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Ralph Nardone

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Posts posted by Ralph Nardone

  1. Are any of you folks doing a 24 Hours of Le Mans build this year? I'm set with a Revell Corvette C6R. Should be a blast....I'll fix what I can, but the build will be pretty much OOB. Since it appears that the days of the Corvettes ruling GT1 will end this weekend, this should be a good sendoff. They'll have their work cut out for them competing in GT2....


    I built Revell's Sauber C9 last year and had fun. While actual time on the model was about 20 hours, I didn't get it done before the race ended--it got finished Monday afternoon. This year I'm trying to have the model complete by the time the Tricolore flies at the end of the race. If I am able, I'll post updates as I go....



  2. Gil:


    Important point to remember with almost every model company- NONE of them are modelers or historians- it is their living. There are a few exceptions (the original Accurate Miniatures come to mind)


    I saw the hissy fit and still can't see the mistake but I admit I really am not a 109 fan in the least. Floyd Werner is building our review sample and I am sure he will mention it. Doesn't look like there is a easy fix though




    However, when said model company is given information from people who know better, it is hard to see how they could have missed this. KMC did the same thing with their 1/72 B-727-200--I personally know several airliner modelers, airliner aficionados, and 727 technicians/mechanics who gave KMC everything they had on the airplane, yet KMC missed the mark by quite a bit. Why? They didn't listen to people who were intimately familiar with the 727. You can only provide so much information--it is up to the design team to pay attention to it.


    As to the Eduard kit canopy...


    The easy fix, Part 1: Use a Squadron vac canopy.


    The easy fix, Part 2: Wait for the later Eduard release.


    Or hope that Eduard will offer correct canopies to those people who got the incorrect parts.


    The other glitches, while unfortunate, aren't as egregious as the canopy. There are resin wheels available, the fuel filler and other erroneous panel lines are easily filled and re-scribed, and the cockpit detailing can be dealt with by either old-fashioned modeling or purchasing a cockpit set--you just KNOW there will be a replacement cockpit available soon...


    Should you have to do this on a modern kit that retails for upwards of $65-$70? No, but it isn't like Eduard gives you a pine log and tells you to cut away everything that doesn't look like a 109, either. A friend of mine pointed out the universal praise Eduard got for their WWI series, but that those kits also had flaws. The difference between the 109 and their WWI subjects is that the WWI crowd is happy to get a kit--any kit--of thier chosen subjects, and they can take what Eduard gives them and improve upon it. With the 109, you have perhaps one of the most (if not THE most) popular modeling subjects with a following of a great many people who have a near-encyclopedic familiarity with the airplane. When you goof on a Roland C.1, the people who notice are few and far between. When you goof on a 109 (or, as DML found out, a P-51...or a Phantom, or an F-16), don't be surprised when you get called on your goof.


    Frankly, the problems with Eduard's 109E-4 (save the canopy) weren't worth the blood-letting on the other forums. The pattern has become predictable--new kit comes out, the subject matter experts point out some issues (to whom I personally am thankful--tell me what's good and what's not and let me decide what to do), then the death by 1,000 pin pricks start. The serious aficionados call the kit crap, the casual builders tell everyone just to be happy that the kit is available, the doom-and gloomers say that if you badmouth the kit then the company will go out of business....


    In this case, Eduard added napalm to the fire in their newsletter by calling the HyperScale forum dwellers out, saying that they had no clue and that Eduard got the canopy correct. They issued the correction Jack posted over the weekend, which is basically Eduard telling everyone how medium-rare crow tastes.


    Ralph, off to do some mental prep work for my 24 Hours of Le Mans build of a Revell Corvette C6R

  3. Use either the Revell AG 50/52 or the identical Monogram kit. The parts for both the NSI/F100 and the MCID/F110 are included in the kits. These are perhaps the best multi-task F-16 kits in 1/72 scale, the only thing they lack are the proper bulged MLG doors for the 50/52!


    Kit numbers:


    Revell AG 4633

    Monogram 85-5309


    If you can't find either of those (and they can be hard to locate), the Hasegawa F-16CG/CJ kits (00169, 00631, 00448, 0370) will get you there. Kit 00603 is a Block 25 out of the box. Be sure of which inlet/exhaust combination the airplane you want to model had--some Block 30's were a mish-mash of MCID/F100. There used to be a great website that detailled the differences at http://www.habu2.net/vipers, but it seems to have gone U/A in the past year or so....you might inquire at ARC.



  4. Interesting Tip. Does anybody have any suggestions about doing similar "repairs" on resin kits? I've got a PBM-3D from POMS (shudder) with fuselage halves which are out of true... I've heard that I can soften the resin in hot water, then reshape it - but I don't have a clue how/where to apply redirection pressure without distoring the parts in an undesirable way. One suggestion I've received was to heat them, then tape them together tightly... Any suggestions would be much appreciated...


    Either tape the halves together or get the warped half to the point that the mating surface lies flat on a table or counter (make sure the surface is close to level). Taping the halves together may be the better idea, since you will be able to see if you are introducing any other distortion at the same time.


    Another thing you might want to ponder is to actually cut the warped half at the warp in order to release tension in the part. You can add the pieces to the other half and fill any gaps with strip plastic and filler. We had a club member who did a lot of resin ship models, and his view was that if you heat and reshape, the part can always re-warp when inadvertently heated. When you cut the part, it can't re-warp. I recall a Blue Water Navy kit where the hull looked like a jigsaw puzzle--but once he got it straight, it never warped....



  5. Tim, you're having the same difficulties with the 78FIS/FBS that I'm having with the three Squadrons of the 23FW post-war--specifically, finding photos from their FIS and Air Division days before Project Arrow tried to bring the original squadrons back to their original parent Wings and Groups....


    The only things I've found so far are posted below. I've highlighted one passage in bold italics:




    From the Wikipedia entry on RAF Shepherd's Grove:


    USAF use

    After World War II F-86A Sabres of the United States Air Force 116th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron were stationed there in August 1951. The 116th FIS was a mobilized Air National Guard squadron from Washington State assigned to the newly-activated 81st Fighter-Bomber Wing. In September the 91st and 92d FIS arrived at Shepherds Grove from Moses Lake AFB, Washington to complete the complement of squadrons assigned to the 81st FBW.


    The 81st FBW however, did not stay at Shepherds Grove long, moving Wing Headquarters to RAF Bentwaters in late September 1951, and relocating the 91st FIS with them. The 116th FIS returned to state control in November 1952 and was replaced by the 78th FIS. With the move of the 81st FBW headquarters to Bentwaters, the 7519th Air Base Squadron was the administrative USAFE host unit.


    In mid-1953, the 78th and 92d FIS upgraded their F-86A models to F-86F's, in preparation for the arrival of the F-84F "Thunderstreak" in April 1954. With the arrival of the F-84s, the squadrons names were changed to Fighter-Bomber squadron.


    Markings of the 78th FIS F-84s were a three-beamed, black-trimmed red sunburst design. The 92d covered almost the entire vertical stabilizer above the horizontal stabilizer with yellow, with a diagonal line.


    In March 1955 the 92d FIS was reassigned to the 406th Fighter-Interceptor Wing at RAF Manston and re-equipped with F-86Ds but remained at Shepherds Grove. In September 1955, the 87th was redesignated the 512th FIS.


    The 78th FIS moved to RAF Sculthorpe in May 1956. The 78th briefly returned to Shepherds Grove in May 1957 before leaving for good to RAF Woodbridge in December 1958 when the USAF turned Shepherds Grove to the Ministry of Defence.



    Also, this from globalsecurity:


    After an eight-year lapse, the squadron was redesignated the 78th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron and activated Nov. 1, 1952, at Royal Air Force Station Shepherds Grove, England. The squadron absorbed the members of the 116th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron, an Air National Guard unit which reverted to state control, and began flying F-86 aircraft. In April 1954, the squadron, flying F-84s, was redesignated a fighter-bomber squadron. The 78th operated from Royal Air Force Station Sculthorpe, England, from May 1956 until May 1957, when it returned to Shepherds Grove. The squadron was redesignated as a tactical fighter squadron in July 1958, and began flying F-101 aircraft from Royal Air Force Station Woodbridge, England.




    So, if the F-84's had the red sunburst, perhaps the F-86's did too--according to globalsecurity, if the 78th did indeed absorb the assets of the 116th when the latter was returned to State control perhaps the paint scheme is a legacy from that unit. It also appears that the unit flew both F-86A and F-86F models....


    I'll add the 78th to 74, 75, and 75FIS on my dig list and let you know what I find.



  6. Do any cable companies out there still carry NASA TV? I remember as a kid Comcast (or whatever it was called then) carried it, but I cant find it anywhere now...


    DirecTV carries it--I watched most of the first EVA the other day.



  7. So far I have one MK 12 built, not as well as I had hoped. I used a brass rod to bend the PE but had trouble when working the center bend. It snapped in the process so I glued it. I'm working with Tom's PE Battleship set and I'm not sure if I want to chance the heat treatment. The rails are extremely delicate. I'm building the Dragon BB 38 and back dating it to the 1943 refit.


    I would love to post a picture but not sure how to do it. I get a message to insert a URL, but my pictures are on my hard drive so not sure what to do.


    Your images need to be uploaded to the web. You can use Photobucket--go to http://photobucket.com and open a free account. Upload your photos. Then, when you try to post here and you are prompted for a URL, enter the URL for the picture(s) on Photobucket.


    For instance, my F-84F cockpit URL is http://i402.photobucket.com/albums/pp108/o.../f84cockpit.jpg .


    I have two options--use the forum software or some simple HTML. To go the HTML route, paste the image URL and open with the IMG and close with the /IMG comand. I'll use parentheses intead of brackets to demonstrate:




    Substitute [ for ( and this is what you get:




    Now, using the forum software, I click on "Inert Image" and enter the another URL:




    and the photo shows in the Preview pane of the post. Your choice, either method works. For sites that don't have an "Insert Image" button, use the HTML method.


    The Mk12 directors are a bear even in 1/350. I feel your pain.



  8. You can use various diameters of brass rod and tube to curl PE parts. Find a size that works, and work the part around the tube. Even old paintbrushes work well, if the handle has a consistent diameter.


    I haven't built in 1/700 for quite a while, but I may get back into it with the Dragon Essex class. Those kits are sweet....



  9. I posted the Matrix kit a while back. Is this the pro modeler or standard issue? The paint scheme is really eye catching. Great job! Thanks for sharing.




    Actually, this was a Revell AG issue from about 1999 or so. It was molded in silver-gray, which made the re-scribe easier. I sanded off the raised lines and followed the ghosts. I also sanded off the armor-plate refueling receptacle door while I had the sandpaper out. I still have an original issue kit (with the SEA Camo'd ANG airplane on the box top) and a Kinetic kit in the stash. While the Monogram kit isn't an easy build, I'll still take it over the Heller and Kinetic offerings--Heller's kit is real clunky, and the Kinetic kit has a screwed up intake (shape-wise) and that surface texture isn't conducive to NMF and will probably need work even for camo.


    The story of this build follows many of my recent builds--I started the model in 2004, then had to put it away for a move. I dug the carcass out and painted the NMF, then had to pack it away for another move. The decal sheet got packed away, and I could not for the life of me remember where I out it. Fortunately, the wife remembered that I had stashed a bunch of decals away in a Classic Airframes Ro.57 that I purchased at the 2005 Atlanta Nats. Once I found the decals, I had to find some motivation....


    The final insult was that I dropped the model after the photo shoot, breaking a stab off in the process. It is fixed now, but man....


    I got laid off in March, so I figure now is the time to clean up the backlog on the bench whilst job-hunting. Next up is a Hasegawa 1/48 A-4E (in the paint booth), followed by a Revell AG 1/72 Go-229 (started sometime in 1994!) and a Trumpeter 1/35 Ariete that only needs paint, final assembly, and weathering.



  10. Hi Don,


    I know I saw an AM version of the GT40. I looked at it twice at my favorite hobby shop but did not get one. I remember it because I've built several AM planes and was really satisfied with the results (especially the A-36. P-51A.) Have not seen one since. I think it was the new GT40 version. Thanks for the recommendation on other GT40 kits.




    Polar Lights did a kit of the new Ford GT a few years ago, and it was recently re-boxed. Perhaps this is the kit you're thinking of...



  11. Looks good so far. There was an article in MRRN a while back that pointed out two things:


    1. Decide up front if you want to build the model closed up or open, and stick to the decision


    2. Ditch the vinyl "squids" for better braided lines--but only if you want to leave the car opened up. If you're building it body-on and closed up, don't bother since you won't see most of it anyway.


    I don't recall the plastic being so warped in the original issues, but you're handling it the same way I would-match the seam, glue it, let the glue dry, and move on. The quilting solution you had works well, too--can't say if it pushes the model out of OOB (it probably does, but you never know until you ask a head judge).



  12. Finished this a month or so ago:








    Built out of box, although I did re-scribe the panel lines. NMF is 1 part Tamiya X-32 Titanium Silver, 5 parts Future, and 50 parts 70% isopropyl alcohol shot over a base coat of Tamiya Superfine White primer. The trim color is a mix of Tamiya Park Green and Sky. The wing colors are the white primer, Testor Acryl Insignia Red, and Tamiya Park Green. Decals are from Superscale, with some revisions.



  13. Further to Nick's comments, Polly S was better brushed. I used it for years, but each spray session was a crapshoot--would the paint thin with Isopropyl or would it clump up?


    Now, if it is indeed PollyScale, two things to try:


    1. Use distilled water as a thinner. It works quite well, I was surprised at the results I got. I used Distilled Water exclusively until I stumbled onto the next sugestion....


    2. The method I use now is to thin as follows: 65-70% paint, 25% Isopropyl Alcohol (the 70% stuff is fine) and about 5% Future--adjust as needed for your setup and environment. The mix sprays like a dream through either of my Badgers (200 or 150), lays down nicely, and dries to a semi-gloss sheen. In a lot of the cases, I don't have to gloss the paint for decals. I spray at about 12-15 psi. Oh, did I mention that I roll the jar of paint between my hands for a few minutes to warm it up? I use this mix for all the acrylics I use--Tamiya, Gunze, Acryl, and PollyScale. I don't have local access to the Vallejo, Xtracrylic or Lifecolor paints, so I can't comment on them....I don't like ordering paint via mail order, or I would give them a whirl....


    The thinning ratio works for all types of paint--substitute the appropriate thinner and clear gloss. If you're using enamels or Floquil Lacquers, try Metallizer Sealer in place of the Future and try Dio Sol or lacquer thinner in place of the enamel thinner (the Metallizer Sealer may thin the paint enough to spray, haven't treid it so I can't say for sure). As Gaston Bernal told us, "The key is the Glaze" when speaking of the Floquil Military/AeroMaster Warbird Colors. The gloss helps eliminate the sputtering, it cuts overspray, and it makes the paint lay down smoothly.



  14. Here's another applicator that you can make--take a standard sewing needle, break it in half. Use the pointy end, chucked into a pin vice, as a scribing tool. Now, take the end with the eye, and break the eye in half. Shove the point end into the eraser end of a pencil with the broken eye sticking out--the forked end will hold a small drop of super glue. Wear safety glasses when breaking the needle, please....


    The cheap, cheap, cheap alternative is to use a length of copper or brass wire--straight wire will hold a minute amount of glue, if you bend the wire slightly the wire will hold a little more glue. When the wire end gets fouled with too much glue, snip the end off and discard.


    I find that toothpicks will absorb too much glue to be really useful.



  15. One word of advice.....although Future doesn't yellow it does get old! I advise getting a new bottle once a year, even if you have a half a bottle left. I've noticed that "old" Future doesn't tend to shine as well, even when dipping a canopy in it 3 times (for example). Besides, the stuff is so cheap, it's not like your costing yourself a bunch of money just to be on the safe side. Cheers!


    GIL :smiley16:


    Actually, if it is applied and dried, it won't yellow. But I find that if it looks yellow in the bottle (even slightly yellow), it is time to use that bottle on a floor and get a fresh bottle for the models as it *will* continue to turn yellow on the model.



  16. When I airbrush it, I cut it 50-50 with Isopropyl Alcohol. It lays down smooth and dries quickly. If the subject itself doesn't have a lot of details molded in, I use a Q-Tip to lay Future down full strength. Either way works well, the full strength self-levels nicely and the airbrush mixture dries with a slight eggshell sheen (still glossy enough for decals, but not a showroom-new shine).



  17. "Future" is your friend. I'd quit using the Testors clear gloss (laquer-based) and use Future for your gloss coat.


    You can apply Solvaset, Mr. Mark Softer, anything...without ill effect.


    Yep, all true....you can even use oil washes over it with no worries.


    I used to use Metallizer Sealer as my clear decal/wash base (it dried to a hard, smooth finish that took deacls and weathering well), but I switched to Future because the smell from the Sealer was more than overpowering. While Future isn't bulletproof, it is extremely friendly and for most purposes works great.


    Mix in a little Tamiya Flat Base and you get a semi- or full matte finish that you can adjust and tailor to the requirement at hand.



  18. Basics, basics, basics!


    1) Make sure your seams are evenly filled and any lost panel lines are rescribed (evenly and neatly). Be sure to rescribe across leading edges of the wings. Beware of sanding flat spots across oval or round sections (fuselage top, gun barrels, gear legs, etc.)

    2) Alignment: be sure things are symetrical from side to side. Your angles can be slightly off IF they're the same on both sides (but ya have to be in the ballpark!). Consistency is the key here. See that the model sits level. Yea, a real pane may not, but the kit is DESIGNED to sit level if you build it properly! Be sure the tires point the same way (toe in/out, camber/etc). Make sure the ordnance is hanging properly and is aligned with each other, same for gear doors.

    3) Make your glass sparkle! Polish it or dip it in Future. And, be sure your canopy frames are crisp! A crisp greenhouse will really make a good impression!

    4) Smooth paint: be sure to avoid heavy coats of paint and sand out any orange peel that occurs. Make sure small parts are painted neatly. Camo overpray should be in scale. There should be NO paint piled up against masked edges.

    5) Look for glue spots! Use a light and shine it into gear wells, etc to highlight shiny spots. All parts should be neatly attached without evidence of adhesive!

    6) Be sure to remove mold lines from struts, antennas, gun barrels; and to fill/remove knock out marks/pins/ depressions.

    7) Beware of silvering with your decals. Slice decals across panel lines and use solvent to get them into the lines if needed.

    8) Weathering: BE CONSISTENT! If you weather the top, don't forget the bottom! Make sure any wash added is consistent in the lines and doesn't go heavy/light/fade out/ light/heavy/etc..

    9) BLEND IN all position lights and the windshield. Make sure they fit well and don't look "added on" last.


    Under things that won't help you (though you might think they would):

    1) Accuracy: no one knows enough to judge accuracy accurately! Get the colors and the look of the model "in the ballpark".

    2) Detailing: this will not help you if it's added but paintled poorly or if it has glue marks.


    Be sure to review the OOTB rules for the show. I'm sure more folks will be along soon to add what I missed. Best of luck, but remember, the real fun is attending and seeing all of the models. Winning an award is just gravy! Cheers!


    GIL :smiley16:


    More on the detailing issue: I learned the judge's art from Peter Harlem, who used to admonish us that just because a modeler crammed every photoetch and resin update they could buy into a kit didn't automatically ensure "Best of Show". All it ensured was that the builder had that many more chances to screw something up!


    In following the "Basics first" mantra, there will be times when you may want to add a little info for the judges. Here's a hypothetical situation that addresses the issue that "Not all judges know everything about everything": Let's say you've researched an airplane and discovered that the wing root had a gap of 2" between the root and fuselage on the real airplane (many, many WWI fighters had gaps at the wing roots, as did some WWII biplanes). You don't fill that seam. So, it would really help if you had a picture of that feature on the prototype with a note on the entry blank for the judges so you don't get gigged for not filling the seam on the model.


    I'll echo Gil on the awards thing, too--go, place the model on the contest table, then look at the other models. Talk to the other modelers. Ask questions if you have them. Prowl the vendor tables. Then, when awards time comes, figure that any award you take home is just icing on the cake. If you win, great. If you don't, that's okay too. If you want a critique of your model, ask one of the judges--more and more contests are having a "Judges Q&A" session so that a modeler can understand what they need to work on for the next time.



  19. Hi all, any Airliner modelers out there. I need some information on the Boeing 737's. Any one know of a good reference book or web site that describes the differencies between the -300,-500 and -700 models. In the photos I have found they don't look any longer as is obvious in the -800. Are they different inside maybe glass cockpit, seating arrangement. Or do they have upgraded engines. Need to know if a -700 can be made from a -500 or -300 model. Any help would be appreciated.


    Another resource is the Airliner Modelling Digest at Yahoo Groups. Under the files section (you'll have to register to have access), there is a veritible cornucopia of conversion information.




    The basics of the Boeing 737, and the kits to use in 1/144 scale:


    The -200 is a lengthened -100. Use the Airfix kit with fuselage mods as required.

    The -400 is a lengthened -300 and the -500 is a shortened -300 (the -500 was intended as a -200 replacement, or so I once read). Use the Daco kits, or the Minicraft kits. Daco's fuselage is shaped better....

    The -600, -700, and -900 are all based on the -800 with shorter or longer fuselages. Use the Revell AG kit, modified as appropriate.


    In order to build a -700 in 1/144 scale, start with the Revell 737-800 kit and make the following cuts to the fuselage:

    Forward of the wing, but aft of the baggage hold door: Remove 18.7mm (0.74")

    Aft of the wing, but forward of the baggage hold door: Remove 19.75mm (0.78")


    Remove the tail bumper and fill the hole. Add filler as needed.


    Now, if you want to make life easy, check out Contrails Models:




    The choice is yours....


    In 1/72 scale, Welsh/Proteus did some mixed media kits of the MidGen 737's that were quite nice.

    Aurora did a so-so 1/72 kit of the Classic 737.

    I don't think anyone has done 1/72 kits of the NextGen 737's yet....


    Hasegawa has done several 1/200 737's, ranging from the -200 to the -300 or -400.

    I don't do narrowbodies in 1/200, so someone else will have to elaborate.






  20. When they first appeared, they carried a lifetime warranty. A few years ago they changed it to three years. Check with Testors, since yours had been replaced three years ago.


    I used to be a proponent of the Aztek, but their quality slipped--badly--a few years after they made their debut. The tips go erratic, the bodies leak, and then they changed the warranty. I switched back to my Badger 150 and 200 and haven't had near the same amount of problems that I had with the Azteks as they got older.



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