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  1. Unlike many of the British subjects present here (and sufferers from around the world), I was never acquainted with Airfix's H.P. 0/400. I cherished, though, for a long time, building the civil transports that derived from it. I started as usual gathering references, and after a few years, once satisfied with the research, I bought (quite recently), a new release of the old kit. When the kit arrived from the Foglands, I just put it in the closet, and only today I opened Pandora's box. My first impressions: 1) A large number of parts were already loose in the bag they came in. Some were so extraordinarily tangled with each other that they made me think of some weird model parts orgy; but then I thought "Nah, it's a British kit, they are quite proper and respectful of formalities". 2) I have hardly ever seen so many ejector pin marks. 3) I surmised that two people were in charge of producing the masters for the flying surfaces. One was restrained and created a normal rib pattern. The other was a madman and thought the masters were for a washboard. Or perhaps was trying to represent rib tapes, in which case to say they are overstated is an understatement. 4) When I saw the three included figures I jumped thinking that they were, like me, Shaolin Modeling Monks! One was even meditating seating in the lotus position! But no, they were stoic British crew members that at the first opportunity asked me what time tea was served. The gall! 5) The "system" devised for the wing upper and lower halves is dismal. Not sure if it was thought to facilitate rigging, but if it was, the designer should be condemned to endlessly hear the deranged rants of certain president. If it wasn't, all the same. Hard to disguise those seams will be. 6) I love it. Now, do not hold your breath with this build, it will not be one my usual flash-builds. I have other business to attend for a while and just wanted to share the opening moves with all of you. Getting rid of the extra weight: the main sprues and the pim-poom-paff-kaboom parts: The washboards are included in the kit: An engineering solution not even a mother would call elegant: Oh boy... @Martian Hale, @general melchett (who reputedly coined the phrase "Bloody Paralizer"), and another crew member half-eaten already by the Martian, who liked to take his snacks on board alive: As it is common knowledge among the members of modeling cenacles in Río Ceballos, Rosario, Timbuktu and Kamchatka, there were several variants derived from the 0/400. I am not interested in discussing variants irrelevant to this build, and of course as usual I have no interest in any military versions. I am focusing at the moment on the somewhat hastily converted for civil passenger service left overs form the war, which need of course a new interior and some changes on the exterior, and on the 0/700 variants that need much more noticeably changes. I have the impression that this is going to be fun! Meanwhile, I am going back to my references to chose a specific plane. Hopefully will be seeing you soon! Cheers
  2. Contemplating the harmonious lines of a well-designed classic twin is always a pleasure, and for those privileged to have seen them in person, a sight to remember. In its attractive American Airlines livery the plane seems to invite its ten passengers to ply the skies above serene landscapes, in comfort and relaxation, including a restroom. Not for nothing this era of aviation is called "golden". This endeavor started as a comparative build -of the same airplane type- against a Rareplane vacuformed kit. The building process of both kits can be visited here: The model is based -as explained in the building article- on a revamp by Encore of the original -and frankly poor- PM kit. This new boxing included -to no exceptional advantage to me- some resin bits that were supposed to be an upgrade, and a very bad new transparency, that in my sample only deserved the trash can, with apologies to the trash can. A few of the resin parts are identical to those of the original kit, or worse, and only the cabin door, exhausts, cowls and engines are of use (if you are not too picky, especially regarding the cowls). The kit's alternate civil decals that tempted me to buy the boxing are a total fiasco, since the real scheme was applied to a highly modified plane of later date, that has very little to do with the kit, having, among other changes, squared wing tip additions, and three-blade props. So it's either kit surgery or trashing those nice -but useless- decals. Thus I went a different path, adding interior and exterior detail and commissioning a decal sheet from Arctic Decals for a plane used by American Airlines. I know that there were other Beech 18 kits issued by Hobbycraft, and having such variety of nice civil liveries, I am surprised that a better injected kit doesn't exists, or at least an upgrade set -that makes sense, that is. In any case these old platforms can be turned into fair models with some work (and research, something many manufacturers don't bother with). Many of you have one or other of these incarnations (RarePlane, Encore, PM; Hobbycraft) in the stash. I think they make for a good skill-honing project, without pretending to obtain the ultimate model. Personally, I find the venerable RarePlane vac superior to these much modern alternatives so far in the market; you may have a look here: Knowing the limitations of this kit (which are various) I may venture -some day- into another conversion, since there are things that I could do better after having dealt now with this kit. Even though it took some time and no little work, here is the result obtained with the Encore kit, with which I am fairly pleased, all things considered.
  3. We're doing a what if GB at the moment. My premise is that the July 20th plot succeeded and the new Western alliance rolled on against the Soviets. This is my version of the 262 HG remixed as a long range escort fighter and where it might have gone with some British and American input. Overall a bit of fun and an excuse to build a 262. Based loosely on the above, a concept sketch of a proposed three seat night fighter variant of the 262. With this as the intended victim.
  4. This model started life as a venerable RarePlane* vacuum-formed kit, and was converted, with some modifications, into an air show stylized machine. New engines and props, full interior -with restroom, and many other details like diverse antennas and lights were added to bring the standard just a tad higher, redeeming its destiny from tired out-of-the-war-mill, to splendorous crowd-awing aerobatic apparatus. The step-by-step account of the transformation can be seen here: The necessary masks and decals were commissioned from Arctic Decals and were to their usual high standards. This model was built in parallel with another civil conversion of the same type using the Encore half-hearted re-pop of the original PM kit to make an American Airlines plane, and it was an interesting experience comparing the quality, engineering, behavior, and potential of both. I must say that both kits have their uses, but my heart inclines towards the vac, that although being a much earlier effort, has much more to it than the not very well rendered iteration of the injected-cum-so-so-resin-bits sister kit. Still, a great pleasure is found in playing with these old kits and honing those skills with a frill or two, and much is learned, and much is enjoyed, plus the endeavor resulting in not so common renditions with a bit of extra pizzazz. The model represents a present time aerobatic machine used on air shows.Not all kits can be used to portray this particular airframe, only the ones with the shorter nacelles and without the kink (LERX) at the wing roots. *Before his passing, I sustained a very lovely exchange with Gordon Stevens, talking much about kit-making, aviation and life. Wherever he is, I hope I made him proud with this, his creation.
  5. Hi all, Am in the research stage for my next project, which is going to be a Beaufighter, Now the one I have is a TFX, which was mainly used for torpedo bombing. I would like to convert it to a MK1, which was used for PRU, mainly by 'Warby'. Since I am going to be building in 1/72 scale, I would like to know if there are any significant (external) changes that I need to take care of in order to convert a TFX to Mk.1. TIA
  6. So chaps, the next build will be something that is very dear to me, Veh reg 09EA90 ( G3 Ops) my old ride at 6th Armd Bde Salamanca Barracks in Soest West Germany. I signed for the detachment back in 1990 as a young Signaller barely just out of school, 09EA90 was straight out of base workshops after a major overhaul so it was basically a brand new wagon, the paint finish was immaculate ( sprayed black and green) , not a chip or scratch and all the kit was brand new first issue. (didn't stay like that for long) I'll be using the great Takom FV432 as the basis of this conversion which will be a in depth conversion. Most people wouldn't be able to tell a 432 and 436 apart from first glance but there are a bucket load of differences, the interior is the major headache as it filled with Radio kit. 09EA90 had a twin 353 Zulu fit along with a single 321 and a SCRAT fit. We also had 3 Ptarmigan subsets and the Redbrick TAC IC system. Adding to that I have to scratch build the new cage as the Takom cage is too small for a 436, a 1500 w Onan gene set and add the various armoured boxes on the roof plus the Racal 8m masts and mounts. After the first Gulf War our Squadron started getting the GPMG to fit on the commanders cupola, the Infantry started getting the swearing removed LSW as a section weapon so us Signallers got the GPMGs that were surplus to the Infantry. We did still have the LMG (Bren) up until that point but no mounts to fix them to the cupola. The box shot I need to find more of my photo's from the day but here are a few of 09EA90 First photo is of the Forward Headquarters 6th Armd Bde, 09EA90 (G3 Ops )on the left, centre is Radcon and the right hand side is one of the Ptarmigan Radio Relay wagon Stay tuned for more Dan
  7. Hi all, With a tip of the hat and a heartfelt Thank You to Mr. John Adams, I am starting this build diary of my conversion of the Airfix 1/48 scale PR XIX to the earlier PR XI. Please note that this build is now finished, hence the term "build diary" instead of a day to day record of where the process stands. Back before the turn of century (and I have been waiting a while to use that phrase) I converted the Academy Mk XIV into the PR XIX and started a long journey through what is now a collection of five Spitfire PR projects, all conversions. By the way, if a Spitfire PR XI kit in 1/48 scale makes the scene in the near future, you're welcome! From the start I wanted to use the Airfix PR XIX kit since it would make up the wings, horizontal tails, and two thirds or so the fuselage, making the work of doing the "recce" mods much easier. I began by making up a list of things to be changed: 1. I went through my references before starting and selected EN343-E from May 1943. She was one of the first PR XI's built, and the first to take damage assessment pictures the morning after the Dams raid. 2. Replace the Griffon engine nose with a Merlin nose 3. Replace the later, deeper radiators with shallower units. 4. Cut down the vertical fin and fit the earlier “standard” rudder (rounded or pointed, depending upon the airframe). 5. Change the PR XIX clear pieces with a vacformed PR XI windshield, sliding section, and rear fixed canopy. 6. Check the camera fit for your specific airframe. On my project, EN343-E, the side oblique camera was not installed initially, and pics of her early in her career show that the oblique opening was either not used initially, plated over, or painted over. Whichever way, the plane did not carry the side oblique window in the pictures I’ve seen. 7. A deeper lower cowl can be fitted from available resin sets. 8. Add an antenna mast on the fuselage spine. So Step 2 was to find and install a replacement nose, swapping the Griffon configuration with a Merlin. I went through my small-ish Spitfire stash, checked measurements for likely ways to do this swap and settled on an old Aeroclub Mk XVI conversion set. I always liked the look of the Aeroclub Merlin nose, so I determined where to make the cuts to swap out these nose parts. I have trouble making conversion joints and then adding a new panel line in the same spot, so after some head-scratching I chose the point at which the forward wing fairing kinks outward for a cut line. That put me roughly 3/16" back from the front edge of the fuselage fuel tank panel line on both the kit fuselage and the Aeroclub fuselage as seen below. Once I did one pair of fuselage parts, I knew I could manage the rest of the work ahead. In the image below the straight, dark, vertical line is the joint; not perfect initially but filled with super glue and sanded smooth. I sanded off some of the Aeroclub engine panel fasteners, so I had to replace them by hand; more on that later. I had also deepened the engine cowling panel lines as well as reshaping the vertical fin. Enough for now, I think. Tune in soon for another thrilling adventure in conversions! Cheers, Jim
  8. Hi all, Here are some completion pictures of my latest Reconnaissance Spitfire project. The base kit is the Airfix PR XIX kit in 1/48 scale, converted to a PR XI. I have just finished an extensive Build Diary in the Work In Progress threads so please check there for all the details. Thanks again to Mr. John Adams. Cheers,
  9. Found in my attic about a year ago, started about thirty years ago and finally seeing the light of day again. As I have a DV in my stash and there are many good DIII kits out there I decided it would either be an Offag DIII or a DI/II, seeing as how there are many good Offag kits too and the wings were terrible I decided to go for the latter. Wing blanks now ready for skinning, already better than the kit parts :). My younger self had already replaced the tailplane and filled the fuselage a bit. Still have to decide on a DI or a DII, those ear radiators are awfully cute, but the colour schemes on the DII are much more interesting, ho hum.
  10. Here's my just-completed 1/48 OA-4M - last one for 2019! I needed a mojo restorer and this fitted the bill very nicely - it's taken just over a week. Apologies to anyone who might have been following my all too brief WIP, I got carried away and stopped taking photos as I went! This is the Hasegawa 1/48 TA-4J converted to an OA-4M using a resin conversion set from Phase Hangar. The conversion set was very nice indeed, it included everything needed for the conversion (on the outside anyway), including a nice pair of seamless intakes, and everything was a pretty good fit. One thing to watch out for if you do the conversion - the instructions call for you to add the brake parachute - don't, it wasn't fitted to the OA-4M. Decals are from Furball Aero Design and worked very well. Perhaps not quite as much contrast between some of the decals and the dark ghost grey though. Just one thing missing which I'll always notice, and was missed in my haste as I got carried away. Can anyone spot it? On to the photos: thanks for looking and happy new year Julian
  11. Not so much "decided" as "quick, before I change my mind again!" I'm dusting off a project that I started for the Mustang Group Build, 2014 edition. Accurate Miniatures 1/48, with Ultracast conversion for Mustang Mk.I. The only thing that I actually did was rough-in the wing leading edge inserts- see link for that. (There are Photobucket images- they showed for me, but let me know if they don't for you. I may be able to get them directly here.) The first thing to decide is whether to do an NA-73 or NA-83 - as I discuss in the linked thread, there are a number of subtle differences between the two production orders. And, me being me, I'm already hearing this devilish voice whispering "Or, hey, you could do a Mustang X!" I don't have a specific Mustang I in mind, which makes life more difficult. A word about the thread title: Most of you will know the one about how the British Air Purchasing Commission approached North American to build P-40s (meaning the ones that became Tomahawks), because Curtiss couldn't supply enough of them as soon as desired. What they were really negotiating for, however, was a certain number of P-40s, to be followed by the (supposedly) new and improved P-46, which had not yet flown. There are also whisperings that NAA had already had some conversations about a fighter for the British. At any rate, this makes the decision to let NAA try their own version of an Allison-engined fighter more understandable. By the time the Mustang prototype- and for that matter the XP-46- had flown, a compromise decision had seen the end of the P-46 as a production type, with an evolved P-40 (the H87 / Kittyhawk) taking its place, while the P-46 project evolved into a stillborn XP-53 (Model 88). Thus, the Mustang and "new P-40" (D/E/F, Kittyhawk) ran parallel, and in fact shared the production of the new F-model Allison.
  12. Last years Christmas present, just scrapes in for this Christmas. New nose, new canopy and spats. Home printed decals.
  13. A build from 4 years ago: The conversion of the veteran Heller Potez 54 into a Potez 62 airliner is not unknown to the modeling universe. It is not an easy conversion, and implies serious modifications of the fuselage and, depending on the specific machine chosen, new engines and engine nacelles and other details. The airliner will of course necessitate its new cockpit and a cabin interior, with its many seats and other details, a new set of decals will have to be produced and some extensive research would be in order if you wish to obtain a reasonably accurate reproduction. Some modelers have chosen to modify the Heller fuselage, while others took advantage of the Dujin resin conversion fuselage. This item is not easy to get, but I believe is not impossible to grab one if you persist. I passed on it for several reasons: price, material (resin) and the fact that not having the opportunity of handling one directly I could not evaluate its accuracy and level of detail. This conversion has been tempting me for a while, but my interest picked up in discovering that Argentina, the country where I was born, had two Air France machines operating under French registration on the Buenos Aires / Santiago de Chile route, one of which was later acquired by the Argentinean government and re-registered LV-SEC (F-ANQQ). F-ANQQ was a converted 62.0, therefore had no sweptback as the ulterior 62.1 series machines. At around the same time two Dewoitine 333 and two 338s were also acquired, but very unfortunately they were passed to the military and did not go into civil operation, pity, because I would have loved to build models of them too. The Potez 62 LV-SEC operated only once, in half a flight. That's correct. According to the Pavlovcic article it flew on an official mission to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, with some politicians and predictable entourage, only to crash on take-off on the attempted flight back, fortunately with non-fatal injuries but leaving the machine converted in a pile of trash. A not uncommon occurrence regarding many politicians: going half the way, leaving everything trashed, and escape unscathed. The same article features a photo (apparently the only known) of LV-SEC's tail sticking out of the water, not a pretty -or memorable- sight. As I started to gather, read, and compare sources, references and photos, it became obvious, as always, that you can not really take all you read as uncontroverted truth. The Pavlovcic article, otherwise a good effort that deserves praise and has many merits, seems to contain nevertheless a few inaccuracies, the most potentially misleading stating that the engine on the French machine that will become the Argentinean machine has its engines changed from inline (Hispano Suiza 12 Xrs) to radial (Gnome Rhone 14 Kirs Mistral Major) , which I believe is not correct. It seems it is all the way around: having started as a Potez 62.0 it had the radials, but when upgraded to 62.1 received the inlines. Surprisingly enough, in the very same article there are two photos of both Air France Potez with inline engines. Furthermore, he mentions about the Argentinean machine that had a "big radiator in the lower-front part of the nacelles", an undeniable feature of the inline Hispano Suiza, and photos of the Andes crossing taken from the Potez and partially showing the engine show an Hispano Suiza inline front, so I am not sure where this confusion roots. This is important, because being an inline engine, you could use the kit's nacelles, although not without some modifications, as photos show. This mods will be dealt with later on. If you are "un hermano de la Banda Oriental" (that is Uruguayan), being your Potez CX-ADH a 62.1 (ex- F-ANQN), it should include the modification of a 2 degrees sweptback as this one was a 62.1 from factory, therefore it did have the 2 degrees sweptback of the 62.1 series machines. An article by John Stroud on Aeroplane Monthly of May 1986 in his "Wings of Peace" series states that the specific machines that operated in Argentina had five seats. This is understandable if you contemplate that they had to cross the Andes to Chile, reaching an altitude of 5.500 meters (source: article on the Potez crossing the Andes on Revue Hispano Suiza). The same source also states that the two machines had Hispano Suiza X engines, and gives the second machine as F-ANQQ, instead of QO as the Pavlovcic article. In that regard the Pavlovcic article in Lima Victor is not correct. Unfortunately for Pavlovcic (and this mean absolutely no disrespect and does not detract from the merit of the overall effort) all references state F-ANQQ, including the Dumollard book and the registers: http://www.ab-ix.co.uk/f-aaaa.pdf Those original five seats were nevertheless surely increased in number as the machine passed to Argentinean hands, as the count for the infamous flight to Brazil shows: pilot, co-pilot, mechanic, radioman, mechanic assistant (five crew members) and eight passengers (13 total). I started by making the fuselage sides. One quick look at the kit ones made me realize that I would save a lot of time if I just scratched the fuselage instead of trying to cut, splice, patch, fill, putty, sand, smooth out, etc. the kit parts. My wife suggested I could save even more time by not building the plane, but, although her logic is undeniable, I suspect a catch there (as in everything she says in that particularly sweet tone of voice) so I did not follow her advise.
  14. A colleague who runs our local post office has asked me to build a 1/48 Meteor for him. A commission build at last! Problem is, he has the Airfix 1/48 kit (a gift from a relative) and he want's it made as an 85 Squadron Airframe. He has an Uncle who served in that unit, working with Meteors. No problem so far ............ except he just dropped the bombshell and mentioned the night fighter version! I need to get more details from him, in the meantime, any suggestions of the best way to achieve that from the Airfix kit if it is indeed the Night Fighter version he wants....................? Terry
  15. Hello Phantom Phans. This WIP is for the forthcoming Brigade Models conversion set for Academys F-4B into the prototype F4H-1. I have obtained from Kevin a pre production test shot of the mouldings as seen at SMW this year. This does not include canopies or decals as they are not ready yet. Availability of the set should be March next year. Kevin has agreed to add a second seat so later small radome aircraft can be built. Any changes for this will be up to the modeller, as the main purpose here is for a first flight aircraft. Also, there are no instructions (I suspect I may be writing them now). Onto what you will get. This first picture shows what you get. This first pic shows the parts, except for canopy, decals, and the pitot probe, which I do have. This pic shows where to cut on the wings (for the perforated airbrakes) and the fuselage. Close up of the wing where the airbrake goes. Note that either the wing can be cut, or alternatively, the resin part could be used as a master to drill your own holes in the wing. Here is a close up of the fuselage cut point. And the cut made. Another part that needs cutting is the forward under fuselage (part F40) The resin intakes and the kit trunking is being joined. Some fettling may be required for a perfect fit. Airbrakes being sorted. Airbrakes fitted. Note that the gap is my fault, not the kits (my cutting skills still need work). First look at the front fuselage. The black parts are kit parts. They mate to the resin perfectly. That is all for this introductory part. Ted
  16. Well, as promised over in the W.I.P. group thread :BUILD THREAD Here are the finished pictures of my 1/72 scale Muroc Models F-8C conversion of the Academy F-8E kit, with raised wing and dropped flaps and slats: Had a few little glitches here and there, but I'm glad to have it in the collection! Thanks for looking in... Ed
  17. A second conversion of this old kit, into an elegant civil flying school machine. The step-by-step construction post is here: A commissioned Arctic Decals set was used, as well as part of an extensive photo-etched set by Flightpath. The first conversion can be visited here: Not an easy transformation, a bit of a challenge as described in the building post, but the results are pleasant.
  18. I like this old kit. I'll try to explain why. The "Nippon" (Japan) was one in a series of conversions for civil use stemming from the Mitsubishi G3M line. Several planes, not always identical, were converted or modified for a number of civil duties: passenger and cargo flying and "good will", record, or propaganda flights. The details are complex and extensive, so we'll untangle them later on. Here is a list, taken from the Golden Years registers, of all the Mitsubishi transports I could find there: J-BAAS Mitsubishi L3Y1 Asahi Shimbun J-BACI Mitsubishi G3M2 Osaka Mainichi Shimbun and Tokyo Nichinichi 00.08.39 J-BADY Mitsubishi L3Y2 J-BEOA Mitsubishi G3M2 (Navy type 96) DNKKK 'Soyokaze' J-BEOC Mitsubishi G3M2 (Navy type 96) Dai Nihon KKK 'Yamato' (Conversion of 96/G3M2) J-BEOD Mitsubishi twin engined transport DNKKK 00.10.39 (Conversion of 96/G3M1) J-BEOE Mitsubishi G3M2 (Navy type 96) Dai Nihon KKK 'Tatsukaze' (Conversion of 96/G3M2) J-BEOF Mitsubishi twin engined transport DNKKK 00.04.40 (Conversion of 96/G3M1) J-BEOG Mitsubishi G3M2 (Navy type 96) Dai Nihon KKK 'Matukaze' (Conversion of 96/G3M2) J-BFOE Mitsubishi G3M2 (Navy type 96) DNKKK 'Amatsukaze' 00.03.40 J-BFOF Mitsubishi twin engined transport DNKKK 00.03.40 Forcelanded in sea and sunk off Haneda J-BJOD Mitsubishi G3M2 (Navy type 96) DNKKK 'Isokaze' 00.01.41 J-BJOE Mitsubishi G3M2 (Navy type 96) DNKKK 'Hamakaze' 00.11.40 J-BJOF Mitsubishi G3M2 (Navy type 96) DNKKK 'Okikaze' 00.01.41 J-BJOG Mitsubishi G3M2 (Navy type 96) DNKKK 'Namikaze' 00.01.41 J-BJOH Mitsubishi G3M2 (Navy type 96) DNKKK 'Hokaze' 00.01.41 J-BJOI Mitsubishi G3M2 (Navy type 96) DNKKK 'Yakaze' 00.02.41 (DNKKK: Dai Nippon Kōkū Kabushiki Kaisha, Imperial Japanese Airways 大日本航空株式会社) J-BACI, one of the two subjects that can be modeled with this kit, made an around-the-world flight, http://airhistory-nippon.la.coocan.jp/nipponflight.html visiting many countries and attracting a great deal of attention (no doubt the goal of such endeavor). Among those countries was Argentina, with the plane landing in Buenos Aires. Many of the flights performed by the civil variants of the plane where as said in the category of "good will" flights. However, considering the events immediately after (like Pearl Harbor), one perhaps should be a tad skeptical assessing the real nature of them. Regarding the different registrations/machines, it's not just a matter of slapping them on, since there were many differences among machines, some quite evident. As always, base your model and detail on photographic evidence, and pay little heed to captions and written descriptions, many times inaccurate. For the moment, and regarding the kit, it must be said that this tool -with modifications and additions- was released a large number of times covering a variety of subject through many years. This last incarnation in civil guise by Arii, is still, in spite of of its vintage, a nice package at a very convenient price. So what do we get? We get a bag where everything but the instructions is packed: transparencies, decals, sprues. Not the best packaging, as we know. But there is a piece of rigid cardboard to support the load. The transparencies contain many parts not to be used, as they belong to the bang-boing-paf versions, for which I care much less than little. The decals cover two civil versions, J-BACI and J-BEOC. The parts are modified to cover this civil versions, but still some things will need to be added. The surface is interesting, consisting -again, old mold- of myriads of engraved rivets and panel lines. Of course a bit exaggerated. Nothing that an invigorating exercising sanding session -or many- won't take care of. A blast from the past: the place for the hinomarus is also engraved on the wings -now that is vintage for you-. The interior detail I strongly suspect belongs more to the other versions than to the civil ones . No cabin detail whatsoever, but some cockpit detail. The landing gear legs can rotate upwards!! -this always reminds me of the 60's and the Beatles:-) The rest has a rational break-down and again interesting surfaces and detail, we will see this as we advance on the build. I think this old kit in its new guise can be turned into a decent model -and you can see many good ones on the Net, some exceptionally built. Let's see what we got: Out of the cellophane bag: The transparencies are not bad at all: Although the surface is slightly pebbled and looks faintly milky. Future bath in its future, no doubt: The hinomaru placement mark (I know...), the hail dimples or golf ball rivets, but quite restrained panel lines. My idea is to sand the surfaces quite a bit to reduce those golf ball dimples to their minimum expressions, and refresh the panel lines if needed: A view of the second sprue: The engines are molded integrally with the cowl. If not awfully wrong or offending, I nevertheless just ordered after-market ones and will remove them, which also facilitates painting -however, the cowl was black on the original plane, so you may get away painting everything black and picking the engine up with a dry-brush of silver-: The main sprue. The Japanese figures look a bit circumspect or pensive: Some of the parts, a bit of flash, some ejector pin marks, the usual: Instrument panel, not bad if you want just a quick build: The props, not really accurate but passable, again, if you just want a quick build:
  19. So what can you do with some Drawings I wonder. I met Andy (General Melchett) a while back and he showed me some excellent Drawings he had for A Vulcan B1 in 1/144th scale. He kindly sent them to me as a scan but unable to print them off they where a curiosity I had studied and still do for ages at a time. Then a few weeks later I found a copy of the drawings in print form to scale. I come from a long line of engineers but have no clue about how its done and always wondered how I anyone sets about converting 2D drawings into 3D objects. After many cups of Coffee and a week at home skint I had not much to do and thought I would have ago at trying to figure it out. I thought, Tracing paper !.. So I got some Tracing paper and plasticard and decided to do this : I thought I would have ago at making just the tail cone for A Vulcan B1 or Early B2 i used some 3m spray glue to affix the tracing paper for the bulkhead plan and side views of the cone. And then I cut them out. and glued them together. I am not a scratch builder I have dabbled and my first read go was the Intakes for the Frog Vulcan I am working on so I am seeing what I can do with this now. So to anyone interested grab a coffee or tea, Perhaps a brandy and lets see what happens with this. It could be a long build... Cheers Rob
  20. Hello mountain top masters and conversion guru's! I have a unique and likely simple problem. Last year I bought a very aged F-15A from Manila, Ph. I live in Cebu, Philippines. Anyway, when I opened the kit, all was there and seemingly on perfect order, save for one thing, the decals are the color of some smokers teeth, a very nasty yellow! Anyway, I tried the "leave it in the window, sun bleeching" technique. To my surprise, this actually worked pretty good, but fell short of where it needs to be, and still are unsuited for use with the kit. Next, I contacted the seller, who told me to contact Tamiya about the problem. For the longest time, I was unable to find a distributor to help me with the problem, but recently I finally found the right people to help out. So here is where we are at. Apparently the kit is no longer in production, and I realized that the C is a more interesting kit for me anyway. So, is a conversion possible, or should I just look for aftermarket A decals, and save me the trouble? On a side note, I also have the F-15E demonstrator, that is really a D aircraft dressed up as an E. This was not known to me when I bought that kit from the same store. Anyway, I would prefer to make a proper D out of that kit, anyone know what needs to be done to accomplish this conversion? I would prefer to buy a new E kit that is accurate, than make the demonstrator version. Thanks in advance, Anthony Convert to C or buy A decals? Here is the Hasegawa fake F-15E demonstrator. Can it be built as is, as a D, or do I have to change part to convert it properly, besides the decals?
  21. Well, back again for another round! As stated at the end of my last build, I decided to dig out a decades old Shelf Queen. This was started with the old Paragon? 1/72 resin XB-40 conversion set and the old Hasegawa B-17F kit for "Hell's Angels": I had started this kit years ago, and had gotten this far: As you can see in the photo, there were a few problems with this kit. First off, it had the wrong windows set-up in the nose compared to the XB-40, which was based on a very early B-17F-1-BO. Also, the windows didn't fit very well, and while I had been able in years before this to glue in clear windows with CA and then sand and then polish them, it didn't work out very well this time around, particularly where the gun holes were already in the clear parts; they also turned out pretty hazy, rather than clear. The next photo shows the nose gun conversion, which later became standard on the B-17G: In the picture above, right, I even re-located the waist gun on that side forward, as the few pictures around at that time indicated. The waist gun windows were masked over from the inside using Scotch tape, which I figured could be fished out after painting -- a good idea at the time, not as good after the tape sat for more than 20 years! At this point, I become frustrated with the windows problem, and she became an official Shelf Queen, but I looked at her every few years, but didn't come up with a solution. Fast forward to this week, and seeking a project that for once had no natural metal, I decided to drag the old girl out for yet another look, having gleaned a few more photos on-line over the passing years. And that's when I realized.....I'd screwed up, as the following picture shows: The waist gun on the right side of the first XB-40, 41-24341, had NOT been moved forward! All my work moving it was a wasted effort. To be sure the gun position HAD been moved forward on the "Y"B-40, but not on the "X"! After pondering whether I could cut open the fuse and redo the waist gun, I decided to take a look the the Academy B-17E kit I had in the stash, awaiting birth as a Midway B-17; since the B-17E and B-17F are said to mostly be the same externally, except for the nose glazing, it seemed worth a shot: The very first thing I checked was the fit of the clear windows -- how much filling would be required. The two small ones I took off the trees and fit to the model fit perfectly. Also, they were almost entirely correct for the XB-40! So far, so good. Next, I noticed that the Academy B-17E kit had provisions for you to cut out the right side waist gun position that you preferred: So, I cut out the rear-most or non-staggered position. Again, so far, so good. Next thing was to make the cutouts for the rear top turret part of the conversion: The conversion part turned out to be 38 or 39mm in length after I used debonder to remove the part from the Hasegawa kit. It turned out to be 20-21 mm in width, which fortuitously happened to correspond to existing kit lines of the Academy B-17E kit. So, as is my custom these days, I used Dymo tape and a scriber to scribe very fine, precise lines to guide a very fine-bladed razor saw for the cut-ous: This method provides a very precise cut-out, as can be seen below: At this point, there was a very slight difference in height between the Academy kit and the resin part: This is taken care of by two strips of 40 thou card glued from the inside with liquid glue, and aligned carefully with the outside of the fuse, to reduce later sanding and filling: Above right, the bomb bay door were glued in place. Since this was a bomber escort, it's carrying capacity was for ammo, not bombs, so there wouldn't be much to see if the bay was left open. Contrary to remarks of another builder on-line, I found the doors to fit very well. I re-enforced them with small strips of card on the inside of the ends, and set the whole shebang aside to dry. Well, looks like I'm off to a good start -- praying for smooth sailing... See you soon, Ed
  22. Hi All, Here's my latest build for your viewing pleasure. This is a conversion for the Great Wall T33 kit into the RT-33 reconnaissance version. Changes were made to the nose using Milliput and plastic card. Camera windows were cut out and covered by clear plastic. The rear cockpit was also replacedwith an additional fuel tank and some 'electronic communications' gear. Markings are a mix of commercial and home made with stencils from the kit. Scheme is from the Thai Air force muesum. Overall it's a good and well detailed kit. A bit fiddly around the airbrake and flaps construction and a very good cockpit. An enjoyable Build for the base kit and an easy conversion to the lesser known Mark. Colin
  23. Continuing my series of ASW helicopters here is my Sikorsky MH-60R Strikehawk built with the Olimp conversion using the Hobby Boss SH-60B kit as the donor. I also used the Eduard SH-60B interior, which you can't really see much of. The Olimp parts are well cast resin that fit well, but they are not the smoothest of casting and can use some polishing. Here is the kit with all the conversion parts on. The conversion kit also came with decals. These were fairly complete complete, but the film was yellowed and sticking them on a sun facing window only partially cleared them up. I emailed Olimp asking about getting another set, but was totally ignored. I had a set of Hobby Boss decals for an HH-60 and ended using those for all the generic marking and only used the Olimp ones for the aircraft specific ones. So here it is Next up is the Fujimi SH-2F Seasprite. Enjoy
  24. Colin W

    RTAF RT-33

    Hi Chaps There are quite a few T33s planned in this GB already but I'm joining in with a minor conversion of this into an RT-33 Reconnaissance version. This was a single seat version of the T33. The main change will be the nose at the front and sides where the cameras were fitted. Only 85 were built and fortunately 2 are in the RTAF museum. GWH have moulded the nose on a separate sprue so I wonder if they might plan to release this version in the future. Still it looks like an easy job so I'll give it a go. I'll be using pictures of the museum examples as a guide. I've wanted to do this for a while but I could never face the Academy kit. This seems to be a really good kit so let's see how it goes together. Colin
  25. You may all know what a Zen koan is: a seemingly irresolvable, seemingly illogical proposition. One of the most known is "What is the sound of one hand clapping?" Well, my dear friend and modeling arch-enemy Sönke Schulz from Volkania, has regaled me in the past many times with such propositions, but in modeling form, in the guise of semi-built, chopped up, miscellaneous remains of kits (BOXES of them, actually). Many of these modeling koans have been, as you know, solved (that is: built), the last one being a kit he sent of the RWD-8 that I just posted. The koan that occupies us (or at least me) today is Airfix's Avro Anson, which Sönke kindly half-built already, leaving to me tasks such as inserting a part of the landing gear after the wing halves have been firmly glued together, and not, as the plan wisely advises since it is the only way to do it, before. But yet again, I have solved more arcane modelling riddles in the past. Sönke again very kindly started a merciless chopping of the roof, since my cuppa -and his'- are peaceful, lovely, charming, uplifting, colorful civil machines, and the aft position has to be deleted. He also chopped the area immediately in front of the windshield, since his intentions apparently were to depict the slightly different windshield arrangement that the civil, passenger carrying, Avro 652 had (two prototypical machines: Avalon and Avatar). But hear hear, that involves quite a number of changes, while just modeling an after the war civil conversion is -in a few cases- a very straightforward matter of just adding civil regs, slight changes on the nacelles, and of course the already mentioned deletion of the aft position. Hum...what to do, what to do.... I know, I am not particularly fond of adopting "rescued mistreated models with behavioral issues", but this poor kit had such a hard start of life in Volkania...I mean, it breaks your heart. I have gathered quite a number of images of candidates, again, pretty straightforward, even the same clunky landing gear and window arrangement, and in a couple cases no need to touch the nacelles. I'll see where the vapors of modeling liquid cement take me to.... Here are the images of what I got already done in the package, praise Styrene, muse of the scratchbuilders: To be continued?....
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