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Posts posted by ghodges

  1. Indeed, may the Lord bless Bill's family and friends with a flood of loving memories through this tough time.

    I was acquainted with Bill having first met him at the Dayton USAF Museum fall airplane contests back in the '80s, and then buying his vacuform kits and conversions from him when he vended at shows. He was a fine gentleman and a VERY good model builder, whether he was building one of his vacs, or tricking out one of the old Monogram kits he helped design back in the 60s.

    We've had a richer hobby experience due to Bill's input into the hobby both at Monogram and with his line of vac kits. I'm going to miss chatting with him at shows! I 'm attaching some pics of the kits of his I've built....and I still have several in the stash too! 






    Gil :smiley16:

    • Like 1

  2. Thanks for the very kind words...

    Mark: Yes....you have to watch the angle of the flaps or they can interfere with the fit of the drop tank pylon in the rear if they're too low.

    John: To my knowledge, the wing was the same chord as the early Saberjet wings on the F-86A and E. I think the slats themselves actually have a wider chord to them by comparison, which may give the illusion of a wider wing. The kit "V" style tail hook is designed to be shown down, and as manufactured, the plane had 6 small doors that covered it when closed. Since I wanted the tail hook up,  I actually simply filled the wells with epoxy putty and sanded them smooth rather than trying to glue, fill, and sand all 6 of those small doors, and then just cut off the hook part to put in the very rear of the bay! Later model Furys simply left the doors off and the bay completely open, so if you do a later schemed -2, or the -3 Fury, you can just leave those doors off. And, I've seen that episode of Dog Fights....those guys did SO much with so little while holding the line and starting us on the road to victory!

    Gil  :smiley16:

  3. Finished the Fury this week! This is the 1/48 Kittyhawk FJ-2, and is the first really "correct" FJ Fury in 1/48...the older ESCI effort being a mis-mash of F-86 and Fury parts that wasn't really accurate for either one.

    This KH kit is one of their better efforts...not perfect, but darn close to it. Most importantly, it gives you the separate leading edge slats that were the main difference between it and the later -3 Fury (soon to be released). The kit has a lot of options, with open gun bays, ammo bays, speed brakes; separate flaps, ailerons, and rudder, as well as the option to fold the wings. It also has a complete engine.  I elected to build mine with everything closed up and left the engine out. The various doors actually fit pretty well making it pretty easy to close the gun and ammo bays. Despite how the instructions look, you can build the cockpit tub without the gun bay wall parts. The down side to leaving out the engine is having to come up with a tail pipe, unless you cut it off of the engine (I used some plastic tubing).

    The cockpit detail is "adequate", using decals for the main panel and side consoles. The cockpit decals NEED to be cut up to fit in their positions properly, but the instructions do not show or mention that. I look for someone to release an aftermarket cockpit set that will better address the lack of detail here, as well as the plainness under the canopy behind the seat.

    The overall fit is good...BUT, you DO need to test fit all assemblies and make some "adjustments" to get parts aligned right and avoid problems. You need to add some plastic shims (ala vacuform style) between the front/rear fuselage halves to give more gluing surface, as there's almost NO positive locating pins/tabs to aid when joining them. The  wing fold joints are very good, but I do recommend adding some sort of pins if you build them out (unfolded). The kit doesn't supply anything to strengthen that join when the wings are extended. It also does not include the jury struts to support the wings while folded. Another anomaly is that KH molded the locator pins for attaching the drop tanks to the pylons, but forgot to mold pins on top of the pylons to attach those to the wings! I had to drill and add wire pins for that....









    The kit decals (used here, except for the stars) come off the sheet easy and lay down well with a good setting solution. The blue on the kit stars is way too light, so I used some from my spares box. Also, on THIS particular scheme, the red/yellow fuselage stripes are TOO short, and do not come together on the top of the fuselage. Luckily, the open canopy covers that gap (barely)! I used AK Extreme Metal Aluminum overall, with Alclad Aluminum for the wing center panels and some other various panels.

    This was a pleasant build for the most part, with most of the "problems" coming from closing up panels, leaving parts out, and engineering the nose gear assembly to be added later in the build. It looks like the early FJ-2, and the wing fold option with the slats and flaps hanging down is another snappy look for my shelf. I look forward to getting the FJ-3 kit when Kittyhawk finally releases it! Comments, questions, and critiques welcome, as always. Cheers!

    Gil :smiley16:

  4. Super looking build that doesn't show all of the obstacles you overcome! Also nice to see this rarely built bird. By the way, I've been disappointed in a few Roden kits myself, mostly the biplanes, but have found that very hot water seems to help the brittle Roden decals conform ad lay down better. Still, if you can use aftermarket decals....do so! Congrats!


    Gil :smiley16:

  5. Welcome to the site! That's a stunning build...love the weathering! Looks like it just came off of the track!

    As to whether or not to compete....that's more a matter of your motivation than your skills. If you want to go to shows, display your work, shop, have fun with friends, and not worry IF you get and award or not; then yes! However, IF you're thinking of competing in order to get feed back, or "pats on the back" by way of awards, then I'd recommend caution. As nice as it is to win something, building for contests and worrying about what "others" will think of your effort can suck most of the fun out of the hobby!

    Your skills rock! Be sure to post these pics down in the automotive topic area!

    Gil  :smiley16:

  6. In lieu of being able to get the decal film liquid Mark referred to, you can overcoat (airbrush or spray can, preferably) the entire decal sheet with any enamel/lacquer clear gloss to act as a  carrier and binder. Just remember that you'll now have to trim EACH decal right up to its edge as the entire decal sheet is one big clear film.

    I'm not aware of any 1/18 aftermarket decal sheets available as it's an odd scale for aircraft....the other alternative is to use the decal sheet to make stencils for the markings and paint them on the model. Best of luck, either way!


    Gil :smiley16:

  7. Here's the link to Scalemates.....https://www.scalemates.com/

    However, at a glance I didn't see anything that referred to kit instructions. But, there were a lot of other useful/interesting items you may want to check out.

    And here's a link to a FB page dedicated to model kit instructions...https://www.facebook.com/groups/1799572063605135

    However, it appears the FB page may simply be a forum to facilitate modelers helping each other out, as opposed to a repository of instructions to draw from. Anyway, best of luck!


    Gil :smiley16:

  8. Yes....I have a ponce wheel with several different sizes of "rivets", depending on the wheel selected. It's not too hard to control IF you go SLOW and use no more than medium pressure. You do have to watch it when you reach a curve though! I thought about adding more rivet lines....but that simply multiplied my chances of screwing them up, so I kept them to a minimum.


    Gil :smiley16:

  9. Nick; I borrowed a buddy's "home made" vac machine that had a working surface of about 18"x24". I heated the plastic sheets in my oven and used my shop vac for the vacuum source for the platen. The "machine" itself is a simple wooden box, sealed, with holes in the top and a hole in the side for the vacuum hose/attachment. It used 2 sets of aluminum window frame material to make the frames to hold the plastic sheet between, which was then clamped in place with office style clamps (2 per side). Not overly sophisticated, but it worked quite well!

    Gil :smiley16:


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