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Dana Bell

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About Dana Bell

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    LSP Junkie

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  1. Sorry Jennings, Jerry passed away in December 2008. Dana
  2. Hi Jean-Michel, Parts of the P-61A radar were not easily accessible - crews needed to remove nearly the entire system to gain access to parts that frequently broke down. The extended nose on the P-61B moved those parts forward where they could be repaired or replaced quickly, without a major overhaul. That said, I've no figures in changes in the length of the nose, though others certainly will... Cheers, Dana
  3. Yes, Keith created the basic scheme. Knowing I was a fan of aircraft color schemes, he showed me his drawings during a visit to NASM. He mentioned that there were some revisions to the wing patterns following initial evaluations, but I don't remember the details - perhaps the white (or blue?) lower wing was original, then switched to improve visibility? I never photographed the scheme, nor do I have copies of his drawings. (The 1986 USAF fact sheet on the T-38 shows the blue on all undersides...) Cheers, Dana
  4. Hi Sandro, You simplified the conversation as soon as you mentioned the TBD... First, pre-war zinc chromate primer was different from post-war primer. In the 1930s manufacturers didn't add a quantity of zinc chromate to a bunch of other chemicals; they added a minimum quantity of zinc oxide and a minimum quantity of chrome oxide to those other chemicals. The suspension resulted in a zinc chromate primer. Since chrome oxide was more expensive, manufacturers tended to use less of it. The resulting primer was always yellow, but the color varied greatly with the percentages of the two pigments used. The original idea was to apply two coats of zinc chromate primer to the aircraft interior, then a finish coat of aluminum pigment suspended in clear lacquer. In the mid-1930s Wright Field advised Northrop that the manufacturer could save time and money by suspending the aluminum pigment in the second coat of primer, then skipping the finish coat. The result was "aluminized zinc chromate." Northrop gave the recommendation a try, then wrote back that the result was actually green! Wright Field gave a sure-what-ever response and aluminized zinc chromate came into use. Since Northrop was a Douglas company at the time, aluminized zinc chromate became an industry standard seen on several Douglas aircraft. But this bright green must have been too bright for the Air Corps, since most standards added a tinting black to the formula - the result was a color called Yellow Green. TBDs originally used aluminized lacquer as a cockpit finish coat, but TBD crews objected that the reflections interfered with night flying. They created their own mix of black and zinc chromate primer that they felt was close enough to the very dark Bronze Green enamel that was then coming into style. They provided no formula, and there are no known surviving samples, so you get to pick any dark olive green that suits your tastes. The evolution of wartime green zinc chromate is a completely different story that won't fit here - but there are more options there when the time comes... Cheers, Dana
  5. Hi cbk57, There are plenty of photos showing multi-colored ammo boxes on Birdcage and "-1A" Corsairs. I often wonder how any service aircraft could have gotten along without an oddly painted ammo box or so. Look for the carrier photos of VF-17 in 1943... Cheers, Dana
  6. A bit of clarity on Dull Dark Green... It was originally presented as a camouflage color based on the water-based Dark Green #30. The Army didn't wish to use the color for camouflage, but the Navy juggled the formula "slightly" and recommended it as a replacement for Bronze Green. The Army agreed, and an ANA chip was created. The Army made the mistake of referring to the standard as Dull Dark Green #30, so some manufacturers used the Navy's juggled ANA standard color, while a few used the original Army color (which was much more like a German Black Green). Each paint supplier could create variations in Dull Dark Green, and, of course, Bronze Green remained in production through the war's end. Douglas also used a duPont color called Pine Green (which had been introduced on DC transports) and Boeing seems to have had their own company dark green used on 307s and 314s - much more information is needed on these colors. Depending on where components originated, cockpits could have three or more dark greens, plus variations of green-tinted zinc chromate. But the darker greens were all created by paint manufacturers, not mixed at aircraft factories. Cheers, Dana
  7. I sent Sovereign a sample of Dull Dark Green some years back - I was pleased with how their paint turned out. I can't comment on the other companies' DDG, but only because I haven't tried them. Cheers, Dana
  8. Hi Jennings, I photographed 780 in July 1993 - the gray band and big dipper were both gone by then. (The silver fox had been added behind the canopy though.) I had the better part of two weeks with the wing, and none of the aircraft wore the markings in your photo. Just a guess, but there was a lot of restructuring going on in the Air Force back then - perhaps the markings change had something to do with Alaskan Air Command dissolving and its units being absorbed into TAC (or was it already AAC?) Cheers, Dana
  9. Beautiful job, John! Wish I had your skills! Cheers, Dana
  10. I hope they stay in business! Once they're done with WWI, they've still got the 1920s and '30s to work through. Seems they've already done the research for the F8C-4 (though they will probably need to revise the markings sheets). Cheers, Dana
  11. Time reported that the Soviets claimed they moved in because of the presence of American troops and armor in the region. Some times any excuse will do... Cheers, Dana
  12. Sorry Misha, I forgot to mention that the wider head armor was introduced in the factory on F4U-1 #668 (BuNo17415 - delivered 10 June 1943), F3A-1 #12 (BuNo 04526), and FG-1 #257 (BuNo 13248). Cheers, Dana
  13. Hi Misha, The original "pinched" armor plate was designed to allow the pilot better vision looking aft. Unfortunately, it also allowed too many bullets into the cockpit around the pilot's head. The problem was addressed beginning in late January 1943, but it took time to deliver the new replacement armor. By early March only 29 replacements had been delivered to the West Coast, and by mid-April there were urgent demands that more plate be delivered soon. The last complaints I've found were dated in May. The earliest photo I've found showing the new plate was taken in June 1943, but there are combat unit photos without the revision into November. (There are aircraft without the revision in February 1944, but those photos are training units at home.) Since you're dealing with the earlier camouflage scheme, I suspect that you can leave off the "wings" that Tamiya provides unless you have a photo that proves otherwise. As a note for anyone wishing to use the revised armor, I recommend against using the Tamiya PE add-ons. The revised plate was actually a single solid upper plate of armor, not two clip-ons on either side. The bolts were in the original position only because there was no structure to attach to outboard of the original position. Cheers, all! Dana
  14. Hi John, Sorry I missed that one! I found my notes, and the change order came on 1 June 1944. Later billing invoices show that the fairing was introduced on F4U 57866 and subsequent, and on FG 14742 and subsequent. The fairing was experimentally installed on a very early Birdcage, and was made available as a kit, so (as always) a good photo can be our best friend! Good luck with the model - I'm itching to get back to gluing those Tamiya kits one day... Cheers, Dana (Added note - I've not seen a change order for Brewster. That could be because so many Brewster documents are missing, or it could be because Brewster was about to be shut down and the fairing was never ordered installed there.)
  15. Hi again Mike, Many thanks for the kind words! I didn’t want to choose a scheme for you, so I looked around to see what decals were available. There must be some new 1/32 scale sheets, but the only one I have is the old Ventura V3261. Here are the three 25BG aircraft featured: NS594 – U in a white ring, tail still blue, full invasion stripes. Delivered to 25BG June 1944, used for transition training. Began Bluestocking light weather recon missions 20 August 1944. In August the upper invasion stripes would have been overpainted and the tail would have first been painted red. Last Bluestocking on 31 January 1944. (By that time all invasion stripes would have been gone.) (When I made my serial-vs-mission record list forty years ago, I coded each mission type with a letter, but I’ve foolishly misplaced my master code key! Anyhow, in January 1945 I have NS594 flying six missions that I’ve coded “G” – I’m pretty certain those were Graypea chaff-dispensing missions, which would require some mods to you kit.) NS569 – N on a red tail, no invasion stripes. Delivered to 25BG June 1944. The kit decals show the aircraft without invasion stripes but they must represent the aircraft later in its career. First mission was an Aphrodite motion picture documentation mission on 7 August 1944, three Bluestockings in September, another Aphrodite on 15 October, and another on 1 January 45. In February thru 9 March 1945 there were several other missions I can’t explain without that missing code sheet, but there wouldn’t be any invasion stripes at that time, so the aircraft wouldn’t fit for your model. NS753 – Y in PRU blue circle on the tail, no invasion stripes. This aircraft wasn’t delivered until December 1944, and probably never wore invasion stripes. It started Bluestocking light weather recon in February thru May 1945. So none of these aircraft would have been equipped with cameras, though they all were probably delivered with standard PR.XVI camera ports. Two of them seem to fit your markings preferences – if you can only find the sheet. There had to be some sort of weather recon sensors on the Bluestocking aircraft, but I haven’t noticed anything out of the ordinary in any of the photos I’ve seen. Somewhere around here I thought I had a 1/32 vac canopy with the astrodome, but it’s not in my big-box-o-Mosquito goodies. It might have been from Paragon, but I really don’t remember. Anyhow, I look forward to seeing your results with the Mosquito. America’s use of the “Mozzy” was my first (and continuing) research project, and the story that pulled me out of engineering and into history writing! Cheers, Dana
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