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  1. Exercise Cobra Warrior is run biannually and is the largest air exercise run by the Royal Air Force. The exercise is designed to train exercise participants in high intensity, large force, tactical air war fighting operations, whilst testing our enabling capabilities. Exercise Cobra Warrior is taking place from the 4th till the 29th of September and will see over 50 aircraft taking part. The exercise is being controlled by directing staff from 92 Sqn at RAF Waddington. Taking part in Ex Cobra Warrior 2023-2 are contingents from NATO, the Italian Air Force, Royal Canadian Air Force, Royal Norwegian Air Force and United States Air Force. 29 Squadron, RAF is flying four Typhoons from RAF Coningsby. The Royal Canadian Air Force are operating seven CF-188A Hornet jets from 433 Tactical Fighter Sqn deployed to RAF Waddington, supported by their CC-150 Polaris air-to-air refuelling aircraft at RAF Lossiemouth. Also, temporarily based at RAF Waddington is a Gulfstream E-550A intelligence platform from the Italian Air Force 14 Stormo, and a pair of NATO AEWF E-3A Sentries. The Royal Norwegian Air Force has deployed six new 332 Skv F-35A Lightnings to RAF Lakenheath for the duration of the Exercise. The USAF has also dispatched some 18 F-16C/Ds from the 52nd FW/480 FS at Spangdahlem to RAF Mildenhall. These jets that are boom refuellable have been tanking from a pair of Arizona ANG KC-135Rs also on temporary duty at Mildenhall during week one of the Exercise. The probe and drogue enabled Hornets and Typhoons are being supported by RAF Voyager aircraft flying from RAF Brize Norton. In addition, UK Joint Helicopter Command aircraft are being based at RAF Leeming and RAF Shawbury to participate in the exercise. The RAF’s Air Mobility Force is also taking part in the exercise deploying elements of 16 Air Assault Brigade during an associated ground mission that forms part of the overall exercise scenario. Here's a selection of shots of the participating aircraft I photographed at RAF Waddington and RAF Mildenhall during Cobra Warrior week one. NATO E3A Sentries from the NAEWF at Geilenkirchen in Germany detached to Waddington to provide AEW cover for the exercise. The Italian Air Force 14 Stormo/71 Gruppo operates two Gulfstream E-550A CAEW aircraft. Aircraft MM62203 was deployed to Waddington during week one of Cobra Warrior and is seen here returning to Practica di Mare on Sep 8th. The E-550A is far more than a traditional airborne radar picket aircraft but should more correctly be defined as an Airborne Early Warning, Battlefield Management & Communication platform. CF-188A 188736/YO-X on loan to 433 TFS but wearing the WWII commemorative markings of 401 TFS RCAF CF-188A 188746 wearing the markings of 425 TFS but on loan to 433 TFS, the RCAR unit attending Ex Cobra Warrior. CF-188A 188735 with special display markings Seen visiting Waddington on September 8th was 120/201 Sqn P-8A Poseidon ZP801. Also present were a trio of 25 Sqn RAF Hawk T.2s including ZK031/FG. At RAF Mildenhall two 161 ARW Arizona ANG KC-135R tankers were deployed during week one of Ex Cobra Warrior including 62-3550 seen departing for Phoenix on September 9th. No less than 18 F-16C/Ds from 52 FW/480 FS at Spangdahlem AB Germany were deployed to RAF Mildenhall for Ex Cobra Warrior including 'boss bird' 91-352 '52 FW' It is interesting to see the growing prevalence of the new low vis/radar reflective Have Glass paint scheme on F-16s as illustrated by 91-0338. And 96-0080 '480 FS'. Hope this photo essay has been of interest. My sincere thanks to Flt Lt Broome the MCO at RAF Waddington, and Wg Cdr Eklund at Air Command Media Ops. Thanks for looking! Mark
  2. Hi all, I hope this is the right place to ask this, couldn't find a more appropriate one - it's a really obscure subject. So I'm planning to display several aircraft types in NATO service together. Having done a little research it seems aircraft stationed at southern German bases would often frequent bases on the other side of the Alps in Northern Italy, Aviano being a popular destination it seems. My question is: Would those aircraft have taken the long way over France or would they have had permission to overfly neutral Austria (assuming Switzerland was out of the question) to reach those bases? I'm thinking early 1980s by the way. Thank you, Jay
  3. Does anyone know when the NATO standardised instruction symbols came into use? I am thinking of things like the four pointed star for refuelling and the often yellow question mark for slinging/lifting points. I have a feeling it was the mid sixties, but those of you with experience in the forces may know better. Thanks in advance for any comments
  4. Just out of curiosity who makes the best Leopard 1 ? More specifically a 1A5 to be built in Canadian markings/Camouflage of the 1990’s ? Any info and assistance will be gratefully accepted. Thank you in advance ? Dennis
  5. Ahoy all, I have a question. I've just purchased the RealColors NATO set and I'm wondering how suitable they are for U.S. vehicles. As we know, Tamiya does the three colours as well, which I normally use. The reason I ask is because in the past I'd heard there was a slight difference between the U.S. version of the tri-colour scheme, and say the German one. Looking at the paint codes on the NATO set, they aren't FS numbers but RAL, and they look a bit duller/darker than the Tamiya equivalent. A Wikipedia search IDs the green as RAL 6031-F9 'Bronze Green', the brown as RAL 8027-F9 'Leather Brown' and the black as RAL 9021-F9 'Tar Black', and mentions these were specifically a Bundeswehr combination. So would these ones still be accurate for U.S. vehicles, which often appear brighter, or more suited for the likes of the Bundeswehr? Cheers, Gaz
  6. Hello all, My first entry for this GB will be a 1/48 GWH example in the markings of the Hungarian Air Force in the NATO scheme seen throughout the first decade of the 21st century: http://data.primeportal.net/hangar/luc_colin/mig-29/MiG-29 HuAF 002.JPG Kit: I'm using the 'early' boxing but has all the parts needed to make the jet i'm after. Extras: Quickboost K-36 ejection seat, FOD covers and HAD models decals. Not sure if i'll use the exhaust covers. I'm also considering getting a set of B-8 rocket pods as I'm pretty sure I saw a picture of a Hungarian jet carrying a pair of these, though I could be wrong. Not sure if these were used solely for A2A. Dave
  7. Hello, Here is my BAe Hawk T.1 in RAF No. 63(R) Squadron as part of the 2 Tactical Weapons Unit (2 TWU), at Brawdy during late 1979. KIT The model is based on Revell Hawk T.1A in 1/32nd scale. This kit is good in size and shapes. Details are generally good but sometimes are a bit poor especially panel lines. The downside of this kit is the lack of details for the big canopy and canopy. The ventral ADEN gun pod too “skinny” in height and width both. The decals box offers the choice of only relatively "recent" RAF T.1A version. CONSTRUCTION I found a little bit confusing the Revell instruction sheet, but it could be my personal point of you. Because I wanted to build an early T.1 and correct the main issue of thie kit, I had to buy separately aftermarket decals and resin ejection seats, plus a correction resin set for air scoops, separated resin flaps, speed brake and FODs. Eduard’s PE were used for cockpit instrument panels and external details. I added some details such as hydraulic pipes and electric lines into the undercarriage bays, cockpit tube and speed brake vane. The pitot tube is turned metal set from Master. I tried to add some missing details around the fuselage: · lines of rivets in the rear section; · plates at the tail plane’s pivot points; · fuel drain’s points and NACA intakes; · APU’s exhaust; · All the aerial antennas; · ADEN cannon’s barrel. For me the difficult areas of this kit that required cares and a lot of dry-fitting are: . All the wing-fuselage attaching point… it’s a real nightmare to align everything and to restore details and panel lines!!! · Instrument panels, IP’s covers and clear front windshield; · Undercarriage legs and doors. Also, the kit is a real tails-sitter and requires a lot of ballast in the nose and the undercarriage legs are really fragile… COLORS & MARKINGS I love the NATO Dark Grey-Dark Green wraparound scheme of the ‘80s. Paint were from the acrylics lines of Gunze and Tamiya: A semi-gloss black primer was sprayed first all over the model. Squadron markings, serial numbers and stencils are from some Xtradecals sheet for RAF Hawks. Some RBF tags were added to finish the model. I hung a couple of empty SNEB rocket pods under the wings, finished in natural metal with black cap fairing. And now some pictures of the completed model... hope it works!!! CIAO! Piero
  8. CENTURION Mk.5/2 Modified now into a Mk.6 Will include the originally planned AF35162 Hush Puppy Track and will include the AC35009 Centurion Mantlet (Type 'B') as neither come in the kit. I'm on a bit of a B.A.O.R kick at the moment so this is right in my ball-park
  9. M1078 from Trumpeter, the whole is model out-of-box) Painted with tamiya and lifecolor, weathered with AMMO and AK)
  10. Here's a very long shot. It was either 84 or 85 I was walking home from school and this F-104 flew over at a great rate of knots very low going over Salisbury Plain. I vividly remember that noise of the J79, it had 4 fuel tanks fitted but could not make out any markings as it was a brief glance and it had gone. Now this was a rare sighting so I'm assuming it was part of a nato exercise in the uk, would anybody have an idea of the 104 that I may have seen. Steve
  11. Built this for the 80s GB that's been going on for a while now. The kit was relatively easy to put together except for the applique armour panels on the turret as they had no guides to assist in placement. It was painted with Gunze acrylics and weathered with oils, enamels and pigments. Hope you enjoy the photos. Mark
  12. Modern French Armed Forces Colours – Smart Set AMMO of Mig Jiménez There has been an increase in new toolings of French armour subjects of late, which AMMO have picked up on, releasing this new Smart Set to supply all the major colours you will need for their vehicles. The shades have been formulated following extensive research on the proper colours, and allowing for a slight lightening due to the scale effect of aerial perspective washing out colours the further away from the object the viewer is. The set is supplied in a deep clamshell box, with four 17ml dropper-top bottles with yellow caps nestling within. Each bottle also has a ball-bearing inside to assist in mixing the paint by shaking, which is key with most paints, but especially acrylics. The paints are as follows: A.MIG-046 Matt Black A.MIG-060 Pale Green A.MIG-061 Warm Sand-Yellow A.MIG-064 Earth Brown This will allow you to create both the temperate and desert schemes that are worn by French vehicles in modern theatres. As with other AMMO paints, they are the same formulation, and can be used with airbrush or traditional paint brushes. Very useful for my recent VBL review here. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  13. Having had a look around, I couldn't find evidence of a recent Tiger Sqn GB (correct me if I'm wrong). I think it's time to have another, and I propose that we include not only NATO but any squadron anywhere, anytime that's had a tiger as its emblem. Keeping in mind that a number of ex-WarPac airforces are now proud NATO members, I think it could be interesting. Note that there will be no requirement to do a full-on Tiger Meet themed aircraft - subtle fin-top stripes or a badge on the nose, as per in-service airframes would be acceptable. What say you all?
  14. I was wondering if anyone could point me towards a good quality, but reasonably priced, 1/35 1970s NATO (preferably American or German) AFV kit with a full interior? I don't normally model post-WWII subjects and I usually only work in Braille Scale so I'm a bit out of my depth here. Basically I'm looking for something akin to the incredible Hobbyboss 1/48 T-34 kits, but in 1/35: http://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/55081-148-hobby-boss-t-3485/
  15. Hi, here is a “walkaround” on my F-84 G Thunderjet from Tamiya, it is a good kit, like almost all Tamiya kits it is free from trouble. My intention was a korean war fighter bomber, the kit decals looked great on the sheet, leave them there ! It is not new, that they are way too thick, i had to learn this on my own. Rescue came from the also very good Revell/Monogram kit, i used the decals for a “G” from the Royal Netherlands Airforce, the aircraft was on inventory by the 311. Sqn. Volkel airbase in july 1953 ( Revell did this research). After all, these markings are a good idea, because most of the “G” models were given to allied airforces. For the paintwork i used Revell and Humbrol colors and a slight polish. Hope you like it Cheers Bernd
  16. Italian Air Force F-104S MM6825/53-06(cn 783-1125) "Tiger Meet 88" 21 Gruppo 53 Stormo Cameri in Nato Tiger Meet, 1988. Kit:REVELL 1/144 F-104G converted Decal:DIY decal
  17. French Air Force Rafale C (113-HJ) and Rafale B(118-HT) at the NATO Tiger Meet 2013 in Ørland hovedflystasjon, Norway. Kit:REVELL 1/144 RAFALE M converted Decal:Hand-painted with DIY decal
  18. Just been trying to fill in time on shift and came up with an interesting idea for another group build…….though resin one has to be first. During the Cold War and especially at its peak East and West Germany would be the great meeting ground for NATO and Warsaw Pact, with the most likely spot being the “Fulda Gap”! The Fulda Gap was the hypothetical ideal strike point for Soviet forces to strike deep into West Germany and towards the Rhine. This area was smooth and flat which was ideal for swift mechanize warfare and would provide a chance to split the NATO forces in half. With the 72/73 time frame it was an era just prior to the NATO forces moving to the weaponry more commonly seen now. Around that time the “heavy metal” weapon systems of the late 60’s were still at the fore front of both forces. In the air you had the classic F-4’s, F-104’s, Lightning’s, and Mirage 5’s facing off against Mig-21/23’s, Su-15’s and the new “King of the Hill” the Mig-25. Strike aircraft Harrier’s, Jaguar’s, Buccaneer’s, A-7’s, Mirage F1’s, and the new F-111’s while the Soviet forces had Su-11/17/20’s, Mig-21/23’s. On the ground you had Chieftain’s, Leopard 1’s,AMX-30’s, M60’s, Scorpion’s, and M-113’s facing off against T-64’s, T-72’s, BMD-1’s, and BMP-1’s. These would have been just the main protagonists in conflict of this scale, with a conflict broadening a little the Viggen, Drakens, and S-Tanks become eligible to name a couple. I know there will be a few who are a bit sad they can’t bring their early Tonka’s, Eagles, Falcons, A-10’s along, but that would be too easy. With a build like this the choice of subject matter is quite large and there’s bound to be some all time favorites in this list, F-4E’s for me! Just wanted to throw another idea into the hat to see what people think, can either be an all inclusive air/ground GB, or could just be broken up into separate air and ground GB’s if the numbers are there. RESIN RESIN RESIN!!!
  19. F-16 NATO Falcons Eduard 1:48 In 1973, one of the most versatile aircraft that's ever flown took to the air for the first time, the YF-16. Experience in Vietnam led to the need in the US for a lightweight fighter (LWF) with high agility and performance, however this need was challenged due to the parallel drive to equip with F-15's. The challenge was put to bed by an agreement to provide the US Air Force with a mix of High / low cost air superiority fighters, each having their own benefits. The competition came down to two competing aircraft, the YF-16 and the YF-17 which also had its success as it eventually became the F-18. Interest in the LWF program grew in Europe by NATO members Belgium, Denmark, Netherlands & Norway who were looking to replace their aging F-104 fighter bombers, so the need stretched the original air superiority fighter into an aircraft with air/ground attack capability. Initial production of the F-16 was commenced in the US, however to date, a further 4 production lines subsequently run, Belgium and the Netherlands starting in the 1970's, Turkey in the 1980's and Korea in the mid 90's. Key attributes of the F-16 are a light weight blended wing airframe with large strakes to improve high AoA manoeuvres as well as being able to increase airframe strength and internal volume, the first unstable Fly-by-wire control system linked to a side stick control, Hands-on-throttle (HOTAS) functionality and a reclined 30 degree seat to enable higher G tolerances for the pilot, although this was bred from the need to fit the seat under the canopy ! It also has an incredible thrust to weight ratio of over 1 giving an excellent combat envelope. Air & ground attack weapons can be carried across 9 hard points. Early aircraft were powered by the P&W F100 of around 24,000lb thrust, where as the most powerful versions now put out over 32,000lbs using the GE F110 powerplant. Such is the flexibility of the airframe, upgrades to avionics have been immense making the F-16 development quite complex to track. The original F-16A/B encompassed blocks 1, 5, 10, 15 & 20 with 15's being noticeably different due to the larger tail planes. The F-16C/D introduced an all-weather capability and formed blocks 30/32, 40/42 & 50/52 (the 0 refers to GE powered aircraft, the 2 refers to P&W powered ones). The F-16E/F benefits from a further improved radar, more powerful engine and the ugly but effective conformal fuel tanks which saddle the upper wing roots. Export versions, licence built and other variants such as the ADF further complicate the line up of F-16 models such is the flexibility of this nimble fighter. I'm sure the F-16 experts reading this will point out some errors in my facts ! For a fighter aircraft that first flew in 1973, it's amazing to think that the F-16 is still being developed and competitive nearly 40 years on and has served with no less than 25 nations. The kit Eduard's new kit is the F-16A/AM/ADF based on the excellent Kinetic kit first released in 2008. Now I remember building a couple of 1/48 F-16A's in the 80's before Lockheed & the licence manufacturers had been able to tinker too much with it, so the kits were pretty simple back then. Moving on to the 21st century (now I'm feeling old !!!) this kit is something different, it must be a model manufacturers nightmare such are the variants now available and the detail differences between each ! So on opening the box, what are you presented with ? Well quite a lot, in fact, a hell of a lot ! You get no less than 15 sprues of grey plastic, 2 sprues of clear plastic, the Brassin resin upgrade set, 2 frets of etch, one of which is coloured, paint masks for the canopy, an incredible sheet of decals and typical of Eduard, an excellent instruction book printed in colour on glossy paper. The basic fuselage and wings come in two halves, top and bottom, however the top part only goes up to the leading edge of the wing with a third part providing the cockpit area up to the radome. Surface detail has a matt texture and superbly recessed panel lines. There's no evidence of sink marks or other imperfections on the external surfaces. The wing slats and flaps are provided as separate parts so you have the option to fit them either retracted or drooped. It's important to follow the instructions carefully as Eduard provide etch and resin replacement parts, but the kit also contains the original injection moulded parts. I'd also recommend being clear on what aircraft you intend to model before you start. There are so many options provided in the kit, you need to ensure you fit the right bits for your chosen kite. Assembly starts with the cockpit which if you like makes use of the coloured etch parts. Clear instructions are provided to show what plastic detail needs removing to fit the etch. You won't be dissappointed with the detail. Attention then moves to the highly detailed main undercarriage bay and mid intake duct. A full intake duct is provided in the kit. The Brassin set gets its introduction here as the resin compressor blades are fitted to the rear of the duct. The detail on this is quite exquisite. This sub assembly is then fitted into the lower fuselage half. Attention moves to the top by assembling the front and rear fuselage parts before adding more etch and plastic around the cockpit combing and sidewalls. With this done, the cockpit tub assembly can be inserted into the upper fuselage. You have the choice of having the air brakes on the tail opened or closed. If you decide to open them, then etch and plastic opening mechanisms are provided. On joining the fuselage up, there's an array of etch detail to be fitted such as vents. Care needs to be taken around the nose area as there are several optional parts such as the IFF bulges ahead of the canopy and the 150,000 candlepower spotlight equipped left side panel below the IFF panel used on the Danish and Norwegian versions. Again, check your references carefully. Another fine addition to the Brassin set is the inclusion of the afterburner section. This along with the fine etch parts creates a stunning rendition of the F100 tail end although the kit burner can isn't bad either. Next is the assembly of the front intake duct and nose wheel bay. This is the original smaller intake duct, not the larger one fitted on later more powerful variants. Brassin comes in again now with some beautifully formed resin wheels, although the injection moulded parts are certainly not bad representations. Further etch enhancements such as brake lines and Oleo links add to the party. The etch set provides several external reinforcement plates for the upper wing / centre fuselage area. According to the instructions, these are only for the ADF Italian version, how accurate that is I'm not sure, so I'd recommend you check. Even the tail comes with a number of options, however the instructions appear to be incorrect as they don't show the bulged tail base that the ADF variant uses despite being contained in the kit. You get the normal and the parapack extended tail options too. The only dissappointment I've come across is the fact that whilst decals are provided for variants using both the original small and later larger tailplanes, both parts aren't provided in the kit. You have to cut the larger ones down, however that will also require sanding the trailing edges down which will require care to get an even finish if you choose the Danish version. Whilst the static dischargers are moulded onto the tailplanes and ailerons, if you're like me, they'll be broken off within minutes. Fear not, the etch set provides nice replacements so best to leave them off until the end. The pilot's seat is fitted towards the end of the build which always helps when it comes to masking at the painting stage. Again, Brassin adds a delightful resin replacement here which is further enhanced with etch details including the seatbelts and ejector handles. Now for the part that the Kinetic kit excels over its competition, the weapon options. A loadout plan is contained in the instructions making it very easy to see what can go where. I'd check references again here if you want to ensure that your build has accurate loadouts for the actual variant, but no matter what you choose, there will be a huge pile of spares left over ! The weapons included are: AIM-9M x 2 AIM-120B x 2 AIM-120C x 2 (not shown in instructions) 300 Gallon centre tank 370 Gallon wing tanks x 2 AN/AAQ-14 LANTIRN AGM-65 Maverick x 2 GBU-12 Paveway II x 2 GBU-24 Paveway III x 2 AN/ALQ-131 ECM pod GBU-31 x 2 GBU-87 x 2 Mk.82 x 2 (not shown in instructions) Sniper XR The clear parts included are beautifully clear. A large fret with the array of lights is complemented by the separate canopy parts and a clear film for the HUD glass. There is a fine line along the top of the canopy due to the moulding process, but it shouldn't be difficult to sand it out of you choose. The Decals The sheet printed by Cartograph is quite stunning. Colours are rich and register is spot on. The tiger scheme on the tail of the Norwegian scheme is very complex, but the printing method has done a remarkable job of reproducing the detail. The schemes are: F-16A ADF Block 15, Italian Air Force, 5th Stormo based at Cervia AB 2010 - one of two aircraft that wore this disbandment artwork F-16AM 338th Sqn, Royal Norwegian Airforce 2009 with incredible Tiger artwork to represent the squadrons membership in the NATO Tiger Association F-16A Block 20, 323 Sqn, Royal Dutch Air Force based at Leeuwarden AB 2001, with tail artwork of 'Dianna, goddess of the hunt' F-16AM Block 10, ESK370 Sqn, Royal Danish Air Force 2010-2012 with artwork celebrating the Royal Danish Air Force 60th anniversary Conclusion As you've probably guessed by now, I like this kit a lot. The moulding is of high quality, the only sink marks I could find were on the main gear doors and they aren't bad. The additional parts that Eduard have added to the Kinetic kit are well thought out and you really don't need anything other than what's been provided in the box. Unlike some kits, you are spoilt for choice with the weapon options available and the spares box will be somewhat more full too afterwards !There's many options that need to be studied before and throughout your build due to the variations between versions, but your patience will be rewarded. This is the most comprehensive F-16 kit in 1/48 scale to date despite the price being very competitive. I've no doubt that it will continue to set the benchmark for a long time. Review sample courtesy of
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