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Found 102 results

  1. This old beastie, I think we all know her & she needs little introduction on here, dare I say a Tamiya classic. M48 1 by phil da greek, on Flickr M48 2 by phil da greek, on Flickr This is the beginning of what will almost certainly be my most ambitious modelling project in my 40 odd years of sticking plastic together. Having been in uniform all my life I retired last year at the grand old age of 52 and am now working through the stash and the list of ideas (in between all that other stuff that life throws at us). The build is inspired by Kyoichi Sawada's iconic black and white photograph showing Lt. R. Horner USMC and his platoon sheltering behind a Patton on Tran Cao Van Street in Hue on the 1st February 1968. If I can find a display box the right size then there will be two M48s and a number of figures, probably Bravo 6 as they fit the bill. This won't be a recreation of that photo but something close, as also seen in the movie "Full Metal Jacket". On with it then, being Tamiya it goes together pretty well, there are a few odd gaps that need filling with white plastic card here and there which I believe has to do with the plan for Tamiya to motorize everything. A couple of pics............. M48 3 by phil da greek, on Flickr Straight out of the box, nice and clean with a few seams to clean up and refine. M48 5 by phil da greek, on Flickr Some undercarriage detail and some white card filling in gaps that would allow the daylight to shine through. Once painted and weathered you'll never know. M48 4 by phil da greek, on Flickr Bottom detail is complete, the wheels are being prepared seperately as that's how I like it. She's going to be brush painted, prepped in matt black and then overall is going to be Humbrol 155 with an appropriate dirt on top. It's not going to be fast but you are welcome to jump in with any thoughts........................................
  2. Hi Folk's,built for the Vietnam GB for me it had to be a Huey,the dustoff choppers were stuff of legend saving countless lives during the conflict.HB's kit is a little beauty both option's in the box show some kind of filter on the front but photo's didn't seem to show this so I built it without,If HB got the scheme right I would assume it's an early war machine.
  3. 1/72 Academy A-37B Dragonfly - Supertweet USAF, 8th SOS, 14th SOW, Bien Hoa AB, Vietnam 1970 The fantastic, yet tiny, A-37B from Academy is a cracking build. Loads of fine detail, ordnance options but let down by the lousy decals that Academy own brand are famous for.... Airbrushed using Tamiya colours, little bit of etch thrown in for good measure and some stretched sprue for the wiggly bits. From what I have read, troops in contact loved the Supertweet during CAS missions. Cheers all, Phil
  4. I read an article in last month's Combat Aircraft written by Joe Copalman about the US Marines forming small squadrons of fast forward air controllers in 1966. They were called tactical air co-ordinator (airborne) or TAC(A). The Marines essentially had fast FACs in operation 10 months before the USAF had F-100Fs 'Misty' on the scene. The TF-9J was a tough airframe from the Grumman 'ironworks', these platforms usually carried two 4 shot Zunis had a pair of 20mm cannon with 200 rounds per gun as well. I like FAC aircraft and this one had a shark mouth so it was an easy decision. Kinetic's 1/48 offering even had the decals for one of the A Shau valley aircraft. I'd like to say the kit was like building a limited production kit but because my last build was a Tamiya F-14A I can only say the kit is a pig. Decals out of register or just plain wrong, poor fit, chunky bad plastic, missing obvious details, etc. The front landing gear needs lengthening to give it the right sit in case you are considering one. Otherwise despite a lot of Tamiya induced frustration there are good points to the kit and it sure looks like a Cougar. This was the photo that got my attention. I ended up doing number 3 as it has eyes and a red refueling probe.
  5. Hi all Here is Tamiya’s 1/35 M41 “Walker Bulldog”, which I originally built 8 years ago (and recently made into a diorama) to represent a vehicle operated by the IV Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN) Armour School, Thu Duc, South Vietnam 1971. In 1964 the M41 light tank was selected to replace the Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN) M24 Chaffe light tank, which they had inherited from the French (who originally got them from the U.S.) The first M41A3s arrived in January 1965, equipping five ARVN squadrons by the end of the year. Apparently the M41 was an instant success with South Vietnamese armour crewmen, who found its interior to be just perfect for their stature, which had been a principal criticism by US crewmen who had been assigned to the vehicle. Scratch built items included: - Mantlet cover made from a piece of cloth - soaked in pva glue / water mix. - Ancillary generator exhaust system (brass tubing & card board) - Kit’s plastic grab handles replaced with wire - Tow cable made from string - Aerials made from round styrene rod - Jerry’s, water bottle and Ammo liners were from my spares box. It was painted with Italeri acrylics (O.D & Medium Green II) and weathered with oils and MIG pigment. Vehicle decals were from ‘Decalcomaniacs’ and .30 cal liner markings from ‘Arms Corps Models’ References Dunstan, Simon. Vietnam Tracks-Armor In Battle 1945–75. 1982 edition, Osprey Publications Various info I stumbled across on the net. Thanks for looking Greg
  6. Cessna O-2A Skymaster (48290) 1:48 ICM via Hannants Ltd. The O-2A Skymaster replaced the equally well-loved O-1 Bird-dog in the Observation role, adding Psy-Ops and light attack by the fitting additional equipment. It was developed from Cessna’s Type 337 Super Skymaster, and had additional windows in the pilot's side added to improve vision, the superfluous rear seats were replaced with racks of equipment including military radio gear, and hard-points were added under the wings. The twin props at either end of the stubby airframe gave it an element of redundancy in case of enemy fire, which also necessitated the installation of foam into the fuel tanks to help reduce the likelihood of leaks and subsequent fires bringing down the aircraft. With all the extra weight it was slower than the civilian version, but that was considered acceptable due to the crew and airframe protections it afforded. Like the Bird-dog it replaced, it spent a lot of time in Vietnam where it was used extensively in the role of Forward Air Control (FAC) and designated O-2B (31 converted Type 337 airframes) with the installation of loudspeakers to attempt to psychologically batter the enemy with recorded messages and leaflet drops that clearly didn’t have much effect other than supplying them with toilet paper in hindsight. Less than 200 were made in military form straight from the production line, and they continued service after Vietnam until the 80s, when some were sold on and others used in firefighting duties in the US, while others were flown in the nascent war against drugs in central America. The Kit This is a complete new tool from ICM, and I’m personally very happy to see it, as I have a soft-spot for the Skymaster after building an old Airfix Dogfight Double with a Mig-15 in 1:72 as a kid. There have been kits in 1:48 before, but nothing that could be called truly modern for a long time, so I doubt I’m alone. We’ve had a bigger scale kit within the last year, but this is the one for me and all those 1:48 modellers out there. It arrives in a modest-sized top-opening box with ICM’s usual captive inner flap, with two large sprues that fit snugly within the tray in their foil bag. Within that bag is a set of clear parts, and hidden inside the instruction booklet (which has a new more modern design) is the smallish decal sheet for the four decal options. Construction begins with the equipment racks in the aft fuselage, which are built up onto the bulkhead, then the fuselage halves are prepped with clear windows from the inside, plus an insert at the rear. The top surface of the engine is made up with exhausts and the front fairing that supports the prop axle, which is inserted but not glued. Under this the nose landing-gear bay is fitted with a firewall bulkhead that has the twin rudder pedals inserted before it is mounted into the starboard fuselage half. With those assemblies out of the way, the cockpit fittings are begun. The seats for the pilots have two U-shaped supports and a single piece back each, then the seats and instrument panel (with decals for instruments) with moulded-in centre console and control yokes added are offered up to the spartan cockpit floor, which slides under the already inserted electronics rack. The port fuselage half is decorated with a couple of M16 rifles and an arm-rest, then is joined with the other half taking care to insert at least 10 grams of nose-weight before you do. The aft fuselage has a complex shape that is moulded as a separate insert and is ready for a two-blade prop thanks to its axle and backstop part, and has two moulded-in exhausts under it. The nose gear leg was trapped in the wheel bay during assembly, and the two out-rigger main legs are a single C-shaped part that is trapped in a groove in the fuselage with a set of additional panels over it, making for a strong join, although some enterprising soul will probably make a metal one. Up front the big curved windscreen has a small instrument fitted into a hole in the middle, then is glued in place and the front prop is glued carefully to the axle if you want to leave it spinning. The wings are a single-span part on the top, and has the majority of the roof of the fuselage moulded-in, plus two top windows inserted from inside before fitting. The engine intake is made up from three parts including a separate lip, and fits to the aft of the roof, butting up against the rest of the fairing moulded into the fuselage, with a towel-rail and a small forest of blade antennae attached to the various depressions left for them. The wing undersides are attached after the booms are made up, and you should drill out the flashed-over holes for the pylons if you plan on fitting them. The booms are joined by the wide elevator that is made up of three parts including a poseable flying surface. The two booms are also two parts, and also have separate rudders, which are each single mouldings and can be posed as you see fit. The instructions show the elevator glued to the booms before they are attached to the wings, but this is probably best done at the same time to ensure a good fit and correct alignment, then the lower wing panels mentioned earlier are glued in, trapping the sponson ends between the surfaces. Front gear door, ailerons and wing bracing struts with their fairings are next, then the main wheels, more antennae, and two raised trunks that run along the main fuselage underside are all fitted in place, plus the four identical pylons if you wish, along with their anti-sway braces. You have a choice of using four rocket pods on all pylons, or rocket pods on the outer stations and SUU-11/A Minigun Pods on the inner pylons. The last page of the instructions show the placement of the masks that you are given a printed template for on the page, so you can make masks by placing the tape over the relevant template and either marking the tape and cut it later, or cut it in situ. It’s up to you whether you use the templates, but they’re there if you do. Markings There are four decal options from the box, and three of them are the more usual white/grey scheme that most people know. The last option is an all-black airframe, which gives the aircraft a more sinister look. From the box you can build one of the following: No unit details or timescale is given on the profiles, but you get full four view pictures and can use the tail-codes if you want to find out a little more about your choice of aircraft. The decal printers are anonymous, but they are in good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin gloss carrier film cut close to the printed areas. The instrument panel decals are also very crisp and clear. Conclusion Finally a modern tooling of this important little aircraft with crisp detail, restrained panel lines, some good decal options and quality clear parts. It should prompt a number of decal options from the aftermarket arena very soon, and I wouldn’t doubt that they’ve started working on that already. Very highly recommended. Available in the UK from importers H G Hannants Ltd. Review sample courtesy of
  7. Cessna O-2A Skymaster Brass Undercarriage (for ICM) 1:48 Aerocraft Models To my immense joy, ICM have recently released their brand new tooling of the quirky Skymaster in 1:48, which we reviewed here recently. Immediately on seeing the main gear leg there were some concerns about strength, as the styrene part is scale-thickness, so necessarily thin. Ali at Aerocraft had the same feeling, and has been busy at work creating this set to replace the kit parts in tough brass to alleviate our concerns. The set arrives in an unassuming ziplok bag, with three parts inside, all made from brass. The main gear “bow” that supports the airframe, running under its width from one wheel to the other, the short nose gear leg, and a length of brass tube that forms the axle between the two sides of the yoke, holding the kit wheel in place. For this review I’m comparing the kit part with the replacement brass part, and as part of this I have nipped the kit part from the sprues, which showed just how flexible it is, and was something of a shock. The brass bow is immensely strong by comparison and of the same dimensions, with the curve captured exactly, as are the two pips on the top surface that locate it under the fuselage. While I was testing the styrene part, a mild flex led to it snapping in half, presumably at a weak-point where two wave fronts of hot styrene had met, the results of which you can see below along with the six sprue gates you'd have to remove and make good without damaging the part. Preparation of the brass part will involve removal of the casting gate with a file or a motor-tool at very low speed. The moulding marks on the top and bottom of the part should be similarly easy to remove using a small file with sanding sticks used to smooth it out once the task is complete. The little nose gear leg has its oleo-scissor moulded in, which is one of the benefits of brass casting. Again there are a few fine lines and a pouring stub to remove, then check the tubular brass axle will fit through the holes, which is 0.8mm across. You may need to gently twist the axles or ream them out slightly to ensure a good smooth insertion, which is best done before any paint is applied. Conclusion This is an absolute must for anyone that intends to rest their finished model on its gear, and even if you’re planning an in-flight pose, you should consider it for its strength during construction alone. It’s not expensive by any stretch of the imagination, and guarantees resilient gear legs for years to come, providing you use either super-glue or epoxy to attach it to the plastic. Extremely highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  8. UH-1D Huey 116th Assault Helicopter Company, Vietnam '71 There is no doubt that the Huey will always be associated with the Vietnam War. No 'Nam collection should be without at least one of these beautiful workhorses. Employed in many roles and many different variants I have built a pretty standard 'Slick' troop transport. I actually have another 2 of these on the go - both different again, doors removed, no seating inside etc. I also have pretty much all variants in the stash to be built at some stage. I am really looking forward to the Dust Off version. Not too much weathering or wear and tear on this bird. One thing I did do was to hollow out the front step on the skid as this is moulded as a solid piece. Very quick and simple mod but looks so much better. I have left the side doors off as this was a common practice to reduce weight. Here is an Academy M35 Truck - looking a little too clean for 'in-country'.....!! Cheers all, Phil
  9. This is my recently completed Phantom F-4C. The model is produced by Italeri and is a reasonable kit given its age. I did not do much to it other than add rivets to almost the whole aircraft. It is my first Vietnam USAF SEA tri-colour camo kit and I will be making more as it was fun to paint.
  10. Just finished over this weekend. This Meng kit was a pleasure to build, well engineered, good fitting and lovely surface detail. You can have the internal weapons bay open but I much prefer the clean, sleek lines with it closed. Airbrushed free hand using Tamiya acrylics for the uppers and Vallejo for the really light grey belly. The decals went on perfectly over the gloss coat and everything sealed with Xtracrylics varnish. There is a large black and yellow banded decal for across the upper fuselage but I didn't like the look of it so left it off. A very nice and large model to have in my collection. Cheers all, Phil
  11. 1/72 Italeri F-104C Starfighter, 435th TFS, Udorn RTAFB Thailand, 1967. A decent enough kit with some nice detail. Speed brakes and separate tail are areas to keep an eye on. I have done the underwing fuel tanks but I am unsure on the angle that they should be set at - I have seen some pylons at 90 degrees to the underwing and others vertical. Any advice would be well received.
  12. Hi everybody; after a couple of propeller builds, here I am back to a jet, and in 1/72! A few words to introduce this project: almost one year ago, I started the build of a Hasegawa 1/72 F-4 J Phantom II, this one: It was my first serious venture in 1/72 scale, and was a lot of fun. I learnt a lot from all the people who followed that WIP, and one in particular is Gene K; former USAF F4 pilot, he has been very helpful both in terms of technical info on the AC and in terms of modelling tips. Long story short, we became friends an I offered him, as a sort of way to thank him for the great help and as a tribute to his career, to build a model of one of the F4-s he has actually flown. He suggested the subject of this build, and not only that: he has actually donated me the two kits I'll be using for this, plus a lot of extras. Basically, following Gene's guidance, I'm going to modify an F-4 J Hase kit to become an F-4C, with the addition of parts coming from the greatly detailed MONOGRAM kit and a few aftermarkets (and some scratch building, of course ). This thread is going to be co-hosted together with Gene, and we'll go into more details in the next few posts. For now, what I have is: a completely cleared workbench (that is something totally new for me ) the kits Hasegawa parts to be added/modified: Nose sensor Stabs Seamless intakes, Gene's patented method Monogram parts: Tanks, pilons, gunpod etc Speed brakes and arrest hook Cockpit (amazing detail for a 1/72 injected kit!!!) Pilots!! One half fuselage has already been "treated" by Gene prior to sending me the kits, as an example to follow. He has also noted indications on the kit plastic Aftermarkets: Specific decals Stencils; these have been donated by another friend, Silvano (Phantom61 here on BM) AC Profile and most important thing: Now Gene will go into more detail about the project and the aircraft. Enjoy! Ciao
  13. This is my conversion of Academy's 1/72 North American OV-10D to the earlier YOV-10D Night Observation Gunship System (NOGS). 2 OV-10A's, 152660 and 155395 (note there is one of many typos in the Squadron Gunships book with lists 155660 in one place and 152660 in others). These had a lengthened nose with an FLIR turret and the sponsons removed and an M-197 20mm Gatling gun turret added. There is a MPC kit purporting to be of the YOV-10D but it is inaccurate as far as the M-197 and FLIR turrets and is pretty crude so I set it aside and used the Academy kit instead. I did use the M-197 mount from the MPC kit. To start I have to say that the Academy kit was a pleasure to to build with mostly good fit and finish. Removing the sponsons was fairly easy. I fabricated the m-197 turret from some 9mm brass tube and Master Models' brass 3 barrel M-197 set. The Academy FLIR turret is the later Texas Instruments one so I made the earlier one using the tail end of a multiple rocket launcher. Also note that the Academy kit uses the later type engine exhaust but includes the correct early type too. Other then all that it is pretty much OOB except for some Eduard seatbelts. I was going to use the MPC decals which were for 152660 but the Academy kit came with decals for 155395 which they say was used in Desert Storm. The only issue was that the type decal said OV-1D instead of YOV-10D but, the MPC decals had the same error so I decided to ignore it. The camelflage was roughly the same 3 color gray scheme used on the AP-2H. So here it is: Next up is the Fantastic Plastic (Anigrand) P4M. This will be the start of my blue period since the next 4 kits (P4M, AF-2S, TBM-3S and P2V-5) will all be painted Dark Sea Blue. Enjoy
  14. Here is my completed 1/72 F-4J Phantom. It is the Revell kit which re-srcribed and riveted. It was a fun kit to build, the details of which can be seen at the link below.
  15. A new project to build an F-4J Phantom of the Vietnam era using the Revell 1/72 kit, which I think is the old Monogram kit, but happy to be corrected. It has raised panel lines so I decided to sand those off and re-scribe (using my go-to UMM SCR-01 SCRIBER) and also add some rivets (using Rosie The Riveter tools). I find the SCR-01 SCRIBER the best I have used. It is easy to use and the results are better than other devices I have used. Thoroughly recommend. My normal approach is to sand and re-scribe & rivet before assembly so it seems to be weeks after opening the box to eventually "sticking" things together. Once together, filled and sanded, the plan is to coat in Mr Finishing Surfacer 1500 Gray (cut 50/50 with Mr Color Levelling Thinner 400) and then sort out the blemishes. Tools used: Before starting: Top half of fuselage "as was" and bottom half with scribing underway. My technique is to sand an area to the point the raised lies are just visible and then scribe and then sand the rest of the raised lines away when I have enough of a scribed line to act as a guide. Another before and after compare - this time around the nose. Taking lots of photos on the iphone also helps to keep track of the lines. I also use "blueprint" images of the aircraft I find on the internet. Such are particularly useful when it comes to rivets. Below is a before shot of the wing. in progress; only partially done. There are some whitish blotches on the leading edge of the outboard wing section. This is Mr Dissolved Putty which is good for fixing areas where I have overrun the end of a panel line. It works very well but is not suitable if I have made a mistake that needs re-scribing. For that I have my own concoction of old sections of sprue dissolved in an old pot of Humbrol glue in a ratio of about 25% glue / 75% sprue. It is essentially liquid plastic that I brush on and when it sets hard, it is just like the original plastic and can be re-scribed once sanded and polished. Warning, it can only be used in small amounts otherwise the model melts! Also it needs to harden for about 24 hours, Once I have done the two fuselage halves, I tape them together to ensure the lines over the spine line up. Once I am happy the scribing looks reasonable, I give each part of the model a primer coat of Mr Finishing Surfacer 1500 Gray mix and start marking out the rivet lines with a soft pencil, using a straight edged strip of thin sheet plastic as a guide, whilst referencing the "blueprints". I then run the riveting tool alone each line. Here is an almost completed wing section. I give each section a rub down with 4000 grit paper. And here is the result with the fuselage.
  16. In between my new armored obsession and a big diorama project I like to return to aircraft. I have always wanted to do something from the Vietnam war era. Also I don't have any props in my collection so this plane fits the bill. I havent decided on a decal set but I would like to do a Sqn that is not well known. So a behind the scene project is looking at photos and finding decals. Love the scene in "Flight of the intruder" when William Dafoe calls in "Sandy" the loitering Skyraider. Anyways should be fun looking forward to the final coat. I am goint to add expansion packs and detail kits but the kit seems pretty good. Ill get into the kit here tomorrow and post some more on the paints and start of construction. Oct 15th update Layed out engine parts there are two options one with the cowl doors open and one closed not sure the purpose of the doors but when they are closed you cannot see the engin details. looking at several engine photos a well seasoned engine has several types of metals predominant is the main cast with a almost beryllium or off gold hue. I found an almost perfect match in the Tamiya spray cans I just decanted some and transfered it into my airbrush. After spraying a wash to replicate the burnt hydraulic fluid and oils the photo is a bit orange but the final finish looks very close to the photo. I just need to add some detail painting of the other metal surfaces. Tomorrow's plan to start on the cockpit I realised that the expansion pack for the cockpit has a Navy seat I do have a Airforce seat ready to go.
  17. Hi all, been a while since I made a proper post on here. My newest project will be an M113, with a main feature being the two Eduard sets I will be using on it. It's been a while since I got my teeth into a build like this, so I'm looking forward to it. This is my progress so far. Since the base kit hasn't arrived yet, I've been working on the photo-etch assemblies that stand on their own like gun shields and radios. So far so good, although the inside of the gun shields have a few imperfections. I'm using Gorilla gel glue as usual, and there are a few blotches where I used too much glue. We'll see how they look after a primer coat, I suppose, but that side will be covered by the guns/ammo anyway. Until the base kit arrives, this is pretty much my progress for now.
  18. UH-1N Twin Huey (KH80158) 1:48 Kitty Hawk The original UH-1 is probably one of the most well-known shapes when it comes to rotary-winged aircraft, or helicopters as us civilians call them. The Twin Huey was initially developed to meet a requirement expressed by the Canadians, which saw the Bell 205 stretched to accommodate an additional engine and increased load carrying capacity. After the initial purchase by Canada, there was some political wrangling regarding the manufacturing location of the engines, but eventually around 300 airframes were procured and given the US Military designation UH-1N. It saw service in Vietnam, where its one-engine flight capability gave it the advantage over the single-engined Huey, which didn't fare too well without engines in a combat zone. The US Marines added an electronic stability system to a number of their airframes, removing the stability bar from above the main rotor, which is something to look out for if you're planning on building a particular aircraft. From the 1970s onward they have been in continuous service with incremental upgrades, with USMC remanufactured 1Ns being renamed 1Y and given the aggressive name, Venom, but also being referred to in service as Yankees. There are simplified civilian versions of the 1N, which is known as the Bell 212, and quite a long list of military operators both past and present, including the Argentinians during the Falklands War. The Kit This is a revision and reboxing of the UH-1Y Venom we reviewed here in 2015, and the earlier (but later release) single-engined UH-1D here in 2017. While it arguably shares more heritage with the later Venom, the sprue layout is completely different from the Venom, but includes two of the newer sprues from the UH-1D boxing. The rest are new tool, including the clear parts, the Photo-Etch (PE) sheet and the decal sheet, totalling four sprues in a pale grey styrene, one in clear, a PE sheet, a set of three resin figures in a separate vacformed container, and combined instruction and colour painting guide. The clear parts are also safely cocooned in a flat box with a bag protecting the parts from chaffing during transit and storage. Looking over the sprues there is a lot of really nice detail on the parts, with judicious use of slide-moulding to achieve fine detail in areas such as the underside of the fuselage, nose, rotor head and some hollow parts. Construction begins with the rotor head for a change, which includes the stabilising bar and linkage that was sometimes removed from USMC airframes. The two blades have finely rendered stacked plates at their root, and have a slight droop moulded-in, which are composite so shouldn't droop as can be seen from numerous pictures. The best way of correcting this is heating the plastic in hot water and bending them back straight, then quenching them with cold water. Not a major impediment to progress, but a bit of a boo-boo. The tail boom is next with optional PE slime-lights, the two blade tail rotor and the fins on each side, along with a skid and a pair of sensors at the bottom of the main fin. Two PE mesh grilles are included for the fin root, which will need bending to suit the shape of the recess into which they fit. The crew cab floor is next, and is fitted with a full set of controls for the flight crew with cyclic and collective sticks for each pilot, separated by a central console, and two perforated dividers in the nose, which supports the upper section and allows the detailed instrument panel and coaming to be set in position. The pilot seats are made up from a main chassis, with additional cushion fitted to the back, and the framework added to the back and underside. A pair of PE belts are looped over the back of the seats out of the way, then they are glued into their rails on the floor, and a boxed in section and rear bulkhead are added at the rear, ready for the passenger seats that comprise six positions in a line across the cab, and two pairs either side of the aft section. Each seat is sat on a tubular frame, and has a pair of PE lap belts draped over them, and here annealing them in a flame will help make them more malleable to improve the drape. Attention then shifts to the engine compartment, with the aft end of a pair of Pratt & Whitney T400 turboshafts pushed through holes in the front of the engine compartment, adding some of the detail you will find in there (a canvas for the super-detailer), and the flattened exhausts sitting on top. Another bulkhead attaches to the fronts of the engines on a pair of lugs, with the intake phase added to the other side of the first bulkhead. The cockpit and engine assemblies are then married up and sandwiched between the two fuselage halves after adding the winch bay to the inside. My review sample had received a bit of damage to the thin upper door edge on the port side, but it was easy enough to fix with a bit of glue and some patience as you can see below, but check your example just in case. The forward edges of the side doors are bulked out with additional parts, then the passenger cab's roof, which consists of inner and outer skin, is added and finished off with extra detail at the front, plus the beginnings of the rotor "hump" and intakes on the top. At the rear the long faceted exhaust trunks are glued to the rear of the curved section, with a radiator slung underneath. The exhausts are made up from two parts split top and bottom, and with careful fitting, you can minimise the seam, then take a view on whether it needs further work. The engine compartment is then boxed in with the top cowling, side cowling sections, and smaller PE access panels that you can choose to leave open if you're proud of your work on the engine bays. Boxing in of the nose is next, with the solid upper section, clear lower windows, and the underside panel with the mount for the FLIR turret moulded in. Now we get to play with the resin figures, which are really rather nicely moulded. The two pilots are fitted into their seats after painting, one with his hands on the controls, the other operating the overhead controls. There is another figure included depicting the door gunner, but his location isn't shown although it's pretty clear he's intended to be in a door… with a gun. The crew cab doors are made up from inner and outer panels, plus the clear window in the top section. The smaller front side door is also made up and installed at this point, then the main canopy is fitted out with the overhead console that pilot two is fiddling with, along with a fire extinguisher for…. Fires. Once the cab is complete, the skids are made up and installed under the fuselage in their recesses, adding a number of PE parts for detail along the way. With the fuselage on its back, the FLIR turret, antennae and cable-cutter are put in place all along the underside, with more PE parts such as tie-down lugs added along the way. A similar festooning of the top surface is carried out, including sensors, wipers and grab handles etc. Now for the fun part, the weapons installation, although they're only applicable to two of the decal options, which may colour your decision if you like things that go "BANG!" like I do. There are two installations, one on each side, each attached to the fuselage via a curved bracket that is topped with a gun mount for either a .50cal Browning, or the optional multi-barrel Vulcan mini-gun. A grab bar is attached either side of the mounts, and underneath is suspended one of a choice of rocket packs, holding 19 x Hydra 70 rockets in the wider tube, or 6 of the more modern Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System (APKWS) in the narrow tube. Each pod has a two-part body, and two end caps with rocket and exhaust details moulded in. If you're using the weapons, you leave the side doors back at base, but if you're depicting one of the less combative options, you'll need to put two glazing panels into each one, then fit them in place open, closed, or anywhere in between. All that's left to do after that is add the main rotor assembly from the top, and the tail butts up to the rear of the fuselage. Now for some paint. Markings There are six options in the box, only two of which are geared for war. There is a good selection of colourful options and we're not just limited to shades of grey, which is nice. From the box you can build one of the following: US Navy UH-1N #158278 US Navy Rescue UH-1N #158272 USMC UH-1N #158549 USAF UH-1N #96640 USAF UH-1N #96645 USMC UH-1N #160178 A quick Google search showed #158549 to be fitted with the stabilising bar as shown in the instructions, but sadly, #160178 was lost in an accident along with her crew when it collided with another aircraft whilst using Night Vision Goggles (NVG) on exercise in Oman in the early 90s, with no pictures readily available. The decals are printed closely together on a medium sized sheet and appear in good register and well-printed. There are a few typos in the smaller stencil decals that probably won't notice, but the "Danger Jet Intake" decals have a typo that may well gain some attention, as it says "intke". It's an oopsie we could have done without, and there's no easy way to fix it. The letters M and P on the tail of the first Marine airframe look like they've got a print issue as they're two-toned, but that's correct, due to the darker grey on the leading edge of the tail. The carrier film is printed closely to the edge of the printing, but a few have a slight lip on the upper edge that may be peculiar to my sample. Conclusion Another Huey from Kitty Hawk, and as usual with their kits, as long as you pay attention, test fit and adjust where necessary, it should build into a nice replica of this important and well-loved helo. I'm currently torn between the attractive red/white rescue bird and one of the Marine aircraft that are loaded for bear. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of and available soon from major hobby shops
  19. Just finished this one today (2 in one day...!!!). The old and bold Trumpeter 1/72 IL-28. These kits can be picked up for peanuts. Fit is a bit off in places but with the usual effort scrubs up pretty well. Do not follow the instructions for the pilots cockpit as the seat would be way too low. I wanted something to go with my Vietnam collection so used spare decals from the stash rather than the box options. Airbrushed using Tamiya paints (which I totally adore for airbrush work). Weathered using a Flory dark wash. EZ Line used for the radio wire. Very pleased with the way it has turned out and has decent presence on the shelf. Here we go with the photos: Cheers all, Phil
  20. Cessna L-19/O-1 Bird Dog (48035) 1:48 Iliad Decals This well-known Observation aircraft from civilian manufacturer Cessna had a lengthy service record and was well-used during Vietnam to obtain and transmit intelligence on the enemy back to the US troops for targeting of bombardment and tactical/strategic use, often whilst under fire. It was also popular with other operators and continues in private service today. This new decal set from Iliad in Canada depicts a variety of airframes in the service of different operators on an A5 sheet of decal paper. There are six decal options included on the sheet with side and top profiles printed on the instructions along with captions and arrowed areas that give additional details to help you make your model more accurate. The underwing decals are shown as ghost images on the overhead profiles which both saves space and paper, which is always a good thing. From the sheet you can decal any of the following: O-1A Bird Dog 14856 of the Kansas Army National Guard, 1968 L-19 751 of the Pakistan Army's 11th Army Aviation Squadron L-19 1002 South Korean Navy 1960s O-1A 14617 US Army Reserve L-19 0-12744 203rd Recon Airplane Company Hawkeyes, An Khe, South Vietnam 1968 L-19 H-1001 Hoantai, predecessor to Japan's Self-Defence Force The decals are printed on a pale blue paper in good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin gloss carrier film cut close to the printed areas. There are some large areas of carrier film between the lettering by necessity, but due to the extremely thin nature of the film it should disappear, especially if you add extra clear gloss after application. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  21. Hi modellers, few days ago I’ve started a new entry to my Vietnam War aircraft collection. It was the De Havilland RU-6A Beaver in VNAF colors. In the early 1960s, the Electronics Warfare Laboratory developed airborne radio direction finding (ARDF) electronic gear and installed it in three de Havilland U-6A Beavers, re-designating them RU-6As. Apparently no special code names were applied to those aircraft at the time. Assigned to the Vietnam Flight Detachment of the 3rd Radio Research Unit in March 1962, those three aircraft became the first Army reconnaissance airplanes in Vietnam. Time later a group of ARDF Beavers went to the Mekong Delta in 1964. Sometime before 1966, three RU-6A aircraft equipped with standard U.S. Army ARDF equipment were given to the South Vietnamese Air Force. Those systems worked so well that more Beavers and U-8Ds were converted under the ‘R’ version, incorporating AN/ARD-15 surveillance equipment for Vietnam service. Example 51-16862 /mM available on decal sheet was delivered to US Army on January 1953 as L-20A and re-designated U-6A in 1962. Later converted to RU-6A. Then this aircraft was given to VNAF, served with 33rd TW (tail code mM), 716th Rec. Sqn. AF. It had the earlier style airborne direction finding equipment (with Collins R-390 radios) instead the newer AN/ARD-15 system that the U.S. used for their RU-6As. (photo credit: http://www.dhc-2.com) Kit is the rather basic Hobbycraft in 1/48 scale but it is a good point to start, a sort of blank canvas… As my usual, I love to show my models fully opened, so that first step was to separate front/back doors from the clear fuselage and replace them by styrene. According a lot of pictures taken in http://www.dhc-2.com website, I was quite sure that cockpit floor was wrong. Much better to replace it by styrene too… Instrumental panel next to come… (photo credit: http://www.dhc-2.com) Ciao, Alex Rome
  22. This is the last member of ‘FAC trilogy’ composed of previous O-1E and O-2A shown here in the past. It’s the most unusual and less known of three, the ‘pre production’ Lockheed YO-3A Quiet Star. YO-3A was a two-seat nearly silent observation and reconnaissance aircraft designed by the Lockheed Missile and Space Division for use by the US Army at night over South Vietnam during the Vietnam War. Its purpose was to detect enemy activity and direct artillery fire and helicopter gunship strikes upon them. The Observer sat in the front of the cockpit and the aircraft was fitted with a downward looking Night Vision Aerial Periscope (NVAP), infra-red illuminator and a laser target designator to complete its night mission. Unarmed, silence was the only protection it carried into conflict. The bubble canopy was large to enable all round observation capability and it is hard not to notice those long, thin wings (17.3 metre wingspan) which show its glider heritage. To keep the aircraft super quiet it was fitted with a special muffled 210-horsepower Continental Model IO-360D engine that powered a slow propeller to eliminate the typical sound generated by a spinning aircraft propeller (originally it was fitted with a six bladed variable pitch propeller but in 1971 this was changed to a 3 bladed laminated constant speed wooden propeller that was just as quiet but also more efficient at higher speeds). Only eleven were built in 1969 and nine of those were operated from the summer of 1970 to 1972 in South Vietnam. In an attest to the silent design of the aircraft, none were ever shot down or even hit by enemy fire during its time of operation in the conflict and it was proven to be very successful in its role. The hard-to-find second hand kit by Legato in 1:48 was found in Slovakia last Spring. It’s a full resin kit with vacuum canopy and an useful photo etched sheet. It’s a medium quality kit (dated 2005) with poor interior details, I suppose due to lack of images at time… Camo color indications are of pure fantasy as well. Interiors are from scratch, except a revisited floor. WiP pictures taken during these ten months of working were too many to show all you here, so that I decided to get a (large) selection. Model, pilot, extinguisher and plates are painted by Testors/Humbrol enamels. The real 69-18007 is now stored at Western Museum of Flight (California), waiting for restoration. Thanks to Museum’s press office and Quiet Aircraft Association for essential help. Work started June 2018, ended early March 2019. Man hours worked h.378. Cheers, Alessandro Rome YO-3A 69-18007 at Phu Bai (Vietnam), 1970 (photo credit http://www.yo-3a.com/ ) Cockpit, port side Dry fitting - starboard side **********************************************************************************************************************************+
  23. Hello everybody... As the instigator and primary host of the. This was my take on Tamiya's classic 1/35th M48A3. It is built in the markings of "DEATH" from the 1st Marine tank Battalion C-Coy company 1970 C-12. I used a mixture of kit decals and Star decals sheet 35 C-1074. The Sandbags are made from baked sculpey modeling clay and were molded to the hull. I went for a heavily used tank covered with stowage, sometime in the rainy season. Sometime in the not to distant yet cloudy future i would like to make a base for this. Pose it in a section of a Firebase defensive perimeter. Questions, comments, or thoughts are always accepted. Dennis
  24. Hello all I will attempt to build This Tamiya M48. My goal is to build this Tank. My backup choice will be this one with the Twin .50 mount. Im also planning on adding a sizable amount of stowage, as well as some grenades i like grenades. I like this photo as its exactly what I am looking to do. Here are the obligatory sprue shots. I have already done a little bit of work to this. I needed to mold some sandbags for my primary choice. So i had to add the required bits that go under the bags. Before After I posted the work i did over in the chat thread. Heres the finished bags minus paint. The three ammo cans on the left fender are just sitting there mocked up. They're not glued on yet. This is as she sits currently. The Turret is not glued and is just mocked to get the gun angle im wanting. Questions, comments, or jokes if you want to. See everyone next week. Dennis
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