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Hi guys, While checking the contents of the conversion, I was a little bit puzzled by the two single cockpit components. Of course they are very visible elements but the out of my memory the PR XI had alas many more other features. So again I allocated my train journey time to an interesting task: to check all the changes. I'm currently allocating the few hours I have at home to a project to help someone but when I will get some additional time I will try to take some pictures of the modifications I made last year. Just to inform you, that mark had MANY other cockpit changes and some were VERY visible if you compare the pictures with the ones of a fighter. To give some hints: - the upper starboard side is completely different with no spare gunsight bulbs and no more fuel pump, morse key or gyro gunsight component. From the front to the rear, the PR cockpit had a box to stow a ration, a latch for maps, a lever to open the belly camera shutters and two supports for a cylinder-shaped incendiary bomb (I guess this was intended to destroy the plane in case of crash). If you open the cockpit door such features are VERY visible. By the way, the oxygen tube should be added as well. - the port side did not change a lot. Alleycat give the large camera selector box but not the large support with two thermometers bezels that was added between the door opening and the front instrument panel. This is a very visible feature. Moreover, a relief tube with a funnel was going out of frame 10 on late production planes. However, I never found a picture of that change and this was probably not very visible. - the instrument panel had additional features as well. A small fuel pressure warning lamp was added on the right side of the type 35 camera control box given by Alleycat. This is a very small and not obvious change. However, the left lower side of the panel got other very obvious changes that should normally be added: two large bezel boxes (a clock and a ammeter) were added on the lower port side, right under the IP. A slow running cut-out ring-shaped control was also added between the aforementioned additional bezels and the compass. - the rear seat armor shall be removed and the seat had the flare holder but this was made out of a single peforated metal sheet. The flare pistol was seemingly clipped to the seat starboard side. I guess this was close to the very front end of the seat as the large seat heigth adjustment lever does not really give other options but I never found a picture. Most wartime planes had no head cushion but some got one (check your references). - the rear cockpit also changed noticeably. The oxygen bottles had to move because an additional fuel tank was added between frames 11 & 12. Three smaller bottles were stored horizontally over the tank (from the front to the rear of the plane). If that area is not the most visible one of the cockpit, the color of the bottles really reveal the changes. This is an annoying omission as this ask for scratching all the components... I would not go mad detailing the black rubber covered tank but at least creating the main shapes is recommended. - I do not know if this would be really visible on a kit but the radio was relocated close to frame 12 to give room for the cameras. Personally, as this was just a black box in a dark area, I would not really worry about that. - Finally, the boots straps should not be added on the rudder pedals. Note an external change should also be done: the wartime planes had no torsion links on the landing gear legs. This shows that the amount of internal changes unfortunately goes far further than adding two resin boxes...! Of course, solving that comprehensively would ask for giving a full resin cockpit and I understand Alleycat did not want to go that route. However, some additional resin components such as the additional bezel boxes, the most visible items of the starboard side, the fuel tank and the modified oxygen bottles could have been included. I had to cross check many sources to do that list. Again, this shows that the "well-known" Spifire still deserves better documentation... The best book stays the Ventura part II about reco Spits but it does not cover everything... I hope this helps. BR Thierry
I waited for the Roden 1/32 O-1 Bird Dog with much anticipation. When it finally arrived, I wasn't disappointed: a simple, no-nonsense, accurate, well-moulded kit albeit a little scarce in interior details. This latter point didn't bother me a bit because I like to detail cockpits and interiors. IMO the one thing the kit lacks is an M-16/ AR-15 assault rifle which is closely associated with the Bird Dog and the FAC missions it was renowned for in the Vietnam conflict. The O-1 is a little bare without it. The problem is that M-16's can be easily found in armor modelling in 1/35 but none in 1/32. So what to do? Build one from scratch. This is how I did it. The reference is a profile view taken from the internet et reduced to 1/32 scale. The material: plasticard and brass wire. The pictures say it all. In situ Hope you like it. Cheers, Quang
Hi guys, I'm currently building a Tamiya 1/48 Skyraider USN early 1960s with a bucket seat (as opposed to the later Yankee extraction seat). I searched long and large but cannot find a reference for the colour of the seat belts/harness. Can any of you Skyraider experts help me in that matter? Thank you in advance, Cheers, Quang