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Madmax

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Madmax last won the day on March 17

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About Madmax

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    South Africa

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  1. When I joined my first airline many years ago, the old captains loved to say that the reading of Ernest K. Gann's "Fate is the Hunter" should be compulsory for new crew, so they could understand how airlines work. It struck me that maybe the same could be said if you want to build a model of a Zero, that this book should be compulsory... I have only just completed reading it, and it is a real eye opener. I knew about the Saburo Sakai story for many years though, because when I was growing up, Keith Ferris' book was one of my greatest sources of inspiration (I have owned this copy for a very long time). Keith did the cover painting for "Samurai!" and on reading his notes for the painting, I realised how important the underlying structure is in determining the way an aircraft looks. https://keithferrisart.com/product/wounded-samurai-original-painting-by-keith-ferris/ I hope to be able to show some of the unique surface detail of the Zero's aluminium skin on this model. It is interesting to note that Keith painted the aircraft in a very pale grey, as was the norm at the time. I get the impression that an awful lot of research has gone into understanding the grey paint of the early Zero's, and why it has come to be interpreted in so many different ways. There is a wealth of information on the internet and in some new publications that I would like to explore during this build. Here are some lovely books that I found by pure chance at a hobby shop in Johannesburg recently - heaven knows how they ended up in South Africa! This blurry photograph is what I have decided to be first prize for my theme: a grey land based A6M2, Nakajima built, with the white surround to the fuselage Hinomaru, and a Houkoku Gou. Tall order it would seem so far, but maybe? I made a start on the engine since it looked so tempting... only to discover however, that this is going to be a little more complicated than I imagined. Ryan Toews recently completed a tweak list for this kit https://www.largescaleplanes.com/articles/article.php?aid=3339 , and I have printed it out to keep as a handy reference. It is lengthy - so there is clearly quite a lot to learn. Ryan points out the colours on the engine from a captured Sakae 12 metallurgical report. Maybe it was this engine? This should be fun. Sean
  2. Well done Nick - you really have captured that colour scheme perfectly! Top notch model building.
  3. It's the MiniArt kit John - the surface detail is fantastic. Hopefully the armour approach to surface rendering will filter into the aircraft world one day!
  4. Thanks very much to one and all for your very kind comments and interest in this build! crobinson, my next build will be an A6M2 Zero. I am busy researching it at the moment and it is a whole new world of discovery for me! John, since you asked, one more of the T-55...
  5. Thanks Gents! There are some more photo's over on RFI should you be interested...
  6. It is hard to chose between your F-16's Marcel! The D did turn out really well though... Now that you have achieved Falcon master status, it is going to be good to see the Tomcat happen!
  7. You have outwitted, outplayed and outlasted other models Brian - this one will yield too!
  8. Herewith, as promised on WIP, some more photographs of my Angolan Mi-24. Should you be interested in the build here is the link: And just to spice it up a bit, a companion from Angola - this is a MiniArt T-55.
  9. Wonderful build Mike! You really have a feel for the materials in use during WWI.
  10. Thanks very much Lothar, Gerhard, Brian, Karl, Mel and Torben! David, I trust that Nick and Greg have more than amply answered your question. Its hard to hold back on genuine enthusiasm! John, the SAAF also thought that night flying wasn't one of the Soviet strong points, but new evidence suggests otherwise. In 1985 I think it was done on instruments and mark one eyeball. Yefim Gordon suggests that the NVG development in Mi-24's was only completed in late 2000. Greg, Nick is actually our operational Puma pioneer, and it is going to be great! A Hunter will happen one day when my stash actually starts to diminish . There is a darn Facebook "model sellers" thing doing the rounds over here, and like a true addict I have been befriended by a dealer. "My friend" he said, "do you need a Hip?" I'm not even on Facebook, but the Mi-17 is on its way! Nick, you know too much... An interesting aside - the 1:32 Puma Nick is working on has raised rivets. I understand that sanding fuselage and other joins really plays havoc with these, but man does it ever improve the surface of the model. I would have loved raised detail on the Hind, and maybe our defunct postal service will eventually deliver my positive rivets in time for the Mi-17 build. Gerhard, one day someone will realise just how pretty the Alouette III really is, and make us a decent kit... Not holding my breath however. My next model, Greg, is actually an A6M2. I'm keen to see what IJN colour wars are like. Sean
  11. The Hind is complete. I have thoroughly enjoyed building this kit. It is worth putting in a bit of extra effort to bring the detail to life, and the limited aftermarket additions I added were certainly worth the investment. I'll point these out in a bit of a "walkaround". The overall stance and shape of the Mi-24 is very well captured by Trumpeter. In retrospect, I should possibly have lowered the nose-wheel oleo a bit. You might want to consider it for your own builds. Tricky to capture in a photo of the model, but the offset canopy is there, and the fuselage lists to starboard on the ground. Look at the height of the missile rails relative to the horizon. The corrected panels in the exhaust area enhance the accuracy, and are key to the weathering. Added detail on the rotor-head really stands out. The Swatter launchers are worth upgrading, as are the details inside the passenger doors. Detail on the antennas and aerial wiring help round it off. You could add more here, mine is quite simplified. The tailplane support in the kit is a bit flimsy, so I eventually drilled it out and put a rod through the boom. The tail rotor benefits from fine detail like the different colours of the triangles on the blades and their associated hubs. The sun bleached look on top of the model places it in its African context. The Linden Hill decals, Reskit wheels and Master machine gun/DUAS probes are a must have in my opinion. And finally the cockpit - it is very visible, and any detail one decides to add will not be wasted. The Eduard IP's are well worth it for their crisp detail. I hope you have enjoyed as much as I have. Some different photo's will go into the RFI section shortly. Cheers, Sean
  12. Hi John, The gun camera footage can be seen in "The South African Air Force at War" (Bouwer/Louw). It is interesting to see the response to the story of the helicopters being shot down. Even though we like the aircraft and celebrate their shapes and colours by modelling them, I believe that very few fellow model builders romanticise the conflicts their subjects were involved in. The war in Angola was a protracted and often brutal conflict that has had a major impact on the people affected by it. Luckily through my involvement in Lionel and Eduardo's book, I have gained some insight into the view from the Angolan, Cuban and even Soviet perspective. You are quite right to empathise with the chopper crews. They were flying at 3000' because the navigation in that part of the world is tricky, and nobody expected the Impala's to be used in this role. There were survivors, and hopefully we will get to hear their story one day. In case you were wondering about the Soviet advisors, they weren't in these choppers. There were Soviet pilots on hand, who extracted their advisors from the battle front, at night! The advanced night capability of the Soviet and Cuban pilots is still a surprise for many South African's who were there. If I ever build a large scale C-130, I will tell a story that is sure to make you hair stand on end.
  13. Hi Nick, Just got called out again!!! Popped in to edit my story - thanks for the response! Sean
  14. Thanks very much Lothar, Gaz and John! Nick, I got called out again and couldn't finish with the history I intended to include. Darn Standby's! Here is the story from where I left off on page 5... When our wingman recovered from the shock of dragging his tip tank through the bullrushes, he immediately got down to the business at hand. He positioned himself behind the rearmost Mi-24 and began his pitch up to about 3000' where the choppers were. The Impala's energy was bleeding off fast as he got into firing parameters, with the stadiametric ranging set to the Hind's rotorspan and looking for an opening range of about 400m. He opened fire while still looking up at the chopper, and nothing happened. Just as he began to think he had missed, the helicopter exploded in a fireball (the only one to do so), which explained why some thought that it had been hit by a surface-to-air missile. The helicopter nosed down about 15 degrees trailing thick black smoke until it crashed into the ground. The Impala pulled over the top of the helicopter and started to descend, but instead of speeding up, it kept slowing down - the engine had flamed out! The two 30mm cannons are in front of the air intakes, and a faulty fuel dipper system had caused the compact Rolls Royce Viper engine to flame-out. The quick-relight worked instantly and our wingman scanned for his leader who was pulling up behind the second Mi-24, got above it briefly and then firing downward at the machine, chopped off its tail boom. The helicopter snaked its way into the Lomba floodplain. At this stage the two Mi-17's turned toward the north and our wingman quickly positioned behind the closest one closing in from his 5 o'clock and firing a burst that appeared to hit the Hip in the gearbox. The helicopter rolled over to the right until it was inverted, and stayed that way until it impacted the ground. Now the Impala flamed out again, but the pilot was ready with an immediate relight. The leader of this pair was aware that there were MiG's in the area and decided to disengage and head for home. The other Impala's had heard the communication around the shoot downs, and started heading towards the columns of smoke. The Westernmost pair got there first, sandwiching the remaining Mi-17 between them as they went past. This chopper crew were trying to get onto the ground as fast as possible, and one could see the high coning angle of the rotor as they hit the ground, and cut off their own tail boom. The Impala's pitched into a ground attack profile, and the leader hit them with a burst of 30mm cannon rounds. With their task accomplished the Impala's now all started to head back to Rundu, very aware of the MiG presence. In fact most of the SAAF pilots saw the MiG's at a point in the unfolding of events, and the Northernmost pair had the longest moment of contemplation as it appeared that the Floggers had seen them and were turning to engage. This leader realised soon enough that the MiG pilots were looking elsewhere, whilst his wingman called that he had the Mirage F-1's in sight. The confusion of war! We know from Eduardo that the MiG's hadn't seen the diminutive Impala's at all that day. The SAAF had benefited from good camouflage, low level flying, the haze of combat and a measure of good luck. Lionel has titled the chapter dealing with the events I have briefly touched on here "The Humble Assassin", which I find very apt.
  15. Thanks Kev and Brian! Marcel, I am very fortunate indeed, and Nick has (jokingly I think) spoken about a CNC machine more than once now - can you imagine... Here is a little update on the process I have been using to get a weathered finish. Please feel free to comment about the process as I'm sure there are better ways of getting to the end product. Firstly, I dabbed masking fluid onto the upper surfaces with a torn sponge. I then spray a very diluted mixture of white, desert yellow and bit of clear as a "binding agent". This is to create some texture that looks like sun/rain damage. Since the gloss from the decal layer is still mostly in place, I now do panel line washes as it is still easy to wipe away the excess. Then a layer of matt of your own preference. Must be acrylic if you want to do the next two steps... After applying a layer of mig's odourless enamel thinner on manageable panel areas at a time, I painted on "rainmarks streaking effect" and worked it onto the surface as per Miguel's tutorial video's. Then finally, a bit of oil paint streaking and grime according to taste. I tend to under-do this and will possibly still add some more later. After spraying micro flat on the rotors, I found that the hubs became too dull. In an experiment, I rubbed some of the mig Gun Metal pigment onto the hub with an earbud, and then gave it a bit of a polish. Much better in my opinion, and I then used it on all sorts of bits that need a shine. Useful stuff! Now for the final assembly and exhaust staining...
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