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Hello. While waiting for the various paints, etc. to dry on my F4H-1 Phantom Prototype build, I have decided to start another project, the LF Model A-18 Shrike II, in 1/72 scale, just to "fluff-out" my between-the-wars collection. The box looks like so: I looked around to see whether some other brave-hearted person had built this kit, to help show me the way, but an internet search came up dry. So, here goes my uninformed shot at building the kit! Like other LF kits, it is multi-media, as will be described. To begin, here are all the given cockpit parts (control stick not shown), which consists of various resin parts, as well as a PE fret which includes the seats, seat-belts and foot petals: As occurs too often with the LF kits, the directions are only a simple line drawing, and also in this case, some of the parts aren't shown at all on the drawings, and some drawings don't even resemble the included parts! I wish LF would take a little more care in this department, but as it is the only game in town for this kit/scale, I guess "beggars can't be choosers", as the old saying goes. Anyway, I'll try to talk you through what I finally figured out. (Your adventure may differ!). Above right, the cockpit floor piece needs to be thinned, but I didn't thin any more than absolutely necessary "A". At "B" the front and rear bulkheads weren't shown on the drawings at all; I put the one bulkhead with a headrest in the front cockpit, the plain one (shown later on) at the back. The positioning of the bulkhead itself was actually determined by the fact that I aligned the cockpit side at the front of the floor "D" -- and THAT was determined by the little odd part pointed to by the arrow, which nicely butted up against the "step" in the cockpit floorboard, behind the circular "pedestal" for mounting the pilot's seat. The drawing seemed to show the OTHER cockpit side panel to be installed on the right side, but I couldn't make it fit the right side at all. So, I used the side shown, with the longer cut-out to the front (near "C" above). THE SEAT PEDESTAL WILL NEED TO BE SHORTENED, AS I WILL SHOW LATER! Above the "C" 's actually show the area that needs to be trimmed off just a bit, to allow the cockpit sides to set atop the floorboard, rather than on the edge of the floorboard. The "E" above shows where the bulkhead butts up against the cockpit sidewall, and that the cockpit sidewall is leaned in a bit so that the bulkhead and cockpit outside edges are aligned. I hope that all this is clear as mud, but maybe the photos will help. It actually took me awhile to get this far! The next photo arrows show hoW the "fit" is supposed to be. The lower arrow also shows the little notch that I had to sand to fit the step behind the pilot's seat pedestal. Figure "A" shows how the cockpit side glues atop the cockpit floorboard "B": Above right, "X" shows the pilot's seat mounting pedestal, and "Y" shows again the talked about "step". The headrest can barely be seen in the photo. Next, the PE seat needs to be formed up by bending, and then a little CA glue, to hold all the seams together. The little pointy end pliers shown on the left is what I used here, and will work as long as the two jaws align perfectly (and are long enough to fit the part). The Tamiya bending pliers are designed purposefully for this task, if you have them: d Above right, after setting the newly-bent seat in place for a trial fit, I discovered that the PE seat was so tall the it wouldn't fit under the headrest, so the bottom half of the headrest must be sawn half-way, at the line shown by the arrow, and lpower half shaved off. Also, the seat pedestal must be shortened to be even with the step (red line) Eventually, everything fit as shown in the next photo, which also shows the seat-belts having been painted and installed. Almost everything was painted Alclad II Semi-Matt Aluminum, with some of the few details in other colors. I managed to misplace the kit IP card or decal, so grabbed a decal from the spares box and mounted it on plastic card. When dry, it was trimmed to size, and more-or-less shaped to fit. It needed to be trimmed on the sides, so that it didn't protrude to far. Luckily, my decision to install the cockpit sides the way I did worked out, because mounting the IP on that longer cut-out worked perfectly: Above right, the dual-engine plane could use a few more instrument, but oh well, it seems I must pay for misplacing the kit IP... A view of the other side of the cockpit: Next another task that I've always dreaded is trying to fit a flat acetate window into a fuselage cut-out, and make it look like anything. I'll try again. First, I cleaned up a little flash in the window opening. Then, I took the Clear sheet, given in the kit, held it in place on the outside, then scribed the correct "glass shape" through the opening. Later, I would trim it out of the sheet with a sharp #11 X-Acto blade: Above right. I then painted the inside of the fuselage halves with the semi-matt aluminum. After that dried (sadly forgot to take a photo), I placed a piece of cello tape on the outside of the window hole, and using a little Pic'N'Stic holder, I placed the glass into place from the inside, and pressed it tightly against the tape. Then, using my fingers, I moved it around to be as flush as possible with the outside of the fuselage, after which a tiny bead of G-S watch cement was added around the edge of the glass on the inside. When dry, I cleaned off some excess G - S with 91% rubbing alcohol, and let it dry. After the fact, I wondered whether I should have just put a film layer of G - S across the entire inside surface of the glass, but I didn't. I have also heard of folks using clear paint as a gluing agent here but since I am going to be masking the outside later and eventually removing the masking, I wanted something pretty substantial to hold things together. One one side, I cut the acetate a little small, so I filled the opening with Perfect Plastic Putty, wiped off with a damp rag: Above right, with all the "window work" done on both sides, it's time to install the cockpit assembly, making certain that it rest in the three little "shelves", one of which is show by the arrow, Note that I also had to sand the cockpit floor sides almost dead flat along their entire length, to get a good fit to the fuselage. Figure "X" above, shows where some Milliput of Plastic Putty will have to be added, to mount the tail wheel into, as there is no "shelf" or anything else provided by the kit for that purpose. You will also kindly notice that due to my "serendipitous" choice of cockpit side placement, the instrument panel lines up exactly where it needs to be!! (Self pat on back)! Well, next time, I'll glue the fuselage halves together, and see what adventure that will bring! Later folks, Ed
Our discussion of P-39's and the ones recovered by the Finns prompted me to look for the pair of Airacobras that were held by them for possible restoration; found a nice link to the aircraft currently preserved/restored and on display. I'm sure Antti has better photos, but the unpreserved Hurricane and Brewster 239 are especially nice, as is the Blenheim, which IIRC, is the only existing actual Blenheim and not a composite of Bolinbroke components. I hope many of you will enjoy looking at them. I think the Brewster is now back at the NAM at Pensacola, as it was on loan to the Finns for display in return for their cleaning and preserving it. Mike http://silverhawkauthor.com/warplanes-of-the-second-world-war-preserved-in-finland_587.html
I stumbled upon this website just now, and I thought some of you would enjoy seeing this photo collection; all preserved aircraft and many would make excellent detail references for modeling projects. Mike http://silverhawkauthor.com/warplanes-of-the-second-world-war-preserved-in-the-united-kingdom_456.html
Howdy y'all from sunny south Texas! Just stumbled upon these while looking for 25 Sq. Javelin photos for a friend- don't ask me how I ended up here! Some you have undoubtedly seen before, but many are new to me, I hope you enjoy them. Some neat modeling project possibilities, to be sure! (Mike, if this post is inappropriate, please delete it.) Mike https://www.flickr.com/photos/39411748@N06/6362707689/in/photostream/