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  1. Hey all, I'm back with another...ambitious project: Trumpeter's big Super Tomcat. SprueBrothers was lucky to get a new shipment in, and itching for a new project after finishing the Bug, I immediately jumped on it! After waiting a week from ordering, I was greeted by an email on the 30th of July saying I had a parcel waiting to be picked up at my APO box. Lo and behold (as if I didn't already know what it was) the Kitty has hit the deck. Upon opening the box, I was greeted by a very neatly arranged pile of styrene. For those who don't know, she's going to be a BIG 'Cat, as shown here by a reference photo compared to my F/A-18C Anyway, it's good to be back at the bench, and as always, thanks for stopping by the hangar!
  2. Hello folks and a Happy New Year to you all. I have been busy trying to make the Trumpeter F4-F4 into an FM-2 this also required swapping the cowling from the late F4-F3 kit giving a better starting point for correction of the cowling. The FM-2 was fitted with a single row 9 cylinder engine made by Wright instead of the 2 row 7 cylinder engines on the other Wildcats. This would be the make or break part of the conversion so it made sense to start here 1st, if this worked it would be time to buy a new resin engine from Vector resin. It did work out nicely so the engine was ordered Work commenced with marking the cowling with several rings which would make cut lines for removal of the front of the cowling once separated each half was sanded back a bit and then glued back together. This process was repeated 4 times to get the desired shortening of nose. Then given a nice coat of VMS Black super glue which could then be sanded back to give the right shape.
  3. Guys, i'm back! This time not with something in 1/48 or smaller. That thing... It's the Trumpeter kit, my second 1/32 scale model, and it's quite huge It's so ever slightly bigger than the F-15 in lenght and even in wingspan, which impressed me a bit. Alright, let's do it. I plan a rather slow and longer build. Some may know very well the quality and what's in the box, but i'm gonna make a thorough review these days whatsoever. Here is just a quick glimpse: And of course, i'll take advantage of the AFV Club's tinted canopy, cause i think it's absolutely necessary for a good looking F-117. I cannot tint such a huge canopy by myself and not leave any trace of dust, etc. In 1/48 or less - it's ok because the little imperfections are almost invisible, but this one is one, enormous and two, with perfectly flat straight sides. I'll also use the GTR Wheel set that i didn't use in my F-15E. The kit tires are from very hard rubber and quite small in size. I have the original dimensions of the plane's tires and did the quick measurements. The GTR tyres are perfect. Only the front tyre is a bit smaller in diameter so i might still use the kit's rubber tyre for the nose wheel. And on the other hand, i know that the F-117 had just about the same avionics as the F-18 and just about the same landing gear as the F-15, so that's the perfect moment to use the gorgeous GTR tyres and wheels. And finally, the extra PE screen for the FLIR and DLIR. This is obligatory as well, because the provisions for these sensors are huge. I did a little mistake though by getting the 4x6 screen mesh in believing that the holes are rombs. Yeah, they are rectangulars... i couldn't notice that on the photos and this is my firt time using such a PE screen. Nevertheless, i think i can place the screen at an angle so they can look as rombs. I plan to start from the landing gear and make everything moveable again, for "2 models in 1" - in a parked and in-flight mode. The canopy, the gear, all the control surfaces and the bomb bays will close/open. As for the airframe - i have no idea yeat, but i think it will be one of the early Nighthawks, something Desert Storm-related in a full stealth mode with all the lights and antennas retracted and without the two RCS enhancers on the sides. Quite weathered as well. I'm only looking for a pilot figure and if i cannot find any, i plan to get the F-16 resin figure+seat set by Aires. But i'll wait on that one yet. Nighthawk!
  4. First of all I'd like to point out that I've been a long-time lurker that has gotten a lot of information on large scale aircraft here and figured it might be time to send something back. I'm actually a mostly 1/72 modeller, but after finishing a beautiful WnW Fokker D.VII as my first 1/32 kit in ages, I kind of picked up the bug again. My last 1/32 somewhat modern aircraft was a Revell F-14A in VF-1 markings that I put on the television back then -until my mom dusted it off and it fell off, despite the rubber grippy tires! As it would fit nowhere near on a modern TV I guess that tells something about how long ago that was... (I'm 42 now and live in the Netherlands). Some may know me from the Dutch Modelbrouwers or WW1 Aircraft forum there I go by the same name. The Intruder has always been a favourite with 1/72 builds of Italeri, Hasegawa and Fujimi kits, but I'd never gotten one as it was too big and expensive... however, when I discovered AoA decals I got a set for VA-65, and somehow managed a nice deal on an A-6A, mostly still factory sealed. It's this set: My kids want me to do the camouflaged version, but bought it for NL-413 or AA-511, though as you can see later I finished the MERs already and it'll have to be NL-401 or NL-413 now. I can decide later on, but it does feel like a bit of a waste of decals to only use so few on top... I started our with ordnance, as one of the things I dislike about modern aircraft is just that. The kit only comes with 12 simplefied Mk82 Snakeeyes and 2 MERs, but a fellow modeller who would replace them with aftermarket gave me another MER and 6 Mk82s. I'll be loading the A-6 up with 2 MERs outboard, and 1 on the centerline, leaving the inner pylons empty as I saw on a photo of this cruise. As I can't justify the additional costs of 18 Mk82s and 3 MERs in aftermarket I set about to improve what came with the kit. These Snakeeyes fit poorly and required a lot of work to get them to look acceptable. I poked the hinges (which should extend much more to the rear and be much taller as well) with a drill bit and needle, and used a JLC saw and a scriber to open up the fins. The rear part was modified with some punched card disks. Accurate? Not quite, but IMHO a lot better as what came with the kit. I'll be using pins to attach all of it to the model once done so if my lottery ticket proves a winning one I can always replace them. I used black basing and mottled purple red, yellow and some green, deliberately painting some parts more than others. This was then overcoated with olive drab and the noses painted yellow. All of this was Revell Aqua Acrylics, except the glosscoat, which is my trusty Tamiya X-22. The decals are from the kit and worked well, but don't have any letterin on them, they're just yellow squares and rectangles... better than nothing I guess. The fuses are Revell Aqua "Eisen" (#91) with an oil wash and satin varnish. The MERs needed a lot of filling and sanding, and had the extra wires for the top positions added, for some reason Trumpeter supplies only the lower ones. These were also painted black, mottled with medium grey and pure white, then painted with my Insignia White mix (95% Revell Aqua 04 gloss pure white with 5% Revell Aqua 43 medium grey mixed in) I wish I replaced the lower wires as well, they do look a bit different now. The VA-65 decals are from the AoA sheet and worked well, final finish was another glosscoat, some washes with oil paints and a satin coat finished them. In case you're wondering why one of the decals is angled, I saw that on a photo and figured it would be a nice little detail. I'm now working on a few more mods to the wings and fuselage, so more to follow! Jeroen
  5. Hello all! Having recently purchased the 1/32 Trumpeter MiG-21 MF kit, I started to compare it with my 1/48 Eduard MF, just to see if fuselage dimensions were similar after enlarging them 150%. I noticed the front fuselage was off and turned to a good scale plan and published dimensions of the fuselage length. The plan is from Wings and Wheels Publications and more dimensions came from the Docavia #33 on the MiG design bureau and has much information. Photos show the problem. The nose is short 8mm. It also looks shrunken. The error is all in the front fuselage starting at the dark vertical pencil line. The airbrake is OK, but the auxiliary air intake below the leading edge is 4mm too far back, and all ads up to 8mm total. I decided to check the diameter of the intake opening and found it also too small. The diameter should be 870mm, or 27.2mm in 1/32. This is represented by the circle drawn in the center of the photo. on the right is the same circle with the diameter of the Trump part drawn within it to show the difference easily. I wonder if anyone has noticed this before and if so, what you may have done to correct this, as it does seem to me to make a difference in the look of the finished model. Thank you in advance for your observations and remarks! Alain
  6. Hello all, Happy New year and thank lordy 2021 has right done one...Lets hope 2022 is a lot, lot better for us all. This was started in 2021 so i cant really claim this to be a 2022 build, but one that rolled over into 2022. The Trumpeter P-47D kits seem to be a little hit and miss as i've built a few and this one was a real tricky customer which need a fair amount of filler, sanding and re-scribing (replacing panels that was destroyed in the sanding exercise) to look half decent. I'm working on a few more weathering processes to make my aircraft look more realistic, so if there are any comments on the weathering that may need improvement please leave a comment as all comment are welcome. This aircraft is: P-47D-30-RE Sno 44-20344 #54 ‘Norma/Little Bunny/Helen and flown by Lt. William "Willy" Lyke and shared with Lt. Brad Muhl. The Aircraft is finished in RAF Green upper surfaces and Medium Sea Grey lower surfaces. The aircraft has the Leading edge of the nose cowl finished in red while the tail and wings have yellow identification stripes. the aircraft was an ex-Brazilian aircraft that was turned over to the 57th FG who painted over some of the markings resulting in a patchwork Olive Drab/RAF green finish. The name Norma was added by Lt. Brad Muhl and this was to impress his girlfriend who was a nurse in Pisa, Italy. Paint: I tend to stick with Gunze as much as i can and went for 303 for the cockpit interior. 27 for the wheel bays, the main paints were 13 (medium grey) and 23 (RAF Drab) with 38 (US tank Drab) for the camo scheme. Aftermarket: Only added Master 32004 1/32 Gun Barrels, Brassin Wheels and Eagle Cal's EC#104 set. As ever Eagle Cal do a great job on their decals but i wish they included the prop markings in this set. Seat belt are scratch built with tape and spare buckles. As i said, please comment on the weathering is there is anywhere i can improve on this. Keep safe folks.
  7. OH yeah Baby...... Was hopping that one for a long time, everything was there, all the hardware, bell and wissel etc. but didn't feel the drive... Then there was my calling....lol ., that GB suggestion came up, and notice that perfect Angolian built a week ago.... Gonna go with everything or almost, from the Trumpet kit, Linden Hill decal sheet, the hole Aires package (pit, wheel and Exhaust) Quickboost scoops / spoilers, Aero discharge and maybe with a pilot..... also did put my hand on some Cutting Edge Atoll missile.. don't know if they ever used them but will find out. In the next few days, will definitly gonna go true Madmax Angolian WIP for some interesting ideal, but as always want to keep it a simple build and have fun first. Don't get far... Dan.
  8. Cheers everybody, it's bee a while since I finished my big Prowler - buying a new background for my photo booth was a good opportunity to finally take some photos of the finished model. For those who haven't followed the build, here's the link to the WIP thread: https://forum.largescaleplanes.com/index.php?/topic/57040-how-to-destroy-an-expensive-kit-with-just-a-few-cuts-or-prowler33/ Photo quality is not ideal, I've been playing around with the photo settings but I am obviously not a good photographer... Anyway, comments, questions and critique are welcome as usual. "Beaker" waiting for the rest of the crew to board the aircraft.
  9. Hello Gents, going to build this razorback for a german friend who owns some remains of this bird, This was a P47D-20 Razorback 4276428 (6M+H) from the 48th FBG 9TH Air Force flown by 2nd Lt. Glen V. Fleischer, on 23.03.1945 while attacking some strategic targets in the City of Bonn, they flew in the area and attacked German ground forces some 30km east of the Remagen Bridge When he dropped his fuel tank, gas was running out of the main tank and the plane went on fire, the pilot managed to bail out and became a POW, luckily he was free by Allies forces days later, my friend managed to contact the pilot in the 90's and after the pilot passed away at 93 years old his son in law sent him some photos, medals and even a piece of the chute he used to bailed out, now to complete the display I will build a 1/32 Trumpeter Razorback for him with the right markings, only a front view picture is known of this aircraft, I modified this profile to what would the markings have looked like. some fragments of the cowling checkers with OD paint
  10. Afternoon/evening everyone! Hopefully, everyone enjoyed the New Year. Here is my finished build of Trumpeter's 1/32 SBD-5 Dauntless. I've modeled this after the planes the RZNAF used in World War 2 for a 3 months by 25 Squadron before being returned the US, and switching to F4U Corsairs (thanks Alan!). After starting the 1/32nd world with Tamiya's Corsair, this was a bit of a change! Thankfully, even if it's not super crisp like Tamiya, it still built up quite nicely. Aftermarket includes the following: Archer Fine Transfers complete resin raised rivet set Archer Fine Transfers SBD stencils Synthetic Ordinance Works landing gear Master Casters SBD weighted wheels/tires Montex Masks Master .30 caliber barrels Ventura Publication decals Airscale placards Eduard canopy masks MRP, Tamiya and Alclad paints I think that's all...... A huge thank you to Woody @Archer Fine Transfers for letting me test out his rivet skins, they worked perfectly! For those of you considering them in the future, I HIGHLY recommend them to replace the recessed rivets on this kit. Everyone that provided information on the Dauntless and the RZNAF during the build, a big thanks to you too. Build thread is below. Feel free to critique, offer suggestions, point out anything I may have done wrong. It's just learning to me! Thanks for looking! Click on any picture to view it at Flickr and full resolution
  11. When the test shots cam out a few years back some drooled others were rivet critical and a few thought that this would be the ultimate Tomcat kit. There is no denying that as a package this model kit impresses before you open the box. A box which is so robust and protective that they even provide a carry handle built in so you can transport it like a piece of luggage. I've built several Tamiya and Revell big cats over the years and both of these had their good and bad points so I was eager to see what Trumpeter had come up with. The first thing to hit you is the packaging inside, everything seems to have its own niche with the more delicate parts such as canopy, intakes etc having their own box.
  12. I’ve been a little in the doldrums modelling wise for the last few weeks. My Harrier has stalled and made its way to the Shelf of Doom for a little while, I just can’t seem to get the mojo to get into it properly. This year and it’s madness has seen me forced to sell all my camera equipment to keep up with bills, as I had no wedding bookings for the entire year, leaving me with virtually zero income, and an uncertain future right now. Add into all this that I had a rude awakening with my health recently which means I’ve gotta commit a whole heap of time to exercising to improve that situation, and take some away from the modelling bench. I previously had one of these monsters built and on display at my old photo studio, but it got trashed by an misplaced lump of timber that my father was moving about. I was gonna attempt a salvage but then I saw one up for sale with loads of extras, so thought I’d do a build from the ground up again. So, I’ve pulled down the huge Trumpeter box that I recently acquired from another LSP’er. This is truly, a Flanker with almost everything being thrown at it. Along with the kit, there is the following that I’ve chose to use.... Zactomodels, Nose, intakes, canopy, pylons, and full missile setup. Aires, cockpit, wheel bays, exhausts, and a choice of ejector seat with our without a pilot. Master and Profimodeller, metal static dischargers, dynamic pressure sensors, and pitot tube. 2 choice of wheels, Contact resine, or Armoury. Begemot stencil decal set. Foxbot Ukraine AF digital camouflage masking set, and decals for said aircraft. I couldn’t quite find the room to put the kitchen sink into it as well, even though I may as well be throwing everything else at it. I have stayed away from adding any Eduard PE to it, I just can’t seem to get on with it to produce a satisfactory result. With all this, I’m attempting to build a showstopper, if I get it built how I have it in my mind currently. It’ll be a long and slow burner, the missiles individually are mini models! I’ve predicted my future, it’ll be saw, cut, trim, sand, dry fit, sand, dry fit, repeat until happy. Until then, I’ve got a lot of unboxing, cataloging, and sorting to get through.
  13. Hey guys, how about a big Flanker...? Sorry I'm late, but still, there is plenty of time for that big bird..... not planning to do fancy stuff nor scratch... for now.. I'm going to use Wolfpack pit, Linden Hill decal, Aerobonus pilot and maybe I'll try some Reskit after market like their Exhaust and twin store carrier.... . Had that huge box on my top shelf for over 10 years or so..... Wasn't sure about doing the version in the kit, until I got my hand on that Linden Hill sheet from a resaler at Ajax contest. The ''George and Dragon''..... Blue 43. So let's start timidly.... with the pit.. I always start with a solid XF-69, once dry, I'll put a few layers of clear coat before the wash step... Will do more this week-end, thanks for watching and have fun. Dan.
  14. This is the day I've been looking forward to since the day I started on this project in March, 2019. Our full rivet replacement kits for the SBD are finally bagged and ready to ship to LSP members exclusively at a $25 savings. The retail on this is $195.95 but your price is $170 plus shipping. The link to buy is HERE. You can see a full SBD-5 build using this kit HERE. Photo © Brett Matthews
  15. I had hoped to record building the Flightpath Houchin GPU unit as well as the Harrier, but it was by far the hardest thing I've tried to assemble, and I never really knew when I'd finished each stage as I had to keep re-doing everything. Oh well. Displayed on 2x Coastal kits vinyl bases. Only extras used on the Harrier were some Airscale decals for cockpit gauges and Flying Leathernecks det cord. I’m aware the loadout is inaccurate for an RAF Harrier, particularly Snakeyes with laser Mavs. I’ve never seen an RAF Harrier without fuel tanks but it’s my favourite mount in DCS (those who know, know ;-) so I’ve done a fictitious what-if. I also think the GPU is probably too old a model but was the only type I could find so I’ve gone to town on the ageing, as opposed to the jet which I tried to be subtle on as they all looked quite clean in real life? Lost the 2(?) supplied rear view mirrors at some point probably when fighting the det cord. Thanks for looking.
  16. Hi all After lurking in the shadows, I've eventually got my act together and am starting a post regarding my first build here on LSP . I've built quite a few kits, but this one is going to be my first in the public domain.....I know that there is an "In the Navy" GB going on, but I'm not sure I'll make the deadline for that GB, so didn't post this there. It's going to be a kitbash of the Hasegawa and Trumpeter Hellcats - if it goes that far - but my plan is to use the Hasegawa fuselage mated to the Trumpeter wings, as both kits IMO have their good and bad points. I've got a fair bit of AM to throw at it, and I know there will be some scratch-building required as well.... My overall problem with the Trumpeter kit is the fuselage - it looks way too blown and rounded, it should be more slab-sided, and the Hasegawa fuselage is way better (not perfect) in that respect! I do however like the Trumpy wings more than the Hasegawa offering (sans the Trumpeter mad riveter offering which will have to be addressed), hence foray into a kitbash. If it will turn out that way we'll have to see, I might end up doing a full Hasegawa if it's going to cause to many issues. But I do enjoy a challenge.....(ask my Revell Ju88C-6...it lived - many times it came close to doing a first and final flight into a wall) Here's pictures of the Trumpeter vs Hasegawa fuselages and cowls - you can see how bloated the Trump kit is... Trumpeter left, Hasegawa right. Hasegawa is not perfect, but it's a lot better!! Hasegawa Left, Trumpeter right. The Hasegawa cowl is WAY better than the Trumpeter. Might have to work on the chin and grin a bit, but I'll have a look once I've checked it against my cross-sections and references. So here we go. Hopefully I'll remember to take pictures as I go along If anyone has sage advice, please chip in!! Iain
  17. OK - want an excuse to build this - I have a hellcat (trump) and 2xTamy corsairs (all already on show here), but this is stinking up my stash... I want to build it 'in flight' mode using the 'blur blades' and using the Tamiya pilot and stand. That way I don't need to worry too much about the cockpit, and tires... ;-) Also experimenting for the first time with paining masks from Montex - this is my first GB or Build on LSP - so be kind ;-)
  18. Hello everyone, my name is Woody and I’m a rivet counter. Before we get started, a little more about myself. I started building models “seriously” in the late 80s, but building a business doesn’t leave time for much else so the last time I actually finished one was back in 1996. Keeping in mind that I’m now 72 with cataracts developing (surgery is scheduled) and hands that are slowly turning into boxing gloves - onto the build. The Wildcat would never have been something I would choose to build, but in the course of developing our line of aircraft rivet sets I figured it would be a good choice for no other reason than it’s small. My opinion of the F4F was probably typical of what most people who know little about them thought, but after I started researching the plane my opinion changed considerably. That fighter, and the pilots who flew them during the darkest days of WWII proved to be up to the task of holding the line until the Corsairs and Hellcats became operational. The Wildcat’s contribution to victory in the Pacific may be a footnote but it’s a BIG footnote. I always start with the engine and promptly screwed up my first attempt so bad I had to buy another kit, which is usually the case for me - for that very reason. Regardless, I got that together without any major disasters and even wired it with .010” lead wire used for wrapping fishing lures and stuck one of our generic placards (not visible in this picture) on the case. Exhaust is Ammo Track Wash over AK Extreme Metal Steel. Not sure about the gloss black…. things like this happen when you use “restored” aircraft pictures for reference. Having survived that, it was on to the cockpit and wheel well. Since I had already gone off my original intent of building OOTB by wiring the engine I decided to make a set of cockpit placards and instruments which we now sell. I guess it turned out okay especially since almost none of this is visible once installed, but I developed a serious dislike of acrylics in the process. I’ve always used enamels and found out the hard way that my technique for chipping and weathering simply doesn’t work with acrylics. Okay, lesson learned and more on that later. Ignore that "interior green" on the instruction sheet, the correct color is bronze green. Then it was on to riveting the fuselage. First order of business was filling the recessed kit rivets which slowed down my progress considerably. At first my plan was to use diluted Tamiya putty. Thinking this would be quick and easy I thinned it out and filled every rivet hole. I was feeling pretty sure of myself until I started sanding and realized no one in their right mind could ever suffer through this mind numbing process. I had to find a better way so it was back to the “lab” where I came up with a way to fill the kit rivets with minimal to no sanding. For the sake of brevity, I’m not going to go into details on the process of making the filler or the actual process of filling the kit rivets here - it’s all outlined in our manual which you can download HERE. You have to break eggs if you want to make an omelette. Some tests. With the kit rivets filled in I highlighted the panel lines with a #2 pencil sharpened to a chisel point. This is a great help getting the rivets on straight and an even distance from the panel lines. Once that was done I shot a coat of Aqua Gloss over the parts, but I’m not sure this is entirely necessary. Kit rivets filled and panel lines highlighted. At this point I figured that it would be a lot easier to rivet the kit parts prior to assembly leaving off the ones where I would be sanding. As of this writing I don’t know if this is a good idea or not, but I can honestly tell you that during the entire process the rivets never gave any hint of coming off. I also learned about Gunze Mr. Mark Setter… this stuff is outstanding because it has adhesive properties. To avoid having to keep it mixed by shaking it frequently I just put some in a paint palette. You don’t need much; I use a micro brush to put a series of small drops along where the rivets will go to keep it from puddling and running. As for setting solutions, I use MicroSol, Solvaset and Mr. Mark Softer and can see no obvious difference between them. Don’t be stingy with the setting solution - slather it on. I started at the bottom of the fuselage halves to get the feel of working with the rivets figuring these would least likely to be seen and by the time I got to the more visible areas my skills would have improved, which they did. Frankly, applying the rivets is surprisingly easy - much easier than working with PE. Yea, it’s tedious as hell but other than that it’s just a matter of time. Call it therapy. Again, for the sake of brevity here, detailed rivet application instructions are in the manual which you can download HERE. Starting to apply rivets Both sides finished. (Ignore the turn lock fasteners on the cowling for now, we’ll get to those in the next installment.) I started with the longest continuous runs and I think that works best. After I had all those laid in I filled in the gaps with individual pieces rather than long pieces over the others which would result in rivets on top of rivets and irregular spacings at the intersections. I also ignored much of the kit rivet placement for several reasons too technical to get into here. Let’s just say that my four years in the USAF as an Airframe Repairman is a curse. We can stop here for now so if you have comments or questions we can deal with those before proceeding.
  19. Hi all! Hope everyone is doing well! With the JASDF F-4EJ done, I will now be moving on to my next project. This time, I have decided to build Trumpeter's 1/32 MiG-21UM in the Czech Stress Team's rather eye catching livery. Aftermarket sets for this kit are limited but I will be using the following: CAM KM-1 resin seats Quickboost FOD covers HAD resin wheels Master Model metal pitot tubes Some scratchbuilding in the cockpit and wheel wells will also be required. I'm aware of the kit's shape and dimension issues, however, I'm not sure if I'll be able to fix any of them. But what I find to be the worst part of the kit are the decals. The Czech Air Force insignia colours are in the wrong order and the provided decals for the wings' "wooden" sections aren't even close to my reference photos! I ordered the Tiger Wings decals for the same livery but although the insignia colours are correct the wood effect is still atrocious... Should have done better research before buying these... I came across Ricardo Dacoba's wonderful build of the same model in the FSM Oct 2010 issue and have placed an order for this magazine in hopes of getting more info on how he did the painting on the wings. In the meantime, if anyone can provide more info or advice on the kit I would be most grateful! And a bit of history. In 1955, the then state of Czechoslovakia became a founding member of the Warsaw Pact. Soon after, the MiG-21 entered service with the Czechoslovak Air Force. In 1993, the state was succeeded by the Czech Republic and the MiG-21s were passed on to the newly formed Czech Air Force. Sadly, the livery of choice was short lived as the aircraft crashed in 1998 over the town of České Budějovice due to bad weather. Luckily, there was no loss of life (https://www.key.aero/forum/modern-military-aviation/72459-czech-stress-team). The MiG-21s were eventually replaced by the Swedish SAAB Gripen in 2005 after 43 years of service.
  20. I'm also working on the Trumpeter 1/16 Panther G. I am building a late war (Feb 45) version with the early version kit, since the late version only comes with the steel wheels. To do this, I am adding the following from the late version kit: —crew heater (added after Oct 44) —flame dampener exhausts —late idlers (only the Daimler Benz Panthers kept the early idlers late war) —one set of steel wheels Fortunately the early version includes the chin mantlet option (introduced Sept 44) already. Now, I did mess up when I contacted Trumpeter's customer service by ordering only one sprue of the late idlers, so I have only one! I'm hoping that I can order another from them, but if not I will get two of the Heng Long version on E-bay. For references I have "Achtung Panzer 4" which has some really nice drawings, and various web sources. My emphasis will be the exterior, but I won't completely ignore the inside, so I've purchased some Archer stencils and Tamiya Fine Red Primer. Late war there are some really eye-catching (at least for me) schemes to choose from: the brown diagonal bands with dunkelbelb stripes over a green base painted on some MNH Panthers, the brown splotches over a green base painted on some MAN Panthers, or the tight elaborate brown and dunkelgelb splotches over a green base on some MAN and Daimler Benz Panthers. The latter is what I am selecting, a last steel wheel version built by the MAN factory: (shown for reference purposes only) So far I have built the suspension, the transmission, and the engine. The detail is amazing, and so far I've only added the shield that protects the radio operator from the shock absorber. Note that for late war Panthers the rear two shock absorbers were removed, and the hole left in the bulkhead on the right side is replaced by a steel plate. Since I am building a Feb 45 version, the interior hull will be painted with red primer only (starting October 44 the complete interior was painted this color until February 45 when the turret interior was again white, allegedly due to complaints from crew members about visibility). Here's where I'm at so far: Cheers, Tom
  21. Hello, everyone. This is my completed vignette that I’m calling, “The Avengers of Guadalcanal.” During the long, grueling campaign for the Solomon Islands, Allied and Japanese forces threw themselves at each other for months. Pitched night naval battles, furious aerial melees, and bitter ground combat were the brutal hallmarks of what I feel was truly the turning point in the Pacific War. By November 1942, American forces were desperately holding on to Henderson Field on Guadalcanal in an effort to keep the Cactus Air Force flying. One of the many units fed into the grinder was Marine Scout Bombing Squadron 131 (VMSB-131) whose men, along with countless others, flew and fought to the point of exhaustion. In their new TBF-1 Avenger torpedo bombers, they attacked Japanese supply vessels and warships (the vaunted “Tokyo Express”) and helped turn the tide of the Guadalcanal campaign in the Allies’ favor. This vignette is a small tribute to all those who fought and paid the price for freedom in those dark days of 1942. It is my first real attempt at a diorama in any scale or subject and I learned a lot valuable lessons for the next time. I also worked to push the limits of my skills, adding a few things that I’d never done before. The Materials This is Trumpeter’s TBF-1C kit (02233) that I backdated to represent a very early TBF-1. While the changes are subtle, they are numerous. To accomplish this, I had to · Cut the trough in the cowl and cowl flap to accommodate the forward-firing .30cal machine gun · Fill the holes for the .50s in the leading edges of both wings · Fill the access panels in the wings for the .50s · Fill the ammo panels in the wings for the .50s. · Scratch build a radio antenna mast that was raked aft at an angle · Remove the pads for the rocket rails on the underwings · Fill the holes for the rocket rails on the underwings · Scratchbuild many (now invisible) interior parts that were only found on TBF-1s I used the Eduard interior detail kit and a set of resin wheels that came with the kit when I bought it from a fellow LSP forum member years ago. Sadly, as this kit had been passed around a few times, many of the parts had been broken in shipping, so I had to spend some time repairing them or scratch building replacements. The base is polystyrene board framed with stained pine strips. The text plate is from PlaqueMakers.com. The Figures The figures are from several sources. · The two standing figures are from Black Dog Resin. They’re a little large and come out to about 6’5” in 1/32 scale. · The kneeling crewman inspecting the tail gear assembly is a 3D printed figure from Reedoak (highly recommended). · The ground crewman in the cockpit is the Aires tow truck driver. He had some fairly major surgery to fit the Avenger’s cockpit. His clipboard and checklist are scratch built of plastic stock and spare PE. The Finish Paints are a mix of MRP, Tamiya, and Vallejo with most weathering done by oils, Mig washes, and pastels. Chipping was kept to a bare minimum, because I figure in November 1942, there was no such thing as an "old" TBF-1 Avenger. Dirt, grime, and wear were applied... erm... liberally. The Surprise Just wait and see. The Build A few months ago, I came across this picture and fell in love: The oil staining on the cowl, goofy “6” digit on the under cowl, muck on the belly and landing gear, stained prop, 2-tone prop tips, and bald tires all cried out to be built. Unfortunately, no one makes a 1/32 TBF-1, so I sucked it up and decided to take on the task of scratch-back dating it. In my many references that I acquired for this build, I came across this picture as well, where the flight crews prepared for the mission while ground crewman warmed the engine. … and thus the idea of the vignette was born. And finally… On to the show: And now the surprise: "CLEAR PROP!" The kit is hand-wired with 9 lights and an electric motor to spin the propeller. Each wing has a pair of position lights in addition to another in the rudder. There's a formation light on the top of the spine aft of the turret, and three interior cockpit lights. The motor is a brushless drone motor and all are wired in parallel through the side-mounted switch to a 4.5v battery pack glued to the bottom of the foam board. Having never done electronics before, this was a big challenge for me. If I do it again, I'll find a different motor as this one builds up too much heat and therefore limits the run time. Live and learn. It's nearly impossible to see now, but the interior is extensively detailed throughout. Scratchbuilding plus the Eduard detail kit went a long way to make the interior look like a TBF-1. The oil staining here was done with Abteilung 502 "Engine Grease" oil paints and Migs "Fuel stains" weathering "wash." I am convinced it is actually used motor oil. I've been around enough airplane and car engine in my life to know the smell. The trough for the forward-firing .30 cal found on TBF-1s was the most challenging part of the backdate process. I took some spare photoetch sheet and bent it into a U shape. After cutting out the panel and studying reference pictures, I shaped and test fit the piece about a thousand times until it looked about right. The turret was extensively detailed through reference photos. Electrical cabling, placards, seatbelts, and other scratch pieces were added to enhance the increased detail from the Eduard kit. Insignia and numerical stencils were done on my Silhouette Cameo cutter. Smaller stencils are kit decals.
  22. I know I'm kinda late to the party here, but there's still plenty of time left. I just went and ordered myself some intake covers for this kit because I've read that there's a nasty seam in the engine/air intakes so those should be nice and covered now. I did mean to start this a couple of months ago, but I came down with the flu, then my gallbladder issues, then I had a penicillin allergy when I came home (broke out in itchy hives) and after all that, I got a sinus infection. On the up side I did win $2 on a scratchy lotto ticket, so hey things are looking better! Here she is. I picked it up second hand a couple of months ago and thought it would be good for this Group Build. Not sure which camo I'll do yet.
  23. Hello all, I hope everyone is keeping safe in these crazy times. While I have been off due to this enforced lockdown I started the Trumpeter ME262 A-1a heavy armament kit and wanted to do it in the colours of yellow 3 from KG(J)54. The kit decals seemed a big 'off' so I invested in Eagalcals #95-32 sheet and the colours seemed much better than the kit originals. I have been my best to get the scheme right, but even I will admit that its not quite right, but I think it looks pretty good, certainly a good learning session for sure. Painted with Gunze Sanyo (best paints EVER in my opinion) and weathered with oils. I'd like to add that the markings aren't symmetrical as that's the way they are on the original aircraft (very odd that) All comments welcome
  24. I feel I’m on a roll at the moment so the above kit has come down from the high shelf stash. I’ve no shelf of doom builds or almost finished builds to get done. It was a coin flip between the Harrier, or an A-10. Both come with fairly poor rep’s, but I’m ready to give them a fair crack of the whip to create a couple of good lookers. To the Harrier first, I’m utilising some Wolfpack-D Extras. Cockpit, external parts, and using the model alliance decal sheets for ZD433 of No1 Squadron. I’ll be adding some AM weaponry too, later down the line. I know about the poor shapes of the nose, and won’t be correcting them. I’m simply not that good a modeller. I tend to make do with what I have at hand in terms of plastic. If it looks like a Harrier at the end, is good enough for me. All that said, I’ve made a start on trimming and dry fitting the office into the nose section. That’s nearly done. So I set about the canopy, polishing the seam from the outside, and sanding polishing the dry’ cord from inside. I’ve had a go at making my own from wire, using a drawn template. Not bad for a first go, but improvements needed for subsequent attempts. The only problem now is that during the lengthy polishing session, I’ve cracked the canopy a little. I’m gonna see if a dip in future and adding the new det’ cord will distract the eyes from the crack. If not, I’ll source another from somewhere.
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