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discus last won the day on June 9

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  1. Hello Not a LSP, but a large model. I wanted to build a Caravelle for a long time. But not just any Caravelle. This particular one, msn 12, F-BHRF christen Auvergne This one was exposed for many years at the entrance of the airport of my home town. As a kid, I always was fascinated by the "huge" (Huge is a matter of perspective... but as a kid, it was hude to me) plane parked there, on the side of the road. Then when, as a teen, I started flying gliders there, we use to spend some evening on board with the friends from the flying club. Some even slept on its wings... It was unfortunatly scrapped in 2006. Anyway, enough with the nostalgia.... All Caravelle kits are quite old and they all have their issues, some worse than others. Mach2 is a French short run brand. It is known for producing subjects that are definitely not mainstream. It is also known for the "limited" quality of its kit. I knew the Mach 2 kit would be a challenge but having built several fonderie miniature kits (another French short run brand known for its bad moulding and hard fitting) , I was not afraid..... Well.... I was in for an adventure... It is probably the worse kit I ever built... I had already decided not to use the "clear" parts, which are clear only by name. This turned out to be a great decision. Then I got rid of all the interior stuff... anyway there is nothing to see because ref previous line... The wheels: directly in the bin as well. The two parts of the mould were not aligned, I let you imagine the shape of the wheels... I replaced them with 1/48 Mirage F1 wheels for the MLGs and 1/48 NLG wheels from an F-100 for the NLG. Not the most accurate but who cares, it cannot be worse than the kit "things". I also replaced the engine exhaust by Whirlybird resin exhaust initially planned for the DH Comet. Now the funny part: wing to fuselage assembly. I quickly realised that this would be an adventure in itself: the wing sweep between the upper and lower parts was not the same by a significant margin. Sometimes on some kits, you need a bit of surgey to assemble parts. Here it was butchery. I reworked the complete wing root with a dremel and a miller (not sure of the english term, it is not a drill, it is the tool used to machine metal parts if you see what I mean) I think I never had to remove so much plastic to fit parts. Then, a truckload of putty here and there and I could finaly start painting. Humbrol 147 for the lower fuselage and the wing/horizontal stabilizer walk ways hu metal cote for the rest of the wing For the white on upper fuselage, I sprayed Tamyia true white TS-26. I could not imagine all this white area with an handbrush. Orange and dayglow for the wingtips. The decals: another adventure. I ordered them from F-Decals, a french brand producing a wide range of airliners decals. I must say that was a bumpy road as it took him 4 months to send them. And having exchanged with others on French forum, that's not only due to the covid mess and lock down. No answer to the numerous reminders. the only two emails I received were to tell me the decal sheets would be sent the next monday, which never happened. I ended up opening a claim with paypal. and then by miracle, 3 days after I received the decal sheets, but not excuse, no message, nothing which is a realy shame because those decals are real nice and good quality. I also used windows and windshiled decal sheet from Authentic airliners. I think they add a touch of realism compared to the usual grey windows we see on mist airliner kits. Here is the result:
  2. Hello After KH Miragge 2000, I decided to go back in time with this Mirage IIIc from Italeri I built the IIIe version some times ago and I new what to expect: kit is rather good but there are few shortcomings. Notably the nose cone adjustment: it is wider than the fuselage so sanding and putty are in order. Then the fairing round the exhaust and the vertical tail plan are quite tricky due to very small contact surfaces with the fuselage parts (especially for the fairing, if the photoetch frame is not presicely installed, there is no contact surface anymore. After several dry fit tests, I decided not to follow the sequence of steps from the instructions. Some addons I used: Pitot from Masters PE from Eduard for the seat and cockpit panels Resin wheels from reskit The squadron insigna is from an old Berna decal sheet for a 1/48 Super Mystere B2 if I remember well. It happens that it is nearly the right size for the 1/32 Mirage IIIc. Lucky me. Handbrush painting as usual : Humbrol 230 "pru Blue" for the top. For the lower part and the fuel tank, I tried vallejo metal colors. I must say I love them. I found by chance a video on YT (dogma72 - Brushing Vallejo Metal Color) showing how to brush them. It is a bit unatural way of working but it worked well: in fact you dry brush them. I put a layer of vallejo black primer then I used a large square brush, with nearly no paint on it and brush the surface. I did 3 or 4 layer, waiting overnight between each. Result is to my opinion close to what you could have with an airbrush. Not brush marks. Pigments are much thinner than the Humbrol Metal cote and the range of colors is wide. I used aluminum 701 and for some parts pale burnt aluminum 704 (it is not really visible on the photos due to lighting conditions). I also used jet exhause 713 for the stove pipe I had a lot of fun with this kit. A pair of French Deltas
  3. "Inexperienced" is not the most appropriate word I'd use for the pilot in question. He was indeed inexperienced on the spitfire as it was his first flight with it. But he is a former French AF pilot, former Rafale solo display and flies several other warbirds (incl Sea Fury) Good news is that the plane was scheduled to be back in action for the 2020 airshow season but due to covid situation, I guess it will rather be in 2021.
  4. Thanks guys. I forgot to mention one last addition to the kit: the pitot comes from Master. They have not yet release a Mirage 2000 specific pitot, I used an old mirage 5's. It is much longer than the 2000, I did not want to cut it so what you see is only the emerging tip, all the rest is inside the radome. Appart from this misalignement between the white background and the color of the stencils they are fine. A bit thick maybe.. this is most visible on the smaller ones. I had some doubts at first because when looking at the on the sheet and right after applying them, the decal film does not seem really smooth, I was afraid of silvering but once you apply a coat of gloss, it totally dissapear (provided they are properly set on a gloss coat as well. I had one drama with the very last decal remaining to set: the code 5-OZ on the RH side of the nose: I don't know what happened, but I dipped the decal in water as usual, and when I applied it on the model, the Z started to roll over itself until there was no option but to cut it out and replace it. And of course no other Z available so it is a mix of bits and pieces from other letters.
  5. From memory but I am not 100% sure Xtracolor X136 & x131 for the greys and the underside is a mix of white and blue x302 (KLM blue)
  6. Hello The lock down built... and a bit more since we are unlocked since 11th may in France. A lot was already said on this kit: weird/wrong choices on some parts (extended slats only forcing to some surgery to correct this), many mistakes in the instruction sheet (wrong part items, left and righ side inverted, etc) poor decal sheet, etc. Anyway, in the end the kit is not so bad. It is rather a good one and I had a lot of fun building it (despite the negs mentioned above). One important thing when building a KH kit: you need to be well documented. The box is full of stuff but if you want to be accurate you need to do some research by yourself. I used decals from Berna. One slight issue; the white background on the stencils is misaligned and is visible. but it is still way better than the original sheet from the kit. As I did not wanted for the Eduard Pe to be available for the seat harness, I decided to use the pilot provided with the kit. It is quite nice, I just added a visor screen on the helmet and with some leftover PE from previous kit I DIY'd the seat belts and harnesses. Paints are as usual handbrushed. The new thing is that I used Xtracolors instead of the usual Humbrols. (Because the Humbrol are now more cr*p than paint...) I left one week between each coat to be sure it was really dry so the whole painting process is quite long. But its worth waiting, the Xtracolors give a really nice result. For the color, the is a highly scientific random mix... The Mirage 2000 colors are really difficult to catch and they change a lot with the ligh/shadows. Light grey: X395+X136+x141 (60%-30%-10%). X395 is supposed to be mirage 2000 light grey but I found it too dark and not blue-ish enough so I added some light compass grey x136 and lightened with a bit of white. Blue grey: X396+X124 (60%-40%). X396, same thing, it is supposed to be Mirage 2000 dark blue grey but it looked greenish in the can soI mixed it with blue fs15109 (X124). Radome is in Humbrol 64 and engine exhaust in Humbrol metalcote. Edit: for the wing pylons : Hu 56+Hu 24 (75%-25%) and the missiles Hu196. I am looking forwar to get my hands on the twin seater. And just for fun, showing the different between 1/32, 1/48 et 1/72 There is also a noticeable difference in the quality of the built..
  7. Hello, Here are some picts of a kit I completed some time ago (before lock down and all this mess) It was a fun built of a nice looking plane but this was mostly a test kit : I've always used Humbrol paints since the beginning. But since some time quality dropped below acceptable: they are not covering enough, pigments form a mash in the can... So I moved to Xtracolors (still a stinky enamel unfortunalty but since I used brushes, it is difficult to find a good acrylic) Although I read a lot on forums about the drying time necessary for these paints, I learnt it the hard way when applying the second layer, I saw the firt layer peeling off.. That's why I wanted to have a test kit for these paints before using them on the KH Mirage 2000 because mistakes on this one was not an option I think I am seduced by the xtracolors and I used them succesfully on the Mirage 2000 (you just need to be patient between two coats. I still would like very much to find an acrylic that I can properly use with brushes. Back on the kit itsel, it is oob with decals a mix from the box and a Berna sheet for the Normandie-Niemen Squadron (French Aces in Russian Air Force)
  8. Kits are not toys. Movable part are pretty much useless (unless for few exceptions), not to say and heresy. (Yes I am a bit radical) Typically the moving landing gear on the zero.... hahaha what a joke. (Although I recognize I did a pict of the model with the gear retraced...) I think it is far better to have positionnable options than movables. It gives the moddeller the possibility to choose one position then it stays in this position. Typically what Tamyia did on the corsair and the mossie for the flaps and elevators. (and yes, Mister Kitty Hawk I'm talking about you with your Mirage 2000 slats only represented in down position which is totally wrong for an A/C on ground ) Movable cowls always were a source of headache for me. Typically on my spitfire, I ended up forced to show it without cowls because I never found a satisfacory way to put them in position. Everything is so tight on the spitfire nose. (This is very visible indeed on Chuck's photos above). Lesson learnt from the Spit: when I built the P51 and the Mossie, I anticipated right from the start to glue on the cowls to avoid any issue. The only thing I keep movable, if it fits properly, is the prop. It avois braking blades and can be handy when you move the kit. Also, I find having two sets of wing tips for the Zero quite usefull (folded and extended) Can help saving a bit of space on the display stand. The only exception to this, in my opinion are the movable wings in the ZM Skyraiders. This is very smartly engineered and if built carefully (with the additional instructions from their website) works quite well. Not like the Trumpy Corsairs wing that was a totaly mess.. It's not that I play with it but as I often re-organize my display stands to optimize space for new kits. Being able to fold the large spaned wings of the skyraider can be quite useful sometimes.
  9. That's so true. However it didn't worked for me with the F4u-4 Corsair: I bought the old crappy Trumpeter kit, I am still waiting for Tamyia's one (I think I will wait forever on this one, it will never come). Oh well.... I guess that's the exception that confirms the rule and I ended up building the trumpy kit....
  10. Don't loose faith. Some years ago we used to say a 1/32 Mirage 2000 will never happen. But it will most likely not be Tamyia ...
  11. Fully agree with you. Even on most recent kit, decals are a let down compared to the overall kit quality. I just noticed on my Spit that both fuselage RAF roundels are cracking in the white area all around the red center... I built it just 10 yrs ago... I think Eduard has the decals printed by Cartograph.
  12. I think there is one in the KH T-6 but not exactly sure.
  13. Maybe I'm wrong but have mixed feelings about Eduard's contribution to the much needed after market for the M2K... So far they released the minimum minimum: some PE for the cockpit and seat, masks. I just look at the May issue of the Eduard's Info: nothing, just a look IP for the -C in june. Wheels are not that great (tyres as slick whereas irl they have threads). OK reskit does some. For the single seater: outer wing pylons for the Mica, IP for the -5 (with the throttle). For the twin seater: correct IPs for both N and D (the kit front IP could work for the N, definitely not for the D and the rear not for any version (maybe a futur B kit), GBU-49, ASMP missile I have the feeling they will not take any risks and stick to the strick minumum: a bit of PE here and there, some masks and that's it. Mr Sulc if you are reading this
  14. Wow that metal finish is gorgeous !
  15. Interesting discussion. Seems that for a lot of uf the kit choice is related to the way we became crazy about flying stuff. I grew up near a small airfield in France who hosts gliders and flying clubs, at that time there was also a regular commercial line to Paris (with a Fairshild metroc, then a beech 1900). There is also every two years a big airshow. I was also use to see fast french airforce jet about the house as they come say hello to the airfield nearby or they where just following the nearby hills in low level nav's and training. I guess that's what got me into it. The funny thing is that there is no aviation industry close by in this area but a lot of people got into aviation (civilian and military). I had my first kit when I was 10. Being in France, we had Heller kits available in every supermarket, toy stores and even in some small press stores. I choose the plane I built because (without any order): 1) their shape catch my eye 2) they mean something to me 3) they are iconic airplanes So when I look at my display stand, I build mostly french AF jets, US jets and allies warbirds. - Corsair, Spitfire, P-51: they obviously fall in all 3 category - unlimited racers after I went to Reno Air Races - a Blue Angels F11 Tiger : when I was a kid the first comic book of Buck Danny I had was about the blue angels and they flew the tiger, - Bell X-1 after seing the right stuff and seing Mr Yeager himself in a conference he gave where I work - F-14, X-15, Me109, Fw190 etc are for me in cat 3 - Mig-31, Mirage IV , F-4 Phantom: typicall category 1: gorgeous shapes Ironically, I am now working on big passenger planes but I am not so much interested in modelling them. I have a Caravelle on the bench but I don't know if I will manage to finish it. I started it because it falls in the three categories and definitely I have something sentimental about this particular aircraft as there was one at the entrance of the small airfield near were I grew up. When I joined the glider flying club there, we use to go in, even slept in or on the wings. Until some political moron decided that was enough and had it destroyed. (under the excuse of safety...)
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