Monday, January 31, 2011

A Message From the Editor, An Incorrect Color on Some Kit Decals, Some Texans at Misawa, An Early Lib, Some Bi-Centennial Birds, and More Stoofs

Sometimes Stuff Happens and you Just Don't Know Why

If you're one of our regular readers you pretty much know the drill around here---we do military airplanes, primarily American, and we do model airplanes, mostly military but not necessarily American. We do short articles, if somewhat infrequently, and we do a lot of photo essays. To cut straight to the chase for once, I've just modified a couple of those essays by deleting a couple of images. Here's why:

I periodically check this blog, each and every page of it, to try to find and correct glaring errors or, to the extent I'm capable of doing it, poor page design. In the course of that operation I'll click on most, if not all, of the photos I've published to make certain the links still work. I did that very thing this morning, and discovered that not only were a couple of links not working, but that clicking on said images produced a blood red screen with a message stating that the picture was dangerous; clicking on the message to see what it was that presented a danger produced yet another message stating that there could be viruses involved, of which we don't want none of those around here. (And I'm pretty sure there aren't any, although I guess you really can't tell from this end. We work pretty hard around here to make sure that sort of thing doesn't happen; this is in theory a clean site, ya'll!)

Upon closer examination there was a common thread that seemed to produce that Big Red Screen; bawdy nose art. Most of it was on models, although one image was on a real airplane. I pondered that Common Thread for a while and surmised that it's possible that the images may have breached the terms of use that we all have to agree to when we sign up to do a blog. I don't want to have to declare RIS to be one of those "restricted" sites because of a couple of decals on a model airplane, so the possibly-off-color-but-I'm-not-really-certain-of-it images have been deleted. It's honestly not much of a loss and, presuming those red screens really were in reaction to the terms and conditions of operating a blog here, it's ok with me. Rules are rules and the photos are gone, removed by my hand. Life goes on.

And now back to our regular programming...

You Can't Control Everything, I Suppose

We've said it before and will say it again; we're truly living in a Golden Age for plastic modeling. That said, every once in a while one of the major manufacturers drops a clanger, which rare-but-it-happens sometimes occurence impacted a model I just mostly completed. The end result was my own fault, largely because of laziness but also because I just didn't have anything better in the way of decals lying around and didn't want to airbrush concentric circles on the wing of a model; I lived with what the kit provided, but at the end of the day what was provided was wrong. Here's how that worked.

The kit is Eduard's 1/48th scale Morane Salnier N monoplane, painted up to represent the aircraft Roland Garros flew before he shot off his propellor and got himself captured by the German army. The kit is a beaut, well detailed, and it's one of those models that pretty much just falls together. The empennage is, by virtue of the design of the Real Thing, somewhat delicate, but the rest of the model is extremely sturdy and it's not a bad First Venture into Modeling the Aircraft of the Great War, except for those decals. Check out the color of the outer ring of the insignia on the wings, plus the "red" areas on the fuselage and rudder flashes. That "red" should, more or less, match the darker shade of same that's resident on the cowling, wheels, and struts, but it isn't. It's orange, ding-dang it! Orange! Every single decal on the kit's sheet that should have been red was orange. Phooey!

This view shows how the wing looks with those bright orange cocardes on them---it wouldn't be so bad if there was no other red on the model, but there is and the contrast is enormous. The decal sheet was consistent, for whatever that's worth, since every single thing on it that was supposed to be red was, you guessed it; orange (and the quality of that sheet was superb for the record, all except for that one somewhat critical color). We used this particular model to illustrate how to pre-shade wing ribs a couple of issues ago, and this shot depicts how that worked out, if any of you were wondering. There's a tiny bit of photo-etch on the model thanks to Eduard's Profi-Pack packaging but the model could just as easily do without it, I think. The sharp-eyed among you (not that you have to be particularly astute in this instance) will notice that the model hasn't been rigged yet---I'll do that as soon as I figure out how to fix those orange markings on the wings! I'll live with the fus and tail markings. Oh, and I don't know what that is laying under the wing except that it's part of something else and not the Morane. I'm too lazy to go back and re-do the photo so you'll have to live with that whatever-it-is. My bad!

And a photo of the other side, this time showing that Whatsis in repose under the fuselage rather than the wing---I still don't know what it might be, though. The "genuine" red on the model is courtesy Testor ModelMaster enamel, and is their standard flat insignia red, applied over a light grey base to keep it from being too bright. Check out the tires; early producers of rubber didn't always put lamp black in their formulations, and in consequence the tires on those early airplanes could be almost any shade of grey, as well as black or, so help me Gracie, sometimes even pinkish-grey! Don't paint them tires black, ya'll! I started to rig the model, which is evident here, and then changed my mind pending some sort of conclusion regarding those wing insignia. I may let you know what happens, but then again I may not.

It Must've Been a Long Flight

Those early jet deployments to bases outside of the CONUS must've been pretty sporty affairs, what with all that distance to be covered in single-engined tactical aircraft. During the early 1950s Misawa AB, Japan, had its air defense supplied by a rotation of F-84G units, one of which was the 27th FEW, nominally stationed at Bergstrom AFB, Texas. Here are a couple of shots from Mark Morgan to prove the point.

Misawa's ramp isn't all that big, and we're guessing that the simultaneous arrival of the better part of a fighter wing all at once made things really interesting for the transient folks who ran that ramp. 1035 is an F-84G-5-RE and almost a new airplane at the time of this photograph, which was taken during the deployment of Fox Peter 2 in October of 1952.  AMC History Office via Mark Morgan

You've got to be someplace to start with if you're going to fly to Japan. Here's another 27th FEW F-84G, also a -5-RE, launching from Hickam for the next leg of that Fox Peter deployment. Your humble editor made that flight in 1962 and it's a long one. Global projection doesn't just happen...   AMC History Office via Mark Morgan

An Opportune Coincidence

One of the modeling boards was having a discussion re the origins of the CAF's "Diamond Lil" the other day. Mark Nankivil had previously sent me a photograph of her during her early post-war days and I was wondering what to do with it---wonder no more! The picture's of interest to me and hopefully to you as well.

Here's what N1503 looked like before she hit The Big Time with The Organization Formerly Known as The Confederate Air Force. Built as an LB-30B (essentially a B-24A conversion in Consolidated's world), she was assigned the British serial number AM927 but never delivered to the RAF due to damage incurred during delivery, spending her war at the Convair plant before going on to a career in the civilian arena. She was first registered as N1503, then there was a stint Down South as XC-CAY, then back to the States as N12905 and, finally, as N24927 with the CAF. Her original short nose (B-24A through D) was replaced at some point by the lenthened nose seen here, although she always carried those round cowlings, a trademark of the LB-30 series. She's got to be the oldest surviving member of the B-24 family around and it might be time to find her a good home in a first-class museum someplace...  Nankivil Collection

Anybody Out There Remember the BiCentennial?

The United States hit its 200th birthday back in 1976, and the Air Force and Navy both painted up airplanes in commemorative schemes to honor the occasion. The Navy's been painting up some of their airplanes of late in honor of one of their anniversaries, which in a roundabout way leads us back to those BiCi birds. (It's what passes for logic in my world. Roll with it.)

TraCom got caught up in the BiCentennial celebrations along with the rest of the NAV. One of the aircraft that received a special paint job was 157057, a T-2C Buckeye assigned to VT-26 at the now-defunct NAS Chase Field in Beeville, Texas. Additional markings include the legend "Be Someone Special/Fly Navy" on her fuselage decking, "Spirit of '76" on the nose, "City of Beeville, Texas" on the intake trunk, and the official Bi-Centennial emblem on her vertical tail. Observant readers will also notice the USS Lexington painted beneath the star and bar on her fuselage. The "Lex" was TraCom's CarQual boat and had no aircraft permanently assigned to her, although a great many T-2s and TA-4s had the wording painted on their sides, presumably to foster esprit de corps. I think this is a really pretty airplane.  Mark Nankivil

And speaking of pretty airplanes...   VS-41 jumped on the BiCi wagon big-time with their treatment of 160120, an S-3A repainted in overall white with red stripes on the vertical stab and some nicely applied blue trim. The rattlesnake and "Don't Tread on Me" legend date back to the Revolutionary War and are highly appropriate for the paint job and the festivities at hand. Mark Nankivil

I Think We Promised You Some More Stoofs

Last time around we took a look at some early, Glossy Sea Blue, S2Fs. For todays installment let's move on to the post-1956 grey on white scheme.

Ever wonder what a squadron of "Stoofs" might look like if they were all parked at the same place and at the same time? Wonder no more! Here's a lineup of VS-33's S2Es on the ground at NAS North Island while attached to CVS-20. The S2 provided all of the Navy's carrier-based fixed-wing ASW assets until the advent of the S-3 in the late 1970s. Pretty neat photo, I think! Tailhook Association via Doug Siegfried

This shot proves that a sharkmouth looks really good on just about anything that flies! 152842 is an S2-G from VS-30 and shows off her markings, including that sharkmouth, to advantage in this shot. Modelers might want to take note of the wing fold on both this and the preceeding photograph; it's pretty complicated in there!  Tailhook Association via Doug Siegfried

Let's look at another wing-fold shot, this time on VS-37's 152374, another S-2G but this time assigned to the Ticonderoga. That tail bumper and wheel assembly was essential to deck operations with the "Stoof" and is always down when the airplane is on the ground! Tailhook Association via Doug Siegfried

When we think of the S-2 most folks think "ASW", and that was certainly the primary role. The "Stoof" could be useful for the control of sea lanes as well, however, as depicted by this rocket-armed S-2E of VS-25. There wasn't much else available, at least not in the non-attack sea-based community, when this photo was taken off the Oriskany in 1964.  Tailhook Association via Doug Siegfried

 This is what you might call a high-drag configuration; all this VS-24 S2F-1 needs is some underwing stores hanging off the wings! Check out 136506's array of wire antennae running from the vertical to the fuselage too; it couldn't be any tougher to rig a biplane than it would be to duplicate that!  Tailhook Association via Doug Siegfried

And away we go in an S-2E from VS-21. This photo does a great job of defining the underwing hard points and extended radome. I'm not certain how effective that MAD boom would be at altitude, but it looks pretty neat when it's deployed.  Tailhook Association via Doug Siegfried

We'll take another look at the "Stoof" when next we meet. Meanwhile, do any of our readers have any sea stories to contribute about the S-2? We'd love to hear from you at if you do.

The Relief Tube

We really don't have anything to put in the tube today, which is unusual, so I'm going to add a comment of my own, as if I didn't already do enough of that.

Some of you are kind enough to electronically subscribe to this effort, and I can't thank you enough for so doing. On the other hand, I've been told that "subscribing" means that you get a notification every time I publish this thing, and it's occured to me that I could be driving some of you nuts when I go back and edit something (which is publishing, I think) rather than producing a Brand New Blog. If that's truly happening I'd like to apologize for it, but I still want to correct errors/typos when I find them and can't figure any way around the problem except to ask for your continued indulgence in the matter, which I guess I'm doing now. That is, of course, if the problem even exists. I don't know for sure, but thought it was worth mentioning. My intentions are, as always, of the highest order!

Anyway, be good to your neighbor. We'll talk again soon.

No comments:

Post a Comment