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  1. source: Wikimedia Commons Looking at this interesting JRF-5, stationed at NAS Jacksonville in 1941, I can't help but to wonder on couple of things: What was the upper color? Azmodel calls for ANA 608 Intermediate blue on upper surfaces What was the lower color? Azmodel depicts it as just "Light Grey" on lower surfaces... Is there any way to determine the codes on the tail? Thanks for looking!
  2. Merry Xmas fellow modellers. May I present my latest in a long series of with of timber turned into vaguely aeroplane shaped items, this time it's an approximation of a Grumman Goose. Always liked the look of these little fellas, ever since watching Tales of the Gold Monkey back in the 80s, a fairly forgettable sub-Indiana Jones series that featured one of these planes. Happy new year to all, and keep modelling.
  3. Hi all, Fair to say that naval aviation types figure a lot in my builds, whether jets, props or rotors. And I've always had a soft spot for the Grumman C-2 Greyhound - it's the white van of the US Carrier Fleet, bringing anything from post and passengers to spare parts and jet engines to and from aircraft carriers, wherever they may be in the world. Not the prettiest,. Or the fastest. But one of the most important types I think. And sadly lacking in kits for such an important type with a service career dating back to 1965 and only being replaced this year with the Osprey 🤨 Kit wise, there's Kinetic's lovely recent 1/48 issue and some 1/144 resin offerings. I built the OzMods conversion a couple of years back and while I really enjoyed it, I wanted something in 1/72. There is RHVP's epic resin conversion for the 1/72 Hasegawa Hawkeye (on which the Greyhound is based) but I don't fancy raiding the kids' rainy day fund just yet - besides, I need it for a Bandai PG Falcon someday. 😂 So when the chance came to get a Falcon Vacform conversion & donor kit last year, I decided why not - I'll never build a vacform but at least I have a Greyhound in 1/72!. And then...I went and built a vacform Super King Air for the Maritime GB here. With being at home for the immediate future (and waiting on some paint orders to finish some other builds), I thought...maybe it's time to tackle the Greyhound. So here we go, sandpaper and swear words at the ready! Falcon_ Grumman_Greyhound_vacform_1 by Dermot Moriarty, on Flickr Cut out from the Falcon set and lined in marker pen liner.. Falcon_ Grumman_Greyhound_vacform_2 by Dermot Moriarty, on Flickr Falcon handily give you some template drawings for the internal bulkheads (more on this later) Falcon_ Grumman_Greyhound_vacform_3 by Dermot Moriarty, on Flickr And a drawing of where they go... Falcon_ Grumman_Greyhound_vacform_4 by Dermot Moriarty, on Flickr So how big is this pooch? Here's the fuselage bits next to a Revell CL-415 Falcon_ Grumman_Greyhound_vacform_5 by Dermot Moriarty, on Flickr And next to the slender Fujimi Hawkeye donor that will provide the wings, tail, gear and cockpit Falcon_ Grumman_Greyhound_vacform_6 by Dermot Moriarty, on Flickr Onwards and upwards dear modellers! Thanks for looking, Dermot
  4. F4F-4 Wildcat Gun Bay & Dinghy Sets (7512 & 7513 for Arma Hobby) 1:72 CMK by Special Hobby Arma Hobby have released several boxings of their excellent 1:72 Wildcat, with the most recent we’ve seen here in the Cactus Air Force boxing along with an P-39 Airacobra for good measure. Detail is excellent, but some aspects of the aircraft aren’t depicted, leaving space for CMK to create these two sets of upgrade components that can be used for a maintenance scenario, or just to have all the bits hanging out on this pugilistic little fighter. As usual with CMK's resin sets, they arrive in the familiar clear vacformed box, with the resin parts safely inside, and the instructions sandwiched between the header card at the rear. Open Gun Bays (7512) Containing twenty-four resin parts on six pour blocks, the first task will be to open the kit upper wing panels as shown in the instructions, and thin down the corresponding area inside the lower wing half to match. This is best done with either a motor tool, or by scraping with a curved scalpel, checking your work against a bright light to see whether you are getting close to going through. With the preparation done, the bay carcasses are loaded with the three gun breeches per side, plus short ammo feeds, then they are offered up to the new openings in the upper wings. A small triangular web is placed across the inner front corner, and the forward bay doors are placed near vertical along the front of each bay, with the others loose on the wing or somewhere conveniently nearby. Test fitting the bays in the wing will be key aspect of a successful completion, so take your time, and test, test test! Conclusion With only seven parts on two casting blocks, this set needs a small section removing from the spine of your model, as show in the instructions. A floor panel is inserted to span the gap, with a front and rear bulkhead joined by a rib along the line of the spine. The resin dinghy pack is shaped to fit the space, and two clamshell doors are fixed to the lower edges of the bay for the earlier mark, and for later airframes, only one door opens to the starboard side. Conclusion A pair of simple sets that will increase the detail further on what is already a great kit. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  5. A little something to occupy my while I wait on few( Few? Yeah right) builds to meander across the bench. So for today I present Kinetics 1/48 Grumman C-2A Greyhound with Caracal Models spiffy aftermarket decal set. Yep, it's going to be done as C-2A BuNo. 162144, VRC-40 50th Anniversary scheme and since space is at a premium I'll have to fold the wings on this one. Should be nice and relaxing..... right?
  6. Hi all and here's my latest finish, built for the 'Salty Sea Dog' group build. Some goofs here and there and the original decals are really showing their age. But it was a stress-free build which I had fun with and I like how it looks on the shelf! The short build thread is here but to recap: Kit: 1/72 Hasegawa F11F-1 Tiger Build: Out of box, original kit decals Extras: Tamiya tape for seat belts Paints: Mr Hobby, Tamiya Acrylic,, Klear, Flory models wash This served with VF-33 'Astronauts' (also known as the 'Tarsiers' and 'Starfighters') from 1959-1961 before being replaced by the F-8 Crusader. While a short Navy life, the type flew with the Blue Angels from 1957–1968 being replaced by the F-4 Phantom. VF-33 was dis-established in October 1993 and I think this aircraft is preserved in a museum in the States. Mad to think there was only ten years between Grumman's prop Hellcat and the first flight of this supersonic jet. Thanks for looking, take care and happy modelling. Dermot Hasegawa_F11-F1_VF-33_done(1) by Dermot Moriarty, on Flickr Hasegawa_F11-F1_VF-33_done(2) by Dermot Moriarty, on Flickr Hasegawa_F11-F1_VF-33_done(6) by Dermot Moriarty, on Flickr Hasegawa_F11-F1_VF-33_done(4) by Dermot Moriarty, on Flickr Hasegawa_F11-F1_VF-33_done(5) by Dermot Moriarty, on Flickr Hasegawa_F11-F1_VF-33_done(8) by Dermot Moriarty, on Flickr With an Airfix Hellcat. Hasegawa_F11-F1_VF-33_done(10) by Dermot Moriarty, on Flickr
  7. Hi all and here's my first for this year, Grumman's model 303E which would become the F-14 Tomcat. Built for the Prototypes, Racers, Research, Record breakers, Special schemes megaGB here on the forum. The short build thread is here but to recap: Kit: Revell 1/72 F-14D converted Paints: Tamiya and Mr Hobby Acrylics Decals: Caracal for 'F-14 Tomcat, the Early Years' Mods: Earlier seats; modified wing gloves and fences with plasticard; earlier TF-30 engine nozzles; extended 'boat' tail; nose pitot from stretched sprue; removed lumps and bumps The #1 prototype made its short maiden flight on December 21st 1970 with Grumman chief test pilot Robert Smythe in the front and project test pilot William Miller in the back. On 30 December, on the aircraft's second flight, the aircraft was lost due to failure of a hydraulic pump which caused a total loss of flight controls. The crew ejected safely and the aircraft crashed short of the runway at Grumman's Calverton plant, New York. Revell_1_72_Grumman_F-14_prototype_build (10) by Dermot Moriarty, on Flickr Revell_1_72_Grumman_F-14_prototype_build (15) by Dermot Moriarty, on Flickr Revell_1_72_Grumman_F-14_prototype_build (16) by Dermot Moriarty, on Flickr Revell_1_72_Grumman_F-14_prototype_build (5) by Dermot Moriarty, on Flickr Revell_1_72_Grumman_F-14_prototype_build (19) by Dermot Moriarty, on Flickr Revell_1_72_Grumman_F-14_prototype_build (6) by Dermot Moriarty, on Flickr Thanks for looking, take care and happy modelling. Cheers, Dermot
  8. F4F-3 Wildcat Gun Bay & Undercarriage Bay Sets (648793 & 648795) 1:48 Eduard Brassin We’ve reviewed the super new tool F4F-3 Wildcat from Eduard recently, and I’ve even built one, so can testify to its excellence as a model kit. Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the aftermarket waters (eh?) along come another pair of 3D printed resin sets that will blow your socks off…again. As good as the base kit is, you can always increase the level of detail over and above what’s achievable using injection moulded styrene, and these sets prove that without question. As is now usual with Eduard's larger resin sets, they arrive in a deep Brassin cardboard box, with the resin parts safely cocooned in bags, sometimes layers of foam, and with the instructions folded around acting as padding. The parts are printed resin rather than the usual poured cast resin, so are attached to their print-bases via thin tendril-like fingers that are easy to cut off and sand the little pip-like marks away, leaving them ready for action. F4F-3 Gun Bays (648793) There are two bags of 3D printed resin parts and one containing a fret of Photo-Etch (PE) brass, and you’ll need to do a little simple surgery to the wing parts of your kit, excising the bay cover panels, plus the shell-ejection chutes from the lower wings before you start. Each bay is built in mirror image, starting with the main body of the bay, which has two small PE parts fitted into in the rear wall. The two resin guns are inserted barrel first through the holes in the front of the bay, gluing the breeches to the bay floor via slots and tabs. The ammo boxes are then laid over the tops of their location, followed by the curved feeder chutes, and finally adding the lip around the bay using the PE framing part. The bay can then be inserted between the wing halves and everything glued in place, later adding the two wafer-thin bay covers per wing, which have extra detail on their inner surfaces, which will be visible once they are installed. F4F-3 Gear Bay (648795) This set has three bags of highly detailed 3D printed resin parts, and you’ll need to source some wires of various fine diameters to complete the task fully. Work starts with the tapering engine mount frames, which receives the circular ancillary equipment cluster that is the rear of the engine itself. To this are added a pair of filter boxes with intake trunking that wrap around the underside of the mount, or for the earlier -3A sub-variant, a smaller box is slung under the frame instead. The large tapering tank that sits between the top two struts is next to be fitted, and the improvement in detail here is excellent. Some 0.7mm and 0.35mm wire will be required to simulate the hoses linking the tank to the engine, with several scrap diagrams showing the shape and length of the wires, aided by them being marked out in different colours on the diagrams for your ease. The original kit firewall with integrated spars is replaced by a new super-detailed part, which has the gear bay actuation chains on their sprockets glued on pins, further improving the detail. The divide that separates the two sides of the bay is also replaced by a more detailed part, then the engine bearer assembly is brought together with the bulkhead, illustrated clearly by more scrap diagrams. Then there are yet more hoses to install, 0.35mm and 0.5mm in diameter with eight in total that take up a whole page in the instructions. The bay assembly is then completed by adding the gear legs, using the kit parts or the bronze aftermarket set 648779 if you feel the urge. The last step shows the completed gear bay being trapped between the two fuselage halves, but of course you’ll also need to put the cockpit in there, so it’s a little simplified to suit the theme of the instructions. Conclusion Both sets are at the top of aftermarket detail standards at time of writing, and for anyone wanting to portray a Wildcat in the process of re-arming, the gun bay set is a shoe-in. The gear bay set really increases the detail in that department too, much of which is visible through the sideways facing openings where the retracted wheels sit. Both sets have concise instructions with Gunze paint codes called out through every step, and include lengths and diameters of all the extra wires used to complete the detailing. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  9. F4F-4 Wildcat Upgrade Sets (for Eduard) 1:48 Eduard Brassin We’ve just reviewed the superb F4F-4 Early variant on the new tool Wildcat from Eduard, and this is one of the many aftermarket sets that they have released at the same time for those that want to increase the level of detail over and above what’s achievable using injection moulded styrene. As is now usual with Eduard's larger resin sets, they arrive in a deep Brassin cardboard box, with the resin parts safely cocooned in bags, and the instructions folded around acting as padding. The Photo-Etch (PE), SPACE and Mask sets arrive in a flat resealable package, with a white backing card protecting the contents and the instructions that are sandwiched between. F4F-4 Cockpit (648803) There are three Ziploc bags within the box, two containing directly 3D printed parts, the other containing a fret of nickel-plated pre-painted Photo-Etch (PE), a tiny slip of acetate and a small decal sheet, both protected by a small sheet of white card. On emptying the parts out of the bag, the first thing you notice is the sheer level of detail present, but also the relatively small parts count thanks to the capabilities of 3D printers, where supports are all that is required to protect overhangs, and there is no degrading of mould fidelity over time because there are no moulds to wear out. The short parts list is also evident immediately on viewing the instructions, which begin with an ostensibly complete main cockpit assembly that consists of the floor, rear bulkhead and oxygen tanks, to which you add the seat with a full set of four-point belts from the PE sheet. The control column slips into a deep recess in the gaiter, some half-moon levers are added at the sides of the pilot, then the forward bulkhead with integral tank, plus a separate headrest cushion are mated to the cockpit. The side consoles are slotted between the two bulkheads with detailed painting guide and decal placement instructions to complete those, then a little wire from your own stocks is threaded through sections of the cockpit, and the kit bulkhead is brought in from behind, noting that the plastic bulkhead sits at an angle to the resin cockpit, not square as you might expect. The beautifully detailed rudder pedals are a single part that is truly amazing to behold, and it too has its own painting instructions and two decals for the centre of the piece. The kit insert to the tank is slotted into the 3D printed part to complete it, and then you have a choice of how to complete the instrument panel, using a blank panel with two-layer PE dial sections plus some tiny levers, or a detailed printed panel to which you add a decal, or if you’re very brave, paint fully yourself. The small angled coaming with moulded-in reflector gunsight is added atop the panel that is locked in on two pegs, and a tiny piece of acetate sheet is glued to the top of the sight to finish off. The cockpit can then be inserted into the fuselage as per the kit instructions, but with a small resin part fixed to the starboard interior with some wires running from it, and a pair of tiny pegs are removed from the styrene part. 42gal Ventral Drop Tank (648756) This simple set consists of two 3D printed parts in a crystal-clear box within the packaging, one of which is the aerodynamic body of the tank, the other part being the top surface of the tank, which slots snugly into the body when tested. The detail on the upper surface is excellent, and it’s a shame to hide it away on the model, so it would be best seen if used as background detail in a diorama, although a limited view of the detail will still be seen if it is installed on the model, as there are a set of stand-off legs built into the tank. SPACE 3D Printed Cockpit Decals (3DL48090) The Eduard SPACE sets use new 3D printing techniques that lay down successive layers of different colour resin, creating highly realistic almost full complete panels that are supplied on a decal sheet. They can depict metallic shades, plus glossy, satin and matt colours too, which really ups the detail on everything they print. In addition, a small sheet of nickel-plated and pre-painted PE is included for the aspects of the set that lend themselves better to this medium, such as seatbelts and rudder pedals. This set includes a full set of 3D printed instrument panel sections, plus additional parts that are applied to the side consoles to replace many of the raised portions of the styrene parts. There is also a printed document case for the sidewall, and while the PE sheet is almost totally made up of seatbelt parts, there are also additional details for the seat, a handle for the side consoles, small instrument boxes on the starboard sidewall, and a backing plate for the large document folder on the port wall. Masks Tface (EX904) Supplied on a large sheet of yellow kabuki tape, these pre-cut masks supply you with a full set of masks for the canopy, with compound curved handled by using frame hugging masks, while the highly curved gaps are in-filled with either liquid mask or offcuts from the background tape. It also gives you another set of masks tailored to fit the interior of the glazing so that you can paint the interior and give your model that extra bit of realism. In addition, you get a set of lower side windows, and hub/tyre masks for the wheels, allowing you to cut the demarcation perfectly with little effort. Review sample courtesy of
  10. Delving into the depths of the R-1820 has me thinking the kit engine is wrong(ish) It's supposed to be a -22, which has the sparkplug wire ring behind the push rods and the shallow front (sump?) Most period pics and a lot of restorations show this. Most of the pics of a 'deep sump' engine show the sparkplug wire ring in front of the pushrods. Did AM mix'n'match details?
  11. F4F-4 Wildcat Early ProfiPACK (82202) 1:48 Eduard Grumman began development work on a new carrier-based fighter in the mid-30s, starting with the F2F, which was a biplane, but it and the successor F3F led to the basic shape of the Wildcat, minus two of the wings. Initially, the new aircraft was outpaced by the Brewster Buffalo, and Grumman had to redesign their aircraft to carry a supercharged version of the Pratt & Whitney R-1830 Twin Wasp radial engine, and later on, new flying surfaces that gave it the needed improvement, receiving orders from the US Navy as a very sensible and prophetic backup-plan in case the Buffalo was a let-down. Initial orders from France were delivered to the British Royal Navy after France fell before delivery, where it was initially designated as the Marlet. The US Navy would adopt the type in late 1941 after the Buffalo turned out to be a disappointment, although it was quite a manoeuvrable little aircraft that saw some service elsewhere. Originally armed with 4 x 0.50 cal machine guns, the F4F-4 was introduced in 1941 with an increased 6 guns to improve the aircraft's punching power. Although the armament was increased to 6 guns, the ammunition capacity was not, giving pilots less time with their fingers on the trigger, which was generally disliked by the pilots for obvious reasons. The extra weight from two more guns and the new wing fold gear also reduced performance, which could keep the pilot in harm’s way longer than with the early mark. It was the primary US Carrier fighter during the early years of America’s war, with production continuing until 1943 when they switched over to building the replacement Hellcat, but one factory continued to make Wildcats for the British Fleet Air Arm (FAA). The Wildcat’s smaller size and slower landing speed was a boon on the typically smaller carrier that the British Navy operated in large numbers as escort carriers. The Kit This is a reboxing with a new sprue of this brand-new project from Eduard, and I can tell you with hand-on-heart, having already built the -3 that they have created yet another highly detailed and well-engineered kit, from which more variants will be forthcoming for us, the modelling public. It arrives in Eduard’s modern gold themed top-opening box, and inside are five sprues in dark grey styrene, a clear sprue, a nickel-plated pre-painted fret of Photo-Etch (PE), a sheet of pre-cut kabuki masking tape, a large decal sheet, and the glossy instruction booklet with colour profiles in the rear pages. Detail is exceptional, as we’ve come to expect from Eduard’s engineers, right up there with, if not the best examples of plastic models as of today. There is some judicious use of sliding moulds to improve detail without increasing the part count unduly, the most notable being the rudder, which is hollow and ready for an insert during the build process. Construction begins in the cockpit, which takes over a page of the instructions and starts with the pilot’s foot boards that fit onto a Z-shaped bulkhead, and has the frame that holds the head cushion plus a pressurised bottle and two small PE parts hanging behind the seat. The two mounts are added to the frame before fitting the seat, which is prepared by adding a small PE strip diagonally across the rear of the seating area, plus four-point belts with a comfort pad under the buckle and tabs dangling down behind the seat. The instrument panel is integrated in another frame that encompasses a tank, which is bulked out by adding another part to the other side, then you have a choice of applying a decal to the moulded-in dials, or a two-layer PE instrument panel that is applied in three sections, complete with a fully pre-painted set of dials and surrounds, plus the shiny domed dial glazing finishing. The side consoles are made up from a large number of parts, some of which are PE and pre-painted, then they are slotted into the rear frame and the instrument panel frame to create the cockpit’s tub. The rudder pedals are based on a single styrene part that is decorated with PE parts added to the centre section, plus tiny little PE parts on each pedal, removing a little of the centre section before adding them. This slips in behind the instrument panel and is joined by a long rectangular lattice panel representing the spar that mates to the front end of the foot boards, all of which fits snugly. The cockpit is left to one side for a while so that the engine mount assembly and main gear bay can made. This is based upon the firewall, from which a tapered spar projects from each side. The engine mounts, a set of chains and the rear ancillary package of the engine are assembled to the front of the bulkhead, then a boxy divider for the gear bays with two supports is added to the underside, a clamshell-shaped tank sits in the top of the mounts, and a C-shaped air-box assembly that latches onto the sides of the mounts. The insides of the fuselage have fine ribbing moulded into them, and this is augmented by a number of PE parts, and small rectangular windows with radiused corners in both sides of the fuselage, which are inserted from outside during closure of the two halves around the cockpit and engine mount. There is a panel line on the dinghy pack bay that needs filling on the top of the spine, and another should be scribed lower down. Underneath the nose is an insert that forms the space between the two exhausts and the exhausts themselves, which have deep hollows moulded into them for realism. In a change from the -3, the wings are next, and as they’re mounted mid-fuselage, they’re totally separate from each other. Each one is made from upper and lower halves, with a small insert with PE mesh parts wedged inside the bulged fairings on the underside before the two halves are closed, and the ailerons are added to their position near the tips of the wings. The elevator fins are simple two-part assemblies each, and they’re attached to the tail via the usual tab and slot method, at the same time the wings are slid over their spars. The elevators are moulded as one piece, and clip into the rear of the fins either side of the rudder fin, and are then locked in place by adding the rudder panel, which has a slide-moulded triangular hole inside, which is filled by adding an insert before gluing it in place. The very rear of the arrestor hook is slipped inside the fuselage with a clear light above it, and a clear light is inserted into the leading edge of the port wing and outlined by a PE strip. The engine is built up before adding the wings, and we get both banks of the Twin Wasp engine as separate parts, plus push rods and the bell housing that has the drive-shaft projecting from it. All it needs is some wiring for the spark plugs unless you’re going to get yourself some aftermarket for it. I spent a few minutes with some lead wire for my build. The cowling is standardised with the cylindrical section made from two halves, adding a lip to the front that has the intakes moulded-in, all of which fit together brilliantly. The finished engine and cowling are glued to the front of the fuselage while the wings are being added, and it’s worth noting here that the wings are the main new parts, with more panel lines, rivets, appliqué panels and the prominent wing-fold lines. The instrument coaming gets inserted in the front of the cockpit, with a choice of PE ring and bead sight or normal sight, depending on which decal option you choose. The landing gear has been relegated to later in the build, as even though the struts and retraction jacks are buried deep inside the fuselage, it’s perfectly possible to leave them off until the end. Each leg is made of three parts with scrap diagrams showing how they are arranged, and once the glue is dry and they’ve been painted, they are inserted deep into the fuselage, the cylindrical top ends mating with cups that are moulded into the firewall. They are then buttressed by more styrene parts, the diminutive fixed tail strut is made up of two halves that trap a choice of two styles of wheel, and the main wheels are each made of a single tyre and two hub halves that slip over the axles at the bottom of the main gear legs, with a pair of small inner doors added to the centreline while the fuselage is inverted – don’t forget to add exhaust staining to these parts during painting, as I did. The final page finishes off the build with the canopy, starting with a choice of two windscreens, which have a small PE rear-view mirror added inside before being glued in place. There are two canopy parts depending on whether you want to depict the canopy slid back over the spine or not, the latter slightly widened to fit over the spine against the sharply forward-raked antenna. There are masks for all the included canopies included on the kabuki tape sheet, but only for the exterior, and I’m now seriously besotted with the Tface masks that allow the modeller to paint the interior frames too. The model is then finished off with a number of tiny clear lights at the wingtips; three gun barrels in each wing leading edge; forward-raked antenna on the spine with a clear light just behind it; barbed pitot probe in the port wingtip leading edge; the single-part prop that has stencil decals supplied with an additional spinner; two bomb shackles under the wing for some options that I decided to paint a dark metallic shade, and a single PE aerial under the fuselage depending on which decal option you have chosen. Markings There are six decal options in the box, spread over one large sheet. From the box you can build one of the following: BuNo.03417, Lt. Stanley W Vejtasa, VF-10, USS Enterprise (CV-6), October 1942 BuNo.5149, VF-3, USS Yorktown (CV-5) & USS Hornet (CV-8), May/June 1942 Ens. Thomas W Rhodes, VF-6, USS Enterprise (CV-6), Early August 1942 Ens. Benjamin F Currie, VF-5, USS Saratoga (CV-3)/Guadalcanal, Autumn 1942 Ens. Hamilton McWhorter, VF-9, USS Ranger (CV-4), October 1942 OTU VFB-8, Daytona Beach, USA, 1944 The decals are printed by Eduard and are in good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin gloss carrier film cut close to the printed areas. It’s worth remembering that as of 2021, the carrier film from Eduard decals can be coaxed away from the printed part of the decal after they have been applied, effectively rendering them carrier-free, making the decals much thinner and more realistic, and obviating the need to apply successive coats of clear varnish to hide the edges of the film. It’s a great step further in realism from my point of view. I tried them out on my F4F-3, and they worked brilliantly, with some minor aspects to watch out for. Have a look at the link to my build in my signature strip if you’re curious. Conclusion As you might have already guessed, I built the F4F-3 when it arrived and thoroughly enjoyed it, so please accept my apologies for the asides dotted through the review. It’s a cracking kit, and this one looks to be more of the same. The detail added to the new wings should come up brilliantly under paint and a bit of realistic-looking weathering, so don’t hold back. Your modelling mojo will thank you. Extremely highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  12. After reviewing this little gem from Eduard, I decided to give it a whirl, especially as I'd got a bunch of their aftermarket bits and bobs to go with it. It would be churlish not to really here's a pictorial run-down of what's there: Obviously, I'll not be using both sets of wheels, and there's a bit of overlap in the sets with seatbelts and a few other bits, but I'll probably hold those over for another build or something else later. I've been putting a few bits together over the last few days, and have managed to achieve a bunch of sub-assemblies that are now stuck to coffee stirrers and cocktail sticks ready for painting. The 3D printed cockpit is a bit of a jaw-dropper, so I began with that after I'd cut all the printing bases away and made good. Beautiful detail! I've mixed up a bottle of my favourite Gunze Mr Colour from the given recipe for the interior green, so should be ready to go with that when I get a minute. I've still got to decide what colour everything is to be painted though, as I've kind of lost the plot, and I think it's my first aircraft of this era from the American arsenal. I'll be making a few stuff-ups on the way, so if anyone's got any advice, just let me know in a calm and pleasant manner, and I won't break down in tears. Anyway, the cockpit. You can't get too far toward closing up the fuselage without making up the landing gear, and I'm going for the BRONZE set that I reviewed the other day. Minimal clean-up, and really nice and dainty. I'll be hanging a pair of resin wheels off the bottom too, using the later wheels, as I'm doing the last decal option, F for this build. lastly, the engine, which is all from the kit parts, even though there is a resin engine out there somewhere. That's all ready to go, and I might add some ignition harness wiring if there isn't a PE one in the various sets I've got. My mind's a blank as it stands: ....and why haven't I made any more progress? A combination of other stuff, including migraines, taking my mum to hozzy for an important appointment about her peepers, and taking our 12 year old Christopher for his birthday treat with the family. He got to drive Super Cars around a track on the Wirral (yes, a 12 year-old driving expensive cars). He got to drive three cars himself, including a Ford Mustang GT, a Maclaren P1, and his personal favourite, the Aston Martin Vantage (I think?). Here's a pic of him piloting his favourite with one of the instructors, who were all friendly and very encouraging. I know he's my son and I'm supposed to think he's brilliant, but he did really well, going faster and with more confidence on each successive lap, and needing little help apart from a few half turns in the car parking area so he got to the correct place to park. We got the videos of his performance, which includes an in-cockpit camera and one of the track he's going round, plus a photography dude in a red Audi taking pics as they all went round. I watched another kid go off in a Lambo while Christopher was out, and the instructor had to leap at the wheel as the kid was about to plough straight into the front corner of the Ariel Atom I was going to play in later I kept expecting to hear a crash while he was out Once he'd done four laps in each one, he also got a 3-lap trip round the circuit in a tricked out Mazda MX5 (Miata for the Americans) that was going hell-for-leather, but he seemed to take it all in his stride, smirking all the way around while the tyres wailed on every corner. Caz treated me to a neck-breaking ride in an Ariel Atom, a car I was familiar with from Top Gear and which I knew was fast, but didn't quite know it was THAT fast. My neck was aching horribly for an hour afterwards, but it was an absolute hoot that was over way too soon. They squeezed my massive head into their biggest helmet, and helped me into the cockpit, which is tiny and open at the sides, and the lack of doors made it very difficult for me to get my legs over the side, as they don't work like they used to and I had to lift the first one over They got me in eventually, strapped me down in a four-point harness and off we went. The helmet was super-tight, but I managed to slide my shades back on inside the visor, and after the first acceleration caused my head to clang against the rear fairing, I braced myself and started to get into it. The driver was so used to driving it that he had it almost diagonal and shrieking like a banshee on most corners, pushing its tyres to the absolute limit of their grip with a fabulous staccato howl coming from the rubber on the fastest corner. at the end of each lap Three laps took about 0.1 seconds, and I was into it by the start of lap two, bracing my neck against the lateral-G as we approached the next corner. That driver must have immense neck muscles! I almost had to keep the helmet, but managed to get it off in the end, and Caz said I was visibly shaking when I struggled out, probably buzzing from the adrenalin rush. My poor system isn't used to it any more I'll be back to my usual levels of lethargy in a few days, and can recommend having a go if you get the chance. Much fun, but not conducive to getting any modelling done
  13. I've been building this one since I finished the review you can find here, and used some of the many aftermarket sets that we got at the same time to bump up the detail a little. Painted with Gunze Sangyo Aqueous paints, and using the kit decals with their peel-off carrier film, which I'm sold on. From memory, here's a list of the AM I ended up using: 648777 Cockpit Set 648768 Wheels Late 648779 Bronze Gear Legs 648766 Exhausts & Gun Barrels I used a very time-consuming painting method that I'm sure has been tried by lots of other folks before, but it needs quite a bit of patience in un-gumming the airbrush in between sessions, painting each panel and in-between the rivet lines separately with a slightly lightened shade of the base coat. Takes some time and gives you a neck ache, and although it works on these dirty, faded subjects, would probably be useless on a clean aircraft TBH. You can see the work in progress in the WIP area Here's a bunch of pics I took: Spot the two little holes! I had a lot of fun, and the detail is phenomenal OOB, and even better with the extras I used. I can't wait to see what's next from Eduard
  14. Greetings one and all. Been a while since I built anything, and even longer since I posted a WIP.... So, with no further waffle - progress so far on a build of many (well... two at least) firsts - 1st WWII USN airframe... 1st Eduard kit (I know, I know... I only just crawled from under my rock....) Obligatory box art shot... Photoetch gets taped down to a kitchen tile - this prevents (for the most part at least) pinging of tiny bits of metal shrapnel into the ether.. 1 I still maintain my position that photo etch is the work of Beelzebub... Still... should look OK when wrapped around the seat (I hope) Cockpit beginning to take shape... OOOOH... another first... first time using Mr. Finishing Surfacer 1500 Black as a primer... Thinned 4:1 with Mr. Color Levelling Thinner. Gives a cracking base for colour and dries super fast Winner!! On the down side - don't try to clean out your airbrush with IPA... The resulting crud looked like coffee grounds, and took me the better part of an hour to clean out of my H&S Evolution 🤬🤬 Tally Ho Chaps and Chapettes... More soon!
  15. On Saturday (24th), I went to Scale Scotland 2022, I had a wonderful time. I bought a few kits but this one especially excited me because I've wanted one for a while and I've liked wildcats/martlets since I went to the FAA museum in RNAS Yeovilton when I was younger. I personally think the martlet/wildcat looks excellent in FAA camo. Today I started working on her. I'm quite happy with the cockpit and landing gear. Because of how small the kit is, construction and initial painting went very quickly I did all if this in one day! This might be a speedbuild depending on whether I'll have more workbench time this week
  16. F4F-3 Wildcat ProfiPACK (82201) 1:48 Eduard Grumman began development work on a new carrier-based fighter in the mid-30s, starting with the F2F, which was a biplane, but it and the successor F3F led to the basic shape of the Wildcat, minus two of the wings. Initially, the new aircraft was outpaced by the Brewster Buffalo and Grumman resigned their aircraft to carry a supercharged version of the Pratt & Whitney R-1830 "Twin Wasp" radial engine, and later new flying surfaces that gave it the needed improvement, receiving orders from the US Navy as a backup-plan in case the Buffalo was a let-down. Initial orders from France were delivered to the British Royal Navy after France fell before delivery, and was designated as the Marlet. The US Navy would adopt the type in late 1941 after the Buffalo turned out to be a disappointment, although it was quite a manoeuvrable little aircraft that saw some service elsewhere. Originally armed with 4 x 0.50 cal machine guns, the F4F-4 was introduced in 1941 with an increased 6 guns to increase the aircraft's weight of fire. Although the armament was increased to 6 guns, the ammunition capacity was not, giving pilots less time with their fingers on the trigger, which was generally disliked by the pilots for obvious reasons. The extra weight from the guns and wing fold gear also reduced performance. It was the primary US Carrier fighter during the early years of America’s war, with production continuing until 1943 when they switched over to building the replacement Hellcat, but one factory continued to make Wildcats for the British Fleet Air Arm (FAA). The Wildcat’s smaller size and slower landing speed was a boon on a smaller carrier that the British Navy operated in large numbers as escort carriers. The Kit This is a much-anticipated brand-new tooling from Eduard, and it seems that they have created yet another highly detailed and well-engineered kit, from which a wide range of variants can be produced for us, the modelling public. It arrives in Eduard’s modern gold themed top-opening box, and inside are five sprues in a dark grey styrene, a clear sprue, a nickel-plated pre-painted fret of Photo-Etch (PE), a sheet of pre-cut kabuki masking tape, a large and a small decal sheet, and the glossy instruction booklet with colour profiles in the rear pages. Detail is exceptional, as we’ve come to expect from Eduard’s engineers, right up there with, if not the best examples of plastic models as of today. There is some judicious use of sliding moulds to improve detail without increasing the part count unduly, the most notable being the rudder, which is hollow and ready for an insert during the build process. Construction begins in the cockpit, which takes over a page of the instructions and starts with the pilot’s foot boards that fit onto a Z-shaped bulkhead, and has the frame that holds the head cushion plus a pressurised bottle and two small PE parts that are only fitted to the later options. The two seat mounts are added to the frame before fitting the seat, which is prepared by adding a small PE strip diagonally across the rear of the seating area, plus a lap-belt for the early versions and four-point belts for wartime versions. The instrument panel is integrated in another frame that encompasses a tank, which is bulked out by adding another part to the other side, then you have a choice of applying a decal to the moulded-in dials, or a two-layer PE instrument panel that is applied in three sections, complete with a fully pre-painted set of dials and surrounds, plus the shiny curved dial glazing finishing. The side consoles are made up from a large number of parts, some of which are PE and pre-painted, with a part choice for early and later versions, then they are slotted into the rear frame and the instrument panel frame to create the cockpit’s tub. The rudder pedals are based on a single styrene part that is decorated by adding PE parts to the centre section, plus tiny little PE parts on each pedal, removing a little of the centre section before adding them. This slips in behind the instrument panel and is joined by a long rectangular lattice panel that mates to the front end of the foot boards. The cockpit is left to one side for a while so that the engine mount assembly can made. This is based upon the firewall, from which a tapered spar projects from each side. The engine mounts, a set of chains and the rear ancillary block of the engine are assembled to the front of the bulkhead, then a boxy assembly with two legs is added to the underside for the first decal option only, a strange clamshell-shaped assembly sits in the top of the mounts, and for most of the decal options there’s a C-shaped assembly that latches onto the sides of the mounts. If you are building the second decal option, the small location tabs should be removed and the part left in the box. The insides of the fuselage have fine ribbing moulded into them, and this is augmented by a number of PE parts, plus the removal of a moulded-in document folder that straddles one to the vertical ribs. Take care when removing this to ensure that the rib is still present once you’re done. There are also small rectangular windows with radiused corners in both sides of the fuselage, which are inserted from outside during closure of the two halves around the cockpit and engine mount. A tiny pip of styrene in front of the leading edge of the wing should be removed for one decal option, but it’s easy to miss as it’s right at the bottom of the page. Unusually for an Eduard kit, the landing gear is built next, even before the wings are considered, and that’s because the struts and retraction jacks are buried deep inside the fuselage, so would be difficult to leave until the end. Each leg is made of three parts with scrap diagrams showing how they are arranged, and once the glue is dry, they are inserted deep into the fuselage, the cylindrical top ends mating with cups that are moulded into the firewall. They are then buttressed by more styrene parts, and the front of the fuselage is able to be closed up by fitting a small insert into the bottom. The diminutive fixed tail strut is made up of two halves that trap a choice of two styles of wheel, and the main wheels are each made of a single tyre and two hubs that slip over the axles at the bottom of the main gear legs, with a pair of small inner doors added to the centreline while the fuselage is inverted. At the same time, the twin exhausts are slid into their troughs under the nose. The wings are next, and as they’re mounted mid-fuselage, they’re totally separate from each other. Each one is made from upper and lower halves, with a small insert with PE mesh parts wedged inside the bulged fairings on the underside before the two halves are closed, and the ailerons added to their position near the tips of the wings. The elevator fins are simple two-part assemblies each, and they’re attached to the tail via the usual tab and slot method, at the same time the wings are slid over their spars. The elevators are moulded as one piece, and clip into the rear of the fins either side of rudder fin, and are then locked in place by adding the rudder panel, which has a slide-moulded triangular hole inside, which is filled by adding an insert before gluing it in place. The very rear of the arrestor hook is slipped inside the fuselage with a clear light above it, and a clear light is inserted into the leading edge of the port wing and outlined by a PE strip. The engine is built up before adding the wings, and we get two banks of the Twin Wasp engine as separate parts, plus push rods and the bell housing that has the drive-shaft projecting from it. All it needs is some wiring for the spark plugs unless you’re going to get yourself some aftermarket for it. The cowling marks another choice for the modeller, with three choices of cowling lip, and a choice of two of the cylindrical sections depending on which decal option you select. One marking option has a panel line filled, a new line scribed and a pair of PE clasps added on both sides of the cowling. The final page finishes off the build with the canopy, starting with a tube sight pushed through the canopy for the first decal option. The other decal choices have a more usual early reflective gunsight inserted into the front of the cockpit before the glazing is started. The rest of the decal options have an alternative screen with no hole in it, and there are two canopy parts depending on whether you want to depict the canopy slid back over the spine or not. There are masks for all the included canopies included on the kabuki tape sheet, but only for the exterior. The model is then finished off with a number of clear lights at the wingtips; twin barrels in each wing leading edge; forward raked antenna on the spine with a clear light just behind it; pitot probe in the port wing leading edge; the single-part prop that has stencil decals supplied with an additional spinner; two bomb shackles for under the wing, and three PE aerials under the fuselage depending on which decal option you have chosen. There is another panel line on the lower cowling to fill for the first decal option here too, and again it’s easy to miss. Markings There are six decal options in the box, spread between one large sheet and another smaller one. The options are from the Wildcat’s earlier service, going back as far as the yellow-wing days before the US joined the war. From the box you can build one of the following: BuNo.1850, Lt. Charles Shields, VF-41, USS Ranger (CV-4), Dec 1940 VMF-111, Army-Navy Manoeuvres, Louisiana, United States, No 1941 Lt. Edward H O’Hara, VF-3, USS Lexington (CV-2), Hawaiian Islands, Apr 1942 BuNo.4019, Capt. Henry T Elrod, VMF-211, Wake Island, Dec 1941 BuNo.2531, Lt. Elbert S McCucskey, VF-42, USS Yorktown (CV-5), May 1942 BuNo.4006 (4008), Capt. John F Carey, VMF-221, Midway Island, Jun 1942 The decals are printed by Eduard and are in good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin gloss carrier film cut close to the printed areas. It’s worth remembering that as of 2021, the carrier film from Eduard decals can be coaxed away from the printed part of the decal after they have been applied, effectively rendering them carrier-free, making the decals much thinner and more realistic, and obviating the need to apply successive coats of clear varnish to hide the edges of the film. It’s a great step further in realism from my point of view. It builds up pretty nicely too, and you can see the rest of the pics on the RIF area here. Conclusion Blimey this looks like a nice kit. It’s incredibly well detailed out of the box, but if you have an even larger appetite for detail, there are tons of additional sets that Eduard have made available in time for the release of the kit. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  17. F4F Wildcat Upgrade Sets (For Eduard) 1:48 Eduard Eduard’s brand-new Wildcat kit is a gorgeous piece of plastic engineering, as I’m in the process of finding out here, although progress has been slow – my fault and nothing to do with the kit. Eduard's new range of sets are here to improve on the kit detail in the usual modular manner. Get what you want for the areas you want to be more of a focal point. As usual with Eduard's Photo-Etch (PE), SPACE and Mask sets, they arrive in a flat resealable package, with a white backing card protecting the contents and the instructions that are sandwiched between. SPACE 3D Printed Cockpit Decals (3DL48076) The Eduard SPACE sets use new 3D printing techniques that lay down successive layers of different colour resin, creating highly realistic almost full complete panels that are supplied on a decal sheet. They can depict metallic shades, plus glossy, satin and matt colours too, which really ups the detail on everything they print. In addition, a small sheet of nickel-plated and pre-painted PE is included for the aspects of the set that lend themselves better to this medium, such as seatbelts and rudder pedals. This set includes a full set of 3D printed instrument panel sections, plus additional parts that are applied to the side consoles to replace many of the raised portions of the styrene parts. There is also a pair of printed document cases for the sidewalls, and while the PE sheet is almost totally made up of seatbelt parts, there is also a handle for the side consoles and a backing plate for the larger of the two document folders. Seatbelts STEEL (FE1290) These belts are Photo-Etch (PE) steel, and because of their strength they can be etched from thinner material, which improves realism and flexibility in one sitting. Coupled with the new painting method that adds perceived extra depth to the buckles and other furniture by shading, they are more realistic looking and will drape better than regular brass PE. As well as a set of four-point seat belts, you also get a pair of comfort pads for beneath the buckles to prevent the poor pilot from getting chaffed thighs. Masks Tface (EX878) Supplied on a large sheet of yellow kabuki tape, these pre-cut masks supply you with a full set of masks for the canopy, with compound curved handled by using frame hugging masks, while the highly curved gaps are in-filled with either liquid mask or offcuts from the background tape. It also gives you another set of masks tailored to fit the interior of the glazing so that you can paint the interior and give your model that extra bit of realism. In addition, you get a set of hub/tyre masks for the wheels, allowing you to cut the demarcation perfectly with little effort. Review sample courtesy of
  18. The P&W 2800 double wasp 10W is a little model all in itself and I think I spent more time researching this than most other models in their entirety. So to business. I'm sure most know that the crankcase of the engine is far to large in diameter to allow the various push rod rings and cylinder blocks to pass over it so lots of flexi file work needed as almost 1mm needs to come off across the diameter. I baulked at paying £9 for a resin one cast from a reduced master, after all this is what modelling's all about. While Airfix seem to have reduced the ejector pin marks, they've made up for it in seam lines so quite a bit of scraping and sanding needed. Once that's done, the cylinders need painting. The bottom halves I did in steel and the top halves in aluminium. I've used Vallejo Metal Colors as I think they're excellent. Quick drying, no mess and no smell and lovely coverage. The push rods were painted gloss black with aluminium ends. The crankcase colour was a first attempt at a mix but it had far too much blue in it. I read it should be Grumman grey but since the engine is made by Pratt & Whitney, not Grumman, I couldn't see that being the case and went for the engine grey specified. I finally settled on a mix of 4:3:1 of Mr Color Aqueous RLM 75 Dark Grey: Tamiya Flat White: Tamiya Blue. It seemed to be not too far away from some of the reference material. You can also see on this photo that I've removed the basic plastic links provided on the parts and replaced them, as they were originally, with rubber hose. The jubilee clips are thin strips of tinfoil. The oil flange is flat black suitably chipped and oil stained. Once everything fits onto the crankcase properly, it's time for the ignition wiring. I used 0.6mm braided cord from Hiroboy along with 1:24 sparkplugs in metal. I was a bit mean to spend a small fortune on scale nuts for the ends of the sparkplugs so I used 1mm evergreen hexagonal rod, drilled and painted silver then sliced into thin slivers and slipped over the end of the sparkplug before the ignition wire was attached. The intake pipes are gunmetal then brushed with copper and duraluminium till I was happy with the effect. The exhaust pipes go on very easily as long as you mark them up when they come off the sprues, otherwise it's a happy half hour mixing and matching. (me? never ) Paintwise, I followed a plan of painting them Tamiya red/brown then airbrushing with a very dilute solution of black/red brown as well as metallics and a light grey around the pipe ends. The heavy wear and chipping on the supercharger intakes is seen on many reference photos and was achieved by spraying first with a coat of duraluminium followed by chipping solution then a top coat of zinc chromate green. It's then a simple task to remove the green layer to the desired effect. Oil effects (which don't show too well on the photos) are sprayed on as a mix of black/redbrown mixed with Alclad Aqua Gloss varnish and diluted with IPA. The oil tank cap is yellow and my eyes were given a great workout by deciding to put the "US 19 Gal" writing on there in individual wet decals Some pics of the engine ready to mount are below, I'll be needing to add a fair bit of non supplied pipework when the time comes but next it's onward and upward to the cockpit. Thanks for looking.
  19. ust looking through my build pics and realised I'd missed out some of the finished engine before mounting. Since it's almost a model in itself I thought I'd include a few.... Important to say, I only ever use post production to try and recreate what I see with my eye, but on the photo. Never, ever any removal of faults, errors or anything else. It's warts and all. Thanks again for looking.
  20. AZmodel is to reissue its 1/72nd F4F Wildcat in Grumman Martlet Mk.I Two boxings expected in September 2021. Original AZmodel updated/cleaned mould and new parts like the engine. Source: http://www.modelarovo.cz/grumman-martlet-mk-i-1-72-azmodel/ box art - ref. AZ7804 - Grumman Martlet Mk.I https://www.azmodel.cz/produkt/martlet-mk-i/ - ref. AZ7806 - Grumman Martlet Mk.I/G-36 https://www.azmodel.cz/produkt/martlet-mk-i-g-36/ V.P.
  21. Hi all This time I propose to follow a build of the E-2C Hawkeye from Hasegawa at 1/72 scale The Grumman E-2C is a iconic plane for the 70 area like the F-14 Tomcat frequently associeted to it But if the Tomcat is now out of service, the E-2C always fly and is the "eye of the fleet" I started this buils several weeks ago but I really start the paint job only this week because I must wait that my F-104 dry I start with this kit Initially, I wanted to use a decals sheet with a plane with a "stars and stripes" flag on the nose. But this sheet is now unavable I decided to make the artbox scheme who is attractive. For this, I make a mask for the bird on the radome radar. This week I attacked the cockpit paint The Hasegawa cockpit is very well detailled for the scale It need only a good job paint and the add of the seatbelts I paint the two screen on the central consol with a drop of transparent green from AK For the dashboard, I made a mask with a Silhouette printer after to have scanne the decals sheet After I painted in black the dashboard, masked the panels instrument and spray the grey One drybrush later and some buttons in red, the dashboard finished On a E-2C there are buttons all around the cockpit even on the ceilling Like I wish a clean interior, I decided to paint the interior of the transparent piece I made the mask for this job and paint the upper console Like my Silhouette printer is warm, I decided to make the propeller mask Hasegawa give the white and aluminium part of the blade in decals I scanned it and made a new mask.
  22. From Wikipedia (link😞 ‘The Grumman X-29 was an American experimental aircraft that tested a forward-swept wing, canard control surfaces, and other novel aircraft technologies. The X-29 was developed by Grumman, and the two built were flown by NASA and the United States Air Force. The aerodynamic instability of the X-29's airframe required the use of computerized fly-by-wire control. Composite materials were used to control the aeroelastic divergent twisting experienced by forward-swept wings, and to reduce weight. The aircraft first flew in 1984, and two X-29s were flight tested through 1991. X-29 number two was maneuverable up to an angle of attack of about 25 degrees with a maximum angle of 67° reached in a momentary pitch-up maneuver.’ The Hasegawa X-29 is a great little kit of this unusual and striking aircraft: with good fit, nice detailing (including the complicated-looking canopy raising mechanism), and it goes together quickly to deliver a satisfying result. Only two problems in my opinion: (1) the prototypes were painted gloss white and (2) the decals are a series of long stripes, which invite problems especially as Hasegawa decals are not always the best. My solution, therefore, was a what-if scheme. I’m not usually into WIFs but the extreme manoeuvrability suggested a potential ‘real world’ DACT (Adversary/Aggressor) application. I had a set of Colorado F-5 decals, which included a gloss black scheme for ‘Red 23’ of VF-127 Cylons that looked like it would work on the X-29 and show off the unconventional airframe nicely. To ‘operationalise’ my X-29 into a production F-29A, I raided the spares box. A Hobbyboss F-5E donated its instrument panel, centreline pylon and fuel tank, wing pylons, arrestor hook, RWR antennae on the nose and tail, navigation lights and gunsight. I added an airbrake under the rear fuselage, removed the bulge ahead of the MLG bay, and cut the main gear doors into two part … because I thought the single doors on the X-29 spoiled the smooth lines – my model, my rules 😉 The missile rails came from a Hasegawa F-16 and the antennae under the forward fuselage from a Wolfpack set. The AIM-9L acquisition round is Eduard Brassin and the ACMI pod is built up from a Hasegawa AIM-9E and some metal rod. Just a bit of fun and I like the result.
  23. Having finished the 'Old Tool' Frog and Airfix versions of the Grumman Wildcat / Martlet for the Grumman GB, I wanted to carry on and do the new tool Airfix kits - I've seen so many great builds of these on BM. I've been knocking away at the Starter Kit version (kit no. A55214) which actually gives an F4F-4 of VC-12, number 3 (46685) from USS Core (CVE-13) in 1944 - this is different to the versions in the first issue kit no. A02070 (which I also have tucked away for a future build). I also picked up the Martlet IV version, kit no. A02074 so I could build the different engine option. This all started in March and the build has included sessions during trips away and even travelling backwards in a train from London! I must say at this point that this is my very first build of one of the modern 'new tool' kits of any manufacturer and also the very first time using acrylic paints on a model. Nevertheless, I found the build to be a joy - excellent fit of parts and no filler required anywhere. I used Tamiya Extra Thin cement for the first time and now am a confirmed disciple. I appreciated the quick drying nature of the paints but became aware you need to watch out for damage as it can get knocked off edges quite easily. Decals behaved beautifully on top of some 'Future' type gloss coat and the whole finished off with Matt Cote. Here's the little beauty then - I love this white and sea grey scheme (H34 / H27) and the highline demarcation on the fuselage. No masking employed here, other than for the yellow prop tips, and I felt like a real artist sweeping away with both flat and detailing brushes. During the build, I was giving the part-assembled kit a bit of a wash in preparation for more paint and I managed to knock off one of the exhaust pipes and rather than feed the carpet monster, it disappeared into the maw of the sink monster! Rather than pinching from one of the other kits, I bit the bullet and made up another exhaust port from some suitable cable insulation, reamed out with a sharp drill - managed to ream out an index finger at the same time. There was a bit of a mystery about the engine because the rear set of cylinders came with a moulded spigot which stuck out forward where the rotating prop shaft is supposed to go. This must have been a moulding error and it was quite hard to cut off as it's base was countersunk in. I did it pretty roughly and horror of horrors, once the engine was assembled, the propshaft would not spin - absolute hell for me! The cockpit assembly was enjoyable and you are given H117 (US Light Green) for this. Decals for the instruments are a good idea but you are already given moulded detail on the main IP. I did the canopy closed version and I liked how the closed canopy sat up slightly above the rear fuselage immediately behind so it looks like it will slide back. On the older toolings, it looks like they were content to have the canopy sit flush/level with the fuselage. I did this kit as wheels up but the Instructions for wheels down show a superbly detailed undercarriage and bay, which I look forward to building on the Martlet IV version. I had to look twice at the Instructions but they have you chopping the pilot's lower legs off if you want to sit him in the cockpit! Surely he could have been molded to suit? Also, no stand provided with this kit so I had to pull out an old style spare and cut a slot in the fuselage to display this kit in flight. Now here we have the new tool F4F-4 in formation with her older siblings - new tool or old tool, modelling is definitely fun! Glad I got this one finished so I can clear the decks for the Classic Frog GB!
  24. This is the Hasegawa kit, from the late 80's i think of an unusual NASA prototype. There wasn't many parts so most of the assembly was just a few hours, and hardly any filler at all.
  25. Good evening everyone. For my next project I decided to do something that wasn't bare metal or camo. I had a Monogram F8F in my stash for a long time, but dreaded the thought of building it, since the decals had yellowed terribly. At last I decided to build it. I thought I'd either try to fix the decals (put in sunlight to get it white again), or find replacement decals, or just use some of my many spares and build a "generic" Bearcat without unique markings. But "luck" wasn't on my side. I couldn't get the decals white again, couldn't find replacement decals and couldn't get my head around building a Bearcat with generic markings. After all, this would probably be my first and last Bearcat, since there aren't a lot of them available in 1/72 out there (the only other one I'm aware of is the Revell, which is the same sprues, just different decals). In the end I decided to use the decals as is and see how it turns out. So it turns out the yellowing of the decals aren't terribly visible against a the glossy sea blue paint scheme! Despite the kit's age, I really enjoyed building it - and someone once told me enjoying it is the whole point. Won't win any model-of-the-year awards, but I'm pretty pleased with how it turned out. I used Tamiya's AS-8 Navy Blue rattle can spray, and the other bits were brush painted with Humbrol Acrylics. Cheers Jimmy
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