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Found 10 results

  1. Hi Here is my new finished kit with this reconnaissance fighter Dassault Mirage F1 CR from Special Hobby. This one is N°603 #33-NR of Escadron de Reconnaissance ER02.033 in 1988 in Chad. The shark mouth was added before going back to Reims AB, France. The vanilla/chocolate camouflage is typical of the Chad operations during the 1980s. She was loaded with two 1200 L fuel tanks, two Magic air-to-air missiles, a Phimat chaff dispenser under the starboard wing and a Barracuda ECM pod under the port wing. Patrick
  2. dukdalf

    Heat shields on Mosquito exhausts?

    In the picture above is a Mosquito FB Mk.VI operated by the French airforces from their base at Rabat-Salé (Morocco) and in the picture below an aircraft in Indochina, I think: There seems to be a heat shield fitted behind the 'siamesed' exhaust for cylinders 5 & 6. Does anybody have any more info on this?
  3. Hi This is another one for this year even if I started this kit many years ago. The 1/72 Hobby Boss kit is not the best in town but is easy to build except around the front part of the fuselage which is divided horizontally. I tried to compensate the poor detail level by chosing a multi-coloured scheme. This is the Armée de l'air (French Air Force) Republic F-84G-21-RE 51-10809 Thunderjet transfered to France and from EC 1/3 Navarre at Reims AB in 1953. The transfers came from the Hi-Decal HD72049 sheet. Patrick
  4. Andrew

    1/72 Mirage F1CR & F1CT

    I eagerly purchased a couple of Special Hobby Mirage F1s when they were first released and have been keeping them aside with this GB in mind (I may have purchased a few more since then, I couldn't possibly comment). Although I haven't narrowed the subjects of this project down to particular machines, the intended builds will both be late service examples, probably reflecting some of their operational use. To that end, I'll almost certain that I'll be using Berna Decals for both jets; I haven't used them before but they look very nice. Other aftermarket will include Master pitots, Peewit paint masks and a CMK 'Iraqi' centreline tank for the F1CT. The F1CR will utilise one of the kit-supplied recce pods. Pics of the sprues - apologies for odd effect created by photographing two sets of sprues together... P1000621 P1000623 thanks for looking, Andrew.
  5. Hello Here is my new finished kit with this 1/72 Special Hobby Nakajima Ki-43-III when used by the Armée de l'air (French Air Force) in Indochina between December 1945 and February 1946. The GC I/7 Provence stationed at Po Chen Tong near Phnom Penh when they used less than a dozen former Japanese Army Air Force Nakajima fighters. There were many accidents and after a couple of months they were replaced by Supermarine Spitfire Mk IX, and this is another story. The kit is easy to assemble. For the very worn effect I painted first the kit with Alclad Duralumin. Next I applied with a piece of sponge some masking fluid before airbrushing the dark green. After one hour I peeled off the paint with the finger. I made the same for the yellow identification markings. I saw on the pictures that the metal blades of the propeller were in perfect conditions. The transfers came from two sheets on the subject by Printscale. I say two because the transfers are too thin and after the first I could see the mottle effect through the white and red transfers. Then I bought another sheet to put exactly a second layer of the same transfers. Patrick
  6. So to go with my Asas de Portugal Alpha Jet I'm doing a Patrouille de France one too! The kit is the standard Revell one - I've got a lot of these floating around and they make a decent Alpha. The decals come from Caracal which I believe gives enough for 2 complete aircraft. But I have 3 Alpha Jets and some other decals in a Heller anniversary box I got when I was a kid in France on holiday, so I may well do 3 in the end! Most of you are probably fully aware of the Patrouille de France. They're one of the best display teams (and my joint favourite) in the world. They've flown the Alpha Jet for since 1981 now and their paint scheme hasn't changed much bar their tails which have changed over time to reflect anniversaries of the Armee de l'Air or of France. As per my other builds, I didn't take any photos of the before and after...so it's mainly pictures during painting and decals that I'll have to offer. When I do my next Alpha Jet I'll actually take construction pictures (though it normally only takes me half an hour)! So far I've painted the wings and some of the fuselage...not much else! More to come soon! Wings and some centre complete. Alongside it's colleagues.
  7. For my second build I will be doing the Azur Morane-Saulnier MS.406C from the "Battle of France" boxing: In the box are the same parts as included in the other Azur releases of the MS.406/410: ...but with decals and paintschemes specific to Armee de l'Air machines from the period up to late June 1940: I will be building "Camo D" - Azur describe this as being an aircraft of the 3me Escadrille of Groupe de Chasse II/2, but the Colorado Decals set for the MS.406 has the same aircraft with a white "2" in a red disc and says it is from the 4me Escadrille... I have no idea who is correct so unless someone can correct me I will go with the kit description as it is the more recent of the two. Cheers, Stew
  8. Hi all, I am building Eduard's 1/48 Mirage IIIC in the French Fancy Group Build and have a query re the underside blue colour. Does anyone have any pics of actual djibouti camo'd a/c that show the underside? I have pained the thing in the Gunze colour recommended (over a light base of Xtracrlix azure blue) and it looks very vivid! It may be correct but would welcome opinion. See pics below. Any direction would be recommended (posted this here for more visibility). Thanks
  9. Dewoitine D.520C1 n° 277, GC III/6 5ème escadrille l'armée de l'Air, Rayack (Syria), June 1941, flown by Sous-lieutenant Pierre Le Gloan Kit: 1/72 Hasegawa Dewoitine D.520 "French Air Force" Afermarket parts : Eduard #72-254 photo-etched detail set (selected parts only) Falcon vac formed canopy (from the set #26 “France WWII”) Corrections & additions made on the kit: The nose air intakes were originally the wrong shape being too narrow at their forward end. This was corrected with plastic inserts and re-shaping. The louvers were added to the intakes as it can be seen on the photos. The under-belly cooler was too narrow and also not curved enough in outline. It was re-shaped by making two cuts in its rear part, repositioning the rear ends of the cooler sides outward and filling the gaps with Mr.Surfacer. The cooler interior (area covered by the cooler) was completely re-worked by cutting out the flat plastic fragment of the lower wing part and making an appropriate niche instead, as it was on the real thing. Therefore, the etched cooler grills by Eduard (designed to fit the kit parts) became just useless and the replacement parts were finally scratch built. The wing area where the cooler is attached was also modified according to the reference photos. The main wheel wells (too shallow and represented totally wrong on the kit) were completely re-worked, in particular, the niches for the landing gear legs. For the wheel well “ceilings” the Eduard parts were used, with some additions though. The kit parts for the landing gear covers were thinned down and modified for correct appearance. This way they still look much better than the flat etched pieces. The incorrect curved representation of the area under the rear view windows behind the cockpit (à la P-40) was removed and replaced by the flat panels at it was the case with the real thing. Some panel lines were added and some were corrected according to the reference photos. The rear view windows (unfortunately, not present with the Falcon set and too thick as kit parts) were therma-formed using the kit-parts as templates. The main wheels were flattened using the surface of the electric cooker. The etched parts for the gun sight were still too big and this one was eventually scratch built as well. I decided to add the ring gun sight as well, since it can be clearly seen on one of the photos showing this a/c. The kit decals were modified according to the reference photos.
  10. Sepecat Jaguar A 1:48 Kitty Hawk The Jaguar has a convoluted development history, which began with Britain and France wanting different things, with some commonality of goals, if that makes any sense. Eventually these converged sufficiently to make more sense, and with the cancellation of one of the possible solutions, the Jaguar was born along with a separate joint venture between Breuget and BAC (as it was then) to form SEPECAT, which stands for Société Européenne de Production de l'Avion d'École de Combat et d'Appui Tactique, which translates to European Company for Production of Combat Trainer & Tactical Support Aircraft - a descriptive title if ever there was one, but a long way from catchy. The British and French partners ordered about 160 airframes each, with the French opting for a portion of their lot to be the yet-to-be finalised Jaguar-M options. These were of course cancelled due to cost increases and political wrangling in favour of the Super Etendard. Each Nation also ordered 35-40 two-seat trainers to assist in the conversion of pilots to this new jet. With the jet trainer element now completely removed from the aircraft's tasking with the introduction of the Hawk and Alphajet, the Jaguar was translated to a pure Ground Attack and Tactical Strike aircraft, a job that it did well, as it was a mechanically robust aircraft, with its unusual over-wing pylons freeing up more wing hard-points for munitions. Powered by two Adour engines, the initial airframes were considered to be underpowered, and crews joked that they only took off due to the curvature of the earth. Successive improvements to the engines increased power and load hauling ability though, and its ability to produce high power for take-off and short dashes made for some interesting low-level flight videos on YouTube over the years. The French Jaguar A was delivered to the Armée de l'Air in 1973, taking part in a number of conflicts in North Africa where French interests were threatened, and then went on to serve in the Gulf War through to the Kosovo and Bosnian conflicts, before being retired in 2005, some two years earlier than the British Jaguar's final curtain call. The Kit For years we have had only the Airfix/Heller tooling in 1:48 that dates back to just before the dinosaurs became extinct, and has many flaws associated with its age and heritage. We have known about this new tooling from young company, Kitty Hawk for only a few months now, but we are reliably informed by Mr Song that this is the first of a number of editions of the kit that will include British and 2-seat versions. That will make a lot of Jaguar fans very happy, and consign a lot of Airfix kits to the loft, I'm sure. The kit arrives in a diminutive white box, with a painting of a desert camouflaged Jag wearing French roundels on the top. Opening the lid, and you are greeted by a lot of plastic, filling the box to the top. There are seven sprues of pale grey styrene, plus two separate fuselage halves (minus nose), and a clear sprue. There is also a sheet of Photo-Etch (PE) brass, a colourful decal sheet, and a similarly small instruction booklet to finish off. First impressions are good – there is a lot of detail packed into these sprues, with restrained engraved panel lines, rivet detail and quite a few weapons parts included with the kit. The build begins with the cockpit, which is based upon an open-backed tub, which is then closed by a nicely detailed rear bulkhead, and detailed with PE side-console and PE instrument panel laminated to a styrene base that fits in a slot between the moulded in rudder pedals, but does not have a tab to hold it fast. The ejector seat is built up from a central cushion and headbox section, sandwiched between two side-panels that cover the rear, with a separate pull-handle between the pilot's knees. A set of PE harnesses are supplied to further detail this, and while it is surprisingly good enough to suffice for the majority of builders, additional detail can always be had by replacing it with a resin aftermarket part. There are some other seat parts for other versions of the kit that aren't mentioned in the instructions, so make sure you pick the correct ones from the sprues. The cockpit is finished off with a control-column, and a pair of internal side-wall parts that although not much of them will be seen, have some good detail moulded in. Like many fast jets, the nose gear bay is then attached to the underside of the cockpit, and here the detail is similarly good. The roof and end panels are moulded as one part, with separate sides that permit detail to be moulded on all facets, with plenty of rivet, cabling and structural detail moulded in. The instructions would have you install the nose-gear leg at this point, but I will be investigating the possibility of adding it later, to save it from damage during handling. The gear leg is strong, and has a pair of large mounting surfaces that mate with the roof of the bay and slide into slots cut in the sidewalls, it has separate yoke detail to the front, and a 2-part wheel that has the hub moulded integrally. The cockpit/nose gear bay assembly is then sandwiched between the nose sides, after adding some clear parts to the area portray sensors etc., and adding the nose equipment bay that may be posed open or closed. A single piece is included to portray the bay detail, which looks very nice, and should fulfil its purpose well with some careful painting. The two panels are added a little later in the open position, but if you are planning on leaving them closed, it might be as well to add them before you have closed up the nose, so that you can get them lined up with the rest of the skin. Once the nose is closed up, the coaming is added to the flat area in front of the instrument panel, which has a large oblong cut-out for the HUD that is installed with a clear part representing the reflective glass. The various sensors and the nose-mounted pitot probe can be left of until later, as can the open panels on the nose if you are leaving them open. The gun troughs are then added, and a pair of barrel stubs are installed within the trough to give added detail. The prominent exhaust holes underneath the cannon bulges are separate parts on the rear fuselage, which gives the mould the flexibility to depict one or both cannons installed for the 2-seat or single-seat versions. It also gives additional detail to a complex area, and careful fettling of the parts before gluing should result in minimal clean-up. The clear parts are thin and commendably clear, but would of course benefit from a dip in Klear/Future or Alclad Aqua Gloss. A set of PE rear-view mirrors are included for the canopy lip as well as a number of small styrene parts that attach to the inside of the windscreen. Their location isn't terribly exact on the drawing, so check your references before you install them. Attention then turns to the rear of the fuselage, and unconventionally begins with the construction of the main landing gear. The Jag's landing gear was quite innovative in its day, and because of its rough field handling requirement, the legs are sturdy and shod with balloon tyres. The struts are made up from six parts, which gives an idea of the complex shape. The twin tyres are made from separate halves with moulded in hub detail and circumferential tread pattern engraved in, with one attached to each side of the swing-arm. The completed legs are then installed to the front wall of the air-brake bay where the mounting points for the legs are moulded into their surface. The main bays are built up from individual wall parts, and fix forward of the air-brake bays. Detail in these areas is also good, although little will be seen because of the fact that the doors were usually closed after landing, unless they were needed left open for maintenance. Forward of the main bays are the cannon maintenance bays, which have a depiction of the 30mm DEFA cannons made up from two separate parts. The bay doors can be left open or closed at your whim. The intakes for the two engines are split diagonally into L-shaped sections that fix together along a diagonal mating surface to retain the curve of the sides of the parts. Of course a little sanding of the seam will be required, but this should be minimal, and as it is on the outer edges, shouldn't be too taxing. The trunking only extends as far as the intake sections, and leads into the fuselage, where the engine fronts will be visible within the gloom (if you can even see that far), so a coat of black to the inside of the fuselage just before closing up would be wise to hide any structure and prevent light-leaks. The intakes have a little rough surface on their internal faces, which you might want to take care of before gluing the halves together, and you could also paint the lip and trunk before gluing to make a tricky task a little easier. The blow-in doors are depicted in their relaxed state on this model, as they were only ever open when the engine was turning over and creating a drop in pressure that allowed them to hinge in to provide more air to burn with the fuel. If you plan on modelling your Jaguar in flight, you will need to remove the doors and pose them deflected inwards as per the box top painting. The fuselage halves are full of holes for open bays, so are by their nature flexible when handled straight from the box. They will doubtless firm up when the various bays are installed, which indicates that it might be an idea to tape the halves together while waiting for the bays to set up, so that no warp is induced by parts curing slightly out of line. The largest opening in the fuselage is to the very rear, where the twin Adour turbofans are installed. A large flat slab with a firewall bisecting it and the forward bulkhead are installed first, with the engines themselves added afterwards, having been made up from five styrene parts each, with a PE burner ring installed within the exhaust area, and a set of exhaust petals made up from a strip of PE that is curved around into a cylinder, and the individual petals folded in the correct order before being slid into the outer exhaust ring. A central outer skin panel is installed along the line of the firewall on the underside of the fuselage, and the modeller can then decide whether to install the main engine panels or leave them off, displaying one or both of the engines. The same can be done with the airbrakes, which have fine holes cut through them, just like the real things. If posing them open, a pair of jacks are included (one for each) to put them at the correct angle to the airframe. The tail-cone and a PE arrestor wire are added, as are the choice of two centre-line pylons, although whether they are better left off until after painting is a decision for each modeller to make. The wings are provided as individual halves, with the outer wing panel moulded entirely to the upper wing, due to the narrowness of the wing at that point. The flaps and slats are all separate parts, and a PE spoiler is supplied for the top of the wing, as well as the wing-fence, which is also made from PE. A tiny wedge of clear styrene is installed in each wing-tip for the recognition lights. The rudder is made up of three parts, the main part of the fin, the rudder panel, and the top of the tail, again due to the changes in the tail between marks. A pair of PE antenna parts are installed perpendicular to the tail at around the half-way point. The elevators are single parts, as they are rather thin, and affix to the fuselage with a large peg around which they can be rotated. The ventral strakes attach to long slots on the underside of the engine bulges, and a gaggle of small sensor parts install on the underside and rear spine. The crew heat exchanger that sits on the spine behind the cockpit fits into a slot, and has two PE blade aerials attached to its back. It is only at this point that the instructions suggest joining the front to the rear of the fuselage, after all of the weapons pylons have been installed. Happily, the pylons are made up of separate halves, and have attachment details added once they are joined. This is a neat little feature, and something that should be commended to all manufacturers of modern jets. The remainder of the build concerns itself with the construction of the weapons load that this pugnacious aircraft could carry into battle. A table on page 18 shows what each of the stations was capable of carrying, but check your references for actual war-loads and training loads that were typically carried. The sprues contain the following weapons: BGL 1000 250KG Bomb x 4 on 2 dispensers AS.37 Martel BGL 400 x 2 AS.30 missile BLG66 cluster bombs x 2 PHIMAT countermeasures pod Matra 155 x 2 OBL 755 AIM-9L Sidewinder x 2 ATLIS targeting pod R550 Magic.2 x 2 Barracuda ECM pod That's quite a pile of weapons, which takes up the majority of two sprues. Only one fuel tank is included with this edition, and that isn't mentioned in the instructions, although it's likely to be a centreline tank judging by the fact that there is just the one of them. It can be found on sprue H, next to the wing parts. The decals permit you to model one of two schemes, as follows: No. 124, EC01/007. Provence Saint-Dizier, 1994 - dark earth/light brown camouflage over light blue undersides. No.62 "Boar's Head" markings - dark green/dark sea grey over silver. Decals are sharply printed and appear to be in good register with a slightly matt/gloss mottling to the carrier film, which varies over the surface. The two large perforated decals are for the BLG-66 cluster bombs, depicting the bomblet dispenser holes. A full painting and marking guide for the weapons is included on the inside front cover of the instructions, taking advantage of the glossy colour print of the outer sleeve. Conclusion A new tooling of the Jaguar in 1:48 has been requested and prayed for for many years by modellers, and finally we have one, courtesy of Kitty Hawk. Soon we should have a full set of options for British, French and trainer aircraft, which is only to be applauded. From my personal (and very selfish) British standpoint, it's a shame the French edition was first out of the gate if only by a very short time, but in the grand scheme of things, we can wait a few more weeks for a new RAF Jaguar in 1:48, can't we? It is a thoroughly modern tooling, with a lot of detail included in the box, especially in the important cockpit, gear bay and surface areas. You have options to open up many panels, there are plenty of weapons included for you to choose from, and you even get a fret of PE parts to add to the kit, although there are no styrene equivalents for those that are PE phobic. From a personal point of view I couldn't be happier. I have a planned build of three, or possibly four Jags in 1:48 before I depart this world, so will be replacing my Airfix kits as I go along. Perhaps those Retirement Scheme decals might get used afterall! Very highly recommended. This is now a Work in Progress, and can be seen here. Review sample courtesy of and available soon from major hobby shops