Or, where I've been. It's New Job time again---what an odd little economy we've more or less got---and we missed last week due to the requirements thereof. Missing a week isn't my first choice, but if I don't pay the bills I can't do this blog; it's a classic case of priorities, as it were. Anyway, we're back again and, I think, with some really special stuff; let's us get started, whaddayathink?
Another Modular Hawk
There's something about the P-40 that has an appeal for most modelers, and I have to admit I'm hooked on the airplane too. For me it's mostly the early ones, most specifically the "E" models in use in the SWP back during The Bad Old Days of WW2, but I'll occasionally do an "N" to break things up a bit and, if I'm really in the mood to shake the tree, I'll build one in 1/32nd scale. That's what's happening today or, more specifically, for the past three weeks. Here's where I am as of today:
First, there was the simple act of getting the kit. I saw a release notice on one of those internet scale modeling sites and immediately put in a call to My Favorite Local Hobby Shop, the employees of which were convinced that such a marvel did not exist and that I was, in fact, chasing the 1/48th scale Hase offering of same. It took about 6 weeks before I was able to convince them that the 1/32nd scale kit really existed, and another two weeks after that to get it. Oh well, I'm stubborn, and I wanted the kit. I kept after it, and I eventually got it. There's a lesson therein.
Anyway, I got the thing, and now it's mostly together and partially painted and, as usual, it's going to be finished as an aircraft from the 49th FG; this time the 7th FS using some exceptionally nice decals made by the folks at Zotz. We're not going to to a blow-by-blow account of how to build the thing, because I figure you've already got some modeling skills to your credit, but there are a couple of things that could stand mention.
First, everything on this kit fits, which is in direct opposition to the ranting, raving, wailing, and general silliness you may have read on the internet about Hasegawa's 1/48th and 1/32nd scale Warhawks. All it takes is a little care when you're removing the parts from the sprues and cleaning them up, plus a little finesse when you're aligning things and Zip-Zap-Zoop; you've got an airframe! The Hasegawa P-40s are eminately buildable.
Second, there's not much of an aftermarket for the type. The cockpit can stand some Eduardizing, as it were, but that's mostly to get the various placards, etc, that you'll need to complete the interior. Those placards, plus a set of belts and harnesses, will finish off the almost-adequate kit cockpit very nicely. (I've only seen one release of the "N" model in 1/32nd, the Every-Schoolboy-Used-to-Have-the-Picture 1 of 15,000 bird. The only decals given with the kit are for that airplane, making the aforementioned Zotz sheet an essential.)
Third, and as to be expected with any airplane assigned to the 49th FG in the Pacific during the war, there are some questions about the markings. We'll get to those in modest detail later, but the bird I'm doing makes for the usual Interesting Study in Contradictions Regarding Airplanes of the 49th. If any of you hold original photography on the airplane, please wait until I've completely finished the model and couldn't possibly go back and un-do the damage, then scan and send those photos to email@example.com . Right on!
We'll come back to this P-40 in a later installment, when it's a little bit farther along. Meanwhile, how about some Real Airplane Pictures for a Monday?
Props Are Good, and Hogs Have Props
You see a whole lot of Chance Vought F4Us on this site, and there are reasons for it. First, and most important to me; it's my site and I happen to like the airplane. Also, frequent contributors Jim Sullivan and Doug Siegfried like the U-Bird too, and they send in some neat stuff from time to time. Finally, there are really good kits of the Corsair out there in any scale you could think of, and of almost every variant ever produced. In my world that's motivation enough to do yet another photo essay on the type so here, without further ado, are some more F4U photos for your enjoyment:
Some MO Birds for the Morgan Boys
It's been a long time since I first met the Morgan Brothers, Rick and Mark, but I think they're from Missouri, or at least they have an interest in airplanes from that State. That said, here's a selection of MO NG birds from the early 50s in honor of that interest (and for our mutual enjoyment as well):
Remember the Skyray?
Frequent contributor Mark Nankivil's dad was a naval aviator during the 50s and 60s. Mark's sent along a couple of really nice "FORD" images taken by his dad, and I think that offers a nice round-out for our day:
The Relief Tube
Mark Morgan has sent along a comment or two on the F-94 photos we ran a few installments back:
Phil - WHOOPS, I goofed big time and left off a couple of items. The first shot with the 2nd FIS F-94As was taken at Nellis, the photo was marked by the Nellis photo lab on the back. I assume the event was oneof the early fighter gunnery meets.
The -94C shot is Burbank, my old plant (as distinguished from Plant B-1, which was further north near the railroad tracks). That hanger in the center background is where the Skunk Works was located while I worked there, 1/87-5/89, with the office building on the far side, out of sight. I fully expect that hanger had several U-2s under construction at the time this photo was taken; the aircraft in the foreground are pre-delivery F-94Cs and T-33As. Sad to say, this entire historic old complex is now gone, bulldozed in order for Lockheed Martin to get it off the California tax rolls. Sigh.. last time I rolled through there was May of '04 while I was doing the Noble Eagle road trips, was shocked to see everything removed..MK
A quick note from Tom Gaj regarding the Boeing T-43; the type flew its last operational mission last Friday, 16 September, out of Randolph AFB. The honors of that last GATOR flight fell to 73-1153. And another one bites the dust...
And please remember, I'm always looking for photographs and hard information on American military aviation of all eras, but in particular from 1919 to 1975 or so. If you've got anything of that nature that you'd like to share, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org . I don't make money off this thing so you won't either, but full credit will be given for your contributions.
That's it 'til next time, so be good to your neighbor. We'll talk again soon.