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    WWII, Vietnam-era U.S. Jets, Post-Vietnam to Present Day U.S. Jets

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  1. Hi Kev - Some fourteen years ago, Ironwing (Geoff) started a similar project, where he grafted the upper/aft Revell P-51B fuselage onto the Hasegawa kit, and then modified the Hasegawa forward wing roots to blend in with the Revell wing. Here's a link to his build log, with some incredibly helpful photos included, as well: I think the short version of the usable shapes from the Revell B-model are: generally, the fuselage is workable behind the firewall; but as that Bert Kinzey summary points out, above, the scoop and aft cooler vents aren't as good as the Hasegawa versions, so it's worth it to use most of the Hasegawa fuselage. The main wing outlines are generally accurate, and easier to adapt to the Hasegawa fuselage than it would be to completely rework the Hasegawa D-model leading edge extensions and wheel well outlines to match the smaller B-model wing root areas. But, the Revell wheel wells need significant re-work to look like a real Mustang; mainly the "open" nature of the wheel wells as they are framed by the wing spar and the wing formers and returns. Geoff was in the process of cutting the lower wing open and adding a thick styrene wing spar with an aluminum skin upper wing portion (i.e., the "roof" of the wheel wells). As Bert Kinzey points out, the landing gear and wheels are skinny, weak, and inaccurate: the Hasegawa parts, or after market versions, would be the better choice. The Revell canopy looks good, until you reach the windscreen. The angle of the front/center windscreen pane is too flat with respect to the fuselage, which forces the side and upper plexiglass panes to be too small and squished. If you can source a vacuformed or AM clear resin version, it would be a huge visual improvement as well (I think Ali release a resin canopy earlier this year?). I'd also mention the vertical tail: I think both the Revell and Hasegawa profiles are "too flat" on the top section. The real Mustang tails had a distinct crown-like taper from forward to aft; and I think both of those kits portray that profile as straight across/horizontal. Which leaves the real elephant in the room: the nose and prop. As Geoff/Ironwing, JayW, and Peter Castle/Airscale have wonderfully shown in their respective 1/18 Mustang build logs, the *real* Mustang nose can be an enigma, wrapped in a riddle...taken from just a casual sideview glance, the Hasegawa D-model nose profile looks good enough, and the propeller spinner and prop blades look large enough in profile to pass as a decent representation. On the other hand, the Revell B-model nose, even in straight-side profile, looks too small, and tapers too sharply into a too-narrow and too-small spinner (as Bert Kinzey also points out in his article, above)... But from a quartering-front angle or forward vantage point looking aft on either Mustang type (B or D), comes the enigma of the upper cowling shape: similar to the Spitfire (which go-figure, had the same basic engine type), the upper cowling actually has a more square cross section, to accommodate the large piston arrays underneath; and that squared cross section tapers to a fully circular cross section moving forward to the propeller mount in less than 12 scale inches. Neither the Revell nor the Hasegawa kit capture this dramatic profile shift (although the Tamiya P-51D does so very well, and the new Revell D-model represents that shape as well). All that to say, that since you already have the base-kit in the Hasegawa D-model, I think you can pretty easily adapt Ironwing's blueprint and build a very respectable looking B-model. I think the two main defining shapes to the Mustang (B- or D-model) are the big air scoop under the main wing, and the imposing prop spinner and broad-nose. From any forward vantage point, the Mustang looks like a wild beast, and the Revell B-model looks wimpy and small...but the respective parts from the Hasegawa model have passed the test of time to be credible. I think you could have a fun build with a great result. Good Hunting! Chris
  2. John, I love those tones for the tan variations. I would be interested in anything you can share on what portions of the color wheel you used to mix those? Would be especially useful for those that might be replicating McDonnell factory-applied camouflage, as well...
  3. Nope: although I agree that his cap looks similar to Marine uniform caps, that's definitely an Air Force Airman at Cam Ranh Bay in summer 1966...he posted a whole series of photos of CRB (12 TFW) F-4Cs in the short period between getting camouflage and adding tail codes. He had a buddy take his photo while sitting in the back seat of an F-4C. EDIT: Also, you can clearly see the control stick just in front of the radar scope...F-4Bs did not have a control stick, like USAF F-4s with dual controls in back. Some awesome reference photos of early camouflaged F-4Cs without tail codes (tail number presentation in 6" digits, USAF on top, and 5-digit below, e.g., "37598"). Also gloss white fuel tanks hung under camouflage on the upper surfaces (kept the original Navy-style white undersurfaces and painted out the oversized national insignia on the lower right wing and the "USAF" on the lower left wing). I'm not sure where I found that treasure trove several years ago, or I would post a URL.
  4. "Thanks Alfonso! Yes the fight for the inside is almost done, the fight for the outside is about to begin " Very Churchillian outlook. I love it.
  5. An apple. Deftly lifted from the chow hall early, early that morning.
  6. Can't wait to see this blue AT-38 parked next to Timmy!'s Shaguar...
  7. Dave - Just doing a cursory, drive-by comparison with images of 36315 on a Google search, the Zotz rendition of the "Ding Hao!" looks much closer to the original article in letter size, stroke (width for each portion of the letters), and spacing among the characters. I think Mark's suggestion to cut paper scans as a mock up is a great idea to verify size/position/proportions on the model's nose, itself, etc. Also, the CAM national insignia are way off in proportion, whereas the Zotz national insignia are in textbook proportion. I would not use the CAM national insignia for any application. The CAM national insignia designers appear to have had a common difficulty interpreting the proportions of U.S. National Insignia, in that many profile illustrators, artists, and now decal manufacturers can't wrap their head around how the star sits on a disc, and the disc and bars together, have a proportioned surround. Too many illustrators try to make the star points "touch" the outside of the surround, and can't get the proportions correct by doing that...All the proportions are set by the radius of the central disc (and all five star points "touch" the edges of this inner disc). The white bars should be 1x radius long by 1/2 radius high; upper edge of the bar aligned with the horizontal points of the star (the radius of the blue disc encroaches on the white bar dimension, below the horizontal star points)...and there is a blue border 1/8 the disc radius, that encompasses the entire disc and bars...since the disc and border are both insignia blue, there isn't a defining outline to the border, and I think that's where many of these illustrators and designers run into problems. As a post-script, the red bar added to the insignia after January 14, 1947, has a measured proportion of 1/6 of the radius, effectively dividing the white bar into thirds, with the red bar in the middle. Regards, Chris Mayer
  8. "Hi, I'm Snort," is how he introduced himself to me one day not that long ago. We were in the Draken hangar in Lakeland, Florida, and Snort had just flown one of their former Kiwi A-4Ks back from Nellis for a periodic phase inspection...Of course I knew who he was; I knew all about him, but had never met him. He was as matter-of-fact and down to earth as all the cliches. But he was different, and in the best ways. I suppose I absorb news like this similarly to how other people react to the news their favorite pop star has died suddenly...but I'm just snobbish enough to think that it isn't the same thing. I'd gotten to see Snort's F-86 airshow routine, and had long known of his legendary status in Navair history. I'm not sure legend adequately covers it. It's a gut punch and simultaneously a comfort that he was in an airplane, doing what he naturally did his entire adult life. Fair winds and following seas, amigo.
  9. Hi John - I know it's a lot of "unknowns" for the nose/radome configuration on the actual Bolo flight. Note that even the standard radome with the IR sensor fairing (aka the donkey dick), prior to the APR-25 RHAW installation, was fitted with a short, dummy (empty) IR-sensor cap, which was 2"-3" shorter than what became the standard RHAW antenna fairing for all USAF Cs and Ds after 1967. When the RHAW was installed, that round cap was an extended version of the factory blank cap installed where the Navy IR sensor was meant to be mounted. Jennings's first illustration, "B," has the short cap (and a smooth vertical tail surface above the rudder); while the later, "Aug '67" illustration "L" from your earlier post, has the longer RHAW cap, as well as the acorn antenna above the rudder on the trailing edge of the vertical tail. We really have no way of knowing how 7589 was configured on 2 Jan 67, during the Bolo mission. It reasonably could have been any one of those three nose radome options. The 8 TFW seems to have been using "slick" radomes without the IR sensor fairing as temporary replacements for aircraft that needed their original radome repaired or replaced; and potentially while the primary radome was getting fitted with the APR-25 RHAW antennas. Any photo on one day showing a slick nose could have been instantly out-of-date on the next day, when the radome was replaced with the new RHAW system...it seems that those configurations were changing that fast. When looking at August '67, however, those configurations were more stable, and nearly every F-4C in Thailand and Vietnam (Cam Ranh Bay and Da Nang) had been fitted with the RHAW radome by then, as well as the USAF-standard "curved" inboard pylons with the MAU-12 munitions rack. Note also that by Aug '67, the 8 TFW was quickly re-equipping its squadrons with F-4Ds, and the remaining C-model airframes were shuffling through the 497 and 433 TFS (the last two squadrons to convert to the D) and getting transferred to the 12 TFW at Cam Ranh Bay, or back to stateside units. I think by late Nov/early Dec '67, all the Wolfpack's C-models had been transferred out, and they had established four squadrons with F-4Ds: the 555 TFS, 435 TFS, 497 TFS, and the 433 TFS. The 12 TFW at Cam Ranh Bay, tasked primarily with CAS missions within South Vietnam (and later, interdiction missions over Laos and Cambodia), stayed equipped with F-4Cs through at least 1970, while the 366 TFW Gunfighters at Da Nang re-equipped with F-4Ds at the same time the 8 TFW Wolfpack did, at Ubon.
  10. John - I've had the same issue trying to find good color references with enough resolution to be helpful. I think your best bet is some low-res color shots for references to color details; and some higher-res B&W shots I've found for shapes and details...I'm on travel and can't load any photos right now; but I can next week. Alternatively, I can exchange some digital pictures with some commentary on colors, etc. via PMs and e-mail... The short version is that the parachute pack for the H5 is a soft-shell with a uniform forest green color while the chute risers/shoulder restraints combo are the typical sage green/blue color like the later H7 with the hardshell. The parachute pack retaining strap (forms the 'V' shape coming out of the middle of the soft parachute pack) is silvery-white nylon strapping that routes to the upper aft seat frame; and then forward and around the front of the "headrest" portion, which has a tan/light brown leather patch just under the face curtain D-rings...that brown headrest patch is over-sized in real-life, and overlaps the chute pack on the bottom side, and the face curtain box assembly on the top. The D-rings should be a very faded yellow/dark gray (weathered/faded) rather than stark yellow/black; and the lap belt should be the same silvery-white as the chute retaining strap...the survival kit belts should have green anodized aluminum buckles with sage green/blue straps (matching the parachute risers/shoulder restraints). A good color reference are the famous photos of Robin Olds in the cockpit of 0829, looking up at the camera, and the other color shots of him standing in front of the nose of 0829. I have some better resolution B&W shots from Martin Baker and from crew photos of the guys at Cam Ranh Bay, posing in one of their jets, that shows good details of the upper sections of the seats, including the layout of the straps and belts... Hope that helps as a start...be glad to fill-in with photos when I get back to my cave. Best, Chris
  11. Hi Brad - I'm not formally one "of the people at Fundekals," but I did help Jennings with the research for that sheet as well as the aircraft profiles and information within the accompanying instruction manual. Based on your question, I re-looked at that B&W photo of 63-7683 you point out on p. 13; and while I do see the tonal difference in both stabilizer tips and the overall color of the underside of the stabs, I stand by our judgment that '7683 in particular, and most of the pre-Block 25 F-4Cs in the 8 TFW during 1966-1967 had white bellies. In this particular photo, if you look at the light tones of the undersides of the wings and aft fuselage, you can easily see that the underside of the wings matches the tonal qualities of the (white) underwing stores pylons (the inboard pylons are still the original white, Navy-style LAU-17 missile rails) the (white) AIM-7s in the forward wells, as well as the (white) centerline tank. Additionally, you can see light reflections on the undersurface of the wings consistent with a gloss finish including reflections of light due to a low sun angle from the pylons themselves on the surface of the wing. Also prominent on the lower-aft fuselage are the red turbine stripes (look just behind the aft-most high-drag Mk-82 fin on the port outboard MER), which were not typically masked or re-painted on aircraft with the FS36622 flat gray applied on the lower surfaces. Further, the low-sun angle may be catching the very tip of the starboard stab, and that could account for the apparent brighter, white tone. Notice how the low-sun angle highlights just the tip of the port wing? The right stab tip might also be just below a shadow line: hard to tell with the B&W halftone and resolution of the reproduction. [Edit: the more I look at this photo, this is exactly what I think is going on: the right stab tip is just below a shadow line and is lit-up by the low sun angle and looks much brighter than the rest of the stab. I'm not even sure if '7683 has the white stab tips seen on other MacSorley images...but I'm keeping the rest of my thoughts in this response as a more in-depth explanation of the white-bellied Phantom era in SEA.] As for the tonal differences of the lower surface of the stabs in comparison to the stab-tips: We don't know if the "white tips" were masked when the camouflage was applied (not very likely -- recall that the upper side of the stabs were also gloss white, with the factory-applied LGG and white scheme), or if crew chiefs painted the white tips later (more likely); in which case the white tips would likely be a "different" variation of white paint, not to mention that those white tips would be much fresher than the ca. 1964 factory white paint applied to the undersurface of the airplane. Also realize that the underside "Gloss White" FS17875 on the Navy/early-USAF scheme was still an "off-white." So, even a fresh coat of FS17875 would have a tonal difference from a stark white paint color. But in this case, you are also looking through 2-3 years of J-79 soot, leaked hydraulic fluid, jet fuel, and other air pollutants on the underside of these aircraft. The influence of J-79 smoke and soot alone would easily explain the tonal differences of the inner sections of the stabilator undersides and the tips. Early Phantoms in the Vietnam era produced huge volumes of engine smoke and soot; much more than updated Phantom engines in the 80s, 90s, and modern era. And, throughout any "era" of F-4 service, it is common to see many hues of red, brown, and black smudges along the lower-aft fuselage, aft portions of the wings, and the stabs from the many fluid leaks through those panel lines and flight controls, as well as the smoke and soot build-up on the fuselage and stabs aft of the jet nozzles. I don't doubt that by spring 1967, as the SEA Theater F-4 depot line built up momentum at the Air Asia facility in Taiwan, that there were F-4Cs returning to the three main theater operating bases (Ubon, Cam Ranh Bay, and Da Nang) with freshly painted gray 36622 bellies, but this photo of '7683 in late 1966 or early 1967 shows a well-used and dirty, original gloss white underside. HTH, Chris Mayer
  12. "...it looks overscale here..." Well, to be fair, the prop looks overscale on the 1:1 version as well. This build is just wonderful to watch. I admit to not having much previous knowledge about the Fury; but learning about this beautiful little Golden Age and Pre-war wonder through your build has been a thrill! My largest take-away on the lines of the machine: you can really see the family lineage from Fury to Hurricane. Especially the vertical stab, the cockpit area to the cowling, and that two-bladed wooden prop looks just like the prototype Hurri. Brilliant work, Peter, and a pure joy to watch. Thank you for sharing it all. Best, Chris
  13. I don't have measurements for the -8/-15 short cans (those used on the F-4B/N, C/D, RF-4C and early RF-4B); but I was able to measure the diameters of some -17s (USAF F-4E), both while mounted on the aircraft, and while stored on the engine trolley; and both a fully closed nozzle (as it would be in mil power while in flight), and fully open, as they were most often while shut down/parked. EDIT: To clarify, these measurements from a J79-GE-17 apply to the -10, as well, so the data is good for the entire F-4E/EJ/F/USAF G as well as the J/S and late RF-4B (with -10 motors) and RF-4E series of airframes. Straight measurements in inches: Length of the -17 augmenter petal (turkey feathers), from the edge of silver mounting trim to the end of the petal (fully open nozzle*): 26" [1/32 scale = 13/16" or 20.65mm] Base of the Augmenter (diameter): 38" [1/32 scale = 1 3/16" or 30.18mm] Diameter of the fully open augmenter (straight across the open petals at the aft end of the can): 37" [1/32 scale = 1 5/32" or 29.35mm] Diameter of fully closed nozzle (engine resting on maintenance trolley): 29.75" [1/32 scale = .9297" or 23.50mm] Diameter of metal mounting trim (thin metal ring around the augmenter nozzle): 38.25" (basically a 1/8" gap around the augmenter) [1/32 scale = 1.195" or 30.36mm] Width of the metal trim midway down the augmenter: 2 5/8" (from the camouflage skin to the augmenter); note: this applies to -10/-17 type aircraft only [1/32 scale = .082" or 2.08mm] Length of the engine bay vent (4x metal vents at the top of the engine mounting trim): 4 7/8" [1/32 scale = .152" or 3.87mm] Measurement accuracy: with an assistant to manage all the tools, I used sections of 2x4 and a level to extend the baselines from the top/bottom of the mounted engines to get a straight diameter for the base of the augmenter; could be off a 1/4' here or there. But the measurements for the open-end of the augmenter are accurate within 1/32 of an inch, as I was able to pull the tape measure directly across the open augmenter petals (outside to outside measurement), without any contortions or obstructions. Even so, I wish I had a 6-foot caliper micrometer... I also took measurements of the intake along with the fixed and variable ramps; but the values I got are the same or very close to the measurements I've seen posted by Derek and Ian from their work on the F-4J (UK), so I haven't added those to the forum (all J-79 Phantom intakes and fuselages should have the same measurements and contours). * - Also a word about the length of the augmenter petal: I didn't measure the "length" of an open vs. closed augmenter (I wish I had); I merely measured the length of an individual petal (26") which will be the same length whether the augmenter is open or closed...what would also be useful, would be the distance from the metal trim, to the end of the augmenter when it is fully open, and fully closed...I imagine the fully open dimension would be just a hair under 26", since the petals are not quite perpendicular to the mounting ring when fully open, and the closed distance would probably be somewhere close to 23"-24", as the nozzle closes into a tight, conical shape. Hope this helps. I don't have a Tamiya F-4 to measure...and I've always read, "the Tamiya Nozzles are horribly undersized...." But looking at photos of the great builds I've seen on this site and elsewhere, I've also wondered if the Tamiya nozzles were actually too small in diameter, or if their aft fuselage was too fat. Over time, however, I'm now convinced both are true: their nozzles are too small and the aft fuselage is also too large. Good Hunting! Chris
  14. Jay - Sorry to hear this is taking longer than I would have expected; although I will add that it took Jack two days to see my message to him last weekend, as well. He's likely just busy...I guess it might be Christmas week. But his response to me (and we don't know each other well, at all) was quite friendly and positive...so I think it will work out. Might also help to mention you are "JayW" from the Large Scale Planes forum...but I bet it's just the season causing the delay. Still wish you Good Hunting!
  15. Jay: I reached out to Jack Cook and he replied (enthusiastically) that if you are active on Facebook, or could become active, send Jack a friend request and also request to join his 354 FG page...I think we all are anxious to hear where this might lead for you. Jack’s profile here: https://www.facebook.com/jack.cook.589 Good Hunting!!
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