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ghodges

IPMS/USA Member
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Everything posted by ghodges

  1. I picked up the new "Mig-17 Walkaround" book in the LHS today and thumbed through it specifically looking at the nose profiles and associated captions in the book. I too could see what you point out above. The only reference made to anything different was the radar(?) which required the blade antenna on the top of the nose. Most of those planes seem to have the -"lim" designator, for whatever that's worth. I didn't see any direct reference in the pics, but I didn't read any of the text either. My best guess is that this was a limited modification, perhaps by some of the Soviet Block AF's9 most of the pics show Bulgarian, Polish Czech birds, etc.), and not by the "factory"; requiring slightly reshaped sheet metal on top. If this was a "field mod" that was never really sanctioned by the MiG folks then it might have never made any of the "official" drawings, which would lead to it being missed in most official references. Anyway, that's my story and I'm sticking to it! Best of luck! GIL
  2. Perhaps I fall into the category of a lot of American modelers who really couldn't care less about the Draken.... That said, I hope that they sell a TON of them! I've heard it's a very nice kit and most everyone seems to be very happy with it. I'm guessing that the "world" market is there for the Draken (and yes, it is a COOL lookin' plane!) so I'm hoping that with good sales (and profits) the next release will peak my interest a bit more. As for the specific mod you're looking for....it sounds like the perfect thing for the after-market folks. Cheers! GIL
  3. Fotios is an EXCELLENT builder! You can hardly go wrong following his example! GIL
  4. There are 3 sources for pics/profiles/color profiles. There's the Ginter book on the Banshee. It's one of his early works so the pics are a bit grainy and the side views are "crude". The better 2 are the "Banshee in Action" and the "USN Carrier Air Units, 1946-56"; both from Squadron Signal. The Air Units book may be out of production. Those both have some pics and several color profiles of silver Banshees. By the way, if you opt for the gray version of the -3/4 Banshee, then look for the later edition "USN Carrier Air Units, 1957-67". It has plenty of the gray/white late model Banshee color profiles. Best of luck! GIL
  5. Yes, but it wasn't a true NMF. It was actually a paintied aluminum finish as the USN couldn't allow NMF due to salt water corrosion in their carrier environment. The debate (IMO) is whether or not the planes were actually PAINTED Aluminum (ala like the Correguard leading edges on other USN planes); OR if the NMF was given a heavy CLEAR COAT as corosion protection. The latter idea would account for some differing panel tints seen on some USN a/c. Either way, I think the solution for modelers is easy; ALCLAD! My one objection to Alclad is that it looks like a "painted" NMF when compared to MM Metalizer or SNJ polished aluminum. It photographs like NMF, but it doesn't quite pull it off for your eyes. However, this is PEFECT for those 50's USN aluminum jets (Banshees, FJ-2/3 Furys, Cutlasses, and the occasional Panther). By the way, to my knowledge only the late model -3/4 Banshees had the silver finishes. I've never seen the earlier -2 Banjo's (Korean War vintage) in that schme. Cheers! GIL
  6. ghodges

    1/48 T-28s

    I'd buy a NEW T-28! And you guys know me, I've already built the old Monogram kit once, and will do so again if I have to. I have little to no hesitation in tackling vacs and resin kits and scoff (ha-ha) at low presuure injection molded items. That said, I also frequently grab a Tamigawavellogram kit just to give my bleeding fingers a week or three to heal some.... The T-28 has a lot of attraction to American modelers. I'm not sure how much appeal it would have to Europeans and Asians. It can built it bright USN trainer colors, USAF NMF, and in COIN camo schemes. A new mold kit would need to take into account the early engine/cowl/prop features vs. the later model features; and the tail would need be different for the Navy C's vs. the USAF D's. This might mean a mish-mash fuselage approach like Hasagawa has used on their P-40 kits. The problem here is that it's more likely that someone like Classic Airframes or Special Hobby would do the kit instead of Monogram or Hasagawa; so the fit of those components could be problimatical. Some may ask why Monogram doesn't simply "update" and retool their original molds? This is similar to what Monogram tried with the old Aurora molds they bought in the 70's. Evidently the steel molds were so hardened from use over the years that it was very difficult to retool them; and that made it even more expensive than anticipated. The same could be said for the old 1960 era T-28 molds (presumably). That, combined with the fact that Revell/Monongram has almost sworn off new a/c kits would seem to make this a no-go. I'll put off building my 1/48 T-28A/B for a couple of years yet. Maybe someone will do a new tool molding of the Trojan. It's safe to say that we're living in the Golden Age of kitting. We're having things released in injection mold that we would've never anticipated 10-20yrs ago! Cheers! GIL
  7. I think you have some "room" on this one....color pics from '48-'52 show a wide range of dark gloss blue. Some are very blue, others are almost blue-black, and yet others have a "grayness" to the blue. Like any other paints, I'm sure it differed a bit from batch to batch and also according to the number of coats applied. I like Model Master Dark Sea Blue for the "gray" DSB. However, if you want a straighter DSB, I suggest getting the small bottle of Testors Dark Blue gloss, and then add a few drops of gloss black. Thin it with lacquer thinner and then spray it on until you get the color depth you want. The more you spray on, the "blacker" it will get. If you're doing a "weathered" bird, you can try Floquil Dark Blue. You can simply coat it on until you get the color you want, or add a little Engine Black to tint it the way you want. This will be a flat paint instaead of gloss, and may give you a better "used" finish compared to flat coating glossy paint. I'm amost to the painting stage on an F3D Skynight I'm doing in the overall DSB scheme, circa 1948. I'll post a few pics when I get it painted. Best of luck with your Banshee! Cheers! GIL
  8. Hey Jim, I "wasted" $400 on a flight in a B-24 a few yrs. back. I was at a show, one of the passengers cancelled, and I "volunteered" to take the seat. I put it on my Mastercard, all the while thinking of how many models I could've bought with the same money. I'm really glad I did it! While I enjoyed the flight immensely, it was the "feelings" that made it memorable. Essentially, I realized I was hearing and feeling exactly what those B-24 bomber crews went through every time they flew a mission (minus the people trying to kill me!) I came away with a much deeper respect for those guys and what they had to endure. Take your flight in the P-51! I think you'll find it worth every penny! Cheers! GIL
  9. Very true! You'd think that if they had F2Fs, then F3F-1's would be expected. However, since those planes were all built in very limited numbers it may just not have happened. Hope you can find the reference that you need , but my (admitidly) limited sources didn't show anything. Best of luck! GIL
  10. You may be out of luck Bob.... I've seen references in books to F3F-1's serving on the Wasp, Saratoga, amd Ranger (black, white, and green tails), but no other cariers (and no, my resources are not exhaustive!). It may well be that the Enterprise and Yorktown didn't get any until the -2/3's were in service. Remember, the Yorktown class carriers weren't commisioned until the latter half of the 30's, which coincides with the latter part of the Grumman F3F service. That said, if you do want something different, I did see a Marine F3F-1 that would be a bit different (red/white/blue rudder). However, even that is still SOB markings; as all of the #s and letters needed to do one of those are included on the kit decl sheet! If this is a case of you desiring accuracy for your own sake, then I wish you luck. However, if you don't particularly care all that much, put a red or blue tail on that F3F-1. Almost no one will know the difference! Cheers! GIL
  11. James makes a great point! Learning to judge models (ala IPMS style) isn't voodoo, it's just learning the system. 1) you have NO friends OR enemies in the room! Integrity rules! 2) You judge BASICS of each model. You're judging the quality of the construction and finish; NOT the accuracy of the model or the knowledge of the builder. You'll find that once you see how things are judged it'll give you a lot of ideas of how to improve your own builds. Take James' advice! GIL
  12. 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
  13. The canopy sits wrong because the I glued brace inside the vac canopy too low, and it rests on the fuselage, propping up the rear of the canopy instead of allowing it to "drape" properly. Oh well......that's just another reason it's a shelf sitter! GIL
  14. The following is NOT Iwata specific... A clean airbrush is next to godliness to paraphrase...but (if you see the lack of organization on our benches) practicality often prevails! I've had 4-5 different brands of brushes over 30 years time. NONE have ever "died" from being too dirty. In fact, a couple "died" from excessive breakdown and the loss or damage of a seal! The direct consequence of a dirty airbrush is poor paint delivery. If you're not getting the results you want from your brush, and you've tried every "control" (paint viscosity, air pressure, water vapor control, etc.); then you most likely need to break the brush down for a thourough cleaning. Short of that, I simply run laquer thinner through the brush after each color, and swab the cup and tip with a Q-tip dipped in clean thinner. I generally do a more thourough cleaning after finishing a build (model's done). At that time I'll remove the tip, inspect the air ports and ream them out with a wire, and remove the needle and wipe it down. I NEVER break down the body/air assembly sections short of a major malfunction (nothing's working!). If you're a more careful and deliberate person, you may want to clean yours more often; and chances are you'll get better paint jobs than I do! However, I find most manufacturers recommend excessive cleaning as a way to avoid reports of problems. Cheers! GIL
  15. Sharp eyes Clare! YES, and it's MY fault! As I attempted to flat coat the black lines of the "HL" it bled over onto the clear decal. The NMF just beside it is slightly shinier. If I'd have left those decals alone it might have remained invisible. There are some areas where you can find the clear decal on the NMF (besides my screw-ups), but you have to look VERY hard to do so, and get the lighting angles just right. By the way, I couldn't make a good comparison between the Alclad and the SNJ as to how the clear decal areas were "absorbed". The decals on the wings have almost NO extra clear edges, while many of the decals on the fuselage do. All I can say is that I'm happy with both areas. And, there is one more MAJOR gaff on this model.....I'll leave it to another sharp-eyed modelholic to find it! Cheers! GIL
  16. Finished the Mustang. Go to the a/c topic section to see more pics. Cheers! GIL
  17. This is the 1/48 Tamiya Mustang kit. I built it just to soothe my bruised fingers after doing a vac, vac conversion, and a low-end low-pressure injection molded kit. I needed a break! The model is mostly OOTB except for a few placards in the cockpit, an Ultracast seat, and a vac canopy. I drilled out the kit exhausts, added hypo tube gun barrels, and MV colored lenses under the wing for the IFF lights. The markings are from Life Like decals. They are thin and require some care when placing as they don't like to be repositioned on the model. For the most part they went down with only a few problems. Their printing and color are VERY good. The NMF was a bit of an experiment. I first "primed" the plastic with Future, and then shot the entire model with Alclad Aluminum. Next, I rubbed SNJ aluminum powder (polished) onto the fuselage, ailerons, and tail surfaces. The idea was to replicate a "painted" wing and NMF fuselage. This worked pretty well and I may do this again in the future. I used a water soluble oil wash in the panel lines. ALL areas of the NMF picked up water marks (the Alclad and the SNJ). This actually adds a bit of "weathering" to the finish...BUT if you wanted a "pristine" finish this would have ruined it! A "sludge" wash with chalk pastel dust might be a safer method! I also applied a very selective flat coat; limiting it to just the colored striping and the stars and bars. That toned down the glossy sheen of the decals and gave the markings a more scale appearance. All in all, this was a fun, relaxing build. I chose American Beauty because I used to have it, but it was lost over the years in various moves. It's one of the more colorful Mustangs, and an ace's mount to boot. Hope you enjoy! Comments and critiques welcome as always! Cheers! GIL
  18. ghodges

    A Rare B1rd

    Wow! That is a rare bird! And those pics date from '73? That hopped up Nova(?) sure looks like it's the CURRENT style, and not someone's middle-aged flashback! Thanks for posting! GIL
  19. You're not brain dead, but the glue fumes have gotten to you! There is no 1/48 C-119 (resin, vac, or otherwise) or I'd have one! In fact, I finally tracked down a reference book on the C-82/C-119 at VB in preparation for the possibility of having to scratchbuild it in 1/48. Now if I could just find some good scale plans (1/144 or 1/72) to enlarge....And, unfortunately, I don't see Trumpeter coming to the rescue (at least not until I scratchbuild mine!). GIL
  20. No, it belongs to Ken Belisle.

  21. Ahhh....one of Steve Ritchie's F-4's! Nice! GIL
  22. You've finally "excorsized" your Demons! Nice model! It amazes me how graceful and attractive 30's British biplanes are, compared to their ungainly multi-engined beasts! Thanks for posting! GIL
  23. ghodges

    Vote

    It would be a nice space saver...... GIL
  24. Same here....I had two Azteks at different times. BOTH of them developed a clog (or problem) inside the body, which cannot be disassembled.....I gave up and went back to Badger also. At least you can break it down to the tiniest component and repair/replace what needs to be fixed. GIL
  25. How do I find the patience???? I drink until I don't care anymore! Actually, as mentioned above, the Future goes a long way towards giving a smooth surface for any NMF. It can save you a BUNCH of polishing! However, IF you're not careful and get a "run" in the Future; you're back to square one! The other half of the battle is to start with a good kit (like this Tamiya Mustang). There is precisely 1/8in. length of superglue/baby powder "filler" in a 1/16in gap in the front of the left wingroot. All other seams needed no filler! The last secret is to be willng to experiment. Try various combinations until you find something that you like and that you find easy for you to routinely use. Don't worry about the mistakes along the way! It's just a model! Chalk it up to "experience" and move on to the next project, and try not to repeat the same mistake. Eventually you'll settle into a NMF system that you're comfortable with. Cheers! GIL
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