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dpm1did1

Fiat QF-91C...old bird, new feathers

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North American/Fiat QF-91C

In 1961 the US DoD authorised the loan of two Luftwaffe Fiat G.91s for trials by the US Army. These were flown alongside Douglas A4D-2 Skyhawks and a Northrop N-156 (F-5 prototype). One was an Italian built G.91R-1, c/n 0052 that served with the Luftwaffe (BD+102) whilst the other was a German built G.91R-3 (c/n 0065) Luftwaffe EC+105.

Although all three types were highly regarded none were deemed suitable for the role of Close Air Support or Forward Air Controller. Rumours abound that this decision was based on political grounds as the US Army could not be seen to fly foreign, (G91), Navy (A4D) or High performance USAF types (F-5)

....

In 1965, however, with the US deeply embroiled in the Vietnam war the lack of a dedicated CAS aircraft to replace the venerable A-1 became far too visible. With the USAF reluctant to give up it's F-100s, even though they themselves needed replacement, the US Army dusted off it's reports and looked again at the G91, albeit now in the new Y variant, much favoured with it's twin engines and greater performance.

New trials once again proved the validity of the dedign and with minor changes the type was authorised for production under license by North American Aviation.

By 1970 the type had virtually replaced to A-1 and had also been adopted by the Airforce as a F-100 replacement. It went on to have an excellent service record both in combat and peacetime up until it's withdrawal in the late 1980s.

It was not the end though and many airframes had a 2nd life awaiting for them.

Post Vietnam cutbacks meant the conversion of F-102,106 and F-4s to the unmanned drone role was under threat. North American jumped in and utilised the experience acquired from the successful QF-86 and QF-100 programs to offer a lower cost solution.

Slowly the ranks of F-91Cs sunning in the desert shrank as the majority of airframe not allocated to museums or the spares pile, were returned to flying condition with the ubiquitous bright red markings associated with their new lease of life. Some were mostly grey, others mostly green, a few had 2 or 3 colour camouflage, and a rare couple had special schemes.

One thing was agreed upon by all - even the anonymous birds looked spectacular in their new feathers.

Edited by dpm1did1

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Old Bird - New Feathers?

This will be based on a part built Matchbox Fiat G91Y that was uncovered in a less than perfect condition.

IMAG0363_zpswyfboziw.jpg

Rather than try to resurrect the old girl as nature intended I thought i would buy her a new dress (well open a couple of different paints).

She won't be winning any Miss World contests but hopefully she will wow a few locals down the Bingo...

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That wing has seen better days...

IMAG0366_zpsvildxxwf.jpg

After sanding, painting, sanding...I just cur off the wingtips. Looks like I need to manufacture a couple of pods.

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A bit of light grey on the nose revealed it was nolonger a perfect shape with a nice flat spot on one side.

IMAG0372_zpsmzje2ka1.jpg

Took the opportunity to add a flat nose, possibly to add a lens for a spotlight...

IMAG0373_zpsuzym5oqi.jpg

...but a little more sanding first...

Edited by dpm1did1

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Tidying up going...ok...

IMAG0376_zpsa5xleymv.jpg

First new coat of red panels on green camo

IMAG0377_zpsc5q5f4lz.jpg

With any luck it will come out something like a QF-100 but in the more weather look associated with the Danish examples...(ie no need to get a perfect shine)

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Evened out the paint a little, although then I 'aged' it anyway...

Having cut off the wingtips I then added pods as carried by a few Qf-100s. Most modern drones actually display few external modifications so these, plus replacement for the very rough dorsal and ventral aerials was all the extra airframe mods I could force myself to do.

IMAG0378_zpsbvfbgkda.jpg

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I've not even started today and it's gone pear shaped...

Got the undercarriage in place last night and left it balancing on the paint pots to dry securely (those large flat top Revell pots make great stands!)

Lifted it off, moved the pots, reached over for the ever present cuppa...the rest is history.

The mug wasn't in it's usual spot because I was moving bits, the result was my sleave caught the vertical tail. No major problem except it tipped the model and...ping...

...now I have a Port undercarriage and wheel lost somewhere and the Carpet Monster isn't playing the game today.

...Grr Argh!...

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After a long and exhausting search I finally found the errant undercarriage.

...and also a wheel from a kit I had opened but re-stashed. Thank goodness else otherwise I would have been cursing twice over.

Sadly that also means I have no excuse not to crack on with the build - unless you count the desperately long list of other things I need to do that I generally squeeze in to the 'paint drying schedule'. I suppose I had better get this food run sorted at some point!

Edited by dpm1did1

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Looking rather more like a (semi-)finished article now:

IMAG0380_zpstznivxgf.jpg

IMAG0379_zpst6hruxk4.jpg

IMAG0381_zpsztctxsqb.jpg

Note the blue sprue...it's a tail sitter...Harrah!

The rather patchy paintwork is oddly more like a QF-100 than it may first appear. I think most people nowadays expect colours to be nice and even and forget that dirty, faded and peeling paint existed well last the end of WW2 and wasn't confined to Japanese birds. (one advantage of being old enough to remember the extra variety of Pre-90s airshows).

Still needs an overall wash to tie in the different surface finishes (but not the shades), and then it's off to find some Btars and Bars.

Edited by dpm1did1

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