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  1. While considering the virtues of the Kinetic F-104G kit I stumbled across an old ESCI kit with a great range of decals. I was thinking Luftwaffe but the decals included didn’t fit with what I was after, but the Dutch markings for 312 Squadron looked great. I have fond me,oriels of the mad Dutch pilots at Mildenhall shows in the early 80s. So much so I got the pilot’s autograph! Anyway, on to the kit. I used the base of a Martin Baker seat combined with the kit top section to show the smaller headrest / parachute pack as seen on these F-104s. Some scratch improvements in the cockpit & to add the ECM fittings below the nose & tail. The only other change was cutting the canopy & adding some of the opening structure. Decals are all kit. So this is her in some rare sunshine in front of the HAS So I still need a Kinetic one to do a good German F-104G. Question is Luftwaffe or Marine? Might have to wait as I now have another Kelly Johnson jet waiting to get started Thanks for looking
  2. Hello everyone, After a bit of a break from the hobby, due to life getting in the way, lockdown has given me the chance to start again and the bug has really bitten! I must have started this one about 20 years ago (unfortunately, I am that old) but never made much progress other than sticking a few bits together but I thought it would make an easy way to start building again and try a few new things out as well. It's the old Esci kit in 1:48 scale with decals from the Ministry of Small Aircraft Production Condor Legion sheet, the original decals just disintegrating when I put them near water. It was painted using Xtracolour enamel and weathered using a mix of dry brushing, pastel chalk and water colour washes. Based on pictures of the actual aircraft I removed the antenna mast, added a faired tail wheel, seat belts, instrument panel and a few other bits. Considering its age it went together well with the only difficulty being the joints in the engine cowl and getting the top wing to fit. The decals on the upper wing also silvered around the edges despite being applied on a gloss surface prior to being oversprayed with matt varnish. I also discovered later that Xtracolour's interpretation of RLM 63 is too light but hey, you live and learn. As it turned out it would be the last kit I would paint using enamel paint but that is another story. Anyway, I hope you like it and I'm happy to get any pointers.
  3. This is one of two entries for this GB. I built this kit twice back in the early 1980s from the original ESCI boxings, one as a Flammpanzer III, the other as the M. At he time, I never got the kit of the M/N with the side and turret "skirts". The Italeri kit is the M/N version, including the extra sprue with the armour skirts and mounts, as well as the 75mm L/24 barrel, mantlet and other details. It also has the "hard" tracks introduced in the ESCI/ERTL era. The tracks are for the Panzer IV, and have to be cut to size for the Panzer III.
  4. Stash clearance! This one is the original 1979 box of the ESCI A-4M Skyhawk. It's been sitting in the cupboard now since at least the mid-1980s so high time it gets built! In the box: Nice, silver coloured plastic with raised details but not half bad actually - I think there's plenty in there that is perfectly usable. Which probably doesn't quite go for the decals, being pretty antique now.. Seems I did make a start back in the dark ages, as there is a completed cockpit assembly. Waste not, want not Thought about using an aftermarket seat, but that would mean very likely either destroying the already built bits, or hacking that seat - neither option looks wise. So, let's keep it to the aftermarket decals then. Colour callouts seem to vary a bit. The sheet has different IDs than the TOMs colour set sold in Brazil, or the callout I found elsewhere: But even then, looks like at least some can be matched by Voodoo grey (which I have) and Ocean grey. Let's find out if we can get to this..
  5. This is a placeholder for the ESCi kit of the A-4G variant produced for the Royal Australian Navy. I bought this in the late 1990s ago for the princely sum of 3 Irish Pounds. The supplied stores are 6 x Mk 82 500lb "slicks" + MER (for the centreline pylon), 2 x drop tanks and 2 x rocket pods. This is probably standard for most of the ESCI A-4 kits, except the "Aggressor" & "Blue Angels", which have no stores as I recall. I'm not sure if this load-out was carried by the A-4G, but I do know it was used in the ground attack role. It was also used in the air defence role with up to 4 Sidewinders, which is an interesting possibility.
  6. After my ESCI Alpha Jet I was keen to build another airshow regular from the late 70s / early 80s. I remember walking around the Mildenhall static displays and spotting a jet that looked like an F-86D but the nose was wrong. Too pointy. I didn’t know what it was until I saw a Matchbox kit with a G.91 on the front. So now, building in 1/48, I found a couple of kits I didn’t know about. The Alpha Jet and the Gina. Both had surface detail and minimal cockpit detail. So having worked on those areas the Gina is now done. Hope you like her. And with the Alpha Jet And my RF-4E Thanks for looking
  7. Dear Colleagues: As there has been some discussion on the airliner part of this forum about the relative merits of the Airfix and ESCI kits, I thought I'd share the model I finished about 10 years ago. The base kit is the 1962-vintage Fokker Troopship. To complete it as an F-27-200, I drew heavily upon others' suggestions contained on a Dutch modeler's site. I deepened the fuselage with laminated sheets of styrene, cut to the the rough shape of the underside, and modified the tail, ailerons, and engines. I ensured the cockpit retained the V-shape through its curvature. I also employed parts of the ESCI kit's nose, heat-exchanger intakes, tail fairings, landing gear, etc, as well as added LORAN antennas from an ESCI C-47. Given a choice between the two kits, I'm partial to Airfix, which gets more correct, shape-wise, than ESCI's, especially with the cockpit and engine nacelles, including the pronounced fairing that extends up and over the wing trailing edge. I tried to replicate AirUK's periwinkle blue using Southwest Canyon Blue. The white is PollyScale.
  8. So ,,, with my Zvezda Panther on long-term pause: ... I decided on Friday evening (yes, two nights ago!), that it would be wrong to to not complete a kit for this GB. To cut a long story short. I chose the Italeri Jagdpanther. I never got this ESCI original back in the day: Of course, back in the day, this would have had single-piece flexible tracks. The Italeri boxing is of the ESCI/ERTL version, with "upgraded" hard tracks: As time was of the essence, the tasks had to be done in the optimum order. So first up, paint the wheels Dunkelgelb 43, and then before going to bed, paint the rims of the road wheels black: Saturday morning, I touched up the road wheels, and started on the upper hull: Then after dinner (or what passes for dinner in my abode ...), I attached all the road wheels, and the idler wheels, and did some touching up. Each track consists of 23 parts, including 17 single links. 8 of these are attached to the spocket, and after that things got much more difficult. I didn't glue the sprocket wheels in place, as they are a tiight fit, and because I might have needed to adjust them slightly to align with the other more troublesome track parts. Having successfully completed the tracks, I completed the hull assembly. The front join was only kept in place by me holding it until the glue had dried enough. Then, to finish up last (Saturday) night, I started to paint the hull, and then painted a bit more of it, and then some more. Note the side rails on which the "skirts" will be mounted. These parts have a square cross-section, and had to be adjusted on the inside so that they would fit "flat". Some other fixtures were also added at this point. So, this morning I added the skirts, and yes, I did remember to paint the insides first, not that these would be visible once attached. I also applied some gloss varnish for the decals to be applied (just the 3). This is from an "Unknown unit, late 1944". Rather vague, but at least more plausible than the subject in all-over Panzer Grey. I had some filler to apply at various points around the hull joins, and also on the base of the gun barrel. That's just glare on the upper right hull from the varnish. Decals now applied. That gun barrel still doesn't look right on the left side, but I'll sort it out. So now I just have to add the rear exhaust units, and then all the other fixtures and fittings. I had thought about going for a two- or three- colour camouflage scheme, but there just isn't the time for that.
  9. When not beating large scale Spitfires into submission. I have been diligently working through my shelf of doom. I started this sometime in the last century-lieraly! Decals are from Belcher Bits, other than that, straight out of the box, these are really little jewels of kits. Last photo is with the single seater I finished last year.
  10. This is the ESCI kit built OOB from, according to Scalemates, 1986, a rebox of a 1982 mould. Slightly odd as it's labelled an F-4S with the F-4J as an option. I'm not a Phantom expert so I'll take ESCI's word that they're interchangeable. Certainly there are optional tail pipes and rear tail planes on the sprues but no mention of which goes with which variant in the Instructions. So I guessed. I was fortunate to have another kit in the series because 1.The carpet monster ate the original nose cone when I dropped it and 2. When almost complete the model fell off the table and the undercarriage legs broke. With another kit it would have meant a one way trip to the Shelf of Doom, or the bin, but because I had a donor kit I was able to do like-for-like swaps. The moulds weren't great with depressions and mould lines. I scraped and filled as necessary with limited success. Fit was OK but the bane of Phantom modellers namely the join from the intakes to the fuselage was very apparent and despite 3 rounds of sanding and filling is still there. Next time maybe I'll try 6 rounds. Researching the differences between standard F-4J's and the U.K. ones and acknowledging inputs on ancient threads from @Silverkite, @XV571, @Sundowner14, in summary they appear to be: 1. The catapult spools on the underside of the wings need to go. (Done. Filled and sanded), 2. The aerial fit was different especially on the underside of the nose (Checked model to photos. All seems correct), 3. Formation lights on the U.K. a/c (Provided for by decals), 4. Small antennae on port side of nose ( Done using tip of a needle) 5. Wing reinforcement stripes (Not on early delivery a/c, as mine is, obvs... which also means the US seat can be used, or at least ESCI's interpretation thereof) 6. Cockpit instrumentation (Ignored as this is OOB and I have neither the skills nor patience nor inclination to scratch build them in this scale...and the canopy will be closed) 7. Stencils. (Ignored as minimal on U.K. machines) 8. The front nose wheel door as kitted bears little resemblance to the real thing ( Changed to comply with photos) The kit decals after 30 years disintegrated but fortunately I had Modeldecal set 76 which included an F-4J from 74 Tiger Squadron. You can model any aircraft from the Squadron with the set so I went with 'H' for the rather perverse reason I hadn't seen photos of it in real life nor as a completed kit. I also eschewed the common practise of modelling a black tail for aircraft of this Squadron to try and make mine unique. It's odd isn't it how the memory can play tricks. I remember thinking years ago of ModelDecal as the best decal manufacturer but with this set there were no stencils, not even such prominent markings as the wing walkway lines, the font for the registration number looked wrong and some just looked fictional such as the warning circles on the nose. They went on OK but there was a misregistration with some, meaning a white underlayer was visible. I therefore retrieved the kit decals, brushed on some decal film and used them as appropriate to fill gaps. Although the finish was the standard at the time of Barley Grey/Medium Sea Grey/Light Aircraft Grey these were painted in the US and, suffice to say, were found to be a not very good approximation of the British colours. The correct shades were substituted when the aircraft went in for servicing so mine will depict an early arrival yet to go to the maintenance hangar. Photos show distinct blueish and greenish hues. There has been much debate online as to how to depict these colours. There is no consensus so each to their own. Accordingly, for topside Barley Grey I mixed into Humbrol 165 an equal amount of Humbrol 248 and for the nosecone a ratio of 5:3 of the same paint to make the slightly different shade seen in real life. For the Medium Sea Grey I mixed Humbrol 167 with Humbrol 90 as I wanted a greenish tint. I started with a ratio of 10:1 but the green overwhelmed the Grey so I settled on 20:1 For the underside I just used Xtracrylix LAG as I could not see any marked change to the shade on the photos I had. I'll leave it to others to decide if my colours get anywhere near how these aircraft appeared (with thanks to @keefr22 for confirming there's no one correct answer) . A kit painted in unadulterated colours would be helpful for a comparison but I don't have one to hand. In due course perhaps. Finally, thanks to @Selwyn for pointing out that Skyflash disc markings show dummy rounds and they are blue not black with the bands also blue, an error that both ESCI and Modeldecal made. The kit, and it's donor at the top, are at the end. All comments and criticisms welcome.
  11. Had this one in build for quite some time now, nearly complete, but a few details like the cargo door and boom end, plus aerials and stuff to finish her off...
  12. This is another kit I built way back in 1981, when both subject matter and kit manufacturer would have been very exotic to me. To the best of my knowledge, this kit was never upgraded with "hard" tracks under ESCI/ERTL. More than that, the vinyl tracks are actually "Matchbox" style, meaning no glue required. Italian AFV colours are something I have no real knowledge of, so I'll just have to muddle through.
  13. This is a re-box of the venerable ESCI Churchill. I recall building the AMRCR version upon a time (as in 1981). Like most of the ESCI kits, this was "upgraded" with hard tracks in the ESCI/ERTL era, and that's what's in the Italeri box: Four of the six subjects in the Italeri boxing are eligible for this build: "Kingforce" at El Alemain, two Tunisian subjects (one with field-applied sand camoufllage), and one operating near the Gothic line in northern Italy: British AFV colours from WW II are a veritable minefield, which is the only thing likely to trouble this build.
  14. This is my Mirage 3E in 1/48 scale. This is a rebox of the quite old ESCI kit, but it captures the general shape of the Mirage 3 quite well I think. It has raised panel lines, which I accented by slightly polishing the paint off the panel lines with a very fine nailbuffer. I am not completely happy about the way the NMF turned out, but it was a good project to learn from. Most of the paints are Vallejo and Mig acrylics. Kind regards, Gerben
  15. Since a long time I have wanted to build an F-8E (FN) Crusader. In my search for Crusader kits on the inthernet I found a nice Hasegawa kit, but also the quite old (end of the 70's) ESCI kit. So I decided to build that one as a USN Crusader. This kit is quite easy and straightforward to build, but it has a lot of mistakes. The detail in the wheel wells is quite wrong, and also the shape of the forward fuselage and the canopy are very different from the Hasegawa and Monogram kits, which I guess are more correct. Still, I enjoyed this build very much. I like to think that somewhere around 1980 this kit was bought by a small boy, perhaps together with his dad, but somehow, it was never built. It was lying around for decades, until I bought it. I built it OOB, except for the decals, which are from SuperScale Decals (no48-775). the decals are nice, but gave me quite some headaches, as they were very thin and fragile. Especially the multicolored 'Sundowners' tail I had to touch up quite a bit with paint. But in the end, when I look at the kit I think, 'yes, it looks like a Crusader ' I used Vallejo and MiG Ammo acrylics on my Crusader. The surface detail on this kit is all raised, but I hate rescribing panel lines. Fortunately, the model is molded in quite dark silver-grey plastic. This makes it possible to use polishing sticks (nail buffers) to polish away the layer of FS36440 and show the panel lines nicely. Now it is on to my Hasegawa F-8E (FN).. Kind regards, Gerben
  16. I hardly dare to post this when I see some of the exquisitely crafted models on this forum, but this might encourage those who lack patience, as I do, but want an good result with minimum effort. More photos and build notes on this page of my web site: Vietnam Super Sabre
  17. The Alpha Jet was always about at Airshows when I was younger. So when I found an old ESCI kit I was back to thinking of Matchbox kits & diecasts. Not wanting to do a Patrouille de France E model, I was drawn to the point nosed E of the Luftwaffe. The kit is, er, basic? The kit seats are Martin Baker so I changed them for resin Stencel seats. The model is of the prototype, so is wrong for the Luftwaffe production version. Tail winglets were removed, fuselage tail reshaped, bullet faring above the rudder added, wing saw tooth moved up to were it should be, panel lines rescribed, front canopy cut to pose open, flaps cut & lowered, FOD covers & rbf tags added. Think that’s most of it! Anyway, this is the finished jet. Hope you like it
  18. Hi all, Against my better judgement, here I am, taking part to a GB I swore to myself I would not enter... Not sure where I went wrong... Anyway, here is my intended victim: the 1/72 UH-1D Huey from ESCI. I bought this kit when it came out, in 1983 or 1984. Toyed with it for a little while back then, but hardly any work was done. So I am looking forward to build a bit more of this beautiful chopper. Here is a look at the runners. As you can see, the decal sheet has suffered at the teeth of the local wildlife... But the decals for the IP are still looking fine. It could be worse! The clear parts look perfect.
  19. I have had an old ESCI Alpha Jet kit for a while & thought it was about time to dig it out. I have a Gina too, and a Phantom RF-4E, so maybe a triple set of Luftwaffe builds? While I like the rounded nose French & Italian examples, I think I will go for the pointy nosed German trainer / ground attack version. This one was mint in box So what do you get? Classic ESCI silver (slightly brittle) plastic. Surface moulded detail that is a bit heavy handed. Yellowed decals I think the surface detail may go & get rescribed. Maybe a couple of resin Martin Baker Mk.10s. Decals sitting on a sunny windowsill getting some sun to bleach the yellow out. Cut the flaps and pose them down a bit. The canopy. I usually pose them open, but this is a one piece canopy and I just don’t think it’s going to cut. Might have to go with closed. Any advice on building the kit would be appreciated. I took the main body parts off to see how they fit. The two body halves are very thin & flex all over the place. The underneath panel that puts everything in place doesn’t want to fit. The wing slots are massive for the locating tabs on the wings and tail. They don’t fit anywhere near snug. Think this is going to be interesting... Lots of tape & a Hawk for size comparison So let’s see how this one goes.
  20. Hi all, When Sub Lieutenant Ian Watson took off from HMS Illustrious on 6th June 1983 in a Sea Harrier, he probably never imagined landing later that day on a Spanish freighter - with his radio and navigation faulty and fuel almost out, he had no chance of making it back to the carrier. The ship he landed on the MV Alraigo docked four days later in Tenerife, with its new cargo safely aboard. You can read more about what would be called The Alraigo Incident This was my attempt to recreate that in 1/72 for the 'In the Navy' GB here on the forum. The diorama build thread is here but to recap.. Kit: 1/72 Esci Sea Harrier FRS1 Build: Dropped the flaps, opened the upper blow in doors, otherwise OOB Paint: Revell acrylics with airbrush, Flory Models Wash, Klear, Satin Varnish Decals: Whirybird for Sea Harriers Extras: Base from a picture frame. Containers & Van built from plastic card. Wood pallet from coffee sticks. Figures: From Esci 'Nato Pilots' set Am happy how it turned out, especially the shipping containers. The van is probably the weakest part of it all and could be more refined. But was my first time trying to scratchbuild anything that wasn't a box! Esci_Sea Harrier_Alraigo_diorama (3) by Dermot Moriarty, on Flickr Esci_Sea Harrier_Alraigo_diorama (4) by Dermot Moriarty, on Flickr Esci_Sea Harrier_Alraigo_diorama (5) by Dermot Moriarty, on Flickr Esci_Sea Harrier_Alraigo_diorama (6) by Dermot Moriarty, on Flickr Esci_Sea Harrier_Alraigo_diorama (7) by Dermot Moriarty, on Flickr Esci_Sea Harrier_Alraigo_diorama (9) by Dermot Moriarty, on Flickr Esci_Sea Harrier_Alraigo_diorama (10) by Dermot Moriarty, on Flickr Esci_Sea Harrier_Alraigo_diorama (12) by Dermot Moriarty, on Flickr Thanks for looking and stay safe. All the best. Dermot
  21. Hi guys, I will build the 1/48 ESCI F-8E. As I collect from memory it was my first build. I got the model then from my dad then when I was boredat his work and it would take hours before we could get home. I found this model earlier this year at a model meeting. It was out of nostalgia that I bought it and now I can use it. I will build it with the wheels up on a standard. It will have a aerobonus seated pilot in it and some better armament. O, and also some better decals. The rest will be done straight out of the box. I will place some pictures soon. Cheers,
  22. Here is my attempt at the ESCI RAF F-4J(UK) of 74 Sqn, RAF Wattisham circa 1984. Completed as ZE355 / S with the original grey fin before the squadron was repainted with black fins. Built OOB apart from a few different aftermarket decals as the ones that came with the kit were awful.
  23. Hi all, Does anybody have any experience with this old kit? Has it been re-packaged under another brand, perhaps more recently? I picked it up for about £8 on ebay a couple of months ago, and the detailing is quite poor so I'm looking into buying some aftermarket improvements for it. Thanks in advance
  24. Hi all and taking the plunge with this one, Esci's lovely Sea Harrier FRS1 That second plane in the pattern looks a bit close! Esci Sea Harrier FRS1_box by Dermot Moriarty, on Flickr Inside the box.. Esci Sea Harrier FRS1_contents by Dermot Moriarty, on Flickr Esci Sea Harrier FRS1_contents_2 by Dermot Moriarty, on Flickr The plan is OOB but will try to display in a diorama.. Thanks for looking and enjoy your builds Dermot
  25. Started as part of last year's 50s NATO v Warsaw Pact in Europe GB and completed as far as it will get, this is the 1979 vintage ESCI 1/48th scale North American F-86F Sabre operated by the Spanish Ejercito Del Aire from 1955 onwards, built OOB using the original kit decals. I have added "illusion" to the title because all is not what it seems with this kit, ESCI marketed the kit as an F-86E but supplied decals for the F-86F, the kit itself is most likely a Canadair Mk.5 or 6 with a 6-3 wing with leading edge slat and no outward wing extension. I rapidly learned much about the various Sabre wings! On to the photos... 20200123_195255 (2) by Ghostbase, on Flickr 20200123_195532 (2) by Ghostbase, on Flickr 20200123_195215 (2) by Ghostbase, on Flickr 20200123_195617 (2) by Ghostbase, on Flickr 20200123_195820 (2) by Ghostbase, on Flickr This 40 year old kit goes together well with engraved panel lines. The kit decals went on very easily indeed. I painted her with Halfords Aluminium from a rattle can and sealed her with a coat of Humbrol acrylic matt varnish to give that dull aluminium effect. I made a complete mess of the wing tanks so they have been left off for now. The wing walk decals are inaccurate, that is my fault as I managed to destroy the originals! Oh, and the canopy isn't sitting right so needs attention tomorrow. On the plus side this is my first 1/48th Sabre and I love the lines of this pugnacious looking swept wing fighter, I would like to make a few more this year and look forward to the Airfix offering later this year. Here's hoping 👍 Michael
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