thank you again to all! So here are the images. Thanks for looking!
  21. Finished my self imposed one month posting and forum hiatus but still got this one done for April and my seventh for the year: A sweet but full of casting /moulding flaws kit from Anigrand. I scribed and riveted the surface, Alclad and Mr Color for a "Man in the High Castle" vibe. Decided that post war the victorious Luft '46 boys would have dumped the camo and gone full shiny. Scratched an exhaust and throttle body to distract from the strange oval hole Anigrand presented, then made up some aerials for radar/drone use and drove myself crazy gluing 0.1mm nickel rod. Decals from various Skys sheets and spares box. Fun was had and no styrene was unnecessarily hurt. WIP here:
  22. After the 1/144th kit (link) Anigrand is to release in November 2018 April 2019 a 1/72th Sikorsky XPBS-1 resin kit - ref. AA2137 Patrol bomber compete with Consolidated PB2Y Coronado Source: http://www.anigrand.com/future_releases.htm V.P.
  23. This is my rendition of Anigrand's 1/72 the Douglas F5D-1 Skylancer. The Skylancer was an improved F4D Skyray, similar to the F-106 being an improved F-102, but unlike the F-102 the F5D's came out while the F8U and F-4 where already under development so its timing was bad and it never went into production. This is typical to my experience with Anigrand kits; nice casting with a few pin holes, slightly undersized and slightly warped fuselage halves. It came with a nice looking ejection seat, but I used the CMK F4D interior. The decals were a mix of the kit ones for the aircraft specific markings, with national and Navy markings from other sheet. On the whole it was a pleasant build that took a total of 15 days. Here it is with an F4d-1 for comparison Next up is the Hasegawa SP-5B Marlin Enjoy
  24. This is my rendition of Anigrand's Vought XF8U-3 Crusader III. This was a very good Anigrand kit, free of pinholes and with a surprisingly clear canopy. The only disappointment was the decals. These had yellowed and taping them to a sun facing window for a few weeks only slightly clear up the yellowing. They were also very glossy and thick. Other then that it was a pleasant 2 week OOB build. What appears to be a second stabilizer would fold down in flight to augment the vertical fin. Next up in the Hobby Boss UH-1B Huey. Enjoy
  25. I've rebuilt the build thread for this unusual subject (originally from an old What-If Groupbuild) with new picture links! Republic F-103A Thunderwarrior 5th FIS, Minot AFB, North Dakota 1969. Commander's aircraft for the 1969 Air Show season. This radical interceptor design was cancelled in 1959 after reaching the mockup stage, [what-if mode ON] but was reinstated in 1962 after the Cuban Missile Crisis as three Soviet long-range supersonic bombers were poised to enter service. Two full wings of Thunderwarriors were deployed at Minot AFB, ND and Elmendorf AFB, AK. [/what-if mode OFF] Despite extremely short range, the F-103 was a point-defence interceptor with combined turbo-ramjet propulsion, capable of Mach 3.7 up to 80,000ft and dash speed of up to Mach 5 at 100,000ft. Its peak rate of climb was 70,000ft/min in ramjet propulsion above Mach 2.5. The Thunderwarrior was armed with 6 AIM-47 radar-guided missiles and could track and kill supersonic targets at over 100nm range. (All that last bit is the true projected specs back in 1954!) Anigrand Craftswork 1/72 resin kit modified, with homemade decals. Alclad finish, Xtracrylix other colours. This was actually a fun build cos everything I tried worked!! Al
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