Back to the North Country (Northern Japan, That Is)
Without further ado, or any ado at all for that matter, here are another couple of images from Misawa AB, Japan, taken during the late 1950s/early 1960s. Misawa was a humming sort of place back then, and seemingly a haven for all sorts of neat airplanes. Let's look.
We Don't Do Warbirds Around Here, Except for This Time
A lot of my friends like Warbirds, and I have a couple of friends who prefer them to almost any other form of aviation. Me, I could take 'em or leave 'em, mostly because I don't much care for the way they get restored. If you're wondering what that might mean, try thinking of your average Warbird as a Great Big Model Airplane, being painted and marked by the person building same. Sometimes the results are pretty good, but sometimes they aren't, and it honestly kills my soul to see a vintage airplane all tarted up looking like a badly-done model airplane.
You could counter, of course, by saying that each airplane is privately owned and the owner gets to do what they want. I'd certainly agree with that notion, but my personal preference is to do it Right if you're going to do it at all, and a lot of warbirds just look odd to me. The modern com gear and associated antennae don't help, and I don't much care for those "N" numbers either, even though they're both necessary and, generally, tiny. It's a personal preference and nothing more. (On the other hand, we do get to hear and see them fly, for which I say a great big THANK YOU to all the folks who take the time and spend the money to keep those treasures in the air!)
That said, today I'm going to offer up a photo of a Warbird for your consideration:
On the Ramp at Douglas Tulsa
The old Douglas facility in Tulsa was quite an operation while in its prime, although a lot of folks aren't all that familiar with the place. It may therefore come as a surprise that a fair number of Boeing B-47s were built there under contract, while a bunch of them were overhauld and modded there as well. MarkNankivil sent these shots in several months ago, and todays a good day to run them.
Sometimes You Just Get Bored, Ya Know?
Which is what's happened to me with two different projects (three, actually; theres that still-not-finished A-4C that we started this whole thing with almost a year ago). I've just gotten bored. Not burned out, I don't think, but seriously, severely bored.
First up in the Boredom Sweepstakes is that big P-40N I've been working on. It's almost done, in point of fact it's so close to finished that you can almost smell it, but I've ground to a stop on the thing. It's probably the masking of that doggoned spinner---the bottom half came out just fine but I've re-done the tip twice now and I'm still not happy with it. I've also been balking on the canopy and windscreen, both of which are easy enough to mask because of the way Hasegawa designed the kit (all the frames are engraved). That one falls into the realm of the cosmically unexplained; I just don't feel like doing it.
Anyway, here's where we got to before the project ran out of steam:
The sharp-eyed among you may also notice that the images are a little soft this time. That's because Jenny just got me a Brand Spanking New Digital Camera and I don't have a clue how to use it yet. This is what happens when you close your eyes and jump right in. It'll get better...
And the Other One I Burned Out On
Everybody builds a P-38 sooner or later, and nobody builds more than one, or at least nobody I know does. I think that's because the airframe is a pain in the wazoo to model, with alignment issues abounding in most kits. This one got started over a year ago, and it's been sitting like this for the past six months. All it needs is some touch-up and its transparencies but, once again, it's stuck where it is.
This photograph has been deleted by the staff of RIS. ed.
Here's Hasegawa's P-38G marked as "Hold Everything" from the 431st FS/475th FG ca. 1943. The decals are AeroMaster (the decal company that some of the Internet Experts love to hate) and went on without a hitch. They're a lot more accurate than I could've done by hand, and gave me an opportunity to build a colorful mid-War SWPA Lightning from the Pacific's premier P-38 outfit. The kit doesn't quite have that characteristic P-38 "squat" and the mlg doors are a bear to align, but otherwise it wasn't a tough build at all. The Hase Lightning kits have a reputation for being difficult but I'm here to tell you it just ain't so! They do have too many pieces in some areas, but if you're the least bit careful you end up with something that sure looks like a P-38.
Almost a Boring Airplane
Sometimes you come into a photo that's just plain boring until you start paying attention to what it is. Here's an example:
The Relief Tube
We've got a couple of comments and corrections ( firstname.lastname@example.org ) to share with you this week. Let's see what's going on:
First, from Don Jay: Hi Phil, Just looked at your latest edition of replica in scale. Some info for you:
The T-birds are not mine but I can help to pinpoint the time frame for you as between 10/78 and 4/79. In the background of -3679 is 53-5285 which arrived 10/78 and departed 4/79. I think (caution) that all the T-Birds belonged to the 21st Composite Wing. They were used for targets, ecm-spoofers, liaison, and to keep (the) HQ staff happy with some flying time. Thanks Don! Now, will the real owner of those T-Bird photos please stand up?!
And a kudo from a reader known only as Yeepie Jeepy:
I've always loved the FJ-4. I'm not sure why. they look pretty ungainly on the ground with that long nose wheel strut. On the other hand, they look really good in flight. Kinda like the Sabre Jet's brawny cousin. Thanks for sharing the pics.
Thanks Yeepie, and thanks for giving me a chance to define something for our readers. Although most blog sites allow reader comments with moderation (or sometimes without---how crazy is that?), we don't do that around here. I mention this so nobody takes offense if a comment doesn't show up on the blog---we'd love to hear from you but please send your comments to email@example.com rather than to the comments part of the blog. It's easier for me to deal with it that way since this is still a one-person show. And I couldn't agree more with Yeepy about the FJ!
And that's what I know. Be good to your neighbors and we'll meet again real soon.