Apart from the many posts on the combat history (and I am actually privileged to own XX894 which served in Lebanon protecting UN (British) troops as well as flying a number of missions in the Gulf War) there are actually quite a few color schemes - FAA - early and late, RAF early gloss light gray/dk gray/green later matt and different roundels light gray/dk gray/green, wrap around dk gray/green, Artic white and gray wrap around, Red Flag Brown/midstone/light gray, Gulf war pink, Post Gulf War light great overall, at least 3 test colour schemes (rasperry ripple, black and yellow, all black, dark gray, white and red, RAF black scheme, Thundercity gloss black, SAAF two colour schemes.
That is at least 15 schemes - considerably more than many Cold War and modern serving jet - and that is without all the special schemes.
Last post was in July of 2016 - a year and a half ago. Meanwhile.....
Just now, I have diamond tread tires for my 1/18 scale P-47 Thunderbolt. How did I do it? Well thanks to Bill who gave me a good idea for a saw cutting jig in this topic thread, I did a version of that idea. I will start from the beginning.
First one must be able to manufacture or acquire a smooth tire. Mine is a lathe turned acrylic one. Here it is mostly complete on the lathe:
At this point one must decide on the tread pattern - how many rows, etc. For me that meant researching as many period photos as I could find and hoping I guessed about right. In the end I decided the tire needed 28 rows, with alternating rows of three complete diamonds, and two complete diamonds with two half diamonds. Then, a layout is required to determine the required angle of a straight saw cut. Draw a rectangle of arbitrary length (but long enough to draw several rows of diamonds) and a width that accurately represents the unwrapped width of the desired tread pattern. Here again I studied old photos to decide how far down the sidewall I wanted the tread to extend. Use a large scale so as to minimize error. You know that each diamond will be the diameter of the tire times pi divided by the number of rows (in my case 28). The width of the diamond is the unwrapped width of the tread pattern divided by how many complete diamonds you want (in my case three). The cut angle is then easily generated. In my case it was 41.5 degrees from the centerline of the tire (83 deg for the completed diamond shape, nearly square but not quite).
Now one must able to accurately maintain the cut angle for each cut, and accurately maintain the spacing of each cut. If you want to use a saw (that is what I decided), then you need a nice stout jig. Here it is:
You see the jig itself with upright posts to guide the saw blade and control its cut angle, a wide slot in which to insert the tire, cradle slots in which to support the axle, and a fixed pin protruding from the near side that engages a geared wheel. You also see the tire with special wheels, one of which is slotted to accept a cross pin on the axle. And you see the axle itself with its cross pin and a geared wheel (28 teeth) bonded to it. The teeth are meant to engage in the fixed pin on the jig, and meant to control the spacing of each cut. Got it?
Here is the setup with the first cut accomplished:
And more cuts:
Now truth be told, this jig had some problems. There is slop between the axle cross pin and its slot on the wheel, which allows some free rotation. Also the spacing between the upright posts is a bit generous which allows the saw blade to wander a bit. Add those up, and the diamond pattern becomes inconsistent, with unequal distance between rows such that some diamonds are larger than others, and/or mis-shapen. Which is exactly what we do not want.
So I made modifications. One, I added thicker shims to the sides of the saw blades such that the saw barely fit between the uprights thus eliminating any wiggle with the saw blade. Two, I created equidistant drill starts on the OD of the tire, giving me a target in which to center the saw cut (I could rotate the tire within limits due to the slop between the cross pin and its slot). And third, most importantly, I applied clamps to the jig once the tire was exactly positioned for the cut.
Some pics of the modifications:
This gave me a good result:
Were I to do it over, I would redesign the jig such that its posts were taller (allows for the cut to better wrap around the tire),and each pair of posts would be oriented perpendicular to the direction of cut, not the direction of the tire center plane. That would provide a stiffer support for the saw blade. I'd also want a slightly taller saw.
I want to thank (belatedly) all those modelers who contributed to this post. You gave me great ideas. I hope you like my solution and my result. And I hope it may help some of you in similar endeavors.
Where I was born, old people have a saying: You cannot bring two watermelons under one armpit.
Too many promises, too few realized projects.
AMK promised Super Etendard too.
I waited for Kinetic Doher more than 2 years, and then gave them the finger.
Meng promised Mount Elbrus.
If you know the list of 32nd scale projects that TAN promised you will know what I am talking about.
That couldn't happen in the next 10 years. Not if 5-10 million dollars are not poured into that company. And without many questions asked from the investor.
Even if the Flanker goes out, the F-4s, F-5s and F-111s won't happen soon. If ever.
Just a heads up for those that don't know, as I didn't until now. Mr. Mark Softer will eat through Mr. Color paints. I was applying the decals on my 109 and had it tilted sideways. There was excess Softer that I didn't see, which rolled to the other side of the plane. Last night I noticed the paint was burned through, all the way to primer. The decals will not cover it, so I will have to touch it up with the airbrush very carefully. It's par for the course with this bird, as I've had to do several things two or three times.