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Two Cessna Bird Dogs in the hand ...


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Why build one Bird Dog when you have two? Actually I have three, but one of the two that I bought second-hand on the cheap is missing a couple of parts, although it could probably be salvaged. So that leaves just the two:

DSC01353_dr_020.jpg

 

DSC01357_dr_020.jpg

 

My intention is simple: Build both the USAF and South Vietnamese subjects represented in the standard boxing:

DSC01356_dre_025.jpg

 

Of course, the first (nay the main hurdle) is the usual one: colour. The grey is presumably meant to be a matt version of ADC Grey, but I don't know if I have anything suitable in my Humbrol and Revell collection. I will also need the regular gloss finish ADC Grey for at least one kit in the upcoming Interceptor GB, so this really matters. Hu 64 (see above) seems too dark. In a much later boxing, it is Hu 166, which is a satin finish out of the tin. When I built an re-issued Airfix U-2 some years ago, I went with the suggested Hu 40 gloss, but who knows how realistic that actually was?

 

For the Vietnamese aircraft, what is the correct shade of green? Is it Hu 86 light olive (old boxings, like the above), Hu 155 olive drab (as per the later boxing), or something else entirely?

 

For the bulk of the interior, I will go with Hu 226 Interior Green, not that you can seem much beneath the transparencies. The side and top windows are amongst the thickest I've seen, typical of Airfix kits of the period.

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26 minutes ago, Corsairfoxfouruncle said:

Well I need to follow this one. 

Don't expect anything special ... a rocket pod-toting Bird Dog can only be done once! 😛

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Hi Klr,

 

If you are sticking with Humbrol paints you might like to look at Hu116 and more likely Hu117 which are their recommended greens for the SEA colour scheme. As to the gray (US spelling) if it was meant to be FS36622 it should be almost off white. IPMS Stockholm say the Humbrol equivalent is Hu 28 and that is probably what I used on mine many years ago and it looks about right to me. Not sure if they used ADC gray but for that  IPMS say Hu 146  "gloss aircraft grey" which I think is no longer produced, but looking at the tin I still have I would say that is too dark!

 

If you have not come across their site here is a link.

https://www.ipmsstockholm.se/home/urbans-color-reference-charts-part-i/

 

There are quite a few connected sites which have info on Scandinavian planes as you might expect, and colour conversions from such as Heller and Humbrol Authentic. They also have a series of articles by Dana Bell on US internal colours which is pretty good. You just have to dig around and if required click to translate to English.

 

Pete

Edited by PeterB
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Hi Klr,

 

You caught me in the middle of updating my reply! I seldom get it right first time so end up editing. Might be worth reading it again!

 

Pete

Edited by PeterB
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18 minutes ago, modelling minion said:

Well the only thing better than a Bird Dog build is a double Bird Dog build!

Not sure about which Humbrol colour to use for ADC Grey, I will have a look tomorrow as to which green to use on the other build but the website below might help;

 

http://www.vnafmamn.com/vnaf_aircraft4.html

 

9 minutes ago, PeterB said:

Hi Klr,

 

If you are sticking with Humbrol paints you might like to look at Hu116 and Hu117 which are their recommended greens for the SEA colour scheme. As to the gray (US spelling) if it was meant to be FS36622 it should be almost off white. IPMS Stockholm say the Humbrol equivalent is Hu 28 and that is probably what I used on mine many years ago and it looks about right to me.

 

Pete

Thanks for the quick response guys. I'll do some experimenting with colours tomorrow morning.

 

Over the years, more of my intended builds have been stalled or even shelved over colour issues than for any other reason.

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For the green, these two photos from the gallery link give different perspectives as to what it looked like:

birddog3.jpg

 

L19_VNAF9.jpg

 

... I think I'll try and work off the first one!

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So it's back to comparing paint swatches. First up, ADC Grey:

DSC01369_dre_020.jpg

 

On a white background, the colours look darker than they would appear on a kit. Also, Hu 40 is gloss, Hu 166 and Hu 196 are satin. But this is not evident in these samples because of the cardboard surface (inside of a cracker carton). It looks smooth, but it isn't really. Hu 28, 64, 166 and 40 have already been mentioned above, but I also decided to test Hu 147 and Hu 196. Hu 147 looks to be the best shade of grey, but not dark enough. I might end up using it though.

 

For the green ...

DSC01370_de_022.jpg

 

Again, Hu 86, Hu 155, Hu 116 and Hu 117 have already been mentioned. Just for reference, I also took a sample of Hu 66, the "other" Olive Drab (along with Hu 155) in the Humbrol range. Hu 105 matches FS 34097 "Field (Marine) Green", which Academy specifies as the upper colour on a USMC OV-10A Bronco, based in California in 1970. When Revell reboxed this kit a year or two ago, it gave Revell 65 as the upper colour for a Vietnam-based USN aircraft.

 

Looking at this photo again - and with the Bronco scheme in mind - I am leaning towards Hu 105 (FS 34097):

birddog3.jpg

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2 hours ago, Corsairfoxfouruncle said:

The 147 looks closest to ADC Grey to my eyes but its up to you. 

 

2 hours ago, modelling minion said:

I agree with Dennis, 147 looks the best to me too.

147 it is then! If it turns out wrong, I know who to blame!

 

 

 

... myself 😩

1 hour ago, BlueNosers352nd said:

Get two bird stoned at once!

 

Being teetotal, I wouldn't know anything about such matters. Yes, a sober Irishman - who'd have thought it?

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Here's a color pic of the 1:1 It's quite dark Drab. Note the cannibalized engine door panel in front showed another lighter version of Drab. Based on the color tiles, I'd say HU116 is pretty close.

 

50534960971_ba889d963f_o.jpg

 

 

 

I always thought the Airfix box art was fictional til I ran into this. Too bad quality isn't great. Note the Airfix box art misplaced the checker band. Part of the band should run into the tail.

 

50534961091_6ca1107d12.jpg

Edited by Triet Cam
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14 hours ago, klr said:

Being teetotal, I wouldn't know anything about such matters. Yes, a sober Irishman - who'd have thought it?

Sorry, its a reference to Trailer Park Boys and former Canadian TV series.   Got lots of play in the US too.

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16 hours ago, Triet Cam said:

Here's a color pic of the 1:1 It's quite dark Drab. Note the cannibalized engine door panel in front showed another lighter version of Drab. Based on the color tiles, I'd say HU116 is pretty close.

 

50534960971_ba889d963f_o.jpg

 

 

 

I always thought the Airfix box art was fictional til I ran into this. Too bad quality isn't great. Note the Airfix box art misplaced the checker band. Part of the band should run into the tail.

 

50534961091_6ca1107d12.jpg

Thanks! Yet more food for thought re colour. It's possible there was more than one base colour in use, but Hu 116/FS 34079 (which I'm already using for the Heller Saab J.21) seems about right in this case. That lighter colour looks very much like Hu 155, having a very brown tinge. However, in the photograph I posted above of the dark-painted aircraft with the yellow rudder (11916), this very same panel looks to be a "plainer" green, maybe Hu 117 (FS 34102) or Hu 105 (FS 34097). Was this a frequently removed panel used to access the engine? Also, the top of the rear fuselage of aircraft 11916 appears to be painted black, same as ahead of the windscreen.

 

Re the checker band: It looks as if the Airfix decal is not designed to cover the front of the tail. The ends would have to be shaped quite differently. Since I have two decal sheets, and therefore two checker band decals, I may have to cannibalise the spare decal.  At least the Airfix kit is correct in omitting the dorsal fin aerial for aircraft 12503.

 

One other point: All three aircraft in that picture seem to show the tip of the fin (above the top of the rudder) to be slightly lighter in colour than the rest of the aircraft. If you look at the picture I posted twice of the aircraft in flight (which seems to be in a much lighter green), that same area seems to have the paint largely scuffed away.

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oh welcome with a couple of lovelies..... and they were an important aircraft in this conflict.

 

I remember my father building of these when they first came out, gee they were a nice model. The only thing from memory to watch is the main gear legs, they're really fragile.

 

I'll be nice to see both of these schemes together.

 

Good luck with both of them, there's bound to be a bit of interest in them

 

 

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Right-eo ... time to report in.

 

Cockpits completed. The side (and top) transparencies are unbelievably thick, so thick that you can't see through them from the outside, to see how clunky they are on the other side!

DSC01378_dre_020.jpg

 

Note the circular mold marks on the undersides of the wings, especially prominent on the port side. More work to fill in. There were also marks on the elevators, meaning some detail will need to be removed to clean them up. A pity, as the tail section is the most delicately molded and realistic part of the kit.

DSC01380_dr_020.jpg

 

The wings may be overly thick, but they look to have a realistic dihedral:

DSC01382_dr_020.jpg

 

The rear windows were good fits, the windscreens look to be a different matter, based on dry-fitting. I'm not sure where the problem(s) is/are, but the thickness of the parts may be one of them:

DSC01384_dr_020.jpg

 

DSC01385_dr_020.JPG

 

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That's quite odd! I am test fitting mine and it fits right on. In fact, the top of the windscreen edge is slightly lower than the cabin top when mate together. I also notice that my windscreen is not as thick. That could explains part of it.

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On 11/2/2020 at 10:28 PM, Corsairfoxfouruncle said:

I think i filed the inside of the wing/windscreen join on mine 

I've trimmed a a bit off the sides of the windscreen near the top, which ought to have the same effect. Still doesn't fix it though.

16 hours ago, Triet Cam said:

That's quite odd! I am test fitting mine and it fits right on. In fact, the top of the windscreen edge is slightly lower than the cabin top when mate together. I also notice that my windscreen is not as thick. That could explains part of it.

The windscreen is not as thick as the side and top windows, but it's still quite thick. I will probably have to fix some thin plastic card along the sides and bottom edge of each windscreen, then carefully sand down until I get a good fit to the airframe.

 

Meanwhile, the rest of the kits proceed apace. Only the USAF aircraft (background) has the dorsal fin aerial fitted.

DSC01389_dre_020.jpg

 

The ,main undercarriage legs confused me. That horizontal section at the top looks as if should be inserted into a slot just beneath the base of the main fuselage/wing strut. Except there is no such slot, only an opening to attach the base of the strut to. And on the real thing, the leg comes straight out a diagonal angle.

DSC01394_dre_030.jpg

 

So I cut off this part, and glued the the rest into what looked to be the correct position, on top of above the protruding tab on each side. I can't see any other way of doing this. The resulting assembly is obviously quite delicate.

DSC01390_dre_020.JPG

 

Then there was all the filler to be applied:

DSC01391_dr_020.jpg

 

DSC01392_dr_020.jpg

 

So the windscreens are the last major construction issue. Even though I forgot to drill out the placement holes for the outer (and unused) mounts for the marking rockets, they will be easy to place.

 

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Well, these are proving to be quite a time sink. Note how the propeller on the USAF machine is at the wrong angle. Each time I try and fix it, I break off one of the blades. I'll probably have to leave it in a position where the effect is least pronounced.

DSC01402_dre_020.jpg

 

Fixing those gaps beneath the windscreen was every bit as fun as you might imagine.

DSC01403_dre_020.jpg

 

DSC01404_dre_020.jpg

 

It looks like the South Vietnamese aircraft is going to get finished first, for some reason.

DSC01406_dr_020.jpg

 

I saw one photograph of a Bird Dog with some pylons dark green, the other light grey. That suggests they were generally painted to match the wing underside colour, and that's what I'm going to do. Incidentally, it would probably be easy to attach them back to front, and I suspect many an unwary modeller has done so over the years. The back of the pylons are distinctly "fatter"".

DSC01407_dre_020.jpg

 

Part of the starboard cowling on the South Vietnamese aircraft will be painted OD, as per photographs.

DSC01408_dre_020.jpg

 

There is still a lot of work do. The first decals are to be applied next, then I'll concentrate on finishing the wings, with a second coat of paint, and whatever else is required.

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