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Found 6 results

  1. The FICTIONAL story told by this model begins and ends with a zap, and has a 'crash!' and two 'bangs!' in the middle. Sometime in the late 1960s, and the day before the main events of the story, our crew, pilot Capt. Charles (Coolhand) Myers And Radar Intercept Officer (RIO) Lt. Ted (Ping) Grandes, were unfortunate enough to have to land their (Tamiya, 1/48) F-4B Phantom II on the wrong aircraft carrier. It wasn’t even their fault, their own deck was blocked by someone else's landing mishap, but trapping on the wrong ship has always earned some punishment in paint. VF-114 Aardvarks, the resident squadron on the other carrier, painted a cheeky little memento on their uninvited guest, while the VF-111 Sundowners crew were away for coffee. The positioning of the zap was well thought out. No-one would even know it was there until the wings were folded back on the deck of the USS Coral Sea. Imagine the embarrassment of Myers and Grandes, but worse than embarrassment was to come the next day. The following morning saw all of the Sundowners over North Vietnam determined to move some mud with several tons of high explosive. The target was an unexpectedly well defended power station. The crews were aware of the flak menace but were flying above its effective height. Until the SAMs arrived that is; while manoeuvring to avoid the deadly missiles with a full bombload, Myers inadvertently lost height and brought their aircraft within range of the guns. A shell made a direct hit on the underneath of the starboard wing. It entered the large fuel tank from the underneath and, missing any solid structure, failed to detonate before passing through the thin skin on the top of the wing. Even without a detonation the kinetic energy of the 30mm artillery round caused the tank to burst open violently ejecting gallons of fuel into the slipstream. It happened that Myers was looking out to port and was unaware of the impact at the time but Grandes was looking over his right shoulder for SAMs and saw the fountain of fuel erupt from the wing. It’s fair to say that he was not a happy man. He was just about to call Myers’ attention to what he saw as the impending explosion of the aircraft when… …a second shell hit the aircraft under the tail, penetrated the titanium heatshield and exploded inside. The explosion was partly contained by the structure of the tail but the shockwaves and overpressure caused a lot of damage. The heatshielding was ripped open revealing the stabilator control system inside. Fortunately the aircraft was not in afterburner at the time and a serious fire was avoided. (Sorry for the poor quality photograph taken from the wingman's aircraft 🙃) The fin blew up like an aluminium balloon before the skin gave way and released the pressure. The rudder, or most of it, departed the aircraft entirely as the tail whipped violently from the shockwaves Fortunately, the rudder is perhaps the least important of all the flying control surfaces! The stabilators stood up to the impact slightly better but lost portions of the lightweight honeycomb structure of their aftermost sections, leaving one trailing edge reinforcement flapping in the breeze. Amazingly the mechanism continued to function. All this was more than enough for RIO Grandes, who was already spooked by the damage done to the wing a second before. Convinced that the impact in the tail was the aircraft blowing up, he pulled first and, like the rudder, departed the aircraft. He landed unhurt and was soon beginning a ten year, all-expenses-spared, stay in the Hanoi Hilton. Oddly enough, the rudder also found a home in Hanoi, displayed in a propaganda museum no more than a mile from Ping’s new home. All that was left in the cockpit was the seat main gun, and a few connecting cables, and hoses. Coolhand felt, and saw in his mirrors, the ejection of his RIO. He expected to follow automatically when the command ejection system fired his seat ¾ seconds later. However, nothing happened! The Single/Dual selector was in the single position (oops!), but the pilot assumed that his seat was unserviceable and returned his attention to flying what was left of the aircraft. (The selector is the topmost black and yellow handle and should have been turned to the horizontal position) A good first move was to hit the ‘Clear Aircraft’ jettison push switch which explosively removed not only the bombs and missiles still on board, but the ejector racks, pylons and the big centreline tank too. This considerably improved the Phantom’s capacity to manouevre[DS1] and Coolhand soon had the nose up and the aircraft under control. He didn’t realise it at the time but Ping’s sharp exit with the loss of the weight of canopy and seat so far forward of the centre of gravity, was of considerable assistance in pulling out of the near fatal dive. A tendency for the aircraft to drop the port wing due to fuel imbalance was uncomfortable without a rudder but could just be managed with ailerons alone. This situation eased as the tank emptied. Myers was surprised that he was still flying at all and delighted to be leaving the target area. The whole incident up to this point had lasted less than 15 seconds but it had seemed a lifetime to him. Now he had a little time to take stock of the situation. He had lost his RIO but his wingman was still in contact and joined up for an inspection of the battered bird. Apart from the damage already mentioned, the wingman could find no further concerns. The fuel leak had slowed to a fast flowing river now that the wing tank was mostly empty, but fuel continued to leaking into the burst tank through fractured pipes and valves connecting it to the fuselage fuel cells. He now had two good reasons not to use afterburner. It would be a long trip home. While the wingman arranged for emergency air to air refuelling, Myers extended the AAR probe. It seemed to be working and he determined to leave it locked out and ready for use in case of problems with the hydraulic systems. Pretty soon a tanker showed up and the two Sundowners headed back to the nearest concrete runway available in South Vietnam. (It had to be concrete because the extended hook was likely to rip up any PSP runway on touchdown, with possible catastrophic consequences.) Coolhand was able to plug in to the tanker and refil his fuselage tanks, avoiding fuelling either of his wing tanks, but that internal leak remained a problem and on the slow trip south several more exhausting stabs at the tanker were required. Seemingly as fast as the fuel went in, it leaked out again, cleaning three month’s muck and grime from the wing and washing most of the grease from the flap and flapperon hinges. Arriving overhead the friendly runway, Myers allerted everyone on the base by the screaming of his aircraft. With everything dangling in the wind and a wing turned into a huge flute, the Phantom howled like a banshee as it turned finals. The approach end cable had been de-rigged to allow Myers to land without engaging it with his damaged hook and, unsurprisingly the braking parachute would not deploy. No problem, Myers almost enjoyed the long rollout allowing his trusty steed to come to a gentle halt, followed by fire trucks, an ambulance, the ATC jeep and tech support from VMFA-333, a Phantom close support squadron based at that airfield. Out of habit, he folded the wings and seeing that only one side moved, decided to leave everything else exactly as it was. He shut down with a sigh of relief. Myers was speedily removed from the hand painted cockpit to the Officer’s Club for a liquid debrief. In fact he left so quickly that he left his helmet hanging from the gunsight. The marines had two priorities. The first was clearing the runway which required lashing the hook clear of the ground. Their second priority was staking a claim to the Navy aircraft in the traditional way. And why not, it could not be denied that 206 had now made a second unplanned landing on the wrong ‘carrier’ in only two days. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ If you have read this far, thank you very much for indulging my whimsy. Now I’ll give you the conventional RFI information. This is a Tamiya 1/48 F-4B released last autumn. It’s a beautiful kit as you probably already know, probably the best one that I’ve build in the last 50+ years. Except for the decals, which were stiff and uncooperative. Much of the decaling came from the Italeri F-4J kit so there will be inconsistencies in the markings but this is a fictional story, based on real events, Hollywood style so don’t expect accuracy here. Having a good time and telling a tale was always my priority. That said, I made many modifications to get as much consistency as possible, for example I set the wing fold lever in the cockpit to the ‘Fold’ position, not a Tamiya option. There are more than 20 mods in the cockpit alone. For more details see the WIP here. The following photographs were the inspirations for the battle damage. They are all real, but did not all happen to the same aircraft at the same time. Nevertheless, I think it’s just about plausible that a Phantom could survive the events described. This is genuine damage from an exploding SAM This is a pilot standing in the hole made by his exploded wing tank This is a Phantom drone which survived a direct hit from a sidewinder (without a warhead). I hope that no RIOs ejected in these circumstances but this picture shows the possibility ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ As usual all comments are welcome and I will reply to every one of them. The wide angle shots which I forgot to include here are in another post a few comments down on this page, sorry.
  2. Hello fellow modellers, (where have I heard that phrase before?) For this GB I'm going to build last year's Tamiya F-4B Phantom II as used by the United States Navy to make many a large hole in South East Asia back in the day.
  3. Hi all! First just to say a quick hi to everybody! This is actually my first post and my first model in a really long long time, actually it's my first armour kit. The model in question is an old issue of a Panzer Ausf. V G 1/48 from Academy, which is a motorized version. Although I am not planning in focussing much on the motor bit. I got this model back when I was a kid so I had to go through undoing a big gluey mess I did back then. As I am using this model to learn all the techniques back again I would much appreciate comments on how to improve things! As you see I cleaned the side objects there were glued to the sides of the hull and have started adding Miliput plaster for the Zimmerit cover. I have made a custom mould for the zimmerit pattern out of plasticard with a scribbler. I have also added some brass mesh to the air intakes at the back to the tank. Here is a detail of the zimmerit pattern: And here from the back of the tank: As you see there is still plenty of fitting issues at the back of the hull and also on the front. Here is a detail of the front: Also as you can see I have started adding some plasticard to the sides as I plan to add some scratch-built armour plates to the side. This is it for now. I plan on keep on adding the zimmerit and give it a light sanding. Also finish adding the armour side plates and modify the upper bit of the turret where the gun joints to give it the proper shape of the Ausf. G. I was also thinking in adding the curled protection plates to the exhaust at the back of the tank. Thanks in advance for your comments! All the best, Alex
  4. Hi guys, this was a bit of an experiment ive been wanting to do for some time. Below is a screen grab from the Battlestar Galactica Mini Series, it shows a Battlestar similar to the Galactica hit and adrift, and it gave me an idea. I thought to myself, hmmmmm ...so, rather than posting all the photos, here is the end product, and a link to the folder with all the WIP photos for your viewing pleasure. http://s181.photobucket.com/user/chris1984_99_99/library/Battlestar%20Titanic?sort=3&page=4 I still need to get a base made for it, but I think im finished with the kit itself. Its my first time doing an explosion this way, so any words of advice or how to improve would greatly be appreciated! Thanks! Enjoy!
  5. This is the fine 1/72 Mig 21 “Battle Damage” reboxed by Lindberg. The original kit was produced by IMC in the 1960s. Its trick feature was that you could build the kit with molded “battle damage”. I needed a quick fix for building something so did this in a weekend. The build process is here http://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/234973002-mig-21-battle-damage;-a-weekend-build/. I only did this kit to play with the battle damage feature. There was not any considerations to how accurate a kit this is, what needed to be done to correct it; the sole purpose was to play with painting the battle damage and having fun. Here are the results If you want to revisit the days when you just brought a kit home to get it built and play with it in the same afternoon, this is the kit for you. It was a blast. As always, all comments are welcome.
  6. I was looking for a quick, satisfying build fix in between trying to clear out my shelf of doom kits and I found this little beauty. This will be another actual weekend build. It is the 1/72 Mig 21 reissue from Lindberg. The original mold is from the 1960s molds by a company called IMC. I thought about doing this for the Lesser Known Air Force Group Build as an Iraq version, but that country was already taken. So what sets this kit apart from regular models is the thrill of reproducing “battle damage” in the form of alternative plastic parts. The parts count is low and the shape is suspect. Looks like my kind of escape build therapy. Here is the interior Yep that’s right, the entire interior is wrapped up in this poor hapless, semi-shapeless representation of a seat with a pilot in it. That’s all you get, nothing more. I will try painting this, but even that will be a chore as the detail on this is awful. On with the build. Here is the first build step, putting the fuselage and nose piece together. Next are the wings and tail planes And that is all you have to do to get this ready for painting. These construction steps took me all of 15 minutes, most of that cleanup of the parts and surfaces to be joined. I plan on doing the Iraq version. Off to the painting box and the underside is painted a light blue. Next up, the upper two colors in tan and brown. The brown is sprayed first And then after the brown is masked off the tan is applied. And the real reason for this kit, the battle damage areas are tackled. The damage areas are first given a base coat of metallic silver Then the silver receives its first wash to bring out the detail It was at this point I decided to get creative; not necessarily a good thing. Since I noticed there is battle damage to the wing top and bottom, I decided, what I thought was most logically, that the wing damage would have gone through the wing and I needed to create openings in the wing to more accurately show the damage. It started off great. Then I looked on the underside. Yeah, not so great. It seems the damage on the top wing does not line up with the damage on the bottom wing and not in a logical fashion. In other words, even if you assume the damage went through the wing at an angle, the angle is just way too off from top to bottom to drill. On two of the top holes I only drilled down through the top wing, but stopped before I hit the bottom wing. I think I will do that on the bottom also. Hopefully it will look like holes in the wing. Next up the entire kit surface received some weathering to bring out panel lines and details. The bottom was first The top received its wash And then it was removed to show this Now the side details will be picked out as to different shades of metal and to show where the engine and frame is exposed. To the exposed engine panel, I added a blue wash to reflect the heat fatigue. Next, washes and pastels then are used to create a smoky, fire aftermath feel. All that is left are the hangy down parts to finish. The front spike, wheels, covers and missile rails are installed. The attachment points for the landing gear are laughable. My first go around resulted in the starboard gear collapsing. I then redid the legs, added some bracing wire, redid the attachment holes and applied an abundance of superglue and now the landing gear will support the kit. Next up was the interior. This is the best I can do with painting the blob that is the figure. And the massively complex and highly detailed interior is placed in the kit. Whew!! That was tough. The canopy is then attached closed, of course, and now this kit is finished An RFI in better light will be done today as the weather has improved. As always, all comments are welcome.
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