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  1. I grabbed the new Revell Strike Eagle for €15,- a few weeks ago on an exhibition and nearly couldn´t wait to put my hands on it. But I had to order some goodies first. First step was a dry fit of the cockpit section and I was positively surprised. Everything fits tight and without any problems. In some areas the structures was sanded down for the etched parts bevor painting everything with black and finally Gunze H307. As the etched parts are designed for the Academy kit, they needed some trimming to match the Revell parts. I think the result is okay. Next will be the two crew members from PJ Production and the ACES II seats from the kit. Regards Daniel
  2. Hello! When I started my MH-3E lengthy build, I purchased a CyberHobby SH-3G to see if there was some pieces I cab retrieve from that one to put on the other one, specifically the rotor head and the canopy. When I opened the box, I changed my mind, scratch built the poorly shaped part of the Whirlybird kit and keep the magnificent Cyberhobby kit as it is for another build. ...and here I am! The kit is truly a masterpieces, except for the inner details in the cargo bay and the row of seats which are far too small, for liliput passengers. The rest of the kit can be done OOB, for a pretty fair result. To stick to my theme, I made some researches and discovered that USAF used their own version of the Seaking, dubbed "CH-3B", a variant of the US Navy SH-3A with all the ASW gear removed, new radios etc. The type was used to supply the offshore "Texas Towers" a chain of Early Warning radars mounted on oil-rig style platforms. The system had short life, as one of them collapsed during a storm with the loss of all crew. Let's start with the build: The interior. I had two solutions: 1/ some photos I found on Internet showed the cargo bay configured for transporting passengers, with a cushion-like coating, as found on civilian SeaKings. 2/ let the cargo bay as atypical military aircraft, showing all the inner structure. Having no idea nor solution to reproduce option 1, I decided to go for option 2, more easier for me. So I put some details into the two fuselage halves, and strangely CyberHobby forgo the roof. I had to make one from scratch, and add all the frame inside the cargo bay: To respect the variant, the front window on the left side is removed. The tricky part is to calculate the shape of the roof, to match the other half fuselage when it will come to glue the whole fuselage. After all details made, the result is painted USAF interior gray, with all cables and ducts painted as seen from the photos of SH-3A interior: Next step: building the passenger's seats.
  3. U.S Air Force 75th Anniversary Carrera Revell 1:72 (05670) The USAF was formed as a separate branch of the US Military after WWII under the National Security act of 1947. Previously it had been the US Army Air Force. This set from Revell has been brought out to celebrate the 75th Anniversary of the USAF and features three different aircraft from its history, the F-89 Scorpion, F-16 Fighting Falcon, and F-117A Nighthawk. Some paints, glue and a paint brush are also included in the box. The F-89 Scorpion. This is Revell's own tool kit from 1991 which has stayed in the catalogue ever since with a fair number of releases. This is a modern tool with recessed panel lines, this time offered in a silver/grey plastic. The moulds have held up very well with no flash or other issues. The kit can either be built as a D model or a J model, however only J model decals are provided in this set, Construction starts in the cockpit with the right panels being selected for the J model. Instrument and side panel details are provided as decals. The ejection seats are then built up and added into the cockpit tub, these were quite basic seats back in the day and Revell have replicated them very well in this scale. The instrument panels and control sticks can then go it. The cockpit can then be inserted into the main fuselage halves with an engine front piece also going in before the fuselage can be closed up. Underneath the main fuselage a large insert goes in, and at the front this is followed by the intakes. To finish up this work on the fuselage the exhausts are assembled and added. Next we move onto the wings with are conventional left/right, upper/lower configuartation. The appropriate holes for pylons etc need to be made before closing the wings up. The wings and tail surfaces can then be attached to the main fuselage. The nose cap, and rear air scoops are then added to the fuselage. The modeller now moves to the undercarriage. The twin nose wheel is assembled and added to the front along with the twin nose gear doors. A large single main wheel fits to each wing along with its retraction strut. The main bay gear doors are then fitted. The appropriate wing tip tanks, and underwing pylons then go on, along with armament if wanted. Genie rockets and Falcon missiles are provided. To finish off the canopies are applied. The F-16 Here Revell have re-released their own tool kit which traces it's history back to 2000. Construction starts in the cockpit which has a 3 part seat, side controllers and an instrument panel with the details provided as decals. A pilot figures is supplied if the modeller wants to use it. The completed cockpit is the then installed into the upper front fuselage part. Moving to the lower fuselage the main wheel bay is built up and added. We then can assemble the main fuselage with the main and front top sections being joined to the lower one. At the front of the fuselage the main engine intake is assembled and joined on, and at the rear the exhaust nozzle is also added, with the tailplanes, ventral fins and e arrestor hook following. Flipping back to the nose the nose cone and front bird slicer IFF antennas go on. Work now moves to the undercarriage. The main gear legs and their retraction struts go in, these are followed by the main gear doors and the wheels. At the front the nose gear leg and its retraction strut are added along with the nose well bay door. To finish off the model a variety of small airframe fittings such as pitot tubes, nav lights blade antennas are added. If the canopy is to be posed open then the strut to open it needs to be fixed in to the frame in the middle of the canopy. Pylons can be added. A wide array of stores are provided with this kit, however most of them won't be used The F-1117A Here Revell have re-released their own tool kit from the early 90's. The shape and the angles of the Nighthawk seem to be well captured by the kit. In a break to most kits where the canopy is the last thing on, here it is the first with the canopy being fitted inside the top fuselage part. Next up more conventionally we move to the cockpit. The tub is one large part with everything including the ejection seat being moulded in. A pilot figure is supplied if the modeller wishes to use it. The cockpit is then fitted into the upper fuselage half. With the heavily framed canopy not much will be seen inside. Next up to the lower fuselage part the large internal bomb bay piece is added. Now that essentially both fuselage parts are complete the wings can be assembled and added to the lower fuselage. Large tabs hold these in place, The fuselage parts can be joined and the V tail added. Next up the front and main landing gears are made up and added into the aircraft along with the gear bay doors. The model only offers the option to have the weapons bay door open with the weapons deployed. If these were wanted to be closed then the kit parts would have to be cut up. If fitting the weapons then the two main doors attach to the central bulkhead for the weapons bay. Trapeze launchers are provided for the two LGBs provided. Decals The large decal sheet is printed by Cartograf so there should be no issues with it. Markings are provided as follows; F-16 90-829 52nd FW, 22nd FS Spangdahlem, Germany 91-362365th FW, 366th FS, Mountain Home AFB F-117A 680-0788 49th FW, Holloman AFB 2006 F-89J 22143 61st FIS Ernest Harmon AFB, New Fiundland 1957 32470 59th FIS Goose Bay AFB, Labrador 1857 Conclusion This is great set of kits to celebrate this anniversary for the USAF, Recommended. Carrera Revell model kits are available from all good toy and model retailers. For further information visit or
  4. Ok so this is only my 2nd model after a 23 year hiatus from the hobby. One of my brothers in my MC is a dedicated crew chief on the ospreys and since he is close to retiring from the USAF I wanted to recreate his bird as a gift. He sent me a lot of reference photos so I hope he likes it. This is the MV-22 kit converted to the CV-22. I used the Red Fox 3d cockpit details, scratch-built the cargo area, used various PE from Eduard and used the Black Dog CV conversion kit. Decals were mixed from the kit and from Caracal but I had to custom make the numbers for the tail (#0051, which is his birds tail number). I also installed red LEDs in the cockpit and cargo area to simulate an "operational" status and added blinking navigation lights to the engine nacelles. The Ospreys used to have a 2 toned scheme but the Air Force recently went to a 1 color paint job so he asked me to use that instead. Painted with a mixture of Tamiya acrylics and lacquers.
  5. USAF 24" Tail Code Markings 1:72 USAFline Tailcodes for USAF aircraft or "Distinctive Unit Aircraft Markings" came about during the Vietnam War as a way of identifying individual aircraft once camouflage was applied to aircraft. White was used at first though this later changed to black. The sheet here is the black one, however the white one is exactly the same. The sheet provides 24" tailcodes with appropriate serial numbers. Also supplied are 6" marking letters for aircraft which never carried tailcodes. The sheets are continuous film, well printed and colour dense. Conclusion Many modellers want different markings that the kits supply, these sheets from USAFline have made this easier. Highly recommended. Black White Review samples courtesy of
  6. This was started last year (or was it the year before?) for the Heller GB, it was not finished in the GB time frame ( can't recall why!) Anyway with a 1400 km move since then it had to be put away. And by put away I mean make it fit back in the box, so it was 'deconstructed'. I am now going to finish it off and have started its second assembly. The state it got here in And getting it back together. Here is a link to the original build thread
  7. Hello Everybody! I showed you in a previous post a Tamiya F-84G I have saved from my bin after a moment of rage... So here is his brother, same fabricant, with a lot of aftermarket inside to make this kit more accurate and attractive. Markings reflect the colorful, well known and well documented FS-454, the 58th FBW CO bird. I used the Aeromaster decals sheet 72-170 "Thunderjets over Korea" rather than the Kit decals which I found too thick. However, I struggled with the Aeromaster product which has some inconsistencies and was not so easy to apply. I didn't put too much weathering, as it is the Boss Bird! Here is the result: And the little dio: The tractor comes from aftermarket with a lot of enhancements, the ladder is scratch built: And to finish, a family photo: Thank you for watching!
  8. Hello! Today's kit has an history as it is a survivor of my trash bin: I started to build the Tamiya excellent F-84G but, to improve a little bit it, I had the silly idea to adapt an old French resin aftermarket product (for the Heller kit). The result was disastrous and catastrophic, as it didn't fit at all and as a result, I finally broke in two parts the fuselage. Rage rage rage! I threw the whole stuff in the bin but, after calming down, considering the price and not wanting to invest in another one (shipping cost is a killer) I decided to rebuild it. I just dropped the flaps and ailerons, add a vacform canopy and enhanced the wheel wells. Painting was done using various shades of ALCLAD II. I faced another problem with the Aeromaster sheet CH 72-02, the decals have badly reacted to the decal set softener. So I finally painted the fin yellow and added black stripes. Curiously I didn't find any photos of FS-460 even is Osprey Frontline Color 3 so I can't tell about the accuracy of the Aeromaster sheet. By looking to pictures of aircraft of the 49th FBG, I didn't find any evidence of aircraft wearing stripes on the horizontal stabilizers so I didn't put them, as indicated in the Aeromaster instructions. If anybody has some photos of FS-460, I will be very happy to see them to enhance my kit! Photos: ...and, as usual, the little diorama: That's it! Thank you for looking, critics most welcomed!
  9. Hello Kits Lovers! Here is the second Shooting Star I built to complement my USAF saga: The F-80C from Sword. Not a bad kit, overall accurate when compared to the Squadron Signal drawings. I just improved the wheel wells, cockpit details which are a little bit scarce and put the gun camera pods in each wing as showed in the photos of the real bird (ref. Osprey Frontline color 5). NMF was done using different shades of ALCALD II, markings show a F-80C from the 36th FBS and come from the XTRA decal sheet 72120. I painted in red the air intakes and add each tooth of the sharkmouth, for a better result. The only caveat is the blue color of the national insignia, not dark enough to my opinion... Here are the photos: The real bird: Mine: And to compare with the Airfix kit which was Bare Metal foiled: ... FT-748 is more realistic to my opinion... And to finish a little diorama: I spent a lot of time (much much more time than on the aircraft!) to modify a Heller CCKW-353 GMC truck into a M-27 Bomb carrier. Based on pictures, I scratch built with some difficulties the rear part of that truck, not being a car/truck/armor modeler. Respecting the overall aspect and dimensions of the M-27 was quite challenging, given the few documents I found on Internet...the little guys are uglily painted, not being specialist! That it for this post! Hope you will enjoy it!
  10. Hello Fellow Modelers! Here is a trial I made on an old Airfix kit I didn't want to get rid off: I entirely covered it with some self-adherent bare metal foils, expecting some kinds of results... After sanding, preparing the kit and thoroughly cleaning the surfaces, it took me quite a long time (and efforts) to cut all foils respecting (almost) panels, gluing them in different directions to change the NMF shade of silver. I did also some improvements to this very basic kit (cockpit, wheel wells, airbrakes etc...). Marking represents a colorful 8th FBG CO aircraft as seen in page 102 of Osprey "frontline color Nbr 5". Decals are coming from the surplus box as well as the Misawa tanks, not provided by Airfix. I will NOT do it again, too time consuming and the final result is not convincing at all that scale... too super shiny! Paints on the market today produce a much better and realistic NMF effect. Here are the photos: Thanks for looking!
  11. Hello Everybody! Continuing my USAF jets saga, here is the little F-5B from Italeri. Not a new kit, but quite decent. Two big issues I tried to tackle: - The wings are very thin (like the real bird) so the wheel wells are not deep enough: What I did was totally removing the whole wheel wells from each wings, leaving a large hole, glued in the extrados a thin plate of evergreen and re-construct the WW with the correct depth; after this the landing gear were installed but needs dramatically to be detailed (both main and nose); -the cockpit, a known issue in all Italeri kits at that scale: I did a new one almost from scratch, the most challenging parts are the separation between pilots and the mechanism to raise the canopies which is very complex and obviously oversimplified by Italeri. As I like camouflage "off the beaten tracks". I decided to represent an F-5B from the 405th TTW sporting an unusual version of the SEA for the F-5, the FS 30219 Dark Tan been replaced by a light beige color, but not everywhere. Also, the yellow band on the top of the fin is not completely painted. Unfortunately I have only one photo of the aircraft, right side: The 405th TTW bagde is home made, names on the canopies are fake because too small to read. So here is my version: Hope you will enjoy it! Have Fun SAFELY!
  12. Good Morning - Afternoon - evening -night (your choice) All! Coming back to the forum with a classic build: the superb Hasegawa Aardvark, with its USAFE livery. This kit is OK from a shape and size perspective and despite its age, it is "on top". Building the kit was not too difficult, I just added some wiring and piping inside the wheel wells, some PE for the cockpit (Verlinden), wings slats and spoilers, glue the wings in the forward position and an home made vacform canopy. As Hasegawa didn't spend too much time in the wings cavity, it needs to be detailed by adding a kind of simulated rubber joint. To put my personal touch, I opened the AAR receptacle. The jet exhaust are very disappointing, all the inner details are to be added. Camouflage is a standard SEA, not too weathered as these birds from Lakenheath were in a pretty neat condition. I chose the 48th TFW boss bird, loaded with the "right things" under the wings for the raid. Decals were atrocious to apply, I mixed both the Microscale and Hasegawa sheet, the first going into very little pieces when watered, the second being too thick. Here are the photos: Thank you for watching, enjoy!
  13. Hello to all.Here is my latest finished model.The great italeri F-5A.I built it as a F-5C.I added a new pittotube and seatbelts.The rest was pretty much oob.Painted in gunze acrylics and sealed with the vallejo matt coat.The weathering is to a minimum on this one.
  14. Hello! Continuing my USAF jets saga, here is a USAF classic F-16C Bk30 in an Aggressor scheme. I found this scheme very attractive so I decided to have one in my collection. I chose the Revell kit, which is far from the definitive F-16C at that scale but it has the merit to be theclosest to the real thing... and cheap (the debate on the best F-16 at that scale is still opened!). As I selected for an Alaskan Bandit, I bough the "Solo Turk", no matter about the kit decals, and I was not disappointed by the content of the box. However, I put some AIRES resin add-ons, such as the cockpit, exhaust, wheel wells and the "big mouth" intake, far better than the orignal one. The surgery to adapt the resin piece to the airframe was not straightforward. To avoid more surgery inside the intake, I put a cover. Detailing the wheel wells was another challenge as there is a mistake in the AIRES kit. Thanks God the literature about the aircraft is legion. I drops the flaps, put slightly up the leading edges and riveted slightly the wings and some parts of the fuselage as well. I smoked the canopy slightly but strangely the effect doesn't sho on the pix. Painting the model was not so easy with the wraparound camouflage on a tortuous aircraft like the F-16. I selected the Tamiya "NATO Black", HU-147 for the FS 36628 grey, all slightly lightened. The FS 36622"Off White" is home made. The Two BoB decal sheet 72100 is absolutely superb, the only caveats are to find the little tiny white stencils in the sheet and instructions sometimes vague. I didn't put much weathering on the kit, as the photos of the real aircraft show a pretty neat bird (I am not a fan of flooding the model with accent panel lines to show each and every rivets at that scale but this is personal). I put a typical Aggressor mission configuration with a jamming pod in the centerline (aftermarket). the missile's fins are all re-made in aluminium can sheet. Here are the photos: The real bird: Mine: ...and the Bandit in its tarmac: I hope you enjoyed the model, critics most welcome! I plan to build a "B" version of the Viper, anybody can tell me which kit is the best at that scale????
  15. Hello Everybody! Here is number three and the last "Blackbird" of my USAF collection: The famous U-2. For this special bird, I chose the Special Hobby kit SH77070, sold as an U-2S or ER-2, enabling to build a Senior Span, Senior Ruby and Senior Spur/ASARS II configuration at the same time. The kit is quite good, shape and dimensions are overall OK. The problem is to attach the long wings to the fuselage, the best option is to add solid spars before gluing them. Also, the radome needs to be carefully positioned to the top of the fuselage, as it is vague in the instructions sheet. What I did to improve the kit: - Cockpit re-done; - Flaps down and airbrakes inner details added; - Extra works for the typical undercarriage, as quite basic in the kit. I finally scratch built the wheel wells, the rear u/c and the outriggers; - Air intakes, they need to be deeper. one as an additional air scoop inside, not given in the kit; - To have an accurate "R", I added some extra bumps after reviewing some photos. the antenna farm may differ from one aircraft o another; The kit is done as a "S" but the vacform canopy is for a "R", the "S" has a frameless front one. Painting the model was a challenge to me as I am not familiar with large aircraft. I used several shades of grey-black, but I kept the overall aspect quite clean, as the aircraft was in the 90'S during the Allied Force period. the lettering of the decals provided seemed too thin to me but I was lazy doing new ones...may be one day! Here are the photos: and the diorama: the pickup come from F4 Models, difficult to assemble, the crew ladder is homemade: As a conclusion, Special hobby provides a very good basis for a decent U-2R, but not an "S". Thank you for watching!
  16. Hello Fellow Modelers! Here is the second aircraft of my Blackbirds series: The Academy F-117A. When I started this project long time ago, finding an accurate kit of this strange beast was challenging, as all models available on the market were wrong to extra wrong! Finally, I chose the Academy kit, which has the advantage to have an opened bomb bay. However, I did a lot of modifications on the kit and spent some money in PE parts. The big challenges were to raise all the panels lines to have a correct faceted aspect, using thin Evergreen strip styrene and to cut the fake air intakes grils and to replace them by very fine mesh. I decided to represent the vertical stabilizers in the rest position but their complex geometry and inner profile doesn't t help. Flaps down was easier. Basically the kit has wrong undercarriage and wheels, poor cockpit, the wheel wells are not deep enough, poor representation of the sensors and the shape of the intakes is questionable to my opinion. For this, nothing to do but for the rest, I took wheels from an F-15C kit (they are similar) cockpit was entirely redone, a resin ACEII seat and a complete reshaping of the false wheel wells and bomb bay. A lot of work for a disappointing result; Painting and markings: "Normal" challenge with the black tint, I used the same technique as for my SR-71, several layers of brownish, blueish etc blacks. To remember the "good old days when I served in the FAF (I was on duty the night it happened in CAOC Vicenza), my model represents the famous "Vega 31" which was shot down by the Serbian Air Defense. Decals come from the excellent "Two Bobs" sheet. The photos: and the little dio: the Dodge RAM pick up comes from F4 Model, not easy to build, the transparent parts are too thick and the kit is basic for the price... As a conclusion, very disappointing, I will definitively build another Nighthawk, may be the new Hasegawa kit (THE model of this strange aircraft at that scale???).
  17. Hello Everybody! I start a series of three blackbirds with the SR-71 Italeri kit. I always wanted to build this wonder but the choice was pretty poor on the market: Hasegawa, Academy and Revell made some but they are all wrong in shape and details so the less-worst is, my opinion the Italeri kit. However, if you want to have an "accurate" rendition of this iconic aircraft, a lot of work needs to be done. The Italeri kit comes with a D-21 drone, and I was surprised by the size of the bird! To simplify on the work to be done, I completely reshape the nose fuselage section which is too close to a A-12 "double seater" (!), way too thin and too flat. This is a big surgery and you need a good drawing to capture the right nose shape, add the navigation device "hump" in the rear of the navigator position etc... The other challenge is to add some "fat" to the fuselage section, not easy. For the rest, the kit needs to be engraved carefully, I used some PE for the auxiliary intakes doors etc.. The cockpit needs some extra work also but you will not see that much once finished... The landing gears required some detailing, I have separated the middle wheel from the main undercarriage (it is molded in a single piece) and detailed the three wheel wells which are pretty empty. Painting the kit is another challenge, as black is not necessarily black so I used various shades of blueish, brownish blacks sprayed randomly to some panels. For the marking, I selected a/c 1967 in the late 70 style based at Kadena in 1978. The decal sheet is from Rocketeer Decals "Ichi Ban". Highly recommended! Unfortunately I have only one photo of the aircraft. A slight weathering was also made. So the Photos: The real stuff: mine: ...and a little dio: the Ford tractor comes from the Hasegawa kit but needs to be enhanced. The SR-71 AG-330 starting group is from the British supplier 'AIM-ground equipment' but unfortunately the wheels are in white metal and are useless. Two groups were made, one type equipped with Chevy engines and the other one with Buick engines. The ladder is scratch built. As a conclusion, a disappointing kit and I am not satisfied with the result... When a definitive kit of this beauty at the 72eme scale will be on the market ???
  18. Hello Fellow Modelers! Here is my last build for my Vietnam Air War saga: the A-37B Dragonfly. Obviously I chose the very nice Academy kit, which is OK from a proportion and dimensions perspective. I was surprised as it not an easy build, as this bird is quite small at that scale. I put some aftermarket PE and to add a final touch, I opened the gun bay. Conversely to Hasegawa, a good choice of ordnance is provided, thanks Academy! Camouflage and markings reflects a Dragonfly based at Bien Hoa, with a typical SEA pattern with some weathering. Internet gave me a nice B&W photo of a/c #335 with a red nose, but unfortunately I was unable to find any depiction of the squadron patch painted on the right side. This is my only omission on this kit, from a marking PoV. Here are the Pix: The real Dragonfly: Mine: And the little Dio: the idea comes from this blurry photo of the Bien Hoa ramp: As a conclusion, not an easy kit because of its size, but it can be built OOB and the result will be convincing. Hope you will enjoy mine!
  19. Good Morning Everybody! Here is my second and last USAF Skyraider build, the very nice Hasegawa kit, enhanced with some resin extras. The only challenge was changing the seat, which is a "bang seat" and needs to be completely scratch built. For the rest, no hassles. As I wanted to show an aircraft ready for some Sandy Ops, I put a full ordnance, some from the surplus box and others scratch built. The wing tank comes from the aftermarket, it is an A-4 Skyhawk one used by A-1H/J. As a marking, I chose the famous "Blood Sweat and Tears" because I had a couple of photos of it and also because this beast has been overspread with black paint on the belly. Enough talks, the photos: The real Sky: My BS&T: ...and a little diorama: As I had a A-1J extra fuselage coming from a A-1E "Fat Face" build, I decided to represent it as a wreck, used for spare parts and dumped in a corner of the airfield. After consulting the A-1 serial number, i found a good candidate and I did some easy surgery on the front end, scratch built the inner fuselage (unfortunately hidden in the dio) and finally a good strong layer of weathering "SEA style" to finish. That's it for the USAF Skyraider, hope you will enjoy the topic! Critics most welcomed...
  20. Hello everybody! A little deviation from my USAF jets series: two Skyraiders, all in Vietnam war style. The first one is the A-1E Skyraider, RVHP conversion kit. Of course, not a cheap built as you need to buy the superb A-1H/J from Hasegawa to recover most of the parts except the fuselage and canopy. But this is unfortunately the only option to get a decent "fat face" as the Revel kit is completely wrong. RVHP gives a fuselage, a very nice vacform canopy, some parts to create the "tub", a little decal sheet and that's it. So a good documentation is needed if you want a nice result from this investment and to master all the differences between a "E/ fat face" from its cousin, the H/J...and their are many! The surgery of the fuselage to the Hasegawa wings was done without any hassles, the fit is quite OK. What I did, to make it short: The full cockpit has been scratch built. The trickiest part was to make the unique ejection seats which are quite complicated to scratch built (However these seats were not present in all fat faces, a photo check is necessary). Thanks God, the rest of the "tub" has not that much amount of equipment, as in the real aircraft the seats and extra boxes were removed to save weight. Opening the nice canopy needs extra extra caution because you have only one. The engine: I selected a resin one (forgot the brand) and added wires; the typical front doors were removed; the undercarriage: Again the A-1E has some unique feature in this area such as an asymmetric front U/C doors with one including a landing light but not the other. Also, the wheel wells are different in shape from the H/J and the doors were removed; On the fuselage all the plates (cowling, antiglare) were made from aluminium can, much thinner. All the armament com from the surplus box, of cours not provided by RVHP. Camouflage: typical SEA, tired with some weathering. I chose an aircraft sporting a little shamrock on the left side seen in page 155 of the excellent "A-1 Skyraider in Vietnam, the last Spad war" which provides a good collection of pictures "in action". All decals are coming from the surplus box. So the pix: The real Spad: Mine: ...and the little dio: That's it for the Fat Face, hope you will enjoy it!
  21. Hello Everybody! This the last HUN of my series, the Italeri F-100F. From the experience of the Revell/Esci builds, this one went smoother but I applied the same amount of modifications to it. The challenge was to detail the large vacform canopy from inside. I add the same resin and PE aftermarket pieces as for the single seaters also. I wanted first to choose a NMF aircraft for the colors & markings but I found on Internet a series of pictures taken of an F-100F Misty FAC being refueled over the Mekong river that immediately captured my attention. So I decided to do that one because of the "war weary" aspect of that particular bird: a partially painted stabilizer, the other one painted not matching the SEA standards and above all the general tired aspect of the SEA camouflage: Luckily I found the right side of the bird but the photo was of poor quality. Here is the result at the 1/72eme scale: I tried to stick as much as I could to the real thing. The ladder and "willy pete" rocket pods are scratch built. ...and, of course the little dio: the bomb loader is from an Hasegawa set but modified and, exception to my rule, I added two pilots (painting little men is NOT MY CUP OF TEA!) Voila, this build was good occasion for me to discover the frightening world of the Misty FAC courageous pilots, I hotly recommend the book "bury us upside down" (Rick Newman & Don Sheppred) for those who are interested in this subject and more generally in the Vietnam Air War... Hope you will enjoy this "Double Hun", comments and critics most welcomed!
  22. Hi Everybody! Another Century icon from the bench: the F-100D "Hun". To pay tribute to the Super Sabre, I built two of them, an ESCI and the Revell (ignoring tha their are the same!), being really disappointed by the Trumpeter kit. So, first the Revell: As said, the Revell kit is a re-boxing of the old Esci/Italeri kit but, at least, it seems more accurate than the Trumpeter. Dimensions and proportions are overall OK, depending on the drawing you select: For Details & Scale, the fuselage is too long by 3mm and the vertical fin too high by 2mm but if you do the same comparison on the Burindo or Warpaint no4 , this mistake disappears! So, being lazy and not fond of a heavy surgery, I went on the easy way - ignoring D&S! However, far for being easy to build due to its age, a lot work awaited me, from front to end: - As usual, riveting, good news the engraved panels are OK; - Cockpit replaced by the AIRES one, needing a lot of adjustments to be fitted correctly inside the fuselage. The front shroud is scratch built. - Front wheel well, re-done with wiring and tubing; - Inner air intake "tunnel" made from scratch. Not easy because it has a shape of a crushed pipe. On the upper intake lip, a small bump is added for the prehistoric "radar"; - Airbrake well, some tubing is needed here even if you don't see that much when the airbrake itself is fitted; - The wings: Here, big problem: Revell gives a wing with the leading edge slats retracted, which is not the case when the aircraft is parked and not powered. So, I decided to buy the Obscureco resin wing (very expensive with the shipping) offering this option. What a waste of money! these wings are too short, badly moulded with a too thick trailing edge and a lot of bubbles, and finally completely twisted . Frustrated, I decided to cut the inner part of the leading edge slats from Obscureco, and graft to the Revell wing. The slats were glued later...This done, the AIRES resin main wheel well was put in place. Long, not easy but the result is OK. This photo shows the final result with the Obscureco pieces put to the Revell wing and the AIRES WW. - I did a lot of work also on the landing gears, wheels and doors which are too simplistic and wrong. (Too long to explain) - Horizontal stabilizers: a thin evergreen plate needs to be added top/below their root. - Exhaust: From AIRES, simply... - Canopy: Vacform, all details inside reproduced (thanks to a picture of a real canopy found by a US aviation "archeologist" in the Nevada desert searching for a Super Sabre crash). -External tanks: I tweaked the long banana-shape to make a 275Gal tank, not given as an option in the box. Painting was made with a lot of Alclad II shade of NMF. Exceptionally, I chose the marking given by Revell, very attractive to me. It seems that the blue of the fin marking is not dark enough it appears to me after the model was finished. (may be one day I will have the guts to change it). The USAF and "US AIR FORCE" letters should be dark blue rather than black. I did a little bit of weathering as the only photo I found of the bird shows a "old warrior" at the end of its operational time. Definitively not an easy build, but despite its age, this kit deserves the work and time spent on it to have a reasonable version of the Hun. The photos: The real Hun: My Hun: Next to come is the ESCI and a F-100F... Hope you have enjoyed reading this post!
  23. Hello Happy Modelers! I am almost of the end of my USAF Phantom saga with this the F-4C. For this version I chose the well known Hasegawa kit I had in stock since years but, quite disappointed by the level of details, I modified it quite a lot with PE, resin and other aftermarket goodies. So what I did: - Cockpit entirely reshaped with PE and some scratch build; - Resin ejection seats (forgot the brand); - Canopy from Taurus; - Resin wheel wells (AIRES), very difficult, needing heavy surgery! Quite a challenge to respect the correct thickness of the wing, the resin parts need to be sanded A LOT to be correctly inserted. - dropped airbrakes ; Shame on Hasegawa not providing this option! - dropped auxiliary belly doors; Shame on Hasegawa..... - Rear "hot area" reshaped to show extra metal sheets, riveting etc... - Resin wheels with the correct threads; - ...and obviously, a hard work to reshape the inner air intakes tunnels and front end of the engine... The whole kit was riveted slightly, I engraved the AAR receptacle and added/corrected some panels. I wanted to do a Vietnam-era F-4 and I found on the web a jaw-dropping series of F-4C/D color photos taken in Thailand and Vietnam airbases here: http://www.piccianiaircraftphotos.com/f-4c_phantom_page_one (highly recommended for Phantom Phanatics) and my choice was obviously this one, an old warrior/mig killer well worn from the 497th TFS: The old CONUS camouflage shows below the SEA scheme, which has been patched with different shade of green. Quite a challenge! After some investigations, it appears that the aircraft were ferried from US in their ADC camouflage then painted SEA "on the spot" with a disparate stock of poor quality paints, not necessarily the FS. Some sources said that the underside was kept white, but to my opinion, it is more on a case by case basis. Painting the model was time consuming as I wanted to reproduce as best as possible at the 72 scale the weathered effect depicted on the photo. I used various technics and I hope its OK! Markings are home made from surplus and Microscale sheets for letters, numbering and the owl emblem. For the ordnance, the bird is heavily loaded with bombs, missiles and ECM pods obviously not included in the Hasegawa kit So I used aftermarket for that. the ECM pod comes from the Monogram kit and was also tweaked. It seems unrealistic or exagerated that the beast can haul such a large amount of stuff but the photo is the proof! Enough blabla, here are the pix, made by a poor photographer (me): I made a little and simple dio to put the beast in situation with two elements: a bomb trailer, coming from the Hasegawa Weapon set but heavily modified because it is too basic and a MC-1a High pressure compressor, also from Hasegawa but entirely modified because completely false! Hope you will enjoy that build, critics most welcome!
  24. Good Evening All! Here is my second (and last) Starfighter at the 1/72eme scale, the Revell one. I must admit that this kit was difficult nut to crack as I found a major flaw in its design, not expected when I opened the box: At first glance, the kit seems great, nice engraved panels, a fair amount of details including the cockpit etc so I thought it would be an easy OOB built, even if Revell (or Monogram as it seems that Revell reboxed it) decided to separate the front end from the rear end of the fuselage, making an uneasy adjustment of both part . Alas! When I put the left part fuselage on some 1/72eme drawings, I found out that the general length of the fuselage is short by a good 5mm, affecting the elegance of this iconic fighter. . This photo shows the missing 5mm. If you compare the Esci/Italeri 104 to the Revell one, you will see that the second one is OK. So stupidly I started the surgery simply by elongating the fuselage by adding a 5mm evergreen section were the kit was already cut, thinking that it will do the trick. Another stupid error! This put the WW bay now too de-centered to the rear, so I have to revise my tactic and insert first a 5mm section rear of the intakes and another one at the rear of the WW bay, respecting the fuselage shape with Tamiya putty and sanding: This pix show the upper part evergreen 5mm insert just behind the air intakes. WWB modification. Also, the arrester hook is obstructed on early F-104 version. So I don't go into all the pain of this surgery (re-engraving, riveting, sanding...) but at the end of the day, I got a correct fuselage length. Hurray! As I love complications, I decided to add a resin exhaust, resin wings, flaps, aileron and slats down (very very fragile), to open some panels to show what is inside the beast using both the Verlinden kit (lower electronic bay and rear gun bay) and the CMK 7008 details resin kit (radar, upper electronic bay cockpit and ejection seat) and finally some PE. Another bad surprise welcomed me as the CMK kit, given and sold for a "C" version is in fact a "G" one, with a different radar and electronic bay! re ...if modifying the inner electronic bay and cover was not so difficult, modifying the small radar electronic black boxes and the dish was another story because first the photos are not legion and second the scale doesn't help. red arrows show what to modify from the original CMK piece for having a AN/ASG14T1 radar For the rest, the canopy is too flat and inaccurate so I vac-formed one, putting the heating system tubing which is showing up quite well on the real aircraft, the WW bay rear and front need some tubing an wiring even if you don't see that much after completing the model and I scratch built the front part of the 20mm cannon (strongly not given by Verlinden). I decided to show a Zipper in an interception configuration with two wingtip mounted AIM-9B and a pair of underwing drop tanks. All fins are made from aluminium can to respect the scale. I added the IFR probe, even if not showed on the photos; Painting the model was a classical use of Alclad II to reflect he shiny and well-maintained conditions of the aircraft. For the markings, I chose the 479th TFW Boss bird, quite colorful and I fortunately found two B&W photos of this aircraft in the Starfighter aficionados well known http://www.916-starfighter.de/ website. Decals are coming from the surplus box and the kit. Now the photos: The true Starfighter: The model: That's it for the Revell Zipper, ...and, as usual a little dio: the radome trolley is scratch built (from a Lockheed factory photo), the ladder, MA-1 and fuel browser are aftermarket product: That's it for the moment for my Starfigher saga, next to come will the D but still in the box. Enjoy the photos, thank you for watching and critics are always welcomed!
  25. Hello All! Let me present to you my version of the famous "Really George", Col Laven F-104C, one of the most striking (and expensive!!!) scheme worn by century fighter! I wanted to build the Zipper with this livery and I did a lot of research to find some photos of the real bird. Surprisingly, I found only few pix, but sufficient to start the work. Finding for inspiration from other modelers, I found that many "Really Georges" builds, whatever the scale and displayed in the Web sported wrong interpretations of this decoration. So my challenge was to do a "Really George" as accurate as possible. I chose the Italeri Starfighter, very basic and plenty of flaws but having the great advantage to be accurate in dimensions. However, a lot of work is needed to improve the kit, especially for the nose section which is too thin, in the cockpit, L/G area, external tanks and, not but not least the canopy which is too flat. This is, as a summary, what I did: - Riveting and panels corrections (e.g. NACA air scoop engraved on the front fuselage right electronic bay, Italeri did an F-104G air scoop, ventral air louvres...); - Nose / cone section: a 1mm evergreen card inserted to correct the shape; -Dropped leading edge; - Cockpit AIRES + ejection seat, "tweaked" to be the first version installed on early F-104C; - Arrester hook suppressed and ventral fin elongated; - All Wheel wells re-done with wiring and tubing, doors modified because too thick; -L/G with wiring and tubing, wheels from aftermarket; the front L/G has been redone from scratch, original too simple; - Vacuform canopy, to include the inner framing; - External tanks: I used the ones provided in the Revell F-104C kit, but elongated by 3mm. Fins are changed (for the early F-104C, all fins have the same dimensions) and made from aluminium soda can, as well as the two little finlets on the top of the tanks; Painting the kit took a little bit of time, using different shade of Alcald II, trying to reach the correct shiny look. Wing Extrados is white, but the intrados are left unpainted (NM). The most important: Decals: I bought the "Albatross ALC-72006" decal sheet to figure out that most of the decals were wrong in color and shape, especially the stripes which are not in color sequence and inverted. Rats! so I bought as replacement the Micro-scale 72358 sheet, the Rocketeer Decals one who seems to be the best was unavailable. What a deception! the Microscale decals were also inaccurate and, when correct, melted in little pieces in the water.. So finally I decided to do the decoration by myself, using yellow, red, dark blue and green decals sheets cut accordingly. It was long, painful, especially for the twist in front of the tanks, but I am not too disappointed by the result. As a conclusion, what was sought to be an easy build was a long journey but I hope the work is worth the result. Here are the photos: The real thing: My "Really George': ...And, as usual, a little Dio: the tow bar and access ladder are home-made, the little Ford F1 pickup transformed a s "follow me" comes from F4 Models, a nightmare to build! Enjoy and rendez vous soon for another F-104C build!
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