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Everything posted by Oldbaldguy

  1. Back to the topic at hand: Recreating rifling. I know nothing at all about tanks other than they look like they'd be a bit dodgy around the boat. Having said that, from what I can see in the photos, the rifling looks pretty fine. If your current attempt crumps or looks out of scale, you might consider scribing multiple grooves in an appropriately thin piece of sheet goods with a straight edge and the back of a blade (for width) or maybe a scribing tool, rather than trying to glue tiny strips to some sheet stock. Seems to me this approach would give better scale effect in the end and the flexibility needed to make it better fit the barrel. Also wondered if you'd need to ream the barrel a bit to make room for the new material?
  2. Anyone besides me remember Sue Parrish's glorious pink and light blue P-40 from back in the day? Much was made of its pink paint job and some of the warbird know-it-alls liked to argue about whether the scheme was accurate or not, but she never claimed it was authentic. She just liked pink. And it was shiny. I liked it; better than OD or beige or whatever. Just sayin'.....
  3. Just when I thought I'd seen everything. Obviously Republic promo/concept art like you said. Wonder why they dropped this version instead of the one with two separate canopies. I'd guess that the separate canopies were easier and more cost effective to build, seal, maintain etc, than a single canoe-sized transparency. Nicely executed illustration. Looks like a water color.
  4. Just read through this whole thread while ignoring the spousal unit to my own detriment and feel compelled to point out a couple of things from the perspective of an old -- and I mean old -- photo analyst/processor. Namely, there is a reason why the forward fuselage looks weirdly dark in the photos. Remember that the Dr1 is a triplane, so shadows from overhead are cast by two wings, not one. Add to that the sort of tetrahedran-shaped fairing that runs from the cowling aft along the otherwise flat-sided fuselage and you get a good recipe for a headache. I'd bet a lot that the cowling and wheel covers are the same color, but you get to decide what it is 'cause I have no idea. I'd also bet that the streaky vertical brush strokes go all the way along the fuselage to the cowling and that the dark part of the forward fuselage you are having trouble with in some of the photos is the result of shadows cast by the middle and top wings, not paint. I know it looks sort of airbrushed in that one photo, but the airplane is running and therefor vibrating a bit and you have no way of knowing what the shutter speed was, so..... Also, you've done a great job simulating wood grain on your parts, but wood props have that stripey effect because they are made up of multiple thin laminations, often of different species, for strength and are are not carved from one big grainy hunk of a tree. The blanks that make up a prop are each cut from a precise pattern and are stacked in a symetrical and staggered fashion so that the grain/colors you see on one finished blade is mirrored in the other blade. In other words, both blades should look pretty much the same. This is done not only for strength but also because the prop has to balance perfectly -- an out of balance prop will buzz your teeth out of your head at a minimum and literally can shake an airplane apart at worst. Can't imagine Fokker using wonky props with asymetrical laminations, but I've been wrong before (see ref to spousal unit above). So, that's all I have to say about that because it is the sum total of what I know about Dr1s. If I could figure out how to put a tailhook on one, I might build it. Otherwise, I'll leave you to it.
  5. Well, that's embarrassing. Of course it was a Douglas product -- I had a print of one of RG Smith's paintings of it on my wall for decades. Old fart brain fart. I am suitably chastised and will retire muttering to myself.
  6. Much has been said about how the top of the fuselage of this model is too rounded. As I sit here looking at my 1/48 PBJ, I wonder how closely the shape of the fuselage center section of the Invader mirrors the shape of the B-25 center section? Both are products of North American Aviation after all and, to me, they are more similar than not. If it's pretty close, especially along the top, then that may open an avenue for some creative type to come up with an easy/easier correction to the Invader kit, assuming the extant 1/32 B-25 kit is at all accurate.
  7. I can remember as a lad hearing the North American tech rep who lived across the street chortle about how the A-3 was a dull and ponderous dinosaur bound for inevitable extinction compared to the Vigilante which was at the time the last word in sleek and cool. As unworldly as I was then, I still had doubts because, even after squadrons converted from A-3s to A-5s, the suddenly redundant Whales didn't disappear, they just moved a little farther down the ramp and I would see them flying every day. In the end, the Viggie had two jobs, only one of which it actually did. But the Whale was another matter altogether. I'm not sure I can count up on the fingers of both hands all the various missions it did with minimum fuss and bother, some long after the Viggies were either sitting on a stick or were left to return to the earth. This most ambitious model is a perfect example. It's an ERA-3B; that's half the English alphabet's worth of missions added to an airplane that started out as a humble A. So much for sleek and cool.
  8. Early allied Mustang operating from forward bases in combat, correct? Absent any definitive explanation, seems to me most likely that the goo on the wings is a local attempt at an anti-ablative coating applied to keep rocks and boulders picked up by that big prop during ground ops and take off from beating the crap out of the aluminum skin of leading edge of the wing and horizontal stab. Note that it goes from the wing root out to the landing gear where it appears to stop. This area is exposed to constant prop blast and is the least aerodynamically sensitive part of the wing in most cases. The rest of the leading edge is likely not coated with this stuff because, if it were, it would be like trying to fly with a load of ice all the time; no sane pilot would do that. Whatever the reason for it, it looks pretty permanent and was painted to match the airplane.
  9. Clear. Only Navy jet I can think of with tinted canopies was the EA-6B. Of course, there are exceptions to every rule, especially in the Navy, but it is safe to say that Bugs' clear parts are clear.
  10. Looking at the first Skyraider photo in this thread whilst enjoying my morning coffee, I noticed some interesting little factoids: The nearest airplane has bolt-on armor plate and a black anti-glare panel, likely making it an AD-4NA. More significantly, there is no metal canopy bow at the front of the canopy - just a simple joggle in the plexiglass - meaning all of us in our thousands who have ever built a Skyraider kit and painted that part of the canopy GSB, light gull gray or OD have been wrong. Seems like I knew this but always painted it anyway; no idea why. There are a staggering number of mission zaps on the next closest airplane and one of the airplanes with folded wings in the background has assymetrical markings on its vertical stab. Just goes to show, there's always something.
  11. This might or might not be a good time to point out that, although ERA-3s may never have flown from carriers, they were still tactical airplanes and, unless you know something I don't, held to the Navy policy of aircrew parachutes remaining in the airplane and not shuttled back and forth between flights. You might want to check on that because it appears the seats you've printed have cushions rather than parachute packs in the seat backs.
  12. Seems like I always arrive late to these parties.... As far as traditional aircraft instruments go, 99% mount either to the front of the panel or to the rear of the panel, depending on their function, accessories, manufacture, available room, etc. The faces of instruments mounted from the rear are usually flush or nearly flush with the panel. If your 17 year old mechanic were to paint the entire case of a rear mounted instrument, you would see color only on the bezel and it would look all neat and tidy. Of course, it he painted the case of a front mounted instrument, you see the whole thing in living color, warts and all. In the case of the Mosquito panel photo above, the blue gauges are indeed most likely coolant temp gauges -- blue=water -- one per liquid-cooled engine. The four yellow gauges almost certainly have to do with oil -- Yellow=oil in most cases -- and are oil pressure and oil temp gauges, one pair per side. It's hard to tell from the photo exactly what the red gauges are for. I'd guess something to do with fuel, such as fuel mixture, fuel pressure or fuel flow per engine, but I could be wrong. The mixture controls on all my airplanes were always red, throttles were black and prop controls were blue, but we're talking about 75 year old SOP in the case of a Mosquito and it was Brit logic to boot, so..... I also should point out that I've seen photos of Brit radio gear from the same era with red, yellow and green markings on their fronts and I'm pretty sure none had coolant, oil or gas pumping through them, which means I could be completely wrong.
  13. A-26 afficianados would do well to go to Ebay Motors Aircraft and check out item #1435844211305. It's a gun-nosed A-26 project that is pretty unmolested from the day it left service with the Air National Guard. The listing includes a number of pretty decent photos of the fuselage, components and parts, including shots of the interior showing accurate colors, placards and such. This airplane is a rare unrestored project that has been pretty much untouched for years, so what you see is a time capsule from the days it was an operational bomber. Well worth a look. Don't know if you can download the photos or not. Two other good sources for detail photos of restored warbirds and warbird projects - some of which are pretty rare -- are Courtesy Aircraft and Platinum Fighters. I recommend their sites highly for detailed walk-around type photos of both flying aircraft and restoration projects. Bear in mind, however, that, unlike the A-26 on Ebay, the flying aircraft on these two sites have been through a number of owners and have been "restored" at least once, so any claims of historical accuracy should be taken with a grain of salt.
  14. You know, if you ignore the long scoop on top, the cowlings in this kit look a lot like the ones on the recent B-26K Counter Invader restoration but only sort of like all the other B-26 cowls. So ya gotta wonder if.....
  15. Looks like the fire melted the back of the radome into a big blob. Good shot of the cockpit and panel. Amazing what the kids from this era did every day and acted like it was business as usual. No sims or reset buttons allowed.
  16. The Collings bombers on tour? I understand the need to generate paying pax to keep these airplanes flying but, having been a skydiver back in my college days, I can tell you that I'd never let one anywhere near any of my airplanes.
  17. This is another one of those "How'd the hell did he do that??" moments.
  18. North American Aviation tried desperately to sell their Vigilante to the RAAF as a Canberra replacement. It had range, payload, sophistication, mission flexibility and was originally designed to be an interdiction bomber, just like the Vaark. It also had a whopping big price per airplane and may not have been quite as good down low, even though it had that capability. I never did hear for sure why GD won the contract -- not sure the Viggie was any more complex or more of a maintenance hog -- but I suspect politics played a big role in the decision.
  19. Wait, what? You're back in the hobby and you did this with a brush???? I can't build or paint like this and I never left!!
  20. Sorry to come in so late on this but.... The whole panel line argument is the same as trying to talk dispassionately about who should be president or whether Normal Rockwell was a better painter than Picasso -- there is no real right answer; everything boils down to your personal point of view. Just because construction drawings or three-views show panel lines doesn't mean you can actually see them on the real thing. As for photos, cameras record reflected light, which changes by the minute and is reliable only for that instant in time. Just because you can see some obscure detail in a close-up photo doesn't mean you should be able to see it on a 1/32 model no matter how close to your eye you hold it because you can never recreate the same visual perspective -- there is not such thing as a 1/32 human eyeball. In the scales most of us build, prominent panel lines and fasteners are pure fiction. If you don't believe me, try this simple test if you are brave enough: If you have a model of an airplane that is currently at an airport, display or museum, take it there and hold it out at arm's length then walk back until your super realistic model and the real airplane are the same relative size, then see for yourself how many of the panel lines and other "details" you spent hours sweating over are actually visible on the real thing. You'll be surprised. Personally, I don't care one way or another about panel lines and rivets as long as when I see your model I can say to myself, "How the hell did he do that??" It's that Picasso/Rockwell thing.
  21. I have a low opinion of the many one- or two-airplane "flying museums" out there these days because so many are always short of money and often operate literally on a wing and a prayer. There is one at my airport and I had an opportunity to get checked out in one of their airplanes because they needed ferry pilots to take it to airshows and such -- my time, their gas, etc. But it was easy to decline this choice gig after nosing around their hangar a bit. The things I saw while rummaging through their "spares" and while watching their volunteer maintainers bang away on their airplanes made me run the other way and never look back. But I always thought the Collings Foundation was well funded and well managed because their airplanes always looked great whenever I saw them. Seems to me their bean counters would have to be aware of the enormous liability issues associated with selling rides in these old maintenance hogs and would have kept them focused on dotting I's and crossing T's, so you gotta wonder if maybe this was a 909 specific thing perpetrated by a tired, maybe complacent and aging flight crew who were used to making do to keep their airplane in the air when far from home. I think the aircraft commander for 909 was highest time B-17 pilot on the planet; he was 75. While touring FiFi not long ago, I had the chance to talk to the A/C and was surprised to learn that he was 74. I'm sure both these guys had seen everything there is to see while on tour. Now, I'm not dumping on old farts because I am one, but decades of experience and a high level of familiarity with a specific airplane can breed complacency to the point that you might one day ask it to do the impossible because it has never let you down before. Whatever the reason, I think the Collings Foundation is toast and that we're soon going to see their entire collection on the auction block. Too bad, because it didn't have to be that way.
  22. While drifting off to sleep last night I was noodling over some things I don't know. I know, for example, that the Navy's A-3 Skywarrior had a hatch and passage way between the cockpit and the bomb bay so that the bombadier/navigator could access the nuclear weapon and arm/disarm it in flight per nuke protocols at the time, but I don't know if there were lights in the bomb bay to aid him in doing this. I can't imagine trying to arm a nuke by feel in the dark or maybe with just a flashlight. Then I wondered if this was a Navy/Douglas thing or if some of the other early bombers in the Navy and Air Force had the same provision. Was it the same in North American's AJ Savage or the B-50 or maybe the B-45 or B-47 or any of the big Brit bombers of that era? Crawling around in the cramped innards of a warplane in flight in order to open a panel on a live nuclear device to enter some sort of secret code or turn a gizmo to wake it up seems very Hollywoodish to me, but the rules of engagement were different back then. And no, I've never bothered to notice if there are lights in the bomb bays I've seen the insides of, mainly because it never occurred to me. So, well-lit bomb bays: does anyone know for certain, have ideas, been there/done that?
  23. My dad stayed in the Navy after WW2 and was assigned for a couple of years to a P2V squadron based at Roosevelt Roads Naval Air Station, Puerto Rico. He was a Aviation Ordnanceman and aircrewman. As an AO1, he was responsible for the care and feeding of anything on the airplane that had to do with raining fire and steel on the enemy. His unit, either VP-3 or VP-5 - I forget which - flew routine coastal patrols from PR up the East Coast to the Navy base at Argentia, Newfoudland, where they would land, RON, and then fly back. I can't imagine a more boring, groaner of a mission. Since we were technically at peace at that time, there was little for him to do during these very long missions, so he became the chief cook and bottle washer along with other duties as assigned. Roast beef was apparently a staple on these flights as was lots of coffee, pies, etc - remember that the Navy ALWAYS ate well - and the airplane had a full galley. He told me he was never able to boil water, however, because they usually cruised too high to get it to boil. According to him, garbage went over the side with little regard to who or what was below them at the time and I always wondered what it would be like to be smacked by a frozen potato from nowhere traveling at terminal velocity . If you've never been in one, a Neptune is big but not particularly commodious. The fuselage is divided roughly in half by a massive wing carry-through/fuel tank that takes up most of the available space in the middle of the airplane. If you want to go from one compartment to the other, you have to climb/slide over it. Most of the rest of the space was filled with old school tube avionics with women's names like Jazabel and Juliet, radar scopes and such, so there was little walking-around room. The version of the Neptune he flew in was an early one with a solid nose with fixed guns, a bomb bay and eight pylons under each wing. I don't think it carried much in the way of sonar like later versions did. No jet engines or tip tanks, but it could use JATO if necessary. Overall sea blue with minimal markings. I have a photo somewhere of him in a poopy suit (immersion suit) either for training or in prep for a long over water patrol up north and he looks for all the world like Fozzie Bear of the Muppets.
  24. Next extra detailing, then the diesel engine. Did he actually say that?? Extra detailing???
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