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  1. Continuing my Bulgarian theme, we now jump further back in time to 1937 and opt for the PZL P.24B finished in His Majesty's Air Army (VNVV) colours with roundels based on the Bulgarian Tsarist Coat of Arms. I am using the Mirage Hobby kit, conveniently available in the Bulgarian markings. Biggest decision on this kit is what colour to finish it in. I've decided to go with Dénes Bernád recommendations from his MMP title "Bulgarian Fighter Colours 1919-1948: Vol. 1" with Polish Khaki and Light Blue rather than the green as portrayed on the box art. Now Polish Khaki, for the uninitiated and I was one before selecting this subject, is one of those wonderful colours worthy of pages of text and discussion on any media source about accuracy, actual colour, fading and variation and formula changes. I have had a look at ipmsstockholm.org, a few threads on Hyperscale, ww2aircraft.net, Fine Scale Modeller, and the Hataka blog. Much research has been done in trying to match the colours to Federal Standard equivalent and these are often referred to. Am I confused? I have decided it will be a toss up between FS 34088 (Bernád) and FS 30118 (PZL 11C discovery under the nameplate during restoration). The latter often referred to as the lighter/faded khaki. I also have AK's Real Color RC024 "Olive Drab Faded" which seems a nice each way bet. AK's FS 30118 will arrive this week and the experiments can start. For the underside, I think it is a little more simple, some adjustment and fading of RLM 65 will do the trick. Maybe a touch of light grey or opt for RLM 76. We'll see. I have posted the colours (recognising the vagaries looking at these on digital media) using that wonderful comparative resource from Mr Waligorski. Any input from BM members on latest research or alternative resources is most welcome. The kit - not a large parts count but is does appear it will build into a fine model. I like the rendition of the corrugated skinning although the panel lines are a little heavy. Not enough to worry me and I plan to build as is. Engine detail is a little soft. I think I can jazz it up enough to avoid buying a resin replacement. Cockpit looks like it will come up very nice indeed. Some white metal parts are provided. Radiators, fairings and exhaust manifold are welcome. Those MG's (Bulgarian aircraft were fitted with 7.9 mm MG's) will go into the spares probably to remain there for the remainder of my life unless I come up with a diorama where I need some giant corkscrews. I can substitute these with some telescoping micro-bore brass tube or use the plastic rendition supplied. Some PE and the decals: Most reviews complain about the decals - brittle red stripings and difficulties with the complex wheel spat shape. I see some more experimentation coming up, possibly improving the decals with a coat of Microscale Liquid Decal Film. One cheat's way out is to not use the wheel spats which clogged with mud, snow and ice and were usually removed. I do like the look of the P.24B sans spats, very purposeful and usually the mode where the MG's are mounted. I plan to paint the rudder stripes. With spats, no MG's. Canopy roof in place. Forward canopy side panel usually removed for ventilation following a pilot gassing incident. May or may not be in this image. Typical later set up. No spats, With MG's. Some with canopy removed and canopy roof with rear side panel still in place. Another image: Spats, No MG's. No canopy roof. The eagle-eyed amongst you will have spotted that the fin number was usually considerably smaller that the fuselage number. The Mirage Hobby decal sheet has all numbers at the same height at 9.5 mm. I will need to see what I can modify to produce the small fin numbers. So another GB ready to go. Looking forward to the kick-off next weekend. You can tell some parts are already off the sprue. Couldn't wait to dry-fit a few major components. Ray
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