Saturday, July 3, 2010

Nate Moves Along, Air Group 1, Another B-47, Some Gorgeous Furies, A Destroyer or Two, and a Holiday

Progress is Our Most Important Product, But It Happens So Rarely These Days

Still, there's been a little bit of it on the Ki-27 project. Progress, that is.  In fact, we might even say there's been some major progress on "Nate", because there's not a whole lot left to do. I was able to get the red on those stripes and do the preliminary work on the canopy a couple of evenings ago, as well as stick on the final couple of parts (which I'll probably manage to knock right off of there when I go to touch up the paint) to almost finish things up. Those modest accomplishments have made the model look a whole lot more like an airplane. Wanna see?

It's beginning to look a whole lot more like a "Nate", isn't it? Significant additions include the telescopic gunsight, turnover pylon, and the radio antenna mast. The red parts of the stripes have been painted in, and the preliminary work has been done on the canopy. It's getting pretty colorful around here!

This view shows the canopy, and its masking, to advantage. The transparency was masked with Tamiya masking tape (the wide stuff, whatever size that is---I'm not metric!), burnished down around the frames with a toothpick, and then cut with the tip of a really sharp #11 blade. When the narrow strips are removed you have the beginnings of a canopy frame! It seems as though most Japanese aircraft of the WW2 period had flat black inside the canopy frames, so the first coat of paint was black, followed by JAAF Grey Green, both being Testor model master colors. Note that there are some ragged demarcations on that canopy; let the paint dry for a day or two, then go back and re-mask/re-shoot any place where there's a gap. After that's dry, take a flat toothpick that's had the big end made into a chisel with your ubiquitous Really Sharp # 11 Blade and trim the paint demarcation. That hasn't been done to this model yet but will help that semi-sloppy canopy no end.

And our final shot for this installment, which shows those tail stripes a little bit better. They need some light touch-up too, which will require re-masking, but we're nearly there. Those white blobs on the wingtips are paint, which will be trimmed to the shape of the navigation lights by that chisel-edged toothpick we made to do the canopy with. Then, after all the weathering is done, the lenses will be painted in the appropriate transparent Tamiya color. The part of the fuselage deck where the canopy sits will be touched up so the only grey-green that shows is the stuff that's on the canopy frames and the decking that's under said canopy and then, after everything else is done, we'll add the antenna wire out of That Old Standby Stretched Sprue.

It's beginning to look like I may be doing a P-35A to go with this thing. Eduard made an interior for that old Hobbycraft kit, you know...

Better Late Than Never

Two installments or so ago we took a look at a really neat F4U-5 photo from Jim Sullivan. It was a CAG bird from Air Group 1, and it got Rick Morgan interested in finding the group emblem. He contacted Doug Siegfried at The Tailhook Association, who in turn found and sent the emblem so, without further ado:

And here it is, the 1947-50 insignia of Air Group 1. Let's let Rick explain it: Phil: Here’s the insignia on the cowl of that CAG-1 Hosenose via Doug Siegfried at Tailhook; it depicts the five primary squadrons in the group c.1950, VF-11 (the shield), VF-12 and -13 (bomb), VF-14 (Tophat) and VA-15 (Lion). Pretty clever although obsolete the moment one of them moves to another Group.  Rick

Many thanks to Doug and Rick for the extra help on this one!

Bad Day For a Boeing Bomber

Boeing's B-47 was a beautiful airplane, well-proportioned and absolutely gorgeous in flight. This shot shows the aircraft in a somewhat less-than-flattering situation---stuff happens, you know...

Oopsie! 51-2151, originally built as a B-47B-35-BW but subsequently converted to DB-47B status, lies forlornly in a field in this tantalizing shot, the details of which are unknown to either the contributor or myself. The fact that it's a DB-47 and has the legend "Nike 2" painted on the nose could imply that the airplane was brought down during missile testing, although it's my opinion that there's too much intact airplane sitting there for that to be the case. If anybody has any thoughts on this photo I'd sure like to here them! (Dave Menard or Norm Taylor; are you out there?)  Tulsa Air & Space Museum via Mark Nankivil

Are These Pretty or What?

Sometimes you find really neat stuff when you weren't looking for it at all, which is the case with these next images. I'd begun an FJ-4 project, the results of which will appear here sooner or later, and had requested help from Doug Siegfried over at The Tailhook Association. Doug sent the requested images but added some FJ-3s for good measure. Here are a few of those images but be forewarned; they're going to make you really Jones for a decent FJ-3 kit!

This shot's a little soft but Holy Cow! VF-121 definitely knew how to paint an airplane! There's color everywhere on this CAW-12 FJ-3M, and there are even a pair of "Sidewinders" peeking out from behind those tanks. If this doesn't whet your appetite for a decent kit of the Fury nothing ever will! Tailhook Association via Doug Siegfried

And a clean bird in flight. Note the staining behind the fuel dump; this sort of thing is often overlooked by modelers.  Tailhook Association via Doug Siegfried

A couple of VF-121 birds mixed in with photo Cougars. These aircraft are from Air Group 12 ca. 1958, and the F9F-8Ps are from VFP-61.  Tailhook Association via Doug Siegfried

BuAer regulations during what's been called NavAir's "Easter Egg Period" specified insignia white control surfaces, which are shown to good advantage on this VF-121 FJ-3M. This bird's armed up and ready to rumble, at least in theory. The FJ-2/FJ-3s were peacetime aircraft and, theoretically at least, never saw combat anywhere. How's that for an anti-glare treatment?  Tailhook Association via Doug Siegfried

So you want to do a flight deck diorama, do you? How about this for inspiration! "Double Nuts" is getting ready to move off the angle and into position for launch---note the aircraft director preparing to guide her into position. Those guys in the V-1 division probably have the most dangerous job on the boat, but their ballet-like movements are something to watch! Let's see now; you'd have to scratch-built part of the boat, come up with a bunch of decent figures in properly-animated poses, and then hope that someone will issue a decent kit of the Fury. Oh well, we can dream, can't we?  Tailhook Association via Doug Siegfried

Cat Shot! An FJ-3M from VF-121 takes to the air off the Lexington during her days as an attack carrier. I've included this one because it shows the airframe behind the deployed flaps; that area appears to be painted in Mil-P-8585 Zinc Chromate Primer. If we ever get a kit...  Tailhook association via Doug Siegfried

Sometimes you run a shot because you really like it, and this is one of those times. This picture really defines the nose treatment on these aircraft! Note the crew chief's name (illegible, unfortunately) under the canopy. The removable IFR probe is readily visible in this photo.  Tailhook Association via Doug Siegfried

You Just Don't See That Much On the B-66, Do You?

At least until today. Mark Nankivil sent along these photos of Douglas B-66 Destroyers in the process of production and overhaul at the Douglas Tulsa plant:

I've always liked shots of military aircraft in production or undergoing maintenance, which makes this next series a natural for today's effort. Here's the production line at Douglas Tulsa. This represents shot, taken in October of 1962, represents organized chaos at it's best!  Tulsa Air & Space Museum via Mark Nankivil

This view, taken during the Vietnam War, shows a hangar full of B-66s undergoing overhaul. The 363rd TRW RB-66 is noteworthy.  Tulsa Air & Space Museum via Mark Nankivil

It's a Fact, I Think

Many years ago, way back when I was a whole lot younger than I am now, I read some place (maybe in Boy's Life magazine?) the the Declaration of Independence was actually signed on the 3rd of July, then ratified on the 4th. There's no telling whether or not I'm remembering that correctly, but either way this day, or more likely tomorrow, is important to a lot of us. If you're an American you might want to take a minute or two to reflect on the meaning of the day. (It's also a holiday around here, which is a Good Thing too!)

Which brings us to a story. Back when I worked at Mooney Airplane one of my co-workers asked our production manager, who happened to be English, if they celebrated the day too. I thought it was an odd question and was really interested in his answer, which wasn't long in coming; John grinned at the non-historically-minded inquirer and said "Yes, we do celebrate the day. We call it Thanksgiving!"  I guess it's all a matter of opinion!

Have yourselves a great and glorious 4th, and be good to your neighbor. We'll meet again soon!

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