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Warbird Kid

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  1. Another display I'm working on for the Connecticut Air & Space Center is to show (through 1/72nd models) the evolution and history of our particular Goodyear FG-1D Corsair BuNo: 92460. I've already completed the two "book ends" Corsairs from Minicraft F4U-1D models. These are two "Factory Fresh" looking birds. One showing how the Corsair looked after it came out of the Goodyear plant in 1945, and the other how it will look after her restoration is completed. This is the next big completed model in this series, with as many as 6 or 7 more models to go. This diorama is called "Birds of a Feather" showing what our Corsair looked like in 1971/72 right after it was placed onto of the pedestal and still looking fairly new. This is actually the second version of this diorama that I've made. The first being in 1/144th scale: The new one (in 1/72nd scale) allows for a bit more detail and depth. The kit I believe was a F.R.O.G. kit. I found someone who makes Seagulls on Shapeways and they worked PERFECTLY! I might add a one more person, a couple more Seagulls, and a name plate onto the diorama, but otherwise, I'm calling it done. Hope you like it!
  2. "Uneasiness at Tangmere" Figured I'd put up some new pictures my dad took of this diorama I made about 15 years ago.
  3. Masterfully weathered! Simply awesome!!!!
  4. My father and I got on a kick a few years ago of scaling down some Fiddlers Green paper model plans to 1/144th scale of airplanes that were (or still are) unavailable in that scale. You can see all the different models here:http://www.fiddlersgreen.net He ended up building four or five different L-4 / J3 Piper Cubs, this one below being the best out of the batch. And the still unfinished J3. Needs some Numbers!
  5. In the beginning... of 1/144th scale, there were very few kits to build. For Corsairs, you had two options, both being released in 1973 and woefully inaccurate by today's standards. First you had the Revell Micro Wings F4U-1A Corsair and then you had the Mitsuwa F4U-1 (which apparently my dad had in supply). Again, this is another model that is probably 35 to 40 years old. This is of course before the amazing looking 1/144th AFV Club Corsair model that we have today. He wanted to show the character and look of a Corsair with the wings folded. So he cut the wings and he says that it took at least 3 days to get the glue to hold to the wings where he wanted them. He also scratch built a cockpit, vacuformed a new canopy so the cockpit could be opened, and modified the F4U-1 into a 1D. Other details include sourcing rockets from another kit and even adding the landing lights in the wing. Twenty-five years later (for some reason) I "borrowed" the propeller from this Corsair for a 1/144th Wildcat I was building at the time. BUT to be fair, the prop's diameter was too small to begin with for this model. Thankfully my father found a spare Bandai 1/144th Corsair prop that he used to replace it with. The last thing was that I built the tiny carrier deck base and added a figure probably about 15-16 years ago so she would have a decent platform to live on. Hope you like it!
  6. So the reason I got into 1/144th scale aircraft is definitely, with out a doubt, my father's fault. I enjoyed viewing his builds that were (thankfully)safely tucked away behind glass from my destructive hands when I was a kid, and that lead him to building a fleet of planes for me to play with when I was younger. In the early 80's he created a series of 1/144th dioramas that were built on cut, clear Plexiglass bases and rods. There was the Apache B-25 My Grandfather's B-24, Zero, and P-38. (Sorry for the bad photos) And I even took one of the leftover clear bases and made one myself, with a modified Revell P-51B, converted into an A Model, and a A6M2 being shot down. (I went with a different idea for the smoke.) And then there was the Corsair vs Dinah. Another diorama similar to all the others, and I'm ashamed to say I can't find an original picture of it. Anyways a few yers ago the diorama was being transported from a show and wouldn't you know it, it broke. So it stayed that way for about a year or so, the planes were just fine, but the Plexiglass base and rods were busted. So I set about creating a new base for these two planes from my childhood to live on. I figured a more substantial, traditional base would work well for what I envisioned. I wanted to create a forced-perspective diorama, with the two aircraft flying over an island, somewhere in the Pacific. It was fairly straight-forward to make and I kick myself for not documenting the entire process for you guys. I first started with a basic base you can get at any hobby or craft store. From there I looked at some pictures of Pacific Islands until I found one I liked. (I wasn't trying to be too accurate to any specific battle since the Corsair is painted in inaccurate markings with early pre-war stars. I can't blame my Dad, it was the 80s!) So after finding an island I liked I went about recreating it, Or at least as close as I liked. I started by going into my scrap plastic box of sheet styrene. From there I found triangles of all sizes and shapes and some rectangles, and started gluing. No real laid out thought or plan, just the basic shape in mind. Once a lot of plastic and glue was laid down, I used clippers to cut and shape the island just a little bit. At which point I used the remaining putty I had to fill in all the valleys and area of the island to give it a real three dimensional shape. I didn't worry about sanding really, as these rough sections would help create the rocky areas. After drying, I shot the whole thing with filler primer and let it dry. After-which I then started putting down the paints. The water started as a medium blue to just coat the area, and a basic green for the island. I started then layering the paints on both sections, dark colors for deeper / darker areas, and lighter paints for lighter areas. I made sure to thin down my colors so they would be nice manageable. After multiple layers, I put a clear gloss coat on the water, and little white caps. For the island I dived into the foliage box and found some Woodland Scenics Foliage Medium Green which was more of a connected sheet of foliage, and not just loose powder. This made cutting and gluing sections super easy. I also used some darker foliage to break up the overall terrain of the island. I then used some shades of grey, tan, and white to create the rocky cliff areas. I used some clear rods to use on the planes that seemed to work just fine. The last thing I wanted to do was to replace the clear disks (now yellowed) my dad had made over 40 years ago! Since I had some prop blurs, I began the task of building a new hub / ring for the Corsair, and just glued the other props onto the Dinah's hub. Afterwhich it was just a matter of final assembly and then done! I'm still considering adding a 1/4800 scale Japanese Battleship down below and maybe a simple plaque but otherwise I'm calling this one done. Hope you like it!
  7. Thanks, I did build this one into a 1/144th diorama: My dad did build a 345th Air Apache B-25 strafer. Maybe he'll take a picture and send me it so I can add it.
  8. Years ago the Connecticut Air & Space Center acquired a box of small fragments from Jeff Hayse that were from the F6F-5K Drone Hellcat that crashed during the Battle of Palmdale: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Palmdale We recently put the parts on display: Might redo some of the placards still: I wanted to represent the two types of aircraft that were involved in the incident and display them alongside the original parts. So I went into the gift shop where we have a well stocked array of model airplanes and found a 1/72 Revell F-89. But what to use for the Hellcat? That's when I found my old Lindberg "Legends of the Air" 3-in-1 kit that my father had bought me in the late 90's and that I ended up donating to the gift shop years ago, assuming I'd never build them. The Hellcats had been started by my 12 year old self, and now at 32, I was going to finish them. Both Hellcats received lengthened tails and more accurate rudders. Aftermarket resin engines and props were added, with one receiving new wheels as well. Cockpits were added with styrene plastic including bulkhead / armor plating, seats, instrument panels, putty headrests, and masking tape seatbelts. Quick and dirty and not too detailed to say the least, but enough to fill the void. The two were painted with rattle can spray paint, and weathered with pastel chalk and little bit of dry brushing. The decals came from Alley Cat with one representing the Point Mugu 5K that will go in the museum showcase. The other Hellcat I built for myself, finishing it as a pink tailed Hellcat from 1946's Operation Crossroads. All in all, with a little bit of know-how and modification, they turned out to be not too bad for a 53 year old kit! :shock: Now... onto the 1/72 Revell F-89...
  9. Looks like my dad is getting a little stir crazy at home what with the quarantine and all. 1/144th scale Nadzab, New Guinea
  10. Beginnings A classic War-Film if there ever was one, 1970's Tora! Tora! Tora! was a masterful execution of a multitude of practical and special effects to recreate the attack on Pearl Harbor. Since I can remember, this movie has always inspired and captivated me. And for some reason one particular scene always intrigued me. A simple, quick scene that only lasted little over a minute, but I loved the pacing, action, and excitement for some reason. It depicted the mad dash rush of Lt. Taylor and Welch as they sped to Haleiwa Airstrip to jump in there waiting P-40s to scramble, and engage the onslaught of Japanese aircraft. This scene was re-created in Pearl Harbor years later, but it just didn't feel the same. So after awhile I figured, why not replicate that scene? After acquiring a 1/72 Airfix P-40E, I decided to pay tribute to this scene and build it as a diorama. The Airfix P-40E is a rough kit for today’s standards. Other, more accurate / detailed models exist, but I have an affinity for these older kits. They are from my father’s childhood and to a lesser extent, mine. And I like giving them a new lease on life, because... who else will? A less then new / accurate 1/72 kit, the Airfix P-40 needed some work. I detailed it out with available aftermarket parts, light scratch-building (if at all), early USAAC Markings (Olive Drab, Stars with red dot). P-40E Kit • Aftermarket Resin Cockpit added • Aftermarket Resin Prop Spinner added • Wheel well canvas covers made out of paper towels soaked in a water / glue mixture • Canopy cut and separated for an open cockpit • Rear windows cut from clear acetate sheet • Chin scoop intake remolded / sanded / reshaped • Rudder and Flight controls cut and pitched • Landing Gear doors scratch built • Masked and painted with Rattle can paints • Weathered using dry brush and pastels • Decals bashed together (stars were replaced with more accurate examples. • Prop blurs added • Middle 50 cal wing gun deleted and 30 cal nose guns added to simulate P-40B 1940 Mercury Convertible • 3D Designed model custom made for diorama • Driver door cut off and glued in an open position • Front wheels turned • Primed and spray painted • In the process of being painted / detailed • License Plate designed / sized / printed Figures • 1/72nd Presier Luftwaffe figures used for the majority of diorama • Slight modification / sanding needed for all of them • Scratch built Film Camera and Boom Mic Plaque • Designed plaque and engraved at local trophy shop (3 times!) • Film strip printed on acetate with white cardstock backing • Simple light fixture added underneath film strip There are still a few things left to do on the 1940 Mercury but I'm fairly happy with how its come out.
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