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  1. Hey, Woody Sorry for the lag, just saw your original post, here's a video I saw a few years ago by a very talented Italian modeler/painter called Marco Frisoni (his work is mostly figures and Warhammer stuff, but the techniques carry over to our preferred subjects) where he says his secret to shaping and smoothing Milliput is... *Drumroll, please* ...isopropyl alcohol! Here's a video where Marco shows his technique, he even uses the IPA as a thinner, creating different levels of viscosity/thickness and giving you infinite flexibility in applying Milliput to your model. Pretty neat stuff, hope that helps! Cheers, - Thomaz
  2. That's a very solid bit of reasoning, Chris, and most probably explains why I couldn't find a single Dora tipped up on its nose like those Antons in my files. Also, I "dig" your suggestion on how to solve OP's conundrum, the resulting dio would be a great bit of storytelling to boot. Anyhow, here's some interesting wrecked Doras I did find. This first photo was taken post-war, I believe in 1946-47, crazy to see that even the weak Northern European sun was strong enough to degrade the paint so thoroughly, not very light fast stuff was it? This last bird deserves two shots just for its absolutely wild late war scheme, if indeed one may call something so schizophrenic an actual scheme. I'd love to see @Thunnustackle this Dora with his next level paint skills. Nudge, nudge, wink wink Good luck with your project, @Aviacom! - Thomaz
  3. Took a quick gander at my files, these are Antons, not Doras, but tipped over 190's were definitely a "thing". Sounds like a cool project, hope these pics help inspire you! - Thomaz
  4. My condolences, John, at least you got to say goodbye properly and I'm sure that made a world of difference to him. As always, stellar job, your paintwork in particular is very inspiring. Sorry for your loss, - Thomaz
  5. Hey Bill, not entirely sure I understood your query but here's another look at Gabby's plane from behind. Can't recall at the moment if Gabby used the same P-47 throughout this period of the war, so it might not be your specific bird as this one still had the wraparound invasion stripes, but in any case the photo shows the VHF antenna in a dark colored paint (hard to tell which color though as the antenna seems much darker than the nearby green on the fuselage) with a spritz of white overspray at its base from the invasion stripe. Let's zoom in, also note that Gabby had an internal rearview mirror attached to the center of the windscreen: Here's Gabby's plane after he was shot down, as you can see it is sans invasion stripes like your model and no hint of white overspray at the base of the antenna, so possibly a different kite? Or if not, then the ground crew definitely retouched the overspray at the base of the antenna when they painted out the invasion stripes. Also, note the NMF patch just above the serial number on the vertical stab (looks like a masking mishap to me) and the yellow stencil overspray around the serial numbers. Hopefully these pics help you sort out your current conundrum, - Thomaz
  6. Hi, Bill So the inner gear door actuator arm was indeed silver, with the small ball pin (don't know the technical term for it?) that attaches to the front of the gear door in YZC, as can be seen in many, many period photos, both color and B/W. Here's a few to corroborate: Hope that helps! - Thomaz
  7. Hard to spot the difference! Just absolutely effin' GLORIOUS, Jay! - Thomaz
  8. Hey, Tim Personally I really dig the late-war dark green 109's with NMF wing bottoms, like these guys: Or Grün 7 below, with the replacement cowling in 76/75/82 (?) to break up all that green. Not sure if those options work for you as they're labeled as G-10's, but that scheme just looks menacing and purposeful to me. Here's a period photo of the late-war dark green with NMF undersides scheme: Here's an example of that late-war randomness you seek in all its haggard glory, pretty tough to hazard a guess at what the colors truly are, though... And a couple more of Schwarz 12 in period color, think this one might also be a G-10 but it illustrates well how graded and splotchy the late-war schemes were, it's still hard to make out where one color ends and another begins even with the benefit of color film. There's always the all-black nightfighter option, too! This one might be a little earlier in the war but it shows how increasingly heterogeneous schemes became over time, even within the same Geschwader: Voilà, looking forward to seeing which scheme you choose in your WIP! Cheers, - Thomaz
  9. Hey, fellas Looks like I've opened that old can of worms, eh? So here's my reasoning behind red surrounds on Hedrick's bird. First off, here's that same photo Jay posted in higher resolution where you can actually make out the red surrounds on the stars-and-bars as VF-17's Corsairs crossed the Panama Canal in September 1943, right when the T.O. dictating the end of red-trimmed insignia supposedly came into effect. I can just make out the red on pretty much all the planes, and Tommy Blackburn himself insisted later in life that their planes had red trim in their first deployment to the Pacific, so I'd say red surrounds on the original birds are a definite yes. Next up, there's this old classic. Taken in March 1944, this formation of VF-17 F4U's shows Kepford in his replacement kite with the by-then mandated factory applied blue surrounds (also numbered 29, after he crashed the original 29), alongside older Corsairs like Big Jim Streig in the number 3 plane, which clearly still had the red surrounds on its stars-and-bars. That means at least some of the original VF-17 Corsairs still had their red surrounds well beyond the summer/early fall of 1943, possibly all the way until the end of Fighting 17's first tour, which ended in spring 1944, so it matches with your build's timeline. That being said, if Hedrick never changed out his original airframe for a replacement over the course of his deployment as Jay explained, it is very much in the realm of possibility that the surrounds on his plane's insignia were indeed red. I made my call based on how similar the hinomaru red of the victory markings looks to the color of the insignia surrounds in those photos of Hedrick in the cockpit. I have never, however, seen any photos of number 17 showing the plane in full so please take everything I say with a large helping of salt. It is also very much possible that Hedrick's plane had the surrounds of its insignia overpainted blue, so ultimately it's your call, Jay. Re: painted spinner hubs, you can also see in the formation photo above that Kepford's 29 had a painted hub whereas Hal Jackson in the 8 plane did not. Jim Streig in 3 and Wilbert Popp in 28 also had painted hubs. To further corroborate, here's Captain Blackburn with "Big Hog" and its red painted spinner, or at least that's what some claim. It could easily be black, or even blue, but one thing is for certain -- some VF-17 Corsairs had painted spinners whilst others did not. And finally, here's a gratuitous shot of another super grungy fuel tank area for further inspiration. Voilà, can't wait for the next installment, Jay! Cheers, - Thomaz
  10. Oh, and I think Tamiya tape -the regular old yellow "washi" kind- is the best way to go about this in 1/18 scale, as the tape has some texture (which the white vinyl version doesn't) and the thickness seems just about right for that scale.
  11. For what it's worth, Hedrick's plane did have tape over the fuel tank panel lines. That whole area on Number 17 was kind of a hot mess, with fuel stains and spills galore plus the tape, which has clearly been reapplied several times and whose sticky residue has been retouched with both blue and white paint at some point. Note how one of the victory markings overlaps the retouched white paint. Here's another look with ol' Rog sitting in the office proper. Starboard side got extra grody from the pilots rubbing against the fuselage to enter/exit the cockpit, also of note on this bird are the white stencil oversprays around the 17 as well as the tiny bit of white overspray on the red surround of the star-and-bars. Like @Oldbaldguy said, whatever it was, the tape probably didn't last long in such harsh conditions and got constantly reapplied. It also left behind some residue or maybe even lifted up the paint so that the whole area got touched up frequently, as can be seen in these photos and many more. As for treaded tires on VF-17 F4U-1A's, here's a photo on Bougainville in February '44 that clearly shows treads on the machine in the foreground, so you're all set. Voilà, can't wait for the next steps, Jay! Cheers, - Thomaz
  12. Bravo, awesome solution, and totally looks the part! It's these little details that make all the difference, good on ya, Bill
  13. Keen eye, John, as always. There was indeed a canvas boot for the P-51's main wheel well that very few people know about. It was almost exclusively used on PTO Mustangs, especially the VLR birds based on the coral airstrips of Iwo Jima. I've never managed to find a clear photo of the liner in place, but there are plenty where you can spot them if you look close enough. Here you can see the canvas boot snapped into place on the main spar but still loose on the gear strut itself. Here's a few more close-ups of Iwo Ponies: And here is the factory drawing that shows what the boots actually looked like, shame about the huge and poorly placed PB watermark: A little-known detail that I don't think I've ever seen properly represented on a VLR Mustang model, alas. Of note while on the subject of landing gear boots, pretty much every operational P-51 during WWII had the canvas boot installed on the tail wheel, regardless of theater so make sure to include that detail in all your Mustang builds, fellas. Cheers, - Thomaz
  14. Hey, fellas Here's some pics of VLR Mustangs being serviced on Iwo Jima with more views of the plywood sway braces, after blowing these up I'd agree that they're painted with some sort of pale color, gray or green or even khaki, put there's even some stencils on there along with some metal brackets and stays, so whilst ad hoc still definitely a piece of official military hardware. This first one also shows the plumbing and how filthy the undersides got. Here's a close-up on the sway brace, scratches, stains and even a couple of stencils but no plywood grain. Also interesting to note the data plate on the outer edge of the flap. Hope those help! - Thomaz
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