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Warbird Kid

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  1. Well I think I'm calling this one good. If the wing lights don't clear up, I will probably go back and replace them. The only other thing is wires, but I've found they tend to break as a model will get moved around while at the museum. The base is an old one my dad made (that I happened to find in an drawer at the museum) and decided to use it for now. The Jeep is a cute little re-painted kit I found that takes 10 mins to assemble. I added a bit of rolling paper in the back as a covered load, along with some detail painting, black wash, and flat clear coat to seal it all in. Thanks for watching my build progress! Onto the next one!
  2. We are close to completion! Didn't want to leave you guys hanging, so I took a few shots of where we're at today. While it may look basically done in these photos, there are still a few things left. Trim / glue in clear wing light plexi OR replace with krystal klear Bombs need to be glued, sanded, painted, and glued into bomb bay Small amount of krystal klear to fill in the bombardier nose on the starboard side and brush paint over Add wires if I'm feeling ambitious Once that short list is completed, I'll get some better shots and then its off to the museum! Enjoy and stay tuned.
  3. On the frontline with this 1/72nd build, I'm in the final stretch! After clear coating the entire plane with flat matte, I took off all the masking tape. I permanently glued the landing gear, tires, super chargers, and tail wheel into place. Ill leave the props loose to turn or remove them if need be. I still need to paint, pin, and glue all the little antennas and wires. Now I'm turning my attention to the turrets. The Ball turret and top turret should be fairly straightforward. The directions called for installing them prior to gluing the fuselage halves together, but I didn't like that idea as far as procedure of assembly. The nose will need two holes at least drilled out for two forward facing 50 cals like the real Connecticut Yankee had. I'll need to spray paint the OD into a cup so I can get a little bit on a brush to do a few touch ups. Namely with the tail gunner and waist gun windows. Once all of that is done, I will turn my attention to the bombs, probably the last thing I'll do for this model before finding a place for it in the museum. I used one ancient MVP L193 Train Lens that my dad had from his 1/32nd builds in the early 90's. I might keep this one or replace it with a pair that isn't yellowed. Also have a 1/72nd Jeep I might build to go along with this one. We'll see how motivated I am by the end! Thanks for looking. Stay tuned!
  4. Thank you! Yes I will indeed make sure to remember that! So far I've limited my fluids and stains to just near the nacelles. I've found when it comes to these Testors home printer decal sheets, its best to use the white sheet when dealing with a subject that has vibrant colors, and print the background color to match, and then apply paint if needed to blend in the decal. So that's what I did! Nose Art Decals: Take two! After readjusting the repainted panel and grey underside color farther up on both sides of the nose, I was satisfied and tried another homemade decal. Knowing the background color of the OD on the decal was off, I preceded to add solveset, wait for it to melt as much, then went over with it with the dark OD to blend it in. Only as I was adding the other decals from this detail decal lettering sheet from Kitsworld, did I realize the nose art was STILL not high enough. But I had already applied the bombs, and swastikas, so I called it good. https://www.kitsworld.co.uk/index.php?GOTO=75&PICFILE=75&STKNR=75&STRH=&ORDN=&RNZ=705009&THISVIEWMODE=2&SUPPLIER=&FINDRETR=&WIDENET=&CATEGORY=5&SUB=1&VWW=1&VANCE=99 I then began trying to use my new found basic skills with the airbrush to start adding in weather and gas / oil. I found that I need ALOT more practice with the airbrush, and fell back on dry / wet brushing techniques. I've started with a mostly flat black / oily wash and streak affect around the engines, behind the cowlings and past the nacelles. I added several small silver flecks for paint wear, but am very worried about going over board, so I'm trying to limit myself. Props are done. Just need to find the patience to apply more tiny stencil decals and finish up the weathering. Then flat coat and final assembly! And of course get to the turrets and glass. Thanks for looking. Stay tuned.
  5. Thanks! Been plugging away at it. Finally got the right acrylic color and used my airbrush machine for the first time. I'd say not terrible for my first actual use of it! Got all the major decals on except for the small detail stencils. I started adding the line filler into the wings. Have one side done so far. Not really pleased with how this version of the nose art came out. Also realized the grey underside doesn't go up high enough on the sides of the fuselage as much as it should, so I'm going to pull off the bomb tallies and noseart name and redo it.
  6. Hey all! Continuing with building particular aircraft that have some connection to my home state of Connecticut, I decided to build the 91st BG B-17F known as "Connecticut Yankee" production block number B-17F-5-DL Buno: 42-2970. I've found only five confirmed pictures of the aircraft in question. Two pictures that appear to be from a stateside photo flight of the aircraft when it was brand new. https://www.americanairmuseum.com/aircraft/3623 The only other three pictures of the aircraft is after Jim Verinis (co-pilot of the Memphis Belle) was assigned the plane and named it after his home state. He was born in Stamford and grew up in New Haven. This third picture of the plane just became known to me and shows the entire nose section and armament. So with that in mind I felt I had a good amount of info to begin building the bomber. I made a quick profile mockup for a bio placard to go along with the model in the museum, and to help me with this build. I built the interior as is. No additions or anything. I found the detail to be very nice and could see of some modelers can go crazy with interiors. After some months of starts and stops with this model. I finally decided to attach the wings and horizontal stabilizers. The main wings required a good amount of filler at the wing root. The gap is necessary if you want the wings at the right angle, vs just pushing the wing flush to the fuselage, hence the odd looking "flexed wing" example on the box. I bought aftermarket engines and cowlings for the project, but had some difficulty with the cowlings. After cutting them off of their blocks, I realized I hacked them a bit, and they did not look good. I finally decided to go with the kit's cowlings and was satisfied with the look. The model was masked, shot primer gray, and then painted olive drab. I couldn't wait and decided to add the stars. It was also at this point that I realized the model came with the navigator's astro-dome and CT Yankee didn't, so off it came! Now I need to build up and putty the hole, and then add the other windows in the nose. Underside is looking good to me. Cant wait to add all that weathering! I've also added the repainted sections on the nose that can be seen in the original pictures. Now the biggest issue I'm facing is whether or not this B-17 had the dark green "mottling" around the edges on the top side like Memphis Belle? Or is it just straight Olive Drab? I ended up watching The Cold Blue and near the end a found a 4-5 second clip that shows the tail 42-2970. And wouldn't you know it? It has the green "mottling"! I decided to try my hand at brushing on these additional camouflage markings. I first used the same dark olive drab I used for the repainted sections near the nose. I found the color to be completely off and decided to paint over it with a European green color I had. While I liked the newer color alot more, I found the entire thing very thick and globby, as can be seen in these photos. A little bit of paint thinner on some Q-tips and done! Quite surprised at how it came off! I've decided to bust out my new airbrush and finally become versed in airbrushing as Id like these green splotches to look as authentic and thin as possible. I also cut off the astro dome, filled it in, and drilled out the two missing windows in the nose for this variant. A little bit of masking and a shot of the rattle can OD and there we are! That's all for now. Thanks for looking!
  7. Hey fellas! Wanted to show you a little recent project that was a really nice break from the bigger, more exciting projects I've been working on. This one was almost a complete exercise in fun. Backstory: As a kid who grew up in the 90's in a house full of model airplanes, its no wonder I gravited towards Micro Machines in a big way! Starting in 1986, Micro Machines were initially sets of 5 to 6 vehicles in a blister pack. All of the vehicles were scaled to the same size. Around this time somebody at Galoob had the brilliant idea to scale up some of the vehicles, as planes, boats, tanks, trucks, etc were usually larger than an average car. While the cars in the Micro Machines universe stayed the same size (as if the initial measuring stick for other vehicles) Starting in 1991 the newer revamped Micro Machines sizes were slightly larger than the initial runs in previous years, but they were also able to be more detailed. Breaking off from the initial line, the military series became it own line by 1991 and followed with multiple franchises including: Star Wars, Star Trek, Predator, Terminator, Power Rangers, Star Ship Troopers, Alien, and others. But of course I loved the military vehicles, especially the #12 "WWII Classics" series that debuted in 1994 that came with a P-38, P-51, and a Sherman Tank. The following year a new pack with a Stuka, Zero, and P-40B came out. By the time Galoob was bought out by Hasbro in 2001, a decent amount of planes, tanks, boats, and other sets were produced, including World War I, Korea, Vietnam, and even a very rare Civil War set! In a vain attempt to protect his nicely built models, my father would take some of these Micro Machines and modify them to make them more realistic. By cutting off the inaccurate, bulky landing gear, putty / sand, and repaint them, he gave these little models a new lease on life! Recently I was pawing through the large box of these planes I collected as a kid and decided that a few of these deserved better treatment. Build: I found a P-38, P-51, and Corsair my father started modifying but never finished. I did some quick math and surmised that these planes had all been scaled to roughly 1/210th scale. I decided to add a P-40 into the diorama as it also was in scale and would round out the group to 4. I also thought about adding a P-61 Black Widow but found it to be oddly sized. All three had there landing gear removed by my dad, and had yet to be repainted in more accurate markings. I decided I wanted to create something that could have happened during the war, over a place of national significance. I ordered some sets of beautiful decals from I-94 Enterprises. If you haven't tried them yet do yourself a favor! https://i-94enterprises.com P-38: Landing gear and props already cut off. Needed just a hole for the pole and a repaint. I decided to paint it as "Yippie" since I didn't want to double up on colors and have either two silver or two olive drab planes. P-51: Also started by my dad, this one had a new resin nose made by my dad built ultimately still in the inaccurate Korea era markings. I finished it in factory fresh markings. Corsair: Originally made as a F4U-4 with a four bladed prop, this second version was painted as an earlier 1A Corsair, but still retaining the 4 blade prop. I removed the prop, added a small hub, and repainted the plane completely. P-40: The only one not already started, I had to use an unmolested stock P-40, removing the landing gear and prop, I made a new hub from plastic, and filled in and sanded the underside. This one also was repainted as a mid-war P-40C. Again no distinguishing markings. Capitol: I knew I wanted the planes to be flying over someplace of national pride / importance. And then I thought, why not the house of Democracy with the "Arsenal of Democracy" flying overhead? I found this beautiful 3D printed model of the US Capitol on Etsy and it suited my needs perfectly. Despite the model being printed in white, I decided to shoot the entire thing in white, and began to detail the model out, window by window. Eventually a milky wash was applied over it to push the darker tones in. I mixed a few acrylic blues and greens I had to get the color for the roof. I also dry brushed some similar colors to break up the overall feel and tone of it. Eventually liking it, I clear coated the building and prepped the base. Base: The base required some sheet styrene painted and trimmed when installed. For the grass I cut small pieces of pre-made turf for the edges and rear of the building. Adding a little bit of loose flocking for trees, they worked as a scaled version of themselves. By that point, I called it good. I might go back and replace the wires with a thinner gauge. Anyone have a lead on some good, straight, strong wire? Be it steel, brass, aluminum, etc? Hope you enjoy!
  8. Excellent job on the FM-2! As an addition (and hopefully these will help), I have these images scanned from the album of one Erwin Mott Jr. from Bridgeport, CT. We have a display with some of his flight suits from his long career spanning WWII (when he was flying these Wildcats in the Mid-Atlantic) into post war Naval Air Reserve. Enjoy.
  9. Very close to completing these three. "Skyboss" just needs a brushed on semi-gloss to hopefully even out the two different blues and maybe add some wires. But otherwise I'm calling it done. A far cry from this model I used to play with. Detail shot of the hand painted noseart by my father (circa 1997/98) I was able to find another P-51B canopy and shaved it down to fit. Apparently the rear windows are quite a bit smaller on the Revell B vs the Sweet B. I ran out of those 3" square bases, so I had to go to Michael's art / craft store to pick up more and clear coat. I completed the base with alot of different greys, brown, little green, and chalks to get a broken up and diverse base. I shot a coat of semigloss just to seal in everything so far. I need to still apply the rest of the numbers on the tail (not something I'm looking forward to), reshoot it with semigloss to seal those decals in, glue the canopy on, and add wires (if any). Otherwise I think the father's old P-51B looks pretty good! Detail shot of the hand painted noseart by my father (circa 1994/95) Last but not least is my Revell P-40E. After these shots were taken I brushed on a acrylic flat clear coat. The sheen the clear coat left was not pleasing. So my plan is to pop off the canopy, shoot the entire plane in flat clear coat, and glue it back on and add wires. I was toying with replacing the canopy with a better one. But aside from the AFV Club kit (which I do not have) and the F-Toys E model (which I do) there aren't many other options. I was considering kit bashing a canopy. Front canopy could be off of a N model Bandai, and the rest just made out of clear acetate. But maybe I'll with the tried and true heat and smash vacuform. We'll see! Detail shot of the hand painted noseart by me (circa 2003/04) Detail shot of the replaced tail wheel from a Harrier. Thanks for looking! I still may put up some better pictures in real lighting eventually but I'm pretty pleased with how these three ended up! Thanks for looking.
  10. Small update. I took the P-40 and added the mast and pitot tube. Still need to touch up with brown and green, add the lights onto the wings, make a new tail wheel, clear coat it, and maybe add wires. I looked at the small gear doors that were molded into the wing and decided they are good enough. I did swap out the plaque with the same style as the other two. Now they should all match. The P-51 is progressing nicely. I sanded and painted the hub and props. I added a pitot tube. I built a new starboard landing gear. It isn't perfect, but it will do. The model has the secondary gear doors molded in the upright position, and I wasn't about to go hacking and slashing to drop them. I'm okay with the original tail gear as is. As I'm basing this Mustang off of P-51C BuNo: 43-25147, it appears to have had no main radio mast behind the cockpit when it flew in this scheme from 1981 to 87. http://www.warbirdregistry.org/p51registry/p51-4325147.html I still need to do overall touchups with olive drab and grey, maybe add the numbers onto the tail, add the white bands onto the wings and gear doors, find a replacement canopy, paint and add it, and finish it in semi gloss as per most warbirds circa 1975 to 1997. Not to mention stain and clear coat the base, and create a dynamic base for it to live on. I did a quick scan of Van Nuys Airport and it looks like there are some grassy areas, so I decided to do a bit of a combo of tarmac and grass to differentiate between the other two models. Stay tuned!
  11. I first started playing with 1/144th models probably around 1994 / 95 when I was 8 or 9. Back then all I had was a bunch of diecast planes and a few plastic kits, and a large wide open table top with fake grass on it. But I remember being instantly drawn towards those 144th models that my dad was building. Maybe because they fit in my hand so easily or something. I don't know how I got ahold of it, but my father was working on another dogfight diorama with a Mitsuwa Corsair shooting down a Ki-45 "Nick". Pretty much identical to the original iteration of "Pacific Showdown" with the old clear acrylic stands he made. [url]https://www.kampfgruppe144.com/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=6778&p=52928#p52928[/url] Well wouldn't you know it, I played with that Corsair FOR YEARS and eventually my dad started building me other 1/144th models to add to the fleet and create huge airshows on our table top in the basement. Sometimes he would use the decals straight out of the box, while other times he would give them custom paint jobs. Like painting "Shangri-La" freehand on a Revell P-51B! Probably to match his 1/32nd example. Eventually I asked him if he could repaint the Corsair from its overall light blue paint scheme into an example that was still flying. A warbird example that we had both seen at the local airshow in Stratford that year. Well one thing led to another and I eventually had my own "Skyboss"! Some years later I decided to jump in head first at customizing, and got my hands on a Revell P-40E and did some free hand painting for myself to recreate my favorite P-40 flying at that time, Dr. Bill Anderson's authentically painted P-40E that he based at the National Warplane Museum in Geneseo, NY. At the time the only other P-40 in 1/144th scale was the grossly misshapen Crown P-40N so I was ecstatic to find a more accurate example. But as the years went by, those "first edition" planes were retired in favor of all the F-Toys, Big Bird, Bandai, and other kits to come out that blew all the old Mitsuwa, Revell, Crown, Minicraft, etc kits away. Thus they were put into storage. Fast forward to a few months ago... I was over my parent's house and pulled the P-51B and Corsair out that my father had hand painted back in the day. I decided that these two beauties from a bygone era deserved to be resurrected along with the P-40 that I hand painted. I decided I was going to restore some Warbirds! This is what I basically started with. The Mitsuwa Corsair is a -1 birdcage and the vacuform canopy that my father had made was just that. But Skyboss was a FG-1D and it needed a new canopy. This -4 canopy from a F-toys will do the trick! I realized only afterwards that the AFV-Club models come with two spare canopies and I would have probably used one of them instead. I did grab a spare prop and it worked out quite well! I eventually built up a rear turtle deck behind the canopy area and carefully added putty where necessary and underneath the canopy. I painted the interior and glued the canopy in place with krystal clear. Now we're getting somewhere! What's interesting to note is that my father actually mixed up (understandably) two Corsairs into one model. In 1996 (If I remember correctly) we had an airshow at the Sikorsky Airport where Ed Shipley flew in his Corsair Bu. 88303 aka "Marines 22". The following year Bu. 67089 aka "Skyboss" came instead. So I decided (since Skyboss was only painted on the port side) that I would correct only that side to make it "Skyboss" and leave the starboard side as Shipley's "22". I found a small enough "Marines" in my decal envelope and used it to further detail out the starboard side. I painted over the "22" on the port side, added the "555", and borrowed a set of kill markings. I also carefully hand painted the tiny yellow emblem forward of the kill markings. I touched up the blue as best I could with the closest matching blue I had. I added a mast and pitot tube. Using a Bandai set of gear as reference, I ended up scratch building all of the landing gear, doors, and tailhook. I found a spare set of wheels in the parts box that looked the part. The white underside had yellowed and required to be completely repainted. This picture shows that pesky star still showing up. Took a few coats. A new star was eventually added to the bottom wing. After a little more touch ups, I am very close to finishing this one up. I need to coat the entire plane with semi-gloss and maybe add some wires. But otherwise I'm feeling pretty good with this one. In actuality the first in this series I started fixing up, was my P-40E. I had the original landing gear and just needed to add some stars on the underside of the wings, and add prop blurs. Sounds easy right? Well now I know I can do a little more to make this P-40 stand out. The goal is to make a mast, pitot tube, gear doors, new tail gear, coat the entire thing in clear flat matte, maybe add wires, and swap out the plaque with the updated one. The last is the P-51B. This one is proving to be a challenge. The original idea was to have all three have prop blurs, but eventually I figured that would be more work than necessary, so I opted out. I covered the original stars with newer, "crisper" ones, and found a spare Revell P-51B spinner / prop (left over from my P-51A conversion). I had one of the original landing gear but had to scratch build the other one. I still need a canopy in case anyone has one! I also still need to touch up the green and grey, make a pitot tube, add the white bands on the wings, maybe add the numbers on the tail, and clear coat it in semi-gloss. Again I know none of these models are going to win any awards. And I guess that was never the point really. I just wanted to give these older models a nice retirement themselves after all the hours of fun they gave me. I'll take better photos of all three when everything is done. Who knows... maybe I'll go through some of the other older kits and see what's worth restoring. Hope you liked the report! Stay tuned!
  12. Update to completion: Tail rotor touched up, and added Main Rotor Blade Holder painted New rotor blade hub for an OH-6 Close up shot of the hub. Not crazy detailed. Just enough to sell it. So after throwing the rest together, I think I'm calling this one done. Hope you liked it! Again not a detailed build by any stretch. Just a fairly straightforward backdating / modification job. Now I'll bring it to the museum and put it on display in the Vietnam case, overlooking the real thing until the tow truck model is completed. Thanks for checking out my build!
  13. Well don't I feel a little silly: Thanks for the eagle eyes! I switched around the cyclics so they should be correct now! I glued the interior and instrument panel into place. (don't seem to have a picture!) I then masked the front canopy and painted it. I then applied the small Brandy Wine emblem decal (that I made for the full sized version). Now all I have to do is paint in the center light, clear coat the entire thing, demask it, and glue it in place. Then its just a matter of finishing the tail rotor and main rotor. Stay tuned!
  14. Update: Shot the fuselage in a matte clear coat to see in everything. No weathering for this bird as our actual OH-6 is pretty pristine after being restored to static display. Sticks added into the cockpit. No customizing or adding onto here. Just a basic build. I might do some touch work and add seatbelts, but that's it. And the side glass is now in! I'm going to add an extra bead of crystal clear around the back to further prevent any of these popping out in the future. Not 100% great but I'll take it. I've added weight so the OH-6 sits on her skids and isn't a tail dragger. And now I've begun the process of crudely scratch building a new four bade rotor hub, which means I'll have one blade left over! Hoping to to put this one to bed within the week and move on to some would consider around these parts to be: "micro" 1/144th and 1/72nd projects. Thanks for looking! Stay tuned...
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