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    Pearl City, HI
  1. This kit does have individual link tracks. Some people have drilled them out for metal pins, but I found it almost maddening to do that correctly. I replaced the stock plastic tracks with metal Spade Ace ones instead. Here is a link to an RC conversion of this kit, which will probably answer any questions you might have. https://www.rctankwarfare.co.uk/forums/viewtopic.php?f=23&t=28436
  2. Starting this Sunday, 1 September, visitors will FINALLY be able to access the memorial from the landing dock for the launches. It has been long overdue, but well worth your time, if you are planning a future visit. -Mike
  3. I hope not to steal the thunder from Squizzy's wonderful build, but nearly a year ago I posted information about the problem the USS Arizona Memorial was having with the access onto the memorial itself. I thought it was time to give you folks an update; especially for anyone who might be planning a trip here with plans to visit the memorial. In May of 2018, the staff determined that the concrete structure used for visitors to disembark the boat and provide access to the gangway leading onto the memorial itself; was damaged. Access to the memorial was suspended until repairs could be made, and first estimates were "probably a couple of weeks." That quickly changed into "two months" and then into "the fall." Then, it was hoped that it could be completed by the December 7th Anniversary ceremonies, but that didn't happen, either. They then said "by the end of March." And, when that date rolled around, they said "fall." The current explanation for the delay is that the large anchoring screws that anchor the structure to the seafloor are being custom made. This is one of the State's largest tourist attractions, and frankly, I am disgusted and angered that it has taken this long to accomplish so little. The memorial IS very much worth visiting, although it does not give you quite the same experience if you cannot go onto the memorial; read the names of those interred there; and reflect on the location and events of it's history. Whenever the repairs finally DO get completed, I will re-post on this thread to let all of you know. -Mike
  4. I was in the Marine Detachment aboard the USS Midway from 1972 to 1974. Somewhere, I have photos of that Crusader. The center part of the front wing, (the part that shows when it's raised for takeoffs and landings), is painted red, with two evil-looking eyeballs, and the words "EYES OF THE FLEET" underneath. I didn't take a lot of photos of the aircraft we had, but thought that one was pretty cool. -Mike
  5. Since I live in Hawaii, I can provide a little information that you may not be aware of, (for anyone planning a trip here in the near future). The visitor's center was rebuilt only a few years ago, and is a vast improvement on what was there before. One of the buildings has a 'builder's model' of the USS Arizona in a glass case that will help you visualize some details that may be difficult to see on a photo. In fact, one of our IPMS Hawaii members, (a diver who helped conduct the hand-over-hand mapping survey that allowed them to produce an as-it-sits drawing), built a 1/700 diorama of the memorial over the ship so people could see how they fit together. The memorial was so impressed by it that they commissioned a larger professionally-built model in the same scale as the builder's model (1/96, if I remember correctly). It is really great to compare the two models. Anyway, about a month ago, they discovered defects in the 'landing' that connects the visitor boats to the memorial; and that has stopped visitors from actually being able to go onto the memorial itself. Original predictions were that it could be repaired fairly quickly, but they are now saying it will probably be at least another two months. That should NOT stop you from going to the visitor's center, (and you are still able to ride the boat out to the memorial; you just can't go onto it right now). The gift shop does sell United States flags that have been flown over the memorial, and I know that - in the past - you could make special arrangements to have (a Veteran's flag, for instance), flown over it and documented as such. I don't know if they still are doing that, but I can go check if anyone is interested. -Mike
  6. I like the Impact T66 tracks, and used them on my Sherman as well. They also sell the sprockets separately, which is about the only way to get solid sprockets. Before you decide to buy a set of their tracks with rubber faces (for traction inside the house, I think you said), be aware that the tracks they sell are made for the M26 Pershing, which has a more-narrow center guide tooth than the Sherman track does. They do sell the same set (with fewer links) for the Sherman, but it runs sloppy between the roadwheels, and doesn't look quite right, either. It will fit the Sherman's sprockets, though. I tried to ask them about making up some sets for the Sherman by combining the Sherman center guide tooth with the rest of the Pershing track parts, but they weren't interested. -Mike
  7. I fell in love with this aircraft when I first found out about it - maybe 10 years ago. My goal is to build it in 1/18 scale, and I have NOT made a lot of progress on it so far! Ebay has a 1/72 conversion kit, and there is also a set of Peddinhaus decals in 1/72. I wrote to him and asked if he could enlarge the squadron symbol up to 1/18 scale (figuring that it would be the most difficult for me to find or paint). To my happy surprise, he was willing to enlarge the whole sheet to 1/18! (Cost a bit more than I wanted to spend, but now I have a complete set of correct markings). I've tried to make a link to the 1/72 set, but this site won't let me; so I guess you have to look it up on your own - search Ju 87 C. -Mike
  8. Meng has a whole series of sheets of nut & bolt heads for around $6 to $10, (some are just the flat bolt head, and some have a bit of the threads protruding). They are all supposed to be 1/35 scale, but three of their sets are designated as "large" and work well for 1/16 scale.
  9. I don't normally contribute, but the irony of this incident is just too coincidental to what happened to me NOT to. It was around 1969 and I was about 15 years old and living on Bolling Air Force Base in Washington DC. A family friend was a member of a local flying club, and spent some weekends out flying for the day in the Virginia area; trying to build up his hours towards getting an instructor's license. My mother knew his wife pretty well, and she asked if I would like to go out flying with him on a Saturday. (And at 15, I absolutely jumped at the chance)! We went to the airfield and he let me follow him around as he did the preflight. It was a white and green Cessna 172, and had the registration number of N4666, (or maybe there were four 6's - I just remember he identified the aircraft on the radio as "N - Triple Six" and thought that was pretty cool). Total flight time was around 7 hours, and we stopped at one airport for lunch and then another one about a half-hour away from the home airport, so that he could refuel before turning in the aircraft. Right after we took off from that last airport, he told me that the direction-finder (is that the IFR?) had stopped working, and that we would have to find the airport visually. I guess he knew the general direction we had to go, and he said it was next to a lake, so we'd just have to fly around and compare the lakes we could see to what was shown on the aeronautical map we had. The weather was great that day, so it shouldn't be too hard, right? We'd probably only been flying for 10 minutes or so, and were at 3,500 feet; when the engine sputtered and stopped. He didn't panic at all - just started gliding down in a big spiral towards a plowed-up field he had spotted. I remember him asking me if the field below us looked like it had a fence that was very high. I didn't think so and told him that, but when we landed it turned out that I hadn't even been looking at the right field! I was amazed at how smooth the landing was; considering that the field had been recently plowed up. He checked the fuel tanks in the wing, and said they were completely dry! He guessed that when we'd filled up just a few minutes earlier, the guy who fuels it didn't screw on the cap very well; and that it (they?) had vibrated loose and the fuel was all just sucked out. He walked up to the farm and came back in the farmer's pickup with a 5-gallon can of gasoline, (which he said wasn't aviation fuel but would still work). He fueled the plane, and we turned around and taxied to the gravel road coming in from the split two-lane highway. We waited for the traffic coming from the left side to pass, and then taxied in the center gravel area between the two paved sides. We waited for that traffic to go by, and then it was clear enough to taxi onto the paved two-lane road. I remember people from the farm across the other side of the highway lined up on the fence watching us, and thinking that I had to try and look as cool and relaxed as he did. We started accelerating (and getting a lot closer to those cars that had gone by) and he started to lift off the ground. And - there was a phone line going right across the road, so he put it right back down; and we were REALLY getting close to that last car! Well, right in front of us was a set of high tension line towers that stretched across the road, with one of the towers in the grassy median in between the roads. I figured he would fly under it, but maybe there wasn't enough room for the wing to clear; because he puled it up so hard that I was pressed down into the seat a lot. I saw the wires go by under the wheel pant that was right outside my window SO CLOSE that I couldn't believe we hadn't hit them. He had compared our map with whatever the farmer had, (or maybe the farmer just knew what direction and how far the airport was), and we got there within just a few minutes. We landed and he fueled it up, and turned it in with the notation that the direction finder wasn't working. He made me promise not to say anything about it, and I never did. I figured that it would maybe screw up his getting his instructor's license, but I KNEW that if my mother found out about it, she'd never let me go with him again! Turns out that I never did, but not because I wouldnt have wanted to. About 10 years later, I bought a Nichimo 1/20 scale Cessna 172 kit, and always figured I'd build it to match that airplane. Still haven't done that, but the whole thing was such a unique experience (and also to have survived it) that I really should. Anyway, thank you for allowing me to share this with you, and sorry for being so long-winded about it. I just thought the coincidence was cool. -Mike
  10. Verlinden used to have a 1/15 (120mm) kit no. 973 of a British S.A.S Jeep, (this was the conversion kit to their resin jeep kit). The parts fit very well with the Danbury metal Jeep, but you'll have to source figures for it. The kit hasn't been out for awhile, but they still come up for reasonable money, if you're patient. -Mike
  11. I really appreciate your pictures (especially the reference photos) as they clearly show what needed to be worked on. I am hoping to one day build this in the larger Tamiya 1/14 scale, and believe me; your build is the best I have seen so far of this truck in ANY scale! Thank you. -Mike
  12. Excellent that you could spark her interest in this, Paul. I never could seem to manage it with my own kids, but have a grandson I'm going to try again with. You know, I have a friend who had a hobby shop who believes that when WE all pass on, there won't be anyone left to take our place building models. From what he has experienced, most younger people are willing to buy already-built-and-painted models, and "don't have time" to build it themselves. Lagging sales (due both to that and people buying off the internet) caused him to shut down last year. I'm really happy to see you involving her in the hobby! -Mike
  13. Paul, if you blue the tracks with Birchwood Casey, just make sure to get the solution for aluminum, as the one for steel won't work. Another option is to soak the tracks in white vinegar for two hours, and then rinse, (I run them through a solution of baking soda in water - which stops any further chemical reaction - and then straight tap water to rinse them). Your Panther is looking great!
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