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ericg last won the day on August 6

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About ericg

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  1. Looking really good mate, glad to have been of assistance.
  2. Thanks mate. I have had my eye on the centre tank omission for a while and am devising a method on fixing it.
  3. Thanks Zacto! I have done the left side as well, just haven’t shown it in the pics yet. Will be sure to add the handhold. Thanks for pointing it out. I went and met Graham today whilst I was in Noosa, Queensland visiting family. I brought along the model to show him the work in progress and talk about his time flying the machine in Vietnam. I had an excellent time and will be back to show him the completed model as soon as it’s done. Graham sent me a pic of the flight line at Cu Chi. I clearly shows the Broncos parked with the elevators full up as per being in the locked position. The servo tab on the trailing edge is also deflected. The elevator. In this pic, I have removed the tabs that are provided to position the elevator on the horizontal stabiliser. I scored the servo tab hinge line using the back of a no.11 blade at an angle. Attached to the horizontal stab with the servo tab deflected. The servo tab moves automatically in an opposite direction to the control surface to assist with stick loads.
  4. Thanks guys. Here is a great pic of Graham, taken by Ken Semmler upon their diversion to Tay Ninh West, post combat action. He is chatting to ‘ALOFT 07’, the FAC mentioned in his combat report above. A great thing about this photo is that it is a photo of s/n 14620, the actual aircraft that I wish to depict. I was hoping for coloured propeller spinners as per some pics of OV-10’s but no such luck. Black they will be. Other interesting details in the pic, the Helmet hanging over the gun barrels, empty rocket pods, various crew equipment stowed in the aircraft and the access step deployed from the bottom of the fuselage, which I will deal with later. A small update. I have began to work on the clear parts. I feel that this area will determine how successful the model will look as a replica of the real thing. Lots of detail will be visible through the large windows and it is critical that as much effort goes into them as the rest of the model. I reckon the canopy frames look a bit underwhelming and in need of a bit of beefing up. There is lots of stuff attached to the frames and a lot of the access windows mechanisms will hang off them so they need to be a bit thicker. The Broncos that I have seen built up look a bit vacant in the cockpit. The windshield. I found a sheet of black styrene and cut off a thin strip. I pre curved this by dragging it through my fingers. The black styrene means I won’t have to be quite as diligent in masking and spraying the inner frames. I then tacked it to the inner frame with superglue. Once I was happy with the new inner frame position, I very carefully wicked Tamiya extra fine glue into the join around the circumference of the frame. Obviously a mess up here will mean disaster. I also added the thin duct that runs up the right side forward windshield glass glass frame that supplies fresh air to the small eyeball vent on the top of it, which I also scratch built from a couple of pieces of different sized plastic rod.
  5. I don't believe that the centerline tank was carried in the missions that Graham flew. Eric.
  6. Thanks guys. Its like the designer of the kit was working on the steps and went on a lunch break and simply forgot about it when he came back. At first I thought it was maybe omitted on different models of the real aircraft but it appears on all. A simpler fix would be to re scribe it in the closed position. Ziggy, I am looking forward to getting your decals on it that’s for sure. I am trying to identify what is wrong with the centre tank if you have any pics please. Eric.
  7. Now that the majority of the model is complete, I am going over the model with a fine tooth comb and comparing it to period photos to ensure that I try and capture as much detail as possible. Graham was kind enough to send me many more photos that he took at high resolution, and some of these I had not seen before. These pics have been enough for me to identify some areas that the kit could be improved. Whilst the shape of the kit is pretty good, Kittyhawk have missed some details that I felt would add to the character of the model. Three things that Kittyhawk missed in the one photo. Lets start with the biggest one of the three. They completely forgot about one of the 5 fold out steps on the right side of the cockpit. Most photos show most of these open and I reckon it is a pretty important feature. Not sure why they forgot this, but it is a reasonably easy fix if you have the right gear. What, no step? I drew a couple of reference lines to assist with placement. I taped a photo etch template to the model I used a pin to precisely scribe the shape, ensuring that I cut it to the correct depth. Using a microchisel I removed the inside of the shape, being careful not to cut all the way through. The depth of the cut of the pin allows you to remove material right up to the edge. The completed hole. I will have to scratch build a new step to suit it. Most of the photos that I have found show a small air vent on the right side of the observers cockpit in the open position. I chose to model it this way although if you wanted to do it closed, a scribed circle would do. I used a piece of plastic rod with a groove cut out of it and a small disk punched from plastic card. The top right side of the engine cowls has an exposed oil filler cap which I felt would show the ease of maintenance in the field that was designed into the aircraft. Kitty hawk have not depicted any detail here. I drilled a small 2mm hole into the cowl. I then placed a disk of plastic card into it, slightly proud of the surface. I then glued another thin disk over the first one, slightly smaller in diameter. I then drilled into it a small brass rod. To this I then added a piece of plastic card cut to represent the oil filler cap. While I was working on the oil filler cap I was noticing that the press button latches on the clamshell cowls were incorrectly depicted. I wasn’t going to touch them but decided to fix them once a suitable tool was devised. Using a piece of brass tube, I drilled out one end a little more larger than it originally was. I then sharpened the OD of the tube and mounted it in a pin vice. Once the raised buttons were cut off and sanded down I used the tool to push new holes into the plastic. The outer ones were easy enough although the inners needed the tool to be bent to reach them. The completed mod. Well worth the effort, although all up it took about 10 minutes. Notice that in some of the earlier pics, kitty hawk have 3 raised buttons in each position on the forward parts of the cowl. There should actually be only two as I have done here.
  8. Ron sent me a photo and and anecdote from his time in Vietnam; Ron landing after a mission. Note the empty pylons. This looks to be a RHAW equipped jet. I recall a mission in late 1968. As we were completing the last ordnance delivery,my engine oil pressure dropped to zero. This is not good in a single engine aircraft. I headed to the nearest base which was Bien Hoa near Saigon. I declared an emergency, reduced engine rpm and descended to a final approach carrying some extra airspeed in case the engine quit and I had to pull up to eject. On final approach I was told by the tower to "go around" because a C-130 was on the runway for takeoff. I advised the tower that I was not going to go around and needed to get the machine on the ground quickly. The tower persisted with another "go around". Amidst a flurry of radio chatter between myself and the tower, a cool mature voice came over the air saying "this is the C-130 on the runway and I am on the roll and will be out of your way shortly". By this time I was on very short final approach and it didn't look like I would be able to land - but I kept coming. The C-130 rotated suddenly and lifted off the runway in a max performance climb. As I touched down I passed immediately beneath the C-130 which was about 100 feet above me. All I could do was utter a heartfelt "thankyou" to the C-130 pilot who had taken charge of the situation and allowed me to get my F-100 on the ground safely. But the irony of this whole thing is that the problem was a faulty oil pressure gage - the oil pressure was fine the whole time. Thank you Ron, your stories are very much appreciated. Some more work. The Super Sabre leading edge slats were always extended unless locked shut for maintenance. Trumpeter have the slats positionable opened or closed but there is no detail under the slats or on the leading edge of the wing, just bare plastic. Thankfully, Eduard have produced a photo etch set to remedy the problem. I normally try and avoid photo etch if I can help it, as the sets usually provide only a small gain in detail for a significant increase in work. These sets I felt were needed in this case though, so they were promptly ordered and fitted in preparation for the wings to be attached to the fuselage. I haven’t invested in a roller set yet, so I pre curved the photo etch parts using a low tech piece of sanding foam and a Prismacolour silver pencil. As can be seen, the leading edge of the wing is devoid of detail. The pre curved photo etch sits in front, ready to be applied. The inside of the slats and leading edge of the wing with the photo etch applied. I used superglue to join the parts on. It is a one-go affair and if you mess it up then the photo etch is pretty well toast, so carefully does it. There are some minor flaws which will be sorted with some filler. Trumpeter have provided repositionable control surfaces. In all of the pics of the F-100 that I have looked at they are retracted and neutral. I am not a fan of gluing control surface halves together over wing tabs. In this pic the wing halves are joined together with Aires wheel bays and control surfaces joined together. The hinges are going to prevent the control surfaces from attaching to the wing. I cut off the hinge points and left some of the tabs. The completed wing. I will refine these joints a bit later. All surfaces are now neutral.
  9. How did you fit the camera down there mate??
  10. Thanks guys, I will weather it a bit more than you see here. Onto the trailer. I thought my luck had ran out on this one. Despite my best efforts, I was unable to locate any info about the trailer, let alone only decent photos. I looked at every baggage cart at the many airports around Australia trying to make one fit but was unable to find one with roughly the same configuration as the one the Mirage buggy sat on so that I could come up with a best guess for the model. Luckily I was contacted by Max Johnson who had located an old trailer of the exact type used at RAAF Amberley. He very kindly offered to take photos and measure for me what I needed and because of his excellent efforts I am now able to construct an accurate rendition of the trailer. I figured if I was going to do this project properly everything had to be right, not just the buggy. Max supplied me with excellent photos of the suspension and axles but the best part was the technical measurements of the important parts of the trailer such as wheelbase, track, length and width of the deck, as well as the sizes of the chassis rails etc. Important ‘between centres’ measurements were also supplied for key aspects of the front axle and tow bar, which has meant that I have been able to make the entire assembly articulated. Thanks heaps Max! First up, a comparison of my best guess at the size of the trailer deck (top) compared to the scaled down version of the real thing (bottom). It turns out that it is a 6x4 foot deck. I almost got it right width wise but was a bit too long as can be seen here. I was working only off the photo of Sean after all. When I was examining the photos of the front axle that Max had sent me, I was surprised at how complex it was! I have never scratchbuilt anything like it before, so armed with my vernier callipers, plastic card and brass rod i set about making each component. There is just under 40 parts to this assembly but it was quite straight forward and enjoyable to build. I did not set out to make it articulated in the beginning but it just happened that way. The brass pins are only small ones that will be replaced with more substantial ones later on when I am happy with how everything goes together. Of course I also want to get this into resin, which will be a challenge for another day. It’s quite cool to turn the tow bar and have the wheels turn as well. Can’t you tell that I am having fun! The bottom of the deck. Now I just need to work out how to scratch the leaf spring suspension.
  11. Here is a picture of Ron taking on some gas. Here is what he had to say about the pic: One of the photos I sent you was of me taking fuel from a KC135 tanker. The interesting part of air to air refueling in the F-100 was that we used the probe and drogue method. The tanker trailed a hose in back of it which had a circular basket on it (the drogue). The F-100 had a probe on the right wing which was essentially a fuel pipe. The trick was to fly up behind the tanker and "stick" the probe into the drogue and then maintain that connection whilst you took on fuel. Some "Hun" pilots were very adroit at doing this while, for others, it was a challenge. I can only tell you that regardless of how good you were at this task, it was always gratifying to see that beautiful tanker appear in front of you. One thing that has been bugging me about this kit is the incorrect way that Trumpeter and as an extension, Aires have depicted the cockpit tub. The rear bulkhead of the cockpit looks like it is halfway back into the ammunition access panels, which is very much wrong. As usual, once I see these things I can’t unsee them and it would simply annoy me every time I looked at the kit. If I had my way again, I would cut the Aires cockpit up and shorten it but it was now to late for that so I have come up with a compromise which may be useful to those who may wish to do the same thing. Aires have put a spacer between the seat and the bulkhead as a compromise to get it to sort of look right as per this pic. The seat looks as though would be against the bulkhead, denoted by the forward edge of the ammo access panel, but the rails and everything else is well behind it. As can be seen by the opened access panel, the rear of the Aires tub is well back. I forgot to take a picture of the left side of the cockpit before I started the modification so a little bit has already been done. Here is the left side of the fuselage before the modification. The spacer that Aires have provided is not fitted in this photo. I removed the top section of the rear bulkhead. It is this part that needed to be shifted forward to make the modification work. I would have to shift everything on the top side of the cockpit quite far forward to make it work. I decided to shift the stuff on the top a little bit and do something else to make it a two pronged attack. I reckon Trumpeter have got the ammo access panels a little bit too far forward and though there would be a small avenue there for a correction which would assist somewhat with the mod. I stuck some dymo tape 2mm back from the rear edge of the ammo access panel and lightly scribed a line. Using the new line as a guide, I cut a new rear edge with my JLC razor saw. If you follow the new cut line it lines up with a panel line of an access panel below. I glued 2 pieces of plastic card together to make a width of 2mm. I popped this into the hole and traced around it with a pencil I used the pencil line to trim the card to size and glued it into the forward edge of the access panel and trimmed it. The kerf of my previous saw cut will become the new panel lines of the access panel. Using the SMS primer, I sprayed the area and sanded it smooth. This stuff is excellent for refining areas that have seen a bit of work as it is a great micro filler. Compared to the first pic above, this has made a reasonable amount of difference. Some small amount of scribing to reinstate some panel lines which I will do later on. The modified area looks a lot better. Everything on the topside looks to be forward of the ammo access panels.
  12. What I can’t understand is, given the excitement for the dr.1 why haven’t people been building the Roden one in droves if it is such a popular type? That kit has been out for years and you barely see it. Eric
  13. Cheers guys. Done a bit more painting on the tractor. Painting the tires and other details has made it really pop. I have done a small amount of shading on the tractor. I get to see many varieties of different tractors/tugs at work that have extensive weathering as they are generally neglected as per the race to the bottom airline business where most are not paid to care, I will be keeping this one fairly pristine as I believe it would have been very well kept by the airmen dedicated to serving their country. I will still be adding lots more detail painting to it though, and will layer some more weathering.... but not too much.
  14. A great pic of Graham inside the cargo area of the Bronco, loading food and provisions. This is the actual Bronco that is currently being restored at the Australian War Memorial. Now to the ‘story’ behind the model. I am extremely grateful to Graham for preparing this for me, it is a unique perspective into a FAC sortie. This particular sortie earnt Graham the Distinguished Flying Cross, and makes for very interesting reading. I will be basing my model upon this particular aircraft. USAF OV-10A BRONCO # 14620 - SORTIE FLOWN BY SQNLDR GRAHAM NEIL AND FLTLT KEN SEMMLER ON 6 JUNE 1970 AT TRAI BI SOUTH VIETNAM The RAAF provided some 36 Forward Air Controllers (FAC’s) seconded to the USAF in South Vietnam over a five-year period, all of them were experienced fighter pilots accustomed to the FAC role with FAC training in Australia and Malaya. Twenty of them flew the OV-10 Bronco. The OV-10 Bronco was specifically designed for the FAC role and was introduced into South Vietnam by the USAF in mid-1968. The aircraft offered much better weapon load and cockpit visibility qualities than previous FAC aircraft in that theatre. Additionally, the suite of one UHF radio, one VHF radio, two FM radios and one HF radio, together with KY28 secure voice, offered a greatly improved communications capability. In terms of cockpit workload, the management of the radios offered the greatest challenge to the FAC during early sorties. On the afternoon of 6 June 1970 OV-10 #620 launched from Cu Chi in support of 3rd Brigade 25th Division US Army, the aircraft captain was SQNLDR Graham Neil with anotherRAAF FAC FLTLT Ken Semmler in the back seat, the sortie was for planned visual reconnaissance in an area near the Cambodian border. Ten minutes after becoming airborne while still in transit to the area of operations they were advised that an armoured convoy, exiting Cambodia, and a nearby base camp at Trai BI were each involved in two separate enemy engagements. Upon arriving at the scene of the engagements and after talking with the ground commander, they quickly assessed the situation and decided to give immediate air support to the convoy which was actively involved in a Troops in Contact (TIC) mission with enemy forces only 75 metres away in the woodline near the road. Two immediate airstrikes were ordered up for action alongside the TIC situation and for support to the Trai Bi base camp situated only four kilometres south which was concurrently receiving incoming mortar and small arms fire. If that were not complicated enough an artillery observation pilot, Aloft 07 radioed SQNLDR Neil to advise that he had spotted 12 enemy troops running away from the convoy contact, he marked their position with a smoke grenade and then SQNLDR Neil expended four 2.75 inch Rocket Projectiles (RP) on the marked position. During that RP pass the convoy commander requested immediate fire support to quell enemy action on his contact which had again flared up. Accordingly, the woodline to the west of the road was strafed with the OV-10’s four machine guns and the attack from the west ceased, temporarily. The convoy commander then urgently requested more strafing on additional enemy fire now coming from the eastern side of the road, it was obviously a planned ambush. After repeated strafing passes which were getting lower and lower because of height and energy being used up during tight manoeuvring the enemy broke off the engagements and SQNLDR Neil then resumed working with Aloft 07 against the enemy troops that Aloft 07 was still observing in retreat now about half a kilometre away from the armoured convoy. As he was rolling in for a rocket pass on the area that the troops were hiding in the convoy commander made another urgent request for fire to be again directed into the western side of the road to counter Rocket Propelled Grenade (RPG) fire which was now being suffered; all remaining HE rockets were expended on that target which was within about 30 metres away alongside the road and the RPG and small arms fire ceased for good. SQNLDR Neil then provided top cover to a Dustoff Medevac UH-1H helicopter and then flew the four km south to the other enemy contact. Upon instructions, following consultation with the base commander, remaining 7.62 mmrounds were expended on repeated strafing passes on a woodline to the west of the basecamp. Realising that more support was needed he had called up two other armed OV-10 aircraft from Cu Chi and he controlled Issue 14 and Issue 04 as he would a pair of fighters. After their HE rocket fire the enemy broke contact. Approximately ten minutes later the first set of immediate fighters, scrambled off alert at Bien Hoa arrived at the rendezvous, the weather in the area had marginal visibility with a solid ceiling of 2,500 feet and heavy rain showers moving through the target area. Hawk 07, a pair of A37 fighters, was initially briefed by Ken Semmler while Graham Neil was occupied dealing with final advice from the base commander and controlling helicopter gunships which were now rocketing an area on the other side of the base camp. The airstrike was controlled by SQNLDR Neil with the fighters dropping their eight Mk 82 500 lb bombs very accurately exposing and burning the cover from the enemy bunkers. While still controlling and marking strafing runs for Hawk 07 the next set of fighters, Sabre 81 a pair of F100 Super Sabres pre briefed by Ken Semmler, were brought into the target area from their rendezvous so they could assimilate the tactical scene with recognition of the location of friendly units; their Mk117 750 lb bombs were placed on target within three minutes of the previous set. Sabre 81 flight placed their eight Mk 117 Hi-Drag bombs on target only 250 metres from the friendly emplacements at the base camp, they then expended their 20 mm on strafing runs through the target, they were credited with the relief of the base camp and the destruction of five enemy bunkers. No further enemy action was to follow. Despite a low fuel state SQNLDR Neil stayed on in the target area and briefed an oncoming FAC on the ground situation before diverting to Tay Ninh West because of their low fuel state and the deteriorating weather. After refuelling the aircraft was flown to the RAAFbase at Vung Tau to pick up some vittles and VB beer which had been arranged the night before. Ken Semmler and Graham Neil swapped seats and Ken flew #620 back to Cu Chi as the night closed in on a very busy but rewarding day for both FAC’s. Thanks Graham! Some more work. The instrument panel was painted very dark grey, with the instrument bezels picked out with black paint and then Airscale instrument decals applied. Most of these decals are actually 1/48 scale as they were the only way that I was able to make them fit the panel! I also fabricated the undercarriage lever from brass and plastic card as it is not included in the kit. I wanted to depict the engine cowls closed. They have been designed to display open on the model and as such, a little work needs to be done to make them nice and neat. The panel lines where the cowl edges meat are a little sloppy, so my preferred mix of talc and superglue was used to fill the panel joints, as well as thin plastic card. I sanded the joint smooth. The longitudinal joint where the clamshell cowls meet has been sanded and rescribed to ensure a consistent depth panel line, with Tamiya extra fine cement ran into the freshly worked engraving to tidy it up. I then lightly scribed a guide line across the join with a pin. I used a JLC razor saw to lightly cut a new panel line along the previously scribed line, this tool is perfect for refining panel lines. A little hard to see but the new panel line is straight, with a consistent depth.
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